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

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ohaya
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Rufusbduck wrote:
A piece of awg12 solid(house wire) fits nicely between the large ground tabs and makes for a better thermal path for the upper chips. !{width:100%}http://i1166.photobucket.com/albums/q619/Rufusbduck/DFB4CE5F-50ED-4485-A...!

That is a cool idea Rufusbduck!

ohaya
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I’m finding that something was said earlier on (maybe in the OP) is definitely the case… practice really does help.

I got the first one, but it was a mess. Last night, I thought I wouldn’t be trying this again, but I did earlier tonight, with the AA, which also was a mess.

Then, I just did another one, this time with no adhesive, neither Fujik nor AA, just followed the info in the OP.

I did still bend the 3 pins, but then held the chip with tweezers on top of the original 7135, and I actually used my regular pointy soldering iron tip, and I was able to get the tabs bridged (the chunky chisel tip I tried earlier made it to hard to get to the tab on the original chip).

I noticed that the top chip was slightly off to one side, so again, using the tweezers to hold the top chip, I heated the tabs, and slid the top chip over a bit, then let the solder cool, and then I checked the 3 pins and they were lined up pretty well (and touching the pins on the bottom chip. It was then easy to solder the 2 outer pins, and voila!!

I will say that this last chip, the 7135 was pretty much out in the open on the PCB, which made things a little easier, both for the tab and the pins.

I have 3 7135s on top of the original 8 now, but am measuring 3.65 amps (chips are 380 mA 7135s), so I think that the battery is now my limiting factor. I ordered a couple of PDs last night from FT, so it’ll be interesting to see the tailcap current looks when I try them. I’m hoping for ~4.1 – ~4.2 amps :)!!

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Did you measure the current before adding the chips? The reason I ask is undersized leads will lower measured current dramatically. So will any weak contact points elsewhere in the set up. I now use awg 12 stranded taken from an old heavy power cord.

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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While testing 12×7135 (350mA) for 4.2A, wirings and switch resistances can really affect how much current you can get. My latest reading is 3.95A.

For the above, I have bypassed the switch. Need to improve my test setup!
Beer

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Rufusbduck wrote:
Did you measure the current before adding the chips? The reason I ask is undersized leads will lower measured current dramatically. So will any weak contact points elsewhere in the set up. I now use awg 12 stranded taken from an old heavy power cord.

On my setup above, you’re right! Currently my wirings really need to be improved. But having a good setup and readings will only show you the best scenario! Like having a good power source that do not sag and big wirings. Different when using a battery and on the flashlight. Beer

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tivo532 wrote:
Rufusbduck wrote:
Did you measure the current before adding the chips? The reason I ask is undersized leads will lower measured current dramatically. So will any weak contact points elsewhere in the set up. I now use awg 12 stranded taken from an old heavy power cord.

On my setup above, you’re right! Currently my wirings really need to be improved. But having a good setup and readings will only show you the best scenario! Like having a good power source that do not sag and big wirings. Different when using a battery and on the flashlight. Beer


It won’t help in the flashlight but will tell you when you have modded a board correctly so you’re not guessing. The last boards I modded I couldn’t get the current I was supposed to until I took the switch out of the circuit and then it was spot on 10 × 380mA. I have a new 10A switch to install but at least I knew there wasn’t a problem with my soldering.

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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I agree Rufus. Beer

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I measured 4.5A Smile last night in a XinTD C8 v4 with 12 380's (4.56A) on 3 different cells: SONY 30A, Samsung INR 20R, and Samsung INR 15M. The 15M was pulled from a power pack. The XinTD has a XM-L2 U2 1A de-domed on a Noctigon, screwed down with AS5, lapped surfaces, 22 gauge wires cut to min size, copper braided springs, all contact surfaces treated, copper heat sink added to inside of pill. I'm now convinced I can probably achieve higher than 4.5A on a single cell XM-L2 Nanjg based driver, so plan is to attempt that. I'm amazed it held the 4.5A for quite some time, nothing formally measured, and lumens measurements showed not much loss in 30 secs.

Rufus - I've never seen a switch be a limiting factor on amps, always seems to be the spring, even on that cheap, small switch in a XinTD X3. It's easy for me to compare in a lightbox - put the light in assembled, test it. Then right in the lightbox, remove the tailcap, heavy wire to jump the cell to the housing, and compare. When I see a loss, I copper braid the spring, solder the spring up if it's lacking, and it recovers all or 90%+ of the loss every time. Not sure if this is a 100% legit test though, because even the heavy wire with a simple touch contact is not ideal, so there may be more lumens/amps to gain I can't measure so easily.

Pana PD's are good with their capacity, but nowhere near the ability of a SONY 30A, Samsung 20Q, or Samsung 20R in achieving top high amps. I'd recommend at least a pair of 20Q's or SONY's to try if you are doing a FT order.

Rufus - +1 on the copper wire in the ground tabs -- gotta try that one!

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Rufusbduck wrote:
A piece of awg12 solid(house wire) fits nicely between the large ground tabs and makes for a better thermal path for the upper chips.

That's brilliant!  Thanks for that tip!

-Garry

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ohaya
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ohaya wrote:
Rufusbduck wrote:
A piece of awg12 solid(house wire) fits nicely between the large ground tabs and makes for a better thermal path for the upper chips. !{width:100%}http://i1166.photobucket.com/albums/q619/Rufusbduck/DFB4CE5F-50ED-4485-A...!

That is a cool idea Rufusbduck!

BTW Rufus, do you glue the 7135s down when you do that? Otherwise, how do you place the chips with the wire, and keep stuff in place while you’re soldering?

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DBCstm wrote:
First off, I remove the spring to get it out of the way. This makes it much easier to access the pins on the inside. I also like to bend the pins in a 90 degree angle which lets them reach down and touch the top of the legs on the chip you’re stacking on. By applying a small blob of solder paste to each leg of the existing chip first, you can set the new chip on top and have the solder already in place.

Glue the chip on top with thermal adhesive and it won’t be moving around on you. Or find a way to otherwise hold it down while soldering. (I’ve mounted my hemostats in a counter-top mini vise and angle them so they are slightly lower than the chip when the driver is held in it’s mount. Then slide the driver under the stats and that little pressure is enough to hold the chip in place while performing the delicate solder operation)

The touch and drag method easily does the larger ground pin on the neg ring side, then all it takes is a touch of the iron to the tiny legs and each leg is soldered, neatly and with little danger of overflow compromising the integrity of the board.

Then a conical spring can be inverse mounted and you’re up and running!

My Hakko 888 station came with a brass scrub pad in a hole under the iron holder. Plunging the tip into this pad keeps solder wiped off and the tip ready for the next operation. So I’d expect a similar pad found almost anywhere (most likely an electronics store but also a grocery store) would clean a hot iron of excess build-up.

I’ve learned all this in the last couple of months since acquiring the Hakko 888 and my soldering has improved tremendously!

Thanks for the tips and directions guys, playing around with it gets you in your comfort zone and makes it…well…second nature! Smile

I missed the “remove the spring” and add the “inverse” spring part, so I’ve only been able to get to the 7135s on the top side (the side with the emitter leads), because I have one of the 20mm partition boards with the hole soldered onto the original spring.

I still say that both Fujik and AA seem to melt and the 7135 moves around when trying to solder the 7135 tabs though?

ohaya
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bibihang wrote:
Helios- wrote:
Sal ammoniac (ammonium chloride). Your tip will be shinny as new.
Oh really? I have browsed through few websites and couldnt find a good method, thanks for the suggestion. But I still don’t know where can I buy one.

You can get them on Amazon or Ebay.

EDIT:

http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_trksid=p2047675.m570.l1313.TR1.TRC0.A0.X...

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Well, since I always use bent pins, simple, easy pressure from a tweezers is enough to keep the 7135 in place - much easier with bent pins I guess. Absolutely the Hakko 888 improved my soldering "skills" as well. In fact when I accidentally cut the cord to the iron a few weeks ago, I tried with my old crap Weller, but within 5 minutes, ordered another Hakko 888! I use just the stock, small wedge tip to do the 7135's with.

I may just try it next time without bending the pins, as relic38 says, the bending may cause internal damage, but certainly the soldering would be more difficult. Have to pre-tin the legs though.

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Sorry – deleting duplicate post.

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I got some 14AWG wire from HD, and I tried a variant of Rufusbduck’s idea. Instead of laying the wire across the 7135 tab, I soldered the end of a piece of wire to the bottom 7135, then used a flush cutter to cut the wire to the height of the 7135 (careful! That wire will FLY when it’s cut):

I lined the 3 pins up (pins on 7135 were bent, fluxed, and tinned):

Soldered the tab from top 7135 to the end of the 14AWG wire:

Then soldered the 2 outer pins:

It’s a little more work, but at least for me, it took the “guesswork” out of stacking the 7135. I don’t know if this could be used to stack more than 1 on top though…

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Currently with 14×7135. Still need to improve the wires from driver to emitter.

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Hhmm - If you are doing the bent legs, I wouldn't pre-tin the legs because it interferes with seating the top one. Also for me, putting the driver in a bench top vise works so much better than those 3rd hand things, also much quicker for me, real solid position, no chance of anything moving. Also I always do the piggyback's with the wires off - de-solder the stock ones, do piggybacks - do close inspection on solder job w/20x mag, do continuity testing on all pins, then solder on heavier wires (usually 22 gauge, 24 gauge on EDC sized lower amp lights), rig it up on a simple LED test fixture (XML), connect up 1 cell and verify the amps is what I expect and the modes function (custom programmed of course!).

Just say'n.... Smile

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Tom E wrote:

Hhmm – If you are doing the bent legs, I wouldn’t pre-tin the legs because it interferes with seating the top one. Also for me, putting the driver in a bench top vise works so much better than those 3rd hand things, also much quicker for me, real solid position, no chance of anything moving. Also I always do the piggyback’s with the wires off – de-solder the stock ones, do piggybacks – do close inspection on solder job w/20x mag, do continuity testing on all pins, then solder on heavier wires (usually 22 gauge, 24 gauge on EDC sized lower amp lights), rig it up on a simple LED test fixture (XML), connect up 1 cell and verify the amps is what I expect and the modes function (custom programmed of course!).

Just say’n…. Smile

Using a vise instead of a helping hand is a good tip! I’ll have to try that.

I don’t know if it’s the same with all of the 3.04A drivers, but with the ones from IS, it’s hard to tell where the emitter leads are soldered to, so I’ve been trying to avoid removing the leads. They kind of look like they’re solder to a pad that’s connected to one of the IC pins.

On a previous board, I had to solder on new leads (26AWG), because one of them got squashed when I put the driver into the head of a light (S5) I was modding. I just kind of “guessed” which soldered area the leads were soldered to, but it seemed to work.

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ohaya wrote:
Tom E wrote:

Hhmm – If you are doing the bent legs, I wouldn’t pre-tin the legs because it interferes with seating the top one. Also for me, putting the driver in a bench top vise works so much better than those 3rd hand things, also much quicker for me, real solid position, no chance of anything moving. Also I always do the piggyback’s with the wires off – de-solder the stock ones, do piggybacks – do close inspection on solder job w/20x mag, do continuity testing on all pins, then solder on heavier wires (usually 22 gauge, 24 gauge on EDC sized lower amp lights), rig it up on a simple LED test fixture (XML), connect up 1 cell and verify the amps is what I expect and the modes function (custom programmed of course!).

Just say’n…. Smile

Using a vise instead of a helping hand is a good tip! I’ll have to try that.

I don’t know if it’s the same with all of the 3.04A drivers, but with the ones from IS, it’s hard to tell where the emitter leads are soldered to, so I’ve been trying to avoid removing the leads. They kind of look like they’re solder to a pad that’s connected to one of the IC pins.

On a previous board, I had to solder on new leads (26AWG), because one of them got squashed when I put the driver into the head of a light (S5) I was modding. I just kind of “guessed” which soldered area the leads were soldered to, but it seemed to work.


Since the chips are all in parallel you can solder led- to any of the 7135 output pins. Led + has its own pad next to the mcu input polarity diode but could be soldered to the battery + pad if for some reason you want a really thick wire and can solder to the other side of the board.

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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Tom E wrote:

Hhmm – If you are doing the bent legs, I wouldn’t pre-tin the legs because it interferes with seating the top one. Also for me, putting the driver in a bench top vise works so much better than those 3rd hand things, also much quicker for me, real solid position, no chance of anything moving. Also I always do the piggyback’s with the wires off – de-solder the stock ones, do piggybacks – do close inspection on solder job w/20x mag, do continuity testing on all pins, then solder on heavier wires (usually 22 gauge, 24 gauge on EDC sized lower amp lights), rig it up on a simple LED test fixture (XML), connect up 1 cell and verify the amps is what I expect and the modes function (custom programmed of course!).

Just say’n…. Smile

BTW Tom, that driver in the pics I had is another IS 3.04A board. I had it hooked up to a bench supply, and the supply was reading 3.4 amps, and the emitter current using a clamp meter was actually higher that that, like 3.5 amps. I guess the difference between the bench supply readin and the clamp meter could be due to non-calibration.

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Hi,

I added a 3rd 7135, but after that, it looks liike max current has gone down, to about 1.52 amps? I’ve checked the solder joints and all look ok. Is this a symptom of one or more of the 7135s going bad?

I have another same board, unmodified, and used the same setup, and shows 3 amps on high with the same XM-L2 emitter.

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ohaya wrote:
Hi,

I added a 3rd 7135, but after that, it looks liike max current has gone down, to about 1.52 amps? I’ve checked the solder joints and all look ok. Is this a symptom of one or more of the 7135s going bad?

I have another same board, unmodified, and used the same setup, and shows 3 amps on high with the same XM-L2 emitter.


Maybe your battery can’t supply the needed current and it shift to a lower mode?
How about using a bench power supply? I got 5.04A just a while ago on my driver test. Beer
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Using my DIY bench power supply and DIY driver with 15×7135 I’m now getting 5.04A!
Placed the driver on a P60 pill and modified VBat- connection. I still need to improve my driver to emitter wirings similar to HKJ. Beer

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tivo532 wrote:
ohaya wrote:
Hi,

I added a 3rd 7135, but after that, it looks liike max current has gone down, to about 1.52 amps? I’ve checked the solder joints and all look ok. Is this a symptom of one or more of the 7135s going bad?

I have another same board, unmodified, and used the same setup, and shows 3 amps on high with the same XM-L2 emitter.


Maybe your battery can’t supply the needed current and it shift to a lower mode?
How about using a bench power supply? I got 5.04A just a while ago on my driver test. Beer

I am using a bench supply, rated at 5 amp/30V.

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ohaya wrote:
Hi,

I added a 3rd 7135, but after that, it looks liike max current has gone down, to about 1.52 amps? I’ve checked the solder joints and all look ok. Is this a symptom of one or more of the 7135s going bad?

I have another same board, unmodified, and used the same setup, and shows 3 amps on high with the same XM-L2 emitter.

I had the same problem with my Nanjg drivers on my Convoy C8. The increase in tail cap current seem to be diminishing every time I add a new 7135. I wanted to ask the same question here in this thread but decided that I should seek the solution myself.

Yesterday, I made a new set of lead wires for my DMM, copying what many here in BLF did in getting the current readings of their flashlights. I used about a foot long (per color) of AWG 16 Automotive Wires, 2 Banana Plugs and 2 Alligator Clamps. When I used it to get the current readings, I was astonished with the results:

1) The LED current reading of my K40 (with 4 R100s added in parallel) became 5060 mA when the highest I could get using the stock lead wires of my DMM was only 3040 mA;
2) The LED current reading of my Small Sun T08 (direct-wired) became 5377 mA (yes, higher than my K40 which explains why it has a brighter beam) from the 2912 mA reading using stock lead wires;
3) The tail cap current reading of my Convoy C8 (with 12× 7135s) became 4169 mA from the 3012 mA reading using stock lead wires.

I guess changing the lead wires is worth a try. Smile

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Nightbird95 wrote:
ohaya wrote:
Hi,

I added a 3rd 7135, but after that, it looks liike max current has gone down, to about 1.52 amps? I’ve checked the solder joints and all look ok. Is this a symptom of one or more of the 7135s going bad?

I have another same board, unmodified, and used the same setup, and shows 3 amps on high with the same XM-L2 emitter.

I had the same problem with my Nanjg drivers on my Convoy C8. The increase in tail cap current seem to be diminishing every time I add a new 7135. I wanted to ask the same question here in this thread but decided that I should seek the solution myself.

Yesterday, I made a new set of lead wires for my DMM, copying what many here in BLF did in getting the current readings of their flashlights. I used about a foot long (per color) of AWG 16 Automotive Wires, 2 Banana Plugs and 2 Alligator Clamps. When I used it to get the current readings, I was astonished with the results:

1) The LED current reading of my K40 (with 4 R100s added in parallel) became 5060 mA when the highest I could get using the stock lead wires of my DMM was only 3040 mA;
2) The LED current reading of my Small Sun T08 (direct-wired) became 5377 mA (yes, higher than my K40 which explains why it has a brighter beam) from the 2912 mA reading using stock lead wires;
3) The tail cap current reading of my Convoy C8 (with 12× 7135s) became 4169 mA from the 3012 mA reading using stock lead wires.

I guess changing the lead wires is worth a try. Smile


+1 × 10
I have a Skyray Kung 4 xml’s that I modded using 4-2800ma amc7135 boards for a total of 32 amc7135 ic’s. The tail cap reading with stock leads from a fluke 87V was about 6 amps. Changed the fluke leads to some short 16AWG silicone wire with banana plugs soldered in. I get a reading of 9+ amps now with partially charged batteries. Hoping for at least 10amps fully charged. So yes the leads size and length can make a huge difference in correct tail cap readings even if they are quality leads.
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Are you all talking about the leads from my bench supply to the driver? For the positive, I’m using some short (about 12”) lead that I made using 20AWG stranded wire, connecting the power supply to the positive of the driver. I am using a switch on the negative lead, so for the negative, I have power supply => a tailcap switch => the negative ring of the driver.

I’ll try to cut down/improve the path on negative lead, and see if that makes a difference, but the reason I have the switch on there is that I had trouble getting the driver to switch to high mode.

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Great work everyone with the stacking! I like the idea with the solid copper wire, will have to try it.
I will look into moving the pics from Photobucket, I think I am hitting my monthly limit.
Another thing I have noticed. 33/67 solder forms bridges much better than 40/60 solder. In the several times that I have tried both types, the former always seems to make things easier. I did everything in the OP with 40/60, but use only 33/67 now.

Welcome the night.

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ohaya wrote:

I’ll try to cut down/improve the path on negative lead, and see if that makes a difference, but the reason I have the switch on there is that I had trouble getting the driver to switch to high mode.

What I do to eliminate the switch resistance is after going to high mode, I bypass the switch using short AWG12 jumper.
Big difference in current/LED brightness!

One thing I found also is the multi-meter/probe resistance also affects the reading. By-passing the meter and using extra-polation I gained additional 200mA! I’m getting 5.2A on 15×7135.

Beer

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ohaya wrote:
Are you all talking about the leads from my bench supply to the driver? For the positive, I’m using some short (about 12”) lead that I made using 20AWG stranded wire, connecting the power supply to the positive of the driver. I am using a switch on the negative lead, so for the negative, I have power supply => a tailcap switch => the negative ring of the driver.

I’ll try to cut down/improve the path on negative lead, and see if that makes a difference, but the reason I have the switch on there is that I had trouble getting the driver to switch to high mode.

I’m referring to the test lead wires of the DMM. I’m posting the picture of what I did:

Attached to my DMM are the test leads I made yesterday. They’re made of 1 foot long (per color) AWG 16 Automotive Wires, Alligator Clips and Banana Plugs (soldered directly to the AWG 16 wires). The pair at the left of my DMM are the stock test leads that came with it.

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