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Thread: Project off-road lightbar featuring SST-90's

  1. #31
    Flashaholic* idleprocess's Avatar
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    Default Re: Project off-road lightbar featuring SST-90's

    I am mulling something similar to this for my truck for off road use, but will likely base it on some triple XP-G's using triple optics.

    With some ingenuity, I imagine that I could make the setup removable and also use them as bicycle lights (with much lower drive current).
    I apologize that this letter is so long; I did not have time to write a short letter

  2. #32
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    Default Re: Project off-road lightbar featuring SST-90's

    Your project is looking very promising. Can't wait to see more photo's.
    I am curious, and thinking of experimenting with a smaller scale sst 90 4wd configuration, how do the drivers you mention handle the DC supply from an alternator? Does the alternator supply a consistent current and or voltage that won't burn the drivers? It would be a shame to find out the hard way, and I can imagine it would add significantly to the cost to fit some sort of pre-driver regulator.

  3. #33
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    Default Re: Project off-road lightbar featuring SST-90's

    I've not been able to try the drivers and LEDs on my Jeep yet. I've just finished another project (it's a build that never finishes :-) ), and now will turn my full attention to this one.
    I have another batch of SST-90s arriving (hopefully) today and I am planning to test DIWDivers drivers and three LEDs in series this weekend.
    Had only two leds, so I've been waiting.
    This time I've ordered SSR stars, from Mouser, so I won't have to solder them myself

  4. #34
    Flashaholic* DIWdiver's Avatar
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    Default Re: Project off-road lightbar featuring SST-90's

    Quote Originally Posted by hoppy_bounce View Post
    Your project is looking very promising. Can't wait to see more photo's.
    I am curious, and thinking of experimenting with a smaller scale sst 90 4wd configuration, how do the drivers you mention handle the DC supply from an alternator? Does the alternator supply a consistent current and or voltage that won't burn the drivers? It would be a shame to find out the hard way, and I can imagine it would add significantly to the cost to fit some sort of pre-driver regulator.
    The DC supply in a vehicle is a very nasty environment for electronics. The voltage is not very well regulated, and under certain conditions, noise, spikes, and surges occur which can damage electronics that aren't designed to handle them.

    Fortunately the pre-regulator costs only a few cents (shipping costs me more than the parts). I also changed a few parts on Diman's driver to allow it to handle higher voltages (like a 100V FET). You have to be careful wiring it, but I have every expectation that it will handle the automotive environment. It should handle 100V surges and 30V for extended times. I've sold a couple modified for use in vehicles, and haven't heard any complaints. I'd love to hear some feedback on this.

    The thing you have to watch out for is power dissipation. I won't go into it here, but if the battery voltage is more than a few volts higher than the LED voltage, you will have serious heat problems at 8-10A. Fortunately most of the voltage fluctuations don't last long enough to cause heating issues, and you are only left to deal with the heating issues of the average voltage.

    Don

  5. #35

    Default Re: Project off-road lightbar featuring SST-90's

    Wow, this looks awesome! You've caught my attention. I did a project similar a few years back, but I used 8 SSC-P7's. I also machined all of mine, including the reflectors. I really had no idea what I was doing, I just had access to all the machines I needed to use to make it. I really learned a lot though. Wow. Anyways, this should be a lot of fun. I'll keep my eye on it. You may have seen my thread, if not, take a look here (http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...d-racing-light). You may find some ideas or something that could possibly help. Feel free to ask me any questions too.
    Good luck!
    Therefore let your light so shine before this people, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven. - 3 Nephi 12:16

  6. #36
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    Keep the good work up, post some pictures along the way please! I've ordered 4x 4XM-L lights for a similar project now :-)

  7. #37
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    Default Re: Project off-road lightbar featuring SST-90's

    pics :-)


    tested LEDs and driver today.
    mounted them on a heatsink of the type described in my first post.



    driver too... it turned out it gets really hot!

    I used arctic sivler 5 thermal compound between leds and driver and heatsink



    Mounted at a distance approximate to that when reflectors will be added.



    2A low mode



    2A





    8A






    Jeep is running, and the alternator output was actually 14.4 V





    the heatsink got really hot within maybe two minutes and I shut everything off. Driver was really hot too.
    I needed to know what is generating that heat so I moved the driver to another heatsink, and ran another test. Three sst-90s warm up that heatsink pretty much.
    I don't have a IR-thermometer, but after three minutes I couldn't hold the heatsink in my hand anymore.
    I will do more precise measurements :-)

    The bar - made from solid u-channel and with these heatsinks thermo-glued to the back should provide enough temp-drop (I hope!!! )

  8. #38
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    Nice pics! Hehe 3minutes isn't a long time but too hot for hand is about 45 celsius isn't it? An IR-meter is very good for these kind of situations, yes :-)
    That's what I used to test my fan cooled quad XM-L.

  9. #39
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    Default Re: Project off-road lightbar featuring SST-90's

    An IR meter probably will not get a good reading off bare alumimum. Try taking a reading on a piece of black electrical tape that's on the aluminum. It might read quite a bit higher, and would be closer to actual temperature.

  10. #40
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    Default Re: Project off-road lightbar featuring SST-90's

    thanks for the tip :-) I will do that.
    I've ordered an IR-meter off ebay, shouldn't take more than a couple of days to arrive.
    After doing some more reading on heat, heat dissipation and different ways of cooling techniques, I am replacing the heatsink type in my first post with this one:

    The main difference is that this one has vertical fins. (when mounted horizontally of course ) Heated air between fins travels upwards and with horizontal fins (as in the first heatsink model) it will move poorly and it will not be able to absorb more heat the higher it travels.
    Second difference is that this one is anodized black. Because of that some heat will be dissipated through radiation. Not much probably, but better than nothing really

    I've ordered one of these, will probably arrive at the same time as the IR-thermometer.

  11. #41

    Default Re: Project off-road lightbar featuring SST-90's

    I'm building almost the same light only using 6 SST-90-W57S-F11-GN200 s, are you still using the Aluminum u channel for the housing? that was my planis I was going to use a 2x2 billet aluminum rod then get a channel milled out and heat sink fins milled on the back side of the channel PROs/CONs?

  12. #42
    Flashaholic* DIWdiver's Avatar
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    Default Re: Project off-road lightbar featuring SST-90's

    That big chunk of aluminum will be great at absorbing heat, but if you run it a while, it will eventually heat up.

    The thing you really want to do is transfer the heat to the air and get rid of it forever. That's what fins are for. Surface area and airflow are the keys to heat transfer to air.

    Your six LEDs will be generating around 200W. You want your heatsink temperature rise no more than 50C, (less is better), so you need around 400 square inches of surface in calm air (more is better). With airflow (from driving around or a fan blowing on the surface), you can reduce the surface requirement by a factor of up to 5 or even more depending on the airflow. The fins give you more surface area in a smaller package. You can get an improvement of 2 to 20 times or more in surface area / package area.

    Your 2" square billet might be okay in still air if it were 50" long and its entire surface were exposed to the air. Driving around slowly, you might reduce that to 30" (just a guess - I'd have to do some calculations to get a better number). At highway speeds 10-20" would probably be enough.

  13. #43

    Default Re: Project off-road lightbar featuring SST-90's

    2x2 billet aluminum rod then get a channel milled out and heat sink fins milled on the back side
    the back would have fins milled in to the billet not really thin but I was thinking it would turn out similiar to to the apearance of a dirtbike/atv cylinder head so each fin would be about a 1/16" and a gap of 1/16" and maybe a slot or two in the oppsite direction to add just a bit more surface area. so the back would have 16 horizontal fins and then maybe 8 channels milled out vertically and all aprox 1 inch deep

  14. #44
    Flashaholic* DIWdiver's Avatar
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    Default Re: Project off-road lightbar featuring SST-90's

    The slots probably need to be wider to optimize airflow, unless you are using a fan. And a 16:1 aspect ratio on the fins (length to thickness) is higher than most aluminum heatsinks. Plus it's hard to mill slots 1/16" wide and 1" deep, unless maybe you are sawing them. Say you have 12" of rod, with 1/4" slots and 1/8" fins. That would give you about 32 fins, each with 4 square inches of area, for a total of 128 square inches. When you count up the tips, edges, lost surface, etc, I calculate you now have 208 square inches total, compared to 96 before the milling. Sticking with your 1/16" slots and 1/16" fins, you'd have a lot more surface area, but perhaps no better performance for your trouble due to restricted airflow and limited heat conduction down the length of the fins.

    If you have the ability to mill those slots, it would be interesting to see what happens. Maybe make a 2" long test piece with thin fins/slots, and one with wider ones, then measure performance?

  15. #45
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    Default Re: Project off-road lightbar featuring SST-90's

    Oh, and the slot in the opposite direction doesn't increase surface area unless the slot is thinner than the thickness of the fins. It would increase turbulence, but I have no idea whether that's good or bad.

  16. #46

    Default Re: Project off-road lightbar featuring SST-90's

    and that's why I'm blad I posted here that makes alot more sense the way you where describing. not to mention milling 1/4" only 2"s makes way more sense than milling 1/16" 12"s the refletors I'm using are
    two sst-90w s and 4 sst-90s because it's a "stealth" bar. would it be more benificial to up the reflector slightly I could probably jump up to a 1.5" or 2" but it wouldn't be as "stealth".
    http://www.mouser.com/Optoelectronic...x9c7?P=1yzsouo link to reflectors I ordered


    I hate to ask so much on someone elses build but my build is so similiar it seems convient if there are any complaints please let me know and I will start a new thread.

  17. #47
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    Default Re: Project off-road lightbar featuring SST-90's

    The only reason to use a bigger reflector is to get a tighter beam. If you are happy with the beam, then it's a good reflector.

  18. #48

    Default Re: Project off-road lightbar featuring SST-90's

    Very Cool project I also looked into building a light bar as I have a 04 Rubicon myslelf. I never like the SST-90's as they never seemed practical with all the heat they put out and optics where hard to find. I would go with XM-L Led's myself. If you VF matched the LED strings you could run 9 from each driver.

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  19. #49

    Default Re: Project off-road lightbar featuring SST-90's

    I wimped out and wound up with the Rigid Dually D2's for $330 shipped from Ebay. They output 5200 lumens (2600 each).
    Last edited by cmacclel; 12-21-2011 at 04:46 AM.
    www.macscustoms.com
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  20. #50
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    Default Re: Project off-road lightbar featuring SST-90's

    well. no news yet. I just got home from hospital to discover that neither IR-meter nor the heatsink have arrived.

    The main idea is still the same. 5mm thick u-channel with heatsinks glued to the back using thermo adhesive.

    I'm playing around in solidworks and here're some pics of the design.

    The u-channel need to be modified - wings must be machined down a bit to ensure proper distance between reflectors in the front panel and the leds on the bottom of the u-channel.




    This is of course only preliminary sketches...

  21. #51

    Default Re: Project off-road lightbar featuring SST-90's


  22. #52
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    Default Re: Project off-road lightbar featuring SST-90's

    ...collecting parts....
    not much happening yet...

  23. #53

  24. #54
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    Default Re: Project off-road lightbar featuring SST-90's

    some minor updates...
    I've ordered (and received ) one driver from DerWichtel, they are (what I think) switching drivers.
    It's more expensive than DIWDivers and handles only two SST-90s in series. But the fact that it is a switching driver and generates alot less heat that I have to deal with is intriguing.

    So I will evaluate it as soon as I can... too much at work before Christmas, too little time...

    I've been thinking about my design.. had an idea, I'll just run it by you...
    What if I'm to add a small fan to the housing... I already know that i will need a vent hole, so that the housing is not hermetically sealed. This vent will probably be a small pipe beginning somewhere at the top of the housing and pointing downwards along the backside to prevent rain and dust from entering the housing. couple of inches in length.
    But what if I add another vent at the other end of the housing.. the same design a little bigger pipe/channel originating at the top and running down the backside... And place a small pc-fan inside the housing at the top hole where that second pipe begins... blowing the air out.

    difficult to explain.. I have it only in my head

    the question is would the air movement inside the bar have any cooling effect on the leds (in addition to the passive cooling with my original heatsink idea)... I mean would that fan help cooling so much that it's worth the extra work or would it's effect be so small so it's worthless...

    sorry for somewhat blurry explanation...

  25. #55
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    Default Re: Project off-road lightbar featuring SST-90's

    The explanation seems fine to me. And yes, it would help. The faster you drive the less you need it, but if you are creeping along it will make a big difference.

  26. #56
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    Default Re: Project off-road lightbar featuring SST-90's

    well, the intended use of the bar is in the woods and it seldom goes over 5 km/h there...
    and I need the lights to be on for long periods of time...

    I'd love to do a thermal simulation/calculus, but I've never had to deal with heat before so I don't even know where to begin.
    So the only way for me is to over-dimension things.
    I'll give that fan idea some more thought.

  27. #57
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    If it is a roof bar, can't you have someone calculate how big heatsink you'll need? It will probably be a massive heatsink but does it matter if it's on the roof? And maybe some active temperature control that lowers effect to half when say its over 80 degrees? And maybe 2 housings combined, build one air and waterproof housings with heatsink on the back and then another housing(vented) on the heatsink with fans blowing directly on the heatsink?

  28. #58
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    Default Re: Project off-road lightbar featuring SST-90's

    allright.. some more thougths.

    Here I was, working on another project... small one but involving LEDs.
    My liftgate (as a liftgate supposed to) opens upwards and provide excellent roof for me standing in front of the rear hatch. I have some stuff there.. water tank, propane-kitchen, tools and other stuff one might need on the trail. I then figured it'd be nice to have some lights there and liftgate was a given place to mount them to.

    So I bought two drivers for two cheap LEDs I had laying around since forever.. nothing special - chinese crap Leds http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/10W-Power-...item256ade4a06

    drivers:
    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/12V-LED-Dr...item5ae06b1f8c

    assembly in the rear plastic of liftgate




    Then I tried to turn them on and connected drivers to Jeeps battery. 12V. Jeeps engine not running!
    I was listening to radio at the moment and when LEDs turned on I got very strong interference noise from the radio. My garage FM-radio is a old stationary hi-fi box, cd is dead only radio is working. So it's not radio in the Jeep = no physical connection through power wires.
    I use my iPod with attached FM-transmitter to play music in the garage. The music was almost entirely replaced by that noise. At the moment the iPod was laying next to the radio and I estimated distance between me with leds at the battery and the radio to be 5-6 meters. So it's far away...

    After googling a while I wrapped that plastic box where I placed the driver in aluminum tape, but it didn't help. Still getting alot of noise as soon as the LEDs turn on.

    What I really want to know is if will I get the same kind of noise from my LED bar? is it LEDs or driver that are the cause? And if anyone had the same kind of problem
    and how to fix it...



    Happy New Year to all of you

  29. #59

    Default Re: Project off-road lightbar featuring SST-90's

    The drivers you linked probably happen to have harmonics running way out up high. I'l look at a low-pass T filter on the output to squelch the noise. I'd avoid a low pass pi filter, as the capacitor on the output could potentially blow out your LED if it was big enough and you get an intermittent connection to the LED. (i.e. it charges up and then the connection is remade and it dumps into the LED) The inductor between the cap and the LED in a T filter would at least give it a chance.

  30. #60
    Flashaholic* DIWdiver's Avatar
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    Default Re: Project off-road lightbar featuring SST-90's

    The noise is generated by the switching regulator, not the LEDs. Those nice long wires make pretty fair broadcast antennae in the FM band.

    As CKOD suggests, you need to filter the noise at the point the wires attach to the driver. You should filter both the input and output wires, though the output may be more important. However, at those frequencies you don't need large capacitors. Either a T or pi filter with 0.1uH and 0.1uF components should provide 70dB attenuation at 100 MHz. If you can enclose the driver in a 'Faraday Cage' (any metal enclosure that's mostly sealed), and tie the grounds of the filters to the cage, and the cage to power ground, you should be good to go. Aluminum foil tape may suffice, but a box would be better. The Faraday cage may not even be necessary, if the filters are nice and close to the driver.

    The IS1006 drivers you bought, being linear drivers, will not exhibit this problem. Der Wichtel's driver is a switcher, so it will generate noise, but there's no telling whether it will be as bad, until you test it.

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