D.I.Y. Illuminated tailcap

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NeutralFan
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I finally got around to measuring the current of the lighted tailcap in my JAXMAN E2L flashlight. I was concerned about the 1.46mA that I measured with just a battery (#1585 ). That seemed rather high compared to what others have reported here. The tailcap does not seem that extra bright, it actually seems just about right. So I removed the flashlight head, connected a wire between the battery and the driver spring, and stuck my DMM between the driver retaining ring and the battery tube. I measured 0.51mA – much better!

BTW, I ordered the Austrolux lighted switch with 2 LEDs. I’m hoping that since my current and the new switch are both specified to work with the driver in the BLF X6/X5 and Astrolux SC/SS/S2/S3 flashlights, the new switch should also work in my E2L. I’ll report back once I’ve tested it.

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

NeutralFan
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The new Austrolux lighted switch came today and I immediately tested it with my JAXMAN E2L flashlight. And guess what? It didn’t quite work. The switch did come with 2 LEDs (and 2 1K ohm resistors), so that’s good, and the brightness seemed about right. With the flashlight on, the mode switching works great. The issue is that when I turn it off it does not revert back to the lowest mode, but instead only goes back to the next lower mode like a medium press. So rather than being complacent with my working 1 LED switch, I’m going to start over from scratch. I’m up for the challenge!

Is this where (circled in green) I can put an SMD 0805 bleeder resistor on my FET + 7135 Mountain Electronics 17DDm driver? As you may recall, on the right is where the resistor currently resides (not pretty Facepalm ).

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

korpzgrinda
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Thanks for letting us know about your experience with the BG lighted tailcap. I definitely want to try adding a lighted tail switch to a couple lights, but I don’t think my current equipment or skill set would allow me to build one myself. So I have been holding back on trying the BG one because I read somewhere here they were only 1 LED at some point. It’s nice to know they have 2 now.

NeutralFan
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Here’s the latest Banggood Astrolux lighted switch. Not a bad deal considering 2 LEDs and a double spring. It still looks like a no-brand switch, which I will be replacing with a Omten 1288.

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

NeutralFan
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Does anybody know if this is where (circled in green) I should put the bleeder resistor on a my FET + 7135 Mountain Electronics 17DDm driver? Sorry to bug about this again, but I’m getting ready to start experimenting with different values and don’t want to screw up the driver. Here’s another picture that hopefully is clearer. Thanks to anyone that can help.

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

ToyKeeper
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No, those pads wouldn’t be a good spot for the bleeder resistor… if you could even make one fit. Those pads are tiny

It needs a bleeder from BAT- to BAT+. From the outer contact ring to the inner wire hole, somehow. I don’t see an easy way to do that at the moment, but perhaps it’d be easier on the spring side? Or perhaps from the center hole to the 7135’s middle pin if you can do it without touching either of the other pins)?

If you have a floating resistor with wires on either end, it might be easier.

gchart
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Like TK said, I find it easier to do on the spring side of those drivers. I scrape off a little solder mask from the large area and solder it there (click to see larger image)

NeutralFan
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Thank you TK and gchart. Agreed that there doesn’t look like there’s any place on the component side for a bleeder resistor.

So I tried different resistors on the spring side. First I tried a 680 ohm resistor and got the same result as the 328 ohm resistor. Then I tried a 220 ohm resistor and BAM, SUCCESS! Here’s my set-up. I didn’t want to put everything together to test each resistor, so I wired it up manually.

It was a challenge to stretch the solder from the spring to the resistor and the resistor to the retaining ring, but eventually I got it to work. To clean things up, I put the driver onto a drill and sanded down the solder that went onto the retainer ring.

I kept the 2K resistor on the switch and replaced the original LED with 2 0805 blue LEDs. I measured 0.56 mA for the tailcap.

It looked fine before, but now that it has 2 LEDs it looks so much better. I feel proud that I was able to make this work.

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

korpzgrinda
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That looks really nice. It’s good to know you solved the problem. This will be helpful for when I start taking baby steps to learn how to light up a switch. From what I have read so far, people have different methods for soldering the tiny components. When you added that resistor to the driver spring side, and replaced the switch LEDs, did you use an iron or hot air, or something else?

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Just another data point, but I also always add my bleeder to the spring side of those mtnelec boards. Its just the easiest place to do it.

korpzgrinda wrote:
From what I have read so far, people have different methods for soldering the tiny components. When you added that resistor to the driver spring side, and replaced the switch LEDs, did you use an iron or hot air, or something else?

Both of those things should be done with an iron. The soldering on the spring side of the driver is wide open so there’s plenty of room to work with a fine-tipped iron, which is definitely the easiest way to do that. Plus it lets you “stretch” your solder a bit if you don’t want to fool with scraping off mask.

Replacing the LEDs on the switch board should also be done with a fine-tipped iron, but for a different reason. You really don’t want to point hot air anywhere near that big plastic switch. This kills the switch. Given the choice I use hot air to swap around tiny LEDs and resistors, so having hot air available is really handy, but in this case its the wrong choice. Stick to an iron even though its pretty fiddly and annoying.

NeutralFan
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Agreed with what emarkd said, but with 1 caveat. Since my driver was soldered to the retaining ring, I needed to use a medium tip with my soldering iron in order to melt the solder. A small tip wouldn’t do it.

I used a precision tweezers to pull the bleeder resistor from the melted solder in the spring area. I stretched the solder as much as possible else if there was too much of a gap I couldn’t stretch the solder on the retaining ring side. There was much trial and error and I went thru a couple resistors since they looked a little burned.

I also use 2 soldering irons to remove LEDs and resistors from the switch board. Put an iron on each side of the component, melt the solder, and like a tweezers, grab the component off the board. And to remove the leftover solder, I melt the solder and quickly swipe it with a toothpick.

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

lumenzilla
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Just purchased some boards from oshpark, can’t wait for the mailman to come and deliver me the package.

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Received mine today and just find out that I only purchase the O shaped PCBs (washer?).
Now I need to do another purchase to get the switchboard Facepalm

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lumenzilla wrote:
Received mine today and just find out that I only purchase the O shaped PCBs (washer?).
Now I need to do another purchase to get the switchboard Facepalm

There is no need to buy the other PCBs too, if you dont want to use a poti. You only have to Connect each end of the Switch with your washer-PCB.
lumenzilla
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Wieselflinkpro wrote:
There is no need to buy the other PCBs too, if you dont want to use a poti. You only have to Connect each end of the Switch with your washer-PCB.

Thanks for your advise, Wieselflinkpro.

I tried it but still failed. Here’s what have I done:

1. Soldered 3 SMD LEDs to channel 1.
2. Tested the LEDs, all three can shine together if I direct drive any one of them.
3. Soldered the B pin to bypass because I use no pots.

Now I have difficulties connecting the washer PCB to my switch board (Manker E14), tried several ways but still failed.

Here’s my connection scheme, I hope somebody could help me understand this wiring thing.

Thanks!

gchart
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It’s been a little while, but I cooked up another one over the weekend. A Convoy M1 with an XP-L V6 5000K and a nanjg105c driver with Babka firmware. Used a 750 ohm bleeder on the driver. For the tailcap, I used 6 green LEDs on a Rev5.3 board, bridged to a single channel using a 20K ohm resistor. It’s bright. I haven’t measured amp draw, but with a 20K ohm I doubt it’d be much.

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^

Nice work there.  I see some blue.  Before reading your post, I thought you had a green switch cover with some blue emitters underneath.

 

lumenzilla wrote:
Wieselflinkpro wrote:
There is no need to buy the other PCBs too, if you dont want to use a poti. You only have to Connect each end of the Switch with your washer-PCB.
Thanks for your advise, Wieselflinkpro. I tried it but still failed. Here's what have I done: 1. Soldered 3 SMD LEDs to channel 1. 2. Tested the LEDs, all three can shine together if I direct drive any one of them. 3. Soldered the B pin to bypass because I use no pots. Now I have difficulties connecting the washer PCB to my switch board (Manker E14), tried several ways but still failed. Here's my connection scheme, I hope somebody could help me understand this wiring thing. !http://i64.tinypic.com/2na1xxh.jpg! Thanks!

Is that OSH board the board that normally has the switch installed on it?  I have never looked at those.  If it is, you seem to be connecting one switch board to another switch board.  Maybe the pic just doesn't show the hole in the center for the switch's button. 

I think Wieselflinkpro was saying that you can hook your switch (with it's own PCB as you have pictured) directly to the board that has the emitters and resistors.  He called your washer pcb because it looks a little like a washer with a hole in the center. 

Please excuse me if I'm totally missing something.  I didn't try to  dig back into posts to get the back story.

gchart
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lumenzilla wrote:
Here’s my connection scheme, I hope somebody could help me understand this wiring thing.

Two things that stand out to me:

  1. According to the image, I think you have the polarity reversed. With the “HGJ-16” up top, I think the right leg is negative. I always double check myself with a DMM each time just to make sure.
  2. A 1K ohm resistor is probably going to be too little resistance depending on your LEDs and desired brightness. For 6 blue LEDs, I usually use 10K ohm. 20K ohm for 6 green LEDs. Around 6.2K ohm for 6 red. For only 3 LEDs, I’d double the resistance (ie, 20K ohm for 3 blue LEDs).

ImA4Wheelr wrote:
Nice work there. I see some blue. Before reading your post, I thought you had a green switch cover with some blue emitters underneath.

IRL, it’s pretty green. I don’t notice any blue, but I’m colorblind. Guessing it’s just the color balance of the image. Here’s a pic of a few sitting on my desk. I know these colors are off. From left to right: green+blue, white, blue+white, blue, green. I’m not too good with photo editing to properly adjust the colors.
Wieselflinkpro
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lumenzilla wrote:
Wieselflinkpro wrote:
There is no need to buy the other PCBs too, if you dont want to use a poti. You only have to Connect each end of the Switch with your washer-PCB.

Thanks for your advise, Wieselflinkpro.

I tried it but still failed. Here’s what have I done:

1. Soldered 3 SMD LEDs to channel 1.
2. Tested the LEDs, all three can shine together if I direct drive any one of them.
3. Soldered the B pin to bypass because I use no pots.

Now I have difficulties connecting the washer PCB to my switch board (Manker E14), tried several ways but still failed.

Here’s my connection scheme, I hope somebody could help me understand this wiring thing.

Thanks!


You do not need the 1K resistor on the purple wire.
The resistor needs to be placed on P1 and P2 between the big solder point and the inner solder point. The outer solder point is not needed.
Instead of the resistor you can place an adjustable resistor (poti) on the tree solder-points, like it is linked in the OP: https://www.ebay.com/itm/10PCS-3×3-50K-SMD-Adjustable-Resistor-Potentiometer-20-Original-Panasonic-/252047736341
NeutralFan
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0.56 mA was too much for me. Sure it looked cool during the day, but it was excessively bright at night. So I tried a 4.64K ohm resistor and measured 0.30 mA. That still was too bright in the middle of the night. I like that the tailcap shines nice and bright since it’s a neat feature, but it also needs to be reasonable. Then I tried a 6.74K ohm resistor and measured 0.20 mA and that seemed about right. Here it is next to the Meteor M43 (on the right) turned on, which was my target brightness.

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

Lexel
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I looked at your Tail cap designs

One thing I find a little odd, you have to switch between the 2 potentiometers

Wouldn’t it be better to use those 2 potentiometers to control both LEDs brightness to be able to change the effective light color
and the switch to turn it off and on
for example from Green to yellow-green-yellow-amber-orange red-red

I saw later the 18mm top board but that does not fit a 16mm host, the potentiometers seem to be further out than on the 16mm bottom board

17mm

16mm

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gchart wrote:

Two things that stand out to me:
  1. According to the image, I think you have the polarity reversed…..

Wieselflinkpro wrote:
You do not need the 1K resistor on the purple wire….

Thanks, I’ll try again Beer

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lumenzilla wrote:
gchart wrote:

Two things that stand out to me:
  1. According to the image, I think you have the polarity reversed…..

Wieselflinkpro wrote:
You do not need the 1K resistor on the purple wire….

Thanks, I’ll try again Beer

A quick look at a Convoy switch shows me definately polarity reversed
If you got only one sort of LEDs there is no need for a balancing resistor, but thinking of it some balance resistors would be useful to even out small differences of the LEDs like in the first batch of Q8s with uneven LEDs

so added with balance resistors
17mm

16mm

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Lexel wrote:
I looked at your Tail cap designs

One thing I find a little odd, you have to switch between the 2 potentiometers

Wouldn’t it be better to use those 2 potentiometers to control both LEDs brightness to be able to change the effective light color
and the switch to turn it off and on
for example from Green to yellow-green-yellow-amber-orange red-red

I liked having a low and high “setting” I could easily toggle by flipping a switch. Being able to vary different colors with the pots sounds cool too. Feel free to continue development in my absence. I make no claims on the designs.

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

Major Projects:  Illuminated Tailcap, TripleDown/TripleStack Driver

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With all of those resistors outside of the LEDs, wouldn’t they interfere with the seating of the tailcap?

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pilotdog68 wrote:
Lexel wrote:
I looked at your Tail cap designs

One thing I find a little odd, you have to switch between the 2 potentiometers

Wouldn’t it be better to use those 2 potentiometers to control both LEDs brightness to be able to change the effective light color
and the switch to turn it off and on
for example from Green to yellow-green-yellow-amber-orange red-red

I liked having a low and high “setting” I could easily toggle by flipping a switch. Being able to vary different colors with the pots sounds cool too. Feel free to continue development in my absence. I make no claims on the designs.


Nice new additions Lexel, will order the one with individual resistors! And pd, thanks for letting everyone continue with your designs! Smile
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gchart wrote:
With all of those resistors outside of the LEDs, wouldn’t they interfere with the seating of the tailcap?

Those resistors are pretty flat, and robust, the silicon wil just be squeezed around them I think.
XXX-Man
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I just noticed set including switch, tailcap and plastic washer for Convoy lights on banggood and aliexpress

Bangood says under restocking, aliexpress has them
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/DIY-1288-LED-Lights-Lamp-Lighting-Switch-For-Convoy-C8-M1-M2-S2-S2-Flashlight-Torch/32842239773.html

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gchart
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Interesting! And very inexpensive.

Quote:
Note:Can not use for the new 7135 firmware which has 12group with 55modes

I’m wondering if this is because in order for it to work properly, the driver would need a bleeder added.
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Ordered 5pcs now Smile

Yes, it’s because you need bleeder. Without bleeder biscotti driver goes to next modc memory (at least mine did).

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