Test/Review of LD-33 Triple XM-L 2.6A 9-17V Circuit board

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HKJ
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Test/Review of LD-33 Triple XM-L 2.6A 9-17V Circuit board
LD-33 Triple XM-L 2.6A 9-17V Circuit board

DSC_3706 DSC_3708

DSC_3707 DSC_3709

Driver is from Intl-outdoor.com

Official specifications:
  • Suitable for 3 or 4*18650 or 26650 batteries
  • Suitable for 3 LEDs in series
  • Step-Down (Buck) driver
  • Input voltage: 9-17V
  • Output Current and Modes: High (2.5-2.6A) - Medium (700mA) - Low (100mA), High (2.5-2.6A) - Medium (700mA) - Low (100mA) - Strobe - SOS
  • Constant current circuit
  • Memory function
  • This driver does not use PWM
  • PCB Diameter: 23.5mm
  • PCB thickness: 2mm
  • Total height: 15mm
  • Cathode (Negative) pad diameter: 6.5mm
  • Components height on the cathode side: 2.5mm
  • Components height on the inductor coil side: 10mm
  • Gold plated contacts
  • Low voltage protection: Light will slowly flash at 9V (3 batteries) and 12V (4 batteries)
  • Tinned leads


You can change between the set of modes by turning on the flashlight on low mode for about 3 seconds,the light will flash once, then quickly turn off the flashlight and then turn it on.



Measurements

Tested with: 3 Cree XM-L2 in series.
Diameter 24mm
Max. height: 14.7m
In first mode set the driver has: High, medium, low, strobe, sos
In second mode set the driver has: High, medium, low
The mode set selection is done from high mode.
The driver has memory, the actual mode is stored when the light is off for a short time.
A short off/on will select next mode.
Driver is buck only.
Strobe is 15hz


High

LD-33%20Triple%20XM-L%202.6A%2017V%20HL

With four batteries the driver keeps full output down to about 14.5 volt, then the output drops and at 11.7 volt the low battery warning starts.
The low battery warning will drain the batteries down to 7.5 volt, before it turns off.

LD-33%20Triple%20XM-L%202.6A%2017V%20HLDriver
LD-33%20Triple%20XM-L%202.6A%2017V%20HLLed

LD-33%20Triple%20XM-L%202.6A%2013V%20HL

With 3 batteries, the driver will first drop in power at 10V and start warning flashing at 9 volt.
As with 4 batteries the low battery warning will drain the batteries down to 7.5 volt, before it turns off.

LD-33%20Triple%20XM-L%202.6A%2013V%20HLDriver
LD-33%20Triple%20XM-L%202.6A%2013V%20HLLed

High%2014.4V
High%2010.8V

There is a slight difference in the buck frequency, depending on number of batteries.

Warning%2011V
Warning%208.7V

The low voltage warning is not a fast flashing, but a slow (2 sec cycle time) ramping up and down.



Medium

LD-33%20Triple%20XM-L%202.6A%2017V%20HL%20medium

On medium the light does not step down, but goes directly to warning flashes.

LD-33%20Triple%20XM-L%202.6A%2017V%20HL%20mediumDriver
LD-33%20Triple%20XM-L%202.6A%2017V%20HL%20mediumLed

LD-33%20Triple%20XM-L%202.6A%2013V%20HL%20medium

This works the same way with 3 batteries.

LD-33%20Triple%20XM-L%202.6A%2013V%20HL%20mediumDriver
LD-33%20Triple%20XM-L%202.6A%2013V%20HL%20mediumLed

Medium%2014.4V
Medium%2010.8V



Low


LD-33%20Triple%20XM-L%202.6A%2017V%20HL%20low

In low mode the efficiency goes down, due to the drivers own power consuption.
Also note that warning flashes increases the current consumption.

LD-33%20Triple%20XM-L%202.6A%2017V%20HL%20lowDriver
LD-33%20Triple%20XM-L%202.6A%2017V%20HL%20lowLed

LD-33%20Triple%20XM-L%202.6A%2013V%20HL%20low

In low mode the 3 battery curve does not start at 13V, but at 12.8V. There is a reason for this, the 3/4 battery threshold is just below 12V in low mode.

LD-33%20Triple%20XM-L%202.6A%2013V%20HL%20lowDriver
LD-33%20Triple%20XM-L%202.6A%2013V%20HL%20lowLed

Low%2014.4V
Low%2010.8V



Strobe

Strobe%2014.4V
Strobe%2010.8V

With strobe the lower battery voltage has largest output.
The strobe frequency is 15 Hz.



Sos

SOS%2014.4V
SOS%2010.8V

The sos mode is nearly unaffected by the battery voltage.


Conclusion

This driver does a good job of driving 3 leds from 3 or 4 LiIon batteries with good efficiency, but I am not impressed with the low voltage warning, it activates at to low a voltage and it does not shut down the light.
This means it is important to use protected batteries (Always a good idea with batteries in series).



Notes

How do I test a led driver
List of all tested drivers

My website with reviews of many chargers and batteries (More than 1000): https://lygte-info.dk/

ryansoh3
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Awesome detailed review, thanks!

I think there was a brief discussion about the cheapest source of these drivers?

BLF ≠ B-grade Flashlight Forum

 

RaceR86
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There is something wrong with this review. Intl-outdoor is still selling it..  Big Smile (some of you guys will understand this comment Silly )

Great driver! Great review, thanks HKJ, much appreciated!

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comfychair
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They're actively trying to kill us with that low voltage thing, aren't they? Interesting.

Now do the LD-36. Smile I really like it, but it's big... I'm still looking for a place to use it. Stepless dimming, no blinkies. But it's not a true buck driver, it won't run a MTG2 with any number of cells. But, it does 4.8A into a XML2, and has an easily accessible sense resistor and can be pushed much farther. Electronic/momentary switch, short press for on/off, long press for ramping, each long press ramps in the opposite direction (so you don't have to go all the way to the end if you go too far either direction), and it STOPS at the top & bottom, which is where so many ramping drivers get it wrong...

I will probably bore out the hole in the S1100 and use it there. Would be a big improvement over the stock tail switch off/on & side switch for modes - this driver would let the tail switch function only as a lockout, as it should have been from the start.

http://www.lck-led.com/38mm-side-switch-5000ma-driver-sst50-p-1102.html?...

 

Werner
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Thanks, I have been waiting on this since I had spotted the driver on one of your pictures.
Banggood is selling it too.

Matjazz
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What are the KEY contacts for?

Now I see

comfychair
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Matjazz wrote:
What are the KEY contacts for? !http://s15.postimg.org/6keoujdln/Image2.jpg![/quote]

Typically 'KEY' is used for momentary switch inputs (or K1, K2). If this one works via conventional clicky switch, I wonder if there's a jumper hidden somewhere that selects between switch type? Or maybe the same PCB is used for different versions.

Here's a LD-36:

http://75.65.123.78/ld36.jpg

...which brings up another question: WTF is 'SEN'?! Sensor? What kind of sensor?? |(

Ouchyfoot
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HKJ. I want to purchase some of these, but I have to know if a momentary switch will function properly by connecting to the “KEY” pads. Does something need to be jumped, or unjumped. Or can I hook it up as it is?

HKJ
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Ouchyfoot wrote:
HKJ. I want to purchase some of these, but I have to know if a momentary switch will function properly by connecting to the "KEY" pads. Does something need to be jumped, or unjumped. Or can I hook it up as it is?

The "Key" is not a mode change or a on/off switch.

It will increase the led current slowly when shorted, it goes up to 3.5A led current. The increased value is stored for that mode and I did not find a way to reduce the current again. I.e. my driver now has 3 modes, each with 3.5A through the led.

My website with reviews of many chargers and batteries (More than 1000): https://lygte-info.dk/

Hikelite
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I tested a couple of my LD-33 which do not look identical to the ones in HKJ's photos. They can output 3A to 1*XM-L, 2*XM-L, 3*XM-L or 1*MT-G2. The output starts dropping at 10.5V even for 1*XM-L.

rollinstone157
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The Roche F22 uses this driver. It has an electronic switch. I am willing to bet that the key terminals are to connect the electronic switch.

See the first post of this thread

comfychair
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It's likely the clicky version and momentary version are using different firmware.

rollinstone157
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comfychair wrote:

It’s likely the clicky version and momentary version are using different firmware.

Very likely—it also seems there are two versions—one that takes a lower block of voltage that can power 1x LED 3A, and another that can power 3x LEDs in series 3A but requires 2-4 cells.

rollinstone157
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comfychair wrote:

It’s likely the clicky version and momentary version are using different firmware.

Very likely—it also seems there are two versions—one that takes a lower block of voltage that can power 1x LED at 3A, and another that can power 3x LEDs in series at 3A but requires 2-4 cells.

MRsDNF
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My reputation with electrical components is well and truly alive. I bought this led hoping to use it in the OL comp. Having learnt to test everything electrical at all stages to prevent assembling something that does not work testing was commenced.

Someone mentioned above that some batches of these drivers work on 1 to 3 leds I decided to hook up one led to start. It worked fine with 3 modes but had a maximum of 1.5 amps input at about 7.5 volts upwards when the led died. Being an led (yes it was on a heatsink) I put it down to previous abuse and old age so replaced it with another. Yep, it died instantly. Thinking that this driver may not be for 1 led I hooked up 3 in series. Damn. The whole lot blew instantly. Would anyone like to take a guess at where I screwed up. I dont know whether to get another or try something different as this is all rather expensive.

I did check the output voltage with the 3 leds in series after they blew and it was around 15 volts but there was no load from the leds.

 

djozz quotes, "it came with chinese lettering that is chinese to me".

                      "My man mousehole needs one too"

old4570 said "I'm not an expert , so don't suffer from any such technical restrictions".

Old-Lumens. Highly admired and cherished member of Budget Light Forum. 11.5.2011 - 20.12.16. RIP.

 

comfychair
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What input voltage?

MRsDNF
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I started at about 7.5 volts and did not really get over about 12 volts.

 

djozz quotes, "it came with chinese lettering that is chinese to me".

                      "My man mousehole needs one too"

old4570 said "I'm not an expert , so don't suffer from any such technical restrictions".

Old-Lumens. Highly admired and cherished member of Budget Light Forum. 11.5.2011 - 20.12.16. RIP.

 

comfychair
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How do you zap 3 series (XML? XML2?)'s with only 12 volts? And how did you get 15v out with the LEDs disconnected with a 12v input? It's not a boost driver...

RaceR86
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I had one of these in the past. Not sure if I killed it, or of it wasnt working properly. Guessing it was me.. Same mistake.. Was just going to do a quick test on a single emitter.. Bad idea.. Afterwards the driver was pretty much direct drive and did not work properly at all. Never used one afterwards.. I have a feeling the driver will die if you use it on a single emitter and 2-3 cells. And so will the emitter as long as its basically direct drive with too high voltage..

Recieved two LD-33 drivers today... Might use one (or two?) for my contest build.. Ill do some testing beyond what they are really supposed to do..  Ill update if I ruin them. Silly

BLF LED database – collaboration spreadsheet and latest news about where to buy LEDs
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comfychair wrote:
How do you zap 3 series (XML? XML2?)'s with only 12 volts? And how did you get 15v out with the LEDs disconnected with a 12v input? It's not a boost driver...

Good point. I more than likely had the power supply up around that voltage at the time, 15V after I'd given up. This was a few nights ago and my memory is not the best when its good.

 

djozz quotes, "it came with chinese lettering that is chinese to me".

                      "My man mousehole needs one too"

old4570 said "I'm not an expert , so don't suffer from any such technical restrictions".

Old-Lumens. Highly admired and cherished member of Budget Light Forum. 11.5.2011 - 20.12.16. RIP.

 

MRsDNF
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RaceR86 wrote:
I had one of these in the past. Not sure if I killed it, or of it wasnt working properly. Guessing it was me.. Same mistake.. Was just going to do a quick test on a single emitter.. Bad idea.. Afterwards the driver was pretty much direct drive and did not work properly at all. Never used one afterwards.. I have a feeling the driver will die if you use it on a single emitter and 2-3 cells. And so will the emitter as long as its basically direct drive with too high voltage..Recieved two LD-33 drivers today... Might use one (or two?) for my contest build.. Ill do some testing beyond what they are really supposed to do..  Ill update if I ruin them. :p

This sounds like it. If I damaged the driver on the single led and then hooked three leds up and the driver was direct driving 3 leds of the power supply it could well of killed them.

 

djozz quotes, "it came with chinese lettering that is chinese to me".

                      "My man mousehole needs one too"

old4570 said "I'm not an expert , so don't suffer from any such technical restrictions".

Old-Lumens. Highly admired and cherished member of Budget Light Forum. 11.5.2011 - 20.12.16. RIP.

 

RaceR86
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btw, sorry to hear about your loss Steve.

In case you want to buy more of these drivers:

Less than 7$ from Banggood with coupon code "BLF" :

http://www.banggood.com/LD33-Circuit-Board-Connect-Three-XML-LEDs-In-Ser...

Quantiy of 5 from Aliexpress. 5,7$ a piece (this seller can usually lower the quantity, atleast if you buy other items from him)

http://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/Free-shipping-LD33-flashlight-ci...

BLF LED database – collaboration spreadsheet and latest news about where to buy LEDs
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/19342

MRsDNF
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Thanks RaceR86. That's where this one came from.

 

djozz quotes, "it came with chinese lettering that is chinese to me".

                      "My man mousehole needs one too"

old4570 said "I'm not an expert , so don't suffer from any such technical restrictions".

Old-Lumens. Highly admired and cherished member of Budget Light Forum. 11.5.2011 - 20.12.16. RIP.

 

CosmoKramer
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How does the driver sense the number of batteries? I want to use it with 10*NiMh (AA) thus the settings for 3* LIPO would be perfect… 4*LIPO-Settings could eventually start “flashing” too early.

HKJ
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CosmoKramer wrote:
How does the driver sense the number of batteries? I want to use it with 10*NiMh (AA) thus the settings for 3* LIPO would be perfect... 4*LIPO-Settings could eventually start "flashing" too early.

It looks at the voltage. As you can see I did my test for 3 batteries starting at 13 volt, this means that somewhere above 13 volt (And not much above) it will assume 4 batteries.

My website with reviews of many chargers and batteries (More than 1000): https://lygte-info.dk/

CosmoKramer
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It’s a shame Sad My Pack starts at 13,5 :-\

g_sintornillos
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Does this work with 1xMT-G2 and 3×18650 (3S)? http://cnqualitygoods.com/goods.php?id=1633

Sorry for my bad English (gogole transtorla)

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How does it know the difference between 3 cells at 4.0v each (12v) and 4 cells dead empty at 3.0v each (also 12v)? :~

HKJ
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comfychair wrote:
How does it know the difference between 3 cells at 4.0v each (12v) and 4 cells dead empty at 3.0v each (also 12v)? :~

Usual empty cells are more like 3.3 volt and that is just at the switching point.

This also means that if it once report cells empty, it is a bad idea to turn it off and then on again, because then you risk detecting the 4 cells as 3 cells.

My website with reviews of many chargers and batteries (More than 1000): https://lygte-info.dk/

smoll
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HKJ wrote:
The “Key” is not a mode change or a on/off switch.

It will increase the led current slowly when shorted, it goes up to 3.5A led current. The increased value is stored for that mode and I did not find a way to reduce the current again. I.e. my driver now has 3 modes, each with 3.5A through the led.

Continuous short circuit increases current. Short-term short circuit reduces. It is also possible to disconnect absolutely.

Hemionline
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Hi guys! My ld33 drowned, and apparently, one smd fell off and dissapeared , who can tell what was there?