Mini Mag-Lite Custom Headlight Mod for WowWee's RovioPosted by Michael Walsh on Monday, 2 March 2009
As many of us were disappointed in the poor picture quality in low light situations when using Rovio, I decided to put a set of custom headlights on my Rovio. I viewed some of the hacks posted on the community, but decided to have mine move in tandem with the camera. With that design, the lighting would follow the angle of the camera.
One of my main concerns was the weight of the lights and the power supply. I chose Mini Mag-Lites for the lights, and connected them to Rovio’s power supply using a PNP transistor. Mini-Mags use 3volt LED's that are quite bright when using the reflector in the flashlight. Be advised that I am no expert and taking apart Rovio will most certainly void your warranty, do so at your own risk.
First, I took apart the 2 Mag-Lites, saving the pieces as shown.
Then using a hack saw, I cut the threaded ring off of the flashlight heads and glued them to plastic model rocket nose cones that are available at most hobby stores.
Cut the material forward of the rings, leaving a very light headlight cone. Next, trim the flanges off of the reflector lenses and sand inside the cone. Then, fit the reflector lenses inside the cone.
You should end up with something similar to the photo above.
Next, to wire the LED's into the cone, I used servo connectors found at a RC hobby shop that fit the tiny LED's and threaded them through some fuel tubing, and then drilled a hole in the tail of the cone. Drill the hole so that the tubing is tight - that way you can focus the light by pulling the tubing in or out.
I then glued a piece of scrap plastic to the cone and sanded it to match the contour of the Rovio's head. I used 2-way tape to mount them to the Rovio head.
The ends of the tubing are pushed through 2 holes drilled into Rovio's head. BE CAREFUL when you do this; it's best to take the head apart and drill from the inside out. The wires are then fed down the neck and wired as shown above. The end result is a very light, effective headlight that allows for all camera angles and is switched through the original Rovio headlight switch.