Years ago, I had a 3xAA LED Maglite. And I REALLY liked the form factor - MUCH more than those short, fat, stubby, awkward to carry multi-AA lights that seem to be popular today. Not to mention that the ‘three in line’ design means no battery holder for better reliability and ease of changing batteries on the run. But I have never been able to find anything except for old Mags like the one I used to have. Although that was a good light for the time, I would MUCH rather have something with an XM-L emitter which can actually put out some light on a dark trail. Does anything like this exist? Or am I going to have to build something from scratch or modify an existing light?
It would either require a different driver or a special battery carrier to parallel inline cells. No reason you couldn’t do one in a longer maglight though. One of PilotPtk’s special led/driver combos would be nice.
Edit -oops, my eye slid right over the “AA”.
Olight’s new S15 Baton runs on 1xAA, but with two battery extension tubes added, it will be a 3xAA. It has an XM-L2 emitter and a side switch.
I’m not talking about paralleling inline cells. On the contrary. I’m talking about having the batteries in series, but arranged in the same way as the batteries in a 3C/3D Mag rather than in a battery holder.
Could always buy a C3 and an extra extension to get 3x AA batteries.
Then an XML swap
Yup, that’s why the edit but I hope you realize trying to pull 3A out of AA alkaline cells is a good way to make a mess in a light. Nimhs would be ok.
There’s a thread right below yours (currently) that is about an “Aurora” that takes 3xAA and has XM-L:
The only problem is that this is the kind of light I’m trying to get away from. I’m looking for a long, skinny light with three AA batteries in a row. Not a short, fat light with a battery holder.
My old friend ebay says:
Personally, I’ve just picked up a 3aa LED mag with an alkaline wedged in the head end, which will end up with an XML in good time. Alternatively you could mod one of the above lights without too much trouble. There is a thread here on BLF where a cheapo 3aa inl-line was modded with an XML.
You could go with a Dereelight Javelin with 3 X AA extender, and put in your own XM-L.
I actually have this Dereelight Javelin setup and in real life it doesn't look near as silly as you might think. As a AA P60 they are a great light.
You probably would buy it as a host though as the standard Dereelight XM-L pills are not designed to give full output on less than two Li-Ion cells.
Another option would be to look at the Solarforce hosts which can be setup for 3AA with the right combination of body and extension tube. (Yep, I've done this too - but I prefer the Javelin)
The Balder SE-1 with two extension tubes will also run 3AA on its XM-L head.
Funny. On the Olight link here, both the "description" and "key features" sections say AA but the "specifications" say CR123A or RCR123.
I did a mod on a light that looks like the first choice from ebay, above 3AA mod . It was a pretty easy mod and turned out to be a nice, practical light and definitely budget.
There are several lights out there, but you would need to mod them. If you really want a 3AA Mini-Mag, there is this method. You could use an XM-L and TIR or the 3-up shown there.
It would be easier to do the mod that soytnly links to in the previous post.
I have a 3AA MiniMag I'm building, with a copper pill that duplicates the original Mag LED pill design (tighten to turn off, loosen to turn on and focus), single mode direct drive, and a 20x19mm AL reflector cut on the OD to fit in the stock Mag LED head. I might could be persuaded to part with it once finished... ;)
(maybe off-topic: do 3x NiMh need a boost driver? I'm not familiar enough with the world of sub-17mm drivers to know what options are available. Any tips?)
If you have access to a lathe. This is a super easy way to make a 3AA P60 compatible light…
3xNiMH shouldn’t need a boost driver. This will give you a plateau voltage of around 3.6-3.9V, which is plenty. Also remember that a Malkoff XM-L2 drop-in for 3-4C/D uses only a linear driver. And a 3C/D Mag with a Malkoff XM-L2 is perfectly capable of draining the batteries.
The Trustfire 3T6 has 3 XMLs (1400 lumens approx) and in its 3 18650 configuration it can run on 4 AAs.
I have to say that I’m liking this Dereelight Javelin. The only problem is that I can’t find a good place to get it. The Dereelight site wants a FORTUNE ($20) to ship it. And Flashlight Connection (which is local) is out of stock on both the light itself and accessories (like the extension tube).
Mine shipped for free. I just checked the Dereelight site and it says “Shipped free by China Post to worldwide”.