Any repair information is intended for professional repair shops only.
Users of Freeplay equipment should not attempt any repair which involves any disassembly. Some of our older products were driven by powerful springs which, if allowed to unwind in an uncontrolled manner, would be dangerous and could cause injury. Never remove covers from such devices.
Please note in all instances where the product is faulty and is under warranty, please return it to the retailer where purchased. We do not carry out any repairs.
Do I need to do anything before I use it?
For best results, the battery requires a conditioning charge before first use, or after long periods without use. This can be done by administering several vigorous 30-second wind cycles. Alternatively this can be done by fully charging the battery using the wall adapter (if you have one). The product can, however, be used immediately in the wind-up mode if required.
How do I change the light bulb?
The light is an LED (light-emitting diode) with up to 100 000 hours of useful life and never requires replacement.
Can I over-wind the unit - does it ever stop you from winding?
No, you cannot over-wind the internal mechanism. It consists of simple gearing which drives the alternator, providing power to the internal battery.
Will I damage the product if I crank the handle in the opposite direction?
No, the winder handle can be cranked in both directions.
Where can I find the instruction manual?
Download ML-1 manual.
Can I leave it plugged in all the time?
Yes; the charging current is designed to be low enough to be non-damaging if left on charge continuously. (Unplugging may extend the life of the battery, but note that repeated deep discharges will shorten it.)
The battery doesn't hold a charge anymore; do I need to replace it?
Rechargeable batteries deteriorate over time, especially if drained nearly completely (to extend the life of your battery, limit how often that happens). However, in many cases they can be "conditioned" back to life. This can be done by administering several vigorous 30-second wind cycles followed by a full charge with the adapter. Alternatively this can be done by letting the product run from the battery until it stops, and then, with the product turned off, fully charging it using the wall adapter.
How long does it take to fully charge the battery?
Using the AC Adapter included; the battery will be 90% charged in 3 hours.
How long does my ML-1 Mini Lantern shine for?
Cluster – Night Light: 100 hours (from a fully charged battery) or 1 hour (from a 60-second wind). Cluster – Maximum Bright: 8 hours (from a fully charged battery) or 7 minutes (from a 60-second wind). Single LED: 40 hours (from a fully charged battery) or 45 minutes (from a 60-second wind)
What is the LUX output for the ML-1?
It is 6000 Lux (MAX setting).
What are the major differences between the ML-1 and the Indigo other than the ML-1 being about 75% of the size of the Indigo?
Ultra bright light (cluster) shine time 2.5 hrs 8 hrs
Night light (cluster) shine time 70 hrs 100 hrs
Directional/task light shine time 35 hrs 40 hrs
Charge rate 15 hrs = 100% capacity 3 hrs = 90% capacity
Indigo ML-1 Ultra Bright Light (cluster) shine time 2.5 hrs 8 hrs Night Light (cluster) shine time 70 hrs 100 hrs Directional/ Task light shine time 35 hrs 40 hrs Charge rate 15 hrs = 100 % capacity 3 hrs = 90% capacity
The mini-lantern has 4 LED's in the driving circuit as opposed to 7 LED's in the Indigo's. The optics have been changed on the mini-lantern to give a better light output using less power.
Also, the mini-lantern has an energy efficiency meter which is incorporated into the thumbwheel. As you rotate the thumbwheel, the switch will illuminate to indicate the efficiency of the light setting selected. Green indicates a low energy usage and prolonged total shine time. Red indicates a high energy usage and a shorter total shine time. This colour will fade, however after 10 seconds but immediately return should you press the thumbwheel again. Also, a glow-in-the-dark band around the thumbwheel helps to locate the mini-lantern in the dark. The Indigo does not possess any of these features.
The mini-lantern's green charging light will illuminate when first plugged in at the wall socket. After approx. 3 hrs the green charging light will begin to flash, indicating that the charge rate has decreased to a constant trickle charge for the balance of the charge cycle. Also, the mini-lantern is supplied with a round barrel adaptor (6v 500mA) whereas the Indigo requires a mini-USB adaptor which is not supplied with it.
The mini-lantern has a fully replaceable rechargeable battery pack (like a digital camera's – cartridge type but a Freeplay custom design) unlike the Indigo's where it would require some soldering. It is fairly easy to replace – remove the 2 screws at the base of the lantern, remove the cover to expose the battery pack. Pull the release catch, ejecting the battery. Insert the replacement battery pack, replace the cover and the screws. The mini-lantern's battery pack costs £8 but like other rechargeable battery packs, it would need to be fully charged every 3-6 months before storing so as not to damage it's charge efficiency and capacity.
I just bought the mini lantern with AC adapter. It says full charge of 8 hrs gives up to 100 hours of night light. I began charging and in about one hour the steady green light began to blink. Does blinking light mean full charge?
The green charging light should remain constant when first plugged into the mains. This indicates rapid charging. After 3 hours of charging, the mini-lantern will be approx. 90% charged and the green charging light will then start to blink/ flash to indicate that the charge rate has decreased to a trickle charge for the balance of the charge cycle. The battery will be fully charged in approx. 8 hours.
In your case, the battery was probably already partially charged before plugging it into the mains and thus after an hour (plugged in at the mains) it was already 90% charged.
The charging LED starts to flash after only 15 mins. on charge. This happens even after the ML-1 has been fully discharged and put to charge again.
The fast charge is terminating prematurely which means that the battery will not be fully charged. The result is then short shine times as reported. Since the fast charge terminates prematurely, the lantern then goes into trickle charge (fast charge is always followed by trickle charge). The batteries then charge to full charge, but at a trickle rate (which takes longer). Therefore, lantern can shine at advertised shine time (8hrs on max bright) but if charged for longer ie. at 24hrs.
How many watts or kilo watts does the mini-lantern use when charging for an hour?
It would be less than approx 3.0W per hour.
Which is brighter, the ML-1 or the Indigo?
The ML-1 is slightly brighter.
What is the spec. for the adapter (UK version)?
It is : input – 100-240V AC & output: 6V DC 500mA, the connector is 1.3mm centre pin positive.
Which produces more light, the Jonta or the ML-1?
Are the cluster lights on the top of the lantern only activated when the lantern is charged electrically from an outlet?
The cluster on top should work by either charging the unit or winding the crank. The cluster lights will always work if the battery has some level of charge.
How can I effectively use the hand crank on this lantern so as to have bright light?
Hand crank is normally sufficient so as to have bright light. To meet performance claims when using the hand crank to charge the battery, the hand crank must be wound at a sufficient speed so that the green LED glows (effort indication). The faster that it is wound, the more power is put into the lantern. If it is wound at a slower speed, then it would need to be wound for a longer time to achieve the same result. In your case the lantern will have been in storage for a number of months, and the battery needs a good long first charge. We suggest that you regard the 8 hour initial charge as a MINIMUM time.