D.I.Y. Illuminated tailcap

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nik
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pilotdog68
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There would be a lot of really cool things we could do if only there was more space! Some big lights have enough room in the tailcap we might be able to stack an extra pcb to add features. Unfortunately most of the popular lights don’t have enough room.

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

Major Projects:  Illuminated Tailcap, TripleDown/TripleStack Driver

pyro1son
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Had a go setting mine up the other day works very well. Go past lowest and highest and it goes off.

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pilotdog68
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Nicely done

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

Major Projects:  Illuminated Tailcap, TripleDown/TripleStack Driver

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It's taken me 3 days, but I have finally read through this whole thread. Absolutely amazing effort put into this by you guys so far! It's to a point in the R&D that I think I want to give it a shot myself. 

 

I typically use mtn17dd drivers, the occasional 105c, always guppydrv. So far I don't recall anyone attempting this with RMMs drivers, but I could be wrong. The pot version seems like it would be easier to work with to get the output right with various color LEDs, but there isn't a permanent link to oshpark for it (or the pot) in the OP. 

 

I have green and blue gitd boots that I want to use, I'm not entirely sure why clear has been the popular choice so far, I'm hoping its just personal preferance?  

 

Most important feature that is pretty ambiguous, do the leds actually shut off in the 2.6-3V range? I don't want overdischarged batteries. It doesn't make any difference to me wether they do anything but light up above 2.6V. 

 

 

DELETED PARTS LIST, WRONG PARTS!! Will update when I find working combo.

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I went ahead and ordered everything I listed, enough to do 6 tailcaps anyway. Oshpark said my order was on a panel for the 22nd, we'll see how long it takes to get here. Holiday shipping being what it has been, I'm not holding my breath. Pretty excited about this project, can't wait to see what happens! 

mattlward
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zoom zoom wrote:

I went ahead and ordered everything I listed, enough to do 6 tailcaps anyway. Oshpark said my order was on a panel for the 22nd, we’ll see how long it takes to get here. Holiday shipping being what it has been, I’m not holding my breath. Pretty excited about this project, can’t wait to see what happens! 

They are very fun to build and tune. They will just work with the 105c driver. You will need a bleeder resistor on the FET drivers, you will also need some experimentation to make timings right on button presses. As to clear caps, they are great when you barely want the light to be visible. My nightstand light is a Convoy S2 triple XP-G2 with TK’s BLF firmware tuned to the lowest ML with an awesome high. I had troubles getting the medium press timing working on this one and I built it on one of PilotDogs wonderful FET + 3 (I think) drivers. This one got my only 16mm clear cap because I wanted the lowest light visible on the nightstand. I make most of mine bright enough to see thru the colored tailcaps, but not this one!

Happy building!

Matt

EDC rotation:
KR4, SST-20 FA3 4000k (favorite!)
FW3A, Nichia 4000k sw40 r9080 (second favorite)
FW1A, LH351D 3500k (third favorite)
FW1A, XP-L Hi 3A
FW3A, LH351D 3500k
FW3A, SST20 FD2 4000k
FW3A, Cree XP-L Hi 5A3
Emisar D4V2, SST20 4000k
Emisar D4V2, brass E21A 3500k (night light of choice)

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Good luck Z squared! Depending on your soldering skill level, this will either be challenging or fun!
My skill definitely went up a couple points after building about four of them. I have some watchmakers tools from classes I took previously, so I was already somewhat used to working with tiny objects.

Everything I’ve done so far was with solarforce tailcaps. I’ve got the parts in for a try on a sure fire tailcap.

have light, will travel

thijsco19
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I would like to mod a couple of lights with this.
As I understand, there is no complete switch assembly that I can buy?
I’ve never soldered those small components and looking at my solder skills I don’t think I can do it.. (also dont have a good soldering iron for it)

What do I have to do with the driver? I have a MTN fet driver and a LD25 driver.

djozz
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thijsco19 wrote:
I would like to mod a couple of lights with this. As I understand, there is no complete switch assembly that I can buy? I've never soldered those small components and looking at my solder skills I don't think I can do it.. (also dont have a good soldering iron for it) What do I have to do with the driver? I have a MTN fet driver and a "LD25":http://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/Free-shipping-LD25-Flashlight-ci... driver.

I can make you one or two, but not many (to keep this a hobby).

What needs to happen to the driver is that it must be slightly conductive from batt+ to batt-, even when the MCU and led are not powered. Some drivers show that stock, but most drivers need an extra component, a resistor from batt+ to batt-. The resistor value must be low enough to allow enough current for the tail led to light up, and high enough to not cause more than negligable parasitic current drain when the flaslight is switched on. A functional value is 560 Ohm, which causes just 7 mA current loss when the light is on. In my mods I position this 'bleeder' resistor on the battery side of the driver, between batt+ pad and ground ring, but it is probably nicer to find a spot on the component side.

thijsco19
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Thank you djozz for the offer.
I need to modify the drivers and tailcaps first to make this work, so it may take a while when I would need one.

Actually, I might buy a new soldering station together with a hot air rework station. Then I could make them myself.

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pilotdog68 wrote:
Unfortunately I might not have enough time for a test til Wednesday…

Well over a month after I posted that, I have finally done a full test and it works great. I’m going to stretch it out to 19 or 20mm and update the OP with a lot of the new info we have, “soon”. Wink

I still haven’t bought any pots, so I used resistors over the pot pads. I tested with a 4.7k and the other empty, and then another test with a 1k on the other pads. As you can see in the video below, it’s very easy to switch between on and off, or between 2 preset levels set with either resistors or potentiometers. (sorry for the portrait orientation of the video :Sp )

Edit: Here is the 20mm stretch of my Rev4 board, now all that’s left to do is update the OP.

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

Major Projects:  Illuminated Tailcap, TripleDown/TripleStack Driver

pilotdog68
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Ok guys I’ve updated the OP. I set out to simplify it, but it actually got longer. Hopefully the information is at least more clear and complete. I took the liberty of adding some pictures from others in this thread, if you want me to take your pic down then PM me.

If there are any other sources for anything you think I should add, let me know.

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

Major Projects:  Illuminated Tailcap, TripleDown/TripleStack Driver

fatboy
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pilotdog68 wrote:
Ok guys I’ve updated the OP. I set out to simplify it, but it actually got longer. Hopefully the information is at least more clear and complete. I took the liberty of adding some pictures from others in this thread, if you want me to take your pic down then PM me.

If there are any other sources for anything you think I should add, let me know.

How about the switch itself.

pilotdog68
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fatboy wrote:
pilotdog68 wrote:
Ok guys I’ve updated the OP. I set out to simplify it, but it actually got longer. Hopefully the information is at least more clear and complete. I took the liberty of adding some pictures from others in this thread, if you want me to take your pic down then PM me.

If there are any other sources for anything you think I should add, let me know.

How about the switch itself.

I usually use the switch that came in the light originally, but I’ll see if I can find some Omten 1288’s to add to the OP.

edit: added some links to switches to the OP. Also found some 14mm clear boot covers on KD

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

Major Projects:  Illuminated Tailcap, TripleDown/TripleStack Driver

Rufusbduck
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Cnqg appears out of stock but last I checked RMM has them loose and Fastech has them mounted.

Three Tanna leaves to give him life, nine to give him movement. But what if he eats the whole bag?

Scott

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Ive got everything and built the pcb, but I've either burnt out the leds or they are backwards? I'm not really sure how to know which way they need oriented. I see a green dot on one side, I assumed was the + side? 

pilotdog68
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zoom zoom wrote:

Ive got everything and built the pcb, but I’ve either burnt out the leds or they are backwards? I’m not really sure how to know which way they need oriented. I see a green dot on one side, I assumed was the + side? 


Look on the bottom, there should be a sideways ‘T’ and the wider/flat side is the + side. If you bought from lighthouse led’s, I believe the green dot is the – side. If you go to the product listing on lighthouseleds it has a picture showing polarity. I always have to check their website when I build a new one.

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

Major Projects:  Illuminated Tailcap, TripleDown/TripleStack Driver

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Yea I had them backwards. I looked at djozzis pic and pyros' pics and they were both the same with the green dot being the - side. I flipped them around and still no go, so I swapped for a couple different identical leds. Still a no go, and I'm out of time for today Sad

 

and the modes won't switch with an mtn17dd driver using a 560ohm resistor from the + spring to ground ring. 

 

I'm wondering if I didn't fry a trace in the pcb during assembly. I attempted to test the leds and the aligator clips fizzed so there's a chance I fried something. Hopefully I'll have some time tomorrow to mess with it some more!

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zoom zoom wrote:

Yea I had them backwards. I looked at djozzis pic and pyros’ pics and they were both the same with the green dot being the – side. I flipped them around and still no go, so I swapped for a couple different identical leds. Still a no go, and I’m out of time for today Sad

 

and the modes won’t switch with an mtn17dd driver using a 560ohm resistor from the + spring to ground ring. 

 

I’m wondering if I didn’t fry a trace in the pcb during assembly. I attempted to test the leds and the aligator clips fizzed so there’s a chance I fried something. Hopefully I’ll have some time tomorrow to mess with it some more!


Hmm interesting. You could upload a pic if you can and we can look at the other stuff to make sure there isn’t anything obvious. What version of pcb are you using?

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

Major Projects:  Illuminated Tailcap, TripleDown/TripleStack Driver

pilotdog68
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Well guys I had hoped that the Kronos groupbuy light would force a major retailer to source clear boot covers and we could all benefit, but it looks like they will only use the 14mm covers, not the elusive 16mm size. We need a new source. Maybe we could convince KD to source them since they already carry other colors and the clear 14mm?

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

Major Projects:  Illuminated Tailcap, TripleDown/TripleStack Driver

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Try this I just had to download the tinypic app so I don't know how the images will turn out, or if they will..

 

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The other side...

 

this 100k pot has a start and stop position, it won't spin full circle, and it fit the pads perfect. I double sprung the spring, and I'll be adding a bypass after things start working, this sinner is running 12.3A at the tailcap with a triple xpl.

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Here is a pic of the specs for the LeD's I'm using. They are rated way less MCD than the ones you are using, is there something about these that are keeping them from lighting up? 

 

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So I re-read djozzs' post, he actually used a 1k resistor and suggested a 15k would work better with his setup With the red LEDs and 680ohm bleeder. 

 

I'm using a 560ohm bleeder and a 15k resistor. I'm thinking I'm holding back too much power? Even if I bypass the diode pads with wire/solder I still shouldn't be putting too much to my leds since it's 7.5mA (4.2/560)   15,560ohms=.2mA+/- the 100kohm pot.

 

i think that is where I will start my troubleshooting. I also want to order 680ohm resistors to use as a bleeder and see if it fixes my mode switching issues.

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zoom zoom wrote:

So I re-read djozzs’ post, he actually used a 1k resistor and suggested a 15k would work better with his setup With the red LEDs and 680ohm bleeder. 

 

I’m using a 560ohm bleeder and a 15k resistor. I’m thinking I’m holding back too much power? Even if I bypass the diode pads with wire/solder I still shouldn’t be putting too much to my leds since it’s 7.5mA (4.2/560)   15,560ohms=.2mA+/- the 100kohm pot.

 

i think that is where I will start my troubleshooting. I also want to order 680ohm resistors to use as a bleeder and see if it fixes my mode switching issues.


I have never been able to use that high of resistance. Usually the highest I can use in the tail is about 6.8k before I can’t see it though the tailcap anymore. I know Djozz does use higher resistance than me, but I think his spacers/washers let more light through than mine do. I would definitely try lower resistance.

Are you testing in a light or out of a light?

What driver are you using? Some drivers (specifically some of TK’s firmware) might require re-calibrating the firmware for the mode switching to work correctly, because it had to be designed pretty sensitive for the mode reversing to function at all.

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

Major Projects:  Illuminated Tailcap, TripleDown/TripleStack Driver

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I’m using a 10k POT and at 10K its not really visable so try around the 5-7K area on the tail.

Pastebin                                      &nbs

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pyro1son wrote:
I’m using a 10k POT and at 10K its not really visable so try around the 5-7K area on the tail.

Really? I’m glad I didn’t order the 50k then. I ended up ordering 20k.

Wait, what resistor/diode do you have that paired with?

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

Major Projects:  Illuminated Tailcap, TripleDown/TripleStack Driver

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My washers are homemade from clear plexi-glass, I use a white switch in my latest one. A lot went wrong first with my tailboards, with leds not lighting up. I think I made every mistake possible at first, but now it works. I do use a simple led-tester to check the working during the build-up, it at least helps getting the polarity right.

This is the one I have, I just swapped the momentary switch for a small clicky switch, to have both hands available.

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Good news: I have initial word that Simon/Convoy will try to source the 16mm clear boots

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

Major Projects:  Illuminated Tailcap, TripleDown/TripleStack Driver

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