Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Sipik SK68 LED Flashlight Mod

I've been interested in LED flashlights for a while now. It was about a year and a half ago that I got my first high-power LED flashlight, meaning, it doesn't use multiple 5mm LEDs like the previous lights I've featured here on my blog (see my LED flashlight roundup for those). These newer lights are much more powerful and use a single LED of a different variety.

The Sipik SK68 is widely regarded as a budget light. In fact, you can get it for less than $10; however, that doesn't mean that it's poor quality. I'd say it's one of the best "bang for your buck" lights out there right now. I actually own a few of them. So, it wasn't long before I started tinkering and modifying them.

The Sipik SK68 is a single AA battery light. It takes 1.5V alkalines or 3.6V lithium-ion batteries - the latter of which makes it much, much brighter. It's notable feature is a zoom ability, meaning the beam can be adjusted from "flood" to "throw" by adjusting collar on the end. It's also a compact light, measuring about 3.5" long and 1" in diameter.

Here is the SK68 disassembled.
For my modification, I wanted the power from a 3.6V AA-sized battery, known as a 14500, but in a smaller size. For that, I decided to use a CR2 photo battery. It's only 3V, but it's a huge improvement over a 1.5V AA battery, and half the length; however, it's also a bit wider than an AA, so I had to not only shorten the battery tube, but also bore out the tube a bit.

Here's the finished product. It's about an inch shorter than the original.

Here you can see the inch-long chunk I cut out of the battery tube. You can also see that the tube wall is fairly thick. I used sandpaper wrapped around a drill bit to bore out the tube. That took a while, but it was a simple process.

That's pretty much it. The light was pretty good before, but now it's just as bright and even more compact.

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