On Camera Light mod – Part 1

The Light in its unmodified state

The Light in its unmodified state

I have had a light from an old panasonic video camera kicking around here for a while. Originally,  my plan was to swap the 12v bulb in it for a 6v one, and connect it to a 6v SLA battery i have, which originally came out of a cheap rechargable spotlight.

Then i had the idea of combining a cheap LED torch i had  around, and the camera light. that would allow me to use much smaller batterys, and possibly even make the battery pack camera mountable

The Donor flashlight

The Donor flashlight

The torch originally cost a massive $4, has 9 white LEDs,  came with 3 ultra cheap batterys (which seem to work acceptably in the trch) and has a cheap, but OK level of construction.

I started by pulling the front off the camera light, and removing the bulb, and reflector

the front lens assembly of the light, dissasembled

the front lens assembly of the light, dissasembled

The metal part in the right of the above photo clipped in to hold the lens and the reflector into place.

Next, it was time to dissasemble the torch. it was pretty easy to do, as the cheap construction meant everything just clips together.

the donor flashlight - exploded view

the donor flashlight - exploded view

once i had it all apart, i took the LED assembly, and placed it in the center of the glass lens of the camera light, and hot glued it into place

the led assembly hot glued into place on the glass

the led assembly hot glued into place on the glass

Then it was time to wire it up.

Originally, the light slid into the mound, and 2 contacts on the back of the light slid into their place on the camera, and the light got its power from the camera’s battery.

My camcorder (or almost any other camera, other then the ones the light was made for) doesn’t have the docking contacts. I thought about soldering wires to the contacts, but that leaves a fairly messy, and exposed finish.

I also contemplating drilling a hole in the body of the light, but i decided to keep eveything intact, and it turned out relativly neat and easy just to thread the cable thru one of the vents in the light.

threading the power cable thru a vent hole

threading the power cable thru a vent hole

Now its time to solder the wires to their contact points. there is a ring around the ouside of the PCB that was the ground. it made contact to the outside of the torch. The spring in the middle was the positive connection point. The spring came off in soldering the wire on, which was no big loss, and its probably better to have less junk inside

Wired up, and ready to screw back together

Wired up, and ready to screw back together

Now all thats left to do on this end is to screw it back together.

The light screwed back together, and ready to attach to the power supply

The light screwed back together, and ready to attach to the power supply

This mod is completely reversable, so if at some point in the future, assuming i can find the reflector i had to pull out of the light, i can put the camera light back together. i should also be able to put the torch back together if i tried too, but i’m not bothered if i can’t.

Part 2 will show what I do to connect the light to a battery pack. At the moment, i’m thinking of trying to mount it underneath the camera, screwed into the tripod mounting hole. We’ll see what happens.

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