D.I.Y. Illuminated tailcap

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Firelight2
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I want some of these generation two lighted tailcaps.

Maybe we can convince Richard to stock them in his store! Silly

ToyKeeper
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djozz wrote:
I have been thinking of using EL wire in a flashlight, but what has put me off trying it is what the cheap (few $ from Gearbest) EL-wire with driver does, that produces a pretty loud and annoying high tone. Are there versions that do not do that? (perhaps uses a higher frequency for generating the high voltage)

I haven’t looked in depth, but I thought EL wire required like 100-volt alternating current at about 1000 Hz? It would need an inverter and a serious voltage boost and the frequency would likely be audible… I don’t think it works at higher voltage or inaudible frequencies, does it?

I thought it sounded like a fun addition to some projects… until I found out it required alternating current.

DrafterDan
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The only thing I can think of for some semblance of practicality is a wider body that can house two separate circuits. Kind of like a Spy 007. We could use 2x CR2’s to power the inverter, and maybe a 16650 powering the LED side.

No, it wouldn’t be ideal, but it sure would be attention-getting!

-D

have light, will travel

djozz
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Made another disco tail.

The last one I did had 6 slow colour-changing leds and was lots of fun. The only unexpected effect was that with the 6-led dumb board, every 2 leds share a resistor and are directly parallel, and when at one side the low voltage red led was lighted, a higher voltage blue one parallel would not light up. This led interaction was very interesting to observe but you hardly saw a blue one lighted at all.

Yesterday I did a new Jaxman E2L mod (see the wdymt thread), and today I thought it was neat to have another disco-tail made for it, but now with each led behind its own resistor. It required modding the tail ring. First some traces were cut and solder pads created:

Then the six resistors were soldered, clearing the area where the switch touches the board. The 3 extra resistors were connected to the plus-pad with a thin copper wire:

Then the 6 RGB leds were soldered.

Every tiny component and pad was tinned before soldering down, as I learned the hard way. * Steady hands and perseverence alert! *

The result is as predicted: now all six leds work independently. But they have no synchronised cycle so after switching off the light each time they start together but soon they run out of phase Party :

vwpieces
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OOOOOh, Frik’n cool djozz.
Realy awesome.

MRsDNF
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vwpieces wrote:
OOOOOh, Frik’n cool djozz.
Realy awesome.

+1.
I dont understand whats going on but believe it could cause nightmares if not used with caution. Beer

 

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.

 

emarkd
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djozz wrote:
Made another disco tail.

The last one I did had 6 slow colour-changing leds and was lots of fun. The only unexpected effect was that with the 6-led dumb board, every 2 leds share a resistor and are directly parallel, and when at one side the low voltage red led was lighted, a higher voltage blue one parallel would not light up. This led interaction was very interesting to observe but you hardly saw a blue one lighted at all.

This is great! I’ve only built one of these tails and I liked it well enough, but mine, just like yours, would “drop” blue within a few cycles. After 30 seconds or so they basically became reds and greens only, mostly reds. I had no idea what caused it but never built another because of it. But now I do! Thank you!

Ryley
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I have Astrolux tailcap switch from BG, the switch comes with only 1 led and 1 resistor (blue 1206 led and 2K 0805 resistor).

Already installed (the same 1206 blue led and 2K resistor) another led and resistor on the other side so I can have balance light from the switch. The problem is, after installation, the original led is very dim, and the new led is bright. Check all solder and nothing wrong. Anyone can help? This is the switch board. Thanks.

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Ryley, I may be way off here, so hopefully someone else can validate, but I think you only need one of the resistors.

Ryley
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WillyD wrote:
Ryley, I may be way off here, so hopefully someone else can validate, but I think you only need one of the resistors.

Actually, I already tested that. Solder the led first with no resistor (only 1 resistor with 2 leds), the result is new led bright and original led very dim. After that I install the resistor, so 2 led and 2 resistor, but nothing change. Same result here.

WillyD
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If one of the leds is original and the other is from a different manufacturer, then that could be it. I would try matching the leds since they might have different internal resistance.

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WillyD wrote:
If one of the leds is original and the other is from a different manufacturer, then that could be it. I would try matching the leds since they might have different internal resistance.

Thought about that too.. but now since you mention it, I will try to change the original led. Thanks WillyD!

rizky_p
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Would like to share few lights nothing fancy. currently not using any ring pcb/boards, using white 3D printed rings instead of the metal in convoy not so bright compared to rev2 board because of the ring blocking the light looking forward when rev2 boards arrived from OSH.
I have S2+ with metal tailcap, but i’ll wait for rev2 boards as without it the light is just too dim with low current.

Ultrafire 502B, Astrolux S41, BLF A6, Ultafire C8, Convoy C8, Ultrafire C8 (left to right)

djozz
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Very cool pic, rizky!

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thanks djozz.

djozz wrote:
Very cool pic, rizky!
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Ryley wrote:
I have Astrolux tailcap switch from BG, the switch comes with only 1 led and 1 resistor (blue 1206 led and 2K 0805 resistor).

Already installed (the same 1206 blue led and 2K resistor) another led and resistor on the other side so I can have balance light from the switch. The problem is, after installation, the original led is very dim, and the new led is bright.

Use two of the same LED, and probably only one resistor (will probably need some trial and error to get the right value).

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Will do that tomorrow night, thanks TK.

Update :
You’re all correct TK and WillyD Big Smile I change the led with the same and now both are equally bright. Thanks!

Next on Solarforce L2M, still waiting the Osh board.

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djozz wrote:
Made another disco tail.


Just saw this djozz. That’s spectacular. Have you done power draw tests on those color changing LEDs? It’s this kind of stuff that makes me want to come out of modding retirement Love

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

Major Projects:  Illuminated Tailcap, TripleDown/TripleStack Driver

djozz
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Thanks pd, and now someone will have come up with yet another cool mod to definately get you back on the modding track. Party

The tail draws between 0.4 and 0.6 mA, so the Aspire 18350 cell that I use in the light drains in about 100 days.

I have EDC-ed it for two weeks now (a E2L triple with 219B SW40 R9080 makes a great EDC) and the only time the slow-disco-tail was a bit hindering was when camping on a camp site I had to find my way to the toilet in the middle of the night, I was glad no one saw me grabbing a colourful lighted thing out of my pocket and wonder what on earth that was. Once clicked on moon that solved the situation of course.

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Rev4 19mm board for my shorty L2M finally arrived. Less then 3 weeks to Indonesia is fast enough. When inspecting the board, I realized that the led position is near the edge of the board which mean led almost underneath the tailcap body. So I think it will need led with larger emitting area to spread the light more, using 1206 smd led instead of 0805. The led pad is designed for 0805, have to solder at the edge of the pad to fit 1206.

Using 1206 smd in red and 2K resistor.
Bright enough and apparently the light is spread nicely. The interior of Solarforce tailcap is bare alumunium (not anodized), kind of reflective. So with the combination of bigger led and reflective tailcap interior, this is the result.

rizky_p
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Hello too from Indonesia.

Ryley wrote:
Rev4 19mm board for my shorty L2M finally arrived. Less then 3 weeks to Indonesia is fast enough. When inspecting the board, I realized that the led position is near the edge of the board which mean led almost underneath the tailcap body. So I think it will need led with larger emitting area to spread the light more, using 1206 smd led instead of 0805. The led pad is designed for 0805, have to solder at the edge of the pad to fit 1206.
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rizky_p wrote:
Hello too from Indonesia.

Glad to know there is Indonesian modder here Big Smile Btw, nice review Rizky.

rizky_p
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got this today from OSH Park.
i should’ve ordered the top part only as i found out that i dont need the switch PCBs.
,

Ryley wrote:
rizky_p wrote:
Hello too from Indonesia.

Glad to know there is Indonesian modder here Big Smile Btw, nice review Rizky.

Salam kenal ya Om. Thumbs Up

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Warning, the following paragraph is a little bit of a rant, but I need to get it out of my system.

I spent a night and the better part of a day working on my Astrolux lighted switch in my JAXMAN E2L flashlight. I didn’t like that it only came with 1 LED, but it was better than a non-lighted switch. I spent a lot of effort previously figuring out how to make it work with the FET + 7135 driver, please see here: D.I.Y. Illuminated tailcap. It was not a plug and play enhancement. Eventually the switch went bad (the flashlight started to flicker) so I needed to replace it with an Omten 1288. I also wanted to replace the LED so I bought an assortment of 0805 SMD resistors and LEDs. I thought it would be nice to have a green and a yellow LED on the switch. Seemed pretty simple, right? NO, NO, NO. The 2 LEDs have different forward voltages, so 1 was brighter than the other. So I switched to both being blue. I got the LEDs attached, experimented with different resistors to get the brightness (i.e. parasitic current) that I wanted, and replaced the switch. Everything seemed fine. Right? What could go wrong? I now have LEDs on both sides, nice and even. I put the switch back into the flashlight and nothing! It would not turn on. Did I put the switch on backwards? That is not even possible after I thought about it for awhile. Maybe the LEDs need to be turned around? So I did just that. Turned 1 LED the other direction and retried. Turned the other LED the other direction and retried. I kept experimenting. Then it dawned upon me that perhaps it was due to the new resistance/current of the switch that was causing problems with the driver. DING, DING, DING. So I tried a resistor that made the LED brighter, similar to the original brightness, and put everything back together. Seemed to work fine, but then the switch started to blink and the flashlight turned into next mode memory. So I tried an even lower resistor value. Everything seemed fine, yay! But then after about 30 minutes, the same thing happened. Argh! Finally, I figured, let’s try the original switch LED and resistor value. After all, it worked previously. And sure enough, that worked!

LESSON LEARNED, when working with lighted switches, it appears you must choose the switch LEDs and resistance AND then determine the value of the driver bleeder resistor, NOT the other way around. In order to use the new switch LEDs, I would need to change the bleeder resistor. I really don’t feel like taking apart the flashlight head, especially the way I soldered the resistor to the retaining ring. Maybe someday, but right now I’m glad to have my JAXMAN back, the lighted switch still looks good, and at least the new switch was successful.

Here’s what I was shooting for:

Here’s what I reverted back to (notice the same resistor value, but twice the current):

I’d rather use my flashlight around the house than turn on the lights.

djozz
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It took you just a night and a day to figure that out? Then you did well, I admire your steep learning curve. Smile It took me longer to learn all that. Nothing is easy with lighted tailcaps, everything depends on everything.

Congratulations on the succesfull result!

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NF you were persistent and got it working, good work. Clean too. Thumbs Up

Your yellow version Astrolux board is different than I have seen so far with single LED.

Mine have a different look and came with 2 LEDs and 2 individual 15K (18C) resistors one on each LED path. These I bought separately off BG. I have installed a few if these into the EE X2R without any driver resistor mods.
I also have a black BLF version that has one LED and completely different paths that my Yellow. Yet it does have 2 paths on either side of the SW, they seem to be linked at each pad corresponding to the other side. Some light also came withe the black board ( BLF DL036_K6) bare no lighting on them.

Your Yellow seems like the Black ones I have as you can use one resistor to both LEDs.

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rizky_p wrote:
got this today from OSH Park.
i should’ve ordered the top part only as i found out that i dont need the switch PCBs.
,
Ryley wrote:
rizky_p wrote:
Hello too from Indonesia.

Glad to know there is Indonesian modder here Big Smile Btw, nice review Rizky.

Salam kenal ya Om. Thumbs Up

That are lots of boards. Keren! Thumbs Up

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Ryley wrote:
That are lots of boards. Keren! Thumbs Up

A lot is never enough for an addict Big Smile

Nico -.-

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1 is too many and 1000 is never enough.

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For those that are interested, Banggood is apparently now selling the Astrolux lighted switch with 2 LEDs. I asked them about this when I started having problems with my switch and they confirmed that their new stock has 2 LEDs. There are numerous complaints on their website about receiving the switch with only 1 LED. Even their title now states 2 LEDs: “Astrolux SC/SS BLF X5/X6 Flashlight 2LED Lighting Switch For DIY”. I’m tempted to try it out with my JAXMAN, but I think there is a very low chance that it would match up with the driver. But, I should get 1 anyways for my next mod.

I’d rather use my flashlight around the house than turn on the lights.

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