Review/Mod: HY805C LED Lantern - 4*AA or in-built battery

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Rod911
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Review/Mod: HY805C LED Lantern - 4*AA or in-built battery

During the AliExpress 11/11 sale earlier this year, I bought a 805C LED Lantern . I wasn’t interested in the lantern for what it was, but for what it could be. I was looking for a cheap 4*AA based lantern which I could easily mod. This is a lantern that’s probably great for modding. However, it is an all plastic construction. There is absolutely no metal in it. Therefore, I had to figure out how to add some mass and heatsink the LED. Here we go.

This is the lantern semi-pulled apart. No close-up of the LED. It looks like a generic “3W” LED according to the box. The seller says the LED is a 5W.

With it opened up. Here’s what we’ve got.

Here is the internal battery. I didn’t take any physical measurements. I used a multimeter and it read 4.13V.

The driver. There’s plenty of space in there. The lantern does have a dimming function even though a message to the seller said it was simply on-off. This was a nice surprise. That little PCB also has the electronics to charge the battery. It just has a whole bunch of resistors on the other side, so with my minimal knowledge of electronics, I would think this driver is a “dumb” driver – it feeds the LED the amps but is controlled by a potometer to determine brightness and the on-off state. Also notice the very, very thing wiring used. As I was using the stock driver, I left the wiring as is. The lantern does not have a USB port. The seller’s claim that it can be charged via USB is not correct.

Now have a look at all that mass! Well, lack of it. When I pulled it apart, the LED was simply floating about. It wasn’t screwed on as per the sellers’ pictures.

So what did I do about it? I got myself an old copper heatsink and pulled out one of its fins. Then I went into my stash of copper heatsinks I got from FastTech and stuck it all together. Before putting it together, I sanded the mating surfaces down to 600 grit. I used the method of using a tiny bit of super glue on the edges and a small dab of Arctic Silver 5 between the copper fin and heatsink and using pressure to try and make sure the two surfaces had a flush finish as much as possible. This method again was used to attach an old XP-G neutral on top of the heatsink.

I used more super glue to attach the LED and heatsink setup back onto the LED shelf.

All wired up.

How does it perform? Really well. I was very pleased with the result. Before putting it back together, I turned it on at its highest and the copper heatsink doesn’t even really get warm. This is probably due to the LED not being driven hard. However, it is bright. I have yet to test it with my other lantern or lights, but I’ll do so when it gets dark. I also do like the fact that it does have an internal battery. It should only be used as a back-up and you should power it with AAs. I also did find that the AAs were able to produce a slightly brighter light compared to the internal battery.

Do I recommend this lantern? If you were to purchase it and use it at stock, it fails miserably. As I mentioned earlier, the light came with the LED floating about, so the end user would have to tear down the light already. It is also a lantern that is by no means waterproof. It is clearly and should only be, used inside the house or in a dry environment. However, to the modder, I do see potential here. It was an easy build taking around 2 hours of my time.

edit: doing a run-time test now and found that heatsink wasn’t all that adequate. It actually heated up quickly after the 2 minute mark. My original comment of it barely getting warm was sooo wrong. I therefore added another three heatsinks of the same type at the bottom. This time around, it becomes painfully hot in 10 minutes instead of 2 minutes.

Edited by: sb56637 on 09/02/2017 - 12:41
freeme
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so it turns up to be plastic rather than aluminium pill?

Rod911
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There is no pill at all. I had to fashion one up with bits of copper I had around. That black thing where the LED/heatsink is attached to, that’s plastic. There is nothing metal in this thing to wick away the heat.

freeme
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It is different from what is shown in the description.

Rod911
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You might be lucky enough to get that, but I didn’t.

MRsDNF
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Thanks Rod. Nice mod. Hows the light look at night?

 

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.

 

Rod911
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So it's finally dark and that means a quick comparison of the two main lanterns that I have.

The candidates are a lantern I purchased from Kathmandu.  It's known by many names, with one being the Rayovac Sportsman Extreme.  It was modded a while ago with the same neutral XP-G that I used with in this mod.  The LED was purchased from KD.  Apart from the emitter swap and adding a TIR optic, nothing else was done to it.  As you can see below, the Kathmandu lantern is much bigger than the HY805C. 


So here's the control. 



First up, the HY805C with its cover on.



Cover off.



Kathmandu lantern with cover on.



Kathmandu lantern with cover off.



Having the TIR optic does have one thing going for it.  With the cover off, the Kathmandu lantern can turn into a make-shift torch with a more than adequate short distance throw.



However, the HY805C is nothing but flood.  As expected.



So which one is brighter?  From both the pictures and my eyes, the HY805C wins out.  The construction points definitely goes to the Kathmandu, but that thing is around 5 times more expensive.  With what I think is a simple mod (emitter swap and making a heatsink), it had made this lantern much more useful.  On a side note, with the added heatsinking of now using a total of 4 copper heatsinks, I did not see that much heat sag going on whilst doing the run-time test.  Obviously at the 1 hour mark it was starting to dim down, but at 30 minutes, despite the heatsink really hot, it looked like it maintained its brightness at that point.

Mouse overs

Cover on.




Cover off.



Turning it into a flashlight.






DBSAR
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nice mod work Smile

That Canadian flashlight guy & Lantern Guru -Den / DBSARlight