Went tot the cabin to do some deer hunting and found the Mag lite
nonfunctional. I had left the batteries in it since last year (don't
usually) but there is no sign of corrosion let alone leakage. These things
aren't that complicated but I've done the battery and bulb swap out with no
change. Any other suggestions before I trash *another* Mag-lite?? This is
a 2 AA cell unit, if that matters. Oh yea, I wrote to the company on Monday
but haven't heard back as yet.
If I recall, they make electrical contact via the threads on the battery
hatch. Are they clean?
If you get fed up with Mag-Lites, take a look at www.surefire.com. Amazing
products. Be sure to order the batteries from the web site. They a LOT
cheaper that way, compared to what some gun shops charge.
Replace your junky AA maglite with a led flashlight like the Lightwave 2000
(3 aa cells), or 3000 if you want to use C cells. These items are waterproof
and shockproof, no breakable lenses, and lifetime 100,000-hour bulbs. I
have found maglite extremely overrated, except as a club, and have 10-20
hours battery life, vs about 200-300 hours for the led lights. Perhaps the
batteries are shorting out with the inside of the flashlight housing, due to
high humidity conditions and tight fit. Ironically, cheaper (plastic)
flashlights don't have the possibility of shorting into the casing, as
plastic is the perfect insulator.. Admittedly maglights focus a brighter
spot, but most light needs i have are for a "wash" not a spot.
I bought a "River Rock" 2AAA LED flshlight for $10 from Target,it has a
0.5W LED,claimed to run for 7 hours on a battery set,and is brighter (and
whiter)than my 2AA Maglite. It's polished aluminum,.75" in diameter at it's
widest point,fixed focus,and shorter than the 2AA Maglite.It has a tailcap
pushbutton for momentary light,and twist the tailcap for continuous
BTW,there are drop-in conversion kits for the 2AA Maglite,either the 0.5W
led,or a 1W Luxeon LED.They cost about twice what the Maglite costs alone.
Likely some dirty contacts somewhere. Check the batteries, the back cap
and the head with the light. Also check the contacts on the bulb.
Those things are bullet proof, IF you use them a lot. If you use them
only occasionally, I suggest buying disposables and junking them when they
I heard back from Mag-lite who said to change the bulb and the batteries,
which I stated I had already done in the first letter. They also suggested
that I call them on their dime so I guess that's what I'll do before I trash
it a spring for a Surefire or Lightwave. Your point about the lack of need
for a bright spot is well taken, Joe, since I use it mostly for getting to
my stand and don't want a bright light. If any are still checking this
thread out is there a electronic spray to generally clean the areas inside
that I can't reach or inspect? One that I used to use had too many VOCs
(sp?) and the replacement was a poor substitute. Again, thanks!
I bought all my guys SureFire Z2 Combat lights for Christmas stuffers today.
Your other post got me to thinking while I was hanging out with some friends
of mine that own a gun store...thought..what the hell..and I got them for
You will find that the battery shelf life is 10 years. You cant kill it, and
its got alot more options you can get than a MagLite.
And you might laugh, but you can literally take two and strap them to a
ladder rack, and use them like headlights..I read a testimonial on their
website and thought...bull...
its not...you will be amazed at them, and if you hunt, you can get a red and
a blue filter for them..if you have ever tried to track a blood trail, the
blue is incredible for it.
Use DeoxIT D5 or DN5 spray - works on everything electrical.
You can get the DN5 spray at Radio Shack in a Deoxit and ProGold kit.
ProGold is great on audio/video equipment.
Here is a link I found useful -
There's a refit for Mags with a LED head. I don't have one but I've
seen a couple of people use them. Mags have been the standard for
backstage theater work for many years. The Surfires and other lithium
powered lights have become popular for some applications but the mag
is still hard to beat when you don't want to light the whole place up.
I don't like paying for lithiums either. I bought a two pack of cheap
LED lights at Sam's club that use AAs and they work fine but still
light up too much for some work.
Same thing has happened to the small Maglite I bought my wife. Come
back each winter the batts are near dead, or light to dim to be
functional. Finally I purchased and bought two (single AA )Gerber
Infinity Ulta's LED's. They get a lot of use and travel with us when
we go somewhere. I've spoken to some folks and they claim they do not
show the true color of objects they illuminate. Come with a pen light
clip, can clip it to my visor or put in my pocket or where around my
neck. Has a knub at the back where you can hold it between your teeth
if your in a tight spot.. Batts go on forever. Machined from a single
piece of aluminum they're incredibly tough also. I swear by them,
especially with estimated bulb life of 15 years or so.........Doc
I second your high praise for this tiny but effective flashlight. It and the
Lightwave are my favorites. When I bought it it was marketed by CMG, but
subsequently sold to Gerber. Anyway, the CMG Infinity Ultra is very bright
for a single cell AA, and a huge improvement to the prior model with a lower
wattage led. These lights have sophisticated circuitry that maintains
near-constant brightness for much of the battery life, then goes to a dimmer
"moon mode" that still pumps out somewhat useful light before the battery
must be changed..
If you're like me, you like to tear things apart, and find out what really
went wrong. Here are the untold stories of Minimags:
1) The tailcap is part of the circuit. Clean the threads with a cotton swab
and some WD-40. Sand the end of the tube where the tail cap screws on.
2) Pull the little spring, and clean the metal where the spring ataches. WD
and cotton swab, again.
3) Remove the batteries. Screw the lens and reflector assembly off, and
gently pull off the "do not remove" thing. Shake the tube, and the plastic
thing that comes out has a couple contacts that can be cleaned. It's a
challenge to get it back in. Gently push the plastic thing in, and push it
with the end of the batteries.
One of the tests for nerdity is if you spend more than half an hour trying
to fix a flash light. I'm over qualified for nerdity.
Chuckle. BTDT. Have about 3 hours labor, over 2-3 occasions, into repairing
my 4-D-cell maglite club. IMHO, their fit'n'finish and QC went way downhill
when they went mass-market. My previous Mag, also a 4-cell, came in a
cardboard box from a gun store that also sold cop stuff. Bulletproof, used
it for 2-3 years without a problem. When it got stolen through the
broken-by-a-rock side window of my car, the replacement (for about 2/3 the
price) came in a blister pack, and I could tell right away it didn't feel as
nice. Started having problems within months. They made the spring that
completes the top of circuit much cheaper, and I had to figure out how to
remove the switch core to retension it. Web site still shows parts and
repair service availability, but realistically, when a new one is now only
20 bucks, and shipping on yor nickel is 5 bucks, how many people are going
to bother? (Probably like Zippo's old repair service- just slip new guts
into the old shell....)
Maglite used to be mil-spec. It is now consumer grade.
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