Electric Lantern Modification for the Boat

Discussion in 'Catfishing Library' started by Whistler, Sep 5, 2005.

  1. Whistler

    Whistler Well-Known Member

    Original post made by Waddy Stewart(Wds3r) on May 19, 2003

    I like those flush-mount bench lights and hope to use some of them on my next boat, maybe looking for LED style.

    Here is what I went with for now. It is a $24 (Walmart) Rayovac brand twin-tube battery powered lantern. Says 'weather resistant' on the tag. It originally called for 8 D-cell batterys, but a D-cell is 1.5 volts DC, so 8 of them equals 12 volts DC and this means it can run off the boat's battery a lot longer (and cheaper) than a brick of expensive D-cells. It works GREAT and puts of plenty of light to watch all my lines. Here is how I modified it:

    1) Original lantern:


    2) Twist open bottom compartment used to insert batterys and remove 4 phillips screws up inside lantern.


    3) With the battery compartment removed you can see two threaded electrical posts with small nuts on them. Drill a hole through the side of the case and run your wire inside. I used small guage wire as the max draw is only 18 watts, mainly look for flexible wire. Attach two electrical connectors to your wire. Remove the nuts from the contact posts and slide on the connectors, one per side. (note + and - polarity) Tighten nuts back on posts and screw the battery compartment back in (it can still be used if you ever desire). Put it all back together.


    4)***Polarity. Pay attention to the + and - I put on the image and wire yours with red (+) and black (-) markings as appropriate on your battery side of the wires. I zapped mine initially because I incorrectly assumed polarity didn't matter for a 12V light. It did because there was some circuitry in the lid of the lantern. A cigarette lighter connector would solve this. Anyway, if you mark your wires you will be OK.

    5) Other comments: I used silicone sealant to fill in the hole I drilled to run the wire inside. I also gave myself about 12 feet of wire and it wraps conveniently around the lantern for storage. I considered running the wire into the d-cell compartment first and then running it out the side as this would allow you to store the wire inside (but i didn't do it this way).

    Good luck
  2. BigBoat99

    BigBoat99 New Member

    I bought one of those funnel shaped work lamps (the ones with the big squeeze clamp) for about $ 5.00 at WallyWorld, cut off the 110 volt plug, and replaced it with a 12 volt cigarette lighter plug. I ordered a couple of 12 volt, 40 watt, normal screw-in light bulbs from local marine dealer for about 3 bucks. I clamp it to the bimini top and it will light up the entire back of the boat. It comes with a socket switch, but the only time I turn it on is to set out planner boards or to net a fish. It really comes in handling while trolling alone at night. (Sorry, no Pics).