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Thread: HIVE McG converter used in the Aqua line of lights.

  1. #1
    *Flashaholic* McGizmo's Avatar
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    Default HIVE McG converter used in the Aqua line of lights.

    Hi guys,
    This thread is intended for Rush (Martin) to introduce the HIVE McG converter and its parameters and options. Please wait for Rush to start the dialogue here. I am remaining ignorant on the means and method of programming this converter beyond "stock" for as long as I can and have no intention of becoming proficient to the point of offering a customized converter in addition to the stock offering.
    Build Prices .... some mods and builds (not 4 sale) "Nature can be cruel- but we don't have to be."~ Temple Grandin

  2. #2
    Flashaholic rush's Avatar
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    Default Re: HIVE McG converter used in the Aqua line of lights.

    Hi folks,
    This thread is going to be the place for all discussion about the new driver / converter, called HiveLD. Thank you Don for the introduction!


    As Don has pointed out, he is providing and supporting the driver in its stock configuration, anything going beyond this should be directed to this thread (for now). I will be actively moderating this thread to answer questions.

    For all of you that want to make use of the ability to configure the driver, this will be the discussion ground!



    The HiveLD Firmware
    I am just going to give a quick summary of the possibilities that the setup mode of the driver is providing. For the complete documentation please see the web page that i have set up.

    >> HiveLD Firmware Web page<<

    This is obviously work in progress, i want to keep this web page as a central location for all information regarding the driver and update it regularly.


    Basic concept of the setup mode
    The setup mode works by visually signaling the settings and their value. You change the settings by turning off the light during certain time frames that are indicated visually as well. So there is no tools needed and you can load different settings on the go if you want.


    The configuration settings include
    • Number of brightness levels
    • Each brightness level can configured individually
    • Use brightness level memory or not
    • Output current all brightness levels scale to (Default 1400 mA, hardware maximum 2200 mA for the HiveLD-P in the Aqua lights)
    • Threshold levels for the high temperature and low voltage output reduction
    • Three memory presets to store and recall a set of the above individual settings

    Last edited by rush; 10-16-2013 at 11:46 AM.

  3. #3
    Flashaholic* BenChiew's Avatar
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    Default Re: HIVE McG converter used in the Aqua line of lights.

    On the initial power up (first contact), does it start from High, Low or memory?

  4. #4
    London Lad's Avatar
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    Default Re: HIVE McG converter used in the Aqua line of lights.

    .....
    Last edited by London Lad; 10-16-2013 at 10:28 AM.


  5. #5
    Flashaholic* BenChiew's Avatar
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    Default Re: HIVE McG converter used in the Aqua line of lights.

    Rush. Will the converter handle an Unprotected IMR18650 battery?

  6. #6
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    archimedes's Avatar
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    Default Re: HIVE McG converter used in the Aqua line of lights.

    Very much looking forward to the details of this new driver, and particularly its programmability ...

    Voltage range? Drive current? Overdischarge protection?
    Last edited by archimedes; 10-16-2013 at 08:32 AM.
    ... is the archimedes peak

  7. #7
    *Flashaholic* PoliceScannerMan's Avatar
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    Default Re: HIVE McG converter used in the Aqua line of lights.

    Hearing this was the last push to submit my order. Being able to customize the driver is awesome. Low lows, good long running mediums, and bright hghs.

    Speaking of which, what is the MAX current allowed to be programmed??

  8. #8
    Light11's Avatar
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    Default Re: HIVE McG converter used in the Aqua line of lights.

    Excellent work Martin
    I too would like to hear about the drive current max and the particulars on programming.

  9. #9
    *Flashaholic* McGizmo's Avatar
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    Default Re: HIVE McG converter used in the Aqua line of lights.

    Anyone planning on getting one of these lights based on entering the custom programming realm should please wait until it is clear what is possible and how the programming works.
    Build Prices .... some mods and builds (not 4 sale) "Nature can be cruel- but we don't have to be."~ Temple Grandin

  10. #10
    Flashaholic rush's Avatar
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    Default Re: HIVE McG converter used in the Aqua line of lights.

    Everybody,
    Thank you for the feedback and questions so far

    I have just updated my post above with more information and a link to a external web page that i will use as the main location for all documentation.
    During the development of the driver i have compiled a manual that has become quite extensive. There certainly is a learning curve to using the setup mode of the drivers, but i am working on making things easy enough so this is not a problem for anybody interested. All your feedback will help improving the documentation!

    The driver is providing a low voltage output reduction that also acts as a overdischarge protection. This means at the minimum cell voltage of Li-Ion rechargeables (about 2.7 V) the output will be turned off entirely, after it has been running on the lowest possible brightness level before.
    So you can safely use unprotected cells with the driver, being it ICR or IMR.

    Input voltage range for the driver is 2.5V to 5.5V, i. e. it is practically limited to one Li-Ion cell.

    The maximum possible LED current that you can set is 2200 mA. But please be aware that the light will heat up quickly with such a high output, the over temperature output reduction will kick in soon under normal circumstances.

  11. #11

    Default Re: HIVE McG converter used in the Aqua line of lights.

    Quote Originally Posted by rush View Post

    Input voltage range for the driver is 2.5V to 5.5V, i. e. it is practically limited to one Li-Ion cell.
    If (2) primaries are used, will the extra .5V be wasted as heat like some of Don's other lights or will the extra .5V cause damage?

  12. #12
    Flashaholic rush's Avatar
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    Default Re: HIVE McG converter used in the Aqua line of lights.

    The 5.5 V is the upper allowed input voltage, for one component the absolute maximum is 6.0 V.
    Lithium primaries have an open circuit voltage of 3.2 V when full.
    So chances are high that you damage the driver using two primaries, yes.

  13. #13

    Default Re: HIVE McG converter used in the Aqua line of lights.

    Martin,

    I have read through your website and this is an amazing driver. The flowchart of options is simply amazing. I must say this takes Don's lights to a whole new level than before and I hope to see this driver implemented in more of his offerings. An option that supports CR123/RCR123 would be a huge complement to the Makai and Haiku. I look forward to seeing the work you and Don do together over the next year or so.

    I do have a question about the setup bridge. Is it required to keep the setup bridge in place if you want to be able to switch between the three Groups of settings?

  14. #14
    *Flashaholic* kaichu dento's Avatar
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    Default Re: HIVE McG converter used in the Aqua line of lights.

    Very exciting project here and I hope that the low voltage cutoff will also be accompanied by a gradual reduction in output before cutoff is reached to both slow the onset of complete darkness and give due warning as well.
    Marduke - Solitaire...I've seen matches which are brighter AND have a longer runtime. 光陰矢の如し

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    Flashaholic* Obijuan Kenobe's Avatar
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    Default Re: HIVE McG converter used in the Aqua line of lights.

    Quote Originally Posted by ShineOnYouCrazyDiamond View Post
    I do have a question about the setup bridge. Is it required to keep the setup bridge in place if you want to be able to switch between the three Groups of settings?
    Exactly what I was wondering!

    obi
    Stay sharp and bright for life.
    Have your knife and light handy at all times.
    Sent from a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away.

  16. #16
    Flashaholic* BenChiew's Avatar
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    Default Re: HIVE McG converter used in the Aqua line of lights.

    Sorry. wrong thread.

  17. #17
    *Flashaholic* McGizmo's Avatar
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    Default Re: HIVE McG converter used in the Aqua line of lights.

    Quote Originally Posted by ShineOnYouCrazyDiamond View Post
    Martin,

    ....

    I do have a question about the setup bridge. Is it required to keep the setup bridge in place if you want to be able to switch between the three Groups of settings?
    As I understand, you can't enter setup without the bridge in place. When it is in place, you have to deviate from what I would consider normal use to enter setup but having had folks enter calibration mode on the 3S converter, I know this can happen.
    Build Prices .... some mods and builds (not 4 sale) "Nature can be cruel- but we don't have to be."~ Temple Grandin

  18. #18
    Flashaholic rush's Avatar
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    Default Re: HIVE McG converter used in the Aqua line of lights.

    Don is correct.
    All the setup functionality (and this includes the three presets that you can use to conveniently store different configurations) is only active when the jumper pads on the PCB are closed. So if you intend to use the setup permanently, a solder bridge will work reliably.
    Once unlocked with the hardware jumper, you have to execute this sequence of slower and faster On-Off cycles to enter the setup. From my own experience, this sequence is long and specific enough that you rarely get into the setup inadvertently.

    The ability to store entire configurations in a preset lets you easily have totally different driver configurations that you can load in a few seconds. So after you have saved such a configuration in a preset you can turn the light from the stock configuration into one that for example has 2 output levels, no memory (always coming on with the first output level), and a high output of 2000 mA - whenever you need it and really quickly.


    The low battery output reduction does indeed turn down the output in several steps before the cut-off voltage would be reached where it turns off the output completely. If you look at the lumens output graph from Dons' introduction to the Aqua lights, you see those reduction steps. The output reduction steps correspond to the voltage of the battery, i. e. the first reduction step happens at a certain voltage, the next one after another drop in the cell voltage. This means that the first drop gives you a low battery warning well before it would be totally discharged. On the lowest output level you would still have an hour runtime easily with an 18650 cell at that point.


    I'm grateful for the positive comments about the drivers features and i hope that it will prove to be as good as you imagine once you are able to actually use it.
    Please keep the feedback coming, any suggestions are welcome

  19. #19
    gunga's Avatar
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    Default HIVE McG converter used in the Aqua line of lights.

    If I'm reading correctly, there are 21 levels at 100mA each, but what is the lowest low?

    Also,what is the diameter of the driver?
    Last edited by gunga; 10-17-2013 at 03:33 PM.

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    Default Re: HIVE McG converter used in the Aqua line of lights.

    Wow ! Great Driver ! Congrats ! Is it PWM or Constant Current ? Thanks for any info..
    Last edited by hjdca; 10-20-2013 at 10:35 PM.

  21. #21
    Flashaholic rush's Avatar
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    Default Re: HIVE McG converter used in the Aqua line of lights.

    Gunga,
    The driver diameter is 19 mm.

    The LED current is dictated by two variables:
    1. The maximum or 100% output current that the driver is calibrated to (see setting 16 of the setup). This value can be set in 100 mA increments. In the stock configuration this is set to about 1400 mA.
    2. The actual brightness level (1 through 21). These brightness levels are setting the output current relative to the above maximum output current. If you look at the graph on page 8 of the manual you can see the current in % of the maximum output current that each of the 21 brightness levels will produce. The 21 brightness levels are scaled logarithmically, that means in visual intensity the step from one level to the next is about the same. For the current this means increasing step sizes the higher the output goes.

    What this means for your question: Brightness level 1 is about 0.3% of the maximum output current. In case of the stock 1400 mA maximum output this is about 7 mA. This is however close to the absolute minimum output current that can be achieved with the driver, so the lowest brightness level will not be much lower even if the maximum output current was calibrated to only a few 100 mA.


    This leads me to hjdca's question:
    Generally the output is true current regulated, there is no PWM in the output with one EXCEPTION: For LED currents smaller than 20 mA the driver does resort to PWM. Otherwise the output would not be visually stable. This PWM uses a frequency of 400 Hz, which you should not see as long no quick movements happen. This was a necessary compromise due to the limits of the hardware, one that hopefully is not going to be a problem for most. Again, this only applies to the lowest output levels below 20 mA.

    Thank you for the feedback, i will update the HiveLD web page soon with some of the questions that came up so far.

  22. #22
    gunga's Avatar
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    Default HIVE McG converter used in the Aqua line of lights.

    Wow. Very inpressve. Need this driver for use in other lights too. Amazing.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: HIVE McG converter used in the Aqua line of lights.

    Thanks for the info ! Again, Very impressive driver !

    After purchasing an Aqua Light, how difficult would it be to mod the driver to dramatically increase the "maximum output" ? Thanks for any info..
    Last edited by hjdca; 10-19-2013 at 11:58 AM.

  24. #24
    Flashaholic rush's Avatar
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    Default Re: HIVE McG converter used in the Aqua line of lights.

    Thank you for the cheers guys!

    Obviously the learning curve will be different for everybody in regards to the setup mode. But i think that if you follow the examples in the manual closely you will not take too long to master the procedure of getting to the specific setting that you want to change and altering its value. For increasing the calibrated maximum output, it is just that one setting that has to be changed.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: HIVE McG converter used in the Aqua line of lights.

    I have a question- Given the 2.5v minimum voltage and 1400ma max in stock form, will this behave and run properly on a single primary 123 cell and a dummy cell in a pinch? Runtime obviously takes a hit, but both v and ma seem doable on a single 123 cell...

  26. #26
    Flashaholic rush's Avatar
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    Default Re: HIVE McG converter used in the Aqua line of lights.

    Looking at that hardware minimum input voltage of 2.5 V it would seem as if the driver could be run from a single primary lithium cell.

    However with the over discharge protection for Li-Ion rechargeables the driver uses, the output would be reduced to the absolute minimum if you connect a lithium primary with a cell voltage of around 3.0 V. Even if you were to reduce the low voltage threshold setting to minimal (setting 13 of the setup) you would still only get a lower output most probably.
    But there is another problem in reality. I have done a test with an oldish Surefire CR123 (open cell voltage 3.1 V). Due to the inrush current when connecting cell and driver, the input voltage drops below 2.5 V which results in just a low flicker of the LED. I don’t know if a fresh cell would actually hold the voltage level enough for the driver to start up properly, but i wouldn’t count on it.

    The bottom line is that do need a Li-ion rechargeable (ICR or IMR) for the HiveLD-P driver in the Aqua lights. You could however resort to a 16350 and an adapter if you really had to.

  27. #27
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    Default Re: HIVE McG converter used in the Aqua line of lights.

    Thanks for the reply!!!

  28. #28

    Default Re: HIVE McG converter used in the Aqua line of lights.

    Hey Martin and Don...

    Any chance we will see this new converter adapted to the existing light engine footprint? 14mm is pretty tight, but I can dream.

    eala

  29. #29

    Default Re: HIVE McG converter used in the Aqua line of lights.

    Quote Originally Posted by eala View Post
    Hey Martin and Don...

    Any chance we will see this new converter adapted to the existing light engine footprint? 14mm is pretty tight, but I can dream.

    eala
    Seriously, that would be truly awesome! I can only hope it's a possibility.

    If not, maybe I could set an appointment to put my makai and my aqua ram in the hadron collider and hope for a makaqua.

  30. #30
    *Flashaholic* kaichu dento's Avatar
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    Default Re: HIVE McG converter used in the Aqua line of lights.

    Quote Originally Posted by eala View Post
    Any chance we will see this new converter adapted to the existing light engine footprint? 14mm is pretty tight, but I can dream.
    Me too, I want one for my Haiku.
    Marduke - Solitaire...I've seen matches which are brighter AND have a longer runtime. 光陰矢の如し

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