Helpful Tip: Filing off the Dielectric Layer of a Noctigon.

Sometimes you need to fill in or level off a pill for some reason. Maybe for height, or to place a 20mm MCPCB on top of a 16mm pill. Yes, it's handy to just drop in a filed down Noctigon to fill the void, but it's not that easy. It can be a lot of work.

The Fiberglas dielectric layer can take a lot of work, and skinned fingertips, to file down. Even coarser files seem to slid across it without removing any material.

Well, here's a tip on how to accomplish this in seconds.

Just blast the noctigon with a mini torch for a few seconds and the dielectric layer will burn up and turn to carbon. No more sore wrists and bleeding fingertips.

THANK YOU. Why didn’t I think of this before?!

Will try it asap.

Good tip, although it reminds me of my first LED re-flows :smiley:

Interesting. Definitely a time-saving tip. I usually use a cheapo non-DTP copper mcpcb instead of an actual noctigon, and I use a sanding drum on my dremel tool to take the finish off. It works quite well, but your way looks like even less work.

To save your fingers while sanding it clean fold a 2” piece of 3/4” wide tape in the middle leaving ~3/8” at each end unstuck and stick the ends to the back of the star forming a “T”. Instant handle.

That’s how I thought of it. From early reflows where too much heat made the layer turn black an peel off.

Good idea about the cheapo non-DTP mcpcb. Got a link?
I tried the sanding drum method. Doesn’t make for a flat even surface.

I have a bunch of 16mm’s from fasttech, sorry can’t find the link. I had some 20mm for awhile, now i buy copper “blanks” from etsy for the bigger sizes. Keep in mind the cheapies aren’t as thick as a noctigon.

I get all the top stuff off with the dremel, then finish it with 800grit paper to make it smooth. I’m not as picky as some people about perfectly “lapped” surfaces.

Believe me, hit it with some heat and it’s gone in seconds.

What a great tip! Thanks for sharing!!

I hit mine with a large blowtorch and when pulled the layer out the middle part remained in place. But then I soldered it on a brass pill and sanded down the rest, was relatively easy.

Yes. The small direct thermal path to the LED will be raised where it comes up to meet the LED through the dielectric layer, but a couple of swipes with a file and all is level.

The insulator also dulls files. All this seems useful.

What store do you use to buy the blanks on etsy?

it smells like hell when you do this so burn away in a well ventilated area.

Thanks Ouchyfoot. I've only used a star not as intended once and used a file like others here. I was dreading having to do it again that way if I had to. Now to remember your tip, thats the hard part now.