MAKE YOUR OWN HEADLIGHT, CHEAP!
I'm not talking about one of those little wimpy girlyman headlights either, that has an incorporated battery. I'm talking about a Mack Truck headlight that will light up the whole dang marsh. First you need a hardhat. You can buy them online or at Lowe's, Home Despot, etc, for about $7.00. Then you get the biggest widest funnel from the Auto Parts section at Wal-Mart. While you're there, pick up some large black cable ties and the biggest truck headlamp they have, and also some crimp type electric connectors that slide onto the poles on the back of the headlamp. If they've got some Liquid Electic tape, get that too so you can coat over all your connections so they'll last a long time. You need a toggle switch, a length of lamp cord, and a way to connect the lamp cord to your boat battery, either alligator clips or a cigarette lighter adapter if you have a cig lighter outlet in your boat. You'll also need about a square foot of hardware cloth. When you get home, using the tile cutter attachment on your Dremmel tool, cut a hole in the front of your hardhat big enough to insert the narrow end of the funnel. The hole will need to be about 2-3" in diameter. Then, cut off the small end of the funnel, and drill holes in narrow end of the funnel and the hardhat big enough to get cable ties through (you need 4 holes in each) and use cable ties to secure the funnel to the hard hat. Then, run your electric connections to the headlamp. I have the toggle switch protruding through the top of the hardhat. Then, I wrap the hardware cloth around the headlamp, making sure you don't run it around to the very back and short out your electicity. That would be bad. I put a little scrap of EPDM rubber back there to protect the electical posts on the headlamp. Secure the hardware cloth with some bailing wire around the back of the bulb, and then drill holes near the front rim of the funnel to allow cable ties to go through and tie the hardware cloth covered bulb to the funnel. Except maybe for using some urethane glue (PL brand Premium Construction Adhesive), or roof cement or other to seal up the gap between the hardhat hole and the funnel, and maybe some paint (overkill I say), you're done.
Of course, I always have all kinds of scrap this and that around, and didn't need to buy anything but the funnel, headlamp and hardhat, but the whole thing didn't cost me $15. Here's a view from underneath. The lamp is so big, that I had to cut off the brim of the hat to accomdate it. You can see the toggle switch on the inside of the hat, on the left side of the picture. You see how the funnel doesn't protrude much into the hat. You trim it back so it doesn't. It takes a little creativity. For about an hour of your time and $15, you get the brightest headlight in the marsh. One caveat, the thing is so big it's pretty heavy. You've got to cable tie the suspension system in the hat to the hat itself so it doesn't pop off. Just drill through the little plastic tabs where they hook into their holders in the hat, through them and the hat, and run some cable ties through them and secure them.
Don't forget to put a in line fuse in the circuit. The other thing is, the headlamp cast a beam of light in a horizontal plane. Make sure you have the light oriented correctly (horizontal beam along the horizon) before you secure the cable ties.
Legal Disclaimer: This website
is intended for entertainment purposes only. The author is not an engineer or professional designer.
Many of the methods used building these headlights are
untested. It is not recommended that anyone follow the example on this website
to construct a headlight or anything else for that matter. If you do use any of these
methods you, your family, friends, and anyone else you can think of could be
hurt, drowned, maimed, blinded, exposed to toxic chemicals know to the State of California to cause cancer, or otherwise be killed due to the faulty
construction or dangerous construction methods.
Copyright 2003, Edward Askew. All rights reserved.