Roar of the Penguin

Roar of the Pelican partsThe Roar of the Pelican is a Maglite flashlight mod that derives it’s name from the use of Pelican flashlight’s replacement bulb #3854 and a combination of non-stock battery holders (or batteries) to get a higher voltage and therefore much brighter (roar) flashlight than a stock Maglite.It’s supposed to be an inexpensive mod. I keep calling it the Roar of the Penguin, because of the recent spate of penguin movies.

For my ROP project, I started out with a 2D Maglite and bought most of the required parts from a Hong Kong electronics reseller, Kaidomain.com.

Modified Maglite SwitchThe stock Maglite reflector is made out of plastic, as is the lens. Because of the greater heat produced by this bulb/battery mod, you need a metal reflector and glass lens.

Aftermarket reflectors are available with a cam or camless. The Kaidomain reflector and bulb combination wouldn’t adjust to the best beam using the included cam, so I made a modification to the Mag switch recommended by modamag in this post at Candlepowerforums.com. It puts the bulb in a position allowing for beam adjustments by using the threads on the flashlight body. Shims between the reflector and the bulb holder can also be used to adjust the beam quality when using a cammed reflector.

Bulb and Socket

Candlepowerforum members have discussed the higher light transmissive properties of anti-reflective coated lenses – some to the point of using mineral glass watch crystals for flashlight lenses. I’m not that critical a worker.

For power, I used two 3AA to 1D battery adapters, which gives 7.2 volts using NiMH AA batteries. I bought 8 Sanyo Eneloop batteries. Eneloops and other similar batteries use a relatively new NiMH Low Self Discharge (LSD) technology.

Beam shot

I wasn’t sure if these plastic battery adapters would have a problem with the heat produced with the higher current draw of the bulb, so I bought one of these beautiful adapters, made by fivemega over at the candlepowerforums. It’s definitely a safer choice. The Kaidomain socket allows the use of these bi-pin incandescent bulbs, though fivemega also makes a much nicer socket (USD $16-$19).

Costs (USD):

Mag Instrument 2D Flashlight
$18.99
Aluminum reflector
$14.99
Glass lens
$0.61
G4 Bi-pin socket
$9.99
G4 Bi-pin bulb
$6.03
fivemega 6AA to 2D adapter
$37.00
6 AA NiMH batteries
$11.22
$98.83

I haven’t done any run time tests, but my Roar of the Penguin is very bright.

November 15, 2008, I updated some links and prices for components.

6 Replies to “Roar of the Penguin”

  1. Great tinkering. The cost to do these modifications is more than most high power led flashlights available these days, that are much brighter, more compact, and have extended run times on only two aa batteries.

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