DIY Ultra lightweight camping lantern

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zelph
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Re: DIY Ultra lightweight camping lantern

Postby zelph » Sat Apr 25, 2009 9:51 am

Somebody probably has done it already. I know they have roll ups that can be sewn into the fabric. :o
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zelph
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Re: DIY Ultra lightweight camping lantern

Postby zelph » Thu Apr 30, 2009 11:06 am

I found some photos that are somwhat related to what we are talking about here and may give someone an idea or two. The first item is a replacement bulb for a truck brake light and the second thing is a waterproof boat trailer light. Both work with a 9v battery.

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mememememeitsme
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Re: DIY Ultra lightweight camping lantern

Postby mememememeitsme » Sun May 10, 2009 11:36 am

I have put together a new version of my lantern. Using a single 1-watt white LED and a tiny DC power socket, I've made what I expect is the most minimalist light possible.

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I soldered the ground for the DC socket direct onto the solder pad on the LED, and used just a tiny scrap of wire to link the positive to the LED pad.

To say this light is bright would be an understatement, easily enough output to see round my entire tent and read comfortably. Here's a photo of it on - difficult to appreciate how much light is being put out.

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I have some water clear casting resin, and I plan to cast it to improve durability - I might play around with the position/orientation of the power socket first so that it best suits hanging from the lantern loop in my tent, but I'm pretty pleased with it. I don't have scales which can weigh this kind of weight, but I imagine it about 10-20 grams.

realityguy
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Re: DIY Ultra lightweight camping lantern

Postby realityguy » Sun May 10, 2009 11:56 am

Nice!What's the battery?
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realityguy
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Re: DIY Ultra lightweight camping lantern

Postby realityguy » Sun May 10, 2009 12:26 pm

I'm not trying to be rude,just bringing up a point that a lot of people might not be thinking about if they are also packing a camera along.
Because I'm probably going to be packing a digital camera that takes AA batteries,I'll probably be using a light source that takes the same ones.I don't really see a way around packing 4 AA on three day hikes so I might as well use the same cells for both.I can understand a really lightweight light if I WASN'T using the digital..but for my purposes I don't think it makes sense for me to carry more different types of batteries than I already am packing.
More than likely I will be making a smaller animal also... for when I don't carry the camera,but using the same rechargables because of the constant cost of replacing batteries.I deal with selling a lot of older cameras and the battery costs can be astronomical to maintain just the different ones for testing cameras!I'm pretty sick of buying more and ones that aren't dual purpose.If they are rechargable,it's a different story.A lot of batteries these days run $5-15(OUCH!) and don't last forever.
If a setup uses a 76 series,I use a lot of those in testing cameras but am wondering about the longevity of the battery(or two).Replacing those at about $5 apiece gets pricey,even though the weight factor is nothing.
It's one thing to make miniscule light setups but it's another when they eat up dollars by the handfuls!Ideally would be a lightweight solar setup that could clip on your pack and recharge the batteris as you hike..or motion activated to recharge those batteries or both if you hang around a camp for a few days..I think if a person figures the costs of the batteries it may be equivalent of a good solar system that would work better and longer,let alone,not have to be replaced in the middle of NOWHERE on a longer hike
An ideal light setup FOR ME would probably be one that uses 2 rechargable AAs in a lightweight watertight battery case or tube with a small LED head on the end..that I can store my additional digital camera batteries in.When I need them for the camera,I have them.At the moment,I do have a lightweight aluminum tube one that weighs 80 grams using three AAs and three LEDS that is super bright,more than what I really need for light.I'll probably be revamping it down to 2 cells and less lights to decrease weight and carry ONLY what I need for extra cells.Like I said,I need to carry the extra cells anyway..might as well have a light they function with....just a thought... ;)
The views and opinions expressed by this person are his own and not the general consensus of others on this website.Realityguy

realityguy
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Re: DIY Ultra lightweight camping lantern

Postby realityguy » Sun May 10, 2009 12:32 pm

Okay..perfect timing..not on my part! :lol: I'm wondering about the solar garden lights..I see a lot of those in the local thrift stores and wonder how well they hold a charge.I can get those for next to nothing(maybe $2).Maybe I'll pick up a couple and do some testing next time I see them... :mrgreen:
The views and opinions expressed by this person are his own and not the general consensus of others on this website.Realityguy

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DarenN
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Re: DIY Ultra lightweight camping lantern

Postby DarenN » Sun May 10, 2009 9:03 pm

when i had my sailboat, i had a cool little brass lantern that was solar charged. i hung it from the backstay of the boat when i wasn't under way. on a full sunny days charge it would light the cockpit nicely for most of the night; dimming down about dawn in the summer, and dieing completely by full light.

i've got a DIY lantern in the works over here too. :D

Daren.....
"I'd rather be happy than right." Slartibartfast

mememememeitsme
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Re: DIY Ultra lightweight camping lantern

Postby mememememeitsme » Mon May 11, 2009 6:00 am

I bought a load of those solar garden lights myself, not for this application but for fun. The problem with them is that the solar panel is a bit weedy, it charges a single AA cell, and the LED it drives is really low power. For an average summer day they probably charge the cell enough to drive the LED for 4 hours or so.

I cast my light in resin using an ice cube tray. I reversed the orientation of the power socket so it's on the back. I actually had a bit of a problem with this one so I decided to test the resin cast for durability by throwing it around and carving it up, so it might look a bit battered in the picture! I bought enough parts to make 5 of them so I'll have another ready for this weekend when I next go camping.

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realityguy
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Re: DIY Ultra lightweight camping lantern

Postby realityguy » Mon May 11, 2009 2:47 pm

Most of my hiking is summertime..4 hours seems long enough..AA is what I would need..don't plan on doing night hiking,just something for seeing around a tent or hammock for an hour or so..Was it easy to yank the solar setup and was it lightweight?..from the garden light.. :mrgreen: .
The views and opinions expressed by this person are his own and not the general consensus of others on this website.Realityguy


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