D.I.Y. Illuminated tailcap

1813 posts / 0 new
Last post
ToyKeeper
ToyKeeper's picture
Offline
Last seen: 52 min 40 sec ago
Joined: 01/12/2013 - 14:40
Posts: 10731
Location: (469219) 2016 HO3

saypat wrote:
jingleberry wrote:
Any way to make the led pulse?
What a GREAT idea!!!! I want a pulsing LED on my tailcap! And selectable pulse modulation. Is that the right word, modulation?

Depends. Define “pulse”.

It can blink fairly easily. It cannot fade without an awful lot of extra effort though. The controller needs to spend most of its time in power-saving sleep mode to avoid drawing extra power, and the LEDs are on pins which can only be on or off. The controller can’t do any PWM while it’s asleep.

chouster
Offline
Last seen: 6 months 1 week ago
Joined: 02/20/2014 - 15:05
Posts: 746
Location: germany

pilotdog68 wrote:
I got some “dumb” boards today, still waiting on the “smart” boards. Moving the LEDs up and getting rid of the spacer/washer brings a huge increase in efficiency.

Notice my meter is on the micro amp scale = 0.0207ma. So theoretically a 2500mah cell would last 13+ years of constant use before being totally empty. I had to completely max-out a 50k pot to get this brightness.

Very nice! Great job.

Will order those “dumb” boards for 14mm boots soon, although I have only 20K pots sitting here…

pilotdog68
pilotdog68's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 months 4 weeks ago
Joined: 05/30/2013 - 23:31
Posts: 6422
Location: Held against my will in IOWA, USA

The dumb boards have resistor spots anyways, so you can have 20k resistors on the ring and a pot in series down below to dial it in, or just skip the pot and use the resistors. My M6 just had a lot of room in the tail area, so I threw the pot in there.

My Favorite Modded Lights: X6R, S8 , X2R , M6, SP03

Major Projects:  Illuminated Tailcap, TripleDown/TripleStack Driver

pilotdog68
pilotdog68's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 months 4 weeks ago
Joined: 05/30/2013 - 23:31
Posts: 6422
Location: Held against my will in IOWA, USA

bdiddle wrote:
On a different note, have you considered putting some more of the consolidated knowledge in the first post?
Typical resistor values that work with different color LED’s, etc? Makes it easier for people who have not been following the thread from the start.

I try to keep as much of the non-subjective info as possible in the first post. That said, I actually recently removed resistor values from the OP because I’ve found it depends on a few variables, the biggest of which is the person’s preference for brightness, and also what board design is being used. I think it’s better for each user to buy one of the assortments of resistors or some potentiometers and dial it in for themselves.

I added this line to the first post:
“Depending on what LEDs are used, what board is used, and what brightness is desired, the required resistance value can be anywhere from 1k – 50k+”

My Favorite Modded Lights: X6R, S8 , X2R , M6, SP03

Major Projects:  Illuminated Tailcap, TripleDown/TripleStack Driver

mattlward
mattlward's picture
Offline
Last seen: 11 hours 13 min ago
Joined: 06/19/2015 - 09:20
Posts: 3119
Location: Illinois, USA

Hey Pilotdog, would it not be a bad idea to leave a value posted, while not optimal for every situation but one that would make light in 95% of the builds?

EDC rotation:
FW1A, LH351D 4000k (second favorite)
FW3A, LH351D 3500k
FW3A, SST20 FD2 4000k
FW3A, Nichia 4000k sw40 r9080 (favorite light!)
FW3A, Cree XP-L Hi 5A3
Emisar D4V2, SST20 4000k
S2+, XM-L2 T6 4C

bdiddle
Offline
Last seen: 2 months 5 days ago
Joined: 12/14/2012 - 14:36
Posts: 814

I looked in the other project threads and did not see if you had found a suitable replacement seal for the metal S2 tail cap rubber that you had removed.
Made any progress on a permanent replacement?

Newb

pilotdog68
pilotdog68's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 months 4 weeks ago
Joined: 05/30/2013 - 23:31
Posts: 6422
Location: Held against my will in IOWA, USA

bdiddle wrote:
I looked in the other project threads and did not see if you had found a suitable replacement seal for the metal S2 tail cap rubber that you had removed.
Made any progress on a permanent replacement?

Depends on your definition of “permanent.”

In my blue S2+ I used a piece of ziploc bag, and it actually works pretty well as long you don’t rip it during installation. At the recommendation of another member, I’m planning to replace the ziploc with part of a latex or nylon glove

My Favorite Modded Lights: X6R, S8 , X2R , M6, SP03

Major Projects:  Illuminated Tailcap, TripleDown/TripleStack Driver

emarkd
emarkd's picture
Offline
Last seen: 9 months 3 days ago
Joined: 04/14/2015 - 22:04
Posts: 1608
Location: Georgia, USA

Quick newbie question – I just received my first shipment of these boards and am doing my first build. I haven’t even started on a tailcap yet but in having issues with the bleeder resistor. Driver is a normal Qlite from Richard, so I should be able to stack on C1, yes? But if I put a 560ohm resistor there I lose modes. The driver won’t change modes anymore. I think C1 isn’t bleeding down. So I upped the value to 1k with no change, still don’t have modes. How high can I go and still have a functional tailcap? Any 1st hand experience with this driver?

pilotdog68
pilotdog68's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 months 4 weeks ago
Joined: 05/30/2013 - 23:31
Posts: 6422
Location: Held against my will in IOWA, USA

Is your Qlite configured with off-time firmware? It really sounds like you’re stacking it on an otc instead of c1

My Favorite Modded Lights: X6R, S8 , X2R , M6, SP03

Major Projects:  Illuminated Tailcap, TripleDown/TripleStack Driver

ToyKeeper
ToyKeeper's picture
Offline
Last seen: 52 min 40 sec ago
Joined: 01/12/2013 - 14:40
Posts: 10731
Location: (469219) 2016 HO3

I’m looking forward to new driver designs which aren’t so finicky about these things. We can get all these new features to work, if they’re very carefully adjusted, but it falls over very easily. Hoping for something more robust.

pilotdog68
pilotdog68's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 months 4 weeks ago
Joined: 05/30/2013 - 23:31
Posts: 6422
Location: Held against my will in IOWA, USA

New driver designs eh? Like bigger otc’s with bleeders, or different ways of measuring cuts in power?

My Favorite Modded Lights: X6R, S8 , X2R , M6, SP03

Major Projects:  Illuminated Tailcap, TripleDown/TripleStack Driver

emarkd
emarkd's picture
Offline
Last seen: 9 months 3 days ago
Joined: 04/14/2015 - 22:04
Posts: 1608
Location: Georgia, USA
pilotdog68 wrote:
Is your Qlite configured with off-time firmware? It really sounds like you’re stacking it on an otc instead of c1

Ummm… its GuppyDrv, so I guess so. I’ve never built one of these drivers. Richard sells them cheap enough I’ve never seen the need. So I’m not all that familiar with how they’re laid out. The cap is actually labelled C1 right on the board though, so that’s why I assumed it was the right thing to do. You can see it in Richard’s image here:

Obviously this isn’t working so I’ll probe around for other locations, but I’d like to understand why this wasn’t the right place if anyone has some insight.

wight
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 6 months ago
Joined: 11/27/2013 - 16:40
Posts: 4969
Location: Virginia, USA

ToyKeeper wrote:
I’m looking forward to new driver designs which aren’t so finicky about these things. We can get all these new features to work, if they’re very carefully adjusted, but it falls over very easily. Hoping for something more robust.
Care to elaborate?

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)

pilotdog68
pilotdog68's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 months 4 weeks ago
Joined: 05/30/2013 - 23:31
Posts: 6422
Location: Held against my will in IOWA, USA
emarkd wrote:
pilotdog68 wrote:
Is your Qlite configured with off-time firmware? It really sounds like you’re stacking it on an otc instead of c1

Ummm… its GuppyDrv, so I guess so. I’ve never built one of these drivers. Richard sells them cheap enough I’ve never seen the need. So I’m not all that familiar with how they’re laid out. The cap is actually labelled C1 right on the board though, so that’s why I assumed it was the right thing to do. You can see it in Richard’s image here:

Obviously this isn’t working so I’ll probe around for other locations, but I’d like to understand why this wasn’t the right place if anyone has some insight.


I’m not familiar with how Guppy works, but I think someone else has gotten it working before, maybe Matt?

My Favorite Modded Lights: X6R, S8 , X2R , M6, SP03

Major Projects:  Illuminated Tailcap, TripleDown/TripleStack Driver

wight
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 6 months ago
Joined: 11/27/2013 - 16:40
Posts: 4969
Location: Virginia, USA

emarkd wrote:
Ummm… its GuppyDrv, so I guess so. I’ve never built one of these drivers. Richard sells them cheap enough I’ve never seen the need. So I’m not all that familiar with how they’re laid out. The cap is actually labelled C1 right on the board though, so that’s why I assumed it was the right thing to do. You can see it in Richard’s image here: http://www.mtnelectronics.com/image/cache/data/qlitebay-2-750×750.jpg

Obviously this isn’t working so I’ll probe around for other locations, but I’d like to understand why this wasn’t the right place if anyone has some insight.

Pilotdog68 was right, it did sound like you were stacking on an OTC… but it doesn’t look like you were stacking on the OTC. That sure looks like what we typically refer to as C1, the decoupling capacitor the the MCU. I’ve never taken apart a QLITE before, so I checked that cap with my DMM just now to be certain. It’s definitely the correct component. EDIT: it’s definitely the decoupling cap, but…

… err, sorry, I haven’t followed this entire thread. It’s probably not the correct place to stack the resistor. Unless I miss my mark, it C1 would be correct on a current-generation FET driver, but is not correct on a classic Nanjg / QLITE setup where C1 comes after the protection diode. Another user will correct me if I’m wrong, but you probably want to connect BAT+ directly to GND using this resistor.

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)

emarkd
emarkd's picture
Offline
Last seen: 9 months 3 days ago
Joined: 04/14/2015 - 22:04
Posts: 1608
Location: Georgia, USA

Thanks guys. I don’t claim to fully understand all of that but I think I got enough of it. I’ll see if I can find a spot to just connect directly from + to gnd like you suggest.

mattlward
mattlward's picture
Offline
Last seen: 11 hours 13 min ago
Joined: 06/19/2015 - 09:20
Posts: 3119
Location: Illinois, USA

I have never had to add the bleeder with Richards 7135 driver. There is an inherent bleed in the driver as well as most of the 7135 drivers I have tested. I have lighted switch boards working with 3 to 8 7135 boards and most of the FET and FET + 1 boards that are common here. I do use a 560 ohm bleeder and have a mix of boards with 22k and 19.1 k resistors in the voltage divider circuits. I do find that braiding the tail and head springs do make the boards a tiny bit brighter.

I am hoping to have one of the spinning boards working on a breadboard in the next couple of days, this way I can determine the correct balance resistor values. Had one built, but would not work. Pulled all the parts off and found shorts in or on the board at led3 and led5, but led6 would work and the software did load and run!

Matt

EDC rotation:
FW1A, LH351D 4000k (second favorite)
FW3A, LH351D 3500k
FW3A, SST20 FD2 4000k
FW3A, Nichia 4000k sw40 r9080 (favorite light!)
FW3A, Cree XP-L Hi 5A3
Emisar D4V2, SST20 4000k
S2+, XM-L2 T6 4C

ToyKeeper
ToyKeeper's picture
Offline
Last seen: 52 min 40 sec ago
Joined: 01/12/2013 - 14:40
Posts: 10731
Location: (469219) 2016 HO3

wight wrote:
ToyKeeper wrote:
I’m looking forward to new driver designs which aren’t so finicky about these things. We can get all these new features to work, if they’re very carefully adjusted, but it falls over very easily. Hoping for something more robust.
Care to elaborate?

Er, your most recent designs, actually. They seem very promising. Smile

In general, drivers designed with more recent developments in mind… like more consistent OTC timings, parasitic tail lights, and protecting the MCU from power ripples. Perhaps fitting tiny45/85 too, though 25 is already a huge upgrade. I like the idea of having those things accounted for up front instead of trying to kludge something together afterward.

ToyKeeper
ToyKeeper's picture
Offline
Last seen: 52 min 40 sec ago
Joined: 01/12/2013 - 14:40
Posts: 10731
Location: (469219) 2016 HO3

mattlward wrote:
I am hoping to have one of the spinning boards working on a breadboard in the next couple of days … found shorts in or on the board at led3 and led5, but led6 would work and the software did load and run!

Even if it didn’t work quite right, I’m glad to hear that it at least boots and runs. That’s good news. The boot boots! Woot!

I’m hoping I can put a full-featured tail in my Convoy S7, or perhaps a 14mm-sized version in some BLF A6es. Perhaps also some UF-602C hosts.

emarkd
emarkd's picture
Offline
Last seen: 9 months 3 days ago
Joined: 04/14/2015 - 22:04
Posts: 1608
Location: Georgia, USA

Success!

Thanks everyone for the feedback. Matt, I guess I really should’ve tried to power the tailcap without the bleeder first, but I didn’t, so its in there. I may go back and take it out if parasitic drain is too high, but I’ll definitely try my other lights without it first. Its late tonight so I’m not going any further today.

Thanks again guys, this is great!

emarkd
emarkd's picture
Offline
Last seen: 9 months 3 days ago
Joined: 04/14/2015 - 22:04
Posts: 1608
Location: Georgia, USA

After playing with my lighted tailcap for a few minutes last night I noticed a strange behavior — the driver “acquired” mode memory, well more accurately it acquired next mode memory. I have memory turned off in my firmware but I now have it anyway. I thought it may be related to that unnecessary bleeder resistor like Matt pointed out above so I removed that from the driver. Didn’t help; I still have next-mode memory. I can confirm that it wasn’t necessary though. The lighted tailcap still functions well although it is dimmer than it was before, as is probably expected.

Its probably worth pointing out that I have three of these lights that are almost identical. The only difference between them is the number of 7135 regulators on the driver and the color of the emitter and anodizing. I can swap this blue lighted tailcap onto those other lights and replicate this same effect — “normal” tailcap has no memory, lighted tailcap has next-mode memory.

So a bit about my build might be helpful. I’m using the v5.1 ring board. The resistor pads are loaded with 3× 3.9Kohm resistors and the emitters are blue 0805 leds (obviously). I’m only using three though, one in each pair of pads equidistant apart. I’m measuring 84 mA of drain through the tailcap, which seems kinda high to me.

Anybody have any thoughts? Does that indicate that my mcu isn’t going to sleep? Any idea for a fix?

mattlward
mattlward's picture
Offline
Last seen: 11 hours 13 min ago
Joined: 06/19/2015 - 09:20
Posts: 3119
Location: Illinois, USA

Not sure… I have not had that problem yet. Could be the MCU is not sleeping and when the light turns on it advances, that would maybe make sense. I am not sure why changing the tailcap would cause that. I have seen it mess up modes until dialed in with anything that uses medium presses, but that is a function of drain on the OTC. Do you have an OTC on the board that is not discharging and is keeping the MCU awake? Might try the pencil trick on the OTC to find out if that is the case. Pencil trick, if you have not used it is as follows. Draw or color a heavy line from one end to the other of a given component to cause it to be a short from end to end, must be a heavy line in order to conduct. Again, have not tried it on a cap, not sure it will have the desired effect.

I like mode memory on 90% of my lights, so I work hard to make it work with any mod.

EDC rotation:
FW1A, LH351D 4000k (second favorite)
FW3A, LH351D 3500k
FW3A, SST20 FD2 4000k
FW3A, Nichia 4000k sw40 r9080 (favorite light!)
FW3A, Cree XP-L Hi 5A3
Emisar D4V2, SST20 4000k
S2+, XM-L2 T6 4C

emarkd
emarkd's picture
Offline
Last seen: 9 months 3 days ago
Joined: 04/14/2015 - 22:04
Posts: 1608
Location: Georgia, USA

Thanks Matt, in case you missed it I just went back and added some more detail to my comment including resistor values. There’s no medium presses involved here, just standard reverse clicky interface (GuppyDrv). There’s a C1 cap on the board but I don’t think that’s for OTC.

Its really not a deal-breaker either way. These lights are just for fun and having mode memory isn’t a big deal with them. I’m just curious is all. I’d like to understand what’s causing this so that when I try this with lights I actually use regularly I’ll have a better grasp of it all.

Thanks again for your input.

pilotdog68
pilotdog68's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 months 4 weeks ago
Joined: 05/30/2013 - 23:31
Posts: 6422
Location: Held against my will in IOWA, USA

The bleeder resistor is only partially for brightness on the tail, it’s mainly to allow enough current past the driver to allow the driver to function normally. It sounds like guppy is indeed OTC based, and you need a bleeder with a lower resistance. 560ohm usually works up to around 0.70ma tail draw, anything above that needs less resistance up front.

I can’t imagine 84ma draw though. Either that is a typo, you have a small short somewhere, or those tail LEDs are insanely bright right now.

My Favorite Modded Lights: X6R, S8 , X2R , M6, SP03

Major Projects:  Illuminated Tailcap, TripleDown/TripleStack Driver

mattlward
mattlward's picture
Offline
Last seen: 11 hours 13 min ago
Joined: 06/19/2015 - 09:20
Posts: 3119
Location: Illinois, USA

Yes, 84ma sounds like a fairly hard driven tailcap. Mine are typically under .35 to .40, since I like the LEDs to be dim enough to sit no the nightstand. guppydrv on a 7135 based driver does support OTC, if it is installed. I like and use guppdrv on many lights with MCU’s and drivers purchased from Richard.

I would inspect the tailcap board and the added resistor for any kind of short. It really sounds like something is going on with the hardware. PD is much more of an authority here than I am, he designed it, tested it and has built many of them.

EDC rotation:
FW1A, LH351D 4000k (second favorite)
FW3A, LH351D 3500k
FW3A, SST20 FD2 4000k
FW3A, Nichia 4000k sw40 r9080 (favorite light!)
FW3A, Cree XP-L Hi 5A3
Emisar D4V2, SST20 4000k
S2+, XM-L2 T6 4C

pilotdog68
pilotdog68's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 months 4 weeks ago
Joined: 05/30/2013 - 23:31
Posts: 6422
Location: Held against my will in IOWA, USA
mattlward wrote:
PD is much more of an authority here than I am, he designed it, tested it and has built many of them.

I have built many of them, but usually all with the same firmware and driver designs. Different drivers behave differently with the tailcap draw, and I’ve never owned/used a guppy driver.

Usually though, if the driver is acting strangely, your balance of bleeder value / tail draw needs to be adjusted. On an OTC-based driver, the higher the tail draw, the lower value bleeder you need.

Since wight is back, maybe he can shed more light on the technical aspects of what is going on with the driver. I really just have my observations.

My Favorite Modded Lights: X6R, S8 , X2R , M6, SP03

Major Projects:  Illuminated Tailcap, TripleDown/TripleStack Driver

emarkd
emarkd's picture
Offline
Last seen: 9 months 3 days ago
Joined: 04/14/2015 - 22:04
Posts: 1608
Location: Georgia, USA

Thanks again guys. I’m not home now to check anything but I did remove the bleeder resistor. It’s gone, and the tailcap still illuminates. Plus like I said I can put the tailcap on another light that’s never been touched and its driver responds the same way.

So bottom line – its not the bleeder resistor ‘cause there isn’t one.

I could put larger resistors in the tailcap and see if that makes a difference. Like I said they’re 3.9kohm right now, but there’s 3 of them because of the 3 discrete channels in the tailcap board.

I’ll also try penciling that cap this evening and see if that makes a difference, but it is the same cap I tried stacking a bleeder on first and caused me to lose mode switching altogether, so I think I don’t want too much current flowing around that cap.

pilotdog68
pilotdog68's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 months 4 weeks ago
Joined: 05/30/2013 - 23:31
Posts: 6422
Location: Held against my will in IOWA, USA

emarkd wrote:
So bottom line – its not the bleeder resistor ‘cause there isn’t one.

I could put larger resistors in the tailcap and see if that makes a difference.


That’s the problem. You usually need the bleeder to make the driver function correctly, not to make the tail light up. Everything you are telling me says you NEED a bleeder.

Higher resistor values in the tail will also help.

My Favorite Modded Lights: X6R, S8 , X2R , M6, SP03

Major Projects:  Illuminated Tailcap, TripleDown/TripleStack Driver

emarkd
emarkd's picture
Offline
Last seen: 9 months 3 days ago
Joined: 04/14/2015 - 22:04
Posts: 1608
Location: Georgia, USA

Oh, I guess I don’t understand all this as well as I thought :). That’s not surprising.

I thought Matt said his MtnElec Qlite drivers never needed a bleeder resistor. Regardless I can add one back. I did have one at first but removed it after I noted this memory issue, so I can already say that it’ll still do this with a 560 ohm bleeder resistor in there.

I guess it’s just a balance? Gotta play with resistor values until it acts right?

DavidEF
DavidEF's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 hours 6 min ago
Joined: 06/05/2014 - 06:00
Posts: 7699
Location: Salisbury, North Carolina, USA

emarkd wrote:
Oh, I guess I don’t understand all this as well as I thought :). That’s not surprising.

I thought Matt said his MtnElec Qlite drivers never needed a bleeder resistor. Regardless I can add one back. I did have one at first but removed it after I noted this memory issue, so I can already say that it’ll still do this with a 560 ohm bleeder resistor in there.

I guess it’s just a balance? Gotta play with resistor values until it acts right?


I think what they’re saying is that you need the bleeder resistor, not in the place you had it, but directly to ground, in order to get rid of the ‘next mode’ memory you’re seeing.

The Cycle of Goodness: “No one prospers without rendering benefit to others”
- The YKK Philosophy

Pages