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Thread: A Cheap, Simple, Compact DIY LED Controller/Driver COMBO. Reply to Thread
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  Topic Review (Newest First)
02-05-2014 12:42 AM
kevreh Ok, thanks. How long do ramp up and down your lights? This is the coolest feature of using the typhon, imho.

I just hope I dont get spot-light effect from having only about 9x 3w leds. The hoods from finnex and current have many smaller leds.
02-05-2014 12:05 AM
O2surplus
Quote:
Originally Posted by kevreh View Post
o2,


I have a typhon and just need to get the meanwell ldd's. Couple questions..

Does the current or voltage control the led brightness?
When sizing the powersupply, I add the volts for the leds correct (8 3v leds uses @24v)?

I plan on driving the neutral white, blue, amd red leds seperate so I can get the exact color I want.


TIA
The Leds are dimmed via Pulse Width Modulation. In a nutshell- The Typhon sends a 5V PWM signal to the LDD's which, depending on the duty cycle of the PWM signal (0-100%) causes the LDD's to rapidly "blink" the Leds with differing "on" vs."off" time. Since the "blinking" occurs at such a high frequency, our human eyes perceive the light as being dimmed when the PWM signal is anything less than 100% "on".

Add the forward voltage of each Led in a single string together to determine the voltage needed for your power supply & add up the current in each string to get the combined total current capacity needed for your power supply. I.e 3 strings at 700ma = 2.1 amps from the supply.
02-04-2014 10:09 PM
kevreh o2,


I have a typhon and just need to get the meanwell ldd's. Couple questions..

Does the current or voltage control the led brightness?
When sizing the powersupply, I add the volts for the leds correct (8 3v leds uses @24v)?

I plan on driving the neutral white, blue, amd red leds seperate so I can get the exact color I want.


TIA
11-13-2013 01:25 PM
JoeFL77 I was wondering if this would work. On circuit one, 42 white XP-G. On circuit two, 6 blue XP-G. On circuit three, 6 red XP-G. Use one 250w 48v 5.2A DC Power Supply, and 5 LDD-1000H. Put three of the LDD-1000H in parallel on one channel of the Typhon. Put Circuit two and three on channels two and three of the Typhon. Could I stack two of your boards to hold the LDD-1000H?
02-26-2013 08:06 PM
All your base I drag solder and clean up with wick for small stuff like the LM3409. My main beef with the CAT chip is that they're a low side regulator and when they fail they tend to fail closed, so if you have a bunch of them in the same circuit and one fries, it'll usually take out most or all of the others. At least they don't tend to kill LEDs since most of the time they're run with a really small voltage drop which is fairly safe. I've never had heat related issues with the CATs and at any rate their thermal shutdown is effective enough to prevent themselves from burning out due to thermal stress IME.
02-26-2013 06:59 PM
O2surplus
Quote:
Originally Posted by All your base View Post
Now, slap an I2C PWM chip on those boards instead of running directly off a PWM pin from the AVR and you've got enough bandwidth to add tons of channels! I doubt most hobbyists need that though so it would be a bit wasteful...

What were the failures on the integrated unit if you don't mind sharing? I'm curious to know if they line up with what I've seen over time. I stopped using the CAT4101 because it bakes itself so easily. I felt like I was spending more time testing and replacing CAT4101 drivers than playing with new projects, which was frustrating to say the least. So far I've not had any failures on LM3409s though I really don't like soldering something that fine. I'm thinking my next version might use the PDIP package.
I'd really like to expand on the original "Typhon's" capabilities, but alas - I suck at the programming side of these projects! I've had plenty of training with electronics, per se, but I'm too "visually oriented" when it comes to learning something abstract like writing code.LOL I spent my youth working as an automotive tech and specialized in Automotive Computer Control diagnostics, so this low voltage DC stuff is easy for me to understand. It's the software that has me baffled. Sure- I can "hunt & peck" and cobble something together from existing code, but I'm completely lost otherwise.
It's kinda funny- My current Led lighting system still runs off 15 Cat4101's that I installed right after they were introduced on the "DIY Led driver" thread over on ReefCentral. They're maxed out at 1,000ma and I haven't had a single failure yet. Heck- my cat's are still on PcB's that I etched by hand, since I hadn't learned EAGLE yet.LOL
Maybe the difference in experiences with the CAT4101 has to do with cooling? Mine are bolted down directly to the same heat sink as my leds, so they never get too hot. I always try to maintain cooling for the Cat's at "overkill" proportions. I even go so far as to add large fan cooled heat sinks (originally designed for cooling VGA's) to my Cat PcB's, especially if they're being used by someone who's not familiar with balancing their power supply's input voltage vs. their led string Vf and the required .5-.8 volt "headroom" for the Cats.
Here's a picture of my "SmartyCat"PcB.( It works well,(as long as you're careful with it)


The Pcb design-


The backside (VGA Heat sink)


I'm now used to soldering the LM3409, as I've built at least 100 drivers that use them. I've found that, most of the time, there's already enough solder in the solder mask to do the job without adding any more. I add a liberal amount of flux to the PcB prior to heating the LM3409's pins and pads, and Viola! all pins are soldered with no "solder bridges".
02-26-2013 06:00 PM
All your base Now, slap an I2C PWM chip on those boards instead of running directly off a PWM pin from the AVR and you've got enough bandwidth to add tons of channels! I doubt most hobbyists need that though so it would be a bit wasteful...

What were the failures on the integrated unit if you don't mind sharing? I'm curious to know if they line up with what I've seen over time. I stopped using the CAT4101 because it bakes itself so easily. I felt like I was spending more time testing and replacing CAT4101 drivers than playing with new projects, which was frustrating to say the least. So far I've not had any failures on LM3409s though I really don't like soldering something that fine. I'm thinking my next version might use the PDIP package.
02-26-2013 05:42 PM
O2surplus
Quote:
Originally Posted by All your base View Post
So you have that PCB stacked with a PCB that has footprints for the LDDs on it? Did you try to get it all on to one PCB?

I started designing a version of the reefcentral LM3409 driver to plug directly into a stock Typhon, if your experiments to parallel the LDDs doesn't work out longterm that might be an interesting route to go for people who need more than 1A.
I'm tempted to put it all on one PcB, but I fear putting all my "electronic eggs into one basket" LOL I did that once by combining a Full featured Arduino w/ RTC and 6 CAT4101's onto the same PcB. Problems arose quickly after building 10 of them and passing them out among members here on this Forum. Some members had incidents with theirs that resulted in a lot of "smoked" PcB's. I want to avoid that situation, this time around, so two separate PcB's should reduce replacement costs, if damage occurs.

The "Typhon" Pcb and the LDD Pcb are separated by .5" brass standoffs. The PWM signals are passed between the boards using a 4 position .1" arduino style pin header. A common ground is shared between the Pcb's by taking advantage of the brass standoff's conductive properties.

I love the LM3409. I actually designed this version of the "Typhon" to work with an LM3409 sub PcB prior to the MeanWell LDD's. I made a dual driver version that is stackable, so that 4 LM3409's can be controlled by a single "Typhon" The LM3409's were configured to output up to 3,000ma and featured analog current control using a 250K ohm pot on the IAdj pin. Here's a photo of the LM3409 sub Pcb. (The PcB was designed to be cut into two halves)

02-26-2013 05:09 PM
All your base So you have that PCB stacked with a PCB that has footprints for the LDDs on it? Did you try to get it all on to one PCB?

I started designing a version of the reefcentral LM3409 driver to plug directly into a stock Typhon, if your experiments to parallel the LDDs doesn't work out longterm that might be an interesting route to go for people who need more than 1A.
02-25-2013 11:48 PM
thelub I really should have paid more attention in my electronics engineering class in college. This stuff is simple yet so confusing to me. I really need to get up to speed as I think something like this will be the best way to light my 200g that is in the planning stages.
02-25-2013 07:44 PM
O2surplus
Quote:
Originally Posted by All your base View Post
Just curious, where are you getting the LDDs from? Mouser and Digikey are showing them in stock in a bunch of options at around $11 each.

The one advantage to PTH is that you don't need a via to switch which side of the pcb the lead's trace runs on. I'd be interested in seeing the files even if they aren't production-ready, whenever you're willing to share.

What are you doing for an enclosure?

I bought the LDD's from PowerGate LLC.(LDD-1000H | Mean-Well LDD-1000H | USA Warehouse ) They're quite popular right now, so a lot of vendors are having a hard time keeping them in stock. I ordered 20 and had to wait more than 6 weeks for them to ship, but @ $4.90 each, I couldn't complain.
I'd love to find an "off the shelf" enclosure that would work for this project, but I haven't found anything suitable yet. If I find one that's "close enough", I may just redesign the PcB's to make them fit the box, as that would be easier than designing the box to fit the PcB's LOL.

Here's a photo of the controller Pcb- just so you have something to go on until I can post the Eagle files. (it's still a work in progress, so i may move a few traces around.)
02-25-2013 06:44 PM
All your base Just curious, where are you getting the LDDs from? Mouser and Digikey are showing them in stock in a bunch of options at around $11 each.

The one advantage to PTH is that you don't need a via to switch which side of the pcb the lead's trace runs on. I'd be interested in seeing the files even if they aren't production-ready, whenever you're willing to share.

What are you doing for an enclosure?
02-25-2013 05:47 PM
O2surplus
Quote:
Originally Posted by All your base View Post
I think your changes are really nice. I haven't used the LDD before but it has pretty good specs and is cheap for a commercial driver. The plug-in capability is really cool, making for a nicely integrated unit vs. having a sloppy mess of wiring. The Typhon was a good achievement in some ways but it really fails in other ways - ease of integration being one of them. I definitely see this as an improvement in that arena.

Can you show some photos of the board with the components removed or post the EAGLE files? It looks like the design is all SMT?

What would be really nice would be to take this a step further. Integrate a voltage reg that could step down the LDD's source DC to something the Typhon hardware could use, to eliminate the separate power supply.

How are you finding the LDD's? It looks like they only go up to 1A which kinda sucks if you want to push XM-L or even XP-G.
I'm working on the design a bit and making a few changes with component placement, just to correct a few "bugs" that I found in the first board run. Being that this was my first attempt to marry the "Typhon" to a sub PcB, I want to correct any flaws before I post the build files. The Atmega chip, Ds1307, UA7805 regulator, capacitors, and resistors are all SMT. The Screw headers, watch crystal, battery holder, and LCD contrast trim pot are all "through hole" I plan to convert more of the design to SMT as I source more parts for the next batch. I now prefer to work with SMT components, as all the soldering can be completed in one step.
I thought about integrating the Typhon's power source with the LDD's, but didn't for a couple of reasons-
1.) Cost of the additional components.
2.) Keeping the "Typhon" powered on it's own supply allows me to use it to "turn off" the 48V supply at night.
I really like the LDD's! They're hard to get right now, but at $5 a piece they can't be beat. I can barely build a CAT4101 based driver for that cost! and the LDD will drive 2X the number of Led's!
As for their 1000ma output? we're still working on that. I've managed to parallel drive a couple and make 2,000ma output (Hello XML's), but the jury's still out if my wiring methods will result in long term performance or not.
02-25-2013 04:16 PM
All your base I think your changes are really nice. I haven't used the LDD before but it has pretty good specs and is cheap for a commercial driver. The plug-in capability is really cool, making for a nicely integrated unit vs. having a sloppy mess of wiring. The Typhon was a good achievement in some ways but it really fails in other ways - ease of integration being one of them. I definitely see this as an improvement in that arena.

Can you show some photos of the board with the components removed or post the EAGLE files? It looks like the design is all SMT?

What would be really nice would be to take this a step further. Integrate a voltage reg that could step down the LDD's source DC to something the Typhon hardware could use, to eliminate the separate power supply.

How are you finding the LDD's? It looks like they only go up to 1A which kinda sucks if you want to push XM-L or even XP-G.
02-25-2013 04:09 PM
O2surplus All the credit for the "Typhon Controller" goes to "Der Wille Zur Macht" over at ReefCentral. He was the original creator of this neat little led controller. I'm just a hack that took his original design and made a few changes to suit my needs.
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