Budget LED flashlights for C-cells or D-cells for under 20 $? Suggestions? Update: With self-built 4xAA XP-G R5

What sort of Cs are we talking about Don? do you mean decent branded cells is Duracell or panasonic

There was a guy on CPF who was selling the pills for Maglight in assorted states of machining/emitters for ~$15. You will need to cut off the top of the switch and the reflector and just soldier the emitter either direct to the switch or via the driver. I think the mag reflector should be able to take it fine, especially since the point of the pill is to keep things cool.

Another simple maglight project I wanted to try was the universal bi-pin adapter that does Mr-16's for also ~15. DX sells a bunch of mr16 multiled spots for cheap.

I was meaning NiMH - I got 15A capable ones from Kevin when I ordered the light as decent C NiMH are hard to find here. Mine are Tenergy branded 5000mAh cells. It might be easier to get good Sub-C cells here, plenty of places sell them and the good ones will produce crazy current all day long. The Component Shop has a good selection as do many others. They are available at the same capacity as the Cs I use and are a bit smaller which might give you more flexibility in design. Three of them direct driving an SST-50, maybe with some resistance put in to keep the current sane ought to do the trick. You'll easily get three SubCs in a 2D Mag with plenty of room for a huge heatsink. If I had access to a lathe I'd turn a big chunk of copper so it is a tight fit in the Mag body then thermal glue it in place.

The stock Mag switch should handle 5A with no trouble - they used to be capable of 11-12A but I suspect recent ones are not as good.

I was thinking of using this driver but is 2.8A going to be enough to run an SST-50 ?


and then this heatsink

What do you guys think of these parts so far

A good P7/MC-E will probably do better at 2.8A than an SST-50. It really does need its 5A to light up like it is meant to. Someone did mention a 5A driver - I think from KD - here a week or two ago.

ok so battery

and driver


yay /nay

Looking good. The only thing that may be a problem is that the KD driver wants 5-12V so you'd want to use 5 cells - those cells are the ones I have and they do work well. Apparently they perform well up to 15A - the Varapower takes 13 or thereabouts. You'll need a 4D host as you aren't going to get 5 Cs into a 3D Mag. 4Ds are 248mm long and 5 Cs are 250mm so there should be no problems in a 4D. It might be possible to get 5 sub Cs into a 3D but I doubt it as they'd come to 220mm long but if the spring is completely removed they are narrow enough 22.5mm to fit right into the tailcap and there might be enough length.

B&Q ought to be able to supply you with some appropriately sized plastic plumbing pipe to make an adaptor. See my pictures of the Varapower for an example.

The alternative is 6AAs in a 2D or 9AAs in a 3D but the adaptors to use these are expensive - the 9AA-3D is $45 plus postage from the US. The Fivmega ones cost more. Runtime would be short with this approach though.

thanks for the heads up Don, how about running it on 2 18650 would this work if i get some decent AW IMR ones? what sort of run time do you think i would get with that set up 20mins

2 18650s should work fine. It is roughly a 15W device so:

We need 15W + driver losses from the cells. We have let's say 7.2V on average so we are asking the cells for 2 and a bit amps. This means ordinary 18650s, even protected ones ought to work. Say the 2400mAh Trustfires which ought to give you around an hour depending on the efficiency of the driver which is probably around the 80% mark. You probably won't need a metal reflector at that wattage, just cut down the Mag one a bit. If you are getting a new Mag for this, go for one of the new Rebel ones which have a much deeper reflector so should throw better. But check that the heatsink will fit first. Just make sure the back of the reflector can't touch the LED contacts and short the driver. That would not be good...

If you kill a Mag reflector trimming it, I have more somewhere.

Cool thanks Don so now were moving somewhere i was going to use the mag i already have it's one of the old incan bulb ones so that should be ok ?

I'll start getting some parts together :-)

Of course i have totally forgotten the most important component here.. THE LED !! dohh

Where can i get a DECENT sst-50 led from?


But they appear to be out of stock and they appear to want a minimum 500 euro order...

Probably not helpful.

Thanks Don what do you make of this one from the bay of E worth risking ?


Looks OK to me - AFAIK WJ is the brightest bin actually available at the moment.

You need to make sure the form factor matches your platform. For example, there's some dude on CPF who sells pills for sst's, but they expect a module with a simple round mount.

edit: actually, my bad, that was for p7/mce.

Back on topic of indecently long flashlights with standard batteries and high output, tada ... I present the "Solarfarce Extreme 4xAA R5 3-Mode". It's not the final version, but I'm already quiet happy with it.

Solarfarce Extreme, Superfire WF-501C, Solarforce L2R, Hugsby P32, Maratac AAA SS

Solarfarce Extreme consisting of: L2 Flashlight Body Tube with Extension Tube + Solarforce L2 Flashlight Extension Tube , 18 mm O-ring - to avoid shortening the backside of the driver, DX XP-G R5 on 14mm base, 3-mode high voltage driver with memory, an empty orange peel XR-E dropin (similar to this), thermal grease, a spacer/washer out of laser printer overhead transparencies to keep the contacts of the driver from touching the brass pill, a second spacer/washer (looking like this) to keep the contacts of the emitter from touching the reflector, a third spacer - aluminium tube (203 mm long, 18 mm outer diameter, 15 mm inner diameter, with a sheet of paper surrounding the whole.. for a pressing fit ) - to keep the 4 AA Eneloops rattling to a minimum and some aluminium foil to keep a cool head .

close up of the XP-G R5 dropin in the head

The tint is extremely nice, I wonder if I won the tint lottery, because it looks almost neutral/warm to my eyes.

Brightness with 4 x AA, 1 x 18650, 2x 18650 seems the same to my eyes, I would say similar to the SKYRAY S-R5 (on 1x18650) or even brighter.

The beam is the complete opposite of the Skyray S-R5, due to the "wide" OP reflector of the XR-E dropin in contrast to the "narrow" SMO reflector of the Skyray. (Does anyone know, if they are available somewhere separately? DX SMO reflectors have a different shape.)

DX sent me the wrong driver I wanted 5 modes without memory and got 3 modes with memory, lol ... anyways... 3*SB 1400 mA driver are en-route.

Maybe I will do beamshots, when I am able to find a white wall.

That is one long light!

That looks like a lot of work...

On the other hand it's essentially just an extension, a dropin and a spacer extra to an already existing light. I'm just listing everthing so anyone can rebuild it, if they like. (Could you remove the full-quote Don?... I wanna edit a few things, thanks.)

The result is worth the effort.

Want any more deleting? No problem..