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 Post subject: The Colonial Marine/Colony Flashlight
PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2003 5:47 pm 
SgtDraino wrote on 02/02/01:

You know, the flashlight with the flourescent light on the side, that Hicks uses to look up inside the ceiling, and spot the Aliens crawling towards them?

I found it at our local Krogers food store, for just $10. They only had 2 in stock.

Apparently it is available again in various places now, if anyone's interested. I see it's available at an online store: ... t%5Fid=500

It's called the:
GE 4 in 1 Multi-Purpose Utility Light

Sgt. Draino


Say, I was wondering, anybody got any experience with rewiring this light, so the torch and the flourescent tube light up at the same time, like in the movie?

The light has a dial adjuster, with 5 positions:
Blink (a blinking yellow light)
Steady (a steady red light)
Tube (the flourescent light)
Torch (the flashlight)

If I had my druthers (meaning if i knew sod-all about electronics), I'd rewire the light so that the "Steady" position would light up the Torch and the Tube at the same time.

I'd wire the "Steady" red light into the "Blink" switch, so it would come on along with the blinking yellow (can't really imagine needing the steady red all by itself).

Then I'd have:
Blink (blinking yellow with steady red)
Steady (Torch and Tube lights on together)
Tube (just the Tube light)
Torch (just the Torch)

So, any tips from anybody?

Sgt. Draino


Hey gang, I'm actually doing it!

Well, not ACTUALLY doing it. I'm playing it safe and getting an electrician I know to do it.

Come next Thursday, my GE light will be rewired so the Torch and Flourescent lights come on at the same time!

(It will also be possible to turn them on individually, so I will only suck my batteries dry for special occasions!)

He's only charging me $30 to do it, which I thought was quite reasonable.

I'll get some pics done, once it's finished!

Sgt. Draino


Well, bad news I'm afraid.

It turns out making the flashlight and the flourescent light come on together is tricker than my electrician originally thought.

The two run on different voltages, and my electrician says putting them on the same switch would cause the lower-voltage flashlight bulb to blow. Looks like there are only two options to make it work:

a) Install a separate switch for one of them, to turn them both on, but independantly.
b) Install a higher-voltage flashlight that runs on the same voltage as the flourescent light (Harry, this may be why the one in the movie replaced the flashlight section with an MR-16 lamp).

Either of the options would cost me upwards of $100 for parts and labor, if I paid the electrician to do it. He said I might be able to do it for $20 if I did it myself. But, as I've said before, I have no experience with electronics, so I'm reluctant to try it.

And, naturally, I balked at a $100 modification to a $10 flashlight. So, unfortunately, I pick it up tomorrow (he's gotta put it back together) the same as I left it.

Oh well!

On a related note, Krogers now has about a dozen of these lights in stock, if anyone is interested. An actual distinctive-looking item from the movie, for only 10 dollars. Beats the mission disk!

Sgt. Draino


Harry Harris wrote on 02/26/01:


Both lamps must run from one power source, there’s only one set of batteries. The voltage is stepped up for the fluorescent tube by a little transformer inside the unit between the batteries and the tube. You should be able to connect the two lamps together by connecting two of the terminals on the switch.

I think the reason that the flashlight bulb was replaced with a 12v lamp was just to enable it to read better on camera.


Harry Harris


Sgt Draino wrote on 03/02/01:

First off, Harry, I read your post to the electrician, and he insists that won't work. What he said was over my head, something about too much "load" on a single circuit. He insists the only way is to install a separate switch for the flashlight. Something called a "single pole double-throw switch," which he says I can get at Circuit City. I may try to do that. After all, it's only a $10 light. Even if I screw up, it's not that hard to replace.
Edited by: [url=>Willie Goldman[/url] at: 4/20/04 10:09 am

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