Just built a DIY LED Controller - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 29 (permalink) Old 06-07-2011, 05:52 PM Thread Starter
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Just built a DIY LED Controller

Hey everybody,

I found plans for this neat little DIY led controller a while ago on another forum, so I modified it a bit and cranked out a couple of examples. It's based on the Arduino UNO micro-controller, so it shares a lot of the same hardware and is programmed using the Arduino IDE. This controller is set up to provide 4 PWM outputs that can be programmed to run independent of each other. Each channel can be set for different on/off times, led intensity, and fade duration. It features an onscreen menu and 4 input buttons for menu navigation. I built this particular version of the controller with 5 volt outputs only. since my custom built CAT4101 driver boards only require 5 volts to operate. I also used mostly SMD components for it's construction to save board space and to provide a challenge to myself, (I had to learn how to solder using hot air for this project) I'll probably produce another 10v version that will be directly compatible with the popular MeanWell ELN series led drivers since a few people have already asked for one. Here's a picture of the controller - Let me know what ya'll think. I can post the Board files, bill of materials, and the firmware, If anyone wants to create one of these for themselves.
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post #2 of 29 (permalink) Old 06-08-2011, 03:16 PM
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Very cool. I like the idea of 10v model. By all means, show your work!
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post #3 of 29 (permalink) Old 06-08-2011, 03:23 PM
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wow i wish i could build something like this. I can build a computer but this seems much more difficult to construct.
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post #4 of 29 (permalink) Old 06-08-2011, 06:43 PM
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Would it be possible (practical) to build a 0-10v (ELN D-series) output version?

I am extremely interested in either building or buying one of the 10v PWM output versions and also a 10v analog output version
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post #5 of 29 (permalink) Old 06-08-2011, 11:11 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Rockhoe14er View Post
wow i wish i could build something like this. I can build a computer but this seems much more difficult to construct.
Redesigning the printed circuit board took the most time. Once that was done, the actual assembly was pretty easy. I'm working on a 10 version for the Meanwells right now and I'll post the Eagle files and BOM when it's done.
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post #6 of 29 (permalink) Old 06-09-2011, 12:12 AM
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I think a version that allows 20 XM-Ls in series, dimmable and will drive them @ the full 3000ma would be cool.

Steve

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post #7 of 29 (permalink) Old 06-09-2011, 12:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audioaficionado View Post
I think a version that allows 20 XM-Ls in series, dimmable and will drive them @ the full 3000ma would be cool.
Holy. That would be a lot of light output from a single LED at 3000mA.

Personally, I think a controller that will drive each LED independently would be stellar.
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post #8 of 29 (permalink) Old 06-09-2011, 03:00 AM
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With 40 optics, a twenty LED array of XM-Ls would make for a great pendant fixture for even a large tank.

Steve

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post #9 of 29 (permalink) Old 06-09-2011, 05:21 AM Thread Starter
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I think a version that allows 20 XM-Ls in series, dimmable and will drive them @ the full 3000ma would be cool.
This is an LED driver controller. It will not drive leds directly. It can control multiple drivers with each channel running independently of the other.

A driver capable of running 20 xm-l's in series would be out-puting over 90vdc to do so. That's a crazy amount of voltage to be playing with in a DIY led build. I doubt many companies would produce a driver with such extreme output specs for DIY use, though I have seen voltages that high in some of the cheaper chinese led fixtures.
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post #10 of 29 (permalink) Old 06-09-2011, 07:00 AM
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I know. I'd eventually like to build a DIY driver too. To get Meanwells with the full XM-L drive current capability, they trade off the total voltage to supply more drive current and not exceed the same unit wattage limitations. Just wishing for a way to fully push the XM-Ls without having to buy 4 Meanwell drivers.
[/off topic]

I look forward to seeing how you've designed your controller PCB and the parts layout.

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post #11 of 29 (permalink) Old 06-09-2011, 09:17 AM
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You can also make such driver from 555 timer. no programming needed. though im not sure how many transistors it can drive. but base current normally is tiny, so it is possible to drive a lot of transistors to power up LEDs.
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post #12 of 29 (permalink) Old 06-09-2011, 04:52 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by audioaficionado View Post
I know. I'd eventually like to build a DIY driver too. To get Meanwells with the full XM-L drive current capability, they trade off the total voltage to supply more drive current and not exceed the same unit wattage limitations. Just wishing for a way to fully push the XM-Ls without having to buy 4 Meanwell drivers.
[/off topic]

I look forward to seeing how you've designed your controller PCB and the parts layout.

That's easier to do than you think. The OnSemi Cat4101 constant current driver Ic's that I use in my drivers can be paralleled together to to produce as many amps as you want. Each Ic can sink up to 1 amp, so all you would need is 3 Ic's on each string to drive 6-7 Cree XM-L's in series. The only other hardware that would be needed is an adjustable 24 volt supply with a high enough current rating.I am currently using the same strategy to drive a couple of big bridgelux 50 watters right now. I can draw up a schematic if you want one
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post #13 of 29 (permalink) Old 06-11-2011, 02:38 AM Thread Starter
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I just finished the PCB design for a MeanWell compatible version. I'll put in an order for 10 boards if there's enough interest or just provide the Eagle files for anyone who wants them. Here's a screen shot of the new design. Let me know what you think.
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post #14 of 29 (permalink) Old 06-11-2011, 01:09 PM
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I'll buy a board. How much?
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post #15 of 29 (permalink) Old 06-12-2011, 01:23 PM
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Originally Posted by O2surplus View Post
This is an LED driver controller. It will not drive leds directly. It can control multiple drivers with each channel running independently of the other.

A driver capable of running 20 xm-l's in series would be out-puting over 90vdc to do so. That's a crazy amount of voltage to be playing with in a DIY led build. I doubt many companies would produce a driver with such extreme output specs for DIY use, though I have seen voltages that high in some of the cheaper chinese led fixtures.


Actually there are several companies that produce some wicked-large LED drivers, I've seen (if I recall correctly) Meanwells and Thomas Research drivers that go up into the 100-200v range (DC output).
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