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Old March 18th, 2008, 05:22 PM   #13
General Lee
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Nice work Daryl!

Just to give some more info on the boards I'm working on and the advantages thereof (shameless plug, I know...):

The board I designed for Daryl is a 500mA model capable of powering 6 LEDs on 13.5ish volts. (I am currently working on a 2A model.)

The advantages to this board over using resistors to set current are HUGE.

First off, the principal behind a resistor is to set a current based on an assumed consistent voltage. If you have 14 volts and your LED drops 3.7 volts (14-3.7 = 10.3 volts left over). If you want 1A, lets say, you need a resistance such that 10.3/R = 1 or a 10.3 ohm resistor. The resistor wastes 10.3 watts PER LED while in use, AND, if, for any reason, your voltage spikes, your current will also spike (since your resistor can't adjust for the change). This could possibly result in a blown LED...and they're expensive.

Also, with resistors, you miss out on a plethora of functionality that could be utilized better with a driver board.

The board I designed for daryl burns approximately 3 Watts Total MAX. It can also handle voltages up to 18V for a couple of minutes and spikes up to 40V for a few ms.

Plus I added a 8.5 Hz strobe for fun (I can also add dimmers/patterns/whatever).

Here is a little video of the functionality (Sorry, the quality isn't the best, and I didn't have a switch, so I had to just touch the bare wires together):
The LEDs in that video were also weaker than the ones that Daryl purchased.

I'm thinking about starting some side businesses with some minor electronics, and, provided I had enough people interested, that would be a featured product.

Also, as a side note, we were trashing a bunch of these heat sinks at work, so I saved them from the trash can:

These are light weight aluminum and would work well for this type of application (if you needed something more lightweight). (You'd have to cut the channel for the TO-220 off to use them with the LEDs, but it'd be easy to modify).

I'll be sure to get a video after everything is installed.

Last edited by General Lee; March 18th, 2008 at 05:32 PM.
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