[ Lume1-FW3X: Constant Current Buck-Boost & FET Driver with Anduril + RGB Aux ] - For Sale Now!

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oweban
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Pretty keen for this, especially if there’s a small run of completed drivers available. The primary issue with the DIY method is economies of scale in getting the components (as well as hoping a solder stencil would be available), then throw in being on the “wrong” side of the world… ouch.

Very aware that economies of scale is a double-edged sword though – getting a manufacturer to make a bunch would bring the costs down, but at the same time, they’d need a guaranteed MOQ to make it worth their while. Then you throw in quality control…

Having the hwdef ready is a BIG plus Smile

id30209
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Just did inventory check and it looks like i'd need 7 of these drivers

WTB Titanium 4sevens 2xAA tube

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Unregulated FET drivers are also an issue for me. 3 amps of high efficiency regulation is enough power in any 18650 light I own. I think my lights get used on moonlight and ~30% most of the time, so high efficiency and user interface options are much more important than sheer lumens.

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I’m not sure where I stand exactly on this FET issue. I’m aware that it’s not a ‘proper’ design, but as a BLF corrupted enthusiast, I like having a direct drive Max option in most lights. I’ll rarely use it myself in my EDC, but the few times I do still makes it valuable to me. I’m used to matching cells with emitters to optimize useful runtime and limit peak output, so this doesn’t bother me personally. Lastly, it’s hard to argue with the cost and simplicity of packaging for really high output.

With that said, there is a practical limitation to ‘turbo’ power in a torch like the FWnx. 8A would be extremely sufficient in this light on strictly a thermal basis. Add in the low power capability of many of the ultra high CRI LEDs that find their way into such a form factor, and it becomes a requirement. This makes me wonder if using a linearly regulated FET like the new Sst40 drivers from Convoy makes sense? Could it fit? I’m not an EE, but I feel like there’s enough real estate to cram a few more passive components to support such a configuration. I might be way off base though!

For larger lights and our “toy” builds, DD-FET isn’t going anywhere soon. But I could say goodbye in this application.

Thanks again! Looking forward to it either way. I’ll officially sign up for two, and reserve more if it’s affordable to me.

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Sounds exciting! Would there also be a way to limit turbo/fet?

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I'm with JaredM on this - still much interested but agree about the FET designs here on BLF. The good thing is this driver does have the FET, so best of both. I personally might want to mod this Anduril setup for ramping through the FET though, but only if there's a clear UI distinction between max regulated, and start of FET ramping. Anduril supports that, think couple ways - one way thru an AUX LED, other with a pause/flicker (I think so anyway).

I'm not a fan of the FW1x/FW3x family though:

  • gave my wife a customized FW3A and the accidental activations rendered it useless for her
  • I'm not a fan of a tail switch, never was
  • also not a fan of smooth, slippery designs
  • doesn't give thermal design even a wink - ok, to be fair, not many of our BLF lights do though as this light's priority is compact size and light weight carry
  • lacks the AUX LED for Anduril's control

I prefer the EDC18 and it's been my true Every Day Carry for months now. Though I haven'd had a look, it supposed to have the same driver as the FW3A. So for me, the EDC18 would be my preferred host for this driver, and hoping I could get the switch LED wired up as the AUX LED for Anduril.

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Tom, if you haven’t tried the o-ring switch mod, you really need to. I was one of those who watched the FW project from the original post. Bought four as soon as I got the code. A week into owning them, I quit carrying it because of accidental activation. I developed that mod and it changed everything. E-lockout or mechanical lockout was not going to fly for me – no way. I am partial to a tail switch though, especially on longer lights, so we differ there. Though under 100mm side switch gains ground fast ergonomically.

I agree on the slippery design as well. This is something that really bugs me about most EVERY light these days. I miss the days of the old Nitecore ‘road-rash’ knurling. I think it looks awesome as well. Another thing is the clip. Damn me for not knowing why after all this time we’ve worked with manufacturers to build custom lights why every BLF light doesn’t have a real, quality, deep carry clip. Convoys as well.. still missing good clips in 2020. YMMV

AUX leds are something I’ve not yet gotten into, nor see a purpose for. I feel lighted tailcaps/switches are practical as a beacon or charge indicator, and can serve as a nice reminder to lock lights out before storing them. AUX are cool though, especially tune-able RGB. I’m willing to change my opinion if there is a practical use.

Back on topic, I do think this driver can be hugely popular, and having a design for side e-switch (first) and a clicky version will also be in demand.

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Strange bout the big lights better with tailswitch - heavy lights are easy one handed operation with a properly placed side switch - tail is awkward at best, worse requires 2 hands.

Ooops, by AUX LED I mean same thing as switch LED. Again, 'AUX' was a term we used to indicate an auxiliary LED, where-ever it's mounted.

A side switch LED can be seen with the light off, whether it's standing on it's head or tail.

Totally agree bout the deep carry clip - I just don't get it...

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Let me clarify that the ‘long’ was still within the realm of EDC lights. So things like a Convoy M2 or S21A at the largest. FW1A is the lower limit in length for me to distinctly prefer a tailswitch. Anything longer than a “tactical” ~150mm or fatter than a single cell is back to side switch for sure. I’d really like a lighted side switch with charge indicator and adjustable beacon brightness.

And yes, “AUX” technically could mean any location. Thanks for clearing up what you meant.

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FET/DD may not get you an “A” on your EE project Big Smile , but it’s inexpensive, compact, and reliable even for very high power builds (as long as the emitter/battery combo is chosen well). IMO that makes it an elegant solution.

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EasyB wrote:
FET/DD may not get you an “A” on your EE project Big Smile , but it’s inexpensive, compact, and reliable even for very high power builds (as long as the emitter/battery combo is chosen well). IMO that makes it an elegant solution.

I mostly agree…though for me to call it elegant it should have a linear mode. Wink
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loneoceans, would a future design for about 6A regulated output with the buck-boost be possible? I know you mentioned size constraints, and for this version it is single-sided as well. I mainly ask because of a few popular emitters (Luxeon V, SST-40, white flats) reaching peak output around there, but still having pretty low forward voltage at that point. So they don’t make sense with a full cell on a FET, but by the time the cell gets low you’ve lost your turbo output.

Old Lumens Contest 2020 - Hand-made light category

ZL SC62(w) | Jaxman E2L XP-G2 5A | Purple S2+ XPL-HI U6-3A | D4 w/ Luxeon V | RRT-01 | Purple FW3A, 4000K SST20 | Baton S1
Boruit D10 w/ Quadrupel Fet+1/Anduril | EagTac D25C Ti | DQG Slim AA Ti | Jaxman E3 | UF-T1 by CRX | Olight S15 Ti | Nitecore EX11.2
L6 XHP70.2 P2 4000K FET+7135 | Jaxman M8 | MF02 | Jaxman Z1 CULNM1.TG | Blue S2+ w/ ML Special | Thrunite T10Tv2
Supfire M6 3xXHP50.2, Sofirn C8F, Unfinished: Sofirn SP70, IYP07/Tool AAA hot-rods, Jetbeam E3S
Others: Nitecore EC23 | Nebo Twyst | Streamlight ProTac 1AA | TerraLux LightStar 100

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Scallywag wrote:
loneoceans, would a future design for about 6A regulated output with the buck-boost be possible? I know you mentioned size constraints, and for this version it is single-sided as well. I mainly ask because of a few popular emitters (Luxeon V, SST-40, white flats) reaching peak output around there, but still having pretty low forward voltage at that point. So they don’t make sense with a full cell on a FET, but by the time the cell gets low you’ve lost your turbo output.

For higher currents we have only one alternative at that time which can be powered from single cell and thats is only from Analog Devices, LTC3119. It is capable of around of 5A from 6V. There is no others alternatives of which I know at moment with integrated mosfet switches. Also LTC3119 is very expensive around 17$ for one IC. For over 100pcs is it about 10$. Another way is to be used buck-boost PWM controller with external Mosfets but at moment it is possible only with bigger PCBs and design will be more complicated. Maybe another possible solution in the future it to be used boost-buck topology and the transistor to be driven directly from MCU. I found on fonarevka.ru similar boost LED drivers driven from MCU without external controller. In that case the disadvantage will be low working frequency which means higher inductor.
For reference something like these: https://www.analog.com/en/products/ltc7813.html
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icpart wrote:
I found on phonarevka.ru similar boost LED drivers driven from MCU without external controller.

Could you please link to it?
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Agro wrote:
icpart wrote:
I found on phonarevka.ru similar boost LED drivers driven from MCU without external controller.

Could you please link to it?

http://forum.fonarevka.ru/showthread.php?t=20143
http://forum.fonarevka.ru/showthread.php?t=20348

They used very clever design to drive MOSFET with analog switch IC which act as driver.

Aslo here another great LED driver from Tamagotchi but it is not open source which I think is also boost driver:
http://forum.fonarevka.ru/showthread.php?t=31892

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Thanks icpart. Smile

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Scallywag wrote:
loneoceans, would a future design for about 6A regulated output with the buck-boost be possible? I know you mentioned size constraints, and for this version it is single-sided as well. I mainly ask because of a few popular emitters (Luxeon V, SST-40, white flats) reaching peak output around there, but still having pretty low forward voltage at that point. So they don't make sense with a full cell on a FET, but by the time the cell gets low you've lost your turbo output.

That's not a problem; for larger boards or two sided, should be reasonable to build a 10A buck-boost or similar; any more and I think it's probably time to use 2S input. I don't have plans to make one yet, though, focusing on this driver first and we'll see how it goes. 

 

icpart and Agro, yes any larger BB will use external switches. I like the idea those drivers have in using the MCU do the main work, though using an Attiny is not quite optimal for various reasons, including the ones you pointed out... but it can be improved with other MCUs. In fact, I've built a bunch of  switchmode systems using a PSoC. The PSoC5 especially with its analog capability is pretty amazing. Then again, while I always had the thought to use 32bit MCUs or PSoC for flashlights, they're really a bit of an overkill and there's a bit too much software development time required than I am able to spend right now. The use of the analog-switch as a gate driver seems to me like a clever use of parts to reduce cost. The switch looks like it'll work just fine for this application with a marginally lower cost than a gate driver, and generally low Iq... though I'm not sure why they didn't just use a co-packed fet pair. Together with just a basic Attiny, overall quite an efficient solution in terms of parts count. 

www.loneoceans.com/labs/

lume1 - Constant Current BuckBoost + FET Anduril Driver for FW3x
High Power Boost Drivers - GXB100 100W GAN FET Driver // GXB172 50W 17mm Driver
GXF22 - CC+FET for Emisar D4 // GFS16 - 1milliOhm FET Switch System // Older: GXB17 & GXB20

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icpart wrote:
For higher currents we have only one alternative at that time which can be powered from single cell and thats is only from Analog Devices, LTC3119. It is capable of around of 5A from 6V.

How many amps it’s capable of from 6V is some what irrelevant for single cell designs. How much is it capable of in buck mode from say 3.7V or 4V? I took a quick look at the datasheet and couldn’t find a quick answer. I’m not sure how good of an alternative it really is for single cell designs, but I probably missed something in the datasheet. Can anyone point it out?
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Mike C wrote:
icpart wrote:
For higher currents we have only one alternative at that time which can be powered from single cell and thats is only from Analog Devices, LTC3119. It is capable of around of 5A from 6V.

How many amps it’s capable of from 6V is some what irrelevant for single cell designs. How much is it capable of in buck mode from say 3.7V or 4V? I took a quick look at the datasheet and couldn’t find a quick answer. I’m not sure how good of an alternative it really is for single cell designs, but I probably missed something in the datasheet. Can anyone point it out?

I didn’t find anything specific either. A page 30 in the datasheet there’s a graph for voltage in vs current out at 12v out. It looks like with a voltage out close to the same as the voltage in gives about 5 amps pulsed, 4.2 amps continous. In a flashlight the current out would probably depend on the led vf at that current compared with the cell voltage of say 3.8v. As long as the cell voltage is above the led vf at 5 amps it should buck at 5 amps pulsed, about 4.2 continous from what it looks like to me. I dont find any graph or info that relates to that besides the one on page 30 with 12v output.
https://www.analog.com/media/en/technical-documentation/data-sheets/3119...
I found one more reference at page 28 in the bottom graph. For Vout it says 3.3v at 5 amps, >4v.
Its probably going to be led vf specific vs cell voltage.
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You certainly found more than me. Thanks for the info!

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Mike C wrote:
icpart wrote:
For higher currents we have only one alternative at that time which can be powered from single cell and thats is only from Analog Devices, LTC3119. It is capable of around of 5A from 6V.
How many amps it's capable of from 6V is some what irrelevant for single cell designs. How much is it capable of in buck mode from say 3.7V or 4V? I took a quick look at the datasheet and couldn't find a quick answer. I'm not sure how good of an alternative it really is for single cell designs, but I probably missed something in the datasheet. Can anyone point it out?

The LTC3119 is a very nice part and was initially on the list for consideration for this driver, but it's unfortunately extremely expensive as icpart pointed out.

For a reliable driver, I think it's important to look at the absolute limits of the system to ensure it stays within regulation, either via software or hardware. From a hardware perspective, the greatest stress would be when the cell is at highest load (greatest output) at low capacity or cold, with a high V_fwd LED - in that scenario, the driver would need to operate in boost mode. It's possible to design the flashlight as a system with a designated battery and LED so the driver runs only in buck mode, but then it'd make sense to just develop a buck-only driver, of which there seem to be many on sale with very good power capabilities. I wanted the lume1 driver to be fairly flexible in the choice of batteries and LEDs and to be able to operate well near the limits, which helped guide the design choices. As mentioned, if I was developing one for a larger flashlight, I'd go for external FETs. Maybe this will be done in the future for a suitable candidate... maybe a 21700 flashlight.

As a side note, I'm hoping to send out a small number proto drivers to forum members to test since I may have missed something and it would be good to have some fresh eyes to take a look ... Then once we have a stable design, I'll make a poll to see interest for a run of boards. I like the idea of using a Google Sheets - this will come later. Meanwhile, anyone who has experience with electronics, the Anduril FW, and is able to do their own measurements, EE debugging, firmware flashing and compilation, and would like to help beta test, do drop me a PM and we can work something out. Meanwhile, I'm in a process of doing some full characterization and comparison of the system. 

Thanks everyone and stay safe in the emerging worldwide health situation!

www.loneoceans.com/labs/

lume1 - Constant Current BuckBoost + FET Anduril Driver for FW3x
High Power Boost Drivers - GXB100 100W GAN FET Driver // GXB172 50W 17mm Driver
GXF22 - CC+FET for Emisar D4 // GFS16 - 1milliOhm FET Switch System // Older: GXB17 & GXB20

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loneoceans wrote:

Scallywag wrote:
loneoceans, would a future design for about 6A regulated output with the buck-boost be possible? I know you mentioned size constraints, and for this version it is single-sided as well. I mainly ask because of a few popular emitters (Luxeon V, SST-40, white flats) reaching peak output around there, but still having pretty low forward voltage at that point. So they don’t make sense with a full cell on a FET, but by the time the cell gets low you’ve lost your turbo output.

That’s not a problem; for larger boards or two sided, should be reasonable to build a 10A buck-boost or similar; any more and I think it’s probably time to use 2S input. I don’t have plans to make one yet, though, focusing on this driver first and we’ll see how it goes. 



Of course, completely understood. I just got excited. It hurts me seeing some of the newer LEDs thrown on FETs just to get past ~3A

Old Lumens Contest 2020 - Hand-made light category

ZL SC62(w) | Jaxman E2L XP-G2 5A | Purple S2+ XPL-HI U6-3A | D4 w/ Luxeon V | RRT-01 | Purple FW3A, 4000K SST20 | Baton S1
Boruit D10 w/ Quadrupel Fet+1/Anduril | EagTac D25C Ti | DQG Slim AA Ti | Jaxman E3 | UF-T1 by CRX | Olight S15 Ti | Nitecore EX11.2
L6 XHP70.2 P2 4000K FET+7135 | Jaxman M8 | MF02 | Jaxman Z1 CULNM1.TG | Blue S2+ w/ ML Special | Thrunite T10Tv2
Supfire M6 3xXHP50.2, Sofirn C8F, Unfinished: Sofirn SP70, IYP07/Tool AAA hot-rods, Jetbeam E3S
Others: Nitecore EC23 | Nebo Twyst | Streamlight ProTac 1AA | TerraLux LightStar 100

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Hello all, 

I hope everyone is doing well and staying safe in the worldwide outbreak. 

Here's a quick update with some developments for the lume1 project. I received boards for Aux LEDs for the FW3A flashlight and their variants. Unlike regular AUX boards, this one takes advantage of the full RGB capability of Anduril, allowing for a host of different features and capabilities. 

Here's the LED board. A total of 18 LEDs for board, 6 of each R, G and B LEDs.

I had some other colour LEDs so I populated them as follows - pink as red, warm-white as green, and cyan as blue. The LED board is a little thick in this iteration, and 0.8mm PCBs should be better, but this works as well. LEDs used were 0603 LEDs on large 0402 pads. I had ordered 0402 LEDs but they haven't yet arrived. 

AUX LED control is the same as the one implemented in Anduril for 1634 MCUs such as in the Emisar D4V2 and the Noctigon K1. There are several different modes such as different colours (red, green blue, yellow, cyan, magenta, white), as well as 'rainbow' and battery voltage display. There is also high and low brightness control. 

Recommend LED wiring is 24-20AWG depending on what you have. For the LED wires, I used 30AWG. 

 

After soldering on the LED wires to the AUX board above.

 

And finally, here's the Aux board in action, compared to a glow-gasket with my FW21. In this photo, I had previously used a green-yellow LED for the green channel. I since replaced that with warm white since I thought it came out better. 

 

More to come soon. 

Stay safe and healthy everyone! 

 

www.loneoceans.com/labs/

lume1 - Constant Current BuckBoost + FET Anduril Driver for FW3x
High Power Boost Drivers - GXB100 100W GAN FET Driver // GXB172 50W 17mm Driver
GXF22 - CC+FET for Emisar D4 // GFS16 - 1milliOhm FET Switch System // Older: GXB17 & GXB20

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It would be perfect, if you make variant to work with different color leds. As example, we could repower Sofirn IF25 with efficient Anduril driver. And any such flashlights in future.

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D'AVerk wrote:
It would be perfect, if you make variant to work with different color leds. As example, we could repower Sofirn IF25 with efficient Anduril driver. And any such flashlights in future.

Anduril has support for 3 aux LED channels, typically named R, G and B, but you can use whatever LED colour you like. Or am I missing something you're saying?

www.loneoceans.com/labs/

lume1 - Constant Current BuckBoost + FET Anduril Driver for FW3x
High Power Boost Drivers - GXB100 100W GAN FET Driver // GXB172 50W 17mm Driver
GXF22 - CC+FET for Emisar D4 // GFS16 - 1milliOhm FET Switch System // Older: GXB17 & GXB20

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I find the choice of single colour LEDs curious. loneoceans, why did you find this solution best?

id30209
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This board is getting better and better.

Great work!

WTB Titanium 4sevens 2xAA tube

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Sofirn IF25 have two 2700k led and two 6500k led, so we can mix them by ramping mode. And 21700 onboard. Unfortunatly, UI is not anduril, proprietary, and driver d’t look very regulated.

So it would be nice to have high efficient Anduril driver, which can have two separate channels for two groups of different color temperature leds with ability to slide from one to another.

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