Quite some time ago, I bought a cheap set of torches/flashlights. Nice looking little aluminum LED units in a pack of 3. The problem with them is the stupid little 3xAAA power packs. AAA isn’t really known for longevity, and frankly the power is just terrible. Enter the 18650 cell so called for its dimensions, 18mmx65mm. Mine are from an old laptop that wouldn’t charge. Interesting, I found out that there is nothing wrong with ANY of the cells. They all still hold their charge and deliver very nicely. Its that damn pre-programmed failure BS they put in the charge controllers for laptops.
But, before I launch into another sermon on greedy corps, lets continue. So, I was hoping that the 18650 would just fit, but alas, things are never that easy. I found the 18650 to be about 16 mm longer than the original unit, but I was fairly sure that I could get it in there.
So here we go:
- Basic disassembly, with 18650 for size comparison.
- 18650 in slot – not going to fit.
- LED section pulled and separated, rubber cap off rear push button
- All disassembled. all parts simply pushed out. How thoughtful of the designers.
- The buttons frame contact – I used this to attach the resistor.
- 1 ohm resistor soldered to button and pulled around so that it has a firm based to be pulled against when its re-inserted into the holder.
- button and resistor re-inserted.
- Solder on 4 ground connections to LED unit.
- LED unit inserted into metalised plastic front unit.
- Pushed back into main frame. This protrudes a little now as this will give the space for the 18650 cell.
- I had to print some shims as the cell doesn’t fit snugly, so I added a front cap for some protection.
- Shims glued into the frame
- All reassembled and light working. YAY.
So that’s it. Some new torches with oodles of power and they will last forever on a charge.