Desperatly looking for driver (updated kennan driver?)

MikePL

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OK, so I bought these drivers in the past:
http://www.kaidomain.com/WEBUI/ProductDetail.aspx?TranID=2982

They are absolutely good stuff, very reliable and efficient. And they have the input range that suits me (automotive purposes).

The problem is that I ordered them once again from Kaidomain in mid November. I paid for 20 pieces. I don't remember if they were available at the time, but I think I would have seen the 'out of stock' text.

The thing is that the drivers have not arrived yet, after three months. Fortunately I have managed to enter into a conversation with people from KD (which is like a miracle, as they usually do not reply) and they told me that the supplier give the item in really small batches, so I'm waiting in queue. I can get a refund if I want.

But I want the drivers because I need them. So does anybody know where I can buy (at a similar price) drivers for 12-15V (this range interests me)?

I am stuck with my projects for three months, waiting like an idiot.
 
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Gryloc

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Re: Desperatly looking for driver

MikePL,

It is too bad that it has been taking you so long to get those drivers. I cannot believe that it takes 3+ months to gather a total of 20 drivers from suppliers. Does this mean other peoples small orders (1-2 of the drivers) are being ignored until your order is complete? Maybe they keep a few in reserve for those with small orders. Either way, yikes! If there are people demanding that many of those specific driver boards, then you would think that someone would ask for more from the supplier/manufacturer.

Anyway, I am as equally interested in the same thing as you. I plan (well, planned) to buy 12 to 16 of those driver boards for a new automotive headlight project. That seemed like a decent driver (specs wise), and I have tested one of the boards and it worked as I wanted. Now I do not know if I even want to bother with waiting 3+ months for these nice drivers.

I wish I could get my hands on just the IC circuits, as I feel that I may be able to get the needed components and make my own driver boards, but every place that distributes them are in Chinese. Does anyone know where you can find these IC cicuits (Micro-Bridge PT4105), or where you can buy circuits that feature this IC? Could anyone help us English speakers with ordering from these sites? I am afraid to work with them with only using a Google translation. There is still a big communication gap there!

As MikePL asked, can anyone make any recommendations for a suitable driver that could serve as an alternative?

Thank you MikePL for figuring this out for us. It is unfortunate for your long wait. I think that you may have saved a few of us from going through the same gruesome thing...

-Tony
 

LukeA

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Re: Desperatly looking for driver

Well, DX has p60 dropins with 3-18V input. (here) I know they're more expensive than the KD boards ($10.14), but you also get emitters and reflectors.
 

MikePL

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Re: Desperatly looking for driver

Looks interesting. But is it just the chip for sale or the entire plug&play board?
 

kavvika

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Re: Desperatly looking for driver

LukeA: So are you saying that you know the drivers in DX #6090 = KD Kennan boards, or are you just basing that off the specs and pictures? Either way, I can't believe I missed that before, as I've been looking for a few Kennan's for a while now!
 

jtr1962

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Re: Desperatly looking for driver

Part of the problem is he's selling those way too cheap. He's probably out of stock because he can't get parts for new boards cheap enough and doesn't want to raise his price. I would have to charge at least twice that to sell a similar board, and that would be in large quantities (500+ pcs). Orders of 10 or 20 would probably be $11 or $12 each.

I don't see how Cutter can afford to sell that board so cheap and make a profit, either. The parts likely cost as much as he's selling it for. It's probably a loss leader so he can sell LEDs.
 

MikePL

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Re: Desperatly looking for driver

Hi,

So is this 'driver' sold by Cutter a whole driver (ws we see in the photo) or is it just the chip? The description is ambiguous as well as the datasheet.

They say:
The ZD850 is available in a thermally enhanced 16-pin exposed TSSOP green package.

So is it only the 16-pin chip or is it the whole board with chip and the other components?
 

JB01245

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Re: Desperatly looking for driver

If you click on the Evaluation board datasheet it reads:

"The ZD850 is a constant off-time, high power LED driver IC using a Buck Converter Topology that is capable of driving up to a 1.5A of output current. It operates from an input voltage range of 4VAC to 16VAC or 5VDC to 27VDC and generates a regulated programmable constant output current for high power LED's."
 

MikePL

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Re: Desperatly looking for driver

Well, yes... But to me it isn't clear whether it's only the 16-pin chip or the whole board with all the components. You know, I am an amateur when it comes to electronics. So I still don't know what's included in the price...

What is 'driver IC'?
 

MikePL

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Re: Desperatly looking for driver

OK thanks, if it's the whole circuit then I will buy a few and tell you guys if they are really good.
 

WeLight

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Re: Desperatly looking for driver

There are 2 separate products the ZD850 Chip, this is the device, then there is an evaluation board used to assist in evaluating the chip in a plug and play fashion. Hope this is clear
 

Gryloc

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Re: Desperatly looking for driver

WeLight said:
There are 2 separate products the ZD850 Chip, this is the device, then there is an evaluation board used to assist in evaluating the chip in a plug and play fashion. Hope this is clear

Thanks for chiming in WeLight. Are you saying that this is just the IC then, or the evaluation board with the IC on it? I searched for "ZD850" but the above page is the only result (trying to find the evaluation board if possible). I could not find anything else. If this is just the driver, then where is the evaluation board?

The reason I feel that it is the entire driver is because it shows a picture, it mentions being of the buck topology (as though you have the choice with the bare IC, so you can design the circuit with the boost or buck setup needed), and finally, it says "The ZD850 is available in a thermally enhanced 16-pin exposed TSSOP green package" as though that is what you may get.

Can you please clarify this for us? I am interested in buying several if it is the complete (or somewhat complete) circuit including the board and IC. If it is the bare IC, I am still interested, but I will have to re-consider a few things.

Do you have any other similar driver circuits for sale? MikePL, are you interested in driving 2-4 LEDs from an automotive power source, or just a single LED? I can help you by keeping an eye out for you. I am need something to power three in series (so a buck circuit), but I may be able to work with a huge boost circuit and power all 9 or 10 LEDs in series. The Chippo may work, but that is still much more expensive (though simpler to work with). Dimming for me (or programmable current via a resistor) is highly desired so I can change between two custom levels. The KD circuit is nice, but I still would need to switch between one and two with their output in parrallel to change current levels (if the circuit will allow -hopefully no interference between the ICs). I would like to stay away from too pricey of circuits, but I would like to keep things rather simple still. A single circuit with multiple outputs or a boost that can handle them all in series would be nice, even if custom made. I may be able to work with ICs and design something from the specs, but keep that simple and the IC not too small of an SMD component, and I will be happy.

Thanks all for your input!

-Tony
 

JB01245

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Re: Desperatly looking for driver

The Cutter website magically updated. Is showingthe chip costing $2.65 USD and $20 USD for the evaluation board. I fold.
 

Gryloc

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Re: Desperatly looking for driver

Thank you JB012345. That is too bad. Damn! Well the search continues... The bare IC may still work, but the time going in to driver design may not be worth it for me now I think of it, even if it may be cheaper. Please help us, all...

-Tony
 

MikePL

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Re: Desperatly looking for driver

They updated the website because I asked them the question whether this is just the chip or chip+board. Got no reply but the site got an update.

What's going on with those drivers and boards? Today I can buy a new graphics card for $35 and it has a 300-pin processor, a big board, lots od small components which are quite complicated.

On the other hand there is a driver with a very simple board, a few resistors, a coil of some kind and yet it costs $23 !!!

That's what I call extreme price boosting.

Gryloc, I will reply later as I have to leave my computer right now..
 

jtr1962

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Re: Desperatly looking for driver

What's going on with those drivers and boards? Today I can buy a new graphics card for $35 and it has a 300-pin processor, a big board, lots od small components which are quite complicated.

On the other hand there is a driver with a very simple board, a few resistors, a coil of some kind and yet it costs $23 !!!

That's what I call extreme price boosting.
The graphics cards are often made in the tens or hundreds of thousands by pick-and-place machines and IR soldering, creating huge economies of scale. Also, buying parts by the 100K is way cheaper than by the thousand. That accounts for part of it. Another part is for whatever reason all these LED driver ICs seem to be overpriced by the manufacturer for what they are. $3 for the IC is what really kills the pricing on this stuff. The coils can be expensive also, depending upon where you get them. I've made larger boards for a customer, and it was all I could do to get under $10 each in 500s while still making a reasonable profit. And I have zero overhead since I make them at home. I don't think $23 is entirely unreasonable for a small run of a very niche product when the company needs to pay its employees.

Stay tuned-in time (meaning perhaps a year or two) I may start selling some driver boards on CPF once I get rid of my dad's hobby crap and have time and space to do so. I have to evaluate how much they're likely to fetch versus my manufacture cost and labor time.
 

MikePL

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Re: Desperatly looking for driver

Yes, I agree that machines cut on costs, but come on... $20 or even $30 for a LED driver is insane.

The same applies to 110-220V LED drivers. I've seen prices in the range of $10-40, while I use cell phone chargers with great success. They have a range of 600-800mA, depending on model, and cost $1-$2. The internals are also similar. I don't know if chargers are hand-made but they cost a few dollars and included in it are components, profit for the factory and profit for the seller. LED drivers are not much different. They should cost no more than $4 and I think that production costs are not the reason for a high price, but simply the fact that LEDs are in fashion and producers want to suck out all the money they can before prices drop.

Gryloc, I am constantly looking for drivers and must admit that price is the most important factor for me. I am interested both in multi-LED drivers as well as drivers for one LED. For example, I have 4 lights in my car doors. If the driver is expensive I will have to route additional wiring in order to use one driver for all 4 lights. If drivers are cheap I will simply save myself lots of time and 'waste' a driver per door. The same applies to blinkers and other lights... This is why I prefer to use cheap drivers. It is much easier to preserve the factory car wiring rather than doing it all from scratch.

My budget for drivers is $100 (shipping incl.) so if you find anything that can get mi a final price (with shipping) of $2-4 per driver, then I would be happy.

Damn, I never thought that finding drivers would be such a problem and that they would exceed the price of a LED. Our situation is like having candles but no matches to light them.
 
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