The AT Commander's


Searchlight Mount


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Those flimsy 5-Star tripods break all too easy, it seems. This quickie project provides a lot more flexibility and utility than the tripods provided anyway. One of the kids got a watch for Christmas and I intercepted the box before it went in the trash. It looked just the right size for two "D" cells. An idea instantly formedů

Here's the mount without the light. The center peg is a dowel the same diameter as the base of the 5-Star searchlight. It's held on with a single bolt. The two smaller nuts you can see in this pic hold in the battery box. To the right you can see the underside of the Searchlight Base. The 2xD battery box came from Radio Shack. In the pic at left, you can see the long bolts on the corners that are hotů one + and one - to connect the searchlight wires. Barely visible are the copper-colored Fahnstock clips, so I can attach bare wires (in case I want to power something other than the searchlight). I put a short length of brass tubing (slightly larger diameter than the bolts) and peened 'em over on the ends of the light wires, so they now plug in and can be removed pretty easily.



 

Here's another pic of the searchlight in action. If you look close, you can see the plugs I made on the ends of the light's wires. The lens of the light was gone, as was the bulb. I used clear plastic from a bubble-packed toy of some sort for the lens. Fortunately, the lens ring unsnaps easily, so installation was a breeze. For a bulb, I stuck in a bulb that was kicking around in my electronics toolbox. To my surprise, after it warmed up it started blinking! That was an unintended benefit. I have no idea where this bulb came from, but it sure looks cool at night! This quickly became the signal light used by our French Resistance Fighters to signal Allied aircraft for personnel, munitions, or supply drops. I've since picked up a regular bulb and swap back and forth to suit mission requirements (yes, we PLAY with our toys around here).

 

Giving it a coat of OD Green paint made it look kinda like the Palitoy searchlight from years ago.
This was a pretty obvious, quick, simple, project and the results were great!




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