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It turns out that this LED safety vest is made by a company in the Netherlands, and that makes me wonder if it's aimed primarily at cyclists, as they are BIG on their bikes over there for general commuting. The company still seems to exist under a slightly different name:-
If I have to be honest, I feel a bit uncomfortable about the idea of having an uncased lithium cell array built into work clothing, as a puncture from a tool, sharp metal or even just leaning against a cherry picker cage or wall could initiate something very unpleasant.
I also don't care for the safety industry's ongoing desire to invent more and more ways to make construction workers look like clowns. Maybe it's an empowerment thing.
This vest came from an eBay seller who is/was selling them off at a very low price as if they're clearing out the stock.
Ignore the bit about the entire thing being machine washable. It's not.
Also be aware that it will arrive with the lithium cell discharged to the point of shutting off due to an odd design decision. Mine did charge, and the cell capacity checked out OK.
Note that some of the 12/24V chargers are not suitable for use at all, as they contain no proper current limiting other than the cable itself! I'll show that in another video.
Here's the link, but note that it's UK only and they may already be sold out.
An unexpected effect of Patreons getting the videos earlier for critique is that they also get first dibs on any juicy links to products before they sell out or the price starts going up.
Just the component value of a 12V 2000mAh protected lithium pack with charger would cover a year of Patreon contributions alone. (Just a dollar or two a month.) With the bonus of extra live streams.
If you enjoy these videos you can help support the channel with a dollar for coffee, cookies and random gadgets for disassembly at:-
This also keeps the channel independent of YouTube's advertising algorithms allowing it to be a bit more dangerous and naughty.

A light fest by led's work. I guess these weren't a success because they were selling them off, but the idea is that you've got a hi-vis vest and just in case people aren't hiv enough. It's absolutely plastered with leds and it's rechargeable and when you turn it on, you can turn it on. It's not flickering.

This is good. Oh there's a slight ripple there uh, but you can then change the intensity higher, oh in steps until you get up to the desired intensity and if you press and hold or you leave it alone for a while, just press once i think it cuts off. Does it have a emergency mode, let's just press and see if it goes into strobe mode? No, it doesn't. This is good right, so this came with a plug-in charger and i was quite surprised to see it's 12 volt and also then again.

It also came with a car charger which i've not tried, which uh would also effectively put out 12 volts. Now things worth mentioning with this and the listing i brought it from, i mean i have to say: i'm not a huge fan of things like this, because if reflective tape and the bright fluorescent colors are not enough, then there's a problem because uh the only they Kind of aim it at horse riders, as well as construction workers, if you're out riding your horse, the pitch black or you're working in the pitch black and people are driving behind the pitch black. Without the lights on to make the retro-reflective light up, then there's a problem. It seems quite an odd thing, so it does that a sort of generic safety speak thing.

It is created for both men and women and it ensures additional safety that is essential in a company. Well, that makes absolute sense. It also says this listing. The vest is unique as it can be machine washable, complete with battery lights, and i thought that i have to see, and then it arrived with the operating instructions and about what it's in a good few languages, and it says where is it uh? The light vest is splash proof.

All electronics are equipped with a waterproof coating, we'll check that out, but we do not recommend washing the vest in a washing machine, particularly if you stuck it through a tumble dryer afterwards. If this does contain lithium cells - and now it's here, it feels like it's got lithium cells in it. I'm sure i'd want to wear this with those lithium cells. Anyway, let's open it up and i'm going to get destructive here, because well, i'm not going to be wearing it, so i'm going to open it up and we can explore.

Let's see if i cannot cut into electronics here. Oh it's quite tough, quite tough! This would be interesting if they have made an effort at waterproofing it and uh how good that is. Oh, this is not. This is not easy to get into.

Oh, it's multiple layers, right. If this turns out to be oh, there we go. I was going to say i shall pause and come back to it. If it's too awkward here is the rechargeable lithium poly pack are these going to have individual cell protection? It says dc 12.6, volt, 2, 000 milliamp, not bad.

What's the electronics like everything goes together. Connectors, which is good here, is the charger and the circuitry. I guess now, i'm guessing. Oh everything does plug together, but all the plugs look identical.

This doesn't seem like a good idea and they have kind of made an attempt to pop this in right. Uh right tail: oh, let's take a look at the leds, so the holes they've cut out for the leds here are not necessarily 100 lined up with the leds. Let's slit into this and get the strip out and see if it is waterproof because keep in mind that if water did get into this and laid that it would very quickly cause accelerated dc corrosion, this is standard led tape. It has a conformal coating painted on it, doesn't look all that waterproof, it does not look waterproof at all.

Have they painted it in any way with it right say what i'm going to do some tests and i'll be back in one moment. One moment please right. Well, this is an exciting product, so a couple of things um: how did they avoid well? First of all, is this waterproof well in a way yes, they've put a conformal coating on it. I don't know when they've done, that it doesn't look as though it's across the front leds, but the circuit board is definitely covered in a non-conductive coating and it means that, if i say, for instance, i bring the meter in and i set it to continuity, and I probe the pads on the standard 12v strip on the same bus.

We get nothing on the meter, so that's good um. How did they avoid when they're putting this in stitching through the wiring? Well, apparently, they didn't bother avoiding stitching through the wiring. The wiring has been stitched through in several locations, including a big section that was ripped here, and the wire is just literally through the silicon wire, and also the end of the tape is also in some instances being stitched through as well nice. This must have been a very hard thing to make.

It would have been a very laborious and ting consuming and expensive thing to make goodness knows what it cost, but yeah right tell you what let's get this out the way and bring in the circuit board picture, because that's what we want to see. What sophisticated marvel awaits us uh, none. What we have here is a microcontroller and we have a memory chip. A 2 4 co2 memory chip interesting two possible uses of the memory chip.

One is just to store your last intensity setting, because that's the only thing i could think of, or is it counting the number of times it's used and expires the product after a certain number of uses, because it's a safety product. I don't know the only way to find that out would be to dig out my memory chip reader, um, read it um and then like use it a few times and see how much it changed or change intensity. I'm not really sure. I'm not sure i want to spend that much time on this because of the the quality of design.

So two common positive connections, one is going to the battery and one is the charging port also there's actually four connections in this the battery and the charging connector, which is just basically connect straight across the battery and then the leds go out in two lines. So there's two connected to here and then the two switched here and the negative for the charger connector and battery is there. The power supply is horrific. It's a 1k resistor and a zener diode and is active all the time, meaning the standby current of this circuit.

When not in use is seven milliamps at least or should seven milliamps of fully charged battery as the battery goes flat, which it will uh with that continuous standby current uh, it will eventually go uh lower. There is a couple of decoupling capacitors one per chip. Um. There's a resistor for the button, the other side, clicky clicky button goes down to the sort of ground plane on the back and uh.

Then there's a resistor pulling down the mosfets and they can have up to three of these a09 t mosfets little standard mosfets but they're all grouped in parallel, switching output. That is it. I can't believe they used a zener diode and not a regulator, a low loss regulator. That is ludicrous.

That is just extraordinary. It means that, if left in storage for too long, it's almost certain that the battery will lock out, i wonder if that's why they were selling them off. Here is the circuitry here's the incoming charge port. There is the lithium battery which we will explore in a moment, and it goes straight out to the led strips the uh low voltage supply is this 1k resistor and this 5.1 volt zener.

I measured 5.2 volts, the closest 5.1 volt, a couple of the coupling capacitors one for the eeprom, which is 256 by eprom and one for the microcontroller there's the pull up resistor for the button and then the button clicks to the ground plane pulling that pin down To tell it somebody's pushed the button and then there's a 10k pull down resistor, leading to all the mosfets. I just drew one but there's actually times two, but it could be times three or just one, depending on the circuit right. Tell you what let's explore the battery, can you tell that i'm not impressed i'm not impressed the one thing well, the two things that are making me very suspicious are the uh. The memory chip is very suspicious.

The first i'd call me cynical. I just think it's to expire the product, but i could be wrong. Maybe they're just using a single byte to store the last intensity setting and not rely on people pushing the button each time to to turn it on and change intensity, which would seem a bit silly and the other thing is that zener diode is just like uh. So, let's take a look at the battery pack, which isn't really waterproof, despite all the claims and water will get in and when water gets in, it will cause problems.

So this has been made from three cells: the cells, six pl564763 2018, so not mega old and to be fair, it wasn't dead when it arrived. Can i find the tape and i need to find the tape end there. There's the tape end. Let's try! Maybe it's not the tape end.

Maybe the tape end is elsewhere. This is where it all gets very awkward. Maybe i'll just end up ripping this tape so i'll end up just slitting it very gently with a knife. There we go.

Let's see if i can just slit right into a battery pack, that's a great idea. A battery pack that i charged up, the fact it took a charge is good if the battery voltage goes too low without just being left in a discharge state for too long, sometimes the dw1 chips, if they're used, would lock it out. I hope there are dw01 chips in this. There does look like there should be a little circuit board in here.

There's not wow. Me no liking me no likey at all. So what voltage are these cells at? Because, normally, if you get cells like this connected in series, you would need automatic shut off on charge. Maybe this is another reason that uh, oh there's a control circuit, but there's a control circuit board.

That's what we want. That's what we want. We want the controller that is breathes a sigh of relief, that is the control circuit board. That is a relief.

It does have protection right. Tell me what get this apart anyway. It might have been quite nice because it wouldn't have balancing it's just pulley protection. It would have been quite nice if each cell had had its own protection as is sometimes used in these, and they they don't bother balancing them because it just adds so much to the cost.

Is it going to be a balancing circuit board? Oh, i don't know. There's the output transistors for switching, whether it can charge or discharge, is there a number on this chip? One moment please, quick exploration. The chip is an 8254a a which is a standard cell protection chip for three or four cells. In this case, it's been used for three cells uh.

There is a resistor here which i think is just for over current sensing, 0.02 ohms uh, but there's no balancing, although having said that all the cells are within about 100 of a volt of each other, so they're all pretty well balanced. So that is the one good thing that came out of this uh: that is an extraordinary product. I'm not a huge fan of things that are just misguidedly designed for construction workers to make them look like clowns, it's bad enough. We have to wear a high vis.

I mean i don't mind how it is, but flashing lights or you know, leds dotted all over. Hi-Viz is always just a bit embarrassing, but that's it. It looks like this product is no longer sold the domain i looked up. The domain was for sale for about two thousand five hundred dollars with one person had it in their basket to buy, which i very much doubt it looked like marketing uh.

But one good thing. If you bought this you're going to get a decent battery you're going to get a car battery charger for it and you're going to get this charger as well, goodness knows what hopefully, will be made up to british standards. Let's pop the lid in it and just take a look inside, it's not going to take that long. I do see there are a couple of screws here.

This is where i burst it now, not too bad. If i do, the batteries could be rearranged, they don't have to be end and they could be stacked side to side. This is one of those horrible clicky bits right. Let's take a look at the circuit board and see if it is suitably compliant looking, is this going to come out easily? Probably not i'm probably going to break it? Aren't i oh a decent looking separation standard single chip unit here this is probably an lm358.

Let's get the magnifying glass into this and see if it is an lm358 lm358, that's just being used purely to detect when this thing is cut off, to tell it when it's charging or not um. Oh, it's got up to isolated feedback for the control and the class wise capacitor, just things you'd expect and the little um regulating chip, i'm not sure what that is, it's very vague uh and where is the resistor limits? The current? Maybe there's not maybe it just. Oh there's a resistor there that limits the current um, but there we have it uh yeah. This looks relatively okay.

Obviously, i can't just tell looking at it if the transformer is any good, but it looks the spacing looks okay, and i would hope that product sold in europe would actually comply if it was actually sort of a european designed product. But there we go so i'll. Provide a link to the listing - i got this from it's a uk, ebay, seller and they're selling them very cheaply. Well worth it just for these items alone, uh, but i don't think they'll ship internationally, particularly because it contains a lithium cell and there's no guarantee anything's going to work.

I shall put that in there in a way, and we can, if you're in the uk, you can perhaps buy one for the bits.

13 thoughts on “Inside a lithium powered led safety vest”
  1. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars chewykiller says:

    Here is a totally random question about LEDs and not this video but I dont know how to contact you otherwise. My keyboard LEDs seem to function totally fine but when selecting a "darker" blue some LEDs aren't illuminating the same colour; however, all other hues seem to be fine. Reds greens yellows – all uniform but this hue of "dark" blue doesnt render uniformly. Manufacturing issue? broken LEDs? something to do with the wave length. I can send photos/videos. I thought it was pretty interesting and you might too. Regards

  2. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Richard Millican says:

    Would be handy when sea fishing in the dark. Always good to put out that "non smokers/non drinkers" healthy glow.. you know the one, that irritating one, they're usually called Simon and shop at waitrose 😂😂

  3. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Clyne Snowtail says:

    I dont know, there are a lot of people these days driving around with headlights off, totally oblivious. I blame automatic headlamps training people they dont need to mess with their headlight switch and constantly lit dashboards. Its even worse when its foggy in the morning and the sensor thinks there is enough light so it doesnt turn on the headlamps. Virtually no one manually turns on their lights even though legally you're supposed to have your lights on in that condition.

  4. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars A generic account says:

    …Safety industry’s desire to make workers look like clowns.
    Not wrong.

    So when I had to start wearing high viz, I ordered it in suspender style. Black of course, stitched with reflective. Vests are too restrictive, suspenders oriented normally are irritating. So the over the shoulder bits get to just hang down either side of my legs. I’m within the rules though, technically. Prudence the safety goat hates me. 🤡 🐐

  5. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Shawn Stafford says:

    🤣 Wow, explains why they're not made anymore. PPE "safety device" that's made for injury.
    Hopefully if worn someone will notice the reflection, LED's, or on fire by haphazardly stitched wire's.

  6. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Gregory Thomas says:

    At the website is is listed for 100€ but if you want the 3 red LED's on the back it is 115€. On eBay it is 4£ + 13£ shipping.

    It would almost be worth it for the parts but more than three times the cost for shipping is a bit excessive especially considering it would take a month to get here.

  7. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Some Guy says:

    To check for waterproofing you could take each strip and put a current limit power supply and then dump the strip in a bucket of water. Probably not super exciting but a change in draw would be good science.

  8. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Tech Gorilla says:

    Mr. Clive – did you see me post about your HUGE exposure on Linus Tech Tips? That was amazing to see and you certainly deserve the million subs that you will hit this year. Cracking job, mate!

  9. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Stephen Eyles says:

    I sometimes have to visit un-illuminated sites at night when on call so this would be useful if it could illuminate my walk from the van; also means I'm complying with company policy about wearing hi-vis when on site! But a head torch is much more efficient to be honest.

  10. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Barrie Shepherd says:

    The link takes you to a different, full vest, product now. This seems to only have lights on the front. I'm assuming this is of similar construction though. At £6 + £3 p&p it is not a bad collection of parts especially as you get the free single person first aid kit with;

    "Temple ratchet adjustment works closely with the ergo temple to help the user wearing the product with different pantoscopic angles, suitable for all head shapes."

    I've bought 1 and cant wait to see what those glasses are!

    Will be useful to keep in the car for if I ever go to France (where having a HV vest in the car is mandatory) it won't matter if the battery/LEDs don't work.

  11. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Hagen P says:

    Do I see correctly that the battery pack consists of three cells in parallel (i.e. each cell has 11V)?

    I have seen joggers with light vests, especially on dark winter mornings. Many cyclists (NL) do not bother to turn on their lights, having a light band or vest increases your chance of survival.

    But it beats me why they don't make the battery accessible with a bit of velcro.
    And the E2PROM chip is weird. It would be interesting to know what they store in it.

  12. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars IncertusetNescio says:

    Considering how cheap and nasty it is it surprises me that they bothered. I stopped using those red connectors as well due to how junk they were. Super hard to disconnect with high risk of snapping a wire. I like it for the batteries and LED tape I can repurpose. Knowing those listings the parts I like separate would cost more than the whole vest as well…

  13. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars John Russell says:

    Just wondering if one was put in a washing machine, and the lithium cells were damaged, could it still trigger an explosion under water? Could it blow up your washing machine? The eBay seller still says it is washable but then they can say anything as eBay has no controls in place or any easy way to report sellers unless you buy something in the first place. Caveat Emptor!

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