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I'm happy to see flowlights on hop! I bought a pair of Water II's just a few days before they went up in the hop shop (as far as I know) and i just wanted to share some information.
I've only used the Water II colour. I thought it was less bland than Air, but not as strikingly cliche as Water. And I wanted very bright toys. So I later found out that the teal (in my opinion) is a very drab, disgusting color that doesn't bring the light to life the way I thought it would. So what did I do? I did STUFf to it!
Particularly, I added on another led. Regular flowlights have two elds at the head and one at the tail. I'm not sure what older ones look like, but the more recent ones allegedly allow for greater 'hack-ability' witht he presence of solder points easily accessible around the battery. I don't know anything about microprocessors, so besides testing the contacts with a spare led, i didn't do anything. But then I noticed the perfectly sized hole on the tail end of the light. Take the battery door and batery out. Hold the flowlight in your hand so it's pointing at your face. Peer down the length of the flowlight and you'll see that there is just enough room to place another led! Just beyond the negative battery contact spring thing, you'll see two solder points. Those are connected to the tail led. Once you work out anode/cathode, you can just solder in another led. I chose green! You can nudge the soldered led one way or another to make sure it reflects light the right way, but be careful. You don't want to hurt the connection.
What you end up with: The new led blinks in unison with the other tail led. This causes sort of a blending of colors which is neat if they are analogous. It's really a lot of fun, and it allows for coolor color combinations.
I don't know if anyone else has done this or not... but I wanted to let all the kids out there who were too afraid to break their flowlights knowww that I did it, and I'm happy I did it. From now on, when I buy flowlights, I will have another led colour in mind for me to tack on. And I wouldn't let flowtoys do it for me if they ofeered -- mods are just too much fun.
Posted:Oh! Also: I tried out a few other leds, and found out that you have to use the right ones. I'm not really sure why, but my best guess is that the voltage requirements as per the led can screw things up. Something like that. Because whereas the really bright guy i had pluged in worked fine, I got some cheapo leds that lit up, but they sucked all the power from its partner led. So that kind of bummed me out. I forget what the specs were for the compatible leds, but i know they were a better quality than a regular idicator light. Look for yltra bright, wide angle. And test them out before soldering so you don't end up having to remove it later on. Alright!
Posted:I just know it works. It's not the most elaborate nor the most efficient mod you could do with a flowlight, but it was really just too convenient for me to leave it unmentioned. What I -did- notice about it in comparison to an unmodded flowlight was that the original led that you are pairing with the new led is not as bright once the new one is soldered in place. That can prety much be expected though. What consequences would a change in overall electricl resistance have? I don't know a lot about the subject, I'm actually going to be majoring in it starting in the spring. So I do pretty well with taking things apart.
Which brings me to answer mothernature. I don't have any formal educaton in electrical engineering. I did it successfully, and i ended up taking the lights out because i didn't think pink leds looked too cool with the other colors in my flowlight. Originally I tried green, but it wasn't very bright.
My advice is to have a veeeerrrryyy steady hand. Sticking a soldering tool in a flowlight isn't exactly like throwing a hotdog down a hallway. You've got to watch out all the surrounding plastic so you don't melt it. Oh! I'm sorry, I meant to say "p o l y c a r b o n a t e". Also, too much heat applied to an led can cause it to not function very well. Just make sure you know which lead to solder to which point -- leds only work one way (in case you didn't know, because I didn't know until I started working with them). So if you go poking around inside the flowlight with the led leads and the led lights up, that's the position the light needs to be in.
Also, the second time I tried this, instead of having the new led facing the same direction as the original led, I doubled the leads back upon themselves and installed the led facing the opposite direction. I ended up with a flowlight that had a glowing battery door. It was pretty cool, because the battery door is pretty cool.
Also keep in mind that neither solder points can make contact with one another, nor can either of them make contact with the batery spring (which is in fairly close quarters). So just be neat about it. Besides, sloppy work will end up with a bad connection, and it's hard to clean up. Trust me.
So have at it! I mean, no one wants to pay twenty bucks to replace a flowlight that they messed up themselves, but it didn't stop me. And I didn't bust my light, either.
Stout might have more to say on this. If the mod ends up being detrimental to the light on the long-term, I'd say steer clear of the mods. We soon hope to find out
Posted:Ok, thanks for the reply, stoppanda, I'll wait and see if anything goes wrong with yours or if anyone has a theoretical response as to why it should go wrong. If neither of these happen after a substantial period of time I just might have a go. (Could be a good excuse to buy some of the new colours anyway, if I stuff it up!)
Posted:I'm having a little bit of trouble with my flow light as the battery head thing layed atop the actual circuit board with the bass coiling sprung out(obviously I have no idea about electrical jargon) I am trying to open it up...but I'm not sure if I'm gonna need a knife or is there a way to open it up like in halves without breaking my flow light... I figured this thread was ok to post this in since you were talking about actually opening up the case. so... any ideas or help?
Posted:I used to have the original water flowlights, then got water2 and now water again. They have definately changed the water colour, it looks crap compaired to how the original water used to look. It looks more grey than blue now somehow...
Posted:ill try and make a picture tutorial soon, ive modded about 12 lights so far and have improved my methods each time. out of the 12 only one was screwed up to the point where it didn't work and one i had to re-solder the leds after they loosened up. Ive had no electronic experience prior to modding the flowlights.
if you contact flowtoys you can get the used (working) circuit boards and cases for a total of 13 bucks a piece
as far as which leds work in each mode they can mostly divided into 3 categories 1.just full on mode 2. every mode 3. interesting effect all the leds i refer to will have the names given by lightzombies.com http://lightzombies.com/store/index.php?cPath=66 br>led compatibility
http://lightzombies.com/store/index.php?cPath=66_69 br>solids work in every mode like usual but the green blue and red leds are brighter than the stock leds. the blue almost twice as much. im not sure if this effects the battery life, most likely it does.
the diffused are more like a cloud of light as opposed too the regulars which are a beam of light. the diffused are a bit brighter in crystal cases.
http://lightzombies.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=663 br>my favorite led to be honest, a bright pinkish purple in full on mode and in every other mode wherever the led would be off its red and purple/pink where it would be on, resulting in a red-pinkish purple ribbon, with various patterns based on the mode.
http://lightzombies.com/store/index.php?cPath=66_133 br>http://lightzombies.com/store/index.php?cPath=66_132 more of my favorites in full on they are absolutely gorgeous. i like to have two solids on top and 1 of these on the bottom in full on they will change color fading with a cool ribbon effect in all strobing modes the color will be whatever the first color is example: ( pink orange green) will be pink.
Posted:Well, I have recently had a problem w/ the LED in the bottom of my flowlight due to hitting it so much that it went out. what I did was that I spend a good half an hour and tapped the epoxy that holds the two polycarbonate halves together with a razorblade. after I got it apart I took a soldering iron, some soldering wick and solder and removed the existing LED and replaced it. As far as the compatible LED's that someone above was addressing, my friend who is a glover told me something that you all might find interesting. In normal LED's you have a simple Bulb. All it does is "burn" the metal in the bulb and each kind of metal emits a certain wavelength which our eyes percieve as colors. With some of the other lights, you have whats called an ICS. This makes it so that it can only work in full power mode, other than that it wont' ill continue to post later, my next class is right now
Posted:Just to clarify what lordofconvix said, the LEDs that work in all modes don't burn anything, the light produced has to do with electrons crossing the boundary from one material to another (the "diode" in LED). However, it IS a simple on/off process, so it just lights up based on what electricity you put through it. The LEDs that only work in full mode have an integrated circuit (IC), which is a little computer chip that makes it able to output a complicated pattern. Since the chip needs full power to work, the whole LED only works when it gets full power.
Posted:Happy to help - I just registered here, and I saw something I knew about (electrical engineering master's student). Good luck with your flowlights - I've got a friend who has a set, and they look great.
Posted:I found this on google (THANK THE GODS) And was wondering what epoxy you were using to rejoin the flowlight shell back together ..at the beginning of summer I purchased the watermelon flowlights and 375$ worth of other stuffs (different rigs and a set of flow chucks ) well summer is to a end and ive managed to crack both shells on the watermelon lights and one is almost split in half down the seam and flowtoys wont replace watermelon (fair warning to all those who have and planned to purchase that color ) which is a total screw over on the customer IMHO multiple places on the site say " Or lights are covered by a lifetime warranty" yet when you get to the support page is states "they can not replace watermelon light" WTF!!!! anyways I was going to attempt to buy two of the hollow shells and replace them myself and again wanted to know what epoxy was used and how you open the lights without damaging the boards I was thinking you could probably boil down the empty shells to get them open ??
Thanx a ton !! and I would love to see this thread get in dept I have a set or pink lights Id love to hack for different modes ECT ECT