Can I use 8.4V with this Lambda driver?? <----YES I CAN!!!!

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vestureofblood
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Can I use 8.4V with this Lambda driver?? <----YES I CAN!!!!

Hi all,


A customer of mine has a few Lambda lights, but since he is out of the game now ( I heard he farms or has a ranch maybe?) its up to me to swap the XML in it for an MTG2.    I am guessing its a linear regulator.   It puts about 4.3A to an XML off 3 D cell nimh.

My question is can I put 2 li-ions behind it with a 6V MT-G2?   





The micro says its Texas Instruments NE556.

This I think
http://www.ti.com/lit/ds/symlink/sa556.pdf

The square one (FET maybe) says LRB103V

The driver has NO components on the back.

Thanks all

In Him (Jesus Christ) was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
http://asflashlights.com/ Everyday Carry Flashlights, plus Upgrades for Maglite.

Edited by: vestureofblood on 11/10/2014 - 20:28
wight
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Maybe. I think it’s fine; read on and see what you think.

Are we sure it’s not a DD driver? To me it looks like a 555 PWM generator and an FET. You turn the knob and it changes the PWM duty cycle to the FET. https://www.google.com/webhp?ie=UTF-8#q=555+potentiometer+duty+cycle I assume that the thing only has one mode: turn the knob to adjust brightness “mode”. Silly

I didn’t know that Lambda was out of the game. (I think he was farming the entire time btw!) Would you be kind enough to post a teardown of the thing so that others can emulate his work?

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)

vestureofblood
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wight wrote:
Maybe. I think it's fine; read on and see what you think. Are we sure it's not a DD driver? To me it looks like a 555 PWM generator and an FET. You turn the knob and it changes the PWM duty cycle to the FET. https://www.google.com/webhp?ie=UTF-8#q=555+potentiometer+duty+cycle I assume that the thing only has one mode: turn the knob to adjust brightness "mode". Silly I didn't know that Lambda was out of the game. (I think he was farming the entire time btw!) Would you be kind enough to post a teardown of the thing so that others can emulate his work?


Yes I think your correct.  Direct drive and NOT a regulator.   

You are also correct about the modes.    It uses a pot.   The pot has an up/down clickie motion for the on off, and the standard dial use for brightness.

I dont want to tear it down any more than I have to, but I will put pictures of what I can get.

 

It appears that the factory mag housing was used for the pot, but I dont think its grounded anywhere.   It looks like a pair of screws hold it in place and that the battery NEG connection is made via a set screw through the neck of the light into the copper heat sink.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Once I have the emitter swap done I will take a few pictures with the head on etc.


In Him (Jesus Christ) was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
http://asflashlights.com/ Everyday Carry Flashlights, plus Upgrades for Maglite.

vestureofblood
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Well this does work.


I started by removing the XML which is direct bonded to the heat sink.   The PCB is only for the = and - wire contacts.



 

After I machined off the nub for the XML an MT-G2 on a copper star was reflowed into place.

 

 

 

Once the driver was back in place I powered it up, and off we went.

 

 

Here is a picture of what the whole light looks like.   The head is a 2 part beast.  The silver is the factory mag head with some work done to it.   The bigger part is the 109 LED harbor freight.   An Oring covers the place where the parts were mated.








The driver is direct drive.  I tested the current and its pushing about 8.3A off 2 li-ion.      I think some resistance may need to be added.    I was thinking the point of "no return
" on these was about 6 amp ish right??   So even if the emitter can handle it its a bit of a waste.  


All in all I would say that its a shame Lambda is not still in the game.   This is a well designed light IMO especially the driver.   I could use a few of the boards.    Not only this one but just before he left Lambda had a boost driver that could power an emitter to 3 amp off only 2.4V.   I could really use a pile of those.....


In Him (Jesus Christ) was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
http://asflashlights.com/ Everyday Carry Flashlights, plus Upgrades for Maglite.

MRsDNF
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What an amazing light. At 8.3 amps it should be pumping out lots of light with an equal amount of heat. Thanks for showing us.

 

djozz quotes, "it came with chinese lettering that is chinese to me".

                      "My man mousehole needs one too"

old4570 said "I'm not an expert , so don't suffer from any such technical restrictions".

Old-Lumens. Highly admired and cherished member of Budget Light Forum. 11.5.2011 - 20.12.16. RIP.

 

wight
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vestureofblood wrote:
vestureofblood wrote:
Well this does work.

I started by removing the XML which is direct bonded to the heat sink. The PCB is only for the = and – wire contacts.

After I machined off the nub for the XML an MT-G2 on a copper star was reflowed into place.

Once the driver was back in place I powered it up, and off we went.

Here is a picture of what the whole light looks like. The head is a 2 part beast. The silver is the factory mag head with some work done to it. The bigger part is the 109 LED harbor freight. An Oring covers the place where the parts were mated.

The driver is direct drive. I tested the current and its pushing about 8.3A off 2 li-ion. I think some resistance may need to be added. I was thinking the point of “no return“ on these was about 6 amp ish right?? So even if the emitter can handle it its a bit of a waste.

All in all I would say that its a shame Lambda is not still in the game. This is a well designed light IMO especially the driver. I could use a few of the boards. Not only this one but just before he left Lambda had a boost driver that could power an emitter to 3 amp off only 2.4V. I could really use a pile of those…..

Thanks for the pics! I think you are confused about the MT-G2. When attached to a big heatsink the point where you lose output should be 11-12 amps. See post #16 here: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/22636#comment-417559

If there’s actually actually a need for that varapower style driver we could make some. I guess LVP and stuff could also be added without a lot of trouble. In fact, come to think of it… existing designs can probably work for it with only firmware changes.

If you need to limit current you should be able to put a resistor on the hot side of the potentiometer in order to reduce the duty cycle. Or if it’s wired the other way you might need to put the resistor on the GND side. It won’t hurt anything if you get it backwards the first time – you’ll just limit minimum the duty cycle, oops.

The 3A boost driver which operates on 2.4v sounds pretty crazy to me; that’s pretty high current on the pinput side (like 5A or so). I’d love to see some pics of one, hint hint.

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)

vestureofblood
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wight wrote:
The 3A boost driver which operates on 2.4v sounds pretty crazy to me; that's pretty high current on the pinput side (like 5A or so). I'd love to see some pics of one, hint hint.


I actually dont own one.    The only evidence of their existence  I am aware of lie in member Bigchelis lumen testing thread at CPF.  

Once I found it I asked lambda about purchasing a batch of them, and he did agree that when they were made he would sell me some, but sadly I think he retired before he got around to it.


Post 1187, 1189, 1193 and maybe a few after have some info.   Perhaps BigC may still have a few pics?
http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?260659-Actual-Lumen-R...

In Him (Jesus Christ) was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
http://asflashlights.com/ Everyday Carry Flashlights, plus Upgrades for Maglite.

wight
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I have just read the posts in question. Sounds like the real deal! Too bad he never brought it to market. Like I said, if clear pics showed up it might get cloned. Then again it might not, to be fair – those things can be quite complex based on what little I’ve seen and heard.

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)

lawallac
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Love the Lambda lights. I have bunch of them Smile

The ones on the right are a 2D and (2) 2c XML

wight
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That does seem like a lot of Lambda lights! Any interest in disassembling one of your low voltage models and showing clear pics of the driver?

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)

lawallac
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wight
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Hmm, that does look like a good start. Unfortunately I’m not up for much beyond a straight clone, and the pics in that thread are of sanded parts.

It seems that we have two FETs, two caps, one big inductor, and one controller.

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)

WarHawk-AVG
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very interesting build for sure

Too bad there isn’t a .brd file out there for it

Bigchelis
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Man I wish I had my old 2C Lamdalights low voltage input Mag. From what I recall it did pull a lot of amps from just 2 NiMH cells to feed the XML 3A or so. Was totally worth it, but pretty much dedicated to NiMH C cells due to high current.

Ventureblood I have a perfect Varapower direct drive switch I can let you have for FREE. You just gotta re-wire the switch to the board and off you go. I will PM you the details.

bigC

vestureofblood
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Bigchelis wrote:
Ventureblood I have a perfect Varapower direct drive switch I can let you have for FREE. You just gotta re-wire the switch to the board and off you go. I will PM you the details. bigC


If Wight or someone else with skills would like to do a layout etc for the group to use as a clone perhaps we can send it to them?


In Him (Jesus Christ) was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
http://asflashlights.com/ Everyday Carry Flashlights, plus Upgrades for Maglite.

wight
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That would be fine with me. Once I have clear photos, measurements, and diagrams I can pass it along to whoever. I don’t have a need for an original Lambda Lights Varapower driver to keep.

That said, would there be more interest in a Varapower style driver which also had Low Voltage Protection?

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)

vestureofblood
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I would think having that option was a nice feature.    Since most high powered lights these days are li-ion.

My only real hang up with this driver is that millipede for a micro.   I have no way of flashlight that beast, I'll probly just kick someone else a few bucks to program them for me.

I doubt this will help much but I found what I think is another picture of the 2 cell driver in this thread (hard to read anything in the pic).  Near the bottom of pg 1.  

http://flashlightnews.net/forum/index.php?topic=2477.0

 

lawallac,

If your interested in doing this

wight wrote:
Any interest in disassembling one of your low voltage models and showing clear pics of the driver?


There is really not much to it.   All that would need to be done ( if the 2 cell ones are made the same as the 3 cell) is to unscrew the head, and on the back of the neck there is a set screw.   Remove that and the heat sink slips out.   

No removing or unhooking of any wires would need to be done.    All of the components face downward on the driver so pictures could probly be taken just like this.

Anyway thank you for sharing either way man.   Nice collection.

In Him (Jesus Christ) was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
http://asflashlights.com/ Everyday Carry Flashlights, plus Upgrades for Maglite.

wight
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vob, the “millipede” is not an MCU, it’s what’s called a timer. You don’t program those. I guess they are considered a discrete logic component, although I’m not really sure if that’s the proper term. Anyway their function is not programmable, they are a building block for simple circuits. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/555_timer_IC) If I were to implement LVP it would be with an MCU such as an Atmel ATtiny13A (which does need to be programmed).

As to what’s in the picture you referred to, it’s definitely not a 2-cell NiMH driver. It’s just a miniature version of the Varapower DD driver in your OP here.

Lambda wrote:
This unit is actually powered by 6AAA NiMh cells, and performs quite well thank you. I still haven’t received all the parts needed for the 2 cell converter, so 6AAA was all I had around to fit in the 2C space. Running 3S2P they have no problem delivering 3 Amps; if for a some what limited time. But this proto was for proof of principal fitting the control in the C barrel, so getting to explore a VP AAA in the process was just added fun.

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)

vestureofblood
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Here is an update.   I stuck this light in my make shift sphere to get a general idea of the results.

Turn on.......... 3222
30 seconds .....2878
1 min..............2718
2 min..............2552
3 min..............2241

I have to say I am quite impressed with this.   Less than a 400 lumen drop from turn on to the 30 second mark, and a steady output even minutes into the test.    At 8.3 amp I was expecting the drop from turn on to 30 seconds to be more than that.   I guess there really is something to say for a large mass of copper.

I double checked to see if there was really anything more to gain going above 6 amps because previous tests on a smaller heat sink had indicated there was not much.     At the 1 minute mark at 6 amps the light tested at 2224 so the 2.3  amps of extra current are yielding  almost 500 extra lumens.

In Him (Jesus Christ) was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
http://asflashlights.com/ Everyday Carry Flashlights, plus Upgrades for Maglite.

vestureofblood
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Hey, guess who just got an Email from Lambda.     Yep, thats right.   His sister  No wait it was me!   

He said that the max for this driver is actually 16V at 30A.   WOW huh...      

I sent him everyone's best wishes from BLF and CPF and told him how much we all miss him, and that the praises of his work still ring though our hallways..

In Him (Jesus Christ) was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
http://asflashlights.com/ Everyday Carry Flashlights, plus Upgrades for Maglite.

lawallac
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Sorry for taking so long to get some pictures. But here you go. Glad you were able to get ahold of Kevin. I had emailed and didn’t hear anything back, glad he’s doin alright.


Lance

wight
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Thanks lawallac! Would it be possible for you to post the top markings that are on the components?

The two small black resistors are easily legible, as are the two large yellow capacitors. The large inductor is also clearly marked. What’s left is:

  • Large(est) black FET.
  • Medium sized black diode next to FET.
  • Medium sized 3-leg+tab (SOT89?) component between that stuff and the red/black wires.
  • 8-legged component between black and green wires.
  • 8-legged component between green wires.

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)

lawallac
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I’ve had some difficulty reading the components but here is what I make of it.

wight
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Good work lawallac, thanks!

  • Unfortunately I think I just can’t get enough traction on that boost driver with the info we are going to have here. 2/3 FETs are readily identifiable from the markings you posted. The SOT-89 part you marked with a green line is a mystery to me, as is the FET marked with the grey line. I really don’t understand why the boost converter needs so many FETs.
  • I assume these lights also feature a pot? If so I also don’t necessarily understand how that part of the driver is hooked up (it might explain some of the extra FETs though..)
  • I have not attempted to diagram out the driver.

I think I’ll have to bow out of attempting to clone this boost driver. Maybe I could ask Lambda for help understanding it if he’s willing. Not right now though.

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)

lawallac
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No pot on this light. I don’t know if you had a chance to read through the thread Here , but he did mention difficulty in finding a FET that operated in the 2.4 voltage range. I will have to also peak inside the 2c versions.

wight
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Hmm, it’s starting to come together now. A little.

I’ve only skimmed the first page of that thread once or twice. At your suggestion I read the entire thing. Lambda doesn’t say that it’s voltage-controlled, but it is. 331C1 is a voltage controlled (CV) boost controller for 3.3v. I have been unable to find a datasheet, but 501C1 also exists (5v instead of 3.3v). Here is a clear photo of 501C1 from this thread on elektroda.pl. I see some more discussion on 501C1 over in this thread on the same forum.

Voltage controlled seems to be able to work acceptably, at least in some cases. DerWitchel also used CV in a driver (step-down though) for SST50/SST90.

In this case we’d see a little lower current on XM-L2 or a very low (based on djozz’s charts (post #51). Of course MT-G2 or strings of LEDs are both completely out of the picture, but that was really true anyway on 2s1p NiMH – regardless of driver selection!

It would still be worthwhile to me to find out exactly how this driver operates, but I don’t think that actually cloning it will produce great results.

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)

MRsDNF
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Nice detective work wight. What your doing is black magic to me. Smile

 

djozz quotes, "it came with chinese lettering that is chinese to me".

                      "My man mousehole needs one too"

old4570 said "I'm not an expert , so don't suffer from any such technical restrictions".

Old-Lumens. Highly admired and cherished member of Budget Light Forum. 11.5.2011 - 20.12.16. RIP.

 

wight
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MRsDNF wrote:

Nice detective work wight. What your doing is black magic to me. Smile

We’d be in pretty good shape if it wasn’t black magic to me too, eh?! Big Smile

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)

wight
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Looks like the Russians have some different thinking on the subject of those boost controllers. Somebody over on radiokot.ru is saying that it looks like MC33463H in an SOT89 package. Another says ELM92501C-N (well, ELM92xxxx) in the SOT89 package.

The Polish folks thought that it was it was SOT223, but I’d been assuming SOT89. SOT89 has a tab which is flat and connects back to pin2 (same package as our 7135’s). I don’t know much about it, but it looks like SOT223 has a tab that comes out and then bends down – I’d say the pictures make it clear that that is not what we’ve got here. So we’ve got SOT89!

Moving on, the difference between the two current proposals is really just the location of Vout vs GND. They are transposed between the two components. Oops. Looks like the ELM product is only available with an internal FET, we need one with an external FET. MC33463H–XXLT1 still fits the bill 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)

lawallac
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Here is what is inside of a 2C. Tight quarters in there!

I have 2 of these 2Cs. In this one Kevin made me a nice adapter to run an 18650.

vestureofblood
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Update.

Just to be on the safe side I did ask Lambda about how he would feel if we cloned this board ( I wanted to make sure he was not offended or felt ripped off in any way)  and he said he had no problem with it.   In fact he offered this piece of advice.


 
"Hi Matt,
 
I don't have a problem with you guys cloning the board.
 
I'll even pitch in and help if you want. I probably still have some inductors and FETs.
 
The capacitors is what gets expensive. You'll need to get X5R rated 100uF (+-10%) caps in 1210 SMD package; three per board. Don't skimp on the caps, it's important they stay near 100uF over the full temperature range. Cheaper caps can drop 80% in value at elevated temps, so these are critical for good performance.
 
At 100pcs, they work out to around $3 each, so almost $10 in caps per board.
 
Let me know if you need help with the clone.
 
However, I won't be around much until January.
 
Good luck, and enjoy the Holidays!
 
Kevin"

 

As I said before it is sad for us that he is no longer in the businesses ( Hopefully he is happy out on the farm though), but it great to see his legacy will live on, and who knows perhaps he will come out of retirement and join us again Smile   Old habits you know.

In Him (Jesus Christ) was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
http://asflashlights.com/ Everyday Carry Flashlights, plus Upgrades for Maglite.

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