I found a Stanly 95-151 2xAA led flashlight in the trash at work. It’s roughly the size of Maglite 2xAA Mini. It looks like a nice little well made light, so I fished it out of the trash and took it home to see if there was anything I could do for it. There was a badly corroded AA cell stuck in the tube. So I removed the head and the tail cap and hit the stuck AA very hard repeatedly with a wooden dowel until it finally came out the bottom. Then I rolled up a bit of sandpaper and sanded out the tube a little, and washed it with soap. I looked over all the parts, and they seemed to be okay, so I put it back together and put a LiFePO4 14500 and a dummy in it, and fired it up. It worked!
I disassembled it again, and looked at the parts. It has an Aluminum pill that threads in at the head. Weirdly, it has a plastic ring under the pill, that also threads in, and the spring from the boost driver fits through the hole in that ring. The emitter PCB is just regular FR4 PCB with coated traces. The solder points for the LED+ and LED- are on the bottom of the PCB. There’s a small, thin, plastic retaining ring that holds the emitter PCB in the pill, but the driver is press fit in the bottom. The reflector is also coated plastic. The pill is hollow. There’s no shelf for the emitter PCB. According to the listing I linked above, the light is either 40lm MAX or 70lm MAX (each claimed in separate parts of the listing). The tail switch is reverse clicky. There are no modes, just on/off. I’m really surprised by the lack of decent quality parts inside this light. Like I said above, it looks so well-made on the outside, I really thought it would be at least of decent quality inside. The FR4 emitter PCB truly shocked me. Then again, it’s probably perfectly fine for the power level this light is made for.
So, I’m wondering what to do with the light. I kinda want to mod it and take it back to work and give it to some random unsuspecting line worker (I work in a truck factory). If I was going to do that, I’d either want to make it quite useful, so they want to use it and show it off every day, or kinda jaw-dropping and super impractical , so they’d want to take it home and play with it. I haven’t decided which. The LED is small. I’m not sure, but it may be about the size of a XP-E2 or maybe even smaller. I have some XP-E2 R3 I could replace it with. But, I also have some XP-G3 that I bought for another mod a long time ago that I never did complete. I have never modded a boost driver to get more amps, but I’d probably have to do that to make the LED upgrade feasible, since Lithium cells of any kind would be a non-starter if I’m giving the light away to a random person. I wish there were a way to add in modes, too. But that is definitely outside my realm of knowledge. Then again, if I just replace the boost driver with a FET driver, the XP-G3 is good for a few hundred lumens while the Vf is still under 3 volts. That’s doable with 2xAA, but I’m sure the output would drop like a rock within a few seconds. If I used a AMC7135 based driver, and removed all the chips except one, I could get almost 200 lumens from the XP-G3, and it might even be stable for a while, since the Vf at 350mA is only 2.78 volts.
So, what do you think? Should I try to mod this light to give away? Should I just keep it myself, and mod it to use Li-Ion cells? Should I leave it alone and use it as-is, or throw it away and forget the piece of junk ever existed?