D.I.Y. Illuminated tailcap

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scottyhazzard
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In total darkness if I hold my watch up to a page of a book, I can just barely read it. I definitely can’t navigate by it.

I see at the store you linked to the highest that they have is 2.4k ohm resistors in the 0805 size. I must be missing something.

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

pilotdog68
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If you use SMD Led’s you’ll want to pick up some 5/16” white nylon washers as well.

The blue one is with 2 dip led’s sitting above the retaining ring. It has a 5.6kohm in the tail. It is far too bright to keep by your bed, but is a good brightness for showing off to friends in daylight.

The red one has a single 0603 led under a nylon washer (0805 fits just fine, but I didn’t have any at the time). It also has a 5.6kohm resistor. I’m not sure if it is because the red led isn’t as bright, or the nylon washer blocks a bunch of light (or both), but it is the perfect brightness for a bedside light. In broad daylight the red isn’t visible, in a lit room it is barely visible, but in pitch back with your eyes adjusted it is a nice even glow that doesn’t make you squint if you just woke up.

edit: sorry, i bought my LED’s from lighthouse but I already had the resistors. Fasttech sells multipacks for super cheap

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

Major Projects:  Illuminated Tailcap, TripleDown/TripleStack Driver

scottyhazzard
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Perfect, that’s what I needed.

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

L4M4
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Try this:
GITD Tailcap + UV LED

The Tailcap will be enlightened from the inside…

If I understand this correct: All I need is one of the boards, the switch, a resistor and a LED – nothing special like a cable running from one end of the light to the other or a special driver or something like that?

pilotdog68
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You don’t need to run a cable or a special driver. You will need to add a resistor to whatever driver you are using though. I have it working with 3 different driver designs, but I suppose there is still the potential that a driver may not function with this mod installed.

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

Major Projects:  Illuminated Tailcap, TripleDown/TripleStack Driver

L4M4
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Can you link where this action is described for dummies? Big Smile

Edit:

Quote:
This requires a “bleeder” resistor placed on the flashlight driver to give enough current to the LED. I used a 560ohm resistor placed directly between batt+ and ground (flashlight body). 560ohm should work for most drivers, but some trial and error could be required depending on your set-up.

So, just adding a resistor between plus and minus of the driver/battery – correct?
So minus becomes plus for the LED through the resistor and the electrons can float…

Just ordered a few of the 17 and 20mm ones… can’t believe how cheap OSHpark is…
My first order from them btw Smile

pilotdog68
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Correct. I just solder a dip resistor between the batt+ driver spring and the driver GND ring. I’ll post a pic of one of mine later. Its super easy.

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

Major Projects:  Illuminated Tailcap, TripleDown/TripleStack Driver

DanielM
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pilotdog 68 very interesting stuff you have done here. I’m curious if you have any info on how much battery life do these leds in the tail consume?

Old-Lumens wrote:
I love modding, but I don't have much use at all for flashlights in general.
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Yep. It’s in the top of the OP. It’s around 0.2ma.

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

Major Projects:  Illuminated Tailcap, TripleDown/TripleStack Driver

cajampa
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I have finally seen the light Smile this is a really great idea.

I don’t know why it didn’t interested me before, but then i thought about that a low moon mode with a white lead still has lots of blue & green that can effect melatonin production & make the eyes lose its dark adaption & that we can buy cheap ebay red & amber ledstrips to harvest leds from to build red & amber glowing tailcaps instead.

Proper moon mode really should have red or amber, and without a moon mode in the firmware we can always start in a usable for daylight mode & simplify the UI Smile

Do you think it is possible to connect it to the switch? so that when the switch is off the tailcap light is on but off when the switch is on.
But maybe only complicates things more than necessary for something that pulls so little current.

pilotdog68
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cajampa wrote:
Do you think it is possible to connect it to the switch? so that when the switch is off the tailcap light is on but off when the switch is on.
But maybe only complicates things more than necessary for something that pulls so little current.

But then when the switch is ‘on’ so is your main light. I’m sure something could be done though.

Currently I use it on lights that have tail-cap lockout, which shuts off the tail LED’s when I don’t need them.

I also ordered some tiny switches to see if I could fit in a way to disable the tail light for storage, but it would be mounted on the inside next to the battery spring. I’m still working on that.

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

Major Projects:  Illuminated Tailcap, TripleDown/TripleStack Driver

DanielM
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pilotdog68 wrote:
cajampa wrote:
Do you think it is possible to connect it to the switch? so that when the switch is off the tailcap light is on but off when the switch is on.
But maybe only complicates things more than necessary for something that pulls so little current.

But then when the switch is ‘on’ so is your main light. I’m sure something could be done though.

Currently I use it on lights that have tail-cap lockout, which shuts off the tail LED’s when I don’t need them.

I also ordered some tiny switches to see if I could fit in a way to disable the tail light for storage, but it would be mounted on the inside next to the battery spring. I’m still working on that.


A switch for the led in the switch? I love it. Dip switch maybe?

Old-Lumens wrote:
I love modding, but I don't have much use at all for flashlights in general.
pilotdog68
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Maybe.

i was hoping to find smaller, but I ordered some of these. Now I’m just waiting on delivery to see if it’s feasible.

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

Major Projects:  Illuminated Tailcap, TripleDown/TripleStack Driver

scottyhazzard
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Interesting. How do you intend to place them or se those switches?

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

pilotdog68
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scottyhazzard wrote:
Interesting. How do you intend to place them or se those switches?

It would be something to disable the tail when the light isn’t in use. If I can get it to fit, it would be on the inside of the light, next to (or even inside) the batt- spring. You would have to take off the tailcap and use your finger or pencil or something to flip the switch. It would only affect the tail led’s, the regular light would function normally.

I’m not completely sure it will work at all, and wouldn’t really serve any purpose if the flashlight has tailcap lockout anyways.

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

Major Projects:  Illuminated Tailcap, TripleDown/TripleStack Driver

Mr. Nobody
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looking pretty cool any updates on the build?

pilotdog68
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Mr. Nobody wrote:
looking pretty cool any updates on the build?

Umm not really.

I have it installed in the 2 lights I use most, the red and blue ones from the OP. Works Great.

Once oshpark delivers my new PCB’s I’ll play around with adding diodes for a pseudo-LVP.

I’m kinda surprised nobody else has done it yet. I know a few other people are waiting on Oshpark as well.

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

Major Projects:  Illuminated Tailcap, TripleDown/TripleStack Driver

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If someone in the US wants some of the clear switch boots, I have a couple extra I can send, either 14mm or 16mm.

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

Major Projects:  Illuminated Tailcap, TripleDown/TripleStack Driver

cajampa
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I haven’t read all the posts in both threads so this could has been suggested before.

But a way to detect battery level would be very cool to get in the tailcap Smile but maybe it is not possible without a connection to the positive terminal.

scottyhazzard
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pilotdog68 wrote:
scottyhazzard wrote:
Interesting. How do you intend to place them or se those switches?

It would be something to disable the tail when the light isn’t in use. If I can get it to fit, it would be on the inside of the light, next to (or even inside) the batt- spring. You would have to take off the tailcap and use your finger or pencil or something to flip the switch. It would only affect the tail led’s, the regular light would function normally.

I’m not completely sure it will work at all, and wouldn’t really serve any purpose if the flashlight has tailcap lockout anyways.

I think that’s a great idea.

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

Mr. Nobody
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Awesome, I need to build one or two of these.

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Thanks for putting together a great idea. I just ordered some boards and components, enough make a couple dozen. Now for the long wait for everything to show up.

Big thumbs up.

pilotdog68
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Oshpark just delivered the boards of my own design, so I went right to work, and decided to post a little more detailed pics of the process.

………………………………………

Here is the board with the led’s, extra diode, and resistor

Now with the switch added….

Tested that it works….

Nylon retaining ring….

Clear switch cap…

Beautiful!

Here you can see how I have the resistor soldered at the driver. It’s prettier on my other flashlight (because I used a smaller resistor), but this shows how simple it is.

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

Major Projects:  Illuminated Tailcap, TripleDown/TripleStack Driver

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Really dig these illuminated tail switches and I bet they will see widespread use. Is anyone planning on integrating the driver leak resistor into new driver designs? The original thread is good for a laugh since so many people said it was not possible.

Dunno if it’s any help, but I recently spent quite a while searching digikey to find the smallest dip switches. The smallest I could find were about .250” × .140” and .120” tall and are: 1 position, 25mA, 24VDC, SPST, with recessed slider and gullwing contacts.

This one was among the smallest: KAE01SGGT

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Would it be easier to put the dip switch in series with the leak resistor on the driver? That would still turn off the tail cap right?

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Beautiful indeed! I'm sure you could sell a lot of these boards. Great job! 

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“dip switch in series with the leak resistor” – that would make it more driver dependable – there are drivers with some leakage current on their own – you would only shut up the resistor part. The switch should be better placed at (in) the tailcap (and is better accessible there).

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Really awesome project pilotdog68!

Now we just need small LED's that can change from green to orange to red based on the voltage across them, and we have the perfect battery indicator!

Current Collection:

BLF: BLF-GT90, BLF-GT70 (CW Sliced), BLF GTmini, BLF-LT1; 

BTU: Shocker (3 x SST-40 @ 8A)

Solarforce: L2P (XM-L2 U3 @ 4A), MPP-1 (XP-L HI @ 6A), MPP-3 (3 x XM-L2 U2 @ 12A), M6 (Nichia 319A @ 6A), M8 (XHP-50.2 @ 9A), 9x (9 x XM-L2 U2 @ 2A)

Coming Soon: Lumintop: BLF-GT4; 

pyro1son
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Could we have all the dimensions for the nylon washers?

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pyro1son wrote:
Could we have all the dimensions for the nylon washers?

I can measure when I get home, but here in the US they are sold in little bags marked 5/16”

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

Major Projects:  Illuminated Tailcap, TripleDown/TripleStack Driver

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