Can anyone step up for an AA/2AA only BLF budget flashlight?

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Sprinkles
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I have a weak spot for a good AA/2AA light. I’m actually tracking down a 2AA host to mod with some older AA drivers I had apparently stashed away for a rainy day. I’m anxious to see where this goes since I’m already looking at other AA options to my EA11 and Thrunite 1A. The Manker T01 is certainly promising, but i would MUCH rather support this build than a production light. I’m not too particular about the shape, but the usability and programming is key. Oh yeah – the “wow” factor is important to.

I’m also curious to see what CalvinIS has in store…

presterjohn
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I think after reading through this thread and digesting much of what has been said I would like to see the BLF X5 (In type 3 black aluminium) with a longer 2 AA cell body as light for this GB. The X5 seems to tick all the boxes and size and looks wise it would kind of be what the Mini maglite should be if they kept up with the latest technology. I would presume it would be doable in the $20-25 level too which always seems to get a lot of interest in GB’s.

DavidEF
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presterjohn wrote:
I think after reading through this thread and digesting much of what has been said I would like to see the BLF X5 (In type 3 black aluminium) with a longer 2 AA cell body as light for this GB. The X5 seems to tick all the boxes and size and looks wise it would kind of be what the Mini maglite should be if they kept up with the latest technology. I would presume it would be doable in the $20-25 level too which always seems to get a lot of interest in GB’s.

Except that the X5 doesn’t have a boost driver, so we still need that, too.

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mattlward
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I have one in 2AA, but have been unable to purchase a single AA tube for it. I would love to find a single AA tube, used with a 14500 it would be a great little light. They are very well made, I like it better than the Solarforce L2r.

The other issue is that there do not seem to be any really good driver out there. I have a couple of older AA lights that could use a bump, but really need a driver with the new LED.

Matt

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FW1A, LH351D 4000k (second favorite)
FW3A, LH351D 3500k
FW3A, SST20 FD2 4000k
FW3A, Nichia 4000k sw40 r9080 (favorite light!)
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vestureofblood
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djozz wrote:

For me, the challenge would be a 1xAA light, not 2xAA. So, to get 1A out of 1 AA cell with Attiny control would be my holy grail!

 

You said it.   I would join the band wagon for a 2AA light, but an Attiny13A driver for a 1AA light would blow my mind.

In Him (Jesus Christ) was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
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There are more new members every day and some have EE knowledge so keep asking and sooner or later it will happen. Remember it took several years to get a programmable 17mm buck driver. If someone were paid to do it then it would get done sooner but as it is you have to wait for someone with a hobby interest to take it up and run with it. Testing, boards, and parts costs money so setting up a way for people to pitch in could accelerate the process but you first need to find your EE. Then there’s always the DIY method and you might find lots of help where you might not find volunteers.

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One of those (kinda) new members here, although I’m not an EE. Sorry. Just wondering, how did the other drivers get designed? Obviously some smart folks have put in the effort here before, folks like Wight or Alex Wells, maybe. Those are names I’ve seen but know nothing about. Are they not up to this job? Do they just not want it? Have they left the community?

For us new guys, what’s the story there?

calipsoii
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vestureofblood wrote:

but an Attiny13A driver for a 1AA light would blow my mind.

Ah heck, I just can't resist VoB Smile

1.5V Project v2 LED Driver

  • 14mm diameter
  • ATtiny85V microcontroller
  • 0.7 - 3.0V input voltage
  • 0.4 - 420 mA LED drive current (XP-G2; 1x Eneloop)
  • Full current-control through all drive currents
  • Off-time capacitor mode switching
  • End-user programmable via custom firmware:
    • 1-4 output levels
    • Brightness of each output level fully adjustable
    • Toggle between classic mode memory, hybrid or no mode memory
  • 2xAA/1xCR123 not yet tested but should work with higher LED currents possible/likely
  • Li-ion likely to run direct-drive (at least until the sense resistor burns out :P)
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Nice. Where do I order from?Tongue Out

 

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".

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grayski74
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calipsoii wrote:

vestureofblood wrote:

but an Attiny13A driver for a 1AA light would blow my mind.

Ah heck, I just can’t resist VoB Smile

1.5V Project v2 LED Driver

  • 14mm diameter
  • ATtiny85V microcontroller
  • 0.7 – 3.0V input voltage
  • 0.4 – 420 mA LED drive current (XP-G2; 1x Eneloop)
  • Full current-control through all drive currents
  • Off-time capacitor mode switching
  • End-user programmable via custom firmware:
    • 1-4 output levels
    • Brightness of each output level fully adjustable
    • Toggle between classic mode memory, hybrid or no mode memory
  • 2xAA/1xCR123 not yet tested but should work with higher LED currents possible/likely
  • Li-ion likely to run direct-drive (at least until the sense resistor burns out :P)

!!!!

Smile

djozz
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calipsoii wrote:

vestureofblood wrote:

but an Attiny13A driver for a 1AA light would blow my mind.

Ah heck, I just can't resist VoB Smile

1.5V Project v2 LED Driver

  • 14mm diameter
  • ATtiny85V microcontroller
  • 0.7 - 3.0V input voltage
  • 0.4 - 420 mA LED drive current (XP-G2; 1x Eneloop)
  • Full current-control through all drive currents
  • Off-time capacitor mode switching
  • End-user programmable via custom firmware:
    • 1-4 output levels
    • Brightness of each output level fully adjustable
    • Toggle between classic mode memory, hybrid or no mode memory
  • 2xAA/1xCR123 not yet tested but should work with higher LED currents possible/likely
  • Li-ion likely to run direct-drive (at least until the sense resistor burns out :P)

Welcome to BLF Smile That is one heck of a first post calipsoii ! Surprised That sounds and looks like a great driver, both the hardware and the software! So what's the story? You designed it and kept it a secret till now? Wink

edit: I should check CPF a bit more often Wink http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?373167-Build-Log-The-...

That is a great build log, I'm enjoying reading it Smile

DavidEF
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Hey calipsoii, thanks for sharing the teaser with us, now how about some details and a sales thread? Wink

Some things I’d like to know:

1) With your circuit design, is the 420mA output the most that a single Eneloop can do, or is it set at that level for safety, or efficiency, or parts are cheap, or what?

2) You said maybe 2xAA or 1xCR123A might do higher current. Any way we could get testing done on that? If you don’t have the time or the means to test, could you send a sample to one of the guys here that do testing, like djozz?

3) Will you be selling this driver? And, if so, when, where, and how much?

4) Is the design open? Will you be sharing your board layout? Could someone here legally make PCB changes in order to improve the design, make different sized boards, or change components?

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- The YKK Philosophy

hank
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Wait, is that 2 different drivers? or one 2-sided driver without a spring contact?

djozz
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hank wrote:
Wait, is that 2 different drivers? or one 2-sided driver without a spring contact?

Two-sided: with current control on all levels, an Attiny85 and a torroid there's not an option for a 14mm one-sided board.

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I just read some parts of the build thread. Thanks to djozz for the link! I’m really interested in this driver!

The Cycle of Goodness: “No one prospers without rendering benefit to others”
- The YKK Philosophy

ImA4Wheelr
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Great looking driver you created there calipsoii.  Checked out your build log on CPF.  You really do some first class work.

I don't have time to look at the data sheet for the Linear's LTC352 today.  Did you consider the PAM2803 when choosing a boost converter?  Supposed to be designed for a 1 amp load.

calipsoii
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ImA4Wheelr wrote:
Did you consider the PAM2803 when choosing a boost converter?  Supposed to be designed for a 1 amp load.

PAM2803 is too large for a 14mm board. The boost converter stats aren’t important anyways since it’s only jumpstarting the ATtiny which then takes over switching. The electrical path components are all rated to 3A (well, the sense resistor is only rated to 0.25W) so this circuit has a higher ripple ceiling than one using the PAM2803.

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I scavenged an AA boost driver from a cheap zoomie and it uses a ME2180 DC-DC regulated output voltage chip that might be of interest.

A picture of the driver can be found in my build post.
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/42699

The datasheet can be found here.
http://pdf.dzsc.com/99999/2012912165752597.pdf

Here is the website for the company that makes this chip.
http://microne.com.cn

Many of their step-up DC-DC converters look suitable for an LED driver because they only need two external parts: an inductor and a capacitor. Since these are voltage regulators and not current regulators like the PAM2803, they are better suited to power the ATtiny.

one year rookie

dthoang
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dthoang wrote:
I scavenged an AA boost driver from a cheap zoomie and it uses a ME2180 DC-DC regulated output voltage chip that might be of interest.

A picture of the driver can be found in my build post.
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/42699

The datasheet can be found here.
http://pdf.dzsc.com/99999/2012912165752597.pdf

Here is the website for the company that makes this chip.
http://microne.com.cn

Many of their step-up DC-DC converters look suitable for an LED driver because they only need two external parts: an inductor and a capacitor. Since these are voltage regulators and not current regulators like the PAM2803, they are better suited to power the ATtiny.

I have a hard time finding a source for the boost driver that uses the ME2180. Has anyone else come across a similar driver?

one year rookie

calipsoii
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DavidEF wrote:
1) With your circuit design, is the 420mA output the most that a single Eneloop can do, or is it set at that level for safety, or efficiency, or parts are cheap, or what? 2) You said maybe 2xAA or 1xCR123A might do higher current. Any way we could get testing done on that? If you don't have the time or the means to test, could you send a sample to one of the guys here that do testing, like djozz?

1) The 4R7 inductor is probably determining peak current. A 2R2 (used on most boost boards) would likely give higher current at the cost of higher ripple. ~350-400mA was always the target: decent brightness with a decent runtime. If I need brighter I'll reach for a li-ion light. Smile

2) Did a couple tests! This is through 15" long 22awg alligator leads connected to the battery with neodymium magnets so total circuit resistance is extremely high. Board was floating in air with no heatsinking and overheated before I could finish the 2x Eneloop run.

LED Drive Current chart

3) and 4) are undecided Smile

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emarkd wrote:
One of those (kinda) new members here, although I’m not an EE. Sorry. Just wondering, how did the other drivers get designed? Obviously some smart folks have put in the effort here before, folks like Wight or Alex Wells, maybe. Those are names I’ve seen but know nothing about. Are they not up to this job? Do they just not want it? Have they left the community?

For us new guys, what’s the story there?

They’ve all left for reasons of their own. There’s a tendency to keep asking more and more of those few who can to develop drivers and such for the rest of us. If I had to guess I would put it down to burn out and suggest we give thanks for what they have left us and move on.

Some of the early driver designs centered around finding ways to use the attiny13A micro controller piggybacked onto an existing board since there was an already growing group of software savvy engineers and hobbyists that were fooling with it and it was in common use on certain linear drivers. Some designs began with minor modifications to allow two cell (6V) input to an ostensibly one cell driver to allow it to control a 6V led, specifically the MTG. Figuring out how to piggyback the attiny13A onto an FET based driver opened up another avenue of designs and during all of this more and more drivers and other items were being designed using Eagle CAD software and shared on the forum. Some boards were designed to use pic platform mcu’s but the vast majority was based on the 13A. It is now being supplanted by it’s more powerful cousins in the newest work and smaller cousin the mmu on the smaller board designs but for now remains the most commonly used mcu for DIY. Hope that answered your question to some extent.

Three Tanna leaves to give him life, nine to give him movement. But what if he eats the whole bag?

Scott

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calipsoii wrote:

DavidEF wrote:
1) With your circuit design, is the 420mA output the most that a single Eneloop can do, or is it set at that level for safety, or efficiency, or parts are cheap, or what? 2) You said maybe 2xAA or 1xCR123A might do higher current. Any way we could get testing done on that? If you don’t have the time or the means to test, could you send a sample to one of the guys here that do testing, like djozz?

1) The 4R7 inductor is probably determining peak current. A 2R2 (used on most boost boards) would likely give higher current at the cost of higher ripple. ~350-400mA was always the target: decent brightness with a decent runtime. If I need brighter I’ll reach for a li-ion light. Smile

2) Did a couple tests! This is through 15” long 22awg alligator leads connected to the battery with neodymium magnets so total circuit resistance is extremely high. Board was floating in air with no heatsinking and overheated before I could finish the 2x Eneloop run.

LED Drive Current chart

3) and 4) are undecided Smile


Wow! That 2x Eneloop line! Let me know if 3) and/or 4) become decided. Wink

The Cycle of Goodness: “No one prospers without rendering benefit to others”
- The YKK Philosophy

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calipsoii wrote:
1) The 4R7 inductor is probably determining peak current. A 2R2 (used on most boost boards) would likely give higher current at the cost of higher ripple. ~350-400mA was always the target: decent brightness with a decent runtime. If I need brighter I’ll reach for a li-ion light.

A lot of people here would just use a Cree XM-L2 or Nichia 219C that could take the ripple. There are advantages to standard liquor store cell voltage.

Flashlight designers should look at lighthouses and pottery.
这些谁设计的手电筒应该看灯塔,以及在陶器。

vestureofblood
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calipsoii wrote:

vestureofblood wrote:

but an Attiny13A driver for a 1AA light would blow my mind.

Ah heck, I just can't resist VoB Smile

1.5V Project v2 LED Driver

  • 14mm diameter
  • ATtiny85V microcontroller
  • 0.7 - 3.0V input voltage
  • 0.4 - 420 mA LED drive current (XP-G2; 1x Eneloop)
  • Full current-control through all drive currents
  • Off-time capacitor mode switching
  • End-user programmable via custom firmware:
    • 1-4 output levels
    • Brightness of each output level fully adjustable
    • Toggle between classic mode memory, hybrid or no mode memory
  • 2xAA/1xCR123 not yet tested but should work with higher LED currents possible/likely
  • Li-ion likely to run direct-drive (at least until the sense resistor burns out :P)




Surprised    You got me bro..    Where do we send the cash?     Seriously I am interested if you start selling them.


The program ability of an AA driver is a milestone in my book.     Looks to me like based on the results in your graph we might expect 450+ma from a single NIMH AA..     I think my tank 007 about 700ma on one.

Thanks a million for sharing.   You just poured  buckets into my barrel of hope!

In Him (Jesus Christ) was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
http://asflashlights.com/ Everyday Carry Flashlights, plus Upgrades for Maglite.

Sprinkles
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Anyone remember the old programmable k106 akoray from kaidomain? Those were three mode programmable lights. Buck/boost? running either AA or 14500. This project kind of reminds me of those lights. Too bad the the drivers went bad on the ones I had.

chenko
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My little input: I support the idea of not asking all tools to do the exact same function, if an AA BLF light has to be made I would find appropriate to make something a bit different that would stand out. We can already buy at quite good prices premium quality AA lights that do huge lumen numbers on AA and 14500, what about considering a different single AA host architecture than the usual tube?

Something like this:

vēer
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This one appears to be out of production ;)!

vestureofblood
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I would go for a light that style for sure.   Especially if there was a head band option with it.  

In Him (Jesus Christ) was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
http://asflashlights.com/ Everyday Carry Flashlights, plus Upgrades for Maglite.

Rufusbduck
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I agree it would be nice to see a GB take a step sideways(pun intended).

Three Tanna leaves to give him life, nine to give him movement. But what if he eats the whole bag?

Scott

vestureofblood
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Here are a couple I have seen like that.
http://www.aliexpress.com/item/Supply-Genuine-UltraFire-H2-flashlight/14...

Here are some, but some have no band with them.
http://www.aliexpress.com/promotion/promotion_trustfire-z2-promotion.html



I greatly prefer the look of the Ultrafire one vs the Trustfire.

In Him (Jesus Christ) was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
http://asflashlights.com/ Everyday Carry Flashlights, plus Upgrades for Maglite.

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