17mm/22mm MTN-MAXlp - Low-Profile 1A-4A Programmable Buck Driver + 22mm MTN-MAX

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pilotdog68
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RMM wrote:

Just an update on the 4-layer 17mm board:  Ran it in my UF-1405 for about an hour straight on high at 5.5A with no step down and it didn’t die, so it is probably about ready to be released.  I’ll probably clean up a few things on it then release it. Measuring the MAX and FET with a thermocouple it is obvious that the 4-layer board conducts the heat away from the critical components better than the 2-layer board.  


Sweet. How much more $ does the 4-layer board run at Osh? Other than the board, is it the same components that you have listed on mtn?

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The 4-layer board is twice the price of the 2-layer.  The components are almost the same, but there are two diodes instead of one, and an extra capacitor (which could be left blank if you only run it at around 3A-4A anyways).  

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DavidEF
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Please excuse my ignorance. Richard, you said the 17mm 4-layer board did much better thermally. Are you going to make a 4-layer board for the 22mm design, or is it good enough at 2 layers? Are you going to be selling them at your store, and a parts kit as well? I’ve never built a driver before, so I don’t have any components lying around. Of course, I’d love to be able to buy the driver built and flashed with guppydrv, actually. I don’t know anything about OSHPark either. I just now registered with them and took a look around because I really want this 22mm buck driver!

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Slim Pickens
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Since these use attiny13 as an MCU I’m assuming that means that modes are made from PWM. I don’t know if that line of reasoning is valid (probably not, haha). Now that you’re selling these I want to know.

Also, what is the lowest low that the prebuilt 17mm design could do? If it indeed uses PWM, some info on limitations (frequency, duty cycle, etc.) for those of us interested in have custom modes programmed would be great. Thanks in advance, I know you’re a wicked busy guy!

One last thing, I know the voltage range for the prebuilt ones you’re selling spans 5-15V. What happens at say, 4.9V, if you programmed no LV warning? I ask because possibility of CR123a use is appealing.

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Yes, the modes are PWM based on the buck IC, which can be up to 20 KHz on the input (We are running ~19KHz).  

The moonlight level can be very low (The MAX16820 has a great dimming ratio).  

At around 4.5V the buck IC will simply shut off.  CR123s would only be useful in lower output scenarios since they are pretty current limited.  

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Would someone be willing to build me some of these in 22mm and flash the MCU with 3 or 4 mode levels plus hidden strobe? I need specifically a 22mm buck driver pushing right at 3A from 2S li-ion cells into parallel emitters, with a few modes plus (hidden) strobe. Richard has the 22mm driver listed at his site, but listed as out-of-stock. Plus, the only UI option he has listed that includes strobe is guppydrv, and it has no LVP. I really need the LVP, but I want strobe available, too. In fact, TK’s biking strobe/beacon that keeps the power to the emitter turned on at a low/mid level, with spikes into turbo, would be cool to have. I will have plenty of height in the pill for the external inductor. So… anyone wanna give it a shot?

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David - I just got in 3 of the 22 mm PCB's in from OSHPark. I could order the parts kit from RMM, but I'm not clear on the LVP option - there is no order option, but in the description, it lists an option for no LVP, 2 cell, or 3 cell. So, I'm confused... Not sure if he means the option is implemented in the firmware, or required something different in the parts list... Just not sure, dunno...

How many do you need? In theory, I can get/or have the boards, order the parts kits from Richard and program them myself with firmware of my choosing for you. Just not sure bout that listed LVP option in the description.

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Tom E wrote:

David – I just got in 3 of the 22 mm PCB’s in from OSHPark. I could order the parts kit from RMM, but I’m not clear on the LVP option – there is no order option, but in the description, it lists an option for no LVP, 2 cell, or 3 cell. So, I’m confused… Not sure if he means the option is implemented in the firmware, or required something different in the parts list… Just not sure, dunno…


How many do you need? In theory, I can get/or have the boards, order the parts kits from Richard and program them myself with firmware of my choosing for you. Just not sure bout that listed LVP option in the description.


I think LVP is in firmware. Richard has the driver listed with 4 firmware options. Only the guppydrv option doesn’t have LVP. The other firmwares have the option of ~6V for 2S and ~9V for 3S support. Right now, I’d like to get a couple to try out. (I learned long ago to always get one extra to break/lose/burn/whatever.)

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Hey guys, I hope nobody is really invested in the 20mm boards. Frown  They work great at lower currents, but if you try and get 4A+ out of it they bug out.  I screwed up on the layout and need to redesign some things.  So far the 17mm and 22mm are solid and I have been using them pushed hard in a few of my personal lights, as have several others, but the 20mm needs to be tweaked.  

In short: if you have plans to built a high-power 20mm driver, hold off. 

On a positive note, if you want a solid 5A 17mm driver, the 4-layer PCB has been running great for me.  I've been running it for a few weeks now and have built a few and they are all working great.  

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Great news about the 4-layer board. Is there a reason you haven’t shared the Osh link for that one?

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pilotdog68 wrote:
Great news about the 4-layer board. Is there a reason you haven't shared the Osh link for that one?

Have just been testing the crap out of it and have built a few of them.  I usually make a few tweaks after the first run.  I'll get around to it soon.

MT-G2 Efficiency? I had a customer ask me about the potential efficiency gains at low amps (2A) with an MT-G2.  I did a quick test as quoted below:

Quote:
 I built a 17mm MTN-MAX at 2A with the standard inductor [not Coilcraft] and compared it to two zener modded 7135 drivers.
 
LED: 6V MT-G2
 
MTN-MAX 2A: 8.4V=1.6A;  6V= 1.2A   --- Continuous output.  Driver produces far less heat with full cells
QLITE 2.2A:  8.4V=2.5A; 6V=1.5A  --- Thermally derates within around 30 seconds w/ full cells
QLITE 1.9A:  8.4V=2.0A  ;6V=1.5A   --- Thermally derates within around 20 seconds w/ full cells
 
So with full cells you are getting quite a bit more efficiency according to the amp draw vs. output ratio. The numbers aside, it is easy to tell that the buck driver is much more efficient holding the drivers in my hands, since the MTN-MAX I can comfortably hold for 1-2 minutes before getting uncomfortable, while the qlites get so hot that they thermally derate at 8.4V input within seconds (the chips are so hot they would burn you).
 
I've always recommended running the zener modified qlites at 4A+, otherwise they burn off way too much voltage as heat.  
 

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5A 17mm board ? Yes please ! how do i order one of these ? I was going to make an adapter for the 22mm board for my 1405 but this will save me the trouble.
Thanks

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I still can’t get a working example. I’m tried 3 times and no success.

Three tomatoes are walking down the street- a poppa tomato, a momma tomato, and a little baby tomato. Baby tomato starts lagging behind. Poppa tomato gets angry, goes over to the baby tomato, and smooches him… and says, Catch up.

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n10sivern wrote:
I still can't get a working example. I'm tried 3 times and no success.

17mm?  I have built about 50 of them so far and they've all worked.  20mm--well, you read my post earlier (no go for most setups).  22mm I've built and have been using about 6 of them in lights and they've all worked so far.  

A lot of the issues you'll run into is that reflowing these boards properly is much more difficult than anything else we usually do because of the tiny pin pitch and non-existant leads.  A stencil may help a little bit (although I don't use one for these), but really it comes down to some practice and then following up with a manual reflow of the leads with your iron on the sides of the flat packages after the initial reflow, if needed.  

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Bribo wrote:
5A 17mm board ? Yes please ! how do i order one of these ? I was going to make an adapter for the 22mm board for my 1405 but this will save me the trouble. Thanks

Soon!  I have been testing them and I have a few test samples going out to other members and flashlight guys as well to make sure they're 100% before the "official" release.  

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Richard, can you please post pictures of a 17mm completed driver?

Three tomatoes are walking down the street- a poppa tomato, a momma tomato, and a little baby tomato. Baby tomato starts lagging behind. Poppa tomato gets angry, goes over to the baby tomato, and smooches him… and says, Catch up.

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n10sivern wrote:
Richard, can you please post pictures of a 17mm completed driver?

I'll take some later this week when I build another one. Smile

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I finally got my last set if parts to work! About time.

Three tomatoes are walking down the street- a poppa tomato, a momma tomato, and a little baby tomato. Baby tomato starts lagging behind. Poppa tomato gets angry, goes over to the baby tomato, and smooches him… and says, Catch up.

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n10sivern wrote:
I finally got my last set if parts to work! About time.

Great! Did you figure out what made the others not work?

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The first two I have no clue. The second one I made wouldn’t work so I put it away to take a break. I got back to playing with it a couple of days ago and absent minded me fried it. I forgot to change my test bench setup back to 2S. I inserted the batteries like it was 2S in my side by side battery holder. Well, it was 1S and the way I have it set up also means it was reversed polarity to the driver. It smoked. I dunno what fried but something did. It also blew the LED too. I’m just gonna take all the components off my first one and reflow them to see if I can get it to work.

So for future reference to others, 1S reversed polarity doesn’t get along with this driver Wink

Three tomatoes are walking down the street- a poppa tomato, a momma tomato, and a little baby tomato. Baby tomato starts lagging behind. Poppa tomato gets angry, goes over to the baby tomato, and smooches him… and says, Catch up.

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n10sivern wrote:
So for future reference to others, 1S reversed polarity doesn’t get along with this driver Wink

Good to know! Silly

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I haven't tried to reverse one, but I think that cerealkiller said that he had reversed polarity to this same IC before and nothing happened.  He said he had even measured the LDO output and it also didn't reverse.  

As far as the non-working drivers go:  I can almost guarantee you that it's your reflow of the MCU, Buck IC, or both. The MCU is usually the culprit. 

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eebowler
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Hi Richard. Have you done any specific efficiency testing of this driver with an MG-G2 in high, medium and low modes? Alternatively, have you sent any to HJK for testing? Thanks Smile

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Nope, haven't sent any, but you can do a rough efficiency calculation based on the information posted up above.  

I built a 17mm MTN-MAX at 2A with the standard inductor [not Coilcraft] and compared it to two zener modded 7135 drivers.

 

 
LED: 6V MT-G2
 
MTN-MAX 2A: 8.4V=1.6A;  6V= 1.2A   --- Continuous output.  Driver produces far less heat with full cells
QLITE 2.2A:  8.4V=2.5A; 6V=1.5A  --- Thermally derates within around 30 seconds w/ full cells
QLITE 1.9A:  8.4V=2.0A  ;6V=1.5A   --- Thermally derates within around 20 seconds w/ full cells

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Thanks. I saw the post and thought I misunderstood something. Would the calculation be (6×1.2)/(8.4×1.6)=0.536 or 53.6%?

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eebowler wrote:
Thanks. I saw the post and thought I misunderstood something. Would the calculation be (6×1.2)/(8.4×1.6)=0.536 or 53.6%?

The way I understand it, those are two different data points. The driver is outputting 2amps at the emitter. When the input is 8.4v, the input current is 1.6amps. When the input is 6v, the inp[ut current is 1.2amps. You can’t really do the calculation correctly without knowing the forward voltage during his testing, but I guesstimate by just saying Vf is 6v.

So the equation would be (6v*2A)/(8.4v*1.6A) = 89%

.
.
. I think.
.
I would be more confident, but I feel when input and output voltage are the same (6v) the input current should be much higher than 1.2amps, so I’m probably reading it wrong.

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Ahhhhh! This is more what I expected! Thank you. Big Smile

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That's correct.  Convert to watts, then compare watts in to watts out. 

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RMM wrote:

Lol. Maybe with a DTP copper multi layer MCPCB board… or maybe we could install a sodium cooling system, like those used in nuclear power generation.  


I saw a Cray II running once. There is one at the computer museum in Mountain View, but it doesn’t look so impressive turned off. When it was running, there were streams of tiny bubbles rising from the components. It ran in an aquarium full of freon.
A cooling liquid should be low viscosity and preferably have its boiling point below the highest component temperature. The main practical requirement, though, is that it not affect the components. Water probably won’t do, because it holds ions that make it conduct and it hydrolyzes. The ideal fluid would also have a high heat conductivity, high heat capacity, low surface tension and large thermal expansion.

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Can the 22mm version of this driver be used with an electronic switch?

 

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