Cheapie 6V floating lantern

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Cheapie 6V floating lantern Empty Cheapie 6V floating lantern

Post by Admin on Sat Dec 02, 2017 1:40 am

Talking about the kind for $4 at places like Walmart. Usually incandescent bulb though they now have those with LED. And cheapest "heavy duty" carbon zinc 6V lantern battery. They are pretty much intended as a throw away considering a replacement battery costs as much as whole assembly and replacement alkaline 6V battery up $8 to $10+...

Well after misplacing my rechargable, decided rather lose one of these. You can get a LED bulb for 6V flashlight for couple bucks off ebay if you look hard are willing to wait for the slow boat from China. Or you can get a Dorcy bulb that is pretty much same thing for like $6 off Amazon. The LED is worth it as battery last much longer.

Now will say these arent most robust connections. the lantern batteries have springs on top that suppose to mate to thin metal plates on the lamp head part of the lantern. Did I mention these lanterns are CHEAP. So sometimes you have to shake it or rap on it a bit to get it to light.

Well I bought one of these holders that supposed to convert 4 Dcell batteries to 6V lantern battery. One I got has bad connection or something and pretty rinky dink. So I just used bit packing tape and taped four batteries together in a square shape. Every other one pointed opposite direction. then soldered wires to connect them in series for 6V. Instead of springs, soldered couple wire leads, one positive, one negative. Then I soldered two leads to the metal plates on back of the light head part of flashlight. Twist the leads together and tape. Reassemble. Bingo... and there was light.

I get my Dcell alkaline batteries at Dollar General. Used to be pkg of 2 for $2. Now they are $2.50. You can still get Dcell alkalines for $1 each on Amazon if you buy 12 at a time. Its their Amazon store brand. I'd never use up 12 before some leaked or otherwise went bad. Dcells with LED bulb can literally last two or three years depending on usage.

Course after I repowered two of these this way, I found my rechargable. The bulbs I used are like 0.5W. The rechargable is like 3W so its of course much brighter. But for a handy lantern you wont mind losing or having stolen, cant beat the cheapies set up like I did.

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Cheapie 6V floating lantern Empty Re: Cheapie 6V floating lantern

Post by Admin on Wed Dec 12, 2018 1:28 am

I dont always update stuff on here since I am pretty much talking to myself, though maybe some silent lurkers...

Ok have two of these cheapies, a Rayovac and an Everready.  The Rayovac has bigger reflector/lens, but it has always been PITA, having to shake it to get bright light.  Finally that didnt work.  Looked inside and the STEEL strips they ran along plastic bulb holder RUSTED.  Also both the Rayovac and Everready depend on spring tension to keep switch in contact with bulb holder.  

I was po'd and though the flashlight is marginal, decided to make a silk purse out of the proverbial sow's ear.  I removed the bulb holder and switch.  Ordered an E10 bare socket and E10 LED conversion bulb and a cheap canopy switch that one can solder wires to.  E10 for those that dont know are threaded, so dont depend on spring tension. They were used in antique flashlights and some penlights and some bicycle lights and some model train lights. The sockets came in pkg of five and canopy switch in pkg of two.  And the bulb is $2.  Anyway figure I put $3 upgrade into a $4 flashlight.  I used bit epoxy putty to anchor the E10 socket in the reflector.  The switch was direct replacement, just unlike original, this one had something to solder to.  Connected it all with bit scrap copper wiring.  Little dielectric grease in socket and screwed in the bulb.  Sixth grade science class kind of wiring, but now all robust and copper/brass/solder.  It works and bright light always, no shaking required.  I did insert folded paper towel to keep battery assembly moving back and forth as flashlight moves.  

Guess what it works so its now flashlight I use most.  The Everready was a little better design but not by much.  At this point I have to take it apart and bend the prongs on the switch forward so they make better contact in order to get a good bright light.  Each and every effin time.  So looks like it gets the same treatment as the Rayovac.  

Truly annoys me that a cheap item with little extra effort or cost could be made so much better and longer lasting, but isnt.  Course the idea isnt manufacturing a good long lasting flashlight at cheap price point, its all about maximizing profit and minimizing cost of production.  Most people just toss these flashlights after the original 6V battery that comes with them dies.  The whole flashlight plus battery is about same price as just replacement 6V battery.  Shame.  The shell on both these cheapies is pretty good.  Lens could be better. Internal stuff sucks.  And there is the advantage to these over better quality flashlight, these rarely grow legs and walk off, whereas a nice flashlight will. Few people will steal crap.

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