Infraction Custom light kit for Infraction

oops

Well-Known Member
Messages
84
Reaction score
111
I've got an Infraction and want to add some lights. I was a but disappointed with the kit I got for my Felony, and I enjoy fiddling with electronics, so I decided I'd build something myself for the Infraction.

I'll turn this into a bit of a build thread for the lights...

One of the goals was to get really even illumination of the front lights, so I got this PCB made up. There's a total of 40 LEDs on the four front lights, and 79 overall.

IMG_20220514_152343.jpg


First couple of boards soldered:

IMG_20220514_152659.jpg


And assembled:

IMG_20220514_152733.jpg


And running at a fraction of full brightness:

IMG_20220514_152843.jpg


I'm still tweaking the printing of the lens/diffuser to minimise light loss whilst diffusing so that the individual LEDs aren't obvious - and I've already fixed the issue with the top right of the red lens being too short.

They're designed to be an exact match for the design of the lights on the stickers, and I'm pretty happy with the results so far.

The only issue is that on full brightness, the main front light gets hot enough to soften the PLA. The PCBs are aluminium core, which spreads the heat evenly, but it's a lot of LEDs in a small space. Planning to try PETG for the part that's in contact with the PCB.
 
Messages
1,114
Reaction score
1,416
Location
Dallas, TX (USA)
Arrma RC's
  1. Granite
  2. Infraction
  3. Kraton 6s
  4. Mojave
  5. Senton 3s
As always, your LED design projects are top notch!
I love them man 👍

...


The only issue is that on full brightness, the main front light gets hot enough to soften the PLA. The PCBs are aluminium core, which spreads the heat evenly, but it's a lot of LEDs in a small space. Planning to try PETG for the part that's in contact with the PCB.

One of the things you can do to remedy the heat issue is to use the small heatsinks for RAM chips (with pre-installed 3M thermal tape) to attach to the back of your PCB LEDs.. >>

zmrhs1-new.jpg

617AAXbTD4L._AC_SS450_.jpg


512fhk3GBJL._AC_.jpg

51nTHDkxS-L._AC_.jpg


You get the idea.. 😁
 

oops

Well-Known Member
Messages
84
Reaction score
111
small heatsinks for RAM chips
Ooh, good call.

I'm actually a bit surprised at how hot they're getting. I've done stuff with high power LEDs in the past but always assumed that 30mA into an LED produces negligible heat. Turns out if you put enough of them on a small PCB...
 
Last edited:

parcou

Premium Member!
Premium Member
Hospitality Award
Messages
3,342
Reaction score
3,448
Location
Memphis, TN
Arrma RC's
  1. BigRock
  2. Felony
  3. Granite
  4. Infraction
  5. Kraton EXB
I've got an Infraction and want to add some lights. I was a but disappointed with the kit I got for my Felony, and I enjoy fiddling with electronics, so I decided I'd build something myself for the Infraction.

I'll turn this into a bit of a build thread for the lights...

One of the goals was to get really even illumination of the front lights, so I got this PCB made up. There's a total of 40 LEDs on the four front lights, and 79 overall.

View attachment 217520

First couple of boards soldered:

View attachment 217521

And assembled:

View attachment 217519

And running at a fraction of full brightness:

View attachment 217518

I'm still tweaking the printing of the lens/diffuser to minimise light loss whilst diffusing so that the individual LEDs aren't obvious - and I've already fixed the issue with the top right of the red lens being too short.

They're designed to be an exact match for the design of the lights on the stickers, and I'm pretty happy with the results so far.

The only issue is that on full brightness, the main front light gets hot enough to soften the PLA. The PCBs are aluminium core, which spreads the heat evenly, but it's a lot of LEDs in a small space. Planning to try PETG for the part that's in contact with the PCB.

Much nicer and cleaner than Polo Creations. Lov'in it!
 
Messages
1,114
Reaction score
1,416
Location
Dallas, TX (USA)
Arrma RC's
  1. Granite
  2. Infraction
  3. Kraton 6s
  4. Mojave
  5. Senton 3s
Ooh, good call.

I'm actually a bit surprised at how hot they're getting. I've done stuff with high power LEDs in the past but always assumed that 30mA into an LED produces negligible heat. Turns out if you put enough of them on a small PCB...

Agreed, it's the amount of LEDs and their tight proximity on the small boards that's causing the heat issue. But, understandably you are trying to keep the headlights "to scale" of the vehicle, so it's not much more you can do..
Other than reduce LED count...

OR, is there any way to alternate the frequency of LEDs at full brightness? There may be flicker...but at least it would allow the LEDs to not be on /'so hot' constantly.
 

oops

Well-Known Member
Messages
84
Reaction score
111
I can certainly control the brightness with PWM, or increase the value of the resistors, but I like them bright :)
 
Messages
1,114
Reaction score
1,416
Location
Dallas, TX (USA)
Arrma RC's
  1. Granite
  2. Infraction
  3. Kraton 6s
  4. Mojave
  5. Senton 3s
I can certainly control the brightness with PWM, or increase the value of the resistors, but I like them bright :)

Understood.


Then perhaps some (active?) cooling ducts are needed.
I can design a 'raised' front grill for your headlights to sit in that would allow air to flow up and back towards the slim RAM heatsinks in the back of the LEDs.
The whole thing would probably protrude 0.25-0.5 inch out from the body though..

Unless you're willing to cut the front out of the Infraction. In which case, I could make it flush fit.

Just brainstorming..
 

oops

Well-Known Member
Messages
84
Reaction score
111
Thanks - I've ordered some of those heatsinks, and I suspect that in combination with PETG that'll solve it. The current design is terrible for heat dissipation as it's completely enclosed and the PCB is flat against the PLA. Adding the heatsink will not only increase surface area, but also means that it'll be sticking out the back of the light in clear air.
 

oops

Well-Known Member
Messages
84
Reaction score
111
In the Felony, I used a 3 pin magnetic pogo pin connector to automatically connect the lights in the body, but it was a pain to wire and mount. For the Infraction, I'm planning more channels on the body lights, and as I was getting some PCBs done I got some boards made up for the connectors. This breaks out the 6 pin connector into 5 pairs with one connector in common.

IMG_20220514_190745.jpg


It's going to be a bit tricky as there's very little vertical space in the back of the Infraction, but there aren't any convenient existing screw holes in the body to re-use in the front.
 

44Dan44

I'm not superstitious, but I am a little stitious.
Lifetime Premium!
Premium Member
Military Veteran
Rig of the Month Winner
Build Thread Contributor
Messages
293
Reaction score
726
Location
Friendship, Maryland
Arrma RC's
  1. Felony
  2. Fireteam
  3. Outcast 6s
  4. Talion
  5. Typhon 6s
@oops Are you heading toward production and selling? Because you will put that garbage from PoloCreations out of business! Very thoughtful design and planning you are doing.
 
Messages
1,114
Reaction score
1,416
Location
Dallas, TX (USA)
Arrma RC's
  1. Granite
  2. Infraction
  3. Kraton 6s
  4. Mojave
  5. Senton 3s
In the Felony, I used a 3 pin magnetic pogo pin connector to automatically connect the lights in the body, but it was a pain to wire and mount. For the Infraction, I'm planning more channels on the body lights, and as I was getting some PCBs done I got some boards made up for the connectors. This breaks out the 6 pin connector into 5 pairs with one connector in common.

View attachment 217934

It's going to be a bit tricky as there's very little vertical space in the back of the Infraction, but there aren't any convenient existing screw holes in the body to re-use in the front.

Man, you are quick!
I was looking into sourcing some of those magnetic connectors myself..
You've already got your hands on some..


**********************************************


.
So, here's what I drafted up for the Headlight Cooling Grill..

Infraction Front Grill Headlight Combo_TOP Perspective.jpg


Infraction Front Grill Headlight Combo_Perspective View.jpg


Infraction Front Grill Headlight Combo_X-Ray View.jpg
 
Last edited:

oops

Well-Known Member
Messages
84
Reaction score
111
Man, you are quick!
I was looking into sourcing some of those magnetic connectors myself..
You've already got your hands on some..
No - I've just been working on it for quite a while! Connectors are from AliExpress, so a few weeks waiting for them to arrive before I could measure them to get the PCB designs done, and then a couple of weeks waiting for the PCBs. I've done most of the 3D print designs for the lights, but have been blocked waiting for the PCBs to arrive.

These connectors seem better than the 3 pin one I had as they've got a bit of a ridge that keeps the connectors aligned.

Thanks for the grill design. I think that would work well with a bit of airflow, but I'd like to avoid the lights overheating when stationary too. I do think that the main problem is the very low softening temperature of PLA - 140F really isn't much. I've got some high temp PLA which I going to try on the rear lights.

Are you heading toward production and selling?
We'll see :) I've actually got a stack of PCBs made up because the marginal cost of getting more done was tiny, but we'll have to see how it turns out. Need to stop the parts melting first!
 

oops

Well-Known Member
Messages
84
Reaction score
111
One of the reasons that they're running quite so hot is that I muddled up the resistors and I've actually been running them at over 40mA rather than 30mA!

I've been finishing off the design for the rear lights. It's taken a *lot* of iterations, but I've finally got something I'm happy with. This one is particularly awkward because the panel that the lights are set into has a slight bend in it. I originally tried to include that bend in the face of the light lens, but that makes printing very hard, so I've now gone with a flat lens, and the back of it follows the contour of the body so there's no gap behind it. It's not very visible in the photo, but I used a concentric pattern for the first layer which I think looks much better than the usual diagonal lines. Even without the lights on I think it's an improvement on the stickers.

IMG_20220517_221215.jpg
 
Messages
1,114
Reaction score
1,416
Location
Dallas, TX (USA)
Arrma RC's
  1. Granite
  2. Infraction
  3. Kraton 6s
  4. Mojave
  5. Senton 3s
One of the reasons that they're running quite so hot is that I muddled up the resistors and I've actually been running them at over 40mA rather than 30mA!

How much cooler are you seeing at lower amps?

I've been finishing off the design for the rear lights. It's taken a *lot* of iterations, but I've finally got something I'm happy with. This one is particularly awkward because the panel that the lights are set into has a slight bend in it. I originally tried to include that bend in the face of the light lens, but that makes printing very hard, so I've now gone with a flat lens, and the back of it follows the contour of the body so there's no gap behind it. It's not very visible in the photo, but I used a concentric pattern for the first layer which I think looks much better than the usual diagonal lines. Even without the lights on I think it's an improvement on the stickers.

View attachment 218290

I Bet it took a LOT of iterations...!
Looks great at this version.
Good job 👍

********************

Are you printing on a glass bed or textured surface?
 

oops

Well-Known Member
Messages
84
Reaction score
111
Thanks!

Temperatures are now topping out at about 80°C (176F) rather over 90°C, which is enough of a drop to avoid softening either PETG or the high temp PLA.

I've tried adding the heatsinks, but they need to be modified to allow the cables to pass through, and they're surprisingly hard to drill neatly. Also, the supplied adhesive softens a lot at these temperatures, and they don't make a huge difference in the final temperature. I suspect that they'd make much more difference with a bit of airflow, but I'm happy enough running them without. I've modified the design to remove most of the back of the light unit, so the PCB is exposed directly to the air.

Printing surface is a smooth PEI steel sheet.
 
Top