Roar of the Penguin

Roar of the Pelican flashlight parts

The 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,

Modified Maglite switch with groove hacked into it to allow use of reflector without a cam

The 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 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.

Maglite Bi-pin 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.

Roar of the Pelican flashlight beam shot (left) Stock Maglite (right)

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
Aluminum reflector
Glass lens
G4 Bi-pin socket
G4 Bi-pin bulb
fivemega 6AA to 2D adapter
6 AA NiMH batteries

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.

Cree XLamp XR-E LED

Cree XLamp XR-E LED

I just received a bunch of flashlight parts I ordered from Among them, four Cree XLamp XR-E LEDs, Q2 and Q5 bins. I thought I’d mod my Ultrafire C2 flashlight that has a P4 bin Cree with the Q5. I can’t tell the difference between the Q5 and Q2 by looking at the two. I guess I have to do some kind of measurement of current and light output. The Cree XLamp LED Q5 will put out 107 Flux (lumens) when driven at 4 amps – that’s very bright.

One of the four LED’s seems to have a manufacturing defect – see the material in the upper left corner of the chip in the photo?

Two people who offered me help on the came up with different answers. jtr1962 says it’s the result the dome is starting to detach – he called it internal separation of the silicon filler. WeLight theorized that it was a manufacturing defect and I should return it. I don’t know much about these high power LED’s but I’m learning.

Ultrafire C2 Flashlight

Ultrafire C2 Flashlight

I ordered an Ultrafire C2 flashlight after reading Ernest Sanada’s great review on CandlePower Forums, but delivery from in Hong Kong took 5 weeks. They have good prices, but you can’t expect your stuff right away.

I got impatient and ordered another C2 from (highly recommended) – they only took 4 days for delivery.

The Ultrafire C2 uses a Cree XR-E-7090 P4 LED (PDF) which puts out up to 87.4 lumens @ 350 mA, according to Cree. What this actually means is this flashlight is really bright. The manufacturer also says, “White XLamp LEDs are tested for luminous flux and placed into luminous-flux groups.” Your flashaholic calls it binning -they test the LEDs, then throw them into “bins” depending on their output. These Ultrafire C2s use a P4 bin LED.

Ultrafire C2 Flashlight Components

The Ultrafire’s exterior aluminum is available in two anodized finishes. One C2 I bought is hard anodized to type III specification – it’s gray. The Battery Junction Ultrafire uses the type II specification anodizing – it’s black.

A couple of days ago, DealExtreme came out with an Ultrafire C2 that uses the Cree XRE-7090 Q5 LED, which has a maximum luminous flux of 114 lumens @ 350 mA. What this actually means is this is really, really bright. I ordered two Cree XR-E Q5‘s on star boards from, maybe I can stick one in one of my C2s.

Cree XLamp XR-E LED

I’m becoming a (noob) flashaholic. The last photograph in this group proves it. It’s a beamshot comparing the AA Maglite (using fresh AA alkaline batteries) and the Ultrafire C2 (using RCR123A 3.7v Li-Ion batteries), taken with a Nikon D70, 18-70mm lens at 55mm, color temperature – 5700K, ISO 400, .7 sec., f8. I’m not sure how meaningful this beamshot is, because it was taken from about 15 feet, but it shows the relative brightness for comparison.

AA Maglite (left) – Ultrafire C2 (right) Camera: Nikon D70, 18-70mm lens at 55mm, ISO 400, .7 sec., f8 from about 15 feet

Flashlight Modding

 I’ve always liked flashlights – I think every kid did. I didn’t know there were serious “flashaholics” until I came upon These people are very serious about flashlights. Who knew one could spend upwards of $800 for a flashlight?

Look at this thread on the Ultrafire C2. After I read it, I had to have one. The Ultrafire C2 makes my upgraded (Terralux MiniStar2 Extreme LED) Mini-Mag light look like a candle.

Hong Kong, with their cheap manufacturing, seems to be a source for these inexpensive but powerful flashlights. I ordered some parts from – a Cree P4 LED Emitter and a 3.6V~9V 800mA Regulated IC Circuit Board.

I thought I would use these new parts instead of the original LED and voltage dropping resistor in modding this $12 “SUPER” 7 watt Luxeon LED flashlight I bought from a Hong Kong vendor on eBay.

My first mod sort of failed in that I didn’t consider the position of the new LED in the reflector for that all important beam. I guess that’s how you learn.