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  #1  
Old 09-02-2006, 06:56 PM
omega52 omega52 is offline
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Default Scroll wheel LED brightness fix.

My e250 now has a nice dark blue scroll wheel! It is roughly half the brightness as before & a nice dark blue. It looks great!! Exactly the brightness it should be. Oh, how did I do it? See below.
Open back, remove the battery, remove the screws holding the front & pop off the faceplate.
Now locate the 4 LEDs around the sprocket. The illuminated part of the LEDs is on the inboard side of the LED toward the wheel. If you want, you can carefully replace the battery & turn the unit on. That will help you see what you are working with. What you are going to do is put a small piece of tape on top of the LEDs to dim them. I used Kapton tape because it has a strong nonconductive adhesive & is heat resistant. Now, Kapton tape is a transparent amber color, so I colored it with a black sharpie to tint it further. The resulting tint is slightly purple, but more than anything the LEDs are dimmer & the wheel is a dark blue color. The dimmer you make it the less uniform the light distributed around the wheel, so some experimenting may be in order. If you experiment with clear plastic & try some different tints you might just be able to change the overall color. If I find a tint that works, I will probably just paint the LEDs with it. As I think about it, I have some blue LEDs on my PC so I can play with the colors without screwing with the Sansa until I am fairly sure what I want to do. Right now, though, I am enjoying this mod! Good luck!
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  #2  
Old 09-02-2006, 07:14 PM
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Slaughter Slaughter is offline
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Nice job! The only thing I would worry about is overheating the led. That probably wouldn't happen though.
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  #3  
Old 09-02-2006, 08:15 PM
LINkin0827 LINkin0827 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slaughter
overheating the led
that won't happen. LED's are meant to be cool sources of light

great mod though!
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  #4  
Old 09-02-2006, 11:20 PM
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malheuresement malheuresement is offline
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nice work -- any chance you could put some pix up?

mal.
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  #5  
Old 09-03-2006, 03:37 AM
zviper zviper is offline
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nice, you think you could get the voltage off of the leds?
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  #6  
Old 09-03-2006, 08:05 AM
Clash Clash is offline
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Hey, can you take some pics so we can see how you did it or how it looks like now?
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  #7  
Old 09-03-2006, 08:17 AM
omega52 omega52 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zviper
nice, you think you could get the voltage off of the leds?
Not right away. I am trying to limit the number of time I "operate" on the unit. Even though it is easy to open & disassemble, I always feel a sense of relief when everything works when I "close"! I'll probably go back in when I have experimented with some markers & such & have a color that I like.
If anyone does check the voltage, it looks like the pads are on the left & right ends of the LEDs. Don't be fooled, unless you are skilled at surface mount devices & have the proper soldering iron, you could cause damage! The main concerns are: temperature of the iron, size of the iron tip, static discharge, & the fact that desoldering SM devices can be tricky if the pads extend well beneath the device. Colateral damage is also possible for the reasons listed. I am skilled in this area, but I choose to take a less invasive approach. Sure, you are limited in the color choices, but I would rather not take the chance of losing the unit! I plan to use an external Blue LED to experiment with color changes. My LEDs are brighter & bluer than the Sansa, but I may be able to find something that works. In the mean time, mine looks great as it stands.
As far as photos, I probably can't show the brightness well, but I have seen several print adds that look like mine does now. Look for an add that has a darker blue wheel & you have it.
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  #8  
Old 09-04-2006, 11:57 AM
omega52 omega52 is offline
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Default Just an update.

I tried using a Sharpie to tint the LED directly, but had an issue. It isn't hard to paint the top, but the LED shines from the end facing center & it's not possible to get the pen tip in there bacause of the sprocket. The tinted tape extends over the LED enough to block more light. I'm going to leave mine alone for a while now, & hope the tape stays in place. BTW the black sharpie works much better than a red one. The red is just not dark enough.
I think that I know why SD chose the brightness they did. Since there is a structure between the two bottom LEDs any dimming of the light causes the bottom of the scroll wheel to darken a bit. They probably had to brighten it enough to get a solid fill.
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  #9  
Old 01-05-2007, 10:48 PM
relic20 relic20 is offline
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Hello, I am new to this forum and I tried this "mod" and the outcome was rather cool. I now have a dark scroll wheel and i also have pictures for anyone who wants them. They are low quality because i a have no idea how to work my grandfathers camera.

untitled.JPG
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  #10  
Old 01-08-2007, 11:53 PM
John Connor John Connor is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by relic20 View Post
Hello, I am new to this forum and I tried this "mod" and the outcome was rather cool. I now have a dark scroll wheel and i also have pictures for anyone who wants them. They are low quality because i a have no idea how to work my grandfathers camera.

Attachment 741
Neat! I might give this a try sometime. My player is still new though so I'll have to get a bit more comfortable with it before fiddling around inside too much.
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  #11  
Old 02-04-2007, 08:09 PM
MrSpam MrSpam is offline
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I had some trouble getting the faceplate off, it feels like I'm putting too much stress on it and it's going to break. I've taken off the screws already. Can anyone help me?
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  #12  
Old 02-04-2007, 08:37 PM
MrSpam MrSpam is offline
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Nevermind, i used a card to pry it open. Nice mod, I like to listen to my mp3 player before I sleep, and I found that the wheel would be ridiculously bright and it annoyed me.
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  #13  
Old 02-17-2007, 12:49 PM
mthomas435 mthomas435 is offline
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run your sharpie along the wheel. if you're looking at it from the inside of the faceplate, there is an edge on the wheel that curves inward. just run the sharpie along that until you coat it a nice black. i also did it on the leds. basically achieves the same effect without putting tape inside.
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  #14  
Old 02-17-2007, 02:59 PM
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sil3ntdarkn355 sil3ntdarkn355 is offline
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What about using different colored markers? (I can imagine coloring the wheel yellow...yuck)
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  #15  
Old 02-17-2007, 07:10 PM
mthomas435 mthomas435 is offline
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prolly could...all i had was a black sharpie. if you use red you could get a purple tint i bet. yellow would make it a green tint. i'd like to see if someone could do a grey tint but i doubt it. would be more purple than anything else.
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  #16  
Old 02-21-2007, 01:38 PM
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Honis Honis is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mthomas435 View Post
run your sharpie along the wheel. if you're looking at it from the inside of the faceplate, there is an edge on the wheel that curves inward. just run the sharpie along that until you coat it a nice black. i also did it on the leds. basically achieves the same effect without putting tape inside.
I did this to mine and it looks great. I used a black Sharpe which gives a nice deep blue color.

I had a problem with the LEDs shining through one part stronger than another at first so I had to test it frequently.
I found that to do this mod faster use dot method of applying rather than the traditional way of rubbing the pen tip. Rubbing the pen tip can wipe away not yet dried ink, dotting also applies more ink to the area the tip is touching. Instead of reassembling the front plate and wheel to make sure the ink is even (like I was doing originally), hold the wheel such that light from a lamp is shinning through it as your dotting.

PS First post
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  #17  
Old 02-21-2007, 02:42 PM
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A.z A.z is offline
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I would never do this to my beloved sansa!!
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  #18  
Old 03-11-2007, 01:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A.z View Post
I would never do this to my beloved sansa!!
"my beloved sansa" lol nice
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  #19  
Old 03-22-2007, 10:29 AM
CHIKO CHIKO is offline
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if you want to change the color just replace the LEDs. It's a little more risky but it is way cleaner and you can change it because as you probobyl figured, putting sharpie on was stupid because as far as I know, it doesn't come off. So put it on the tape, like he said, not the LEDs or the wheel.
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  #20  
Old 03-22-2007, 12:59 PM
kennyj kennyj is offline
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You actually need to change teh LEDs if you want to change the color. You can't "filter" blue light and get red as they are completely different wavelengths. This works on white light sources but not on single color light sources. The best you can do with the same LEDs is just tweak how it looks; you'll make it look darker and deeper with a sharpie but that's as far as you can go.


I'm going to install near-UV purple LEDs if I can ever find them... As an added bonus, they light things up in interesting ways.
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