*BLF LT1 Lantern Project) (updated Nov,17,2020)

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madcrow
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Lux-Perpetua wrote:

I asked Barry about the relocation of the flashing pads on the new driver. He said he did not know. Maybe it was an engineer‘s decision to align the circuitry on the business side of the driver as efficiently as possible? I keep asking them to provide us a flashing adapter but I do not expect this to happen anytime soon, especially without a standard pin layout.


Thanks for the feedback, Lux.
FWIW, in my opinion, the whole programming-pad-layout thing is being blown way out of proportion… I mean come on guys, if anyone is nerdy enough (like me, for instance) to want to reflash the FW of a lighting apparatus, and know how to flash MCU FW in general, I think it’s safe to assume they also know their way around bench tools, soldering equipment, etc. and they can make their own programming fixture, or temporarily just jerry-rig the wires directly to the pads or the MCU pins. It’s an inconvenience, sure. But it is hardly the end of the world…
madcrow
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Lux-Perpetua wrote:

I was told the new version will have all 7135 chips enabled for maximum brightness. There is no thermal regulation in LT1 but I do not expect this to become a problem as long as ambient temperatures are in a reasonable area. Maybe the top of the lantern will become a bit warmer than usual.

Yes, that was my greatest concern as well with the new model. (Whether the not too over-engineered thermal design of the LT1 can handle the extra dissipation by the additional 2×2 7135s…)
But I made some calculations, then performed some torture-tests yesterday which made me a bit more relaxed:

The top “cap” of the light has a surface area of 5850 mm2, which as a rule of thumb, should translate to a thermal resistance (Rth) in the neighborhood of 7 °C/W.
Rth (junction to solder point) of the LH351Ds 2.2 °C/W according to the datasheet.
Rth of a typical MCPCB is around 1 °C/W.
Rth of a reasonably applied half-decent thermal paste could be estimated around 0.3 °C/W
I=2450mA at full blast, while Vf of the LEDs (in worst case, i.e. when either extreme of the tint range is set) is 2.8V. Considering an efficiency of 70% that gives a power dissipation of about 4.8W, total.

If you put all this data together, mix some thermal design theory in it, you will receive a predicted heatsink temp of 62.6°C and LED junction temp of 79,4°C at an ambient temperature of 29°C.

The measurements I’ve done afterwards, seem to confirm this theory (heatsink temp of 66.0°C, junction temp 82.8°C, in a non-ventilated area at 29°C ambient):

What I actually measured are the head/heatsink temps. (Simultaneously via non-contact thermometer, and K-type thermocouple, always taking into account the highest reading) The junction temps are just projected from the heatsink temps. There is no way to measure them directly. However if anyone wants to determine their values more accurately, they could measure the MCPCB temp instead of the heatsink and offset the measured values by 4.8W*2.2 °C/W= 10.56°C. This way you could eliminate the potential inaccuracies stemming from the estimated MCPCB and thermal paste Rths.

Now, 82.8°C might sound awful, but actually it is not. The “design temperature” of today’s power LEDs (LH351D included) is 85°C. This is where the manufacturers expect OEMs to run them in their end-devices. This is the temp they are binned at, this is also where their environmental stress tests are performed. It is a perfectly safe temp for our LEDs (the top end of their operating junction temp is 105°C!).

I also measured the temperature of the battery tube. Its 44°C is also not catastrophic, most Li-ion cells today allow a max discharge temp of 60°C. However I am sure it will have some lifetime penalties if the cells are subjected to it on a regular basis: Some researchers say every 10°C above room temp reduces the lifetime cycle rating by ~25%. I can neither confirm nor deny if this statement is accurate though… maybe someone with more practical experience with the quirks of Li-ion cells can.

SammysHP
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Thank you, great analysis! Still, 70 °C is pretty hot when you touch it. Wink

madcrow
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SammysHP wrote:
Thank you, great analysis! Still, 70 °C is pretty hot when you touch it. Wink

I know, I learned that the hard way Big Smile
Joke aside, even the 45C handle/tube temperature is not that pleasant on the long term. It’s not burning, but your palm will sweat like a pig, that’s pretty much guaranteed Big Smile So in a scenario when you intend to hold the lantern in your hands for prolonged periods, it might be good idea to step it down a bit.
DrBashir
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madcrow wrote:

Unfortunately this is most likely an in-house (á’la Sofirn) variant of the classic version (i.e. no powerbank feature).
The only other place I’ve seen this design is an Aliexpress feedback entry from a Moldovan guy here from 05 Jul 2021 12:17.
And as you can see from both the product description and price of that Aliexpress listing, it is pretty clear that it is referring to the classic version.

I have the power-bank-equipped variant and its driver looks like the one in the orange lantern here.
Of course, in theory, yours could be just another layout design around the same components, but it is unlikely, as the bottom layer of your driver PCB is rather suspiciously missing the very distinctive, rectangular grid-pattern of the thermal vias of the thermal pad of the powerbank controller IC. (The central, copper-colored rectangle with holes in the new, PB-equipped driver). Which indicates yours does not have such an IC. (Or if it does, they completely screwed up its thermal design Smile )

If you want to approach the question from a more practical angle, I can recommend three things:

  • If you have batteries and a Type-C to Type-C cable and a suitable USB device to be charged, then just plug them together and see what happens Smile
  • If you don’t have all of the above, only the batteries and A-to-C cable, then start charging the lantern, and watch the indicator LEDs. The TP5100 charger IC of the old design lights up the charging LED constantly. On the other hand, the IP5310 power-bank controller blinks it at 0.5Hz. I am intentionally not writing about LED colors, because there is no way for me to know what color LEDs Sofirn was using for what purpose in your case. Long story short: if your charging LED blinks, you probably have the PB feature, if it is constantly lit, you probably don’t.
  • Unscrew the driver, take some pictures of its top side with all components markings visible, and send it here. If you do that, I’ll be able to tell you if you have the BP feature or not with absolute certainty. Hope it helps!

Thanks for such a detailed reply! Still waiting on my C-A adapter but I found a USB C-C cable and connected it to an old BLF LT1. It powers it in headless mode and when the battery tube is screwed in, the new LT1 button color changes to blue-amber, I guess indicating charging? When the New LT1 is connected to a power source, the button does not blink. I also have the same new/short manual that was posted recently.

This is specifically the model I ordered:
https://sofirnlight.com/products/new-version-blf-lt1-lantern-with-anduri...
“Black-NewVersion-with-Battery: LT1 new version + 4x batteries (inserted) + USBA to USBC cable”

I can unscrew the driver if you want, but hesitated since I didn’t know how hard it would be to get back together Glasses

DrBashir
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I went ahead and did it. Sorry for the low quality, it was hard to keep it positioned correctly and snap the photo.

Bob_McBob
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I’m more confused than ever about the LT1. Does this “Sofirn 1.0” version act as a power bank or not? Why are there only two bridges for the 7135 config?

DrBashir
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Bob_McBob wrote:
I’m more confused than ever about the LT1. Does this “Sofirn 1.0” version act as a power bank or not? Why are there only two bridges for the 7135 config?

It definitely has power output.

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This Sofirn V1.0 seems to be the best version. Powerbank function, pogo pins, and 7135 pads, and an orange led instead of that green one.

DrBashir
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Sunnysunsun wrote:
This Sofirn V1.0 seems to be the best version. Powerbank function, pogo pins, and 7135 pads, and an orange led instead of that green one.

Interesting. I was feeling like maybe I got the short end of the stick somehow. When it’s fully charged, the light does turn green

pol77
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Regarding the pogo pins, there is only ONE readily available pogo pin adapter in the market and that is the one Hank sells, at a good price. Why won’t Sofirn make their pads compatible with that adapter?
Are you listening Sofirn? Either sell us a pogo pin adapter compatible with your design or change your design to make it compatible with Hank’s adapter.

This does not affect me personally, I can easily remove 2 screws, turn the driver around and flash the attiny85 with a SOIC clip.

Sunnysunsun
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DrBashir wrote:
Sunnysunsun wrote:
This Sofirn V1.0 seems to be the best version. Powerbank function, pogo pins, and 7135 pads, and an orange led instead of that green one.

Interesting. I was feeling like maybe I got the short end of the stick somehow. When it’s fully charged, the light does turn green

An orange switch is more soothing and in line with the LT1’s warm emitters imo. The LEDs turning green to indicate the completion of charging is normal and desired.

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pol77 wrote:
Regarding the pogo pins, there is only ONE readily available pogo pin adapter in the market and that is the one Hank sells, at a good price. Why won’t Sofirn make their pads compatible with that adapter?
Are you listening Sofirn? Either sell us a pogo pin adapter compatible with your design or change your design to make it compatible with Hank’s adapter.

This does not affect me personally, I can easily remove 2 screws, turn the driver around and flash the attiny85 with a SOIC clip.

This was the format wars of our flashlights. The 3+3 is the doing of Lexel, the original designer of this driver and many others at blf. It just so happened that hank had a different one, and so the pogo key you can get made at oshpark can be made to work for either.

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I bought my new LT1 a few days ago from sofirnlight.com directly, using this link:

https://sofirnlight.com/products/new-version-blf-lt1-lantern-with-anduril-20-power-bank-function

 

I am not sure if this will stir things more up but this is how it looks like:

 

I know, I am getting OCD / nitpicky again ... can't help making suggestions ... but ... maybe Sofirn can have a closer look at the CNC burring of the top panel and the anodizing finish. It has a very rough/sharp line if you slide with your finger over it. The orange on the top plate looks somehow stained/imperfect. The picture does not show it as good as I can see it with bare eyes, though.

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pol77 wrote:
Regarding the pogo pins, there is only ONE readily available pogo pin adapter in the market and that is the one Hank sells, at a good price. Why won't Sofirn make their pads compatible with that adapter? Are you listening Sofirn? Either sell us a pogo pin adapter compatible with your design or change your design to make it compatible with Hank's adapter. (...)

As much as I agree with you...

I doubt that will happen anytime soon. Redesigning the driver schematics once again will probably cost a lot. Retrofitting all produced units of the new LT1 batch is not an option, either. I can only guess but I assume they made a big lot of 1,000 pcs in black and orange. Offering us a pogo pin adapter would be a more feasible option but how many units would be need to be sold to meet break-even? How difficult would it be for Sofirn to make, let's say a thousand pogo pin adapters including sourcing raw materials, train their staff for assembly etc.? How big of a problem is it that we now need to have two different adapters as there are two layouts available?

madcrow
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DrBashir wrote:
(…) I found a USB C-C cable and connected it to an old BLF LT1. It powers it in headless mode and when the battery tube is screwed in, the new LT1 button color changes to blue-amber, I guess indicating charging? When the New LT1 is connected to a power source, the button does not blink. I also have the same new/short manual that was posted recently. (…) When it’s fully charged, the light does turn green

Thanks for the feedback, this is so interesting!!!

It looks as if they chose a different powerbank controller IC for this version. The inductors do not mach either between the two boards, yours is 2.2uH, mine is 1.0uH. I guess the controller in yours uses a lower switching frequency.
Unfortunately, in the photo, the PB IC (seated between the USB socket and inductor with the “2R2” marking) is mostly covered by the red wire, so I cannot make out its make and model.
If you are feeling adventurous, you could check it again and write down the markings on it Wink

A am a bit confused by the LED “user interface” of your variant.
Do I understand correctly that the indication on the new LT1 was different when it powered the old “tubeless” LT1 VS when it powered the old LT1 with its tube and batteries installed??

Can you summarize what LED behavior you observed?

Mine looks like this:


LED color What it indicates
Green Aux light (configurable via Andúril: off/lo/hi/blink)
Blue blinking Lantern being charged
Blue steady Lantern fully charged
Amber steady Type-C power output active
Amber blinking (*) Battery low

(*) I have not yet seen the low battery warning in action, but according to the IP5310 datasheet, it exists, and should kick in at 2.95V. (I have not yet exhausted my cells below that level.)

A assume your aux light is orange and the green & blue ones are the charging and output indicators (most probably tied to the PB IC directly). Am I correct about the aux led? Do the other two never blink, just show steady blue/green?

madcrow
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Sunnysunsun wrote:

An orange switch is more soothing and in line with the LT1’s warm emitters imo. The LEDs turning green to indicate the completion of charging is normal and desired.

I cannot agree with you more… The green aux LED of the BLF-LT1-A2 drives me nuts. I’ll definitely replace the switch LEDs next time I have some free time.
Speaking of… Has anyone had a look at what size they are? 0603?
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Re: pogo pins and adapters….

I have several motor vehicles. None of the wheels are interchagable. I need different size socket wrenches to fit the nuts. Two of the vehicles that have the same bolt pattern use different offsets.

Why would I expect two different makers of anything to make their units interchange with another maker? That only happens when there are long drawn out negotiations and maybe a trade group involved. Like USB-C…. and even then somebody, or many somebodies, mess up.

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I‘m sorry, did I get this right? The new (orange) LT1 uses a GREEN, not amber for standby mode?  Shocked I did not power up mine yet but this would definitely be a bad surprise to me.
madcrow
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Lux-Perpetua wrote:
I‘m sorry, did I get this right? The new (orange) LT1 uses a GREEN, not amber for standby mode?  Shocked I did not power up mine yet but this would definitely be a bad surprise to me.

Unfortunately, yes Sad And it seems it is not a one-off production issue in my case: I asked the guy on reddit who posted the first photos of the same driver variant you and I have. And he confirmed his unit has the same LED color scheme. It’s annoying, I know…

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I try to persuade Barry to revise the indicator scheme as follows:

Green: Lantern fully charged

Green blinking: Lantern being charged

Blue steady: Lantern in reverse charge mode (powerbank mode)

Blue blinking: Low voltage 

Amber: Standby switch illumination (off/low/high/beacon) as usual in older revisions of LT1

Any better ideas? I guess red is not available since they now have blue included? 

IMHO, green works great for flashlights but lanterns are something your eyes are often looking at. So, a warm and less distracting color like yellow/red works best.

madcrow
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Lux-Perpetua wrote:

I try to persuade Barry to revise the indicator scheme as follows:


Green: Lantern fully charged


Green blinking: Lantern being charged


Blue steady: Lantern in reverse charge mode (powerbank mode)


Blue blinking: Low voltage 


Amber: Standby switch illumination (off/low/high/beacon) as usual in older revisions of LT1

Thumbs Up

Coincidentally, this is exactly how I want to rewire mine at the moment Smile
At some point I planned to throw out the blue LEDs altogether and go with a Green-Red-Amber(as standby) scheme, but now I’ve grown a bit fond of them.
Do you know by any chance what series resistor (designated “R_ind” in the silk screen) value was used for the amber LED in the original drivers?
Unfortunately I don’t own an old LT1 to check…

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madcrow wrote:
(…) Do you know by any chance what series resistor (designated "R_ind" in the silk screen) value was used for the amber LED in the original drivers? Unfortunately I don't own an old LT1 to check...

Sorry, I wish I could help but I am not that skilled. Sad Lexel as the original driver designer seems unavailable for months now. Maybe DBSAR or someone else can chime in to check for the right resistor.

madcrow
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My mods so far: LT1 mods – Imgur gallery

Maybe someone finds them useful for inspiration…

DrBashir
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madcrow wrote:

A am a bit confused by the LED “user interface” of your variant.
Do I understand correctly that the indication on the new LT1 was different when it powered the old “tubeless” LT1 VS when it powered the old LT1 with its tube and batteries installed??

Can you summarize what LED behavior you observed?

Yeah it showed different colors when it was tubeless vs. tubed.

Here is the old LT1 (left) being charged by the new LT1 (right)

Here is the old headless LT1 (left) being powered by the new LT1 (right)

And here are the LED states i’ve seen so far:
orange steady= standby
orange steady + small red light= charging
green steady=connected to power source + fully charged
blue+orange=charging another device

I haven’t yet seen any blinking so far.

I’ll try to get it back open again later and find that IC # for you. Worried about having to resolder those wires!

madcrow
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DrBashir wrote:
And here are the LED states i’ve seen so far

That inconsistency in the power output indication in the photos must be related to the built-in load detection feature of the PD controller. The only significant difference in the two scenarios from the controller’s POV is the required current. Which is relatively high in the “tubed+standby” case and very low in the “tubeless+standby” case. The latter was probably not high enough to trigger the load detection, which usually has a threshold around 50mA. Basically, in the tubeless case, the new LT1 did not notice it was connected to something.

DrBashir wrote:
I’ll try to get it back open again later and find that IC # for you. Worried about having to resolder those wires!

Thanks. If you do, try to take multiple pictures from multiple angles for a better success rate. And be careful with those wires Wink

DrBashir
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madcrow wrote:

That inconsistency in the power output indication in the photos must be related to the built-in load detection feature of the PD controller. The only significant difference in the two scenarios from the controller’s POV is the required current. Which is relatively high in the “tubed+standby” case and very low in the “tubeless+standby” case. The latter was probably not high enough to trigger the load detection, which usually has a threshold around 50mA. Basically, in the tubeless case, the new LT1 did not notice it was connected to something.

Thanks. If you do, try to take multiple pictures from multiple angles for a better success rate. And be careful with those wires Wink

You’re totally right. Just quickly checked and it doesn’t trigger that charging/blue LED state until I set the old LT1 to it’s highest setting.

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Ok here is the IC in my “Sofirn 1.0” Powerbank LT1

It’s an ETA9742

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I’m really confused now…
So many variations.
Is the original LT1 version 1 capable of being programmed to Anduril 2.0? If so, I may go that route. I’m not needing my LT1 to double as a power bank. I would NOT want the active power/standby switch light to be green, as showing in the newer release. That would annoy me to no end…

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xevious wrote:
I’m really confused now…
Is the original LT1 version 1 capable of being programmed to Anduril 2.0?

Yes, it is. I’m using mine with Anduril 2 for months. Smile

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