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Posted: 1/13/2006 8:01:32 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/13/2006 9:15:19 PM EDT by Stainless]
Hello. I really like the surefire M3T, but just didn’t want to spend the money. So I just made a very inexpensive version of the surefire M3T, & I would like to share. First off, this is something that is EASILY done, any body can do it. It isn’t expensive at all, and requires NO special tools.

Is this as good as the M3T? Absolutely NOT! But for the price, this is a very nice flashlight.

I will explain how I made this & if anyone has any questions or comments, I would be more than happy to answer them.

First off… you need a 2 C Maglite, in your choice of color… I chose black… this was around $20. If you already HAVE one of these… you are SET.



Then you need a section of plastic, FLEXIBLE tubing. It MUST be 1.000 outer diameter and .750 inner diameter, or at least really close. I can NOT stress that enough. I chose clear, and made it around 3.75 inches. The LENGTH doesn’t have to be exact. It doesn’t matter if the plastic is bent slightly, as this is a good thing… but I will explain more later.

Here are the pics of the tube…

The length….


The Inner Diameter….


The Outer Diameter….


Now, we will use three 123a Batteries. As the following pic shows, the three 123a batteries are the same length as 2 C cell batteries, which is very close to the length of the tubing.



Here is a pic of the batteries in the tubing…


First you insert the tubing INTO the light,


Pushing it all the way in, until you have the tubing flush against the switch.

Here is what the tube looks like inside the flashlight.


Make sure you cut the tube SHORT enough… so it does NOT interfere with the inner threads of the light, and so the tail cap can screw back in easily.


Now. The tubing will grip the inside of the light body… keeping it inside. This is where the curvature of the tube comes in handy, it keeps a “friction grip” on the inside of the light, keeping it in place. Also, the batteries themselves have CLEARANCE to move freely inside the tube, so they just fall right out into your hand when you want to change them… but since the tube is a soft, flexible plastic… there is NO rattle.

Now we choose a bulb. You can run the regular 6 cell maglite bulb in this setup. Or, if you would like more lumens, and a whiter light… you can run the 5 cell maglite bulb. The 5 cell bulb MIGHT insta-flash (blow) on fresh 123a batteries, as it IS being overdriven on 9 volts.

Keep in mind, the 6 cell bulb is being slightly overdriven, and the 5 cell bulb is being REALLY overdriven, so all those lumens will come at the cost of decreased life (I don’t know how much), and an increased insta-flash rate (the chance it might blow when you turn the light on).

ALSO… I didn’t use the “MAGnum star” maglite bulbs… I just used the regular “white-star” krypton bulbs (from maglite)… as everything I have read tells me that the MAGnum star bulbs are more likely to fail when over driven.

Here is a comparison pic between the 2C mod, and a Surefire 9p…


Now. Some will argue that you don’t get the “surefire smooth” beam. This we can fix a few different ways…
1. You can buy a special lens that smoothes out the beam, a “light defusing lens”.
2. You can “sputter” the reflector with CLEAR spray paint
3. You can buy a special “orange peel” or “stippled” aluminum reflector. Yes they do make them.

What makes this so nice is… if you RUIN the outside of the flash light… you haven’t lost your $200+ surefire… you just pull the guts out of your light, and put them in a new light.

Allow me to re-cap the PARTS LIST…

1. One 2 C Maglite
2. Once ~3.75” section of tubing
3. One 5 or 6 cell bulb… (Your choice)
4. Three 123a Batteries

have a good one.

Beamshots... the range is 9 FEET, exactly. F2.9, 1/15 second, MANUAL MODE.

There is more spill in both beams, to show it, all i would do is increase the time the lens is open. But this shows the RELATIVE intensity of the hot spots.

Both beamshots used the SAME batteries.

Here is a beamshot of the 9P...


Here is the 3x123A, 2C.....
Link Posted: 1/13/2006 8:05:31 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/13/2006 8:05:55 PM EDT by TheRedHorseman]
excellent idea sir!

edit: bonus points for the harbor freight calipers
Link Posted: 1/13/2006 8:07:01 PM EDT


Just when you think you know it all...something like this comes along.


Good job!
Link Posted: 1/13/2006 8:07:22 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/13/2006 8:07:47 PM EDT by fossil_fuel]
need beam comparison of this vs the real thing.

AWESOME idea though.

whats the battery and bulb life like?
Link Posted: 1/13/2006 8:08:39 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/13/2006 8:09:57 PM EDT by m-dc]
Great post, can you put up a compairison of the beams of the Surefire and Maglite?
Link Posted: 1/13/2006 8:09:07 PM EDT
smooth. very smooth.
Link Posted: 1/13/2006 8:09:10 PM EDT
Why not just buy a $34 Surefire G2?
Link Posted: 1/13/2006 8:09:46 PM EDT

Originally Posted By fight4yourrights:
Why not just buy a $34 Surefire G2?



what fun is that?
Link Posted: 1/13/2006 8:10:00 PM EDT
Freakin' sweet.

I have project tomorrow.
Link Posted: 1/13/2006 8:10:18 PM EDT
Tag. Or should I say Taglight?
Link Posted: 1/13/2006 8:10:24 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/13/2006 8:15:27 PM EDT

Originally Posted By TheRedHorseman:

Originally Posted By fight4yourrights:

Why not just buy a $34 Surefire G2?



what fun is that?




I guess.
Link Posted: 1/13/2006 8:18:10 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/13/2006 8:18:47 PM EDT
ok.

WORKING ON BEAMSHOTS RIGHT NOW.

GIMMIE LIKE 10 MIN.

BEAMSHOTS ARE FREAKING HARD TO DO.
Link Posted: 1/13/2006 8:21:38 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/13/2006 8:29:57 PM EDT by m-dc]
But far less dangerous than the money shot.
Link Posted: 1/13/2006 8:22:37 PM EDT
tag
Link Posted: 1/13/2006 8:24:12 PM EDT

Originally Posted By m-dc:
But far less dangerous that the money shot.



Or the infamous "power shot"
Link Posted: 1/13/2006 8:29:45 PM EDT
Tagged for strange factor.
Link Posted: 1/13/2006 8:39:53 PM EDT
subscribed!


oh, and IBTbutit'snotasgoodassurfirepeople
Link Posted: 1/13/2006 8:42:38 PM EDT
beamshots are done, & posted in the first post... working on new ones.

trying to find a good target, & something that will give the beam shot some "scale"
Link Posted: 1/13/2006 8:43:06 PM EDT
CPF member are we?

That aint nothing. I wanna see you overdrive the Thor spotlight to like 20 million candlepower.
Link Posted: 1/13/2006 8:44:12 PM EDT
I'm just going to stick with my Cyclops 15M candlepower. Sure it's big, but it's really frickin bright.
Link Posted: 1/13/2006 8:44:16 PM EDT
Ok, now leave it on and time how long the batteries last.
Link Posted: 1/13/2006 8:46:45 PM EDT
Thanks for A good idea, mainly because 123's have a much longer shelf life than C's.
Link Posted: 1/13/2006 9:04:40 PM EDT
good idea, have to go find me a 2C maglight now..
Link Posted: 1/13/2006 9:08:56 PM EDT

Originally Posted By fight4yourrights:
Why not just buy a $34 Surefire G2?



Or a $16 brinkman G2 clone at target.
Link Posted: 1/13/2006 9:13:27 PM EDT

Originally Posted By CAR-10:
I'm just going to stick with my Cyclops 15M candlepower. Sure it's big, but it's really frickin bright.




Originally Posted By Specop_007:
CPF member are we?

That aint nothing. I wanna see you overdrive the Thor spotlight to like 20 million candlepower.



don't make me bring the ruckus ..........
Link Posted: 1/13/2006 9:21:03 PM EDT
Dude great idea!! I'm going to do that battery trick to the wife's vibrator!! Man is she going to be surprised!!
Link Posted: 1/13/2006 9:25:30 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Fat_McNasty:
Dude great idea!! I'm going to do that battery trick to the wife's vibrator!! Man is she going to be surprised!!




Link Posted: 1/13/2006 9:40:50 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Fat_McNasty:
Dude great idea!! I'm going to do that battery trick to the wife's vibrator!! Man is she going to be surprised!!



Link Posted: 1/13/2006 9:40:56 PM EDT

Originally Posted By fossil_fuel:
whats the battery and bulb life like?




Originally Posted By krpind:
Ok, now leave it on and time how long the batteries last.



Actually, battery life isn't that hard to figure out. 123a batteries have around 1300 mAh in them, and the 5 and 6 cell bulbs are designed to pull some where around 800mA-900mA, so I have between 1.4-1.6 hours of runtime. But I will say, conservatively, that I have around an hour. The above are approximations... as batteries vary, and so do temperatures, and bulb designs.



Originally Posted By BillofRights:
Thanks for A good idea, mainly because 123's have a much longer shelf life than C's.



yes sir. and lithium batteries handle cold weather better, and are less likely to LEAK.




Originally Posted By bastiat:

Originally Posted By fight4yourrights:
Why not just buy a $34 Surefire G2?



Or a $16 brinkman G2 clone at target.



already have both. this was an inexpensive way to get THROW, while also beaing able to use the mag focus feature... to go from a gentle flood light... to a light sabre to see 200+ feet away. The G2 & brinkmann can't do that.

have a good one
Link Posted: 1/13/2006 10:19:37 PM EDT
tagged
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 4:27:44 AM EDT
Why not get a $40 5 watt Luxeon LED conversion for the Mag Light?
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 4:39:33 AM EDT
tag
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 5:04:09 AM EDT
Tag!
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 5:11:27 AM EDT
Thanks. I think that is awesome ingenuity. Bags
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 5:12:20 AM EDT
Taggaroo for when I'm back on campus and have free time to mess around.
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 5:19:28 AM EDT
Years ago I upgraded the back plastic for my garmin vista to take a single 3V CR123 (at first I was going to use 2 in parallel). I also emailed garmin and told them to make a drop in back piece to sell, and/or make units that use the CR123....

Link Posted: 1/14/2006 5:29:02 AM EDT
tag, looks like fun (and, I have a cheapo LED C cell flashlight to convert!)
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 8:21:41 AM EDT
tag for home. It looks like a good idea. The beam shots look good, too. By doing this, I won't need to carry two different size batteries (i.e. CR123s for my Surfire e2o and Cs for the mag lite in the van).
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 4:53:03 PM EDT

Originally Posted By macman37:
tag, looks like fun (and, I have a cheapo LED C cell flashlight to convert!)



oh gods.... please... noes!!!!1

if you hit an LED flashight, designed to take 2.4 volts from 2 C cells... with NINE VOLTS from three 123a batteries.... it will be brighter..... for about .1 second.

you might destroy the LED. just trying to warn ya.

have a good one
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 5:05:27 PM EDT
tag, don't know why...
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 5:13:04 PM EDT
tagged- been lookin' for info on this- i was sure it could be done.
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 5:25:11 PM EDT
Somebody has been to candlepower foums.

I run an EverLED in a 2C Mag with 3 123's. I got a derlin insert for the battery tube though.
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 5:39:22 PM EDT
Tiggity tagged...
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 5:44:21 PM EDT
tag
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 6:00:15 PM EDT
Very cool
Link Posted: 1/15/2006 12:16:14 PM EDT
well, i like the idea so much that i'm heading out to sportsmans warehouse for another box of surefire batteries, and then off to home depot for a c cell mag light and tubing. i'll let y'all know how it turns out!
Link Posted: 1/15/2006 1:21:43 PM EDT

Originally Posted By CAR-10:
I'm just going to stick with my Cyclops 15M candlepower. Sure it's big, but it's really frickin bright.



Now mod it with a 35 watt HID, brighter and longer battery life between charges. Not instantly on though.
Link Posted: 1/15/2006 1:26:27 PM EDT
.
Link Posted: 1/15/2006 1:28:05 PM EDT
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