How-To: Add 7135 chips to a Driver Board (Stacking)

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Ouchyfoot
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I posted this on another thread, but since we're talking about it, I'm reposting it here as well.

 

Okay. I think I've got it. Just so you know, I have to work on my dining table, so everything has to be small and simple. The last time I tried, I couldn't get the star hot enough because the metal in the "Helping Hands" was stealing my heat. Today I bought a small vise grips style c-clamp, and glued some leather to the "clamps". This worked perfectly, almost too good. It was so fast, you can see where the topside of the star scorched brown...it scorched the leather too. Next time a little less heat. Usually, I can see the LED settle down, but I missed it. I used a flux pen on the contacts before I tinned them. This pen has a felt tip, and it paints on flux like a marker pen. The flux is clear, like water, or clear marker ink. When I dabbed on the tinning, it went on so evenly, that the Led sat so flat, there was no noticable settling for me to see. Anyway, scorched or not, I tested the LED and it works fine.

relic38
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Looks like smores; take two stars and put a mini marshmallow in between… Nice and toasty!
As long as it works, right? You’ll get the temperature right and now you know to look for a very subtle LED settling.
I didn’t think an alligator clip would steal that much heat, I didn’t notice much and I use helping hands.
The leather is a good idea, insulates well and resists burning for a while.

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Ouchyfoot
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Actually, this was faster than the frying pan on an electric stove, and I don’t have to be in the kitchen, hunched over with my face close to a hot frying pan, let alone risk dropping the whole thing upside down in the pan while I’m trying to snatch it out with tweezers.

Firelight2
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Just tried adding 7135 chips to a Nanjg 105c for the first time. Surprisingly easy with no difficulties and all chips appear to work.

I added 3× 380 mah chips to a 2.8 amp driver. So output should be around 4 amps.

Technique I used:
1. Bend all 3 pins on the 7135 to be added so they point straight down.
2. Super-glue the new 7135 on top of the old 7135.
3. Apply flux to all 3 pins and the ground pad for both the lower and upper 7135.
4. Using large soldering iron soldered ground tab using the techniques described in this thead (loaded iron up with generous amount of solder, then placed solder blob at bottom 7135’s tab and then dragged iron upwards towards top tab.
5. Using a very fine tip low wattage soldering iron, soldered all 3 pins of the new to the pins of the lower 7135. Because I’d bent down the new 7135’s pins, they were actually touching the pins of the lower 7135 even before I soldered, so soldering was very easy and required very little solder. I kept the driver board in a small vise to keep it immobile while I did the soldering.
6. Used a small file to file off excess solder from around the driver tabs so the driver would fit in my light’s pill.

To help make it easier to see what I was doing I held an Olight S10 modded with an XML2 neutral on medium power in my mouth while soldering.

Result is pretty nice. I now have a 1xAA sized Sipik 58 with copper heatsink running on the new 4 amp driver and powering a triple Nichia 219. Runs on an AW IMR 14500. At max power this light heats up fast so can’t be run more than a few minutes at a time. Also runtime on a full IMR 14500 should only be around 9 minutes. But for short bursts it gives a wide blast of beautiful Nichia tint light.

I also tried this driver powering a triple XPG2 5,000k neutral. Output was much brighter than with the Nichia, but had a much worse lemon yellow tint. I suspect the XPG2 needs more than 1.3 amps per emitter before it starts outputting a better tint. I think I might buy some cool white XPG2s to try out. Perhaps they will have a whiter tint. Or perhaps I could try a triple with 1-2 coolwhite XPG2s and the rest neutral tint.

Ouchyfoot
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What’s the proper way to attach 7350 chips to a bare board. If I had a driver with only five or six chips on it and a couple of spots that are empty.

DB Custom
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Firelight2, the XP-G2’s in my EDC+ Triple are a very nice white tint, running all 3 at 2A (1.93A measured at the tail) They probably will change tint driven harder, but the 3 in my drop-in are a perfect white…no tint anywhere.

relic38
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Ouchyfoot wrote:
What’s the proper way to attach 7350 chips to a bare board. If I had a driver with only five or six chips on it and a couple of spots that are empty.

That’s the easy way. Pre-flux and pre-tin the big PCB pad with a small amount of solder. It should be just enough to cover the pad. Most likely, the pads are already tinned so you can just add a little flux and remelt the pad.
The using tweezers, hold the chip over the pad while applying heat to the edge of the pad and tab with your iron.
Once things melt, the chip will sit in place. Let the solder set
Finish up by soldering the other pins; heat first then touch the point where the iron and the pin meet with solder. It should flow right onto the pin and pad.

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DB Custom
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Success! Sorta…I got 4 of the chips soldered onto the new driver and everything LOOKS good. But it wouldn’t work. I don’t know if I shorted something or I wasn’t getting a good ground or what. I backed up and redid the pill, cut the recess down so the driver in original form would fit lower and the retaining ring will screw down on it and this one works. I’m getting 2.87A at the tail and have 3 solid reliable modes. I’ll check output and beam tonight.

DBC_April 09, 2013_143406

I’m not experienced at soldering. This was the first time for anything with my new Hakko 888 soldering station. I thought it went pretty good, save for the part where it didn’t work.

garrybunk
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Congrats! However, did you add 4 chips to an 8 chip board for 12 total? That should be 4.2A (for 350mA chips). Or is there error in your tailcap measurement (although that's an awful lot)?

-Garry

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DB Custom
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I did add 4 to 8, but that board didn’t work and the stacked chips were going to cause issues with the retaining ring. I tried soldering it in…used the solder as a threaded ring to hold the board down and it was pretty snug, but it wouldn’t work.

So a stock board is running my light with the original 8 chips. I might see if I can add 2 to the bottom of the board but first want to see how it’s performing here. The supposed 5A driver I had in it was only pulling 2.38A so 2.87A is a marked improvement.

By the way, the chips are binned at 380.

Ouchyfoot
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Did you test it by touching the pos and neg with leads from a battery, or with the entire assembled flashlight with a battery in it?

DB Custom
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I was wishful and put the light back together. Click, nada.

I’ve now recessed the ledge that the driver sits on in the HD2010 pill and now the retainer ring sets on top of the chips on the spring side of the board. Can’t add chips there. I think I can add 2 chips on the inside, gonna check into that.

For now, success with the new driver! Nice lo, great Hi, no whiny mosquito sounds….none, zilch, silencio! Smile Happiness!

The two military trailers in the beamshot below are pretty dang far back! The second one, where the reflector is shining, is 465 yds! The trees behind the trailers are 550 yds from the hayloft I was in. Not too shabby! The camera settings mimicked what I could see. Canon G1X zoomed to 112mm 0.6 sec f/5.8 at 1250 ISO.

HD2010 vs L2P M3 Beamshot

Ouchyfoot
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I think the chips could be in the way. Perhaps a longer spring. I've been trying to stay away from adding chips on the contact side, unless the driver is hooked up to a separate larger board from underneath.

To save myself headaches, I now pre-test any driver I worked on. I have an LED that I had swapped out of another light permanently hooked up to alligator tipped leads. I attach the clips to the drivers leads and then touch the pos. and neg. with wires from a battery holder. If the LED comes on...your good to go.

That way you know if your flashlight doesn't work after installation, its something else, like a poor connection somewhere.

DB Custom
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I actually did solder a different spring, inverted, onto the board. My 26650 LiNiMnCo cell is more of a flat top so the longer wider spring was used to ensure contact. Only one I had so I had to remove it and put it on the stock board when I went that route.

I actually have a couple of emitters on copper stars sitting right beside me, could use them to check that driver easily enough. Nice suggestion and nice set-up. Thanks.

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I cut a set of wires and tried the modified driver. It works! The chip addition is a success! I’m blind!

The XP-G2 on copper star with thermal paste sticking it to a copper bar is very very bright on Hi, Med and Lo modes also work. Smile I will find a use for this driver or figure out how to put it in the HD2010 somehow. Anyone able to make me a copper pill for the HD2010? Anybody?

Edit: Uh, perhaps I should have used 2 AA cells instead of a fully charged 14500. How long does it take for the purple haze to go away? Prince would know….

Ouchyfoot
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Yeah! I’m glad the driver is good. It sure is nice to know before installation, isn’t it.

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I have that XP-G2 on copper, and this driver, and I’ve been wanting to modify a MiniMag. Reckon a 4A minimag is too much? Perhaps I could fit this stacked chip driver into my HD2010 and move the 3A stock version into a MiniMag, would 3A be too much? Could the XP-G2 on copper handle 3A safely? Anyone know who could make a solid copper head for the MiniMag AA light? >) >)

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My first attempts at stacking went well, but my last couple gave me problems.
I ruined one driver (don’t know what I did) and the last one, I couldn’t span the gap of the last set of legs with the solder, no matter how hard I tried.
My solution: I stripped a piece of small gauge wire I had removed from a driver, tinned it, held it vertically against the two legs, touched the iron to it until it attached itself , and snipped off the excess at the top. It worked great.

DB Custom
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Hmm, that makes me think…what if you stripped a wire a little longer than that bridge between the legs, tin it, then hold it to the legs and make that touch to connect the legs. Snip off the remaining wire right above the upper leg. Might be the easiest way yet as you’ve got the wire to hold it in place by with the tinned portion ready to grab the legs as soon as the iron touches. Voila!

Gonna have to try that next time….if I can remember!

Thanks Ouchyfoot! Smile

relic38
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I’ve done the wire trick before, works fine.

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Ouchyfoot
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relic38 wrote:
I’ve done the wire trick before, works fine.

Were you trying to keep that little secret all to yourself? :quest:
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Ouchyfoot wrote:
relic38 wrote:
I’ve done the wire trick before, works fine.

Were you trying to keep that little secret all to yourself? :quest:

Big Smile

I find it more difficult than just using solder. The wire has to be really thin. I wonder if solder alloy is a factor… 60/40 vs 63/37. I use the former. Maybe I will pick up some of the latter and try it.

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I don’t see why the wire would have to be thin. I just soldered 2 together with 20ga silicone covered wire. Like attaching a pillar in front of the legs, lol. Of course, in this application I’m leaving the wire some 3” long and using it for battery contact and emitter contact.

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Hey Ouchyfoot, do you attach the top chip before soldering the legs or do you use the ground solder to hold it in place?

I don’t have anything to attach it with first, or the patience to wait for Fujik (if I had some) to dry. So I just hold it in place and solder the wide ground on the back side first then do the other 2.

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I just fasten it on top of the bottom chip with a dab of super glue from the dollar store.
On my next attemp, I might pre attach small wires to the legs of the bottom chip, glue down the top chip, bend the wires up, and attach them to the top legs. I’m also finding it to be easier, and neater to link the thermal pads with a bit of narrow copper braid.

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Need to get some of that. Handy for a lot of things it would appear, not the least of which is tailspring mods.

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relic38 wrote:
Thanks everyone. Nitro, I avoid bending the legs because the structure inside the chip itself is not designed to have the leads bent. The worst case is, you break off a pin. Most of the time you’ll be OK. However the stress could weaken the internal bond wire contact, leading to eventual failure. You might notice it as a flickering/varying output (intermittent) or not the current output you expected (disconnect). For this reason, I do not recommend it. YMMV.

Isn’t the internal bond wire encapsulated inside the chip? I mean that inside the black part, is it just a cover, or is it like potted? If it’s potted, then it seems like that internal wire bond should be pretty secure, so I’m kind of surprised that bending the external part of the leg would break or weaken the internal bond. I haven’t worked with 7315s, but I’ve done that (bend legs/pins) many times, especially while prototyping.

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I tried bending the legs down. It sounds easy, but its not, unless you are experienced, and have certain dedicated tools you use. I just ended up breaking the legs off, ruining the chip.

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I am new to light modding. Added several 7135s to a few drivers. Bending the legs with needle nose pliers has worked fine for me. Def makes soldering easier.

Newb

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Ouchyfoot, heat em first with your soldering iron if they’re breaking off. Once heated a bit they bend very easy. Wink

I’m getting peaks on my solder from the iron pulling it up as I take the tip away, what am I doing wrong? Station set at around 300C (350C when soldering a copper star on a copper heat sink)

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