17mm 12x7135 drivers with custom firmware (Group Buy Interest thread)

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djozz
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17mm, STAR firmware, 12chips, I'm in for 10 Smile

_the_
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djozz wrote:

17mm, STAR firmware, 12chips, I'm in for 10 Smile

We were planning to use TheStar (by _the_), not STAR (by JonnyC).

Probably it would be possible to use STAR too if that is a more desired option. In that case we need to ask JonnyC to get his permission.

=the=

 

ImA4Wheelr
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If you really want to sell a boat load of these, have them add a 1uF capacitor and load off-time memory FW.  That will allow folks that can't flash and or solder SMD's to truly upgrade their lights with both more power and much improved UI.

ryansoh3
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ImA4Wheelr wrote:

I you really want to sell a boat load of these, have them add a 1uF capacitor and load off-time memory FW.  That will allow folks that can’t flash and or solder SMD’s to truly upgrade their lights with both more power and much improved UI.

+1

BLF ≠ B-grade Flashlight Forum

 

djozz
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Funny, I actually meant TheStar, did not realise that JohnnyC's firmware had that similar name (but that's a nice UI too btw). I wouldn't mind the extra cap/off-time memory either Smile

comfychair
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Why not just have them build 1000 drivers using the BLF-17DD design files? Once you get up to that many 7135s the runtime before it falls out of regulation is so short there's not much benefit there to offset the higher parts count needed and the resulting bulky double-sided driver.

The current (probably final) revision of the 17DD works with only 6 components, 7 if you add an off-time capacitor. Gate & pulldown resistors have been eliminated since we changed the MCU's power supply circuit (it uses the same parts, just with the capacitor moved from after the D1 diode to before the diode).

wight
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comfychair wrote:

Why not just have them build 1000 drivers using the BLF-17DD design files? Once you get up to that many 7135s the runtime before it falls out of regulation is so short there’s not much benefit there to offset the higher parts count needed and the resulting bulky double-sided driver.

The current (probably final) revision of the 17DD works with only 6 components, 7 if you add an off-time capacitor. Gate & pulldown resistors have been eliminated since we changed the MCU’s power supply circuit (it uses the same parts, just with the capacitor moved from after the D1 diode to before the diode).

Because it’s not regulated. Contrary to popular believe, not being regulated is actually a disadvantage. Once you install a BLF17DD you can’t just hand someone a light and assume they won’t acquire an IMR cell or 4.35v cell/charger down the road. You can blame whatever happens after that on them (whether it’s minor heat issues or poofing the LED), but it’s really on you (me/18sixfifty/whoever). If I build a light with 7135’s I can be pretty confident about what’s going to happen with all the batteries we know about right now. (Grrr)

Still fine, still on a break. One day I’ll catch up with you folks! previous wight catchup Wink
list of my drivers & variants (A17DD, FET+1 stuff, WIP stuff, etc)

comfychair
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But even when connected to a triple in parallel and the hottest single cell currently in existence, you won't get much more than 8.5-9A. The many-stacked-7135 drivers aren't really 'regulated' in the true sense, they just have a maximum limit. Their output starts falling (no longer 'regulated') after just a handful of minutes.

ryansoh3
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That’d drive up the costs because the company has a stockpile of NANJG drivers and all they need to do is flash the MCU and piggyback 4 more AMC7135 chips.

On the flip side, I don’t think it’s possible to blow an LED with direct drive to a 1x li-ion cell, whether it be IMR or charged to 4.35V. Plus, we won’t be randomly handing out flashlights with these drivers anyways.

BLF ≠ B-grade Flashlight Forum

 

comfychair
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True, as long as the LED is on copper (Nichias not included there), and who would build something with either driver and the LED on aluminum?

wight
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ryansoh3 wrote:
That’d drive up the costs because the company has a stockpile of NANJG drivers and all they need to do is flash the MCU and piggyback 4 more AMC7135 chips.

On the flip side, I don’t think it’s possible to blow an LED with direct drive to a 1x li-ion cell, whether it be IMR or charged to 4.35V. Plus, we won’t be randomly handing out flashlights with these drivers anyways.

It may not be possible to blow the LED, but it’s certainly possible to achieve undesired results. Many people using FET drivers seem to use lower drain cells in order to “tame” the FET driver. That only works while you still have the thing in hand, once it’s in someone else’s hands (depending on the person of course) there is a good chance they’ll change cells eventually. Especially if they are getting advice from some random vaping-shop guy (do you guys not see the writing on the wall here? People we sell flashlights to now may eventually walk into one of the currently-ever-increasing numbers of vaping shops for replacement 18650s), he has no idea that the flashlight is entirely unregulated.

And I thought the point was exactly that we’d be handing these things out. I know some of you guys have large flashlight collections, but we’re talking about ordering 20+ of these (identical, mostly single-purpose) things per person… that’s not for a personal FL collection, to me that seems clearly angled at resale or gifting.

comfychair, you can call it what you want… the current limit is unachievable with the DD drivers we have now. I don’t have a better term for it. Any further improvements in 4.35v cells will result in 20-60min of actual regulation I think.

Still fine, still on a break. One day I’ll catch up with you folks! previous wight catchup Wink
list of my drivers & variants (A17DD, FET+1 stuff, WIP stuff, etc)

18sixfifty
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I don’t think the price would be very good going with a fully custom driver, at least not from these guys.

So for now it’s going to be the two sided NANJG style driver with “The Star” modes. Maybe if this actually works out I’ll try and find someone to do the BLF driver in bulk for us.

I’m a junky, I mod lights so I can sell lights so I can buy more light to mod so I can sell lights to buy more lights to mod.

WarHawk-AVG
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What is the going rate for 10?

18sixfifty
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WarHawk-AVG wrote:
What is the going rate for 10?

It’s $30 plus shipping. Shipping will be exact so for you it’s a couple extra bucks.

I’m a junky, I mod lights so I can sell lights so I can buy more light to mod so I can sell lights to buy more lights to mod.

WarHawk-AVG
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at $3~ a pop, custom firmware, extra chips already on the board

Put me in for 10

What will the default be (standard Nanjg 105 build w/ extra chips on top)

L>H (H>L w/ star), memory on (off w/ star), moonlight off (on w/ star)?

18sixfifty
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WarHawk-AVG wrote:
at $3~ a pop, custom firmware, extra chips already on the board

Put me in for 10

What will the default be (standard Nanjg 105 build w/ extra chips on top)

L>H (H>L w/ star), memory on (off w/ star), moonlight off (on w/ star)?

This is from THE It’s his firmware.

Quote:
Here’s how it’s done:
- LowLow mode is hidden (can be easily found when needed, but it’s not bothering in the main mode cycle)
- Low & Medium are the first two modes
- High is not accessible as a standard mode, just as Turbo rampdown level (-> not in the main mode cycle, but still usable)
- Turbo is the third normal mode

For LowLow, cycle through the modes twice, and you’ll find the LowLow after Turbo, like this: L -> M -> T -> L -> M -> T -> LL
For High, set the light on Turbo and simply wait 90s (or whatever the turbo timeout is programmed to be)
For returning to Turbo after timeout, simply half-click and you are there.

I’m a junky, I mod lights so I can sell lights so I can buy more light to mod so I can sell lights to buy more lights to mod.

_the_
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That's the default config.

All of the configurations listed:

- No stars connected (default) => L->H, with memory

- Connect Star #4 (Disable mode memory) => L->H, no memory

- Connect Star #3 (Revert mode order) => H->L, with memory

- Connect Stars #3 & #4 => H->L, no memory

- Connect Star #2 (Tacticool mode) => Strobe -> Turbo -> Low, no memory (0.5s on to forget current mode - mode change requires quick half clicks)

- Connect Stars #2 & #4 (Single mode) => Turbo

 

..and then there are some hidden (mostly blinky) modes, which work in all above configurations. Currently they are (subject to change):
1. LowLow
2. Disorienting strobe (randomly alternating 13-19.5Hz 60-40% duty cycle)
3. Motion stopping strobe (10Hz, 2% duty cycle)
4. Beacon with background (1Hz - 50ms Turbo / 950ms Med mode)
5. Slower beacon with background (0.4Hz - 50ms Turbo / 2450ms Low mode)
6. Beacon (1Hz - 50ms Turbo / 950ms Off)
7. Alpine distress beacon (50ms Turbo / 9950ms Off, repeat 6 times, 60s Off, repeat 6 times, 60s Off, ...)
8. SOS
9. Turbo that stays on (no timer)


Current mode spacing is:

0.1% (0.003A) -> 2% (0.1A) -> 25% (1A) -> 100% (4.2A), with ramp down to 50% (2.1A)


=the=

 

WarHawk-AVG
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nice

CRX
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These sound really good for people who can’t or haven’t got into the driver programming game yet, or those like me that have a problem soldering those pesky 7135 chips.

Only problem i can see is, once you install one of these drivers you’ll probably want to do all your compatible lights with them!

18sixfifty
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the wrote:

That’s the default config.

All of the configurations listed:

- No stars connected (default) => L->H, with memory

- Connect Star #4 (Disable mode memory) => L->H, no memory

- Connect Star #3 (Revert mode order) => H->L, with memory

- Connect Stars #3 & #4 => H->L, no memory

- Connect Star #2 (Tacticool mode) => Strobe > Turbo -> Low, no memory (0.5s on to forget current mode – mode change requires quick half clicks)

Connect Stars #2 & #4 (Single mode) => Turbo

 

..and then there are some hidden (mostly blinky) modes, which work in all above configurations. Currently they are (subject to change):
1. LowLow
2. Disorienting strobe (randomly alternating 13-19.5Hz 60-40% duty cycle)
3. Motion stopping strobe (10Hz, 2% duty cycle)
4. Beacon with background (1Hz – 50ms Turbo / 950ms Med mode)
5. Slower beacon with background (0.4Hz – 50ms Turbo / 2450ms Low mode)
6. Beacon (1Hz – 50ms Turbo / 950ms Off)
7. Alpine distress beacon (50ms Turbo / 9950ms Off, repeat 6 times, 60s Off, repeat 6 times, 60s Off, …)
8. SOS
9. Turbo that stays on (no timer)


Current mode spacing is:

0.1% (0.003A) -> 1% (0.1A) -> 25% (1A) -> 100% (4.2A), with ramp down to 50% (2.1A)


Very Cool, I changed the first post so they can look at your post to know how it works. That covers a lot of ground for sure.

I’m a junky, I mod lights so I can sell lights so I can buy more light to mod so I can sell lights to buy more lights to mod.

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Do people really know what SOS is (the flashing is what catches their attention, not the actual letters)…would be cooler if it just flashed Morse Code “BLFSmile

But…that of course if for a “later build” Silly

_the_
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Any comments on the mode spacing or hidden modes? Let's make it near perfect before producing hundreds of these.. Smile

Especially the order of hidden modes is important. LowLow must be the most used hidden mode, so that's #1. I feel strobe might be the second most important, maybe not most used though. How about other modes? Are they in a good enough order?

 

Anyone (with the ability to flash drivers) willing to join and help in beta testing of the firmware?

=the=

 

18sixfifty
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the wrote:

Any comments on the mode spacing or hidden modes? Let’s make it near perfect before producing hundreds of these.. Smile

Especially the order of hidden modes is important. LowLow must be the most used hidden mode, so that’s #1. I feel strobe might be the second most important, maybe not most used though. How about other modes? Are they in a good enough order?

 

Anyone (with the ability to flash drivers) willing to join and help in beta testing of the firmware?

I would agree that LowLow should be first on the hidden. I have never used strobe. I think 90 seconds on the turbo stepdown should be fine as well.

I forgot today was already Saturday (pitfall of being retired) so I won’t hear from the supplier until Monday. I did e-mail and ask them the basic questions. Can they flash, will other people also be able to flash theirs as well, etc.

I’m a junky, I mod lights so I can sell lights so I can buy more light to mod so I can sell lights to buy more lights to mod.

CRX
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the wrote:

Any comments on the mode spacing or hidden modes?

This looks great but do we really need all the blinky modes? I understand they’re hidden but it’s still too much.
I would be happy with just these modes in hidden:

1. LowLow
9. Turbo that stays on (no timer)
2. Disorienting strobe (randomly alternating 13-19.5Hz 60-40% duty cycle)
4. Beacon with background (1Hz – 50ms Turbo / 950ms Med mode)
8. SOS

_the_
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CRX wrote:
This looks great but do we really need all the blinky modes? I understand they're hidden but it's still too much.

My thinking is that extra hidden modes do not bother, as you never have to cycle them through. The firmware is using "short cycle memory" for hidden modes: Route from Strobe to another strobe is: Strobe -> L -> M -> T -> L -> M -> T -> LL -> Strobe -> Strobe2

They just need to be in a correct order, most often used ones first.


CRX wrote:
I would be happy with just these modes in hidden:
1. LowLow
9. Turbo that stays on (no timer)
2. Disorienting strobe (randomly alternating 13-19.5Hz 60-40% duty cycle)
4. Beacon with background (1Hz - 50ms Turbo / 950ms Med mode)
8. SOS

Turbo that stays on is the last hidden mode on purpose. It's potentially dangerous, so it must be the hardest one to get activated.

=the=

 

CRX
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I see what you mean. I’d definitely be in for a few of these anyway.
I haven’t read up on the custom firmwares/ drivers yet and that OSH Park thread is getting more daunting everyday Smile

bibihang
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Sounds complicated. Shocked

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@18sixfifty, while the has stepped in with his own firmware offering and personal presumptions without considering the needs of the group, most of us have already chimed in loud and clear for several years about how useless and annoying ANY blinky modes are (including the hidden ones). Why would anyone want to bring them back when we all hate them so much? Nothing is more irritating than an inadvertent cycle into a hidden blinky mode. Can you please offer this in the standard 4 mode firmware that we have all grown to love and appreciate? (candle, low, med, high) Add a 5th mode for more even mode spacing if you really must. Its far more intuitive but certainly unnecessary. You’re only adding .5A to the base driver. Also, a timer on turbo is really pretty lame, especially at only 3.5A. If someone cant feel that the light is burning their hand, they probably have much greater physical or mental issues to deal with. Many of us have several hosts that can withstand +5A continuous for 10 minutes or more without overheating, so this would be just another huge annoyance (whether hidden of not).

Just say no to the silly blinky modes and the useless hidden foo-foo. Wink If you must, please offer the driver in 2 firmware versions so the buyer can chose which one they want. I have a feeling you will sell far more of the standard version.

Also, my customers have spoken. No one buys my custom lights with blinky modes or hidden mode groups when I offer them without that nonsense. They dont like it, they dont want it and they wont buy it…. so I cant support it either.

Thank you.

_the_
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@FP: I hear you. But just to make facts straight:

1. Rest assured that TheStar firmware is not based on my personal presumptions. It was designed to support as many needs (in a GB light) as possible, and has been "beta tested" by many people.

2. We are not adding 0.5A, but raising the current 50%: 2.8A -> 4.2A.

 

If most of the people here happen to hate TheStar, we have still couple of options:

1. Select another FW and get permission to use it in mass production

2. Further develop TheStar to suit your needs

3. Mark this thread as SPAM (and forget it)

=the=

 

18sixfifty
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Actually after THE mentioned his firmware I PM’d him and we discussed this. I asked him if I could use his firmware. I really can’t see any problem with having hidden blinkies (some people do like them, I get asked to keep blinkies in a few of my builds).

I have a feeling this isn’t going anywhere anyway. Like usual there are simply too many people wanting different things. Also there just are not that many people interested. Lot’s of people viewing but not that many people showing interest.

I’ll keep it open for a while longer but I’m pretty sure they won’t go for less than 500 drivers and it doesn’t look like we will hit that. Too bad because I thought it was a pretty good idea.

I’m a junky, I mod lights so I can sell lights so I can buy more light to mod so I can sell lights to buy more lights to mod.

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