3AA Mini Maglite with a 2.8A driver, XM-L and TIR optic, build thread

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Old-Lumens
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3AA Mini Maglite with a 2.8A driver, XM-L and TIR optic, build thread

I am doing this light for a member of the forum. He wanted a 3AA Mini-Maglite that would be brighter than the LED ones. He sent me a new and very hard to find, 3AA LED Mini-Mag. I modded it into a little monster.

 

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The light came new in the package. Beside it is a 8x7135 2.8A driver and an XM-L T6 3C led on a 16mm star.

 

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The reason I like doing the LED version is that there is more depth in the head, so I can still make a heat sink and fit the driver in. Here is the heat sink. It's the normal copper filled with copper shot and solder and it has a wrap of 0.010" thick copper sheet, to make it tighter in the head. This method does not involve boring the head.

 

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Here is the head, the driver and the copper base plate that will be the negative contact to the body. The driver is 17mm and that will not fit in the head, so I had to sand around the outside to get it to fit it in.

 

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Positive and negative wires soldered on.

 

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Here's how the driver goes up against the heat sink. I will use AA Adhesive in between the driver and heat sink.

 

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Here's how the whole pill goes together. The bottom copper plate fits against the other side of the driver and the copper center post is soldered on. Then there is the plastic isolator and copper positive terminal. AA Adhesive will fill in the gaps on both sides of the driver.

 

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The copper plate is soldered to the outside ring of the driver to complete the negative circuit. The pill is ready.

 

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I decided to use a piece of shrink wrap around the positive post, to keep from having any possible shorting. I think it will work well.

 

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The pill is in place and I am using AA Adhesive again, around the outside of the pill, to make better pill/head contact, for heat transfer.

 

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The 15 degree optic is in place.

 

 

 

 

Beam Shots. My camera is acting up - again. Oh well, you get the idea. All three shots are at only 1/2 second shutter speed. At 1 second, the light was so bright you could not see anything.

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High - measured out to 2500mA

 

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Medium - measured out to 750mA

 

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Low - measured out to 400mA

 

That's it! All done! This light needs to run on Eneloops. That is what it was tested on. Alkalines would work, but it's too high a voltage and too low of an amperage. The light is considerably dimmer with Alkalines.

This is a WOW light. On high, the head heats up in seconds, on medium it heats up in a couple minutes and low is the setting for overall best long term run time and least heat. This darned thing is Bright!

Now, it goes to it's new home.

My PayPal address: oldlumens (insert the @ sign here) gmail.com

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The BLF Modding Links Thread 

http://imageshack.com/a/img922/1374/jQ2wdL.jpg

 

Ouchyfoot
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Zowie! I’m seeing spots before my eyes.

jamio
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Nice, very nice. The new owner will definitely like it!

I would just use little lower high with this one, maybe 6x7135 for 2.1amp

AlexHH
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Awesome mod!

I really like your work Smile

~ carpe noctem ~

Rufusbduck
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Nice work once again. It’s fun to see how they turn out with some new ideas each time.

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gords1001
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I like that, a lot, gives me some ideas for my dead 2aa minimag, or the pill at least, just need to let Mrs gords calm down, gords is not in a good place at the moment…

Kokopelli
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I had no idea a thing like this ever existed.. That’s a long one but not longer than my custom 3xAA Solarforce + Extensions setup.

I love the use of copper in flashlights. Great job OL, once again.

kimlan2
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Newbie question: How did you get it to switch modes?

You are a gifted craftsman and your solder-fu is most powerful!

MRsDNF
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Very nice Old-lumens. I have used a 15 degree and 10 degree TIR now. There is not a lot of difference except as you would expect the 10 degree is a little tighter in the hot spot. The 10 degree has an outer housing on it though that does not permit an oring to be used to seal it on the housing.

 

djozz quotes, "it came with chinese lettering that is chinese to me".

                      "My man mousehole needs one too"

old4570 said "I'm not an expert , so don't suffer from any such technical restrictions".

Old-Lumens. Highly admired and cherished member of Budget Light Forum. 11.5.2011 - 20.12.16. RIP.

 

Dale
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I enjoy seeing your mods!

jmpaul320
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i wish i had your expertise! I have a 2aa mag sitting in my desk begging for an 8.4v driver with 2× 14500s and a nice 4000k xpg2

maybe i need to learn more myself though Smile

again – very nice light my friend!

Would you mind keeping the wrong flashlight?
Best wish, May
Tmart service team

 

Soumil wrote:

PLEASE HELP ME GEARBEsT! IM LITERALLY CRYING!

 

nitro
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My Walmart has those for 10 bucks Smile well not modded Wink

Chicago X
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nitro wrote:
My Walmart has those for 10 bucks Smile well not modded ;)

The 3AA versions?

http://wardogsmakingithome.org/index.html

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mizjif
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Awesome mod! I love it!

nitro
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Chicago X wrote:

nitro wrote:
My Walmart has those for 10 bucks Smile well not modded Wink

The 3AA versions?

Yes sir I just went and bought the last 4 black and grey

Itinifni
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As always!

I had one of these lights, I threw it out a few years ago when it stopped working. That was before I started modding, I’ve been looking for another for a while but haven’t found one for under $30. I did modify a 2AA LED MM, like you said, the extra room in the head is great.

I remember a time, when I searched for lights to fit my needs. Now I search for needs to fit my lights.

nitro
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i guess i scored on theses lol hey love your build OL oh and where did u buy that driver ?

Old-Lumens
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kimlan2 wrote:
Newbie question: How did you get it to switch modes? You are a gifted craftsman and your solder-fu is most powerful!

When the head is turned down tight, it turns on, so it's just a matter of twisting the head just a tiny bit, to make the on/off needed to change modes.

 

My solder fu is still horrendous. In fact, just today, I learned what a "cold solder joint" is. I have them too, the knees, the elbows, LOL and many of the solder joints I have done.

My PayPal address: oldlumens (insert the @ sign here) gmail.com

My YouTube Flashlight Video Channel

The BLF Modding Links Thread 

http://imageshack.com/a/img922/1374/jQ2wdL.jpg

 

Old-Lumens
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nitro wrote:
i guess i scored on theses lol hey love your build OL oh and where did u buy that driver ?
Oh, I would say you scored, as you can resell them for about $40 each. Try to find them online somewhere. No black available anywhere, so $30 to $40 each is about the norm right now.

The driver came from FastTech. It's basically the same as the NANJG, but does not have mode memory. At least I haven't had one with mode memory yet.

My PayPal address: oldlumens (insert the @ sign here) gmail.com

My YouTube Flashlight Video Channel

The BLF Modding Links Thread 

http://imageshack.com/a/img922/1374/jQ2wdL.jpg

 

nitro
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great thanks for the reply,so i guess i can just use one of those 8×7135 drivers since i have lots of spares

i wiped walmart out they had 2 blacks and 2 grey/silver looking mags

RAW74
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OL, I have one of these 3aa mini-mags that I bought just to have modded.I couldn’t decide what to do with it until I saw this thread.PM me if you would like to do another one of these.-Rick