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LED upgrade for Wietek military flashlights

Custom PCB with 3W LED and boost converter to replace the internals of a vintage flashlight

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My grandpa once gave me an old flashlight from the German army. It collected dust on the shelf until I got a jacket the flashlight could be attached to. I replaced the internals, consisting of a small incandescent light bulb and huge batteries, with a custom pcb carrying a 3W LED, a boost converter and a battery pack for standard AA cells.

This was just a quick project after realizing how comfortable it is to have a flashlight attached to your jacket. It proved to be ideal for long hikes in the cold woods when you rather want to put your hands into your pockets.

I used a schematic I found online and it works very well. The batteries last quite a while and the flashlight has just the right brightness - It illuminates the way nicely without glaring everybody.

I did the design with KiCad. I also had a lot of fun while making the silkscreen pattern.


Zip Archive - 3.17 MB - 10/26/2018 at 20:34

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  • 1 × Wietek Bundeswehr-Taschenlampe I guess there are a lot of versions of this lamp out there. Unfortunately I don't know a lot about them except for the fact that they are very cheap on ebay.
  • 1 × Custom PCB Hit me up if you need one or make your own
  • 1 × ICM7555 DIP package
  • 1 × 1uF film capacitor 5mm pitch
  • 1 × 3W LED

View all 16 components

  • 1
    Add PCB mounts to the flashlight

    I glued four M3x18 screws to the chassis using cheap epoxy. The unpopulated pcb served as a template. I carefully adjusted the position of the screws until the footprint of the LED was placed exactly above the hole in the reflector. I also carefully removed some of the reflective coating on the reflector that faced the inside of the lamp using fine sandpaper. It seemed to be conductive, so it is just a safety measure against shorting out the leads of the LED.
  • 2
    Modding the original internals

    I wanted to continue using the original switch of the lamp. Therefore I soldered the wires from the battery pack and the PCB to the former battery and lamp holders. I had to shorten them quite a bit using a dremel to have enough space for the PCB.
    (All the components are already in place because I took the photos after completion, sorry for that)
  • 3
    Solder components to the PCB

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