Maintaining Small Flashlights

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Methuselah
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Maintaining Small Flashlights

Post by Methuselah »

We sprinkle small flashlights all over our house and garage to aid tired old eyes read small print or find things dropped on the floor or dials in a dark corner. At Amazon they are really cheap, one dollar plus if bought in packs of 5 to 30 pieces, batteries included. Brand names include Everbright and FASTPRO, from China of course. My present set have 6 LED lights on a 5/8th inch disk. It took some study to figure out how to remove them, but that is a sunk cost for me now. I can’t find replacement parts anywhere. You also need to lecture the family to turn them off after you’ve used them or the batteries decompose and make a mess inside.
A cost analysis says toss the broken assemblies and get another set. My father lived through the Depression starting as a teen-ager, just when he started looking for a job. The economics then had a large effect on him which has been passed on to his kids. I was born a few years before the Depression ended which makes me a Child of the Depression. It was still a dominant factor in all our lives. You just don’t throw things away, you fix them, even when the fix costs more than a replacement. I’m going to carry on to at least find out how much new bulbs cost. I’m not allowed to include my labor cost in the analysis.
The part to be replaced is a disk about 5/8ths inch in diameter, with six small LED lights in a circle on the top. I don’t even know what it is called, which inhibits computer searches. The names flashlight bulb, or LED assembly, and other things haven’t worked so far. You get a lot of things that have some its characteristics when you search, but not that particular brand.
I’m using my Master Mechanic son for email consulting, which I hope turns into a field visit by him. I’ll let you know if I ever get the price, and how we found it.
Update: Sprinkling around magnifying glasses helps too.
Last edited by Methuselah on Sun Nov 22, 2020 3:25 pm, edited 4 times in total.

MGMcAnick
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Re: Maintaining Small Flashlights

Post by MGMcAnick »

I too decry the "throw away society" we've become, but seriously, replace your $1 flashlight with a NEW $1 flashlight.

LED flashlight technology has come a long way in the last 10 years. Remember the four and five " D" cell MAG lights of 20+ years ago? I still have a couple in a box somewhere in the garage. A new three AAA cell light will outshine one. Even the cops carry them, but they have to find something else to beat the bad guys with.
A friend of Doc's. NOT Darren's Doc. Doc is a B-29 bomber restored by volunteer labor at the local Boeing plant over a 15 year period. FiFi is the only other B-29 still flying.

Methuselah
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Re: Maintaining Small Flashlights

Post by Methuselah »

That low price is amazing. American equivalents cost 5 times as much. The batteries are crappy,which contributes to their problems. The rest is pretty durable. The lowest cost solution would to buy them, give those crappy batteries to the Salvation Army, then put in US-made batteries. That will double the price, but you'll have a much longer-lived item.
PS: Is there more reliable data on when you leave the Covid room?

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Guinevere
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Re: Maintaining Small Flashlights

Post by Guinevere »

MGMcAnick wrote:
Sat Nov 21, 2020 10:06 pm
I too decry the "throw away society" we've become, but seriously, replace your $1 flashlight with a NEW $1 flashlight.

LED flashlight technology has come a long way in the last 10 years. Remember the four and five " D" cell MAG lights of 20+ years ago? I still have a couple in a box somewhere in the garage. A new three AAA cell light will outshine one. Even the cops carry them, but they have to find something else to beat the bad guys with.
I had a large maglight, and a couple of smaller ones, but the flashlight on my phone works way better now. I also use an LED camping headlamp. Handsfree and perfect for when we lose power. I really don’t need anything else anymore.
“Women belong in all places where decisions are being made.“ ~ Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Methuselah
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Re: Maintaining Small Flashlights

Post by Methuselah »

I have a difficult time carrying an iPhone around without cracking the glass or dropping it and losing it. I wear pants with cargo packets on the front, with velcro latches on the pocket covers. This usually avoids the dropping problem, but they are liable to being broken if I lift something heavy and bulky and push it with my legs. It also means it is on the table by the front door, when I'm home. It's not a convenient location when I'm in another room. Using it for a flashlight is one of those many features I haven't learned yet. I wish my granddaughter lived next door instead of 1000 miles away. She can do anything with an iPhone.

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BoSoxGal
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Re: Maintaining Small Flashlights

Post by BoSoxGal »

You should invest $40 in an Otterbox Defender case for your iPhone. It makes the phone practically indestructible in terms of dropping it. Well worth the investment! (It also comes with a belt clip case that would keep you from losing it.)
For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.
~ Carl Sagan

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Guinevere
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Re: Maintaining Small Flashlights

Post by Guinevere »

Using the flashlight on an iPhone takes a swipe and a touch. So simple, even a cranky old man could figure it out :mrgreen:
“Women belong in all places where decisions are being made.“ ~ Ruth Bader Ginsburg

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Crackpot
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Re: Maintaining Small Flashlights

Post by Crackpot »

I don’t know he can’t figure out logging into this forum.
Okay... There's all kinds of things wrong with what you just said.

Jarlaxle
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Re: Maintaining Small Flashlights

Post by Jarlaxle »

The $10 (Amazon) case on my Galaxy phone worked quite well.
REOPEN THE DAMN COUNTRY!

Jarlaxle
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Re: Maintaining Small Flashlights

Post by Jarlaxle »

MGMcAnick wrote:
Sat Nov 21, 2020 10:06 pm
I too decry the "throw away society" we've become, but seriously, replace your $1 flashlight with a NEW $1 flashlight.

LED flashlight technology has come a long way in the last 10 years. Remember the four and five " D" cell MAG lights of 20+ years ago? I still have a couple in a box somewhere in the garage. A new three AAA cell light will outshine one. Even the cops carry them, but they have to find something else to beat the bad guys with.
Three AAA and three D batteries are the same voltage.
REOPEN THE DAMN COUNTRY!

Methuselah
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Re: Maintaining Small Flashlights

Post by Methuselah »

Jarl, true but irrelevant. The amperage capability and energy storage per battery differ greatly, so that the LEDs can reduce flashlight weight and size significantly. Thuse. PS, after a long internet search I couldn't find this particular led set anywhere. I can't read Chinese. I sure hope one isn't supposed to detach each tiny LED bulb from that disk and replace it by hand. MGM iss correct, it makes the most sense to toss and replace here. If my son doesn't know a better solution I'll take the wasteful route.
We face similar decisions on our 12 year old clothes washer with some new strange behaviors, which cost $600. Should we replace a $150 dollar with labor water valve, or just by a new washer? Thuse

Darren
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Re: Maintaining Small Flashlights

Post by Darren »

Methuselah wrote:
Sun Nov 22, 2020 6:15 am
Jarl, true but irrelevant. The amperage capability and energy storage per battery differ greatly, so that the LEDs can reduce flashlight weight and size significantly. Thuse. PS, after a long internet search I couldn't find this particular led set anywhere. I can't read Chinese. I sure hope one isn't supposed to detach each tiny LED bulb from that disk and replace it by hand. MGM iss correct, it makes the most sense to toss and replace here. If my son doesn't know a better solution I'll take the wasteful route.
We face similar decisions on our 12 year old clothes washer with some new strange behaviors, which cost $600. Should we replace a $150 dollar with labor water valve, or just by a new washer? Thuse
I've lucked out finding parts on eBay. As you mentioned the key is knowing what it's called. Doing a search that drags up 264,158 entries isn't helpful.

The original long aluminum flashlights favored by cops were made by Streamlight. Those were guaranteed for life. The large lights used by fire depts are also made by Streamlight. You don't see those in stores.

The throwaway economy fills landfills and garages with stuff that may be fixed one day. Stuff was designed to last in the past. No longer.

I recently bought a 60's era Chambers stove for 1/3 to 1/2 of the price of a new stove with the digital BS. It will outlast me. Most appliances including refrigerators I can move by myself. Not the Chambers. I had to call the neighbor.

Youtube may be your best friend on figuring out what's going on with your washer. Mixing valves are easy to replace if that's your issue.
Thank you RBG wherever you are!

Methuselah
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Re: Maintaining Small Flashlights

Post by Methuselah »

It's probably another instance of me not keeping up with modern culture. In the past the low-cost solution was always to replace a flashlight light bulb when it went out. Today, it may be that the LED assembly is made by the flashlight manufacturer, for use only in his product. It makes no more sense to ask him for a replacement than for the cap that holds the lens. I need to find a list that tells you what to toss instead of fix. I know what the manufacturer will say, but some clever garage mechanic may have found a cheap workaround. I'll ask my son why a new shipment would contain so many bad items. It may be that I haven't assembled that item correctly, after installing new batteries and it still doesn't work.

Darren
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Re: Maintaining Small Flashlights

Post by Darren »

Methuselah wrote:
Sun Nov 22, 2020 3:39 pm
It's probably another instance of me not keeping up with modern culture. In the past the low-cost solution was always to replace a flashlight light bulb when it went out. Today, it may be that the LED assembly is made by the flashlight manufacturer, for use only in his product. It makes no more sense to ask him for a replacement than for the cap that holds the lens. I need to find a list that tells you what to toss instead of fix. I know what the manufacturer will say, but some clever garage mechanic may have found a cheap workaround. I'll ask my son why a new shipment would contain so many bad items. It may be that I haven't assembled that item correctly, after installing new batteries and it still doesn't work.
The National Geographic had an insightful article on Chinese manufacturing. The article focused in part on the plastic parts on bra straps. Those are made in one town by many manufacturers.

Chinese quality is legendary in a bad way in part due to culture. I suspect some parts are buyouts possibly from someone in the area.

There was a US business that bought candles (water filters) from a Chinese source that were copies of the original made in the UK. The original was good enough to remove food dye from water. The Chinese copy had an issue with the adhesive that was used to attach the plastic mount to the ceramic. Those often would not filter out the food dye because some of the water bypassed the ceramic filter.

Another writer who was involved in testing light fixtures for RF interference found that the samples sent for testing would pass. Others in bulk shipments would not.

I had another manufacturer explain why he had his multifuel lanterns made in Portugal. In a nutshell you can't trust the Chinese. Given the potential liability issues Chinese manufacturing was not an option.
Thank you RBG wherever you are!

Jarlaxle
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Re: Maintaining Small Flashlights

Post by Jarlaxle »

Methuselah wrote:
Sun Nov 22, 2020 6:15 am
Jarl, true but irrelevant. The amperage capability and energy storage per battery differ greatly, so that the LEDs can reduce flashlight weight and size significantly. Thuse. PS, after a long internet search I couldn't find this particular led set anywhere. I can't read Chinese. I sure hope one isn't supposed to detach each tiny LED bulb from that disk and replace it by hand. MGM iss correct, it makes the most sense to toss and replace here. If my son doesn't know a better solution I'll take the wasteful route.
We face similar decisions on our 12 year old clothes washer with some new strange behaviors, which cost $600. Should we replace a $150 dollar with labor water valve, or just by a new washer? Thuse
With the same draw, the D will last much longer...but the AAA will give the same power until they run down.
REOPEN THE DAMN COUNTRY!

Methuselah
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Re: Maintaining Small Flashlights

Post by Methuselah »

Jarl, the low power consumption overcomes the power storage advantage of the D over the AAA battery. I'll look to see if there are any LD devices with D batteries. They would have little market appeal because most devices would fall apart from aging before the battery needed changing. There may be a market for devices such as searchlights, or lights that can light up a large room that use D batteries.

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Bicycle Bill
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Re: Maintaining Small Flashlights

Post by Bicycle Bill »

Can't say this for sure, but even 20-plus years ago there was already a faction within law enforcement to move away from those 3-cell or 5-cell MagLites which were frequently carried (and often used as batons).

I mean, a cop's statement that "Using my flashlight as a baton, I restrained the subject" is just a hop, skip, and a jump from being re-interpreted by a good defense lawyer as "So you admit that you employed a lead-filled metal pipe against my client?"
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Darren
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Re: Maintaining Small Flashlights

Post by Darren »

Methuselah wrote:
Sun Nov 22, 2020 6:22 pm
Jarl, the low power consumption overcomes the power storage advantage of the D over the AAA battery. I'll look to see if there are any LD devices with D batteries. They would have little market appeal because most devices would fall apart from aging before the battery needed changing. There may be a market for devices such as searchlights, or lights that can light up a large room that use D batteries.
The large lights use bigger rechargeable batteries. This is a Streamlight Lite Box.

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MGMcAnick
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Re: Maintaining Small Flashlights

Post by MGMcAnick »

Does anyone else remember "C" cells?

I have ONE Radio Shack AM/FM/Shortwave radio that goes through its three "C" cells about once a year. It was a Christmas present, probably 35 years ago, from Mrs Mc's dad. I'm sure it wasn't cheap. Digital read out, Push button station setting. Still works great.

Mrs Mc brought a smaller transistor radio to the hospital for me. It will fit in a shirt pocket. I gotta have my morning NPR. She couldn't visit, but she could drop stuff off before her positive test. Then she had to quarantine at home for 14 days. (She's had practically no symptoms, and is now in the clear.)

I was amused at the number of nurses who commented on my little old radio. One, I'm going to guess in her mid 20s, said she'd never seen one. Makes me feel really old. I felt old in there anyway.
A friend of Doc's. NOT Darren's Doc. Doc is a B-29 bomber restored by volunteer labor at the local Boeing plant over a 15 year period. FiFi is the only other B-29 still flying.

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dales
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Re: Maintaining Small Flashlights

Post by dales »

"C" cells?

Yes, I do.

As well as "B" cells for old tube portable radios.

Your collective inability to acknowledge this obvious truth makes you all look like fools.


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