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Thread: new P7 driver 3amps?

  1. #61
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    Default Re: new P7 driver 3amps?

    I'm interested to see if efficiency has improved on low/medium settings with this 17mm revision.
    Just ordered one

  2. #62

    Default Re: new P7 driver 3amps?

    Quote Originally Posted by mitch79 View Post
    I'm interested to see if efficiency has improved on low/medium settings with this 17mm revision.
    Just ordered one
    Let us know what you find!

  3. #63
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    Default Re: new P7 driver 3amps?

    Quote Originally Posted by SUBjohan View Post
    Its is to good to be true.
    But 83,5% is good enough for me

    I have measured the thing and I have to say I like it.
    Unlike I have read somewhere else these drivers do have a memory function.
    They will start working from 4,7Volts, they will stop working at 4,0Volts than the driver goes into a verry verry low mode (3mA to the led).
    I did'nt see any flickering

    Well here are the measurements in a excel file.

    All measurements where made with calibrated meters.

    Greetz Johan
    If you look at the amount of power lost due to efficiency (or lack of it) if you look at the high setting, this is what I get from your spreadsheet:

    Efficiency Power loss
    83.5% 2.1152
    83.0% 2.0808
    82.4% 2.1282
    83.5% 2.008
    81.3% 2.2855
    80.8% 2.3628
    79.8% 2.4992
    79.0% 2.6214
    78.7% 2.6901
    77.8% 2.8201
    76.6% 3.0174

    At best efficiency of 83.5%, 2.1W of power is a lot of heat.

    For flashlight use, I think that the thinking has to change for the P7. I'm using a driver with ~92% efficiency and the heat generated due to inefficiency is 33% of that compared to the cheap driver with 83% efficiency. The converter gets very warm dissipating about 830 mW of power but it can be run without a heat sink safely. On the other hand, 2400 mW with the inefficient driver means an early demise for the driver. I think a driver with efficiencies in the low 80's driving a 12W load is a poor design but probably good enough for the masses.

  4. #64
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    Default Re: new P7 driver 3amps?

    I agree CW. The problem is I have yet to find any other P7 driver that will fit in a "C" Mag powered by 2x Li-Ion.

    I'm using one of Der Wichtel's drivers in my "D" mag but it won't physically fit in the smaller "C" tube.
    If there's a better driver out there, the someone tell me please.

  5. #65

    Default Re: new P7 driver 3amps?

    I don't know if it works but you can file down the driver a little bit and put it in vertically

  6. #66
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    Default Re: new P7 driver 3amps?

    Quote Originally Posted by Der Wichtel View Post
    I don't know if it works but you can file down the driver a little bit and put it in vertically
    There's not enough space between the switch and heatsink unfortunately.

  7. #67

    Default Re: new P7 driver 3amps?

    And what about putting the driver into the batterytube?

    Then the driver have to be stablized with epoxy or something similar to handle the pressure made by the tailcapspring

    I don't have a C Mag ( only a very old one with wider diameter), so it's just an idea.

  8. #68
    Flashaholic* Aircraft800's Avatar
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    Default Re: new P7 driver 3amps?

    Quote Originally Posted by mitch79 View Post
    I agree CW. The problem is I have yet to find any other P7 driver that will fit in a "C" Mag powered by 2x Li-Ion.

    I'm using one of Der Wichtel's drivers in my "D" mag but it won't physically fit in the smaller "C" tube.
    If there's a better driver out there, the someone tell me please.
    My problem exactly, I love the Small Form Factor of my 2C M*g, but the cheap 17mm buck driver that I have shuts down after 5min. use.

    I need to try to determine which components are getting hot, and try to heatsink them better, or someone needs to release a more efficient buck driver for the P7. The Der Wichtel one looks like the best one out, but I haven't seen anyone able to fit it between the H22A P7 heatsink and the M*g switch.

  9. #69
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    Default Re: new P7 driver 3amps?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aircraft800 View Post
    My problem exactly, I love the Small Form Factor of my 2C M*g, but the cheap 17mm buck driver that I have shuts down after 5min. use.
    Oh bugger, that doesn't sound good. You've got the new 17mm type too.
    I was hoping for an improvement over the old version.

  10. #70
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    Default Re: new P7 driver 3amps?

    Looking at Aircraft800's previous post, the area marked as getting hot looks like a pair of diodes. Now why would a pair of diodes be getting hot?

    Methinks the full 2.8A current is passing through them and their being pushed right to the edge of their current handling ability.

    The other question is what are they being used for? Is it just reverse polarity protection? If so I'd be happy to remove them.

    Anyone here with more electronics experience than me who can nut out this circuit and tell us what's happening?

    EDIT: Googling "SS34" indicates it's a 3A 40V Schottky diode. Hope that helps.

    Cheers,

    Mitch.
    Last edited by mitch79; 09-20-2008 at 06:41 PM.

  11. #71
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    Default Re: new P7 driver 3amps?

    Quote Originally Posted by mitch79 View Post
    Looking at Aircraft800's previous post, the area marked as getting hot looks like a pair of diodes. Now why would a pair of diodes be getting hot?

    Methinks the full 2.8A current is passing through them and their being pushed right to the edge of their current handling ability.

    The other question is what are they being used for? Is it just reverse polarity protection? If so I'd be happy to remove them.

    Anyone here with more electronics experience than me who can nut out this circuit and tell us what's happening?

    EDIT: Googling "SS34" indicates it's a 3A 40V Schottky diode. Hope that helps.

    Cheers,

    Mitch.
    Mitch,

    You know what this means? I heatsinked the wrong components!
    I used a picture from another post to determine where to put it, no testing. Those diodes probably don't get hot at all, but I was anxious to assemble my light.

    Before I disassemble my light, do you have a clew where the heat is generated? The IC? Which is it from those pictures?

    Thanks for your help guys!!

  12. #72
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    Default Re: new P7 driver 3amps?

    Quote Originally Posted by mitch79 View Post
    Looking at Aircraft800's previous post, the area marked as getting hot looks like a pair of diodes. Now why would a pair of diodes be getting hot?

    Methinks the full 2.8A current is passing through them and their being pushed right to the edge of their current handling ability.

    The other question is what are they being used for? Is it just reverse polarity protection? If so I'd be happy to remove them.

    Anyone here with more electronics experience than me who can nut out this circuit and tell us what's happening?

    EDIT: Googling "SS34" indicates it's a 3A 40V Schottky diode. Hope that helps.

    Cheers,

    Mitch.
    The Schottky diode is an essential part of the buck converter.
    At 3A the SS34 has a forward voltage of approximately 0.4V.
    Approximately 0.4V * 2.5A = 1W of power are dissipated in a very small component, that's why it is getting so hot.
    Putting 2 diods in parallel directly side by side doesn't make ich very much better.

    Aircraft800,
    I think you did heatsink the right components.
    Last edited by Tohuwabohu; 09-21-2008 at 03:19 AM.

  13. #73
    Flashaholic* Northern Lights's Avatar
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    Default Re: new P7 driver 3amps?

    Quote Originally Posted by James35 View Post
    Really? $12 is expensive in comparison to the the rest of the light? In my opinion, ALL of these driver boards I've found are a steal! Even the best D2DIM is only $20.

    Let's say you were going to make a Mag 3D P7 light:
    $20 Mag 3D
    $27 P7
    $20 heat sink
    $12 driver
    $36 batteries
    $15 MOP reflector
    $6 lens
    $5 charging jack
    $2 thermal adhesive
    $3 bicycle tubing
    $5 wire
    $20 shipping
    Total = $171
    This $12 driver is only 7% of the overall parts cost, not to mention your time in building it.
    I could not resist a reply, are you ever so correct! And you can get good results, almost same discharge graph, with high capacity DD models too. I just built a P7 with a jack,
    1.5 D P7, Modes, Charging Jack, Electronic GID & more ,
    and three more are coming that will sell for $225 and more. I own a P7 MTE I made DD with a five minute mod and it is almost as good in total output, very close, cost was < $50.

    From a utilitarian point of view, the custom light gets a little more light out and runs longer.
    <; )}}}}>< I fish therfore I am... pic links: '03,'07,'08

  14. #74
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    Default Re: new P7 driver 3amps?

    Thanks for the explanation Tohuwabohu .

    Having re-read this thread again I no longer believe the diodes are the problem.
    1. Aircraft800 heatsinked the diodes and it still shuts down after 5 minutes.
    2. A diode can't do that, it's just a semiconductor.

    The only thing I can think of that could cause that effect is a programmable IC with built in temperature monitoring.
    Anyone care to guess which one's overheating?

  15. #75
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    Default Re: new P7 driver 3amps?

    Few questions before I purchase this driver and begin my first P7 mag-mod:

    -If I place an order today, will I receive a driver with or without memory mode?
    If the answer is that all new drivers are shipped with memory mode, how would I acquire a driver without memory mode?
    -Also, how should I solder the LED and power wires to bypass memory mode? I know it can be done on a few other drivers I have, such as DX #7880. Can the MCU be bypassed on this drive board?

  16. #76
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    Default Re: new P7 driver 3amps?

    I received my KD P7 driver a couple of weeks ago. It's the newer 17mm version.
    Like others here it overheats and cuts out to low mode after 3 minutes running on high. Power is 2x 18650 Li-Ion.

    The diodes where getting way to hot, so tonight I changed them.
    I used 2x 1N5822 40V 3A Schottky Diodes in parallel.

    In Australia you can get them from DSE or Jaycar.

    These axial lead diodes are physically much larger then the originals and will not fit on the PCB but it's not hard to solder them togeather and run a pair of short wires to them.

    The result? I ran the light for 30min continuous on high before I turned it off. No problems.
    Finally my 2C P7 Mag is a sucess.

    Sorry, no photos yet. I was in a hurry to assemble the light and I wasn't sure it would work in the first place.
    I can now assure you it does

  17. #77
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    Default Re: new P7 driver 3amps?

    Quote Originally Posted by CM View Post
    If you look at the amount of power lost due to efficiency (or lack of it) if you look at the high setting, this is what I get from your spreadsheet:

    Efficiency Power loss
    83.5% 2.1152
    83.0% 2.0808
    82.4% 2.1282
    83.5% 2.008
    81.3% 2.2855
    80.8% 2.3628
    79.8% 2.4992
    79.0% 2.6214
    78.7% 2.6901
    77.8% 2.8201
    76.6% 3.0174

    At best efficiency of 83.5%, 2.1W of power is a lot of heat.

    For flashlight use, I think that the thinking has to change for the P7. I'm using a driver with ~92% efficiency and the heat generated due to inefficiency is 33% of that compared to the cheap driver with 83% efficiency. The converter gets very warm dissipating about 830 mW of power but it can be run without a heat sink safely. On the other hand, 2400 mW with the inefficient driver means an early demise for the driver. I think a driver with efficiencies in the low 80's driving a 12W load is a poor design but probably good enough for the masses.
    +1. Glad I am not the only one to note that in terms of efficiency and wasted power, most all of these "new" drivers are simply terrible. Of course, the P7 is just bringing the worst out, given the 3Amp goal.

    For now, I "still" like the D2DIM: although it is not a "regulated" driver, when using it with good LiIon cells for a nearly flat discharge, it gives me full dimming control at nearly 100% efficiency by using PWM.

    Will

  18. #78
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    Default Re: new P7 driver 3amps?

    So the new one is 17mm...what's the new thickness from the board to the top of the inductor and total thickness? I'm looking for something 6mm or so.

    Thanks,
    Kevin

  19. #79
    Flashaholic* Packhorse's Avatar
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    Default Re: new P7 driver 3amps?

    I have 2 of these drivers in use.
    The 1st is priving a single P7 from a 6 cell NiMh pack and works great

    The second is driving 4 Q5. 2P2S 1400ma each driven off a 8 NiCd pack.
    This one causes a lot of interference on my TV and my landlords radio. More so when on the high setting.
    Any ideas on how to fix this (apart from replacement). Will a cap on the output help?

  20. #80

    Default Re: new P7 driver 3amps?

    FYI: Tried this driver with 2 resp. 3 P7s in series, using a slightly tired 12V 4A NiHm. 2S driven at the full 2.8A on the LED side; 3S driven at 2.0A with battery Vin dropping to just above 10V. Driver gets warm enough to need cooling but not more, I think, than a bit of alu and/or some potting can keep in check.

    Haven't done any extended testing so proceed at your own risk. But this seems like a pretty OK driver, at least for my purposes.

  21. #81

    Default Re: new P7 driver 3amps?

    Do the new diodes require heatsinking? Does it just move the heating problem elsewhere?
    Quote Originally Posted by mitch79 View Post
    I received my KD P7 driver a couple of weeks ago. It's the newer 17mm version.
    Like others here it overheats and cuts out to low mode after 3 minutes running on high. Power is 2x 18650 Li-Ion.

    The diodes where getting way to hot, so tonight I changed them.
    I used 2x 1N5822 40V 3A Schottky Diodes in parallel.

    In Australia you can get them from DSE or Jaycar.

    These axial lead diodes are physically much larger then the originals and will not fit on the PCB but it's not hard to solder them togeather and run a pair of short wires to them.

    The result? I ran the light for 30min continuous on high before I turned it off. No problems.
    Finally my 2C P7 Mag is a sucess.

    Sorry, no photos yet. I was in a hurry to assemble the light and I wasn't sure it would work in the first place.
    I can now assure you it does

  22. #82
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    Default Re: new P7 driver 3amps?

    Quote Originally Posted by herulach View Post
    Do the new diodes require heatsinking? Does it just move the heating problem elsewhere?
    No, I haven't got any heatsinking on the driver or replacement diodes.
    The centre contact of the driver is soldered directly to the positive contact on the Mag "C" switch. The driver sits in free air.
    No overheating issues since I replaced the diodes even with 30min+ runs on high.

  23. #83
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    Default Re: new P7 driver 3amps?

    My driver is basically dead. It now only has a high mode and it doesn't last there for long. It stays in high for about a minute then flickers back and forth from high to low. Very annoying.
    What are my options for a P7 driver? I'm running it in a 2D Maglite with 2x lithium ions. Should I try and return my old one?

  24. #84
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    Default Re: new P7 driver 3amps?

    Quote Originally Posted by spencer View Post
    What are my options for a P7 driver? I'm running it in a 2D Maglite with 2x lithium ions. Should I try and return my old one?
    For a "D" Mag I highly recommend Der Wichtel's P7 buck converter.
    I have a couple myself. Well made, don't get hot and just plain work.

  25. #85

    Default Re: new P7 driver 3amps?

    has anyone figured out how to make this a single mode board? I'd like to use der witchel's board, but its just simply too large for my application. or are there any other boards out there this size that will put out at least 1.8A off of 2 li-ions? i've been going crazy looking for something, but i've had no luck. thanks!

  26. #86
    Flashaholic Hill's Avatar
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    Default Re: new P7 driver 3amps?

    Quote Originally Posted by mitch79 View Post
    For a "D" Mag I highly recommend Der Wichtel's P7 buck converter.
    I have a couple myself. Well made, don't get hot and just plain work.
    Mitch,

    Just saw your post. I am building a P7 in 3D host with DW's driver as well. Did you need to heatsink it? I will be using 9AA w/ NiMh cells = 10.8V

    thanks,
    Hill
    Last edited by Hill; 12-16-2008 at 10:02 AM.

  27. #87

    Default Re: new P7 driver 3amps?

    Well at $12 you can't argue with it on a price basis... but...

    I have been doing design in a similar field and there's just no way that tiny electrolytic can absorb the ripple at this current level. Capacitance itself is meaningless, its series resistance will be so high it will fail to stiffen the input/output and just heat up (which will give the capacitor an astoundingly short life). Even the tantalum might be in trouble but without measurement it'd be hard to say for sure.

    Actually there's some ultra-low ESR ceramics that you could maybe mod it with to bring the ripple way way down.

    PIC16F629 has no ADC on it, so it probably can't do much to regulate its output.

    On the Schottky- it may get hot, but that's not necessarily a problem. Oddly enough, they're actually MORE efficient when hot and they're not really prone to heat degradation as long as max junction temp is observed. So heatsinking won't help anything unless the diode is so hot it'll burn up the junction. Parallel diodes will help efficiency a little, but they won't share evenly. I think you're looking at efficiency gains on the order of 1% here, because you can only bring down the diode's Vf a little by doing this. Tohuwabohu hit on this the Vf may be 0.4v, but the LOWEST a huge Schottky could be would bring it down to a 0.3v drop. Which... isn't all that different. There are not really any higher current Schottky diodes in this size package and again it's not going to bring down Vf all that much.

    Gotta say that even though there may be some dicey choices in this design (probably to serve you with a $12 driver), there are physical limitations even if we went with the best of components and still fit on a 17mm board.
    Last edited by Oznog; 12-17-2008 at 05:28 AM.

  28. #88
    Enlightened Footleg's Avatar
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    Default Re: new P7 driver 3amps?

    Ordered 3 of these drivers http://www.kaidomain.com/ProductDetails.aspx?ProductId=1866 just before Christmas and 3 P7 LEDs http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.12721 to build my first high power LED lights. My driver boards appear to be the ones with only a single diode. This is covered by a white rubbery block which I assume is heat conducting to allow the diode to be heat sinked as suggested by earlier posters in this thread.

    Fired the first one up last night, with the LED (mounted on a metal disk) stuck onto an old Intel Celeron CPU heatsink. Damn bright, and the whole heat sink got too hot to touch after a couple of minutes.

    So my questions: How do you manage the heat in your maglight conversions? Surely a maglight body is not such a good heat sink as a CPU heat sink? So how hot do they get? Do they keep your hands warm without needing gloves on cold Winter nights outside?

    How hot is it safe to operate these LEDs at? Despite holding the driver foam block on the heat sink, the entire driver board quickly got too hot to touch as well!

  29. #89
    Flashaholic* Aircraft800's Avatar
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    Default Re: new P7 driver 3amps?

    Quote Originally Posted by Footleg View Post
    Ordered 3 of these drivers http://www.kaidomain.com/ProductDeta...ProductId=1866 just before Christmas and 3 P7 LEDs http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.12721 to build my first high power LED lights. My driver boards appear to be the ones with only a single diode. This is covered by a white rubbery block which I assume is heat conducting to allow the diode to be heat sinked as suggested by earlier posters in this thread.

    Fired the first one up last night, with the LED (mounted on a metal disk) stuck onto an old Intel Celeron CPU heatsink. Damn bright, and the whole heat sink got too hot to touch after a couple of minutes.

    So my questions: How do you manage the heat in your maglight conversions? Surely a maglight body is not such a good heat sink as a CPU heat sink? So how hot do they get? Do they keep your hands warm without needing gloves on cold Winter nights outside?

    How hot is it safe to operate these LEDs at? Despite holding the driver foam block on the heat sink, the entire driver board quickly got too hot to touch as well!
    I believe that piece of foam or rubber substance is just for shipping safety, preventing the top of the board from getting smashed in the mail sorter unless something has changed since my order. That piece wasn't even attached, just poked threw with the wires. Do you have a picture? It may help identify it.

    The Maglite body will get hot, the only way I see to manage it, keep it turned down to mid-level unless needed.

  30. #90
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    Default Re: new P7 driver 3amps?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aircraft800 View Post
    I believe that piece of foam or rubber substance is just for shipping safety, preventing the top of the board from getting smashed in the mail sorter unless something has changed since my order. That piece wasn't even attached, just poked threw with the wires. Do you have a picture? It may help identify it.
    Sounds exactly like mine. It was a white rubbery block threaded onto one of the wires. I did think it seemed slow to transmit the heat from the board to my finger, although it did get hot eventually, so it is not completely insulating. I've started work on heat sinking the board with some RAM cooler heat sinks which I am cutting up to fit. I'll post pictures when I have got some. I chose these as they were cheap and included some heat sink thermal transfer permanent bonding strips in the pack. Cheaper than buying these separately from my local Maplin store anyway. I'm building into a box with a fair bit of free space, so size of the board is not a critical issue for me.

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