Apr 28 2012, 07:30 AM
Hello all, Im modding my CG2 Controller. Its going to be Black and red. With the red Transparent for leds. My problem is at first, when I had 4 leds, it was nice and bright. I added two more, and they are extremely dim. I want them to be always bright, Like my XCM Light up controller shell. I was reading about posting here, to see how to make it bright, but i didn't find much. I found out about a Charge pump or DC-Dc converter, my problem is, how will i build it?
here some pics of how I installed them. If anything is wrong, or out of place, please tell me. I want this controller to come out nice and bright. And the controller is going to have quite a number of leds. Im going to light up the dome, joysticks, XYBA buttons, and if possible or i got space the d-pad. I already did the triggers, and bumpers.
^This was before I added more leds, and added the transistor.
^my XCM controller, Its always bright, even if its about to die. But the MB on it is a Matrix.
*ignore mess in background, I took these after adding some more leds.
I'm not sure how to resize pictures, so if they are big, sorry. And Thank you for looking at my current project, and helping me out with it.
-I forgot to mention, I have a Pre-programmed RapidFire chip under the pcb, Thats why you see extra wires going to different places.
The PCB itself is for the negative and positive wires for the leds. So all it goes to one easy location.
Apr 29 2012, 01:40 AM
If you're running all of the LEDs in parallel then you shouldn't notice any of them being more or less bright than the others. That is of course provided all of the LEDs are the same, you're using the same value Resistors on them all and they are all being powered from the same voltage source.
If you're using the Transistor as a switch, you need to make sure it can handle the amount of current you're pulling thru it as well. Since the LEDs are in parallel that just adds up per LED, so 6 LEDs each rated at 20mA would be a 120mA load, 6 x 20 = 120. It shouldn't be an issue for that 3904 with that many LEDs, as it can handle 200mA continuously, but if you're planning on adding more still you'll want to use one that can handle that, like a 2N2222 or similar.
You wouldn't build the entire Charge Pump, DC-DC boost regulator or LED driver if you decide to use one. Those are mostly taken care of in some IC package already. You'd only need the IC and a few support components depending on which you used.
You didn't specify, but if you're using all white LEDs I'd swap them for red ones, since they have a lower forward voltage they will stay bright longer on the battery power, and they'll look better thru the red plastic versus the white ones also. If you plan to use some DC-DC or LED driver so you have a fixed voltage source, then it wouldn't really matter much.
Apr 29 2012, 06:18 AM
Hey, thanks for replying and helping me out. I have the LEDs in a parallel circuit. I am using red LEDs. The specs are
Lens Color: Water Clear
View Angle: 25 Degrees
Forward Voltage: 1.9-2.3v
Luminosity: 15,000 mcd.
I didn't know why there were so dim, but i think it might my transistor after reading what you said about the components.And none of the LEDs became dim such as some are brighter and some are dim, but i meant as all of them as a whole dimmed out as i added more. I forgot what the exact specs on it are, so ill check what they are. And as for putting a resistor on each LED, I didn't put anything since I know CG2 doesn't provide much voltage. But should I any way? And i have my transistor connected with a 1.5K resistor, I get a feeling its wrong, the way I hooked it up. Can i can keep it that way, or do you recommend something else.(I did see your post about the optocoupler, but i have transistors lying around, so I used that method).
Apr 29 2012, 11:39 AM
Using the Transistor for the LEDs is fine, and they will handle more current than an OC as well, so it's better to use a Transistor for this.
There should be 2 Resistors on the Transistor, one on the Base (around 1k or so is fine), then one form the Base to Emitter (around 10k or so) so it turns the thing completely off. The BE Resistor isn't always needed, but it's good practice to use it.
A Resistor should always be used on an LED, unless the voltage you're driving it with is under the LED rating, but in this case it both is and isn't.
If the LEDs are spec'd at 1.9v-2.3v then they could be going bad, or the spot you're using for power can't source the current. The 2 x AA batteries are ~3.4v when new, and even if you're only using PnC batteries they are ~2.7v fully charged, which drops to 2.2v when they are low. That line also has 3.3v on it when the PnC cable is plugged up, and even minus the voltage drop thru the Transistor, you're still overpowering them with new AA or when charging batteries. So you're throwing over 2.3v into them at that point, until the batteries drain some, so they would need a Resistor for sure at that point but then they don't when the batteries get low.
This is the main reason sticking LEDs in the controller 'as-is' never flies, because there is no good regulated source for driving them and where an LED driver or DC-DC is useful, but the more you stick in there the shorter the battery run time is going to be also.
Since those are Red LEDs and they have a lower voltage, you could also use a Regulator set around 2.5v or so and use that as the power source, that way the LEDs would never get any more than ~2.2v or so (less than the 2.5v because of the Transistor voltage drop) but they're still going to dim some when the battery level gets under 2.5v, and it will since the controller can still run on 2v or so.
If you're really wanting to put in at least 5 more LEDs, plus the 6 already in there, you're looking at a 220mA current draw, which is far more than the controller uses just on it's own, so the 30-40 hours of run time it had on the batteries will be a thing of the past.
Anything you use will need to handle around 500mA to be safe with that many LEDs, Regulator, LED driver or DC-DC, any method will need to be able to source that current to drive all of those LEDs.
You could go with some Buck or maybe Buck-Boost LED driver, but you're looking at an IC to do that, plus it's support circuitry, and some math to get it all working right with your setup, and making up a PCB for it would be the best way to go there, plus it would also cost the most.
The most simple thing to do would be to just use a 2.2v Regulator and a manual switch so there's no voltage drop to deal with. The Transistor could still be used, but the LEDs are still going to dim some when the battery voltage drops.
Apr 29 2012, 11:31 PM
Wow, Thanks man. I think I'm going to go with the Regulator. Seeing its the best option, I don't want to take up more space in my controller than needed. And Yeah I plan on adding about 8~10 more LEDs. I'm going to light up the ABYX buttons, dome, and the Analog Sticks. I know It will drain the battery life quicker, but I don't mind.
Do you know how Xcm Keeps constant voltage?On my XCM shell I can have 1 Battery bar life, and the lights are still the same brightness. If not, Ill just do the regulator method. And Seriously, Thank you for the all the help, Usually I read your other posts and easily find out what to do, without having to post a topic here, But this is one of times, I wasn't exactly sure what to do.
Apr 30 2012, 01:26 AM
If you're going 10 more LEDs on top of the 6 already in there, then you'll need a Reg and Transistor (if you plan to use it so it switches on/off on it's own) rated at at least 400mA each, and I'd go 500mA to be safe.
The XCM shell doesn't keep constant voltage, it will dim with battery voltage as well, unless they've changed the board design a good bit since I saw it last. There was no regulation in there when I took one apart, just a couple of Transistors and a Hex Inverter IC as an on/off switch that uses the Tact switch as the trigger. I did this a good while back on paper for curiosity's sake, and have had the board sitting around doing nothing since then, so I just had a look at it again and made up another schematic of it. This one had all white LEDs except for the ABXY, which are colored accordingly.
The controller turns Q1 on/off, so that U1 never has power when the controller is off, thus the LEDs can never be left on all the time. After Q1 is turned on by the controller, then U1 can turn Q2 on/off via the Light button to turn the LEDs on/off. There's no regulation in there at all, least not on this one I took apart years ago.
If you can't see a change from a PnC pack with 1 battery bar, and then plugging up a PnC cable, then they've done something to it that I'd have to see, but I'd wager you'll see a difference in brightness going right from a PnC pack that needs charged to plugging up the PnC cable since that's a 2.2v (low pack) to 3.3v (charging) difference. When you watch them slowly dim over time it's not as noticable, but wait until the battery pack is low and plug up the PnC cable, if they don't get any brighter at all then they have redone the board in there, but I'd doubt it.
Apr 30 2012, 03:06 AM
I Use The MS Battery Pack and whenever i do connect the cable, I don't see them get brighter. But I'll wait till it gets low, and plug in the cable to make sure. The only time i seen the lights dim is when the controller battery completely dies. But ill actually pay attention this time to make sure.
Anyway I'm going to order the regulator and transistor.
May 2 2012, 07:08 PM
Well, My battery finally reached 1 bar again, and nothing, the lights didn't dim. I don't know if its because they changed it or do the matrix motherboards have constant voltage?
You must have it wired to the headset spot then. It stays right around 3v over the PnC pack voltages, but if you use a AA pack in there it varies from 3.3v to 3v, so it's not a fully regulated source but it doesn't vary much either.
On the CG2, this spot has no regulation at all and varies with the battery voltage. The CG works about the same as the Matrix though.
Even if it was the same on the CG2, I personally wouldn't pull the load you're wanting from that source anyway, since there's no way to tell what it can really handle.
Still about the easiest thing to do is use a 2v Reg and a switch. For the current you're wanting to draw and the voltage input requirements that have to be met, it's the method with the least components needed to go about it.
May 3 2012, 01:20 AM
Yeah i'm just going to go with the regulator. But at the moment I'm delaying my mod project for a bit. For some reason, my controller losses connection/or goes into sync mode constantly. It used to do it before i even decided to mod it, but it was once in a while so i didn't care much, but then it started to do it more and more, and now, it losses connection every few minutes. Why does it do that? I replaced my sync button but nothing, it still does it. I think whatever chip is for connection is messing up.
First thing I'd do is pull that mess off there and see how it acts for a few days running stock.
I also wouldn't use magnet wire in there either. The enamel on it is a good insulator, but it's very thin and as soon as it rubs thru, which is more likely to happen than the coating on the wrapping wire being pierced, then you have a short or intermittent problem.
Also, be aware of where the shell makes contact with the PCB. If you haven't done anything to the top half of the shell I guarantee you're pinching wires also.
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