Mag-lite, again

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.
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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.
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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.
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Roger Taylor writes:

This is like complaining about McDonalds or Home Depot.
You have to remember what things were like long ago before they came along.
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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 operation.
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.
--
Jim Yanik
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I've been very pleased with the minimag conversion from www.opalec.com however not tried the one from Nite Ize, and I've seen a Luxeon conversion but not tried it either.
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Christopher A. Young
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C & E wrote:

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 fail.
--
Joseph Meehan

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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!
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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 $70 each. 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.
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C & E wrote:

DeOxit D5 in a 6 ounce spray can. You can special order it at Radio Shack and I believe it's under $10.
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my vote for President will be a write-in for Jiang Zemin.
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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 - http://store.caig.com/s.nl/sc.15/category.295/.f
Mike
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wrote:

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.
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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
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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..

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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.
--

Christopher A. Young
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swab
WD
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.
aem sends...
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