D.I.Y. Illuminated tailcap

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ToyKeeper
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The “alternating slow and fast party-sequence” looks pretty obnoxious.

Do you think it’d be okay with just a quick spin at boot, then showing only a steady color according to voltage? (the spin gives the voltage time to settle a bit, and visually indicates “measuring, please wait”)

I really should get or build some so I can test it and get the standby power down even further. I think I found a way to reduce standby by about 0.3mA by putting the MCU into a deeper sleep.

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ToyKeeper wrote:
The “alternating slow and fast party-sequence” looks pretty obnoxious.

Do you think it’d be okay with just a quick spin at boot, then showing only a steady color according to voltage? (the spin gives the voltage time to settle a bit, and visually indicates “measuring, please wait”)


Don’t worry. Your led spin sounds cool and nothing like those crazy RGB party leds. Plus people could disable it if they wish.
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Halo… wrote:
ToyKeeper wrote:
The “alternating slow and fast party-sequence” looks pretty obnoxious.

Do you think it’d be okay with just a quick spin at boot, then showing only a steady color according to voltage? (the spin gives the voltage time to settle a bit, and visually indicates “measuring, please wait”)


Don’t worry. Your led spin sounds cool and nothing like those crazy RGB party leds. Plus people could disable it if they wish.

+1, sounds really cool and not annoying at all, unlike my epileptic seventies disco tailcap.
martook
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I was thinking about a “spinning led” as well, might need 8-10 leds to really get the full effect though…

Something like this:

https://youtu.be/TM-M4EwO1K4?t=187

But I’d want it to be slower, and I think I would like it to have a “tail” (ie. one 100% lit led, one at 50%, one at 15% or something like that – same color, just dimmer).

How many leds can one realistically fit on one of these boards if they are modified?

Wouldn’t want the effect on all the time though, that would quickly get annoying, unless it starts of fast, but then slows down to really slow after a short while…

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ToyKeeper wrote:
write2dgray wrote:
Great, much appreciate all of the detailed information. I’ll plan to use a STAR_1mode slightly modified firmware and forego the bleeder resistor.

FWIW, I updated STAR_1mode a little to remove the rest of its memory-related functions. It no longer writes to eeprom at all.

Would still need some small changes to run at a low mode instead of turbo, though.

Thank you very much! I’ll be giving this a go soon and may shoot you a PM to verify things before flashing. Still waiting on all the pieces to arrive :).
wight
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martook wrote:
I was thinking about a “spinning led” as well, might need 8-10 leds to really get the full effect though… Something like this: https://youtu.be/TM-M4EwO1K4?t=187

But I’d want it to be slower, and I think I would like it to have a “tail” (ie. one 100% lit led, one at 50%, one at 15% or something like that – same color, just dimmer).

How many leds can one realistically fit on one of these boards if they are modified?

Wouldn’t want the effect on all the time though, that would quickly get annoying, unless it starts of fast, but then slows down to really slow after a short while…

On a 19mm PCB w/ the donut hole in the middle? I’d ballpark 10 LEDs in the orientation used on rev6 and 20 LEDs in the orientation used on rev5. Note that we are limited on IO pins with the SO8 package: it’s got 8 pins where 3 are reserved for power/ground/reset. I believe TK also wants to use one for voltage monitoring. That leaves 4 pins available. Charlieplexing the LEDs should give 12 addressable LEDs. Offhand I don’t think that it would be possible to overload the voltage monitoring pin with 1 pin of the charlieplex, but if possible then 20 LEDs could be individually addressed. (It would also be a big pain to do since we also want to do voltage monitoring at the same time as the spin.) Depending on the desired patterns 50% of the LEDs can be hooked up in parallel to one another (typically those diagonally across from one another). For example, that would allow 4 pins to control 24 LEDs in pairs.

There would be no hardware PWM for these charlieplexed LEDs, so a tail effect would be harder to achieve. Software PWM could be used, maybe AVR136 (files) could be a good reference.

I don’t have experience with charlieplexing, but the ATtiny13A has very limited code space. Cramming spinning patterns in (many pin state changes for the charlieplexed pins) and also software PWM could be impractical. Depending on the pattern I believe that some (all) LEDs will also not receive 100% duty cycle…

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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Soft PWM is possible but pretty obnoxious to deal with. It’d be easier to use a MCU with more hardware PWM channels. But this is limited since it can’t spin or do PWM in deep sleep mode, and it probably should be asleep most of the time to keep standby power down. Hardware PWM is possible in a light sleep mode, but I suspect it might use less power in deep sleep even if the LEDs are brighter.

The current design uses 3 pairs of LEDs, though a 4th pair could probably be added without a lot of extra trouble. Three works well because they can be red/green/blue.

I’ve been too busy to get and assemble any tailcaps yet, but I have a Convoy S7 waiting for some extra bling (as if mirror-shined steel isn’t already blingy enough). Smile

Edit: It also occurs to me that the tailcap really doesn’t need to run at the full 4.8 (~4.0 actual) MHz. It’s probably a good idea to underclock the MCU to save power, especially if it’s not doing any PWM. I’m looking forward to seeing how low I can get the standby power…

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If y’all want different versions I am happy to make a change, I am just waiting for some kind of a consensus or instruction. Obviously wight has the Eagle skills, he can do his own versions if he wants too.

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

Major Projects:  Illuminated Tailcap, TripleDown/TripleStack Driver

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pilotdog68 wrote:
If y’all want different versions I am happy to make a change, I am just waiting for some kind of a consensus. Obviously wight has the Eagle skills, he can do his own versions if he wants too.

I really like the current design… I just need to get some actual hardware; either pre-built or a bag of enough parts to build and adjust my own.
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I really intended to build one of the “smart” boards this past weekend and then all sorts of unexpected things came up. I’ve got all the parts sitting here ready to go, just gotta put it all together. Hopefully I can get that done in the next few days. I’m anxious to see what’s possible with this design.

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yes! different versions! colors! spinning! switch ability! thank you….

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I still don’t see any obvious way to do a soft config on the tailcap (without interfering with the driver’s UI). It could maybe do something like “32 fast taps to turn the tail lights on/off”, but that’s a pain and even while “off” it’d still have some parasitic current. Would probably be a good idea to do periodic voltage readings even in “off” state, and enable a red beacon or something when it’s low.

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we could use my little slide switches like Rev4 to ground a pin like soldering a star would, but that only gives us one config option and takes away an mcu pin. Or instead of the slide, use a tiny momentary switch and each button push cycles through a config option.

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

Major Projects:  Illuminated Tailcap, TripleDown/TripleStack Driver

wight
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If using a tiny slide switch was a thing, why not use it to break the entire tail LED circuit?

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
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That’s what Rev4 did. Either switch between two present brightnesses, or between on/off.

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

Major Projects:  Illuminated Tailcap, TripleDown/TripleStack Driver

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The little pots that I used under the driver spring in one of the versions has an off position too, and it can also perhaps someway present a range of voltages to the MCU that can be interpreted as different tasks? (bs-ing away here, I have no idea about anything)

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I got some of the newer Ledring boards in and just build one with two red leds.
I like the easy on top assembly, very well done!

I am still totally unsure how big the resistors should be, I just used a 31k and no bleeder because it’s the original BLF X6 driver which seems to work without one… I have red LEDs which were advertised as very efficient (Stück SMD 0805 LED superhell, stromsparend ROT OF-SMD2012HR von OPTOFLASH)
So I will use a even bigger resistor next time. I measured around 50ua.

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ToyKeeper wrote:
write2dgray wrote:
Great, much appreciate all of the detailed information. I’ll plan to use a STAR_1mode slightly modified firmware and forego the bleeder resistor.

FWIW, I updated STAR_1mode a little to remove the rest of its memory-related functions. It no longer writes to eeprom at all.

Would still need some small changes to run at a low mode instead of turbo, though.

I ever-so-slightly modified your STAR_1mode to change to a single low mode, used Atmel Studio 7 to generate a .hex file, and then flashed using a USBasp to the Attiny 13a using MHV AVR Tools 20131101 (and also Extreme Burner AVR just to try it out – super easy program) – I’m happy to report all went well! Thanks again for your help :). The process took less than 5 minutes and could be repeated in under a minute. The tail PCBs arrived from OSH Park, so now I’m just waiting on the Convoy host to put it all together.

In the meantime, I modded my BLF C6 Cu to dual amber tail LEDs with higher value resistors, much more subdued 8-) .

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Hey all,

Simon is working on making that steel S2+ switch more “glowable” for you guys. How does this look?

Anything else that needs to change? Do you usually take care of the washer part or should I try to have him work something out there? Just check out the picture and then ask away. Thanks.

FmC
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Translucent washer would be of benefit.

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J-Dub74 wrote:
Simon is working on making that steel S2+ switch more “glowable” for you guys. How does this look?

Anything else that needs to change? Do you usually take care of the washer part or should I try to have him work something out there?

Simon + J-Dub74 is awesome. Beer Who else would do this?
Thank you making these things happen.

The translucent gasket was the most important part. And that seems good. People have been able to find or create a clear washer (and some designs of the lighted tailcap just take the place the washer so it’s not an issue) but certainly if Simon could also source clear washers I don’t think anyone would say no.

I think you’ve said that extending the lip of the gasket to improve water resistance would be done later, correct? Of course it’s understandable since it will require modification to the design and a new mold.

djozz
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The illuminated tailcap design with the leds on the washer is the better design for the S2+ tailcap because then the leds shine directly through the gap, a translucent washer would only benefit the weaker-lighted design with the leds next to the switch.

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Would anyone know (or could measure) the inside and outside diameter of the gasket? The bottom of the gasket, part which rests against the washer.

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J-Dub74 wrote:
Hey all,

Simon is working on making that steel S2+ switch more “glowable” for you guys. How does this look?

Anything else that needs to change? Do you usually take care of the washer part or should I try to have him work something out there? Just check out the picture and then ask away. Thanks.

Oh hell yea!! JDub that’s awesome! I need about a dozen of those translucent gaskets right now! I know its asking a lot, but if there’s any way Simon could make those available separately so we could update our existing lights that would be awesome.

I concur with djozz, by the way (as if he needs it). No need for the translucent washer in this light. In order to use one of the “traditional” lighted boards that replaces the existing switch, you have to run the emitters really bright to get enough light through that little nylon ring. Replacing the washer with a washer board is much more efficient, and really the only way to do this light. Don’t trouble Simon with that since most of us are just going to take it out and toss it in the parts box anyway.

wight
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emarkd wrote:
I concur with djozz, by the way (as if he needs it). No need for the translucent washer in this light. In order to use one of the “traditional” lighted boards that replaces the existing switch, you have to run the emitters really bright to get enough light through that little nylon ring. Replacing the washer with a washer board is much more efficient, and really the only way to do this light. Don’t trouble Simon with that since most of us are just going to take it out and toss it in the parts box anyway.
Just to add to the chorus: I see no need for a translucent/transparent washer. The design which replaces the washer with a PCB seems to be clearly situated as the better design right now, especially for this application.

… and if someone DID want a clear washer, they could easily find or make their own which was just as effective.

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)

J-Dub74
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Halo… wrote:
J-Dub74 wrote:
Simon is working on making that steel S2+ switch more “glowable” for you guys. How does this look?

Anything else that needs to change? Do you usually take care of the washer part or should I try to have him work something out there?

Simon + J-Dub74 is awesome. Beer Who else would do this?
Thank you making these things happen.

The translucent gasket was the most important part. And that seems good. People have been able to find or create a clear washer (and some designs of the lighted tailcap just take the place the washer so it’s not an issue) but certainly if Simon could also source clear washers I don’t think anyone would say no.

I think you’ve said that extending the lip of the gasket to improve water resistance would be done later, correct? Of course it’s understandable since it will require modification to the design and a new mold.

Smile Happy to help. Yeah improving the water resistance is a plan for the future. It’s not that bad now. This isn’t meant to be a dive light but certainly can be improved.
J-Dub74
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emarkd wrote:
J-Dub74 wrote:
Hey all,

Simon is working on making that steel S2+ switch more “glowable” for you guys. How does this look?

Anything else that needs to change? Do you usually take care of the washer part or should I try to have him work something out there? Just check out the picture and then ask away. Thanks.

Oh hell yea!! JDub that’s awesome! I need about a dozen of those translucent gaskets right now! I know its asking a lot, but if there’s any way Simon could make those available separately so we could update our existing lights that would be awesome.

I concur with djozz, by the way (as if he needs it). No need for the translucent washer in this light. In order to use one of the “traditional” lighted boards that replaces the existing switch, you have to run the emitters really bright to get enough light through that little nylon ring. Replacing the washer with a washer board is much more efficient, and really the only way to do this light. Don’t trouble Simon with that since most of us are just going to take it out and toss it in the parts box anyway.


Between PD pioneering this and the pictures you posted of the S2+ in all three colors with matching tails Simon is amazed at the work being done here and is happy to help his BLF friends.
As far as “asking a lot”…it’s really not.
Simon loves this project and seeing pictures of his S2+ lights enhanced like this made his day. Big Smile

When I asked him to switch the black gasket to translucent I also asked if he would make extra for the people that had been pioneering this and he was happy to do so. He’s having extra translucent gaskets made. I’ll let you know when they are available here in this thread. I don’t know that these will be a store listed item but we’ll work that out.

Once they’re ready, 100 of them are coming my way. I’ll post here when I have them and I will help distribute to those who need them here in the US. These gaskets are on the house, compliments of Simon. I may send in small quantities to key people and maybe they can pay it forward so I don’t have to buy 100 stamps but either way…we got this. Wink

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Those gaskets sound awesome. I have made 2 blue ones for my wife to use in the house, they get less use because I have spoiled her with lighted ones. She will put a light down once the room lights are on and forgets where she placed them. She will turn the room lights of and look for the glow. Gotta love the quirks and tricks of tbi patients.

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

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Interested in two translucent gaskets, but I’m in Europe. I could re-sent some for european members?

J-Dub74
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djozz wrote:
Interested in two translucent gaskets, but I’m in Europe. I could re-sent some for european members?
Smile I was actually hoping someone in Europe would chime in here. Let me talk to Simon and see if I can arrange to have some sent your way. Once I hear back from Simon I’ll send you a PM about the details. Thanks. Beer

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