D.I.Y. Illuminated tailcap

1813 posts / 0 new
Last post
Dusty
Offline
Last seen: 22 hours 23 min ago
Joined: 12/03/2015 - 07:58
Posts: 392
Location: Left Coast of Michigan
WillyD wrote:
I tried it on a stock 105c and whatever driver is in the Kronos X6…ATTiny25 FET maybe? Same results on both. The tailcap lights work, but they are just much dimmer.

I believe they will work on a lot of drivers, without a bleeder. However: They tend to influence mode changes, and mode timing, without one. Only you can confirm. I have one using a 105c, and it works fine. Others have had to add a bleeder for timing issues.

Bug

pilotdog68
pilotdog68's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 months 3 days ago
Joined: 05/30/2013 - 23:31
Posts: 6422
Location: Held against my will in IOWA, USA

The resistors that measure voltage for low voltage protection bleed some current themselves. On drivers that do not use an Off-time capacitor to do mode changes (like the 105c), that might be enough to work without an extra bleeder.

The Kronos X6 drivers from BG come with a bleeder pre-installed since the groupbuy lights had basic illuminated tails from the factory.

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

Major Projects:  Illuminated Tailcap, TripleDown/TripleStack Driver

Wieselflinkpro
Wieselflinkpro's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 3 weeks ago
Joined: 05/21/2015 - 04:34
Posts: 980
Location: Germany - TLF

Yes I can confirm it. With Astrolux S41S and LEDs on tailcap, you are not able to switch back the modes without bleeder resistor.

WillyD
Offline
Last seen: 6 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 10/10/2012 - 15:55
Posts: 793
Location: Ohio

Thanks for the replies. Ok, so the modes work fine. I was able to lower the resistance on the blue channel and brighten them up. I think it’s just the purple leds that may not get any brighter. Going to switch those out with a different color.

djozz
djozz's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 hours 42 min ago
Joined: 09/07/2012 - 17:04
Posts: 18001
Location: Amsterdam

Wieselflinkpro wrote:
Yes I can confirm it. With Astrolux S41S and LEDs on tailcap, you are not able to switch back the modes without bleeder resistor.

My suspicion is that there is an effect from the led side too: you are more likely to get a messed-up UI when the new low-voltage leds (219BV1, 219C, XP-G3, 3rdgen.OslonSquare) are used, or triples/quads. A lighted tail in the combination: a lowvoltageledtriple/quad, is really hopeless, I have not managed to get that working in any mod.
djozz
djozz's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 hours 42 min ago
Joined: 09/07/2012 - 17:04
Posts: 18001
Location: Amsterdam

I have used purple leds too (very appropriate: in a UV-light), and they are just very dim, not much you can do about it: 400nm is the very edge of the visible spectrum, the output is there but you will not see it, the same radiometric output in green would appear 100 times as bright.

WillyD
Offline
Last seen: 6 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 10/10/2012 - 15:55
Posts: 793
Location: Ohio

Now I can’t stop doing this, and I’m gonna have to place another order to that Osh Kosh or whatever place.

MRsDNF
MRsDNF's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 months 1 week ago
Joined: 12/22/2011 - 21:18
Posts: 13473
Location: A light beam away from the missus in the land of Aus.

Looks good Willy. Thumbs Up

 

djozz quotes, "it came with chinese lettering that is chinese to me".

                      "My man mousehole needs one too"

old4570 said "I'm not an expert , so don't suffer from any such technical restrictions".

Old-Lumens. Highly admired and cherished member of Budget Light Forum. 11.5.2011 - 20.12.16. RIP.

 

MadStew
Offline
Last seen: 4 years 10 months ago
Joined: 12/09/2016 - 14:11
Posts: 6
Location: United States

Hello everyone. I’ve just read this entire thread and signed up just so I could ask one question… Anyone have any spare parts they want to sell? I have 2 BLF A6’s and I’m interested in a couple clear tailcaps, 2 6 led boards (17mm dumb) and a few leds (red and blue) to populate them. I’m trying to avoid buying 5 tailcaps and hundreds of leds that I won’t need. I’m in the US and have PayPal if someone has spares they would like to part with.

MadStew
Offline
Last seen: 4 years 10 months ago
Joined: 12/09/2016 - 14:11
Posts: 6
Location: United States

Maybe someone could offer kits… Cash

emarkd
emarkd's picture
Offline
Last seen: 10 months 1 week ago
Joined: 04/14/2015 - 22:04
Posts: 1608
Location: Georgia, USA

TexasAce was selling completed boards. Not sure if he still has any or not. Its a bit more complicated than that though since many drivers need a minor modification too.

Honestly I’d recommend you just break down and buy the parts. 5 boards won’t last you long, cause you’ll be putting these in everything you can. And you can find multi-packs of 0805 LEDs pretty easily — 10 each of 8 different colors or something like that. Not a lot of waste and/or leftovers, really.

But if you really just want a few parts maybe someone can help.

Texas_Ace
Texas_Ace's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 hours 15 min ago
Joined: 03/24/2016 - 07:44
Posts: 9372
Location: Everything is brighter in Texas

I have all the parts except the PCB’s currently. Although I do have a fully assembled purple tailcap.

I should be getting some PCB’s in the next week or so and I should have an extra if you just want the parts but like was said the driver will need a bleeder installed to work properly.

MadStew
Offline
Last seen: 4 years 10 months ago
Joined: 12/09/2016 - 14:11
Posts: 6
Location: United States

Thanks Texas Ace. I understand the mods and tuning required I just don’t need 5 tailcaps and hundreds of leds. I changed the leds in the switches and dash of my pickup and still have a few dozen 3528 and 1206 leds left over with nothing to use them on. I will have to buy a resistor assortment to tune the lights. Maybe I should buy more lights… I could sell them at work.

Texas_Ace
Texas_Ace's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 hours 15 min ago
Joined: 03/24/2016 - 07:44
Posts: 9372
Location: Everything is brighter in Texas

the pot will take care of the adjustment, the only resistor you really need is the bleeder. I also like to install fixed bleeders on the tailcaps to limit max current to ~.5ma or so to reduce issues but it is not a must.

emarkd
emarkd's picture
Offline
Last seen: 10 months 1 week ago
Joined: 04/14/2015 - 22:04
Posts: 1608
Location: Georgia, USA

I put one of the rev5 ring boards in an Astrolux S41S. Nothing revolutionary here; I just wanted to share some photos:

djozz
djozz's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 hours 42 min ago
Joined: 09/07/2012 - 17:04
Posts: 18001
Location: Amsterdam

MadStew wrote:
Thanks Texas Ace. I understand the mods and tuning required I just don’t need 5 tailcaps and hundreds of leds. I changed the leds in the switches and dash of my pickup and still have a few dozen 3528 and 1206 leds left over with nothing to use them on. I will have to buy a resistor assortment to tune the lights. Maybe I should buy more lights… I could sell them at work.

There you go, just make more of them, flashlight addiction solves all of your problems!
MadStew
Offline
Last seen: 4 years 10 months ago
Joined: 12/09/2016 - 14:11
Posts: 6
Location: United States

I’ve ordered 6 sets of Pilotdog boards from Oshpark, 5 tailcaps from KD, 0805 resistors and leds assortment from BG, solder paste, and various other items. Now I need to order a few more lights and I’ll be all set. Big Smile Thumbs Up

MadStew
Offline
Last seen: 4 years 10 months ago
Joined: 12/09/2016 - 14:11
Posts: 6
Location: United States

Has anybody considered using a pot for the bleeder?

Texas_Ace
Texas_Ace's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 hours 15 min ago
Joined: 03/24/2016 - 07:44
Posts: 9372
Location: Everything is brighter in Texas
MadStew wrote:
Has anybody considered using a pot for the bleeder?

The bleeder is usually a tiny 0603 resistor and on the top side of the driver, thus it would be very hard to adjust. Better to use a fixed resistor there and a pot on the tailcap where it is much easier to access.

MadStew
Offline
Last seen: 4 years 10 months ago
Joined: 12/09/2016 - 14:11
Posts: 6
Location: United States

My understanding is the bleeder goes between + and – to allow power for the tailcap to bypass the driver. There was a Rev of the tailcap board with two 3×3 pots on it. I was wondering if that could be modified to be a bleeder pot and a brightness pot instead of 2 channels for the leds. If you change the brightness with the pot, wouldn’t you need to change the bleeder value to compensate?

Texas_Ace
Texas_Ace's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 hours 15 min ago
Joined: 03/24/2016 - 07:44
Posts: 9372
Location: Everything is brighter in Texas

The bleeder has to be on the driver as that is where the positive normally gets cut off.

The pots on the tailcap are only for controlling LED current, having 2 of them allowed you to control 2 different colors of LED separately.

Now the rev 5.3 is the “standard” board and it uses a single pot to control brightness for the tailcap and fixed resistors to adjust the current for each channel.

WillyD
Offline
Last seen: 6 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 10/10/2012 - 15:55
Posts: 793
Location: Ohio

So, do the tailcap LEDs cut off when the switch is closed due to the internal resistance of the LEDs, so the current takes the path of least resistance (the switch)?

I’m trying to figure the best way to connect an LED strip under the optics in the head to illuminate the front as well. Do you think if I connected the pos (on LED strip) to the pos lead from the driver going to the main LEDs and then ran a neg lead from an empty pad on the driver (with neg current of course) to the LED strip that would work? Maybe I should draw it out on paper as something seems off when I do it in my head.

Bourbon Guy
Offline
Last seen: 1 week 1 day ago
Joined: 12/07/2015 - 03:24
Posts: 107
Location: USA

I don’t see any way to switch your led strip in the head on when the tail cap switch is off. Is that what you’re hoping to do?

laythaws
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 11 months ago
Joined: 01/15/2015 - 00:57
Posts: 107
Location: Location::Location::

I have a problem with my illuminated tailcap and fet+1 driver with blf a6 firmware. I noticed that when battery is fully charged, it take 8 seconds to go backward at medium tap and around a minute for long tap to reset to the first mode. But when the battery is around 3.6v or below, everything’s back to normal, med tap (1 sec) and long tap (longer than 1 sec).
What’s wrong with that? Maybe the bleeder resistor I used? It is 470ohms for the bleeder and 3.9k for the tailcap led.

djozz
djozz's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 hours 42 min ago
Joined: 09/07/2012 - 17:04
Posts: 18001
Location: Amsterdam

laythaws wrote:
I have a problem with my illuminated tailcap and fet+1 driver with blf a6 firmware. I noticed that when battery is fully charged, it take 8 seconds to go backward at medium tap and around a minute for long tap to reset to the first mode. But when the battery is around 3.6v or below, everything’s back to normal, med tap (1 sec) and long tap (longer than 1 sec).
What’s wrong with that? Maybe the bleeder resistor I used? It is 470ohms for the bleeder and 3.9k for the tailcap led.

Yes, you will have to fiddle with bleeder and tail resistor values to solve that. Since those timings do not go to infinity but still are measurable, you are not that far off a workable set-up. Perhaps going to 10K for the tail already makes it work fine with still a good amount of light coming from the tail leds.
Texas_Ace
Texas_Ace's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 hours 15 min ago
Joined: 03/24/2016 - 07:44
Posts: 9372
Location: Everything is brighter in Texas

Here is a chart I put together from various measurements I took at different resistance levels to see what the corresponding current is. I tested 4 different colors of LED’s, White and blue will be inline with the green and purple results. Orange will be along the lines of the yellow and red.

From my testing as expected Green, blue and white put out a lot more light for a given current. At 0.04ma of current these colors are MUCH brighter and do indeed need a 100K pot to get them as dim as many want but the Red, yellow and orange on the other hand are almost too dim at .1ma.

Click for larger version:

pilotdog68
pilotdog68's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 months 3 days ago
Joined: 05/30/2013 - 23:31
Posts: 6422
Location: Held against my will in IOWA, USA

I agree overall, but I question your manufacturer of Reds, yellow, and oranges. Blue and green are def brighter, but I still get great brightness from reds and oranges at 0.03-0.06ma

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

Major Projects:  Illuminated Tailcap, TripleDown/TripleStack Driver

Texas_Ace
Texas_Ace's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 hours 15 min ago
Joined: 03/24/2016 - 07:44
Posts: 9372
Location: Everything is brighter in Texas
pilotdog68 wrote:
I agree overall, but I question your manufacturer of Reds, yellow, and oranges. Blue and green are def brighter, but I still get great brightness from reds and oranges at 0.03-0.06ma

It is possible, I had the same basic results from several different brands from digikey, Arrow and then I ordered 100 of each color from that ebay link that was posted awhile back. Those are what I am using now, except for purple, they are very inconsistent with purples.

pilotdog68
pilotdog68's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 months 3 days ago
Joined: 05/30/2013 - 23:31
Posts: 6422
Location: Held against my will in IOWA, USA

Yeah I have never had luck with purple. Either way, great chart. I should send you some of my Lighthouse leds to add to your experience

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

Major Projects:  Illuminated Tailcap, TripleDown/TripleStack Driver

Texas_Ace
Texas_Ace's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 hours 15 min ago
Joined: 03/24/2016 - 07:44
Posts: 9372
Location: Everything is brighter in Texas

If you want to send them I can keep them on hand, although I am out of the PCB’s and have no funds for more at the moment. Although I have tons of springs, switches, leds and pots to build them with lol. I am sure I will order more PCB’s at some point.

Pages