Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Repair of an LED Lenser flashlight

My trusty little LED Lenser flashlight stopped working rather suddenly.  I thought the batteries had failed because (a) nothing that over-engineered could possibly break and (b) there was evidence of crusty white "stuff" inside the battery compartment that looked a little like a battery might have leaked.  Strangely, though, all of batteries measured a little over 1.4V each but there was no voltage present at the terminals of the battery holder.  Oh oh.  It turns out the problem was the little switch in the end-cap.    Here it is desoldered from the top of the battery-pack:-



Although it felt fine mechanically, it was open-circuit all the time.  

Apparently, LED Lenser don't supply parts and I couldn't find a suitable replacement in any of the usual electronic parts suppliers but I couldn't bring myself to write off such a beautiful piece of (over-)engineering.  Time to see if it could be bodged.

I had an el-cheapo (but actually rather nice) 9-LED flashlight that I picked up at a conference a few years ago.  


It had a latching end-cap switch that "felt" pretty similar.  Could it be made to fit ?  It turns out, the switch from it is an awful lot bigger...


On the other hand, its about the right height so perhaps it could be made to fit. With a little bit of help from a grinding wheel, it fitted...barely.





Solder the wires onto the top of the battery-pack...


...and its back to life !!

Its certainly not as water-tight as it was the day it left the factory in Germany (the end-cap doesn't screw down all the way) but on the other hand I never go swimming with it and it isn't gone to a land-fill, so I'm happy.  

Now I just need to figure out what do to with the remains of the el-cheapo 9-LED flashlight that I trashed for this repair - I can't bring myself to throw that out either.






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