Yet Another Headlight Mod

87 posts / 0 new
Last post
Jimcking
Jimcking's picture
Yet Another Headlight Mod

 

Like others in this forum I decided to modify Rovio so that it could be used in the dark.  The additional headlights are Maglite 4 cell 3 watt LED modules for a total of 6 watts.  They turn on automatically when the original headlight turns on.  Did not realize how dirty Rovio had gotten until taking these pictures.  This mod adds plenty of light to navigate Rovio in total darkness.  Got the LED modules from WalMart and the rest of the parts from Radio Shack.  The Radio Shack part numbers are on the schematic.

 

The Maglite 4 cell 3 watt LED modules are pretty cool because they have a built in DC to DC converter to keep the voltage and current at the optimum values for the LEDs.

 

Before: 

 

After:

 

What it looks like:

 

 

Schematic:

 LED Module:

Jim K.

roschler
roschler's picture

Very cool hack and definitely improved night vision (not night vision per se of course).

milw
milw's picture

Nice job, I like the mounting spots too. Have you notice much effect on the battery lifetime?

NanoTek
NanoTek's picture

Very nice work and the schematic is useful.

Two questions:

1.Is the picture with the light from Rovio's camera?

2.How far is Rovio from the objects photographed?

Thank you

Jimcking
Jimcking's picture

The added current is 1 Amp at 6 volts or 6 watts.  The Rovio battery is a 3 Amp hour battery.  Nominal runtime of Rovio with light off is 1 hour.  Nominal runtime with light on is 45 minutes (calculated).  I have run it all over the house for over a half hour without running the battery down.

Yes, the first two pictures were taken with Rovio's camera.  Rovio was five feet from the objects photographed.  It still provides enough light to view things at 20 feet.

Thanks,

Jim K.

 

NanoTek
NanoTek's picture

I love it!,

If ever you could provide one more picture at about 15-20 feet from a door and snap a shot of it I would be very grateful.

Cheers & thanks a million :-)

my_ROVIO
my_ROVIO's picture

Can i just rteplace the factory light with this 1 light.and mod the hole

dherrero
dherrero's picture

wow, good work¡¡. It seems a nice solution. I would be happy if you could provide a description about what components we should buy and a step by step guide to mount it ( I am not a electric expert) :(
Dani

Jimcking
Jimcking's picture

Tony,

I don’t have 20 ft in front of a doorway any place in the house.  The shot below was taken down a long hallway.  There is a Roomba leaning against the far wall exactly 20 feet away.  There are two doorways on the left and four doorways on the right.  The only light source is Rovio with the new LEDs. The picture was taken with Rovio's camera on the default resolution.

  

Jimcking
Jimcking's picture

 

Dani,

 

This mod requires soldering.  If you are not comfortable with soldering you might want to find someone else to do it.  It will also void your warranty.  All connections can be made to wires that are in plain view and does not require removing or soldering directly to any of the circuit boards.

 

To open Rovio, first remove the battery and then take out the six screws from the bottom.  Turn Rovio over, remove the top and place it carefully to the side

 

The main parts are the two Maglite 4 cell LED modules.  There is a picture of the package above.  The Part Number is SH34DCW6J and I got them at WalMart.

 

The rest of the parts came from Radio Shack.  The Radio Shack part numbers are written on the schematic.  Just take the schematic to Radio Shack and they should be able to give you all of the parts.  The two Amp fuse was a spare that I had for a Radio Shack meter.  It is a 2 Amp GMA type.  I soldered wires to the ends of the fuse and then put a piece of ¼ inch heat shrink tubing over it.  An automotive blade type fuse would probably be better.  I also got some silicone tape from Radio Shack to wrap the relay assembly in.

 

In addition to the parts on the schematic, I used a couple of feet of different color 26 AWG stranded 300V insulated wire and about 6 inches of ¼ inch heat shrink and 6 inches of 1/8 inch heat shrink tubing.  I put heat shrink tubing over all of wire splices and connections to the relay.  I soldered the one diode directly to the relay terminals.  Make sure the polarity of the diode is correct.  The line side of the diode should go to the red wire side of the relay.  The purpose of this diode is to remove the inductive spike back EMF from the relay from getting back into Rovio’s computer

 

I cut the white wire going the Headlight/IR board and extended each of the two ends with 3 inches of wire and used heat shrink over the splices.  The two wires go to the points marked on the schematic.  I put the other diode and resistor in line with the wire going to the relay contact on the schematic and covered the diode and resistor combination with a single piece of heat shrink tubing.  The purpose of this diode is to prevent voltage from the new LED circuitry from back feeding into Rovio’s circuitry.  The purpose of the 150 ohm resistor is to set the current into the existing center LED headlight.  The current to the existing LED headlight was initially 9 ma.  I raised it to 11 ma with the mod to make the original LED a little brighter also.  The resistor determines this current.

 

I did not take any of the circuit boards out.  Although it is possible to make some of the connections directly to the circuit boards, the circuit boards are covered with glue which makes soldering difficult.  I recommend making all of the connections to the wires going to the circuit boards.

 

The big Red and Black wires coming up from the battery compartment are positive (Red) and negative (Black) for Rovio’s battery.  You can splice Red and Black 26 AWG wire to these connections.  Silicone tape should be used to cover the connections to prevent shorts.  The two amp fuse is just to protect the battery.

 

I soldered 4 inch red and black pig tails to the Maglite 4 cell LED modules.  The positive terminal is on the bottom (red) and the negative terminal is on the side (black).  If you scrape the side and bottom a little with a knife they are easy to solder to. Use a 29/64 inch bit to drill the holes for the LEDs.  The center of the holes should be inline with the bottom of the existing LED and IR detector and in the center of the crease on the right and left side of Rovio.  See picture above.  The Maglite LED modules are inserted into the holes from the inside of Rovio.  The lip on the LED modules keep them from going to far out the front.  The modules are a snug fit and allow aligning the headlights.  After the headlights were aligned I put a small amount of five minute epoxy on the inside of Rovio to keep them from moving out of alignment.

 

I wrapped the whole relay diode assembly with silicone tape and placed it behind and below the original Headlight/IR board.

 

Someone else mentioned just replacing the original LED with the Maglite LED,  It is too big to fit where the original LED goes and the above circuitry is still required to get the necessary current to get it to work.  Although one LED module would probably provide enough light for most applications, I thought it would look funny with only one eye.

 

Jim K.

  

NanoTek
NanoTek's picture

Oh, I like it. Additionally, If WowWee's engineers could help out with a camera firmware fix to brighten things up even more, we would be on our way to nirvana.

I don't know if they could improve the camera through a firmware update... Thanks for sharing your work and time Jim.

One day I will make modifications of my own, but I want to see what solutions WowWee comes up with before I start making holes.

Eddie
Eddie's picture

JimcKing that is the sweetest mod ive seen so far....
I would really appreciate a picture of your work inside the rovio so it will help me understand the schematic a little better......

Of course the best thing is a step by step but i think a simple picture of the inside of Rovio would suffice....

THANK A BUNCH
Eddie

Jimcking
Jimcking's picture

Eddie,

Here is a picture of the inside.  Would have to do the mod again on another Rovio to show steps.  Components are covered with heat shrink or silicone tape.

 

 Inside:

Jim K.

Eddie
Eddie's picture

WOW.. that was the quickest reply with a pic ive seen... thanks for the reply...
im going to look at it in more details after today since today is my last final..
Eddie

dohabee
dohabee's picture

Do you think it is safe to replace the stock light with 1 of these modules without using a relay? For simplicity's sake I was thinking about clipping off the wires going to the current LED and soldering them to the new LED module.

Jimcking
Jimcking's picture

dohabee,

It will not work.  The stock LED is running 9 ma.  It will not hurt anything and the LED module will probably light very very dimly.  The Maglite 4 cell LED module is designed for 500 ma.  The stock LED circuit without the relay will only deliver 9 ma.  You have to put in the relay and other stuff if you want to get any light out of it.

 Jim K.

upperking
upperking's picture

I bought all the parts needed but i am confused about how to hook up the reed relay is there any way to show a closeup picture of how you wired these parts all together?
rsjr@tampabay.rr.com

Jimcking
Jimcking's picture

upperking,

I am currently on a trip and will not be back untill this weekend.  Will take a picture of the relay then showing which connection goes where.

 Jim K.

Ramzez
Ramzez's picture

 Hi guys

I have a different idea.

MOD part1

How about mounting headlights on the side of the camera head. (I just took a picture with some tape to demonstrate). The two of them makes them almost look like rockets. In fact if I use this lamp I could shorten the tube being that most of the tube is for the batteries.

The wiring would have to run along the webcams wires in the neck. Obviously the electronics would have to be adjusted on account of 9 LED's per lamp.

 

 

MOD part 2

Now another MOD would be to convert the cam into an IR cam.

Here is a site I found on DIYS IR webcam. http://www.hoagieshouse.com/IR/

I would personally order a spare cam from WowWee so I could have an IR and regular cam.

 

Basically by removing an IR filter from infront of the webcam lense you go from this

to this

 

MOD part 3

The next step would be to replace the LED's from the mini flashlight to IR LED's. Near where I live I can get them for 99cents each CDN. The guy even gave me the part specs for it.

 

So not only will you be able to see in the dark... Rovio will be able to be stealth like while doing its security rounds.

 

Tell me what you think

Ramzez

 

 

enregistrer

Jimcking
Jimcking's picture

upperking,

Following are some pictures to help:

Relay:

 

LED Modules: 

 

Jim K.

 

Jimcking
Jimcking's picture

Ramzez,

Looks Cool.  Let us know how it turns out and post pictures.

Jim K.

upperking
upperking's picture

Oh nice, thanks for the pics.

cmilian
cmilian's picture

How about IR leds instead of the white light? does that really work????

Jimcking
Jimcking's picture

cmilian,

To make that work would require removing the IR filter from the camera.  There is another thread on that subject here.  It appears that the IR filter is inside a metal can and no one seems to want to try to remove it.  Would likely destroy the cmos sensor.

 Jim K.

 

VCat
VCat's picture

Hey Jimcking,

I copied your schematic exactly, except I used turret like spotlights instead of the maglite modules. It works fantastic. Rovio is now functional, Thanks.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/26388606@N02/3170332323/

I used these flashlights, and they are mounted without batteries, ofcourse.

http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=10196614

Edit, just want to add that the flashlights have tight beams and are extremely bright (115 lumens x2), and you can literally see 40+ feet in complete darkness, but up close it can white-out objects. So its not perfect, but good enough for me.

cmilian
cmilian's picture

how are you powering up the flashlights? Also, any ideas on adding a movement sensor to save power?

VCat
VCat's picture

cmilian, the flashlights are powered by the Rovio's main battery, just like jimcking's mod above. I don't really see how movement sensor would help because the lights are already switchable via the headlight on/off functionality. So they are under your control to begin with.

cmilian
cmilian's picture

Beautiful !!!

zacware
zacware's picture

I just have to add these lights. My question is about the tap-splice on the wires. I've done that with nice heavy Romex cable, but do you have any tips on tap-splicing these much smaller wires?

Tomasito
Tomasito's picture

Jimcking said:

Like others in this forum I decided to modify Rovio so that it could be used in the dark.  The additional headlights are Maglite 4 cell 3 watt LED modules for a total of 6 watts.  They turn on automatically when the original headlight turns on.  Did not realize how dirty Rovio had gotten until taking these pictures.  This mod adds plenty of light to navigate Rovio in total darkness.  Got the LED modules from WalMart and the rest of the parts from Radio Shack.  The Radio Shack part numbers are on the schematic.  

The Maglite 4 cell 3 watt LED modules are pretty cool because they have a built in DC to DC converter to keep the voltage and current at the optimum values for the LEDs. Before:  After: What it looks like:   Schematic:  LED Module: Jim K.

Hello Jim K.,

I want to to duplicate your mod on my rovio. I don't know much on electronics and soldering.

When I went to radioshack. they ask me what watts I needed for the 150 ohm resistor? What wattage should I use?

Thanks,

Tomasito

 

 

 

 

Jimcking
Jimcking's picture

Tomasito

1/4 watt will do.

Jim K.

Pages