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Thread: What are the best driver boards?

  1. #1
    Flashaholic* KDOG3's Avatar
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    Default What are the best driver boards?

    I'm looking to get a 700-800mah driver board to run a SSCp4. I want to find the best driver board for this project. Suggestions?
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: What are the best driver boards?

    KDOG3, you have been around for awhile so you must know about the driver boards sold by Wayne at the Sandwich Shoppe, some of the best in the world. Also Georges80, at taskled.com Do a little research.
    Bill

  3. #3
    Flashaholic* KDOG3's Avatar
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    Default Re: What are the best driver boards?

    Yes I know about the Sandwich Shoppe, just making sure there wasn't others I didn't know about.
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  4. #4

    Default Re: What are the best driver boards?

    What voltage are you going to run and what features do you want in a board of what size? Without answers to these questions it's hard to recommend something. In addition to Bill's suggestions Goldserve makes great drivers and we sell them on our TnC store although we are currently out of stock.

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    Flashaholic* 65535's Avatar
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    Default Re: What are the best driver boards?

    wayne and taskled are the way to go.
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    Flashaholic* TorchBoy's Avatar
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    Default Re: What are the best driver boards?

    Well, since you don't mention any supply voltage all I can suggest is KENNAN... except it's not from "wayne and taskled".
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    Default

    number of leds (possibly 1)?
    number of cells?
    what cell chemistry?
    Runtime vs. output?
    level choice?

    that said, I just recently built a tri-Cree mod thus far, it can be fired on and absolutely hate the Shark/Remora combination I had stored around there for it for such a long time. Next mod will see a taskled driver.

    btw: if Your goal is a one led - one Li-Ion light, a Flupic is the way to go - but beware: maybe its my main light (Cree, Flupic, 18650) that makes any other thing "bad" in comparison. This driver ofers sooo much freedom for the user, nothing else can stand a chance.

  8. #8

    Default Re: What are the best driver boards?

    Hi !
    I'm planning to do something like KDOG3.
    I want to run a SSC P4 with 4 x AA NiMH.
    I'm looking for a board with a voltage input of at least 6V and I would like it to be in the 900-1000mah range.
    Is there something out there ? I took a look on DX, KD and SS and I've found nothing.

    Thanks !

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    Flashaholic* kavvika's Avatar
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    Default Re: What are the best driver boards?

    DX #3256 should work nicely for you. In fact, I placed an order for a pack of them on Sunday to use in a Mag 2C 2x18650 Seoul mod.

    They're the most efficient of the "cheap" buck circuits, other than the out-of-stock KD Kennar board.

  10. #10

    Default Re: What are the best driver boards?

    Ok thank !
    Is there something better that sku.3256 ?
    I want to have the brightest output possible.

    Thanks !

  11. #11
    Flashaholic* kavvika's Avatar
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    Default Re: What are the best driver boards?

    Since you plan on using 4x AA cells, you need a buck circuit to bring the voltage down, rather than boosting it. I take it you're only doing a single LED mod, so you won't need a Shark driver. My only other suggestion from DX is #7425

    This one from KD shows some promise, and as long as you don't go over 6V, this one could work as well

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    Flashaholic* Ty_Bower's Avatar
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    Default Re: What are the best driver boards?

    I've often wondered what is the preferred driver for lighting a single Cree or Luxeon emitter powered by a single unprotected li-ion cell. I'd like to get some decent time in regulation, but I also want it to shutdown before over discharge occurs.
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    Default Re: What are the best driver boards?

    The more threads like this one I see, the more I think I really should metaphorically get off my backside and spend more time on my backside and type a list of drivers, what voltages they accept, what current they output, suitability for various jobs, etc.
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  14. #14

    Default Re: What are the best driver boards?

    +1 for that idea.

    It could really help.
    Also it will be nice to "teach" those who don't know about vI, Vo, vF, mah, and more.

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    Default Re: What are the best driver boards?

    Quote Originally Posted by kavvika View Post
    and as long as you don't go over 6V, this one could work as well

    Those boards appear to use linear voltage regulators. If so don't they waste power by dissipating the difference as heat? I see no inductor.

    Dave

  16. #16

    Default Re: What are the best driver boards?

    A quick question here: If i use for an example this board. How do I have to solder the wires ? The way I want to do my mod is to solder the wires from the board to the star and then link the board to the switch. The switch is connected to a plastic holder that holds the 4 x AA.

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    *Flashaholic* Mr Happy's Avatar
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    Default Re: What are the best driver boards?

    Quote Originally Posted by Spypro View Post
    A quick question here: If i use for an example this board. How do I have to solder the wires ?
    Looks like the batteries connect to the underside of the board that looks like a "bullseye" and the wires connect to the LED. Yes?

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    Default Re: What are the best driver boards?

    Quote Originally Posted by Probedude View Post
    Those boards appear to use linear voltage regulators. If so don't they waste power by dissipating the difference as heat?
    Yes, but I don't know about "waste" since you're getting what you want out of them, so it's more a necessary cost. Whether it's more, less, or just the same efficiency as a buck or boost board will depend on input voltage.
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  19. #19

    Default Re: What are the best driver boards?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Happy View Post
    Looks like the batteries connect to the underside of the board that looks like a "bullseye" and the wires connect to the LED. Yes?
    I have two wires coming from the battery pack: the red and black one. I don't know where to solder them on the board. I know that I have to solder the wires of the board (that are already on the board) to the LED.

  20. #20
    *Flashaholic* Mr Happy's Avatar
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    Default Re: What are the best driver boards?

    Quote Originally Posted by Spypro View Post
    I have two wires coming from the battery pack: the red and black one. I don't know where to solder them on the board.
    At a rough guess, the positive wire (red) goes to the center of the bullseye and the negative to the outer ring. The instructions that come with it will confirm, or someone here who already owns one...

  21. #21
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    Default Re: What are the best driver boards?

    Quote Originally Posted by TorchBoy View Post
    Yes, but I don't know about "waste" since you're getting what you want out of them, so it's more a necessary cost. Whether it's more, less, or just the same efficiency as a buck or boost board will depend on input voltage.
    Hmm, there's no energy conversion so except for Vin being close to Vout I'd expect it to always be less efficient than a switching solution. With Vin < Vout (impossible with this board) there's additional losses through the voltage drop across the series pass transistor.



    Dave

  22. #22
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    Default Re: What are the best driver boards?

    Quote Originally Posted by Probedude View Post
    there's no energy conversion
    Any regulator will convert electricity to heat. Actually, some do quite a lot of that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Probedude View Post
    except for Vin being close to Vout I'd expect it to always be less efficient than a switching solution.
    If your switching solution is only about 60% efficient you don't even need the Vin close to the Vout for the linear regulator in question to be more efficient. Switching does not necessarily mean efficient, you know.

    Quote Originally Posted by Probedude View Post
    the voltage drop across the series pass transistor.
    ... is supposed to be only 0.12V, so it'll run much closer than your typical buck board, with the inherent high efficiency. This is why I think making that list of regulator boards is needed. People just don't seem to understand when one type will be better suited than other types.
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  23. #23

    Default Re: What are the best driver boards?

    Thank you all of the advices.

    I'll buy some SSC P4 and a 4 pack of the #3256 driver board from DX. I'll mod my Scorpion LED (will be difficult since I almost destroyed the module) and I'll use 2 x RCR123 in it. My other mod will be my Mastercraft Maximum. Is the #3256 board ok to run with RCR123 ?

    Thanks !
    Last edited by Spypro; 01-31-2008 at 11:53 AM.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: What are the best driver boards?

    Quote Originally Posted by TorchBoy View Post
    Any regulator will convert electricity to heat. Actually, some do quite a lot of that.
    Sorry, I meant power conversion. As in Watts in - Watts out. Amp draw on a linear driver will always equal the amps out ignoring quiescent current no matter what. At least with a switcher the amps in can be less than the amps out if Vin > Vout (and with efficiency in your favor). Also with linears Vout can never be greater than Vin.

    If your switching solution is only about 60% efficient you don't even need the Vin close to the Vout for the linear regulator in question to be more efficient. Switching does not necessarily mean efficient, you know.
    agreed and it varies with current draw. A well designed switcher though can run in the high 90%.

    ... is supposed to be only 0.12V, so it'll run much closer than your typical buck board, with the inherent high efficiency. This is why I think making that list of regulator boards is needed. People just don't seem to understand when one type will be better suited than other types.
    Yep that would be helpful. I looked at the datasheet for the 7135 current regulator and it does have an impressively low voltage drop. The dissipation out of the SOT89 case is limiting though and per the datasheet the recommended sq in of copper plane is decently large. I don't know if much conduction happens through the body of the pill using such a board. One side has the contact for the battery + to touch and the other side has the components so there is not a large contact area for heat conduction to the pill.

  25. #25
    Flashaholic* TorchBoy's Avatar
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    Default Re: What are the best driver boards?

    OK, with a view to someone (maybe not me) starting a list, when people are looking for a regulator board, what are they normally looking for? Something that will work with a given battery or input voltage range? Something that will output a certain current (range)? Something with multiple modes or that could easily be modded for that? By input voltage sounds like the simplest way to list them.
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  26. #26
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    Default Re: What are the best driver boards?

    Quote Originally Posted by TorchBoy View Post
    OK, with a view to someone (maybe not me) starting a list, when people are looking for a regulator board, what are they normally looking for? Something that will work with a given battery or input voltage range? Something that will output a certain current (range)? Something with multiple modes or that could easily be modded for that? By input voltage sounds like the simplest way to list them.
    Just keep adding columns for the features and other specs but yes, sort by the input voltage.

  27. #27
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    Default

    dont think that list makes sense.
    ppl should be able to look for themselves at the drivers that are currently available!

    f.e. if You make that list and someone reads (that I suggest) the Flupic as the BEST driver overall for single led and Li-Ion. Not only because of its diversity,
    but especially with the question in here:
    because it seems to get into some kind of direct drive when the cell is around 2.9-3 volts and current decreases more and more from then
    (I once wanted to try it out with an unproteced cell and got down to only 2.7 V under load because it lasted so long I got bored and stopped somewhen)

    whats the give?
    Guy knows there was a good driver and will not be able to get it.
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  28. #28
    Flashaholic* TorchBoy's Avatar
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    Default Re: What are the best driver boards?

    Sorry yellow, I don't understand your post.

    Anyway, I've started a list. And it is just a start - there must be dozens of drivers around. It'll be interesting to see how the format changes over time.
    No, a torch does not always mean flames.
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  29. #29

    Default Re: What are the best driver boards?

    It is sometime hard to choose a driver and it is not always well documented on the websites.
    I saw the list and it is great !

  30. #30

    Default Re: What are the best driver boards?

    Quote Originally Posted by Probedude View Post
    Those boards appear to use linear voltage regulators. If so don't they waste power by dissipating the difference as heat? I see no inductor.

    Dave
    Can I know what are inductors in the circuits used for?

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