D.I.Y. Illuminated tailcap

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laythaws
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djozz wrote:
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.

Thanks, I’ll try 10k for tail leds and see what will happen.

gchart
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Short Version
Help, please! Need assistance adding a bleeder to a MTN17DDm-NUV FET+1 driver. Photos of an installed bleed resistor on this driver would be greatly appreciated.

Long Version
The current build is a beautiful blue Convoy S2+ with a triple XP-L HI and the aforementioned driver. I had the bleeder installed and seemingly working fine, then after one day of usage my driver fried (after a small drop, so the bleeder may or may not have been to blame). I had soldered the bleeder between D1 and the outside ground ring. The placement was less than ideal because of interference with the pill’s rim when tightening the retaining ring – addressed by a couple solder blobs around the grounding ring to build up the surface, but it seemed to work… for a while.

I then ordered a new replacement driver and decided to steer clear of the rest of the components and instead added it between the spring and a small area where I scraped away some solder mask. Everything looked fine and dandy, but when I installed the driver, the 7135 was acting up. After some diagnosing (via a custom firmware to test the output of the 7135 and FET channels), it appears that the 7135 would only output a small amount. Feeding it PWM values of 10, 100, and 255 all resulted in the same very dim output (all of them being less than the PWM 10 output of the FET channel). Seems like something was perhaps messed up with the PWM output of the MCU to the 7135 channel? Since I added the bleeder before ever installing the driver, I have no way of knowing if the bleeder did something, or if the driver was already defective.

I’m about to order a couple more drivers: one for this build, one for an Astrolux SS triple build. I’d really not like to mess up any more drivers. These buggers aren’t exactly cheap. I may end up not doing a tailcap in the S2+ (the very low visibility through the metal tailcap was disappointing), but I’m definitely going to want it for that Astrolux SS triple build. Any input you guys have would be awesome. Thanks!

Texas_Ace
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Why not simply get a driver that has a bleeder spot on the driver?

The Texas Avenger has a bleeder resistor and so does the tripledown (although I would recommend the TA for the triple build). Plus building them yourself you will save money as well.

If you need a single sided driver the TA driver can be used without the 7135’s on the bottom populated.

IIRC you can stack the bleeder on the C1 as well although from the spring to the ground ring should be fine as well.

gchart
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I’ve given serious consideration to that, TA. I was just giving them a look earlier this morning. This sounds a bit ridiculous, but I just feel like they have more than I’m looking for at the moment. I guess I’m just not ready to step my game up to a triple-channel just yet Wink But given any more difficulties, I’ll probably take the plunge (though maybe just a single-sided version for simplicity sake).

Installing the bleeder over C1 was actually the very first thing I tried. But it didn’t work properly for me. I think it may be how C1 and D1 are ordered in Richard’s driver.

Texas_Ace
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LOL, well the TA series is really not any different from the MTN17dd from the UI standpoint. Only the mode groups are different in the UI.

As far as the rest of the driver goes the triple channel really doesn’t effect anything except the firmware, which is already taken care of. And like was said, you can leave the bottom side 7135’s off if you want, although I would recommend that you use them if you can, they really do add a nice high regulated mode.

emarkd
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Any chance someone here has tried adding one of these to a light with a lux-rc v5 driver? I’ve got a light I’d like to do this to, but I’m a bit apprehensive because its more expensive than most of what I tinker with.

emarkd
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I’ve already posted about this build in another thread, but I couldn’t help but add a quick pic here too. I put a lighted tailcap in a Sinner Tri-EDC today. Its one of the larger 6-emitter boards with all warm-white emitters, mounted under an orange translucent tailcap.

Lights-Out
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I’m about to order Rev5.3 will post if I get it working in a build thanks PD

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I added a lighted tailcap to a Boss35:

….except not really, because its actually much dimmer than this in real life and I can’t get it brighter without freaking out the driver. Lower resistance in the tail is a no-go, adding a bleeder causes all sorts of malfunction. So unfortunately it came back out and my Boss35 won’t be sporting a lighted tailcap.

If anyone else wants to attempt something similar though, these boards can be made to fit a McClicky switch. I used the 5.1 “big switch” ring board in 0.8mm thickness, then dremeled away basically everything but the traces. The switch body has to be thinned slightly too, and machined out underneath the ring board to clear the resistors. If this light had a driver that would accept a bleeder it would be no problem.

djozz
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Also posted in another thread:

I was never able to do the lighting tailcap in triples with low voltage leds (new Oslon Square, Nichia 219C, XP-G3) in combination with BLF-A6 or bistro drivers. But now that I know the fix for the bistro driver (pyramid with C1, D1 and extra 5 Ohm resistor) the lighted tail can be done! Smile . The above light has 4×219C and fixed X5/X6 driver from Banggood, 470 Ohm bleeder, 3× 4 KOhm resistors on the 6x dumb tail ring with red 0603 leds and red silicon cover.

I have not checked yet how the ‘fix’ +lighted tail works for the BLF-A6 driver in this same set-up.

Lights-Out
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Looking on ordering some to mod, what’s the best version u guys like ?

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I prefer Rev5.1 which is good for most of the Convoy single 18650 lights like S2+ and C8. Now I put in white leds on all boards and do the coloring with tailcap rubber’s color. Easy to swap colors if you bored with one.

Lights-Out
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What bottom board did u use

emarkd
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Lights-Out wrote:
What bottom board did u use

Whatever comes in the light, usually. Unless you want a pot or something like that. The v5.1 board will work great with any mini-omten switch board (and others with some work)

Texas_Ace
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I use the 5.1 and 5.3 combo myself.

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Lights-Out wrote:
What bottom board did u use

I use the stock with the light or in triples I use PD68’s high current switch board.
testedandbaked
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djozz wrote:
I was never able to do the lighting tailcap in triples with low voltage leds (new Oslon Square, Nichia 219C, XP-G3) in combination with BLF-A6 or bistro drivers. But now that I know the fix for the bistro driver (pyramid with C1, D1 and extra 5 Ohm resistor) the lighted tail can be done! Smile . The above light has 4×219C and fixed X5/X6 driver from Banggood, 470 Ohm bleeder, 3× 4 KOhm resistors on the 6x dumb tail ring with red 0603 leds and red silicon cover.

I have not checked yet how the ‘fix’ +lighted tail works for the BLF-A6 driver in this same set-up.

What’s this fix you talk of? I ask as I have had lots of problems with getting the illuminated tailcaps to work in a triple 219C Convoy S2. The off timings go from normal to impossibly short (requiring faster and faster half-presses to switch modes) when it heats up.

gchart
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Not sure if it’ll fix your issues, but here’s a post where he discusses it:

http://budgetlightforum.com/comment/1061998#comment-1061998

testedandbaked
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gchart wrote:
Not sure if it’ll fix your issues, but here’s a post where he discusses it:

http://budgetlightforum.com/comment/1061998#comment-1061998

Exactly what I was looking for, thanks!

emarkd
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Maybe I’m missing something obvious and my lights are borked too, but I’ve had no problems with Bistro driver triples and lighted tailcaps. Is it because I’m using Richard’s mtnelec driver or should I be more aware of some issue I may not be noticing?

testedandbaked
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So after reflowing a whole new DD+7135 driver (eliminating all parts but the LEDs as the source of the problem) and doing the X5/X6 driver fix with an extra resistor 10k resistor, the temperature sensitivity issue is STILL present.
I used a 750 ohm bleeder and 10k tailcap resistor driving 6 white tailcap LEDs which work normally (when flashlight is cold).
OTC values are: CAP_SHORT = 245, CAP_MED = 130 (I prefer a fast medium press time)

Out of curiosity, has anyone else experienced this problem? To test, get a feel of how quickly you need to half press to move up and down modes. Heat up the flashlight with turbo mode until fairly warm, then try switching modes again. If the issue is present, the flashlight will either switch down modes or not switch modes altogether.

My hypothesis is that the OTCs supplied by RMM [0805 1uF X7R Ceramic Capacitor] I’ve been using are heat sensitive and thus drain much faster than normal when hot.

djozz
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The fix of the X5/X6 driver, as suggested by DEL, reduces the voltage spikes on the MCU and fixes the drop to low when switched to TURBO, and as I found out it (perhaps coincidentally) makes a lighted tailcap possible without screwing the UI. Reducing the temperature sensitivity of the driver is not mentioned for this fix.

testedandbaked
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djozz wrote:
The fix of the X5/X6 driver, as suggested by DEL, reduces the voltage spikes on the MCU and fixes the drop to low when switched to TURBO, and as I found out it (perhaps coincidentally) makes a lighted tailcap possible without screwing the UI. Reducing the temperature sensitivity of the driver is not mentioned for this fix.

As both drivers (Wight DD+7135 and mtn FET+7135) work fine without the X5/X6 fix, it must be unrelated. In any case, I didn’t notice a change between fix/no fix. Nobody else seems to have seen this temperature issue surprisingly. Maybe nobody with a lighted tailcap has driven their light hard enough to see it?

Texas_Ace
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emarkd wrote:
Maybe I’m missing something obvious and my lights are borked too, but I’ve had no problems with Bistro driver triples and lighted tailcaps. Is it because I’m using Richard’s mtnelec driver or should I be more aware of some issue I may not be noticing?

People mistakenly think it is bistro that is the issue when it is actually the X6 driver design that is to blame. That was before we started adding the extra components to fix the voltage spike issues. Namely the resistor before the diode.

RMM took a different approach, instead of stopping the voltage spike he bleeds it off via the zener diode.

djozz
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testedandbaked wrote:
djozz wrote:
The fix of the X5/X6 driver, as suggested by DEL, reduces the voltage spikes on the MCU and fixes the drop to low when switched to TURBO, and as I found out it (perhaps coincidentally) makes a lighted tailcap possible without screwing the UI. Reducing the temperature sensitivity of the driver is not mentioned for this fix.

As both drivers (Wight DD+7135 and mtn FET+7135) work fine without the X5/X6 fix, it must be unrelated. In any case, I didn’t notice a change between fix/no fix. Nobody else seems to have seen this temperature issue surprisingly. Maybe nobody with a lighted tailcap has driven their light hard enough to see it?

These drivers work well with single higher voltage leds (i.e. the XP-L Hi in the BLF X5 and X6), the drop-to-moon problems arise with the newer low voltage leds (i.e. 219C, XP-G3), and possibly even just in case of triples/quads.

emarkd
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Ah, so it’s not me. Richard’s driver is better. Got it. Smile

Also since it’s being discussed, my high powered lighted lights do exhibit some switch timing changes, like others have said. They get shorter, but not much. Really I have to be looking for it to notice.

testedandbaked
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Seems that the same temperature/heat issue has been reported before at page 23 of this thread. Seems odd why it only happens with a lighted tailcap. The workings of the OTC is strange beast indeed…

Texas_Ace
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The OTC will be effected by heat with or without the tailcap. It all depends on how how the light gets and how well heat sinked the driver is to the body. In my pocket rocket the timings can change by as much as half.

This is why we are trying to do away with the OTC all together to completely rid ourselves of that issue.

testedandbaked
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emarkd wrote:
Ah, so it’s not me. Richard’s driver is better. Got it. Smile

Also since it’s being discussed, my high powered lighted lights do exhibit some switch timing changes, like others have said. They get shorter, but not much. Really I have to be looking for it to notice.

In my case, the timings shorten so much that the light thinks the fastest half-press I can humanly do is too slow to even switch modes!

Texas_Ace
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testedandbaked wrote:
emarkd wrote:
Ah, so it’s not me. Richard’s driver is better. Got it. Smile

Also since it’s being discussed, my high powered lighted lights do exhibit some switch timing changes, like others have said. They get shorter, but not much. Really I have to be looking for it to notice.

In my case, the timings shorten so much that the light thinks the fastest half-press I can humanly do is too slow to even switch modes!

If you aer using the banggood drivers they use really bad OTC caps and this is quite common. You can replace the cap with a good X7R cap and it will vastly improve things.

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