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Sold/Expired CLOSED: Joule Thief Circuit boards

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wquiles

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Update: Feb 2016 - I have run out of boards, so no longer selling them. Thanks much for the support for this fun project :)

Will

*****************************************

Description - what are these things?
Joule Thief boards ("Battery Vampires") are circuits designed to suck as much energy as possible out of batteries/cells. They are not regulated drivers - they are a boost circuit (create a higher voltage on the output from a low input voltage) and provide current proportional to the input voltage, which is in turn proportional to how much energy is left in a battery/cell. You can make/design your own Joule Thief circuits from discrete components, making your own inductor, etc, so that I am offering here is a small, turn-key board ready to use in your projects (for P60 drop-ins, see more information below).


How these came to be:
I made these boards for my own use, but I have gotten so many emails inquiring how to buy them that I decided to go ahead and open a formal sales thread.

I first showed these custom boards here in this thread, starting on post #66:
http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?311118-My-DIY-Joule-Thief-Hurricane-Lamp-Project-Lots-of-pics!/page3&highlight=Joule

I used several of these boards to make a few lights for in-home use, mainly to suck as much energy as I could from the many used AA cells I have been saving from control remotes, toys, etc.. I posted how I segregated AA cells in this thread:
http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?335704-How-green-are-you-with-your-quot-used-quot-AA-cells

and finally here where I detailed how I built those lights using my own Joule Thief boards, including my own P60 module, a couple of custom 1xD's, etc.:
http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?335814-Couple-of-LED-lights-using-Joule-Thief-circuits-...&p=3910570#post3910570


These boards that I designed, built, and assembled are based on the Zetec ZXL383 integrated circuit:
DSCF7082.JPG


DSCF7083.JPG



Specifically, I am using the low-ripple configuration as shown here (V1 board showing here, but I am now selling only the new V2 boards):
DSCF7885.JPG



As you can see in this image, the size of the inductor sets the current for a given Vin (those are listed for a Vin=1.5volts). I am using 4.7uH or 5.6uH to achieve the higher output current levels (about 5-10 miliamps difference between these two inductors, also due to wide tolerance of the inductors themselves), but I could make special ones at even lower current levels depending on what inductor values I can get (I am now using only surface mount inductors as these allow using these in P60 drop-ins). (V1 board showing here, but I am now selling only the new V2 boards)
DSCF7887.JPG



Usage/voltage recommendations:
Max voltage for my Joule Thief circuit is about 3.3-3.5 Volts. Anything higher means the circuit is bypassed and you are in direct drive mode and can burn/kill the LED(s). So you can use:
- 1x or 2x new or used, AA alkaline or rechargeable cells
- 1x new or used CR123 cell

=> Note I have also used 3x used AA alkaline cells (given their low voltage and high internal resistance - hard to get too much current to kill the LED), but that is a lot riskier to the LED and therefore not officially supported. Note that you can/will kill the LED/board/both if you exceed the max ratings:
DSCF7890.JPG



How much current can I get?
With the current 4.7/5.6uH inductors, with a Vin of 1.5 volts, the output current to a 3W LED was between 50-60mA, and at Vin of 3.0 volts the output current was about 100-120mA (there is variability also due to the wide tolerance with the inductors). Output current varies proportional with the battery voltage, so lowest would be with a depleted AA cell and highest would be with a new CR123 cell, but even there you are looking at only a couple hundred milliamps max anyway - this is LOW power compared to any other LED driver out there as it is meant to really drain cells as low as possible.


How efficient are these?
Like with most boost circuits, the closer the Vin to the vf of the LED, the more efficient the circuit is. However even at lower input voltages, the circuit is still sucking energy from "drained" cells, so the LED will be lit for a long, long time, depending on how much is left in the cell.

The other efficiency number is for the LED. For any given power input to the LED, how many lumens do we get? This is compared in lumens-per-watt, or simply lm/W. There is a very interesting thread in the LED section talking about driving the XM-L LED's at very low drive currents, and trying to find the "most" efficient point of operation for an XM-L LED. Interestingly enough, the peak efficiency point for this particular U2 1A bin XM-K was at 150mA, with 163 lm/W, but even at 5mA it was still above 100 lm/W. Given that these Joule Thief boards drive LED's in the 100-120mA range with a Vin of about 3 volts, that makes for a very efficient setup as the LED is making near maximum efficiency..


How big are these?
The new V2 boards are slightly larger in diameter than V1 boards, but 100% functionally identical. The V2 production boards have a diameter of approx. 0.53" - 0.54" (approx 13.5mm to 13.6mm).

Compared to V1:
DSCF8244.JPG

DSCF8247.JPG



Close-up of the new V2 production boards:
DSCF8248_c.JPG




Which side goes where?
The new layout has clear silkscreen labels on top and bottom to make wiring easier than before. The metal ring on the outside perimeter of the new V2 boards (on both sides of the board) is tied to ground (GND). GND is also tied electrically to the LED(-). The big metal area on the center of the bottom of the board is tied to the Battery(+), so you can solder a wire coming from the positive side of the battery directly to that large pad, or you can also solder a small spring directly to that center pad.
DSCF8266_c.JPG



Like before, boards are all assembled, cleaned, and tested before being shipped out in anti-static material (using anti-static bubble wrap now). However the new boards will not come pre-wired as before as these are much easier to solder due to having the proper solder mask areas and silkscreen labels. HOWEVER, if you ask for them when you place an order, I will include for free the Teflon coated premium wire in your package.


Pricing for V2 production boards:
Price for a fully assembled and tested board is $15/each plus shipping (insurance optional). I bought new anti-static bubble wrap and padded envelopes, so shipping is a tad higher than before. Shipping options:

- Domestic USA first class - up to 5 boards - $4 (insurance is not included)
- Domestic USA priority - up to 5 boards - $7 (insurance is not included)
- International first class - up to 5 boards - $6 (insurance is not included)
- International priority - up to 5 boards - $15 (insurance is not included)


As I said above I am no longer soldering wires to each board, but I will be happy to include the premium Teflon coated wire for FREE if you ask for them in your order :D


Payment:
Paypal, cash or credit same price. Paypal address is the same as my gmail address, listed in my signature.


P60 drop-in option:
I have been able to finalize details for the P60 options, and I am happy to inform/share with you that our own, and very experienced David (nailbender) has agreed to make the P60 drop-ins based on my Joule Thief boards. So if you want, instead of shipping the boards to you, I can ship to Dave directly, and Dave will ship to you the completed P60 drop-in(s). Just make sure to note in the Paypal payment that you want me to ship the circuit board(s) to Dave instead.

Here is how the turn-key P60 drop-ins arrangement with Dave works:
- You buy Joule Thief board(s) from me
- I ship board(s) directly to Dave
- Dave makes P60 drop-in to your specifications using my "driver" and the LED/reflector of your choosing.
- You pay Dave directly for his P60 drop-in
- Dave ships directly to you the completed, turn-key P60 drop-in

Dave can of course make several drop-ins for you each with different LED's, reflectors, etc. Dave has some low vf LED's as well, which would be a little bit more efficient as my boost driver would have to work a little bit less hard with a lower vf. Just remember that since Dave is using my "driver", and my driver is by definition a single mode/single level driver, designed to drain AA and CR123 cells down to 0.8 volts, so everything I listed about what the driver can and can't do still applies. Dave is doing the hard work to turn/package the Joule Thief board into a completed module (turn-key) so that it is a lot easier to use ;)


Status - what is available:
First batch of the V2 production boards is ready now - I have 20x boards ready to be shipped right now.

PLease post here which board you have (max of 5x per person please), and then send payment via Paypal - please don't forget to add the appropriate shipping charges.

PLEASE put your CPF user name in your paypal so that I know who sent payment :D

PLEASE put in the Paypal note if you want me to ship the board(s) directly to David (nailbender).


Questions?
Here in this thread, or privately by email (on my signature).


********************************************
2xAA 3mm or 5mm Kit:

The 2xAA kit with either a 3mm or 5mm LED, and all parts necessary (not soldered nor assembled) is $20, and it of course included a Battery Vampire (Joule Thief) board with the appropriate size inductor already soldered.

- Domestic USA first class - up to 2 kits - $5 (insurance is not included)
- Domestic USA priority - up to 2 kits - $6 (insurance is not included)
- International first class - up to 2 kits - $7 (insurance is not included)
- International priority - up to 2kits - $15 (insurance is not included)

If you want me to fully assemble and test the kits, then the following labor charges apply for each kit:
- hand assemble and test 3mm kit = $20
- hand assemble and test 5mm kit = $25 (takes longer to do)


NOTE: I am also offering the Joule Thief circuit board by itself, with the correct 1mH inductor for 3mm/5mm LED's running from 2xAA cells. Price for these boards are the same as regular boards, BUT you need to let me know in your paypal note that you want the "1mH inductor" - if you don't say anything, you will get the default/standard 4uH which will kill the 3mm/5mm LED's.

Questions? Send me email (in my signature).

Photo of the completed 3mm AA kit:
DSCF8417.JPG



Here are 3x completed units: 3mm, 5mm, and 3mm:
DSCF8497.JPG




Tutorial for AA Kit (3mm and 5mm)

I moved the AA kit tutorial to my own web site to keep this thread cleaner/shorter.



Questions: Send me email (in my signature)

Will
 
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wquiles

Flashaholic
Joined
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Messages
8,459
Location
Texas, USA, Earth
Re: Joule Thief Circuit boards for sale ...

EDIT: 4/17/12 - New production boards arrived!

Here is an actual picture of the 20 boards available for immediate shipping:
DSCF8280.JPG



- PLEASE put your CPF user name in your paypal so that I know who sent payment :D
- PLEASE put in the Paypal note if you want me to ship the board(s) directly to David (nailbender).
- PLEASE add the appropriate shipping charges


3rd wave - using V2 production boards:
(If you are in this waiting list, please DO send payment)
1. Kestrel - 1x - Send to Dave (nailbender)
2. ^^Nova^^ - 1x - International - PAID! - Shipped!
3. ^^Nova^^ - 1x - International - PAID! - Shipped!
4. ^^Nova^^ - 1x - International - PAID! - Shipped!
5. Bimmerboy - 1x - PAID! - Shipped!
6. Bimmerboy - 1x - PAID! - Shipped!
7. archimedes - 1x - domestic - with free wire - PAID! - Shipped!
8. archimedes - 1x - domestic - with free wire - PAID! - Shipped!
9.
10.
11.
12.
13.
14.
15.
16.
17.
18.
19.
20.
 
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hotlight

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May 16, 2009
Messages
410
Re: Joule Thief Circuit boards for sale ...

i'll take one if there are any left....
 

Phil Ament

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268
Location
Melbourne, Australia
Re: Joule Thief Circuit boards for sale ...

Very nice work again there Will. As a relative newbie I am not exactly certain of what these actually do or even what they are used for, but I just wanted to say that just as per usual they appear to be fabricated to your usual unbelievably high standards. Either way there seems to be a real need for these out there as they appear to be literally running out the door. I wish you the very best of luck with your new sales thread (not like you need it or anything) and once again, very nice work Will.


Sincerely Yours
Phil Ament :wave:
 

wquiles

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Location
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Re: Joule Thief Circuit boards for sale ...

Thank you guys - these first 8 boards were sold in like 10-15 minutes. I will take that as a sign that I need to make some more, so I will start to keep a list of folks interested for the next batch (should be ready by end of next week - watch this thread for updates).

For those that got the first 8 boards, please send payment via Paypal (same price cash/credit) to the email in my signature. I will ship after I get payment, starting tomorrow Friday. I will mark post #2 as paid, shipped, etc.

PLEASE put your CPF user name in your paypal so that I know who sent payment :D

Will
 

Darvis

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Messages
836
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GA, USA
Re: Joule Thief Circuit boards for sale ...

Will, these are absolutely top notch fantastic!! I am really glad to see someone offering these circuits built and ready to go... I remember when you posted pictures of the boards in the JT thread and talked about maybe selling them, I didn't think you'd actually be assembling the circuit as well, but glad you did as I think it'll give more folks the chance to have fun with these without the maddeningly difficult task of soldering those ZXLD chips. For those of you that have never seen the chips in person, they are INCREDIBLY tiny and the price of these is worth it for the savings in soldering madness alone!!

Free bump for an awesomely fun circuit!!
 

sionnach

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Feb 20, 2012
Messages
25
Re: Joule Thief Circuit boards for sale ...

Shoot - just missed it.
I'm in for 3x when you get the new batch in.

Also interested in the p60 dropin
 

jabe1

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
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Messages
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Re: Joule Thief Circuit boards for sale ...

Phil, they are a circuit designed to use "spent" batteries, or make more efficient use of battery power by being functional at low voltage (below 1v).

Take a look at Wills thread in homemade and modified relating to these.
 

Phil Ament

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Messages
268
Location
Melbourne, Australia
Re: Joule Thief Circuit boards for sale ...

Phil, they are a circuit designed to use "spent" batteries, or make more efficient use of battery power by being functional at low voltage (below 1v).

Take a look at Wills thread in homemade and modified relating to these.

Thanks for the info jabe1, as I do appreciate it! :thumbsup:



Phil Ament :wave:
 

wquiles

Flashaholic
Joined
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Messages
8,459
Location
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Re: Joule Thief Circuit boards for sale ...

All, post #2 updated. Please do let me know if I missed something.



Will, these are absolutely top notch fantastic!! I am really glad to see someone offering these circuits built and ready to go... I remember when you posted pictures of the boards in the JT thread and talked about maybe selling them, I didn't think you'd actually be assembling the circuit as well, but glad you did as I think it'll give more folks the chance to have fun with these without the maddeningly difficult task of soldering those ZXLD chips. For those of you that have never seen the chips in person, they are INCREDIBLY tiny and the price of these is worth it for the savings in soldering madness alone!!

Free bump for an awesomely fun circuit!!
Thank you :eek:

If it were not for the fact that I have been doing/using surface mount parts for 2-3 years now, I would not attempt it either. But even then, these tiny parts are still quite big (relatively speaking), as I am quite confortable soldering even the smaller 0603 size resistors - I will try to soon post a picture of one of those tiny resistors next to the Zetec part :D



Phil - just as jabe1 stated (thanks jabe1). Let me/us know if you have additional questions we can help/clarify :D

Will
 

wquiles

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Joined
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Messages
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Re: Joule Thief Circuit boards for sale ...

OK, first two packages are out for delivery :)


Additionally, I have been able to finalize details for the P60 options, and I am happy to inform/share with you that our own, and very experienced David (nailbender) has agreed to make the P60 drop-ins based on my Joule Thief boards. He and I are working on details to get this started soon, so please give us a little bit more time while we work to get these offered for sale, so that you can deal/order P60 drop-ins directly from David (instead of having to buy boards from me, me ship to you, you ship to Dave, etc.).

Will
 

BarryH

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Location
Atlanta, GA
Re: Joule Thief Circuit boards for sale ...

Please put me down on the list for 3.

Thanks,
Barry
 
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