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Various Flashlights And Things Get 18650ed
#11
Cool retro. They don't make'em with that sort of quality anymore, do they?
Need projects like this for all the cells that don't make it into the powerwall. Thanks for sharing.
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#12
Thanks all!

Yeah, those connectors are ok. Handy for small packs, but I wouldn't use them on big things like powerwall banks. The quality control is kind of bad. I bought a kit just to see if they're as awesome as Micah Toll says they are, or as bad as Jehu said. I think they're somewhere in between.

Anyway, on the topic of flashlights, this one doesn't merit its own thread, but I decided if I could put an 18650 in some of my cheepo flashlights that take the 3-AAA adapters.


The blue one turned out to be too compact. But the red one had enough room. The AAA adapter is shorter and fatter than an 18650, but the springs on the red flashlight compressed enough to allow for the extra length. I also found a plastic tube that fits over the 18650 cell like it was made for it.


Not PVC, I don't know what kind of plastic exactly. Its brittle though, compared to PVC. Anyway, it makes a pretty good spacer to make up for the thinner cell.
Also, with the 3 AAA cells in series, I'm thinking that the LEDs run on voltage between 3V-4.5V, so electrically, they should be happy with an 18650's voltage.

Anyway, it works!
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-Mike G
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#13
Thought I'd share my 18650ed headlamp in use:



I went on a hike through the Ape Cave in Cougar WA, US the other week and thought it would be an excellent opportunity to try out the lamp. The head strap and wire location definitely need some work, and also the rivets holding the lamp in place need to be tightened, but electrically, it was perfect. Smile

The cave was pretty cool too. A lava tube extending 2.8 miles.
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-Mike G
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#14
Spelunking!!!! Cool
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#15
Been a while since I added to this thread, but I came across an old bicycle headlight that wasn't working. Turns out the AA cells inside were corroded and leaking all over everything. So I opened it up and cleaned it out. I forgot to take a before picture, but here it is clean:


The old battery connectors, I will not be reusing.


The original incandescent bulb was only good to 3V, so I replaced it with an LED 4.5V bulb.


Since this is unlikely to burn out anytime soon, I soldered a wire directly to the tip. The other wire and switch I soldered to the threaded sleeve.


The inside structure is needed to keep all the parts of the headlight together, so I can't really remove it. An 18650 cell wouldn't fit inside even if I could. So I just made a hole through it for the wires to go through.


The back of the flashlight already had an external power port. It made a convenient exit for the wires.


Here it is back together, ready for some power. The bulb is non-polar, so it doesn't matter which wire is which.


I'll be making a battery pack for it later. I want to put this on my ebike, so it'll be something maybe kind of waterproof. For now though, it's connected to a cheap cell holder.


Earlier, I put the bulb on a power supply, and found it's plenty bright from 4.5V-3.8V. After that it starts dimming significantly. I may put a little boost controller on it. But even with a single 1Ah cell, it should last longer than the charge on the ebike. Or maybe I'll get a buck controller and use power directly from the ebike.
-Mike G
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#16
I decided to make a battery for the headlight. I contacted the seller to find out the Voltage range of the bulb I bought. There really isn't one it turns out. Higher than 4.5V, and the bulb will have a shorter life span. Less than 4.5V, and the bulb will get dimmer. So I'd have to put it on some kind of regulator no matter what. I don't think I'll be buying this particular bulb again.

Anyway, I decided it would be fun to build a battery case out of spare PVC pipe. Turns out 3/4" Schedule 40 is perfect. Enough internal diameter for an 18650 and a few wires. Here's the plan I came up with:
[Image: f076e2c6816d1b9c6204dc310eed6f60.jpg]

I'm using the TP4056 board with over discharge and over current protection. Since it charges at 1A, I put 2 cells in parallel. (I don't like charging old laptop cells at more that 500 mA if I can help it.)


Since the cell voltage ranges from 4.2V down to whatever the cutoff of the protection circuit is, I added a boost board to keep the bulb receiving 4.5V. And since boost boards tend to draw phantom power, I added a switch.

One end cap has a slot for the TP4056 to set in. I also drilled two holes so I can see the LEDs.


With the cells in parallel, I double checked the initial voltage.


I used a power supply to test the boost board. Set it to 4.5V, make sure it would stay at 4.5V through the voltage range of the cells, and maintain 4.5V with the light on.


Here it is mostly put together. I discovered that the wires all need to travel alongside each other or there isn't enough room in the pipe. So I had to move them around a bit, but after that, everything fit nicely.


With it all assembled, and the switch soldered in place, the battery is providing the desired 4.5V. I made an insulator to go between the two cells, but forgot to put it in. I'll add it later, in the final assembly, to add some safety in case the electrical tape fails.


I'll figure out better connection once I've installed it on the ebike. But for now, it works!


I can see the LEDs through the holes. I think I'll fill these in with some clear stuff. Like window sealant or something.


The whole thing needs to be cleaned up painted and sealed a little. Because of the switch and the USB port, I can't make it waterproof, but I can at least make it a little protected. I suppose one of the end caps could be replaced with a screw on type, and the USB port and the switch could be located under that. Then it could be waterproof. But I don't need it waterproof, and I don't want to mess with unscrewing the cap all the time.

Anyway, this was fun, and only cost me 2 end caps. Everything else I had leftover from past projects.
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-Mike G
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#17
I've had this pocket oscilloscope for a while, but the power jack is a bit loose and it tends to reboot if I move it around the desk.


Also, it would be nice if I didn't have to have it plugged in. More like a multimeter. I've seen folks do battery mods on these. Some get really complicated, others get tiny cells and fit everything inside the case. I decided to put an 18650 holder on the back which will double as a way to prop it up a little so it doesn't sit flat all the time.



I tried plugging it into a 9V battery (which read 8.6V on the multimeter). That wasn't enough to run the device. I guess they're serious when they say 9-10V! I still have a couple boost boards left over from another project, so I set it to 9.3V, the same as the AC power supply delivers. Works great!

At 9V, the device uses around 120mA, so about 1W of power. The cell I'm using tested at 1904mAh, or about 7Wh. Therefore, it should run on a single charge for about 7. The cell is removable, so all I have to do is swap the discharged cell out with a charged one.

I was able to hide the boost board inside the case. Everything is held in place with my favorite adhesive, hot glue.


The fiddly barrel connector is now completely unused. While I was in there with a soldering iron, I took the opportunity to straighten the adjustment knob which was soldered in just a bit crooked.



As you can see, it works! I'm measuring the Voltage on a little transformer I wound a while back. I can't measure household Voltage, because this little guy can't handle more that 50V. So it's more for low Voltage stuff. I've mainly used it to confirm that smoothing capacitors are actually doing their job when attached to rectifiers. Also kind of fun to see how "clean" the power is that comes out of various power supplies.
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-Mike G
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#18
Nice work! Big Grin

Here's an extended idea for this project: if you have a TP5100, you could hook it up so that it can charge the cell, but this is secondary. By placing the TP5100 on the side of the case and allowing the usb connector to be accessed (or install a stand alone one and run wires to the board), you could essentially charge the cell and power the scope at the same time using usb power.
The TP5100 can take up to 16V (I think even 20V if I remember correctly) and can accurately drop to 1s1p for 2A charge if needed (depending on the resistor).

Altho, if you go this route, you could potentially put a lipo or cell phone battery in the case too.
Proceed with caution. Knowledge is Power! Literally! Cool 
Knowledge is Power; Absolute Knowledge is Absolutely Shocking!
Certified 18650 Cell Reclamation Technician

Please come join in general chit-chat and randomness at Discord Chat (channels: general, 3d-printing, linux&coding, 18650, humor, ...)
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#19
(03-26-2019, 10:37 AM)rebelrider.mike Wrote:
Does anyone else think this looks like a pipe bomb?
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#20
Shhhh, we don't talk about it Wink
Proceed with caution. Knowledge is Power! Literally! Cool 
Knowledge is Power; Absolute Knowledge is Absolutely Shocking!
Certified 18650 Cell Reclamation Technician

Please come join in general chit-chat and randomness at Discord Chat (channels: general, 3d-printing, linux&coding, 18650, humor, ...)
(this chat is not directly affiliated with SecondLifeStorage; VALID email req'd)
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