FW3A with R,G,B,UV (MELD UI upgrade)

I finally got around to upgrading my FW3A to a complete MELD build with RGB and UV:

This one was a bit of a challenge because the driver area is so compact. It was made doable because I typically dislike using direct drive, so the first thing I did was to remove the big FET. That left me enough room to place a new microcontroller (PIC16F1575) on a breakout board, and 4 additional MEL7135 regulators:

The LED placement on a light this compact wasn’t much easier - the only place I could fit the additional parts (XQE color and Lux UV 405nm) was off to the side between two of the white emitters. To do this I made a board on hand-cut blank flex PCB material:

And soldered the LEDs in place:

In this location there’s just enough space to fit inside of the optics post:

And the new LED setup looks like this with wiring added. The new LED board is attached with two-sided thermal tape:

I flashed the standard MELD UI onto the microcontroller and wired everything up. The wires for the color channels are 34AWG so there’s enough space to scrunch up enough length to have them wired before the driver is pushed into place.
Since the colors are just firing into the back of the optic, the beam pattern looks pretty crazy:

But on the plus side it makes lava lamp mode look pretty cool:

Since the UV is actually fairly long-wavelength near-UV at 405nm it comes through the plastic optic just fine:

And with all channels on low you can just barely make out the bare emitters under there:

Dear lord...

I love your detailed soldering tterev3! Your work is an inspiration every time I look at it. Fantastic!

This is absolutely bonkers. I love it.

Looks great, and intricate soldering!

The KDLITKER E6 with triple XP-E is the best non-mixing RGB (or amber) light for the rest of us at the moment.

wow. just wow.

would love to know how many hours you spent on this! and how many brain-hours as well.

Wow. That’s very impressive!

Awesome! Glad to see another creative project of yours.

It’s hard to appreciate how tight the space is, but when I think about how small an XP-compatible emitter is, and then look at those XQ-E’s mounted in proximity, it starts to sink in.

Great post. What exactly is MELD?

Amazingly intricate (and almost useless) mod!
Well done! :+1:

I think it would be great if any flashlight manufacturer wanted to partner with tterev3 to make a good off-the-shelf RGBW light based on it.

Wow, I love it. I wish so much one like this was available to buy (or RGB/MELD light). I have a good collection of RGB flashlights, but something like this is a whole ’nother level of cool. Thanks for sharing tterev3!


Jaw droppingly amazing job! :heart_eyes:

The build on this was probably around 3 hours total. Firmware work has been done over many years to settle on the current version, so many many hours but not devoted to this specific light.

Geesh, tterev3. You must be a brain surgeon with how precise you are with that enameled wire.

Thanks for that intricate detail. Goes to show your expert level of experience.

For my very first build (Solarforce drop-in with single LED which was already on a MCPCB) I needed >4 hours! and it broke on the first day.

This is looking like a promising RGB colour mixing light: