backuplights should be pretty damn bright too lol
Originally Posted by soundman98
edit: here's just one of them
similar, but that image is with a flashlight with focusing optics..(though the optics look really good-- no really visible 'rings'..)
i decided that i won't be using optics-- it'll be plenty bright, and i want to illuminate everything behind the car..
my luma-power incendio flashlight with a cree xp-g-r5 led (good for about 350 lumens) at the same level as my backup lights:
and then to be fair-- what i am trying to beat-- my factory backup lamps-- only the drivers side-- the passenger side bulb was removed to give the single led flashlight a fighting chance:
but none of this will ever get done if i can't finish my tail lights first!!!
i told myself that i could not start another led project until the led tails are completely done.. the problem is that i am coming up with led ideas faster then i can work on my led tails!!
wow. that's impressive. i might have to look into converting my flashlights now too.
and while i'm at it my roadbike headlight
... and then maybe MY backup lights
.... and then :p
jeeze.. a whole month without a update... i guess i've been working too hard..(or is it hardly working?)
so i just finished the first led board, and had to post some of the pics..(i've got about 2 saturdays worth of work on the other three boards)
first, the beautiful printed boards with mask on and cut out:
these were done using some press-n-peel film from here.
i snagged the printer at work for a couple hours many saturdays ago, and printed off all 4 boards(2 extra for when i royally screw up) onto the film.
from there, it follows almost any pcb etching guide-- i cleaned the boards, and ironed on the pattern.
after ironing, the boards sat in my basement for way too long because i was fearful that the etchant fumes from the ammonium persulfate would be too strong to bear in the house, so i waited until a nice day..
i was wrong-- it was barely anything-- it has a certain smell, but nothing that is even close to 'smelly'..
here's the larger circles halfway through their bath:
the first batch of small boards seemed to take forever, mostly because i used cold water, instead of hot water, so the etching process was slowed down, and i was horribly nervous about it, so that probably made seem longer..
after about a hour, those came out fine, and i made a new batch of etchant for the the large boards, which took about the same amount of time, and came out just as good.
i started drilling the small boards, but found that it was nearly impossible because the etchant had turned the mask to a white-ish color, so it was really hard to see all the holes:
so i grabbed one of my 600-something stock of led's from the case, and taped it below the drill press to light up the holes:
i just used a nearby wire cutters to hold down the led tester button-- i know real professional! :
drilling, and sanding the edges of all the boards took about 2-4 hours(something like 2400 holes!), but the end result was some really professional looking boards..
after that, i moved the operations into the house, and applied to the chrome-brite trim(non conductive!), and soldered all the led's to the boards:
after all the work, this pic just seemed really cool:
then, i played with different resistors to get the desired brightness.
after that came soldering all the little smd 1208 resistors into place.
and the end result:
stock bulb on left, led's on right:
stock bulb on right, led's on left:
and separate locked camera settings pics-- locked settings good for filament bulb(1/80 f7.1 400iso):
the stop function is a lot brighter then i had anticipated, so i am considering swapping out the resistors to get them a little dimmer, but i think i'll wait until i can see them on the car to see how much brighter they are outside..
now i just have 3 more boards to build!!
and for those who read all the way through(or just skipped to the end!!)- i found a new kick-arse flashlight!! the Xeno E03!! it is about $30, and can run on AA's, though some say that running a lithium battery almost doubles the output-- to the point that it is as bright as my $50-60 lumapower incindio.. just waiting for mine to ship...
holly crap your own custom, one of a kind tail lights nicely done!
Heh I have to agree with above although not so sure about the wiley reference..
I mean he was a super genius yes.. Success rate not so much :D
a little update.
digikey had sent me the wrong resistors, so i have to wait for the new order that i just put in..
but i did finish the tail lamp illumination ring for all the boards.
i ended up changing the design a little. in the first pic's where the 1 board was completed, i was running the 'rings' at 2mA. i changed this so that they are now running at 5mA. it is a little brighter, but i think it matches up a little better..
mocked up in my test housings:
for now, the outer ring led's use 4-series strings, with a 330ohm 1/4w resistor, for a end result of about 5mA draw form each string.
the tail/turn features are going to be using 3-series strings, with a 100 ohm 1/2w resistor, for a end result of about 50mA draw from each string.
heres a question though:
i measured the current draw of my arrays, and it was well above what the led calculator said it would be:
for all 112 leds(small boards have 20 in each circle, the large boards have 36 per circle)(5mA, 2.6v Vf, 330ohm resistor, 4series string), the led calc says that it should draw 140mA
when i measured the draw from the wires after the vregs, but before the arrays(connected in parallel), i came up with 313mA:
can anyone explain this much of a discrepancy in the power draw?
Great job on the LED tails so far! A little hint if you make the through hole larger in the soldering pad, when etching it will create a divot in the board that is very easy for your eyes and the bit to find. Saves on bits as well, especially if drilling by hand but looks like you have a small drill press, dremel drill press FTW, couldn't do these projects without it! I did the same thing with extra LEDs for more lighting under the drill press too though! haha