Powering LEDs with 3.7v Lipo

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Raven Morpheus
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Powering LEDs with 3.7v Lipo

Post by Raven Morpheus » Tue Aug 09, 2016 8:27 pm


New to the forums, very new to starship modelling, and even newer to lighting them up...

I have a Polar Lights 1/1000 Enterprise Refit kit that I would like to light up.

I have a lighting kit - it provides light for the impulse engines, warp nacelles, impulse crystal, deflector dish, torpedo launchers, and it also has a white LED for the saucer (I'm not quite sure what I'm meant to achieve with that LED).

I would like to light up the windows in the saucer, engineering hull, and "neck" pylon and add the navigation lights (red/green) and the odd white light such as on the forward section of the nacelles and either side of the impulse engine on top of the saucer. I am not however worried about any of the white strobes or navigation lights blinking - I can't quite afford to buy a board to do that and I believe it would require a 9v/12v power source, which I don't wish to use (read below for reason).

To achieve what I would like I believe I would have to add a number of LEDs - I have seen Boyd of Trekworks using SMDs in the 1/1000 Mutara Nebula dioarama build he is creating.

I plan on building the power source into the engineering hull (removing some/most of the internal superstructure/locating pins to do so), along with the on/off switch, because I plan on hanging the model from my ceiling and because I don't wish to use a mains power source.

Currently the lighting kit uses a 3v CR123a battery (the type used in cameras). However I believe the battery holder doesn't leave a lot of room in the engineering hull.

So, I am wondering a few things...

1. Can I power the LEDs with a 3.7v lipo (the small type used for RC heli/quadcopters, up to about 600mah at 30C)? I believe one might fit better in the engineering hull, being about 25mm x 37mm x 5mm or smaller.

2. Would I have to modify the existing LEDs with regards to resistors if I increase the voltage of the battery?

3. Has anyone here any experience of fully lighting the 1/1000 Enterprise Refit and if so would anyone be able to guide me through it, provide details etc. of the best way to do it?

Thanks in advance for any advice/help on this.
Last edited by Raven Morpheus on Tue Aug 09, 2016 9:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Raven Morpheus
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Jul 31, 2016 3:47 pm

Re: Powering LEDs with 3.7v Lipo

Post by Raven Morpheus » Tue Aug 09, 2016 9:24 pm

Accidental double post, sorry.

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Post by MillenniumFalsehood » Sun Aug 14, 2016 3:44 am

1. You certainly can power them with 3.7v :)

2. You'll want to include resistors on all LEDs anyway, in order to make sure they all get only the amount of current they need.

3. I don't, but the techniques you'd use are almost universal ones, so don't fret about whether you're doing it "right". Just put in as many LEDs as you need to light her up and then plug them into the battery.
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Post by Ant » Sun Aug 14, 2016 2:08 pm

You need to be much more careful when using LiPos as many do not have any overcharge/overdischarge/short circuit protection built in and rely on it being provided by the circuit they are powering.

At best misuse may permanently damage the cell, at worse it could catch fire or explode!

Unless you are really familiar with all the properties and restrictions I would stick with traditional alkaline cells.

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