Roche F6 hacking

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comfychair
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ToyKeeper wrote:
Any idea how well the F6 fares underwater? I'm still looking for a reasonably compact 1x18650 light with e-switch and a flashable driver for use in a wet environment... er, actually, part of a water fountain. I tried to get a ZY-T29, but it's apparently discontinued. Still looking for other hosts to try. The F6 always looked nice aside from being a bit cramped for modding, but if there is a replacement driver available it might be a good option.

Did you miss my reply in post #78? http://www.fasttech.com/products/1674603

 

phsinvent wrote:
I bet they get hot fast now. Is it just me or is there a strange green glow from the middle F6?

That's the dedomed one, it's the original that came in one of the Banggood F6s, so the actual bin/tint it started as is unknown.

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comfychair wrote:

Did you miss my reply in post #78? http://www.fasttech.com/products/1674603


… yes. Sad

*puts on dunce hat and sits in corner*

I’d lose my head if it wasn’t attached.

comfychair
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Heh Smile

There is one trick to those, do not attempt to remove the switch PCB, it's glued in (looks like that Fujik crap). Should already be sealed up well though.

phsinvent
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priest77 wrote:
I’ve just received F6 that I’ve ordered from FT but it seems to me to be the same as the one on banggood.
It has memory and my biggest problem is that I can’t find any lens for low battery indicator, and I don’t want it without that.
Can I turn it back or ask for refund?
Here are some pictures:

P.S.
Does the one from banggood has that low battery indicator or no?

Here is the difference:
!http://www.dodaj.rs/f/9/VC/1w9pNdRh/bi6xk2cl.jpg!

I removed all the resistors and replaced them all with solder on the driver pictured above. I see about a 15% increase in output when comparing side by side with an unmodified version. I cant figure out where to test current on them.

comfychair
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I think I have decided on how to make the indicator LEDs actually useful...

With the stock drivers the indicator doesn't do anything until it turns red, at which point it's already low. It doesn't give you any info you couldn't get some other way like the light being noticeably dim. That's not very useful!

What I'm thinking is to have at least one LED on at all times when the light is on. Say LED1 on until 3.6v, both LEDs on for some as-yet-undetermined third color from 3.6 to 3.3v, and LED2 on below 3.3v. The firmware still has the normal warning flash/rampdown to deal with what happens at the very end. I think it'd be nice to be able to check the indicators and get information about what the actual voltage is at any point.

Any other ideas/suggestions?

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Holy crap the stock spring is horrible!

I just compared a battery tube still using the stock spring to one upgraded with the copper disc/new spring, using the same cell & head (25R, F6DD driver, single XPG2 S2 1A). Not dark in here, baseline reading was 4.7 lux.

stock tail spring: 15.2 lux

upgraded spring: 20.1 lux

No changes other than swapping battery tubes. That's shocking!

edit: the triple 219B version is even worse... 24.1 lux vs. 39.9 lux

comfychair
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http://75.65.123.78/RocheF6/Dsc08731.jpg

WarHawk-AVG
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Is that the purple board goodness right there?

comfychair
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Sure, same board I used before I just finally got the indicators hooked up.

That one has the standard STAR momentary on it, and obviously the code doesn't do anything with the internal pulldown resistors on PB0/PB4. LEDs in that pic are being powered by phantom voltage on those two pins unintentionally.

I think the resistors will  be something like 470R for the green, and 220R for red. I first tried both of them with 470R, and the green was WAY brighter than red. The red has a much lower Vf than green, but the green is much brighter (both actual output and apparent - your eyes are more sensitive to the green). To get them sorta balanced when they are both on in the voltage range from 3.6 (where the red one turns on to make yellow) to 3.3 (where the green turns off to go from yellow to red), the red needs a higher drive current. They're totally safe and within specs with those resistors even with pins 3&5 jumpered straight to Vcc (or the PWM at pin 6) and input voltage all the way up at 4.2v. Since red will only be used from 3.6-3v it could get away with an even lower resistor, around 150 or something.

phsinvent
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Wow. The stock springs are stealing some of the potential of the driver. The tail spring looks like a simple solid steel spring.

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Comfychair, that is really nice! I have what I fear is another impossible fantasy; I would like to put a slow, slightly dim beacon light in a small build. I see the light on my laptop when the computer is in standby mode or something. I don’t remember how to reduce quality and then imbed a YouTube video but here is a link to a 7 second video

Hopefully this is not too big a file.

Do you think it is possible to put a tiny Blue SMD LED in that slot or somewhere on the face of a small triple or quad?

Also have you thought about a little RGB like This for your battery level indicator.

"Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not."

comfychair
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The problem with a continuous beacon/locator thingie, is that the MCU can't run it if the MCU is asleep, and if the MCU isn't asleep the parasitic drain when switched off is too high. But, I don't know squat about what can be done with the code, there may be some other possibility.

I suppose you could always connect the beacon LED with just a simple resistor straight to the battery, current draw can be very very small and still run the little LEDs at a respectable brightness. Of course that would just be a constant on, not flashing, unless you added another component like a 555 timer or something that would be able to do the same things (I'm sure there are more modern alternatives to the 555 by now that are many times smaller and more efficient).

comfychair
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This only needs 3 colors, which you can get with two LEDs. Green for 4.2-3.6v, red+green=yellow for 3.6-3.3v, red for 3.3-3v. At least that's the plan, if I can make them balance correctly. And to control them it doesn't need any variable or PWM output from the MCU pins, they're just on or off. Only one of the available pins is capable of doing a PWM output anyway, but they'll both do simple on/off up to 50mA each which is enough to fry these little LEDs. The total output for all pins combined has a max of 200mA but these indicators with the right resistors should be bright enough at 5mA or less.

wight
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  1. I’ve been meaning to point out that a 3mm through-hole bicolor LED might be a good option for putting the indicator wherever you want and making sure that the majority of light makes it out through the pipe/window.
  2. You can sleep an ATtiny and use the watchdog timer to wake it up. https://www.google.com/search?q=attiny%20sleep%20timer

Still fine, still on a break. One day I’ll catch up with you folks! previous wight catchup Wink
list of my drivers & variants (A17DD, FET+1 stuff, WIP stuff, etc)

comfychair
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Changed resistors again, 1K/green & 470/red is still more than bright enough for this. Red could probably go up to the next one in my assortment, 680 ohm, red is a little brighter than the green with 1K/470. 8)

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comfychair wrote:
The problem with a continuous beacon/locator thingie, is that the MCU can’t run it if the MCU is asleep, and if the MCU isn’t asleep the parasitic drain when switched off is too high.

Like wight said… watchdog timer. Sleep 99.9% of the time, wake up for a little blip every second or so, then go back to sleep. It’s already listening for interrupts anyway so it can detect button presses, and the WDT doesn’t add much to its regular sleep mode. Chances are that the standby time will still have to be measured in years, even with the beacon on.
phsinvent
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comfychair wrote:

The F6 tail spring sucks donkey balls. It needs to go away unless you like adding resistors to your lights. With a DD driver I don’t want to think about how hot the stock springs will get.

Cut a copper round to the same size or a little smaller than the stainless plug.

http://75.65.123.78/RocheF6/Dsc08501.jpg

Before removing the spring, mark the spot to cut so that when reinstalled it won’t overlap at the ends.This part needs to go back in to fill in the groove, otherwise the copper round can shift out of center.

http://75.65.123.78/RocheF6/Dsc08502.jpg

Stick the spacer ring back in the groove. Once in it can stay there, shouldn’t ever have to worry with removing it later.

http://75.65.123.78/RocheF6/Dsc08503.jpg

File down the copper until it’ll fit inside the spring-ring-filler thing, it has to sit flat on the lip at the bottom of the bore.

http://75.65.123.78/RocheF6/Dsc08504.jpg

Solder on your favorite spring, drop in the new spring plate, add a little silicone grease down in the corner between the copper and the bore, and hammer the stainless plug back in. It’s not that tight, but it seems to be tight enough that it shouldn’t need Loctite or anything of the sort… if yours is a bit loose, some Loctite wouldn’t hurt anything. The electrical connection will be between the copper plate and the tube, so anything you put on the other side won’t affect that part.

http://75.65.123.78/RocheF6/Dsc08506.jpg

How did you knock the rear stainless plug out without damaging the light? I’m thinking of just adding copper braid to the tail spring.

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Very easy to knock the rear plug out (I just did it)

Get one of those removable multiple screwdriver heads take out the screw driver insert (flat tip)

Insert in battery tube…bang battery tube and screwdriver on something flat and solid…doink out comes the plug

Go find the daggum spring that went flying off somewhere else, retrieve the plug that is somewhere else but not as far as the spring

phsinvent
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Thanks bud. I want to go the comfychair route and make a copper plate but i’m being lazy. I wonder if soldering copper braid on will do me any good.

DrJones
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THANKS phsinvent and WarHawk-AVG! 

Just did the simple mod with a copper braid and the internal resistance seems much better now. Smile 

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Phsinvent, there is also the etsy.com just search your size of copper disk and select the gauge you want.

"Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not."

comfychair
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I use a 1/2" socket and extension to knock the plug out. It's not very tight, it doesn't need to be clamped or anything crazy, just hold the tube in one hand and whack the extension with a screwdriver handle.

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ToyKeeper wrote:
comfychair wrote:
The problem with a continuous beacon/locator thingie, is that the MCU can't run it if the MCU is asleep, and if the MCU isn't asleep the parasitic drain when switched off is too high.
Like wight said... watchdog timer. Sleep 99.9% of the time, wake up for a little blip every second or so, then go back to sleep. It's already listening for interrupts anyway so it can detect button presses, and the WDT doesn't add much to its regular sleep mode. Chances are that the standby time will still have to be measured in years, even with the beacon on.

Of the two pins here for the LEDs, isn't just one of them able to do a PWM output? That would allow the laptop-style fade in/fade out trick. I currently have the red on PB0 (pin 5), green on PB4 (pin 3), but the circuit for each is identical so those positions can be reversed if needed.

Is the behavior I'm seeing with both status LEDs on dimly whenever battery is connected normal with firmware that doesn't have the stuff in it to control PB0 & PB4? Will that go away once the FW is handling those pins correctly? (edit: I hope it won't require an external pulldown resistor...)

comfychair
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One other thing of note. The status LEDs do get powered up with the programming clip attached, but does not interfere with reflashing. Completes with no errors and everything works afterwards.

wight
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comfychair wrote:

ToyKeeper wrote:
comfychair wrote:
The problem with a continuous beacon/locator thingie, is that the MCU can’t run it if the MCU is asleep, and if the MCU isn’t asleep the parasitic drain when switched off is too high.
Like wight said… watchdog timer. Sleep 99.9% of the time, wake up for a little blip every second or so, then go back to sleep. It’s already listening for interrupts anyway so it can detect button presses, and the WDT doesn’t add much to its regular sleep mode. Chances are that the standby time will still have to be measured in years, even with the beacon on.

Of the two pins here for the LEDs, isn’t just one of them able to do a PWM output? That would allow the laptop-style fade in/fade out trick. I currently have the red on PB0 (pin 5), green on PB4 (pin 3), but the circuit for each is identical so those positions can be reversed if needed.

Is the behavior I’m seeing with both status LEDs on dimly whenever battery is connected normal with firmware that doesn’t have the stuff in it to control PB0 & PB4? Will that go away once the FW is handling those pins correctly? (edit: I hope it won’t require an external pulldown resistor…)

PWM remains to be seen. I wouldn’t get too excited about the idea of PWM on either status LED for now. In answer to your other question: I’m not certain, but I think that the behavior you are seeing sounds normal and should go away with a proper firmware. Internal pull-downs are probably not present and should not be required here. Internal pull-ups are probably enabled on those pins with your stock firmware. Try removing this line:
PORTB = (1 << STAR2_PIN) | (1 << STAR3_PIN);

If that doesn’t work, I think that this is the right code to specifically disable the pull-ups (replace that line with this one):

PORTB &= ~(1 << STAR2_PIN) | ~(1 << STAR3_PIN);

Please note that I did not test this code and that I do not have a good handle on bitwise operators. The worst thing that could happen is that it won’t work.

Still fine, still on a break. One day I’ll catch up with you folks! previous wight catchup Wink
list of my drivers & variants (A17DD, FET+1 stuff, WIP stuff, etc)

comfychair
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Ha! As soon as the flash completed, both LEDs turned off and no longer come on with either the programmer or battery connected.

Changed

        // Set all ports to input, and turn pull-up resistors on for the inputs we are using
        DDRB = 0x00;
        PORTB = (1 << SWITCH_PIN) | (1 << STAR2_PIN) | (1 << STAR3_PIN);

to

        // Set all ports to input, and turn pull-up resistors on for the inputs we are using
        DDRB = 0x00;
        PORTB = (1 << SWITCH_PIN);

 

ToyKeeper is working on the actual FW that will make them work, I'm just glad to see that they can be made to work properly.

My comment about using PWM was only as a party trick for the beacon-when-off function, not the battery level part.

wight
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Sweet! Turning them [EDIT: fully ] on is just as simple, should be something like this:

PORTB |=  (1 << PINWHATEVER); 

Still fine, still on a break. One day I’ll catch up with you folks! previous wight catchup Wink
list of my drivers & variants (A17DD, FET+1 stuff, WIP stuff, etc)

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Yes, turning the LEDs on/off should be extremely simple. I can’t test it yet, but it’s pretty straightforward. It’s just toggling a single bit.

The off-beacon is probably pretty simple too, though not if it needs to fade in/out. Simply flashing it once every couple seconds should improve visibility a lot without actually impacting battery life much.

comfychair
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Any preference as to which color to use for the beacon, and whether it should be on pin 3 or 5? For the battery monitor part it doesn't matter but might for the beacon thingie.

The two colors are nicely balanced with the 470/1K resistor combo, I think the hardware part is done.

wight
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comfychair wrote:

Any preference as to which color to use for the beacon, and whether it should be on pin 3 or 5? For the battery monitor part it doesn’t matter but might for the beacon thingie.

The two colors are nicely balanced with the 470/1K resistor combo, I think the hardware part is done.

The beacon could always alternate ;-).

Still fine, still on a break. One day I’ll catch up with you folks! previous wight catchup Wink
list of my drivers & variants (A17DD, FET+1 stuff, WIP stuff, etc)

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