Problems securing driver to "pill"

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ohaya
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Problems securing driver to "pill"

Hi,

I’m trying to replace the driver and emitter in a Tiablo A10.G. Similar to what I did earlier with an ACE.G, I had gutted what I call the light module, the piece between the head and the body/tube where the emitter and driver are. It’s similar to what you’d call a hollow pill, but it’d different in that it’s not inside the light.

That module has an opening on the driver end that fits an ~16 mm driver.

The whole pill type structure is made of aluminum I think, and it looks like there’s like a brass ring in the opening area with a lip where the driver PCB can “sit”.

When I did the ACE.G earlier, I didn’t have any problem soldering the edge of the driver PCB to the sides of that opening, but for some reason, I can’t get solder to “stick”/flow to that opening area.

I’ve tried roughing up (scratching) that brass-colored area, but even then I can’t get the solder to flow at all onto it.

I was thinking of trying to glue the PCB into that area, but even then, that would provide the continuity.

Does anybody know what I might be able to do to secure the driver to that opening area and also provide continuity to the negative of the driver PCB?

Thanks,
Jim

Edited by: ohaya on 05/18/2013 - 05:00
ohaya
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Hi,

You can see what I’m talking about here:

http://budgetlightforum.com/node/21453#comment-389700

that was for the ACE.G. The A10.G looks similar, but that module/pill is a little smaller.

As I said, I had no problems soldering the driver to that area on the ACE.G, but nothing would stick/flow with the A10.G.

Firelight2
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I’ve never been able to solder drivers to pills either.

I solder copper solder braid to the edge of the driver and bend it along sideways for negative contact. Then I use arctic alumina to epoxy the driver into position.

ohaya
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Firelight2 wrote:
I’ve never been able to solder drivers to pills either.

I solder copper solder braid to the edge of the driver and bend it along sideways for negative contact. Then I use arctic alumina to epoxy the driver into position.

I just got some braid in, and have alumina! Is there any chance you could post a picture, just so I’m sure what it looks like?

Thanks,
Jim

ohaya
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I think I might’ve killed either the pill or the LED now :)!

Darn! I took real care to solder the driver leads to the emitter PCB, and the last thing I thought that I’d have problems with was securing the driver to the pill, since I had no problem with the ACE.G :(…

This is the 2nd Nichia emitter I’ve tried with too, so, so far, I’m 0 for 2 with Nichias :(!

Edit: It looks like the negative lead from the driver to the emitter got desoldered, plus one of the 7315s is partially de-soldered (sitting at a weird angle now), probably because I put too much heat on it when trying to solder to the pill :(…

Edit 2: Pulled everything out, and starting with a completely empty pill, tried to get some solder flowing (pre-tin) onto the brass ring that’s embedded into the driver side of the pill, and tried for over an hour, with rosin flux, and failed :(…

I haven’t tried the braid soldered to the driver edge with alumina yet, but that may the only way???

Anyone?

gords1001
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I’d say that if it is a brass ring, the light engine is pulling too much heat away from your iron tip – the heat is spreading too much rather than you getting the connection point hot enough to solder. The heat damage is because you are unable to get the connection point hot enough fast enough. you could try making the driver a press fit using the braid and epoxy to hold it, or try and borrow a higher wattage iron, if your using a 40w iron, maybe you need a 100w iron to do the job.

skyrider1
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Yea this is my biggest problem when it comes to building…I just crank my soldering iron up and use some flux.

ohaya
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gords1001 wrote:
I’d say that if it is a brass ring, the light engine is pulling too much heat away from your iron tip – the heat is spreading too much rather than you getting the connection point hot enough to solder. The heat damage is because you are unable to get the connection point hot enough fast enough. you could try making the driver a press fit using the braid and epoxy to hold it, or try and borrow a higher wattage iron, if your using a 40w iron, maybe you need a 100w iron to do the job.

Can you, or anyone, provide a pic of using the braid? Do you solder the braid to the spring side of the driver, or the non-spring side? Also, I’m worried about the braid shorting something when it folded over the edge of the driver PCB?

Ouchyfoot
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Actually, I was planning to build a P60 tomorrow, and post pics of how I span the gap between driver and pill with copper braid for solid neg.contact, and a good solder join that is less likely to break away at the gap.

comfychair
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You'll have to pry out that ring if you want to solder anything to it. Tin it up good, press it back into the pill, then you should be able to get solder bridged between the two. And when you get to that point of soldering the driver in, clean the tip of the iron, load it up with a big-ish blob of solder and... then wait. Let the iron heat up and recover from the heat it lost melting the solder you loaded onto the tip, for about 20-30 seconds. Then when you're ready to solder, 'swipe' the tip across the solder already on the driver and pill, DO NOT hold the iron on there, it will just suck all the heat out and freeze in place. Just melt enough of the pre-tinning to let it connect with the solder blob on the iron. After it cools trim away any excess with a sharp knife (not a file, that puts conductive solder dust into places you'll never get it out - that can do bad things).

ohaya
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Hi all,

Too late :(.. I guess I’m “committed” now. I soldered some braid to the edge of the PCB, then bent it over. I cut the braid short, so it wouldn’t go to far over to the other side of the PCB. That wasn’t easy, because once the braid sucks up the solder, it get stiff, and if not careful, it’ll pull the trace off of the PCB (did that once).

Then, I put some arctic alumina around the lip of the pill, and positioned the driver PCB and held it there for a few minutes.

I’m waiting for it to set now, and will check connectivity in a bit.

Comfy,

I tried to get that brass ring out, but it wouldn’t budge. It’s like it was welded into the Tiablo pill :(. Maybe it’s possible to get it out, but couldn’t do it :(…

I guess that I was just really lucky when I did this with the ACE.G, because I had no problems soldering to the pill on that ;)!

comfychair
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I have used various size copper solid core wire in place of the brass rings or to use as an adapter, or in custom pills that needed something to solder to. Pics in the Resurrecting a dead 3D Mag thread, where I also ran into the 'impossible to solder' problem.

moderator007
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Ohaya you might try this. I have never tried the solder braid but this does work.

ohaya
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moderator007 wrote:
Ohaya you might try this. I have never tried the solder braid but this does work.

Hi,

That was similar to what I did, but using the braid instead of a single wire, and also I bent from the spring side of the driver down towards the non-spring side (if that make any sense. Also, after the epoxy (alumina) set, I took about 3/4” of braid, and laid it down around the driver PCB, and soldered that to the edge of the PCB. I don’t know if that’d help, but just for good measure.

After I got all that done, I tested the module outside of the light, and it worked.

UNFORTUNATELY, there was something I forgot about…

After I put everything together, it acted kind of strange. Click once, nothing. Click again, light, but dim. Click again, blink.

Huh?

I’m not 100% sure, but I think this is because the A10.G has some circuitry in the tailcap :)!!

I opened the tailcap up, and confirmed that. There’s a PCB that the switch is mounted on, and there’s some chips on there. I’m guessing that originally, that was used to control the “modes” in the light….

So, I think that, for now, I’m done with this light. One of these days, I may get around to try to replace the tailcap switch with a simple switch, but for now, I’m just tired of this light :(!!

Thanks,
Jim

Edit:

For the record, here’s what it looks like:

It’s kind of hard to see, but the braid is on the left side, from about 7 o’clock to about 10 o’clock.