Cree HP-LED Conversion & DC-DC Converter Assy

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Cree HP-LED Conversion & DC-DC Converter Assy

Postby Kingfish » Fri Oct 15, 2010 9:50 pm

Greetings –

This is really two stories married together.
  • Last winter I embarked on a quest to replace my entire lighting system using the DC-DC Converter P/N #VKP60MT312. Related thread here and here.
  • The single-most issue with using the converter was finding a heat sink.
  • Sourcing the Cree Ultrafire HP-LED was fraught with angst as the original supplier DealExtreme kept stalling on delivery. Fed up I cancelled the order after waiting 3 months. Related thread here.
  • After many weeks I secured a like-replacement Cree UniqueFire from DinoDirect which arrived promptly and without issue.
  • Mounting hardware for the flashlights was ordered off of eBay; I chose two models though the winner of the evaluation was obvious upon arrival. Related thread here.
  • Small items used for assembly were 125V/10A SPST Rocker switches purchased from Radio Shack, and pieces cut from a square-foot x 1/16th-inch thick sheet of neoprene rubber which I had on hand.
Assembly begins with the Flashlights:
I bought Qty-3 of the UniqueFire X8 Cree XP-G R5 300L HP-LED Flashlights from DinoDirect for just over $100. It comes fully assembled sans battery and charger. Workmanship on the flashlight was very good and without obvious flaws.

In the image below – the reflector in the upper-right was the only item that DealExtreme shipped to me: It wouldn’t fit the UniqueFire light nor could be adapted. You can wager DealExtreme will not be receiving a Hexmas card from me. :P

Image

To convert the flashlight from AAA battery to electric, I took a length of square balsa rod which was purchased from a hobby store, removed the end-cap of the flashlight, inserted the wood all the way into the battery tube, marked the end, and then cut off the rest. The image below shows a completed modification at the top, and one in progress below.

Image

Note: Balsa is a light and very soft wood whereas Pine, Acrylic, or Nylon rod would make for stronger alternatives. Time will tell if the balsa holds up.

I used a 7/32-inch drill bit to make the hole into the side of the battery holder as indicated below. Using 18-AWG speaker wire, I crafted the pseudo-battery using the cut balsa as the placibo & where each end of the wire has a nice large blob of solder for a contact, depressing it into the soft ends. The wire is secured by a few wraps of electrical tape. Note that the Negative end is wrapped to a diameter that nearly equals the battery, and in fact is a snug fit within the holder. Some experimentation is required to produce the right fitting.

Image

Contrary to natural thinking I reversed the mounting hardware so that it “pointed” backward on the handlebar. With the image below, “front” would be on the left. Reason being is that when the head-piece of the light is attached, the whole assembly is nearly balanced over the handlebar – which is very important considering the weakness of the attachments. I cut out a piece of neoprene to wrap around the entire battery tube; this did a much better job of creating an even fit across the length of the fixture. When this is assembled, rotate the unit so the the wires drape out the bottom directly and insert into the fixture with the clamping fastener for the light removed. This will allows the wires to slip into the slot snugly just right of the handlebar fastener. The head-piece is screwed on last.

Image

Small notes: All the fastening hardware that came with these mounts are shite; best to replace it all with Allen-head screws to prevent tampering or dropping out due to vibration. Also the rubber provided was not large enough to enable a secure clamp therefore I built up the size around the tube by cutting two strips of neoprene rubber ~ ¾-in x 4 inch that I wrapped tightly around the handlebar and secured with electrical tape where the flashlights would eventually go.

Mods to the DC-Converter:
I bought the heat sink off of eBay for $1.00 each – that’s right! It cost more to ship it to me. The heat sink is really low profile – lower than I anticipated. But it’s better than a poke in the eye. It even came with mounting screws! However - without nuts… it’s kinda futile but whatever; they went into the parts bin. The holes did not match up closely with the DC-Converter and had to modify them with a drill which was cumbersome … meh; part of the job. Fasteners that work: 4-40 x ¾-inch or M3-20mm will do in conjunction with aircraft nuts and no washers. My local Ace Hardware has a better selection than the Home Despot.

Image

The backside of the heat sink had this graphite-like slippery yet delicate material. I did not use any compound between the surfaces during the joining.

Image

I decided to keep the default voltage at 3.3V without trimming or other adjustment, however I did add a small 470µF 35V electrolytic capacitor on the output side to assuage the ripple and buffer the load. In the image below the Secondary ON/OFF shorted to Ground for constant operation. Again 18-AWG Radio Shack speaker wire was used. The rest of the unused pins were covered by a short snippet of heat shrink tubing, and then plastered all down with electrical tape.

Image

Lighting test:
I took three photos – none represent what I actually saw however the image below is likely the closest. The wall is 6-feet away. The lights are very bright and I did my best to avoid looking directly at the reflections. I was hoping for better spread; instead there is a strong center annulus enveloped by a profoundly weak flood. It is what it is – though I expected better. Methinks this is all a function of the reflector, thus the hunt continues. However – it is a much brighter and whiter light than the two 10W halogens they replaced. 8)

Image

I had secured the heat sink to the Converter with zinc-plated screws. Afterwards the modified regions of the heat sink where I filed and drilled were given a quick dash of hi-temp engine paint, then cured it on top of an oil space heater. While sorting out the wiring and doodads I left the whole assembly turned on for 3 full hours. On a 40-Ah battery it registered about a 0.1 Ah drop/hour. The little heat sink was toasty enough to keep biscuits quite warm, and perhaps would make for a perfect bum-warmer if one could figure out an arrangement below the seat. However it never did get too hot to touch in a static room-temp environment – though I wouldn’t want it to get any warmer. Come summer I should source a larger heat sink. On the flip-side and to my complete surprise the Cree flashlights barely registered any warming.

The image below displays the DC-Converter mounted on the neck of the handlebar for best exposure.

Image
Top-down view of the assembly almost directly over handlebar post. (Apologies for the glare of the CA). The heat sink is the squarish shape on the left of the post. Two toggle switches are on the right above the obscured controller. I kept the old battery-powered headlamp in the center as a backup. The flashlights can be turned-on or have their mode set individually though I prefer to have a master headlight switch (upper/closest to the CA). The lower one is the Power Switch to the DC-Converter, and is useful for arresting the 0.5W patristic drain even when there is no load.

Image

Flashy Taillight mod:
I use a pair of Planet Bike Super-Flash blinkies for tail lights when riding day or night. The 3.3V out from the Converter goes to a pair of 18-AWG Trailer Connectors: One serves the Cree flashlights, and the other connects to the Super-Flash blinkies in the rear. Modifying the blinkies was pretty straight-forward: Remove the AAA batteries, bend out the contacts, and solder the pre-tinned wire ends. I then notched the sides of the casing. As an afterthought I applied Urethane sealant to the wire and slots to repel moisture. Two views below show the completed assembly.

Image

Image

The blinkies are connected directly to the output of the Converter which is controlled by the Power Switch. When turned on, they are at least as bright and strong as a brand new fresh pack of batteries – and probably more so being very highly visible; an unexpected though most-welcomed benefit! :D

Final thoughts:
All the little details took time; I spent maybe one short day including running about getting the missing pieces together. BTW - the 18-AWG wire never gets warm, though I will probably use the heat sink to warm my hands come winter. Now that I have a LiPo-enabled Auxiliary electrical circuit maybe it’s time to consider other niceties such as running lights or turn signals. Then again there is that unused plasma cannon sitting in the corner collecting dust: Might be time to clear the roads of obnoxious vermin… :wink:

Cheers, KF
Last edited by Kingfish on Fri Mar 04, 2011 6:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
* My 2WD Garden Wall
* Kinaye MotorSports
* Primary ride: 2WD Disc 9C 2806-equiv / Dual Lyen 12FET / 20S7P LiPo.
* Epics: Going to California: 2011 8)
* 50-mph, 101, 10k-Club. 12,527 miles-to-date, 7037 as 2WD.

It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion.
It is by the beans of Java that thoughts acquire speed.
The hands acquire shakes, the shakes become a warning.
It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion.
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Re: Cree HP-LED Conversion & DC-DC Converter Assy

Postby StudEbiker » Fri Oct 15, 2010 10:48 pm

Nice work. I am getting ready to set up a hardwired light too so there is some good info here for me. Thanks for posting.
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Re: Cree HP-LED Conversion & DC-DC Converter Assy

Postby Kingfish » Sun Oct 17, 2010 1:04 am

Tonight I braved Z O M B I E S to get this pertinent information to you – fresh from the fogberry swamps of old Redmond. We used to be troubled by Indian ghosts, but ever since the zombies moved in, well… muggings around here have really dropped. <nods>

And I’m glad too ‘cos as tough as mugger are – they ain’t too smart, and I hates getting wupt’d by muggers. Zombies though ~ well let me tell you I have a perfect weapon for them. It’s called:

A Dual Cree HP-LED Headlamp, custom-made inside my own little cave. Tonight I blazed the trail with phosphorous-bright illumination. Three zombies burst into flame trying to run away. What a sight.

After the trail was cleared and the adrenaline throttled back some I set up my digital camera for a little photie shoot.

I’m afraid I’m all thumbs when it comes to these new-fangled contraptions. Took several exposures with the timer and it still didn’t do it justice. Below is a Photoshop comp that is pretty close though. I set the measuring tape beginning with the front axle and going out from there. The ambient light reaches back pretty far. The markers are made from remnant white HDPE I had lying about. The last marker is the tape measure at the end of the 30’ tape; it was pretty hard to read at 50’.

Image

I actually took these pictures twice tonight. The zombies tried to sabotage the bike whilst I was out laying markers down. Bastards. Before I could finish the bike fell over roasting the legs right off the slimy cretin, and as it tried to crawl away I finished him off by laying both beams of Torch squarely on the back and geez it frothed and popped like a… oh maybe I better tone it down some… anyway the burbling plasmodial mucor soon dissolved and I’m quite certain the stains will right wash out. :)

Anyways – there it is – the Test. I’m sure the angle of attack could be optimized to fry them at a distance without fear of losing traction over the greasy residue. Actually I may go ahead and mount the third Cree if I can find a reflector that can cast a wider dispersion, you know… snub the rumps of zombies on the fringe.

~KF
Last edited by Kingfish on Fri Mar 04, 2011 6:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
* My 2WD Garden Wall
* Kinaye MotorSports
* Primary ride: 2WD Disc 9C 2806-equiv / Dual Lyen 12FET / 20S7P LiPo.
* Epics: Going to California: 2011 8)
* 50-mph, 101, 10k-Club. 12,527 miles-to-date, 7037 as 2WD.

It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion.
It is by the beans of Java that thoughts acquire speed.
The hands acquire shakes, the shakes become a warning.
It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion.
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Re: Cree HP-LED Conversion & DC-DC Converter Assy

Postby hydro-one » Sun Oct 17, 2010 1:15 am

Thanks for the post! Very good instructions. and pics
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Re: Cree HP-LED Conversion & DC-DC Converter Assy

Postby GCinDC » Thu Dec 02, 2010 9:00 pm

i just got one of lyen's DC - DC converter. Hadn't been planning to use a heat sink with it. Think it's necessary for 1/2hr ride? will be using a dealextreme P7 that finally arrived. :roll:

very timely post. Thanks! i wondered about drilling a hole, but probably wouldn't have done it until seeing yours.
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Re: Cree HP-LED Conversion & DC-DC Converter Assy

Postby Kingfish » Thu Dec 02, 2010 11:16 pm

GCinDC: Lyen’s unit does indeed look like a good item for those running less than 60V; thanks for sharing! :)

Drilling hole: Apologies, I forgot to put in the instructions that I threaded the wires through the hole first before inserting the placibo-balsa battery, though it was my hope one could sort that out without a dot-to-dot manual :roll:

Addendum: My Official Zombie Authority has informed me that there was no possible way my torches could cause those vermin to burst into flame, and suggested instead that I was roasting vampires. My thinking is that rotting imbecilic sloth-like vampires that go “aaarrggghnnblaaa…” are a rarity. Is it possible we have a case of mistaken identity in Redmond?

Regardless – I have adjusted the beams to point outward a bit farther and they now illuminate a good 50 feet which is just about the whole width of the trail in the photo above. Although I am still contemplating adding the third light, these units do a pretty dang good job of flaming the trail clear.

BTW - the DC-DC Converter never gets warm in these temps; it’s a non-issue. :wink:

Best, KF
* My 2WD Garden Wall
* Kinaye MotorSports
* Primary ride: 2WD Disc 9C 2806-equiv / Dual Lyen 12FET / 20S7P LiPo.
* Epics: Going to California: 2011 8)
* 50-mph, 101, 10k-Club. 12,527 miles-to-date, 7037 as 2WD.

It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion.
It is by the beans of Java that thoughts acquire speed.
The hands acquire shakes, the shakes become a warning.
It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion.
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Re: Cree HP-LED Conversion & DC-DC Converter Assy

Postby GCinDC » Sun Dec 05, 2010 7:52 am

so i got a P7 spitfire. build looks the same as yours, but i can't open the tube on the front. i put a crescent wrench on the flat of the handle and vise grips on the front but it wouldn't budge!
P1000609.JPG
P1000609.JPG (165.43 KiB) Viewed 5052 times


i do see a seam, and wouldn't have tried w/o that... any suggestions?

i'd figured you'd used the balsa wood battery just to continue using the switch. i guess i could just do that though.

i didn't buy the battery so was hoping just to do some tests but can't get an alligator clip down in there.
Youtube channel, 2013 Highlights vid. Ebike Nerdcast.
Giant DH Comp: 20s lipo (11.6Ah), hs3540, Adaptto Mini-E, 900W BMSBattery charger.
GT I-Drive (sold), 20s lipo, 9C, 72V 45A 12FET.
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Re: Cree HP-LED Conversion & DC-DC Converter Assy

Postby Kingfish » Sun Dec 05, 2010 3:28 pm

Gosh, all that comes to me is that the threads have seized or have been Loctite in place. Do you have more than one unit for testing? They should spin off by hand. Alternately you may wish to contact the supplier for direction; could be a warrantee issue if it does not perform or disassemble as described. :(

For a testing workaround, try making contact with the center pole within the head and use the body as the return path. The Clicky-end piece contains the switch-logic circuitry; you could always rig point-to-point contact between the two pieces, though admittedly that is more cumbersome than it sounds. Time to get inventive. :)

User Notes and Observations:
  • My DC-DC converter gets warm at room temp running two lights, but in winter where it’s 30-50*F – it never sees warm whatsoever.
  • Each light is individually capable of any of the 5-modes (or whatever your specific abilities depending on model) that is programmable through the clicky rear switch. The toggle switch I installed for the main lighting in-between is the main lighting power cut-off, and so long as I use it in a protracted deliberate manner the settings for each Cree-light remain persistent. In other words, if I flipped the toggle quickly it would change the settings in the Cree-lights unpredictably and quickly get them out of unison. This “feature” can be overridden by setting the Cree-lights to how you want – and leave that way, then use the toggle to switch ON or OFF casually (and not by screwing around like a kid might do).

Drifting slightly off-topic...
Speaking of kids, yesterday I was at my local REI getting my tires swapped out for studs; I had the front drive wheel off with the bike balanced on the front forks next to the counter. Without warning some family with 3 little girls and a boy-not-yet-teen approaches the desk to gather up their skiing equipment (obviously part of a pre-arranged pickup). The boy immediately peels away and starts fondling every switch on my bike: CA, lights, throttle, tugging at the wires, touching everything about the handlebars and ringing my people-bell <ding-ding>. I’m standing there looking at my bike not 5 feet away in my full biking regalia: jacket, boots, trousers, helmet on, goggles at my neck – passively watching to see how far this juvenile activity will go: Mother says “leave it alone” – which goes in one ear and out the next without stopping for effect. Truly, I was waiting for the bike to fall over and crush him – although I was close enough and ready to arrest it if it did. :twisted:

The point: You have no control over your settings once you leave & lock the bike. I check my equipment every time I mount: Battery containment & connection, CA, taillights, headlights, throttle. I think the way I have my setup wired is pretty good, and yesterday it proved to be Insolent Youth Certified Safe. Cheeky little bugger kept looking at me while he did it too. :idea:

Oh heck: Let’s make this official:

I, Kingfish, do hereby declare and bestow upon this modification my official seal of approval.

Image

hehe... KF :lol:
Last edited by Kingfish on Fri Mar 04, 2011 6:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
* My 2WD Garden Wall
* Kinaye MotorSports
* Primary ride: 2WD Disc 9C 2806-equiv / Dual Lyen 12FET / 20S7P LiPo.
* Epics: Going to California: 2011 8)
* 50-mph, 101, 10k-Club. 12,527 miles-to-date, 7037 as 2WD.

It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion.
It is by the beans of Java that thoughts acquire speed.
The hands acquire shakes, the shakes become a warning.
It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion.
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Re: Cree HP-LED Conversion & DC-DC Converter Assy

Postby GCinDC » Mon Dec 06, 2010 5:20 pm

Kingfish wrote:Gosh, all that comes to me is that the threads have seized or have been Loctite in place.

Good guess! Tightened the vice grips even more. Thought just one turn would be hard, but it took a while. Anyway, I'm in! Thanks..
Youtube channel, 2013 Highlights vid. Ebike Nerdcast.
Giant DH Comp: 20s lipo (11.6Ah), hs3540, Adaptto Mini-E, 900W BMSBattery charger.
GT I-Drive (sold), 20s lipo, 9C, 72V 45A 12FET.
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Re: Cree HP-LED Conversion & DC-DC Converter Assy

Postby Kingfish » Mon Dec 17, 2012 1:58 pm

Greetings ye kindred ebikers

For some time now I have noticed an artifact with the Cree headlights that is directly related to the Blinkies mounted behind my seat:

    The headlights flicker in time with the strobing of the Blinkies. It's not a big deal, just an interesting one. Here's the dirt: Both share the same 3.3V circuit, and I have a 63V 470 uf cap (recycled from old controller) that sits atop the rail directly after the DC converter to assuage ripple. Today, being raining (which is more or less every day in the Pacific Northwest) and wanting to keep busy I decided to take a stab at eliminating the flicker.

  • First, I harvested a 25V 100uf cap off of the FET rail on an old 6FET controller and soldered it across the input to one blinkie. No appreciable effect. Turned off the other blinkie for isolation, but the headlights were still flickering.
  • Second, I harvested a 63V 470uf cap and tried again: Still no effect.
  • On the third try I used a brand new (never installed) 100V 1000uf low-ESR cap – and still it did not buffer or affect the flickering to any appreciable degree.

I am beginning to think this is not a voltage issue, but rather one of Current. The Blinkies normally use two AAA cells in series. Does adding an inductor (coil) make sense, and if so what should I be looking for that’s easy to find?

Thanks in advance.
Completely Flickered, KF
* My 2WD Garden Wall
* Kinaye MotorSports
* Primary ride: 2WD Disc 9C 2806-equiv / Dual Lyen 12FET / 20S7P LiPo.
* Epics: Going to California: 2011 8)
* 50-mph, 101, 10k-Club. 12,527 miles-to-date, 7037 as 2WD.

It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion.
It is by the beans of Java that thoughts acquire speed.
The hands acquire shakes, the shakes become a warning.
It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion.
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Re: Cree HP-LED Conversion & DC-DC Converter Assy

Postby Samson » Mon Dec 17, 2012 7:19 pm

Kingfish wrote:Greetings ye kindred ebikers

For some time now I have noticed an artifact with the Cree headlights that is directly related to the Blinkies mounted behind my seat:

    The headlights flicker in time with the strobing of the Blinkies. It's not a big deal, just an interesting one. Here's the dirt: Both share the same 3.3V circuit, and I have a 63V 470 uf cap (recycled from old controller) that sits atop the rail directly after the DC converter to assuage ripple. Today, being raining (which is more or less every day in the Pacific Northwest) and wanting to keep busy I decided to take a stab at eliminating the flicker.


I am beginning to think this is not a voltage issue, but rather one of Current. The Blinkies normally use two AAA cells in series. Does adding an inductor (coil) make sense, and if so what should I be looking for that’s easy to find?

Thanks in advance.
Completely Flickered, KF


If the Cree lamp shares the power feed with the blinkers, in other words the Cree is not connected directly to the inverter output pins but to the bus wiring somewhere, then when the blinkers draw current they will cause a voltage drop on the power wires that will show up on the Cree light intensity. A drop of even .1 volts would be visible in the Cree intensity. If the Cree is connected directly to the Inverter output then the 3.3 V must be sagging when the blinkers blink. This would occur if the inverter current capacity is being exceeded and the 3.3 V dips. This voltage dip should be visible on a scope or an analog voltmeter as the blink rate is slow.
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Re: Cree HP-LED Conversion & DC-DC Converter Assy

Postby Kingfish » Tue Dec 18, 2012 1:00 pm

Hmmm, that makes sense.

Small Correction: The 12V rail has the 470uf cap, and the 3.3V has only a 220uf. All wiring from the DC-DC Converter is either 10 or 12 AWG up to a fork, with one connector for the Multiswitch that turns the Cree’s On/Off (16 AWG internal), and the other connector to the trailer harness – all of which is 18 AWG.

I see a couple of possible choices:
  • Upgrade the cap at the DC Converter or perhaps install a cap on the Cree-side of the fork.
  • Place a low-ohm resistor inline on the trailer harness side of the fork to reduce the influence of the Blinkies. Nothing else runs off of 3.3V.
My local supplier has a good selection of low-voltage Alum electrolytic; the controller-harvested caps are overrated; I could easily swap them out with a pair of 16V 2200uf caps and still be saving space.

Reviewing the DC-DC Converter specs, its’ three outputs: V1 = 3.3V, and V2 & 3 are 12V, combined will peak at 75W. V1 is rated to 18A. I can’t see that my system is using anywhere near that. I figure the Cree’s are drawing about 1.5 to 2A each; they’d eat a normal flashlight battery in less than an hour if left on high.

Scoped it out: I put a probe across +/- of one Blinkie with the new Owon scope and it says the mean output is 3.18V. Forgive me – I’m still learning how to use the device: I didn’t order it with a battery and it’s too far away to hook up to a USB cable for a screen cap, but the spiking during a blink was about +1V/-0.5V.

I might have to reorganize my setup and bring the bike over for real-time capture. :)

Having fun inside where it’s dry and warm, KF
* My 2WD Garden Wall
* Kinaye MotorSports
* Primary ride: 2WD Disc 9C 2806-equiv / Dual Lyen 12FET / 20S7P LiPo.
* Epics: Going to California: 2011 8)
* 50-mph, 101, 10k-Club. 12,527 miles-to-date, 7037 as 2WD.

It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion.
It is by the beans of Java that thoughts acquire speed.
The hands acquire shakes, the shakes become a warning.
It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion.
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Re: Cree HP-LED Conversion & DC-DC Converter Assy

Postby Samson » Tue Dec 18, 2012 1:29 pm

If the voltage at the converter DC output pins stays solid at 3.3V when the blinker is on but it drops by .5-1 volt at the lamp when the lamp is active then the issue is you need heavier wires. If the voltage at the converter output pins drops drops below 3.3V then the converter is operating outside of its max current setting or capability. What is the current rating of the converter?

Actually the easy way to troubleshoot is to set the rear light to be on solid and then check for voltage drops with a DVM. If the Converter is 3.3V at it's pins and out at the lamps you get less then the wiring or connections have to much resistance. I looked at the data sheet for the converter and it should easily power these lamps. Hard to see how wiring resistance would be a factor at these current levels though unless the wiring is very light.
Last edited by Samson on Tue Dec 18, 2012 1:49 pm, edited 1 time in total. View post history.
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Re: Cree HP-LED Conversion & DC-DC Converter Assy

Postby Kingfish » Tue Dec 18, 2012 2:56 pm

DC Converters thread was given at the top post :)

Measuring at the Converter will be more challenging as it's buried. Here’s what I did as a workaround:
  • Unplugged the Cree’s to get to the supply as close to the DC Converter as possible.
  • Disabled all but one Blinkie for observation.
  • Dialed in scope tighter until I could see the waveforms. (Still learning…)
  • Voltage at the Cree connector is about 3.23V; about 0.05V more than at the Blinkies which are about 4 feet away cable-wise.
  • The Spike is +2V, peaks in 0.25ns, settles to 50% in another 0.50ns, and is nearly flat after 200ns from start. Spike is from the highly-visible white-light Blink.
  • The Ripple is much more frequent and has its’ own cycle, but is +/- 0.5V and I count about 5 waves per pulse, with a pulse width of 150ns. Ripple is caused by lesser-powered flashing LEDs.
I resampled back at the Blinkie using the same scale and the spike was 5X higher. I cannot be sure that I am using the scope correctly, but obviously the length of wire is acting is filtering the Blink Spike. The ripple seemed about the same.

Interesting. KF
* My 2WD Garden Wall
* Kinaye MotorSports
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Re: Cree HP-LED Conversion & DC-DC Converter Assy

Postby Samson » Tue Dec 18, 2012 4:52 pm

Kingfish wrote:DC Converters thread was given at the top post :)

Measuring at the Converter will be more challenging as it's buried. Here’s what I did as a workaround:
  • Unplugged the Cree’s to get to the supply as close to the DC Converter as possible.
  • Disabled all but one Blinkie for observation.
  • Dialed in scope tighter until I could see the waveforms. (Still learning…)
  • Voltage at the Cree connector is about 3.23V; about 0.05V more than at the Blinkies which are about 4 feet away cable-wise.
  • The Spike is +2V, peaks in 0.25ns, settles to 50% in another 0.50ns, and is nearly flat after 200ns from start. Spike is from the highly-visible white-light Blink.
  • The Ripple is much more frequent and has its’ own cycle, but is +/- 0.5V and I count about 5 waves per pulse, with a pulse width of 150ns. Ripple is caused by lesser-powered flashing LEDs.
I resampled back at the Blinkie using the same scale and the spike was 5X higher. I cannot be sure that I am using the scope correctly, but obviously the length of wire is acting is filtering the Blink Spike. The ripple seemed about the same.

Interesting. KF



If you mean the spike is 2 volts above the 3.3 eg 5.3 then something is wrong, there should not be a spike at all. The ripple of .5 volts also does not make sense. The spec for the device has ripple as +-100mV. It seems the converter is defective. One thing though is to look at the other converter outputs as it seems to have 3 channels perhaps the other two channels work properly.
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Re: Cree HP-LED Conversion & DC-DC Converter Assy

Postby Kingfish » Tue Dec 18, 2012 6:01 pm

The converter is not defective. Been working like a champ for 3 years. There's a good chance I am not reading the scope correctly. I'll go do a bit more research and figure how to get a good read on what's going on. :)

~KF
* My 2WD Garden Wall
* Kinaye MotorSports
* Primary ride: 2WD Disc 9C 2806-equiv / Dual Lyen 12FET / 20S7P LiPo.
* Epics: Going to California: 2011 8)
* 50-mph, 101, 10k-Club. 12,527 miles-to-date, 7037 as 2WD.

It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion.
It is by the beans of Java that thoughts acquire speed.
The hands acquire shakes, the shakes become a warning.
It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion.
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Re: Cree HP-LED Conversion & DC-DC Converter Assy

Postby amberwolf » Tue Dec 18, 2012 11:57 pm

Put those capacitors at the blinkies, maybe? If they dont' have to suck the current thru the wire, then it's inductance (?) shouldn't cause a spike.
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Re: Cree HP-LED Conversion & DC-DC Converter Assy

Postby Kingfish » Wed Dec 19, 2012 1:27 pm

Gents –
I spent the early AM calibrating and setting the scope per the user manual; when all else fails RTFM. :roll: :lol: Configured the device to use Ethernet; the cable run can go farther than USB and my router is closer to where the bike is stored than the PC. Installed the Winapps; only the Oscilloscope works; the Logic Analyzer wants a USB port.

Capturing
Finally settled in and went to work capturing data. But something is quite odd: The Blinkies should be noisy little beasts, but with two probes I determined there was more noise at the Converter end than the Blinkie so I disabled them. The only equipment running is the Controllers and the CAs, and there is no load on the 3.3V line. I even disconnected the taillight which has a high-frequency flicker of its’ own (though on the 12V rail). Here’s the capture: Red is at the farthest Blinkie (both are off), and Yellow is at the stub-out for the Cree’s (which are disconnected). The stub is about 1 foot from the DC-DC Converter. What’s with all the noise? Is that chatter from the Controllers? In my system, GND is GND: Battery Negative, nothing isolated.

Image

I think we need to resolve the noise before sorting out the Cree flickering, yes? Small note: The Cree’s are very sensitive at the point of contact. This summer I reworked the connections and greatly improved stability.

One last observation: Removed the CH2 probe and reconnecteed the Cree's... there is no flicker, however CH1 probe picked up an odd cyclic bounce that is the full width of the capture with the amplitude of the smaller pulse.

I wish the OWON software would capture the scope screen and not the data.

Curious, KF
* My 2WD Garden Wall
* Kinaye MotorSports
* Primary ride: 2WD Disc 9C 2806-equiv / Dual Lyen 12FET / 20S7P LiPo.
* Epics: Going to California: 2011 8)
* 50-mph, 101, 10k-Club. 12,527 miles-to-date, 7037 as 2WD.

It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion.
It is by the beans of Java that thoughts acquire speed.
The hands acquire shakes, the shakes become a warning.
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Re: Cree HP-LED Conversion & DC-DC Converter Assy

Postby Kingfish » Sun May 19, 2013 10:46 pm

Been a while since I posted on this thread. There are two new items.

First item – Noise in the Headlights
Thinking about the Blinkie issue, I no longer believe it can be solved with more capacitance; rather what is needed is an inductor. The Headlights are current-driven; the Blinkies are causing changes in current; capacitance therefore had no effect because it isn’t a voltage issue. I’m thinking a small inductor on the Headlight leg would filter out the noise. Though I don’t know what to spec. Open to ideas :idea:

Second Item – Headlight Replacement
Been running the same pair of headlights for a while now: Cree UniqueFire X8. About 300-320 Lumens. They are 5-Way so it’s kind of a pain because they will change function on their own if I hit a good bump or divot.

A while back I ordered up a pair of Cree UltraFire WF-501B which claim to put out 900 Lumens. I think it was last week I took my Commuter Pack off the bike and balanced it – using these lights to pull down the high cells. And – they are definitely brighter by at least 2X over the UniqueFire. I bought them to upgrade the original pair but the parts are not exactly 1:1 compatible so I shelved them. Needing a good source for load during balance, I decided to make them ready for use and have that part documented…

Image
Cree UniqueFire and UltraFire. The little guy puts out more than twice the power! His switch is just plain ol’ On/Off – and that’s all I want.


Image
Beam Test: The wall is 4 feet away, and the little spot on the lower left measures 3 inches across; that's the UniqueFire. The UltraFire is the bright one in the center.

There is a subtle difference in the construction of the UltraFire: It has two spring contacts! The other only has one. In this image below I’ve already modified one unit. The body has a ¼” hole drilled into it, and I laced a foot long segment of 18-AWG speaker wire through. Instead of a battery, I’ve created a stand-in replacement that’s plug-n-play.

Image

I could have soldered directly to the contacts, but there’s a problem with that: One spring spins, but the other is fixed, so how would you screw the end back on without twisting the wire? The stand-in keeps it clean. Let me show you how I made it.


Image

When I did this the first time I just used blobs of solder. But I think that it didn’t make for a very good contact surface. This time I used US Dimes:

    From Wikipedia, “With the passage of the Coinage Act of 1965, the composition of the dime changed from 90 percent silver and 10 percent copper to a clad "sandwich" of pure copper inner layer between two outer layers of cupronickel (75% copper, 25% nickel) alloy[23] giving a total composition of 91.67% Cu and 8.33% Ni. This composition was selected because it gave similar mass (now 2.268 grams instead of 2.5 grams) and electrical properties (important in vending machines)—and most importantly, because it contained no precious metal.”
We like the electrical properties better than Tin-Lead Solder. :)

In addition, the diameter of the Dime is almost exactly the same as the Battery it replaces.


Image

The contacts were then mounted to the ends of the Balsa post and taped down – as displayed in an earlier image. Taking it one step further, I added heat shrink to the ends to create an electrical barrier on the periphery; we only want the center of the contact exposed.


Image

Next, I pulled and tugged on the wire and brought our substitute inside the body of the flashlight. This was actually pretty tricky so I’ll tell you what I did to coax it in: Applying heat shrink to the ends was a challenge without the Dime popping out; if you make the overhang a little longer it won’t do it though. Also don’t go hog-wild and synch it down tight. We actually need to pop the Dime out to pull it back in.

In the image above the Negative Terminal is pulled in and the Positive is left out; I color-coded the Positive with a red marker to keep it straight in my head. Because of the tight fit, I flipped the Negative end sideways so there would be room for the wire as I pulled it through. Once the contact gets past the wire, we can push it in either direction and re-insert the Dime flush. The length of the post is such that it created good pressure for contact on both sides.

The rest is just a matter of screwing the ends back on, and we’re done with this assembly.

To finish the job I'll have to wait until I rework the fairing to accommodate the smaller flashlights. They get pretty dang warm during operation and I am thinking I’ll have to have a heatsink or aluminum mounting fixture to help pull that away. Anyways – I’ll get to that part soon enough.

These lights kick bootie and I can’t wait to give them a try.
More as it happens. KF
* My 2WD Garden Wall
* Kinaye MotorSports
* Primary ride: 2WD Disc 9C 2806-equiv / Dual Lyen 12FET / 20S7P LiPo.
* Epics: Going to California: 2011 8)
* 50-mph, 101, 10k-Club. 12,527 miles-to-date, 7037 as 2WD.

It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion.
It is by the beans of Java that thoughts acquire speed.
The hands acquire shakes, the shakes become a warning.
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Re: Cree HP-LED Conversion & DC-DC Converter Assy

Postby ejonesss » Mon May 20, 2013 9:52 pm

i dont know if the government will say anything but i think defacing money is a federal offense since money is federal property.
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Re: Cree HP-LED Conversion & DC-DC Converter Assy

Postby Kingfish » Tue May 21, 2013 12:41 am

ejonesss wrote:i dont know if the government will say anything but i think defacing money is a federal offense since money is federal property.

What? For $0.40 USD?? Bugger off! :P

:lol: KF
* My 2WD Garden Wall
* Kinaye MotorSports
* Primary ride: 2WD Disc 9C 2806-equiv / Dual Lyen 12FET / 20S7P LiPo.
* Epics: Going to California: 2011 8)
* 50-mph, 101, 10k-Club. 12,527 miles-to-date, 7037 as 2WD.

It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion.
It is by the beans of Java that thoughts acquire speed.
The hands acquire shakes, the shakes become a warning.
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Re: Cree HP-LED Conversion & DC-DC Converter Assy

Postby Kingfish » Tue May 21, 2013 2:19 pm

FWIW, you can use a Penny as a contact for the Cree UniqueFire X8; it’s a tight fit - though you’ll only be out $0.04. Pennies will have less conductivity than Dimes cos they are copper-clad over Zinc core.

On the hunt for something completely different and I came across this item on Amazon which spawned a fun mad hunt this morning:

Image
DC 9-12V Motorcycle Round LED Headlight 15W 1500LM Head Lamp Super Bright
Output: 15W 1500LM (5 led, each led 3W)
Fitment: Suitable diameter 140MM-170MM Round headlamps Modification
Goes for $58.23

Also found this on eBay:

Image
Motorcycle led headlight angel eyes ultra-light adapted
Can’t tell anything about it from the writing, though close inspection of the “driver” says IN: DC 8-14V 0.8-21A, OUT: 8-20W. Can’t tell what size it is either. They want $18.20 USD.

This got me searching a bit more, and I found this:

Image
15w CREE Driving Spot Light LED Motorcycle mx Fog ATV Offroad Dual Sport Enduro for $25.99 USD

And this:

Image
St 2 X 2" 9-60V 10W LED Flood Headlight Off Road Lamp Motorcycle Mountain Bike for $66.83 USD

Looks like we’re almost ready to have full on direct LED Headlamp replacements for motorcycle and car. For trucks, I found this listed on both Amazon and eBay:

Image
Truck Lite High Intensity Phase 7” LED Motorcycle Truck Headlamp for ... get this ... $194.50 USD! :roll:
Has high and low beam. If it wasn’t so steep – I’d dive in.

Maybe next year we’ll have better choices.
Still sticking to the original plan, KF
* My 2WD Garden Wall
* Kinaye MotorSports
* Primary ride: 2WD Disc 9C 2806-equiv / Dual Lyen 12FET / 20S7P LiPo.
* Epics: Going to California: 2011 8)
* 50-mph, 101, 10k-Club. 12,527 miles-to-date, 7037 as 2WD.

It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion.
It is by the beans of Java that thoughts acquire speed.
The hands acquire shakes, the shakes become a warning.
It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion.
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Re: Cree HP-LED Conversion & DC-DC Converter Assy

Postby cal3thousand » Tue May 21, 2013 5:28 pm

If you don't like the 5 way functionality, you could just buy a 3 way clicky and replace it. Takes 2 seconds.
Get a Cycle Analyst and a Multimeter, you're still a noob if you don't have at least one of each.

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Re: Cree HP-LED Conversion & DC-DC Converter Assy

Postby Kingfish » Thu May 23, 2013 12:05 pm

cal3thousand wrote:If you don't like the 5 way functionality, you could just buy a 3 way clicky and replace it. Takes 2 seconds.

I just tested this on the UniqueFire by taking a 5V 2.1A power supply for a USB hub and applied Positive to the center of the lamp-end and GND to the side and was able to change the modes by quickly connecting/disconnecting. So it appears that the Clickie facilitates On/Off - and nothing more.

Which means that the next time I do this mod to a UltraFire, I could bypass the Clickie altogether 8)

Enlightened, KF
* My 2WD Garden Wall
* Kinaye MotorSports
* Primary ride: 2WD Disc 9C 2806-equiv / Dual Lyen 12FET / 20S7P LiPo.
* Epics: Going to California: 2011 8)
* 50-mph, 101, 10k-Club. 12,527 miles-to-date, 7037 as 2WD.

It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion.
It is by the beans of Java that thoughts acquire speed.
The hands acquire shakes, the shakes become a warning.
It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion.
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Re: Cree HP-LED Conversion & DC-DC Converter Assy

Postby cal3thousand » Thu May 23, 2013 4:08 pm

Kingfish wrote:
cal3thousand wrote:If you don't like the 5 way functionality, you could just buy a 3 way clicky and replace it. Takes 2 seconds.

I just tested this on the UniqueFire by taking a 5V 2.1A power supply for a USB hub and applied Positive to the center of the lamp-end and GND to the side and was able to change the modes by quickly connecting/disconnecting. So it appears that the Clickie facilitates On/Off - and nothing more.

Which means that the next time I do this mod to a UltraFire, I could bypass the Clickie altogether 8)

Enlightened, KF


You're right. I have no idea why I thought that. Must have been in lalaland that day. :D

The led driver on there should be handling the 5 functions. This one seems to be up your alley as far as power requirements and output:

http://dx.com/p/3-6v-9v-800ma-regulated-ic-circuit-board-for-cree-and-ssc-leds-4-pack-3256 It's a 4-pack for $7

reading the reviews, it looks like this is a single mode driver capable of taking anywhere 3.6V to 16V and outputting that to 1-4 LEDs as long as the supply voltage is at least .5-.9V higher than the Vf of the combine LEDs.
Get a Cycle Analyst and a Multimeter, you're still a noob if you don't have at least one of each.

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