I put together a M1 with sst40 and 17mm sst40 ramping driver last night and had issues. When I turn the light on the LED will light up in what looks to be half of moonlight mode brightness. When I half press the clicky nothing happens and I cannot get it to switch modes or reset by tapping 8x. Did I receive a bad driver or could I have fried something while soldering? I was so upset I took it out and installed a qlite 7135 driver for now.
Is it possible you had a short in the head? Do you have a bench test set built that would allow you to test the driver while not in a light?
I have a 18650 battery holder with 10" of wire and alligator clips on the ends I use to test things. I also have an empty 17mm aluminum pill. Can I use that to test?
I do not have a pic of my homebrew setup. But, I have a buck/boost converter, external power supply and old generic XM-L2 mounted on a good heat sink. The wires off of converter are 16 awg and the wires on the LED are 16awg all mounted on a small rectangle of aluminum. This allows me to test drivers of various voltages and the wires are large enough to carry good current and then I clamp meter the wires to the driver or LED,
Your setup would work, but you would want wires of sufficient size to max out the driver inputs and your test LED should be mounted to a copper MCPCB and a good heat sink. An empty pill is going to heat up quickly and will affect your test.
Thanks for the information, I have 18awg wires coming from the battery holder and I also have a XM-L2 on a 16mm copper noctigon MCPCB. I'll see if I can find a piece of copper or aluminum to mount it to today. I have been wanting to build a test rig like yours but haven't had the time to do enough research on how. Is there a write up somewhere on building a test set up? That seems like something that should be a sticky.
Mine is hard core home brew. My led is mounted to an old VGA heat sink that I drilled a couple of holes in to mount it to the plate. The converter was the highest current one that Banggood had years ago and the power supply is one of the older very large Dell 19.2V laptop supplies. I agree, something like this should be a sticky and is a very handy tool for a modder. Really almost a required tool. One could do the same with a benchtop power supply and would not need an external clamp meter if testing drivers. But, when I built this… I was out of money and could not afford the supply I wanted.
Did you do a half click or 2/3x half clicks to change the mode? But if it was a new stock driver, it’s should start at highest level…
I tried 2 half clicks and 3x/4x in case I didn't press it right. After that didn't work I tried the 5x and 8x to get to ramping mode and reset to factory modes. Then once I saw online that the first mode should be 100% I knew I had real problems. I guess I got a bad one or I somehow broke it. Ii have no idea how I could have broken it though because all I did was place it in the M1 host and solder the ends of the wire to the led like I've done dozens of times.
On a side note, can I pick up a 1" copper cap from the hardware store to mount the MCPCB to for a test rig? I could also add a short piece of pipe onto the cap for more mass to disapate heat. I don't know if that would be sufficient enough? I'm having a hard time thinking of another option that is something readily available to me.
Try clicking several times while on. I have faced driver in “safe mode” with low output. After clicking, it restores to default state.
I will try that when I get home from work shortly. When you say several times how many Short presses would you say? 15x? I have already tried 10-12x quick taps but no more than that I think. The driver isn't mounted anymore but I am trying to rig up a crude test rig just to try this and also to function check drivers before install from now on. That way I will know for sure if it's DOA or something I did to it. I have 2 sst40 5amp 12 group drivers and 2 BLF A6 DD fet drivers on their way.
That would work just fine… If possible solder the MCPCB to the pipe cap and solder the pipe or bar into it. You should make sure that the cap is as flat as possible, better heat dissipation that way. Now you are thinking light a true budget light man!
Not sure I can post a link here, but search the bay for “1 inch heat sink” for ideas. Old graphics cards, old network hardware and maybe even old dvd players or amps will have good sinks. More fins and smaller high density fins make for more surface area and more radiant cooling.
Ahh thanks Matt! I have an old Sony DVD player that went with my amplifier for my surround sound system I'm the basement. Looks like it will be sacrificed for parts and to practice soldering on. Lol I work as a remodeler so I am handy with tools and soldering copper pipe for water lines. I have soldered 10 to 18awg wires on my vehicles for years but the tiny flashlight drivers are still tough for me.
Remember… you cannot solder aluminum to copper, so you may have to drill and tap a couple of holes for the MCBPC! If you are going to do much of this stuff… you will want a DC-DC constant current/constant voltage regulator. Look for a wide input DC voltage range and decent output amperage range. Many of the tiny ones, mine included are only good for about 3 amps.
These both need a suitable DC input supply.
You can find reasonably priced “lab” power supplies that are CC/CV if you look around. CV is important for setting the input voltage to a driver or led, CC is important so that you do not cook things, start at low current and work your way up!
We had a group buy for one of the UNI-T meters ages ago… UNI-T meter
It is and was a good meter for this kind of stuff, I have much better meters for work, but love this one for hobby work with the clamp and DC current abilites.
Thanks Matt you have given me a lot more to research and look at. I have a pretty nice ammeter DMM that I got for HVAC work. I'll grab the book it came with and see if that will work for these purposes. It has a clamp on top and it was expensive so I'm crossing my fingers. Can I use a pirated power supply or even one of those transformers that plug into the wall outlet along with a linear regulator? For now I would like to set up a rig for 3-5 amps. I will look around online for a regulator to suit those needs if so. I'm about to take apart that DVD player and see what I can salvage.
Your power supply will need to output DC, I would suggest one with decent filters for stability. I have another higher current set I put together that uses a telco –48 DC supply that can sustain 20 amps. So, yes anything that creates decent levels of DC output will work fine.