D.I.Y. Illuminated tailcap

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pilotdog68
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nofear87 wrote:
pilotdog68 wrote:
sounds like the MCU is never shutting down. Try a bleeder.

why do you think a bleeder could help?


Theory: It sounds like whatever current your tailcap ia drawing, it’s more than the voltage divider resistors on the tailcap allow through, so the extra current is being pulled through the mcu itself, and it’s enough power to keep the mcu awake, and not thinking the switch was ever pushed. A bleeder should divert enough power past the mcu so that it functions normally.

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

Major Projects:  Illuminated Tailcap, TripleDown/TripleStack Driver

patmurris
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Hi all!

I just received the new Astrolux S41, and for what i believe i have come across in the long thread dedicated to this light, someone mentioned the tailcap PCB is ready for lighting but not populated.

If someone managed to get it working, i would be happy to see a component list and little how-to… Innocent

Thanks

juaquin
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Quick report – got a tailcap working perfectly in a Convoy S2+.

Notes:

  • You want to order 0.8mm boards, not the standard 1.6mm. The normal ones are too thick and the tailcap assembly doesn’t sit right (too far from metal switch, too thick to tighten down the retaining ring more than a half turn).
  • I used a 47 ohm bleeder on the driver and 400 ohms on the tailcap. You definitely want a 1:6 ratio or lower (going off what someone earlier in the thread pointed out – thank you!). The 450 ohm total is necessary to see the low-efficiency red LEDs through the rubber. This means the battery will drain in about two weeks but I’m ok with this, can always loosen the tailcap to lock out.
  • On the MTN-17ddm driver, you want to put the bleeder before the diode (NOT across the capacitor). I actually ended up using a 1/8 through-hole resistor and soldering it between the spring and the ground ring since my SMD resistors were not quite long enough for that and the 1/8w doesn’t interfere with anything. Modes work fine for me.

I’ll post some pictures when I have some time to get the camera out. Thank you for all the hard work PD86 and everyone else!

ZozzV6
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Hi! I want to do this lighted tailcap in an X6. I found that I need the v5.1 version for 14mm boot, and I ordered high amp tailcap board too because it will be a triple XP-L setup. But what size leds I need under the boot to fit nicely? 0805 or 0603? Everything else is clear for me. Thank you!

mattlward
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I have made them with both sizes of LED’s. I think technically it is designed for 0805’s. If nobody answers with authority I can measure the pads tonight. Might check the info in the thread, should be in the section that introduces the board.

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pilotdog68
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All boards are designed for 0805 except the crazy looking one

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

Major Projects:  Illuminated Tailcap, TripleDown/TripleStack Driver

ZozzV6
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Thank you! Now I will order some 0805 leds for it.

pyro1son
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A verson with 1206 LED pads was requested so here it is:

Pastebin                                      &nbs

djozz
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Yesterday I made a lighted tailcap on a Convoy S2+ shorty that has a triple Nichia 219B red emitters, I used red leds for the tail of course. It proved useful today already when supervising a photograpy school project in a dark room (a blinded class room), I could find the red flashlight back immediately all the time Smile .

What is new (to me at least) is that I did not use a transparant tailcap but a red one, it is fairly translucent for red light. Here it is by daylight:

parts list:

-Qlite driver from intl-outdoor link

-0805-size bleeder resistor of 470 Ohm on the Qlite (without the resistor everything goes wrong with the UI)

-PD68's dumb 16mm tail washer circuit board with 3 pairs of 2, makes 6 led pads link

-3x 5.7 kOhm 0805-size resistors before the 3 strings of 2 leds

-6x 0603 size red leds from Fasttech link

-16mm red tailcap from kaidomain link

 

With these resistor values and leds, the Qlite's behaviour is entirely normal. The lighted tail draws 1.02 mA, so will empty the Sanyo 18500 cell in between two and three months. The light is clearly visible in the dark at a distance without being too present, a good locator brightness. The entire tailcap is very evenly illuminated, thanks to the red tailcap that diffuses the light more than the transparant one.

 

 

write2dgray
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Crazy idea, would it be possible to add a photoelectric sensor in the tail, something like this ?

Run time could possibly be extended as then we’d only need to run the tail LEDs when ambient light drops below a certain level. Just a thought :).

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That would be interesting, certainly. Other than the problem of available space, the cost is prohibitive. We would have to buy 3,000 of them.

have light, will travel

vulpes
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Well that one is available from Mouser in qty 1 @ €1.7, but there could be better/simpler options for the same task.

write2dgray
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Exactly – I’m almost certain that’s not the perfect sensor to use, but the idea may have merit for someone more clever on this than me.

tristanxoxo
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djozz wrote:

Yesterday I made a lighted tailcap on a Convoy S2+ shorty that has a triple Nichia 219B red emitters, I used red leds for the tail of course. It proved useful today already when supervising a photograpy school project in a dark room (a blinded class room), I could find the red flashlight back immediately all the time Smile .


What is new (to me at least) is that I did not use a transparant tailcap but a red one, it is fairly translucent for red light. Here it is by daylight:



parts list:


-Qlite driver from intl-outdoor link


-0805-size bleeder resistor of 470 Ohm on the Qlite (without the resistor everything goes wrong with the UI)


-PD68’s dumb 16mm tail washer circuit board with 3 pairs of 2, makes 6 led pads link


-3× 5.7 kOhm 0805-size resistors before the 3 strings of 2 leds


-6× 0603 size red leds from Fasttech link


-16mm red tailcap from kaidomain link


 


With these resistor values and leds, the Qlite’s behaviour is entirely normal. The lighted tail draws 1.02 mA, so will empty the Sanyo 18500 cell in between two and three months. The light is clearly visible in the dark at a distance without being too present, a good locator brightness. The entire tailcap is very evenly illuminated, thanks to the red tailcap that diffuses the light more than the transparant one.


 


 

Looks awesome djozz! What firmware are you using on the driver and where does the bleeder go? Did you put the bleeder on C1?

djozz
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I first tried it without bleeder and that messed up the user interface bigtime. I had soldered the driver in thoroughly to heatsink the 7135 chips (they have to burn up almost 2V overhead voltage in red led flashlights), so the bleeder on the led side of the driver was no option anymore. I had soldered the 4th star of the (stock firmware) Qlite to ground (mode group 4) and that trace goes quite far to the middle, with scratching off some solder mask I could solder a 0805 resistor from that trace to the central batt+ pad

vulpes
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I’ve ran into this project in a thread here, and it looks like it could be adapted for tailcap. In a nutshell, guy is running Luxeon Z from CR2032 with more than a year of runtime (26.3 μA draw), for the same reasons as us. I will try to make more sense of it, all of the source is available.

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write2dgray wrote:
would it be possible to add a photoelectric sensor in the tail… Run time could possibly be extended as then we’d only need to run the tail LEDs when ambient light drops below a certain level.

That’s an interesting idea. How would a low sensor reading trigger LED activation?

I’m wondering because an attiny13 could do it, but… the ADC parts of the chip use more power than simply leaving the LED on all the time at a low level. I guess it could keep everything off most of the time though, waking up once per second to take a reading and then go back to sleep.

I wonder if it’s possible to get the light sensor and tail LEDs in different frequencies so the LEDs won’t make it think it’s in a bright place.

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djozz wrote:

Yesterday I made a lighted tailcap on a Convoy S2+ shorty that has a triple Nichia 219B red emitters, I used red leds for the tail of course. It proved useful today already when supervising a photograpy school project in a dark room (a blinded class room), I could find the red flashlight back immediately all the time Smile .



Where did ya get that triple nichia 219b red emitter ? ;P

Havent even found triple red ….

/ Just a Byte /

ZozzV6
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I put lighted tailcap in my Eagle eye X6 triple. More details in this post in my build thread


djozz
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LanWolf wrote:
djozz wrote:

Yesterday I made a lighted tailcap on a Convoy S2+ shorty that has a triple Nichia 219B red emitters, I used red leds for the tail of course. It proved useful today already when supervising a photograpy school project in a dark room (a blinded class room), I could find the red flashlight back immediately all the time Smile .



Where did ya get that triple nichia 219b red emitter ? ;P

Havent even found triple red ….


I bought them at Lumitronics ( leds.de ). But I tested them a bit under the performance of the red XP-E2.
tristanxoxo
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Hi pilotdog68, could you possibly do a version of rev5.1 for 14mm boots that uses (4) 1206 LEDs and only (1) resistor on the back? If there isn’t room to do 1206 LEDs, could you do 0805 LEDs instead?

djozz
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Today I made a S2+ 18500 shorty with illuminated tailcap. (some more details perhaps tomorrow in the what did you mod today thread)

driver: Qlite revA with Nlite firmware (from MtnE)
bleeder: 470 Ohm
ledboard: pilotdog68’s dumb 16mm 6-led ring with a resistor for 3 times two pairs
leds: from a bag with random blue/cyan/green mix 0603-size from ebay
resistors before leds: 2 pairs of 6.7KOhm, 1 pair 1.8kOhm (tweeked)
current through tailcap: 131 micro-amp (so 1.8 year on a NCR18500A)

The light is well visible in the dark but not overly bright. The driver UI suffered somewhat from the lighted tail, every half-press gets you to low again, so you have to go through the cycle starting from low every time you change mode (not too annoying with 4 modes)

LightRider
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Hello friends. I order a few boards a while back and have just picked them up to attempt my first lighted Tailcap. I ordered 16mm and 14mm rev5 boards. The 16mm boards look fine, but am I missing something on the 14mm board? I can’t find the ground plane. The trace for the neg pad of the LEDs goes to the end of the board and it appears as if the board was cut short. I’m a little confused, please help.

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You are absolutely right… They cut it way to short…

/ Just a Byte /

pilotdog68
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I think that’s the one I’ve used a bunch of without issues, so the problem isn’t in the file.

Contact Oshpark customer support. They are super fast to respond and will rush you replacements for free

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

Major Projects:  Illuminated Tailcap, TripleDown/TripleStack Driver

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Hmmm… I don’t know if that makes me feel better or not? Sick I thought I had to have been missing something so I looked at it for quite a while before I gave in and posted. Thanks for the help! I’ll contact oshpark. Smile

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I checked with oshpark and they believe it is a result of the copper layer being too close to the board outline. She says it must be 15mil or sometimes the mill with cut the wrong side of the line. IDK?

lumenzilla
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I want to try this little hack on Manker E14, I see that it’s already using custom board for the switch.

I have soldered 2 SMD (with code 103 and 104) resistors and 2 nichia LED as following, but it still doesn’t work. Do I need to add another resistor on the driver as well?

I know my soldering job is not great but I tested with my multi tester and they turned on.

Please advise.

djozz
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The Manker E14 has the BLF-A6 driver, but a (bleeder)resistor must be added, try 470 Ohm between batt+ and ground (one way to do that is from the led+ wire-pad to the outer ring).

Texas_Ace
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I have wanted to try this for some time, I love it on the X5. The issue is reading all 1140 posts to see where exactly things stand.

Is the OP updated with the latest developments?

Also which boards should I order, there are so many options and it doesn’t make a lot of sense as to which one you should actually order without the background on why there are so many.

I basically want the most universal setup that can be used in the widest possible number of lights and be reliable. It also still need to offer high current carrying capability to the switch.

Pots are nice but not a must.

I would be using it in S2 tube lights mostly and other lights with similar sized tailcaps.

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