D.I.Y. Illuminated tailcap

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scottyhazzard
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I apologize for being away and not responding to the thread for so long. Pilotdog, the LED’s that I was suggesting are super duper tiny. They give off low light but have a high forward voltage of 3.7 v. The advantage of their size is that you could have more room under your switch cover. You would have to reflow it to the PCB board you are using.

You could easily fit 3 different colors in there for different voltages. That or go for one of those 5050 size RGB LEDs.

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

pilotdog68
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I bought some 0603 sized led’s to try as well, but I’ve found the DIP size much easier to work with. The issue is that the retaining ring in the tail would block much of the light from an smd led, whereas the leads of the DIP type allow it to be put on the other side of the retaining ring, right next to the plunger.

Also, the 0603 size is sooo hard to see. I had trouble seeing which side is up and which end is pos or neg. I wish I had at least ordered 0805 instead.

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

Major Projects:  Illuminated Tailcap, TripleDown/TripleStack Driver

scottyhazzard
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I think the blue locator would be ideal. I have always liked the tritium inserts but find the price of machining discouraging plus the amount of light put out by tritium can only bee seen when very dark. Something just a little brighter would be just the ticket. I think this is really cool, I’m glad your working on it.

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

pilotdog68
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Yep, blue is actually what I picked for my first real build. Smile

The light function is actually working perfectly, I’m just having other issues because the switch I used isn’t as tall as the original switch and the battery tube no longer makes contact. Shouldn’t take too long to fix once I get home.


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

Major Projects:  Illuminated Tailcap, TripleDown/TripleStack Driver

scottyhazzard
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I never thought about the retaining ring getting in the way. That 0603 size is brutal. You need a good quality magnifying glass and a steady hand. That size gives me fits as my hands just aren’t as steady as they used to be. I hope the 0805s work out. I had thought of something along these lines but couldn’t figure it out. My imagined version of what you are doing would be to have the light blink like a plumm light. On full bright and fade off over a second or two then be off for five seconds. But to do that you would have to squeeze an ATTiny13 or similar in there.

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

scottyhazzard
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Oh, cool. You have more room in there than was anticipated. Hmmm

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Yeah I looked for a pulsing or “heartbeat” led but couldn’t find any. I have some 3mm blinking Leds, but they blink a little fast for my taste. 1khz iirc.

added pics above ^^^^

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

Major Projects:  Illuminated Tailcap, TripleDown/TripleStack Driver

djozz
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There are 3mm colourcycling rgb leds, I almost went for some on ebay, but I think it makes the flashlight looking a bit too cheap Wink

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djozz wrote:

There are 3mm colourcycling rgb leds, I almost went for some on ebay, but I think it makes the flashlight looking a bit too cheap Wink


Lol i got some of those too! In all I think I ordered about 20 17 different LED’s for this from lighthouseleds.com. I would have to agree, the RGB would be cool for some people, but it’s not to my taste.

Here is my order confirmation. The ones in post #94 are the 1.8mm blue

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

Major Projects:  Illuminated Tailcap, TripleDown/TripleStack Driver

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If the RGB are addressable then that would work for a battery status indicator.

Regarding the pulsing or plumming, I had been speaking with ToyKeeper about how to go about programming an ATTiny13 or whatever back when I was contemplating something roughly similar and far to complicated. Maybe you could chat her up about any ideas she might have along those lines. I like how it’s coming together.

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scottyhazzard wrote:
If the RGB are addressable then that would work for a battery status indicator.

Regarding the pulsing or plumming, I had been speaking with ToyKeeper about how to go about programming an ATTiny13 or whatever back when I was contemplating something roughly similar and far to complicated. Maybe you could chat her up about any ideas she might have along those lines. I like how it’s coming together.


The RGB’s I got are not individually adressable, they just cycle through the rainbow. It’ll be tough to fit any mcu up in there without a double sided board. PCB space is at a premium.

I figured if a color changing circuit is possible to fit within a 3mm led, they should be able to make the same thing with a pulsing led, but no dice.

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

Major Projects:  Illuminated Tailcap, TripleDown/TripleStack Driver

Serifus
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Wouldn’t it be easier to just have a couple of different colour leds with different resistor values that would turn off when the battery voltage drops below what it will light at? Is that something that is possible with a 2.8-4.2 voltage range, I know that kind of circuit is widely used for 12v batteries, and also certain laptop batteries. Given the different voltages needed with red, green, and blue?

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Serifus wrote:
Wouldn’t it be easier to just have a couple of different colour leds with different resistor values that would turn off when the battery voltage drops below what it will light at? Is that something that is possible with a 2.8-4.2 voltage range, I know that kind of circuit is widely used for 12v batteries, and also certain laptop batteries. Given the different voltages needed with red, green, and blue?

It would take some work but I’m sure it’s possible. I’m not going that route mainly because I think mixing colors under the boot would be kind of ugly.

Also, these led’s are off when the main light is on, so it’s not ideal for monitoring battery voltage.

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

Major Projects:  Illuminated Tailcap, TripleDown/TripleStack Driver

Serifus
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They would still power on when switching modes, so it would be better then leaving it entirely to the driver for battery monitoring

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By all means give it a shot. It’ll be cool to see the different possibilities that get started from this thread.

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

Major Projects:  Illuminated Tailcap, TripleDown/TripleStack Driver

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Finally got the blue one done. I really, really like it.

here is the build thread for the pretty guy on the left

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

Major Projects:  Illuminated Tailcap, TripleDown/TripleStack Driver

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The one I was working on used a quad op amp to turn on the LEDs at different voltages so only one was on at a time but that package is bigger than a 13A so better suited to part of a battery cage.

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Just did another one, this time with an 0603 red led. Instead of the usual black plastic or steel washer, I used a 5/16ths white nylon washer. It lets the light through, and as a bonus diffuses it and spreads it along more of the cap. It also saved ALOT of frustration and time versus the dip led’s.

………………………………

On the left is the single 0603 under the nylon washer and clear cap. On the right is 2 wide-angle 2mm leds directly under the cap. Both the blue and the red draw the same current in this picture, the blue is too bright to be a bedside light, but the red is just right. In real life the red light is more evenly spread than the picture shows.

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

Major Projects:  Illuminated Tailcap, TripleDown/TripleStack Driver

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Sweet! I like it! Just waiting for my parts to turn up now!

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I’m going to try to learn Eagle real quick Wink to make some alterations to the board that will make it a bit more versatile. (I don’t want to keep pestering Helios, and I’ve wanted to learn Eagle for awhile anyways)

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

Major Projects:  Illuminated Tailcap, TripleDown/TripleStack Driver

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The lit tailcaps look great and you're still in the early stages.  Way to go bro.

Best wishes on using Eagle.  I just learned to use it enough to design a board recently and it was a challenge for me.  Just a lot of info you need to know that isn't in the tutorials and such.  Worth learning though IMO. 

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This is what I am planning to do in Eagle. Before I go through that work, can anyone see any basic flaws in my design?

The resistor and diode are in series, the led’s are in parallel. Alternatively, you could put the first led on the D1 pads so that the LED’s are in series.

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

Major Projects:  Illuminated Tailcap, TripleDown/TripleStack Driver

Antenne
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Seems plausible. Is the micro switch you searched in the other thread also intended for the lighted tailcap?

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I was thinking about it, but I don’t think I found one small enough.

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

Major Projects:  Illuminated Tailcap, TripleDown/TripleStack Driver

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pilotdog68 wrote:
This is what I am planning to do in Eagle. Before I go through that work, can anyone see any basic flaws in my design?

The resistor and diode are in series, the led’s are in parallel. Alternatively, you could put the first led on the D1 pads so that the LED’s are in series.

Well, other than getting it to upload to Oshpark correctly, it’s done.

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

Major Projects:  Illuminated Tailcap, TripleDown/TripleStack Driver

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Ok, Oshpark issues are sorted out. 20mm Dual-LED board is in the OP, ready to be ordered.

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

Major Projects:  Illuminated Tailcap, TripleDown/TripleStack Driver

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Great work Pilotdog! How bright do you think a pair of blue 0603’s would be? I’m looking for about twice as bright as a tritium vial.

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

djozz
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scottyhazzard wrote:
Great work Pilotdog! How bright do you think a pair of blue 0603's would be? I'm looking for about twice as bright as a tritium vial.

it depends on the resistor value but with almost any value it will be way brighter.

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Ordered all the parts just got to wait for them to turn up and give it a go Smile

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I don’t have any trits, but if use anything lower than 4.7k in the tail, its basically like an always-on moon mode. It’s enough light to walk by in total darkness.

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

Major Projects:  Illuminated Tailcap, TripleDown/TripleStack Driver

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