*BLF LT1 Lantern Project* (GB list for 3000 is filled)

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ToyKeeper
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angerdan wrote:
But what about the possibility of an advanced version after the BLF Lantern is finished ?

Outside of this project, I’m working on adding support for attiny1634 and/or attiny841, which both have more pins than the attiny85. This should allow Lexel’s dual-linear-FET driver to work, and also increases the ability to control a powerbank circuit.

But there’s no point holding back the lantern project until that’s done. It makes more sense to do the lantern now, and then maybe make a lantern V2 later with more features.

About tiny1634 vs tiny841, the latter is generally a better chip… newer, at least, and more flexible in how it’s used. The main drawback is it has only 8 KiB of ROM, while the tiny1634 has 16 KiB. And this matters because, um, Anduril already uses almost 8 KiB. I filled up the ROM with things like candle mode. This isn’t an issue for the lantern because it doesn’t need thermal regulation, so that’s a big chunk of code I can leave out. But on other lights, the extra ROM should be pretty helpful.

DBSAR
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ToyKeeper wrote:
angerdan wrote:
But what about the possibility of an advanced version after the BLF Lantern is finished ?

Outside of this project, I’m working on adding support for attiny1634 and/or attiny841, which both have more pins than the attiny85. This should allow Lexel’s dual-linear-FET driver to work, and also increases the ability to control a powerbank circuit.

But there’s no point holding back the lantern project until that’s done. It makes more sense to do the lantern now, and then maybe make a lantern V2 later with more features.

About tiny1634 vs tiny841, the latter is generally a better chip… newer, at least, and more flexible in how it’s used. The main drawback is it has only 8 KiB of ROM, while the tiny1634 has 16 KiB. And this matters because, um, Anduril already uses almost 8 KiB. I filled up the ROM with things like candle mode. This isn’t an issue for the lantern because it doesn’t need thermal regulation, so that’s a big chunk of code I can leave out. But on other lights, the extra ROM should be pretty helpful.

That would definitely be a good set up for a future deluxe-version of the lantern later on after we get the lower-cost standard one into production for now.

That Canadian flashlight guy & Lantern Guru -Den / DBSARlight

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Lexel wrote:
driver will be likely without power bank equipped but its there, not sure how this goes
!{width:50,%}https://644db4de3505c40a0444-327723bce298e3ff5813fb42baeefbaa.ssl.cf1.ra...!

Lexel has not chimed in for a bit on this thread, but I am guessing no power bank means no charge capability either. There is one chip that would perform the charging and power bank function, that is the 20 pin part U4. Unless the ATTiny 85 as some functions we don’t know about. There are no other ICs on the layout, except the AMC7135s. It’s hard for me to imagine he would half populate this section of the board, as it just doesn’t make sense. But I’ve already been wrong before today . . Blushing

Speaking of U4, the lands for the leads do not look symmetrical around the thermal pad. Something funny is going on here, either with the screen shot posted or with the actual design.

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sbslider wrote:

Lexel has not chimed in for a bit on this thread, but I am guessing no power bank means no charge capability either. There is one chip that would perform the charging and power bank function, that is the 20 pin part U4. Unless the ATTiny 85 as some functions we don’t know about. There are no other ICs on the layout, except the AMC7135s. It’s hard for me to imagine he would half populate this section of the board, as it just doesn’t make sense. But I’ve already been wrong before today . . Blushing

Speaking of U4, the lands for the leads do not look symmetrical around the thermal pad. Something funny is going on here, either with the screen shot posted or with the actual design.


You must have missed ToyKeeper’s post above. The power bank function needs a better MCU with more pins. It will be possible in the future, but right now we have no firmware for those chips needed, so we stick with charging only, and power bank in the next Deluxe model. Wink

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DavidEF wrote:
The power bank function needs a better MCU with more pins.

Ish.

At minimum, the power bank needs something to turn the circuit on and off. I was hoping someone would come up with a clever way to sense whether a USB plug was inserted, and enable the chip only when something was plugged in, so it could run completely on its own. But that hasn’t happened, so the main MCU would need to enable/disable it instead.

One thought was to enable the powerbank whenever the main LEDs were on, so to charge a phone you’d put the lantern in moon mode or battcheck or something, and then plug in the phone. But this would also reduce efficiency, especially on the lowest modes, and it could be a little weird that simply plugging in a device isn’t enough to actually make the powerbank function work.

For full powerbank control, the MCU needs to actually communicate with the powerbank chip over I2C or something, and that’s definitely going to require more pins and more ROM. But this isn’t strictly necessary, if we just let the powerbank use all its default settings. For that, it only needs an on/off switch of some sort.

There’s also the option of adding a second MCU, which would do nothing except watch the USB port and control the power bank. It’s probably a good option, since it would make all that completely independent. Simple and robust. But that’s not happening in this version.

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I did suggest a chip that could do the charge and powerbank without MCU connection, and can cope with flakey intermittent solar input, and has a pedigree, and is available, and inexpensive.

But I can’t remember. It’s here in the thread somewhere. Just look up my posts, It’ll be there.

If I can be bovvered maybe I’ll find it.

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Tom Tom wrote:
I did suggest a chip that could do the charge and powerbank without MCU connection, and can cope with flakey intermittent solar input, and has a pedigree, and is available, and inexpensive.

But I can’t remember. It’s here in the thread somewhere. Just look up my posts, It’ll be there.

If I can be bovvered maybe I’ll find it.


Yeah, it was recent. Post #3088

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DavidEF wrote:
sbslider wrote:

Lexel has not chimed in for a bit on this thread, but I am guessing no power bank means no charge capability either. There is one chip that would perform the charging and power bank function, that is the 20 pin part U4. Unless the ATTiny 85 as some functions we don’t know about. There are no other ICs on the layout, except the AMC7135s. It’s hard for me to imagine he would half populate this section of the board, as it just doesn’t make sense. But I’ve already been wrong before today . . Blushing

Speaking of U4, the lands for the leads do not look symmetrical around the thermal pad. Something funny is going on here, either with the screen shot posted or with the actual design.


You must have missed ToyKeeper’s post above. The power bank function needs a better MCU with more pins. It will be possible in the future, but right now we have no firmware for those chips needed, so we stick with charging only, and power bank in the next Deluxe model. Wink

I admitted I might be wrong, but the design I see above looks like it is power bank and charging capable with a single IC, which is U4. I do recall that the current firmware hosted on the ATTiny85 has limitations in controlling all that could be done in this driver. I don’t see a driver that is providing just a charging function. I am pretty certain that the design is the same as the one DEL generated a year or more ago, and was provided to Lexel.

But to be certain we need Lexel to clarify this IMO.

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sbslider wrote:

Lexel has not chimed in for a bit on this thread, but I am guessing no power bank means no charge capability either. There is one chip that would perform the charging and power bank function, that is the 20 pin part U4. Unless the ATTiny 85 as some functions we don’t know about. There are no other ICs on the layout, except the AMC7135s. It’s hard for me to imagine he would half populate this section of the board, as it just doesn’t make sense. But I’ve already been wrong before today

Speaking of U4, the lands for the leads do not look symmetrical around the thermal pad. Something funny is going on here, either with the screen shot posted or with the actual design.

I know we discussed dropping the power bank for this model in the team chat, but i was sure we all agreed to keep the charging feature, which is a key feature needed in this type of light as a very usable feature for long-term use & off-grid use. (will hope he chimes in on that soon.)

That Canadian flashlight guy & Lantern Guru -Den / DBSARlight

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I am imagining. that in Lexel’s mind they are all one function (power bank and charging), but I hope I am wrong.

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Tom Tom
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DavidEF wrote:
Tom Tom wrote:
I did suggest a chip that could do the charge and powerbank without MCU connection, and can cope with flakey intermittent solar input, and has a pedigree, and is available, and inexpensive.

But I can’t remember. It’s here in the thread somewhere. Just look up my posts, It’ll be there.

If I can be bovvered maybe I’ll find it.


Yeah, it was recent. Post #3088

You’ve got that wrong. It was a while ago.

I suggested the Active-Semi EA2813QY

I still think that it is worth a look.

Powerbanks are simple stuff, though they do need a good standalone power management chip.

No need to tie it into the MCU unless you want (and know how) to reconfigure things into the latest high power charging and discharging modes. 5V at 1-2A through up to three outputs is usually enough.

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Tom Tom wrote:
DavidEF wrote:
Tom Tom wrote:
I did suggest a chip that could do the charge and powerbank without MCU connection, and can cope with flakey intermittent solar input, and has a pedigree, and is available, and inexpensive.

But I can’t remember. It’s here in the thread somewhere. Just look up my posts, It’ll be there.

If I can be bovvered maybe I’ll find it.


Yeah, it was recent. Post #3088

You’ve got that wrong. It was a while ago.

I suggested the Active-Semi EA2813QY

I still think that it is worth a look.

Powerbanks are simple stuff, though they do need a good standalone power management chip.

No need to tie it into the MCU unless you want (and know how) to reconfigure things into the latest high power charging and discharging modes. 5V at 1-2A through up to three outputs is usually enough.


Yeah, that recent post I found was just a re-summary of your suggestion I guess.

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Aww, that’s a bummer. I was really looking forward to the power bank functionality. I understand if it can’t fit the equipment/schedule for this first version, and USB charging is still nice, but still. Bummer. Thanks for all the hard work though guys, I’m still interested in the one I’m on the list for.

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Interested

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Sorry for not being up to date on this, but does the light function well with just USB power without batteries inserted?

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maukka wrote:
Sorry for not being up to date on this, but does the light function well with just USB power without batteries inserted?

That hasn’t been tested yet.

I hope the answer is yes.

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ToyKeeper wrote:
I was hoping someone would come up with a clever way to sense whether a USB plug was inserted, and enable the chip only when something was plugged in.

AT&T came up with a USB charger that would have “zero” vampire draw in 2010.
I think it had a solid-state relay before the rectifier/transformer and a capacitor after, and when the capacitor was full, it’d open the relay.
Plug USB device into charger, capacitor discharges, relay closes, device charges.
Unplug USB device, capacitor reaches charge threshold, relay opens until USB device is plugged in or the measurement circuit discharges the capacitor beyond the trigger threshold.

I may still have one of them laying around somewhere.

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first prototype just soldered
as the team decided Power bank feature wont be realized but the pads are there

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tested with NarsilM fully functional, so as planned after checking the layout like 3 times no errors on it

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So excited to see actual prototype parts coming together. Thanks Lexel!

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Nice job Lexel Beer

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v2.0 designed, sleep over it and see if any errors accured

updates:
- Power bank stuff removed

+ TP5100 2A charge chip installed
added on battery side a solder pad to switch between 0.75 and 1.5A
added + and chrg and full pads for Charge light indication

+ AMCs can now individually added or removed by pads on the battery side
3 AMCs per channel fixed up to 7 can be unlocked by bridging the solder pads with solder blob

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Lexel wrote:
v2.0 designed, sleep over it and see if any errors accured

updates:
- Power bank stuff removed

+ TP5100 2A charge chip installed
added on battery side a solder pad to switch between 0.75 and 1.5A
added + and chrg and full pads for Charge light indication

+ AMCs can now individually added or removed by pads on the battery side
3 AMCs per channel fixed up to 7 can be unlocked by bridging the solder pads with solder blob

That design i like! Smile

That Canadian flashlight guy & Lantern Guru -Den / DBSARlight

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Yep, that’s nice work.

May I request that 0.75A charging be the default, to minimise the chance of crashing a small solar panel?

I’m sorry to see the powerbank function go, but I’m still planning to buy at least one of these. I’ll decide what to do next once I’ve been able to play with the first one Smile

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Phlogiston wrote:
Yep, that’s nice work.

May I request that 0.75A charging be the default, to minimise the chance of crashing a small solar panel?

I’m sorry to see the powerbank function go, but I’m still planning to buy at least one of these. I’ll decide what to do next once I’ve been able to play with the first one Smile

for first version Powerbank got removed installing a simple charge board, then the preassembled charge boards were too big to reflow them onto the driver,
so it went on it as parts at least so we can control the quality of the used parts

default will be 0.75A

from the space also 0.5A, 1A and 1.5A would fit with 2 solder areas and 3 shunts, but I think 2 are well enough

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No PB and 1.5A charger , great news! Is there any info about Micro or Type-C will be used?
Dannyboyy
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I ordered one I need another one for a total of 2

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Interested, please add.

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AEDe wrote:
No PB and 1.5A charger , great news! Is there any info about Micro or Type-C will be used?

If cost allows it we will try to go with the new type-c plug interface, as long as it don’t drive the cost per unit up to much.

That Canadian flashlight guy & Lantern Guru -Den / DBSARlight

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This light is going to make someone a ton of money. I hope you folks working on it have watched out for your financial interests.

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