0201 SMD LEDs - holy moly!

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nkg

Sr Member
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I bought some prewired 0201 SMD LEDs and they arrived today. Holy crap.

1602939640299.png


I've bought prewired 0402 SMD LEDs in the past, and those are much bigger than these yellowish grains of salt! I've also bought loose 0201 SMD LEDs before, but they were basically unusable since they're so insanely small. 0201 (that's using the US naming system for SMDs) are only 0.60mm long, 0.30mm wide, and 0.25mm tall. So it's nigh-impossible to solder to them by hand.

These ones are prewired with magnet wires as thin as a cat's whisker. So they're crazy delicate, but a drop of epoxy should hold them together. Imagine the possibilities...

- nkg
 
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Richard Baker

Sr Member
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I got a set of those a while back- prewired is the only way to go with them. My soldering skills ars too limited for that scale.
What are you planning on doing with yours?
 

nkg

Sr Member
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No particular plans at the moment. Thought they looked interesting and I'm sure they'll be enabling devices for some future project. :)
 

nkg

Sr Member
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I've also picked up some SK6812 mini-E chips. These are tiny smart LEDs (WS2812/"Neopixel" compatible) that have small metal tabs on them. This makes them just hand-solderable. Barely!

They're pretty cool and I bet I can use those for an upcoming project. The only thing is stupidly these things require external capacitors. They're not like the latest WS chips which have onboard caps. Grrrr.

Anyway. These are the smallest solution I've seen so far for workable smart LEDs - just wish they had presoldered leads and included the caps! And if they were available in RGBW. Then they'd be near-perfect.

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xl97

Master Member
Is a cap needed for each one? Or just on the power rails for stabilization?

0201's can be used directly (with resistors).. the SK6812's need a micro controller to work... (love me some 'neopixels though!) LOL
 

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nkg

Sr Member
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Yeah, the 0201s are simple diodes. I use them with current regulators, but you can use resistors if you're OK with a fixed input source.

The SK6812s need caps on each one, aggravatingly. Plus a main one for the string. And yes, you need a microcontroller to run them.
 

nkg

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
TVGM over at Starship Modeler posted this video. Seems like a good use for those

The LEDs in that video are huuuuuuge by comparison. :) Look like 0603s to me! Massive honkin' things!

Never thought I'd say that...

Update: the video itself says what they are! 1206, or 3.2x1.6mm... That's monstrous: 0603s are only 1.6x 0.8mm. ;)
 
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nkg

Sr Member
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Wow...now you can actually re-do your small EVA Pod with a completely detailed lit cockpit:p:p:p(y)(y)

Well, I did 3D print the cockpit interior using clear resin. So that was the idea! Paint it black and scratch off the illuminated areas. I may finish that some day! :)
 

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pepperbone

Sr Member
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Out of curiosity, can these tiny prewired LEDs be dimmed?
I love the physical scale of them, would be fantastic if their luminosity could be scaled down too.
 

nkg

Sr Member
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Out of curiosity, can these tiny prewired LEDs be dimmed?
I love the physical scale of them, would be fantastic if their luminosity could be scaled down too.

Well. Kinda. LEDs can't be dimmed simply by reducing current, the way incandescent light bulbs can. You can lower the current and they get a bit dimmer, up to a point. And then they go off. So you can slap a lower current regulator on, or increase the value of your resistor, and see if you can get the LED to the brightness level that you want.

But if that doesn't work for you, and you want more control over the dim/bright level, then you'll need to use an LED controller of some sort. These flash the diode on and off, tons of times a second. This is called pulse width modulation, and is how household LEDs are usually dimmed. If the flashing is fast enough then you don't notice the flicker, and the on/off percentage governs how bright the light is.

Or you can just slap some watered-down dark paint on the LED to cut its light output. :)
 

pepperbone

Sr Member
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I think I'm getting obsessed with this now. I need way more time to play around.

I'm not familiar enough with power and circuitry to confidently succeed at this without wasting a lot of time, but I did find this which might be useful for those like me who have little experience in the matter.

 

xl97

Master Member
Take the step into the micrcontroller world. :)

Sounds daunting... but the Arduino platform is/was MADE for non-techy people to enter in tot he word of electronics.

For me personally.. (and I'm just a hobbyist at best).. it opened up a whole new world for me. I highly recommend it.

For a couple bucks.. you can start blinking leds, fading in/out... controlled by buttons/switches or any other sensors you can think of.

and when you want to expand.. (its already been done by others!).. so code and parts are readily available.
 

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pepperbone

Sr Member
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Why am I I sensing that I'm getting myself into trouble? :lol:
Well, I do have a bunch of SW models on the shelf, and I have some time off coming up, so it looks like I need to do some research!
 

nkg

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I'm not familiar enough with power and circuitry to confidently succeed at this without wasting a lot of time, but I did find this which might be useful for those like me who have little experience in the matter.


That set of pages is definitely worth reading! I highly recommend it.

Of course, I would since I wrote 'it. :)

And yes, I recommend playing with the childrens' microcontrollers - they work surprisingly well for this sort of thing.
 

pepperbone

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
That set of pages is definitely worth reading! I highly recommend it.

Of course, I would since I wrote 'it. :)

And yes, I recommend playing with the childrens' microcontrollers - they work surprisingly well for this sort of thing.
Ha!! Excellent! :D
 

joberg

Master Member
Well, I did 3D print the cockpit interior using clear resin. So that was the idea! Paint it black and scratch off the illuminated areas. I may finish that some day! :)
You`re insane Neil...just mind blowing insane. But I love it :p (y) (y)
 

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