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How to configure this On/Off Switch with Bicolor LED?HELP ME

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Well, let me preface this by saying that I am not electronics wiz. I can solder and think, and that is it. I do, however, follow directions well.

Perhaps you guys can lend some advice:

I am working on putting an additional safety on my electronic paintball gun.

It is setup currently like this:

9 volt battery is turned on with an on/off switch, and then goes to circuit board, which then outputs +5v to the solenoid via two wires, and that activates the fire cycle with each trigger pull.

I currently have an on/off toggle switch hooked up to one of the solenoid wires, and that is my safety. The gun can be turned on, and the toggle switch has to be also turned on so it can fire.

My goal is to also have a bicolor led in there so that when it is in safety, the led is green, and when it is in fire mode, the led is red.

Here is a copy/paste from a paintball message board (my original post) that is found here:

Well, I was at radio shack today, and got the brillant idea to put a safety switch with multi-color LED on my marker.

It was more of a "what the hell" type of thing, but maybe it will catch on

I will have it so that the switch is connected to the solenoid, so you can have your marker on and firing disabled via the switch.

I bought an SPST Submini PC Board Toggle Switch (very small) which I plan to mount at the back on my tray.

I also bought a Bicolor LED (red and green) which I also plan to mount at the back of my tray.

I just have a question about how to wire it. I know I want it to connect to the solenoid, but how should I wire it so the switch lights up red when the solenoid is disconnected, and green when it is connected?

The toggle switch has two connectors coming out of the back.

Anyway, what do you guys think?

Can this be done?

Thanks for your help

If you have any questions, post please.
if i'm not mistaken multicolor LEDs colors are changed by applying different voltages. I would use some sort of voltage limiter that is turned on when you hit the switch. does anyone have a part # for him?
Hey there,

These LEDs are usually configured so that they share a common cathode, and have two anodes for the two colors.

You need to read your datasheet to see which pins are which.. You will have two anodes (place positive voltage here) and a common cathode. If you apply voltage to the one anode and a ground to the anode, then the one LED will light..

It is important to read the datasheet which will give you your forward voltage drop and recommended running current. You need these values to limit the current, or it will fry or die out prematurely!
You can experiment with experimenting with a ~1000ohm resistor and measure the voltage across the anode to cathode. Usually LEDs take around 10-20mA.

If you have a 5V supply, and a 20mA 2.2V LED, then you can calculate the resistor required in series.. 5V - 2.2V = 2.8V. Rs = 2.8V/0.02A = 140 ohms..

This is a conversation that me and another paintball player (electronics expert, he designs the chips for the guns) had about the LED:

MrDoug1 (9:20:23 PM): Wondering what you think about the Safety with LED and Toggle Switch MOD

defiancecp (9:21:00 PM): Really haven't read much of it, to be honest - trying to get these 2k3 chaos boards completely finished up & shipped

MrDoug1 (9:21:07 PM): oh

MrDoug1 (9:21:17 PM): I really hope that goes well! :)

MrDoug1 (9:21:54 PM): So do you have time to talk with me about it?

defiancecp (9:22:03 PM): Sure

MrDoug1 (9:22:20 PM): Well, i got the switch all hooked up great

MrDoug1 (9:22:29 PM): it is hooked up to one of the solenoid wires

defiancecp (9:22:36 PM): ok

MrDoug1 (9:22:43 PM): when its on the one wire is connected, allowing it
to fire

MrDoug1 (9:22:55 PM): and when its off it is disconnected, not allowing it to fire

MrDoug1 (9:22:58 PM): a safety

MrDoug1 (9:23:07 PM): but I want to have a bicolor led hooked up

MrDoug1 (9:23:21 PM): when its in safe mode, the led is green

MrDoug1 (9:23:28 PM): when it is in fire mode, the led is red

defiancecp (9:23:48 PM): Hm.

MrDoug1 (9:23:56 PM): my friend NATOR said the bicolor changes color with polarity, but I thought it changed with voltage

MrDoug1 (9:23:58 PM): which is it?

defiancecp (9:24:05 PM): Not sure of any way to do that. It is polarity.

MrDoug1 (9:24:13 PM): oh ok

MrDoug1 (9:24:20 PM): an electronics guy told me that

defiancecp (9:24:24 PM): I mean, I know there's a way to do it, but it
would almost require another daughterboard altogether.

MrDoug1 (9:24:29 PM): whoa

MrDoug1 (9:24:55 PM): well... then the switch needs to flip the LED
polarity when the switch is flipped

MrDoug1 (9:25:07 PM): that is all that is really required

MrDoug1 (9:25:22 PM): then I can wire the switch to the battery via an
adjustable voltage reg

MrDoug1 (9:26:30 PM): right?

defiancecp (9:27:14 PM): It's not that easy. Since the switch interfaces
with the solenoid, one of the solenoid wires would have to somehow
switch from negative to positive (or vice versa) by flicking that switch,
and another completely seperate wire would have to do the opposite.

MrDoug1 (9:28:10 PM): Is there a way to have the switch only switch the
leds polarity and not the solenoids

defiancecp (9:29:39 PM): Well, since it's got to disconnect the solenoid
also, it has to use the solenoid as one of it's connections.

defiancecp (9:29:50 PM): Actually, 2.

MrDoug1 (9:29:53 PM): yeah

defiancecp (9:29:58 PM): (in / out)

MrDoug1 (9:29:59 PM): the switch only has two prongs

MrDoug1 (9:30:01 PM): hmm

MrDoug1 (9:30:23 PM): is there a device that switches polarity like that?

defiancecp (9:31:10 PM): like I said, it could be done - but not with just
wiring, you'd actually have to build a full circuit devoted to switching the
LED and disconnecting the solenoid, and that circuit would have to run off
of the switch (instead of running the solenoid off the switch directly)

MrDoug1 (9:31:33 PM): damn

MrDoug1 (9:31:39 PM): that is beyond me

MrDoug1 (9:32:04 PM): hmm... do you think you could do it? :)

defiancecp (9:33:14 PM): Yes, but not at the moment! :)

MrDoug1 (9:33:20 PM): awesome

MrDoug1 (9:33:25 PM): how long would it be?

defiancecp (9:33:38 PM): I don't know, just whenever I get some free

MrDoug1 (9:33:49 PM): I could pay you, not much, but still something :)

MrDoug1 (9:36:34 PM): So this would all be on a chip?

defiancecp (9:36:49 PM): No, it would not be that complex,

MrDoug1 (9:36:55 PM): oh ok

defiancecp (9:36:59 PM): But it would need several components. I think...

MrDoug1 (9:37:03 PM): oh, you said circuit, not chip

defiancecp (9:37:28 PM): Yeah

MrDoug1 (9:37:29 PM): If you could make a list I could order them to
your place

defiancecp (9:37:59 PM): Ok, but I'll have to sit down and work it out
first. I really don't know if it will fit, I'll have to see what is required first.


Well, what do you guys think?

this is beginning to seem a little more complex than I initally thought.

Do you have any ideas?
there are more then one type of multiclor leds,
some are red/yellow, red/green, green/yellow....
it depends how they are connected, some are connected antiparalel and some have 3 pin capsuple sharing an anode or cathode....
so you want to have a led that is, let's say red when the sw it off and green when the sw is on?
o, i understand wht you want now, but is the led with 3 pins(common anode or cathode) or with 2 pins?
i got an idea for the 2 pin led...


  • led1.gif
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I stand to be corrected but,
What about a DPDT switch ( Double Pole Double Throw)

Lets say you have the three wire type led ground in the centre pin and
led goes red when voltage is applied to pin A of the led
led goes green when voltage is applied to pin B of the led

So contacts of dpdt switch,


ok you would wire up as follows:
Pin A of the switch would go to pin A of the led.
Pin C of the switch would go to pin B of the led,
Pin B of the switch would be your + voltage with resistor if needed.

Pin E of the switch would go to one of the cut wires for the solenoid
then the other wire off the solenoid would go to pin D
if this allows you to fire the gun when green led is on put wire on pin F instead of pin D.

Hope this helps Paul
yes, that is the simplest way, Paul, but i thought he has a simple toggle switch..
if he can modify it and gut one like you said that it is very simple to do the work.
Well, got everything done, and I used Paul's idea.

thanks for everyone's help.

I now need to know if a 3pdt switch is made in the off on on form?
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