Trouble with E Series/Aleph Triple Build - Help Please

Jfowler

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I am in the middle of my second failed attempt at building an E Series (Aleph) triple light engine. I have a TnC Head inbound, and wanted to have the engine ready. I am not confident that it will light up. Testing it loose on a clicky pack is not giving me anything.

I have built 7 or 8 single LED light engines with success, but the triple is eluding me. The only difference is the triple MCPCB vs single. Is there something obvious about wiring a triple that I am missing?

For the sake of details, I start with an Aleph can from the sandwich shoppe, and notch the battery side. I lightly file a pre wired 15mm 7135+FET driver from mtn electronics, and press fit it into the can. I epoxy the driver into the can and allow to dry. That has been good enough to ground, but I also solder the driver to the can from the battery side for good measure.

I have been using blank MCPCB’s installed upside down in the Aleph can to act as a base/heat sink for the MCPCB that I am wiring into place. I attach the red and black and I am in business… until I try the triple.

The triple I am using is the Mtn Electronic 3Up with Nichia 219C’s. I have been removing the pre tinned leads that come on the MCPCB and reattaching the leads that come on the driver. I don’t seem to be getting power to LED’s.

Any thoughts? Is there a jumper or something I am supposed to be installing for these triples?
 

datiLED

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Can you post a picture of the MCPCB and your connections? I have a good bit of experience with these type of builds and can probably help you get it over the finish line.

For starters, I would wire a single LED to your light engine just to test it. I test all of the components as I go to avoid surprises when it is complete. A switched 2AA battery holder with leads is great for testing LEDs, especially a parallel triple setup.
 

Jfowler

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datiLED - thanks for the reply and great suggestion on testing with a single. I’ll have a go at that as soon as I can get a free 15 minutes. Either way, I’ll be following up with the results.

As an aside, I have come very close to pulling the trigger on several of your builds - timing has just never been right, but you do such great work. My favorites have been the quad LE’s you have done with E21’s and Optisolis.
 

Jfowler

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Here are pictures of my typical single LE build (works fine) vs the triple (paper weight). Any thoughts would be appreciated.

 

badtziscool

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Do you happen to have a multimeter that can test for diode function? Or can you confirm that the triple PCB is functioning correctly?
 

Jfowler

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I have not invested in a multimeter, but I did order the 2xAA switched battery holders with leads. I re-flow a lot of LED’s and they seem like a great piece of kit for testing/trouble shooting.

In the mean time, I have 3 Aleph cans at home with drivers already potted in place; just waiting for LED’s. I will swap things around a bit to try and rule out driver issue vs MCPCB issue on the triple light engine I built. It would be a real victory to see this thing fire up.

I’ll be able to test MCPCB’s with the AA battery holder next week.

Again, I really appreciate the input thus far.

EDIT: Interesting turn of events. Chris’s head arrived today (beautiful) and while my LE screws in easily, it’s really designed around his own “can”, and it should be a much more cut and dry build than what I was putting together. So it doesn’t really help me figure out why my triple didn’t work, but it is sending me back out to buy some more parts.
 
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datiLED

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On the triple MCPCB you need to solder a 0 Ohm jumper under the number 2. The image below should help.
NM... that is for using the secondary LEDs. I compared it to one of my recent builds and noticed that it was missing from the board. It is not required for just a triple.
 

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Jfowler

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Drats - I was hoping that it was as simple as soldering that jumper. I have 5 jumpers on hand, and I was eyeing up the connection that you referenced.

Stupid triples…

I was actually a bit relieved to see that my LE is not best suited for the TnC head, and that I’d be forced to drop back and punt.

Still, I am looking forward to taking down my build, and start trouble shooting the cause of my issue.
 

datiLED

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It could just be the angle of the photo, but it looks like the LED between the leads is oriented differently than the other two.

Did you test the LED board by itself?
 

Jfowler

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You are correct. The LED between the leads is oriented differently than the other two.

However, the photo of the 219C triple on Richard’s website is the same way. The photo of the 319A is also that way.

I’ll drop him a note this morning to ask the question.

My 2xAA switched battery holder will arrive by Monday, and then I’ll have an easy go at testing MCPCB directly.
 

datiLED

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I just put a 219C on my triple board and your LED is oriented correctly. Without testing the individual components, it is hard to find the issue.

I test each part individually before assembly, and then at several points in between completion. Definitely test before epoxy!
 

staticx57

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Triples and singles work exactly the same in this case. You need to narrow it down to what part is not working. Can you hook up a new led board and test the driver? Can you test the triple led board, you can use a spare cr123a or Liion and power the LEDs without a driver.
 

Jfowler

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Success!

I tested my original build with a different LED, and it lit up, so I knew driver was good. For whatever reason, I resoldered the 3up MCPCB to my driver, and it lit right up. I don’t know… I suppose it could have been a suspect soldering job first time around. Thank you all for the suggestions and support. Here are a few pics of the completed build:

 
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