Flashlights- make them stop stobing

Discussion in 'Special Effects' started by Hansentd, Nov 9, 2015.

  1. Hansentd

    Hansentd Member

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    We're using several flashlights as props / onstage lighting for a black box performance.
    But every nice, bright LED flashlight has 3-7 modes that you need to cycle the light through.
    Has anyone tried opening up guts and shorting the switch? It seems like it would be a matter of removing something on the switch circuit-board.
     
  2. JD

    JD Well-Known Member

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    How to turn something simple into a problem, yup they did it again! ;)
    Simply put, there is no "switch" (as in an on/off switch.) They actually have a chip and a momentary touch button that pages the modes of the chip. Pop the chip and the light is on for good. Manufacturers have really turned something simple into a problem. About the only thing you can do is to mount a miniature toggle switch into the light and bypass the chip. But... good luck finding enough room in the light to do it.
    As you can probably tell, I hate the new flashlights!!
     
  3. dbaxter

    dbaxter Well-Known Member

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  4. TheaterEd

    TheaterEd Renaissance Man Fight Leukemia

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    I know that mine has simple on off. That is, unless you hit it the button quickly, or only depress it halfway, in which case it will cycle through the modes. At first I hated it, but now that I have gotten the hang of it I am quite happy with it. Actually used it as a follow spot from the booth during a rehearsal. Director didn't even notice. On that note, Next show I am gaffing my spot ops into their chairs during rehearsals.......
     
    mikeydoesstuff and robartsd like this.
  5. DrPinto

    DrPinto Active Member

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    Why not just use old school flashlights? The halogen lamp flashlights are really bright.
     
  6. ratthepoodle

    ratthepoodle Member

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    I have replaced my flashlights with the Coast HP1. Its simple (none of that flashing stuff), cheap, durable, and has a belt clip:D
     
  7. Hansentd

    Hansentd Member

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    Thanks folks.
    I was able to determine (by jumping a piece of wire from the battery to the casing) that the mechanism for switching modes is in the handle. So hopefully, when I replace the button & board in the handle for an on/off type button it should do what I want (and not what I don't want).
     
  8. JD

    JD Well-Known Member

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    Couple of causes and an age old problem! In the "old days" it was often the tip of the bulb which had a blob of solder on it. The lead/tin combo would form a layer of oxide which didn't conduct too well. So, it would flatten out resting against the battery. Rotating the battery or end cap would get things working for awhile. I had a fix for that one! A little copper sulfate in a cup of water and you could actually copper plate the tip of the bulb (clean it first) and the flashlight became a lot more reliable. Haven't tried it on the newer tech flashlights, but often that little LED drive board still makes contact with the batteries with the same little blob of solder.
     
  9. dbaxter

    dbaxter Well-Known Member

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    ratthepoodle likes this.
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