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NewBeam



NewBeam LED replacement lamp kit for Mini-Mag, retail $27 (http://www.opalec.com)
Manufactured by OPALEC (http://www.opalec.com)
Last updated 05-17-02





Tired of that sickly yellow beam coming out of your Mini-Mag?
Sick of your battery dollars going down the drain?
Wish you could get a pure white light that doesn't dim with an aging battery?
Well NOW YOU CAN, thanks to the revolutionary NewBeam, from Opalec!

This easy to use kit has everything you need to convert a Mini-Mag into a fully regulated 3-LED flashlight that doesn't dim as the batteries age, and has an indicator to tell you when the batteries are almost gone and it's about to start going downhill. And it's all yours for only one low payment of about $27!!



Ok, before I start sounding like a late night infomercial for a cheap plastic vacume or a teflon coated ironing board cover, let me first tell you how to install the kit.

    YOU WILL NEED:
  • 1 current model Mini-Maglite, 2-AA type.
  • 2 AA batteries
  • The NewBeam kit
  • A small knife or screwdriver, or a good fingernail
  • And a few minutes of your time.

    First, check to see if your Mini-Mag is a newer version.
  1. Unscrew the flashlight head until it comes off. Remove the bulb while it's burning - do not remove the batteries.
  2. Yank the bulb by pulling it straight out with your fingers.
  3. If the black plastic collar where the bulb went in has four holes and not two, this flashlight is an older model and won't work properly with the kit.

    Now, retrofit the reflector & lens.
  4. Grasp the flashlight head firmly, and unscrew the metal ring at the lens-end.
  5. If the lens in your Mini-Mag is hosed, remove and replace the bad lens with the one from the kit. The O-ring should stay in front of the lens
  6. Remove the reflector, and replace it with the black ring adapter found in the kit.
  7. Screw the metal ring back on the flashlight head.

    Install the conversion module:
    IMPORTANT: Be sure there are batteries in the flashlight! They help keep the flashlight from falling apart while you're retrofitting it.

  8. At the top of the barrel where the bulb was, remove the black ring that says "Do Not Remove" on it. Use your fingernails or a small knife to pry it out.
  9. Install the NewBeam by inserting its two round pegs into the holes once occupied by the pegs of the "Do Not Remove" thingie. Push the module straight down; don't try to force it in at an angle.
  10. If the NewBeam did not light up, remove it, turn it 180 (to reverse the position of the two pegs) and reinsert it. It will light up when you have it in correctly.
  11. Screw the flashlight back together, and tighten until it goes out and the head stops turning.
  12. It is advised that you hold the flashlight face-first an inch or so over a table, and tap it firmly straight down a few times to seat the module.
These instructions are included with the NewBeam kit.

NOTE: Installing this kit probably voids your original Mag-Lite warranty; however if you save the "Do Not Remove" thingie, you can still go back to a regular bulb if that's what you really, really want.



Change the batteries the same way you would an unadulterated Mini-Mag. And that is by unscrewing the tailcap, dumping the dead batteries out, sliding a pair of new ones in button-end (+) first, and then screwing the tailcap back on.

Battery life at full brightness is said to be approximately 10 hours. Once the circuit drops out of regulation, it is still good for another 5-15 hours while very slowly dimming out.
Battery indicator
At this time, a red indicator comes on, letting you know you are no longer getting the highest possible brightness, and also serving as a warning that you ought to think about buying batteries within the next few hours or so.

Current consumption was measured at 160 milliamps.



This is a very unusual product. Commercially-made kits for retrofitting an existing, and very popular flashlight just don't exist. Well they didn't, until the NewBeam showed up. So the whole concept of this is as new to me as it is to you.

Overall, the kit appears to be very professionally assembled. The regulator board with the LEDs is assembled using SMD (surface mount) components, which are potted into place with a transparent epoxy compound so they can't pop off the board if the flashlight is dropped. The two pins that connect the NewBeam to the flashlight are gold plated for corrosion resistance and to help achieve a good connection to the Mag's original bulb contacts. Flickering shouldn't become an issue, unless the Mini-Mag you're installing the kit into has been seriously douched and then allowed to corrode inside.

The other parts of the kit also appear equally well-made. The "scratch resistant" replacement lens and spacer ring look like they belong in the Mini-Mag, the module itself is shipped inside a special protective container, and the instructions are clear, well-written, and professionally printed.

contents of kit
Photograph of the kit's contents.


The circuit used in this kit is both a boost inverter and a regulator. That means the light level will remain constant for virtually all of the battery life, and only start going downhill when there is no longer enough power left for the regulator to use. At this time, a red indicator comes on and the light begins a remarkably long period of still useful but slowly dimming output. Depending on battery type and usage pattern, this can last an additional 5-15 hours on top of the 10 hours of fully regulated light you get before the indicator comes on.


Beam photo. Brightness initially tagged at 33,100mcd.
The LEDs are well-aimed, and are potted in place to stay that way.




TEST NOTES:
Unit was received Saturday 04-13-02.


UPDATE: 05-17-02
Congratulations to Opalec! The NewBeam is one of *very few* products to have ever recieved a full 5-star rating from us! Use the NewBeam with confidence, and don't throw that reliable but tired old Mini-Mag in the garbage! It deserves a new lease on life, and this is how you can give it one.


PROS:
Light output stays constant until batteries are shot
Easy to install & use
Decent brightness & good beam quality
Red light comes on to let you know the batteries are pooping out
Well thought out kit even includes new lens
Good battery life


CONS:
They say you can't use it in older Mags, but I've heard otherwise.
When retrofit is complete, flashlight has a non-focusable beam


    MANUFACTURER: OPALEC
    PRODUCT TYPE: Replacement lamp kit for Mini-Mag
    LAMP TYPE: LED. White Nichia 5mm (3) and 3mm red (1)
    No. OF LAMPS: 4
    BEAM TYPE: Prefocused, medium narrow w/ mild hotspot
    SWITCH TYPE: N/A
    BEZEL: N/A
    BATTERY: 2 ea. AA cell
    CURRENT CONSUMPTION: Approx. 160mA
    WATER RESISTANT: No
    SUBMERSIBLE: No
    ACCESSORIES: LED Module, ring adapter, lens
    WARRANTY: 1 year

    PRODUCT RATING:

    Star Rating









NewBeam * WWW.OPALEC.COM



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