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Using white LEDs on the lamp panel
Some users have asked us whether it is possible to use bright white LEDs on the Enigma-E lamp panel. You may find the standard yellow LEDs a bit dim and you may want to improve on this. We haven't supplied white LEDs in the kit, simply because of their price; they would probably make your Enigma-E kit twice as expensive. If you are still interested, please read on.   

The lamp panel of the Enigma-E is scanned, which means that only one LED is lit at any one time. This includes the displays and the LEDs next to it. In other words: the time is divided over all LEDs. For this reason we need to use low-current high-brightness LEDs. The yellow LEDs supplied in the kit are suitable for this purpose and come at a fair price.

Update: All kits from serial number 503 onwards are now supplied with high-brightness yellow LEDs, so for these people there is no need to use white LEDs.
 
White LEDs
White LEDs have become available during the past few years, but they are quite expensive and their quality varies. We did some research in this area and we've just found the right LEDs for the job. It's a 3 mm LED, exactly the same size as the current ones, and it's white. But what's more: it produces about 10 times as much light as the existing LEDs, without changing the circuitry!

 Kingbright, L-934PWC, Datasheet
 AND, AND262HW, Datasheet
 
Mounting the LEDs
If you have already mounted your yellow LEDs and want to replace them by white ones, please be careful when removing the old ones. The PCB has tracks at both sides and has trough-plated holes which are likely to get damaged when you apply too much force or heat. They are best removed using professional de-soldering equipment. If you don't have access to such a tool, try to find someone who does. Don't forget to disconnect the Enigma-E from its power source before you start!

If you are a very experienced hobbyist you may want to replace the LEDs without a de-soldering station. If so, try to heat both pins of an LED at the same time, and pull the LED from the top side of the PCB. Next, clean the pads on the PCB and clear the holes.

Now put the white LEDs in and remember to fit them the right way around. When in doubt, please consult the manual before continuing. Once the legs of the LEDs are soldered, cut the legs to about 1 or 2 mm from the solder pad. Once you've replaced all LEDs, turn the Enigma-E on and see if it works.
 
Where do I get white LEDs?
The Kinbright LEDs we suggested on this page can be obtained from many dealers all over the world. As Kingbright is one of the largest manufacturers of LEDs, most countries should have a representative. Some of these are listed below. Other manufacturers may produce suitable equivalents to this LED, but please check carefully before ordering. The LEDs must by low-current high-intensity and the opening angle should be at least 20 degrees (35 degrees would be better though).
 
  • UK, Rapid Electronics
    Rapid Electronics can supply the Kingbright range of LEDs. Search for the L-934PWC as listed elsewhere on this page.

  • USA, Allied Electronics
    Allied electronics can supply a suitable white LED in the US. Look for the AND262HW from AND, which is available as Allied Electronics part number 505-9722.

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Crypto Museum. Last changed: Monday, 01 February 2010 - 17:12 CET.
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