Bought My First 7 D-Cell Light (Review)

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Terry Oregon
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Bought My First 7 D-Cell Light (Review)

 

This is my first vintage flashlight reviews on BLF.

 

Ray-O-Vac Super Power Sportsman S367F

 

This was purchased on eBay (link) in new, unused condition, with original box. Price was $69, a reasonable price (I thought) for its mint condition.

This light can be found on the Flashlight Museum (link).

The manufacturing run-dates are a bit hard to determine. An internet search shows claims of manufacture from the early sixties to the eighties (if it’s on the internet, it must be true). A comment for this light at Flashlight Museum said the following:

Quote:
I remember these being sold in camping stores in the New Hampshire / southern Maine area well into the 1980s.

If you have info on manufacture dates, please reply.

 

First – The Photos

 

 

 

As expected, the leather strap appears to have never been used.

 

Original box

 

  

  

Attached info card, front.

 

Attached info card, back.

 

Features

The main feature is its convertible configuration in D cells:

3, 4, 6 or 7 D cells via the combination of two extension tubes.

 

 

The power switch has the typical three positions often found in vintage lights; (1) off (2) momentary with button (3) always on.

 

Tail hook.

 

Disassembly

You can’t screw off the head like a Maglite. You’ll be sorry if you do. This comment from the Flashlight Museum website shows what will happen if you do. Link

Quote:
I have one of these and in my stupidity I tried to unscrew the head and in doing do I broke the switch mostly off.

Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be any instructions for this light other than the info card attached to the end cap.  The card doesn’t explain how to dis-assemble the head and replace/swap the bulb. You have to figure it out yourself.

The trick is to press the clear plastic lens into the flashlight head, then use needle-nose pliers to pull out the wavy spring that holds the lens assembly in place.

 

As you can see, there is a LARGE spring (partially insulated) directly behind the reflector.

 

Complete disassembly.

 

The bulb holder & PR20 bulb. The bulb has a thick cardboard tube around it.  That cardboard tube is a coincidental design, which will allow a larger Maglite bulb to be installed into the reflector housing without modification (shown later).

 

The PR3 bulb (3-4D) is stored behind the reflector. Note the cardboard tube, to cushion the D cells.

 

 

Let’s look at lumens output.

This light comes with two different bulbs, one for 6-7 D-cells (PR20) and another for 4-6 D-cells (PR3). Both bulbs are the typical P13.5s style.

By co-inky-dink, the front of this light fits like a glove onto the top of my Texas Ace Calibrated Lumens Tube (without any adapter plate).  Rechargeable NiMH Powerex D-cells were used for testing.

 

 

With original PR20 incandescent bulb (6-7 D cells):

43 lumens (7 D cells)

25 lumens (6 D cells)

 

The PR3 bulb (3-4 D cells):

30 lumens (4 D cells)

10 lumens (3 D cells)

 

Re-assembling the head is a bit awkward.  If the large spring (behind the reflector) is not seated just right, the plastic lens will be off-centered once the wavy spring is re-installed. Figure on two-to-three tries before the lens is reasonably centered.

 

Durability compared to a Maglite

The metal housing feels a bit thin. You can drive over a Maglite with a car and it survives (video). I suspect, that if you drove over this Ray-O-Vac with a car, it would fold like an accordion.

Maglite - typical D-cell housing thickness 1.4mm

Ray-O-Vac Sportsman .81mm

 

Not Water Proof

This is the least water proof light I own. The wavy spring creates a large opening around the front lens. Even a little bit of rain would result in some water seeping in. Drop it in water, and it would quickly flood.

 

 

No Tail Stand

Due to the folding hook on the tail cap and the concave lens on the front, you can’t tail stand this light and you can’t rest it on the head.

 

 

Upgrading to LED

You could get a simple P13.5s style LED drop-in bulb (same size as the original bulbs). That would certainly be easy. The brightest I’ve seen are the Nite Ize bulbs (about 75 lumens), or about 60 lumens out-the-front of the lens.

However, if we can get the bigger Maglite bulb in the reflector housing, we can get about 168 lumens out-the-front (with no modifications).

Below is the EBLCL Maglite bulb on the right (link), which I’ve used in several other vintage lights of mine. Will it work with 7 D-cells?  It’s only rated for 3-6 D cells.  As you can see in the second photo, the Maglite bulb fits easily into the reflector housing (with no modification), and the screw-on bulb holder secures it perfectly. 

 

 

With the EBLCL Maglite bulb installed, the Texas Ace Calibrated Lumens Tube measured:

 

168 lumens (7 D cells)

167 lumens (6 D cells)

166 lumens (4 D cells

166 lumens (3 D cells)

 

The Maglite bulb has a nice regulated output, regardless of the voltage. 

 

Runtime Graph

Since we’ve quadrupled the original output of 40 lumens, I did a runtime graph, to make sure there were no issues with excess heat (there does not appear to be any).

 

 

 

Beam Pattern (with LED upgrade)

Due to its orange peel reflector, the pattern is rather floody. In addition, the bulb sits rather high above the bottom of the reflector, and fairly close to the lens. This gives a very wide beam (almost 180 degrees).

As you can see in the outdoor shots (after converting to LED), we have almost 180 degrees of flood.

 

CONCLUSION:

This is not the most practical or durable light in comparison to more modern LED lights, but it’s a great conversation piece from the days of chrome.

 

My reviews: , J5 Tactical V1 Pro LINK and Thirteen Optical Sensors LINK and Zebralight SC700d LINK and Ray-O-Vac Super Power Sportsman LINK

and multiple Convoy S2+ color combos LINK. My Collection (photo) LINK

Edited by: Terry Oregon on 07/10/2019 - 21:03
jfg
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Very cool thread/review, thanks for posting this!

Lightbringer
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And that was the cat’s meow or cat’s pajamas or whatever at the time! And 100cri!

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