OscarM's handmade entry for the 3rd scratch built contest - camera lux

So here i am, entering the scratch built contest for the first time! :party:
I have built something I’d like to call camera lux!
I’m not sure if it makes sense if you think too much about it, but that’s the name of my scratch built flashlight anyway!
I tried to take pictures along the way, but as often is the case, i forgot to document every step
It took me many many hours to build this flashlight, probably more than a couple of days uninterrupted time…

I have something working and it might be the final build, or i might change some details later.

Parts used:
Camera - kodak instamatic 104
p60 dropin (pill/reflector/spring)
Driver (nanjg AK47 IIRC, 3x 7135, ~1A) 2 modes: 100/10%
Nichia 119 WW led, reflowed on xp-star
switch (on-off-(on))
AA/14500 battery holder

tools used:
soldering station
glue gun

I came up with an idea of using an old camera as the host, and found an old kodak instamatic camera at a second hand store. i bought the camera and when i came home i saw that a p60-reflector would probably fit perfectly in this camera!

So i started to examine the camera to see if i could fit all the parts i wanted and needed inside it, and it looked promising!

innocent looking camera…

hmm, what’s that switch doing there?

hey! that’s a reflector, not some kind of optical glass!

back to the build:
a p60 reflector fit perfectly in the “lens holder metal ring”

But the lens need to go!

the camera mechanics looks nice, I wanted to keep them as working as I could, to keep the feeling of it being a camera

Here I want to have a larger hole for my p60-“dropin”!

after using my dremel I had my hole for the reflector :smiley:

The lens is gone as well, and a nice hole for the reflector is opened!

looking good even from the inside!

Here comes some trouble and thinking that I haven’t got pictures from. I thought I wanted to use an 18350 battery as some kind of film-looking powersource, but I didn’t have any battery holders for it, and I wasn’t sure about if a 18350 would be better than a 14500 in any way, so I decided to use a 14500 battery instead.
I also wanted some kind of turbo mode when using the camera shutter, so i had to wire the LED with dual wires, one going through a driver, and the other one being direct drive! I choose a nichia 119 WW led, for the warm white look, the high CRI, and because I couldn’t really drive this ‘camera lux’ hard anyway due to poor heatsinking.
I first thought i would like a clicky switch, but I didn’t have any extra that fit, and the switches I had ordered had not arrived, so I looked in my electrojunk-box, and found a nice switch! after some dremeling on the top and the back and trial & error I could mount the switch!

I also made a hole in the camera plastic and secured a piece of metal for the direct drive of the led in case of pushing the camera shutter button. I measured the driver and could see that the current was regulated after the led, so I needed to have an extra wire from the negative pad of the led, so I could close the circuit to the battery with the camera shutter button-action for a turbo mode.
I dremelled out a piece from the pill so i could have an extra wire to the negative pad of the led.

i have connected the turbo mode to the switch, so it can’t be used unless the light is on, wouldn’t like the ‘camera lux’ to be accidentally activated by the shutter button.

to be able to fit the battery holder i had to cut out pieces from the plastic camera body, and also minimize the height of the battery holder. after some testing i could close the back door.

Here are the inner parts of the finished camera lux

The faceplate is glued to the plastic now, and the rest of the parts mounted with the original screws!

problems I’ve encountered:
-just opening the camera up was tricky! a combination of screws, glue, and hidden screws kept me busy for a couple of hours.
-getting the faceplate of from the front! the metal part was almost bolted on to the plastic part, and after some careful prying and headscratching I used a drill to drill the faceplate off from the plastic part.
-I wanted to keep the camera mechanics as much as I could! luckily the camera was quite modular, so I could keep most of it, but not the shutter.
-i tried to use a couple of existing clicky switches, but I really couldn’t attach them in any good ways! So I had to use another switch, and that worked really well since I could attach it with the “built in” screw.
-the reflector is connected to the metal parts of the camera body electrically speaking! so I had to re-think some of my wiring for the switch and the direct drive.
-how do you wire this thing to have a direct drive!? hmm… hmm… oh, i see. wait… no. no. no nooo… yes!
-I tried to use glue for the direct drive piece of metal at first, but that didn’t last, so i managed to use a screw instead!
-the camera lux worked well sometimes, and sometimes not as well, some kapton tape and a general inspection solved that problem.

possible modifications to the existing camera lux:
-would it look nicer with a clicky switch? (probably not)
-should I change driver? high is ~0.91A now, turbo is ~0.98A. maybe use 2x 7135 driver instead, and use a resistor based low mode? I could have unregulated lower low (depending on battery voltage and resistor value), 0.7 A high, and a visible turbo effect.
-would it look better with a 18350 in the film compartment if I could make a quite tight fit battery holder? (probably not)

feel free to ask questions! I know I’ve missed to document several steps, and it’s 3 AM here, so I’m a bit tired as well when I write this :stuck_out_tongue: (Also I’m from Sweden, so english is not my native language…)

Very cool! Heat is a problem with all that plastic, I wouldn’t take the amperage very high

I see it but don't believe it. Now this old camera really does have a built in flash. Very creative.

That's a very cool concept, & with the turbo flash it's great! :)

Nicely done :beer:

I don’t think the emitter can take much more amperage anyway… Maybe with thicker wires and copper star, but it heats up the pill quite a bit as it is. That’s why I’m considering changing to 0.7 A driver instead.

Yeah, I am very happy with how it turned out!
The turbo flash caused me many extra hours of work, but I really wanted that ‘little extra’ 8)

Congrats on your creative build. I didn't know those 119's could take direct drive. Very cool.

Wow, that’s what I call thinking outside the box! Very nice.

It’s ~0.98A on direct drive, I haven’t used any thick wires, so it seems to be working for now! Also, since you need to keep the shutter button pressed for turbo, I don’t think it will be direct driven for long periods.
The high mode is ~0.91A so there’s not much difference between high and turbo though…

Actually, this is the most boxy flashlight I own :bigsmile:

Thanks for sharing Oscar.