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  1. #1
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    mobydrv is born - all your cycling single LED driver needs in one :)

    Hi all,

    I've been working with DrJones from BLF for the past month or so to design the ideal low cost single LED bike light driver. It's based on the venerable Nanjg AMC7135 linear drivers (max input 5.5V) and it's set up to use a tactile/ electronic switch to make housing/ remote switch design easier.

    Link to his website: DrJones' Custom Firmware Drivers

    Standout features:

    1) fully programmable - it has 2 mode groups that you can switch between, each with up to 7 power levels that you can customise with one of 12 brightness levels. Each mode group has its own memory, so you'll go to the last used level when you switch between them.

    2) Custom UI - short clicks to go up levels, long presses to go down. So to go between Med and High, just click up, press down, click up, press down. No need to cycle through the other modes in that mode group.

    3) Battery level indicator and low voltage protection - you can get a read out of battery voltage by press&holding when the light is off; each blink = 0.1V above 3V (so six blinks = 3.6V or ~50% capacity). When battery voltage drops below 3V, output is halved which allows voltage to rise above 3V and should get some useable "out of the woods" time. Every time it subsequently goes below 3V output halves again, until it drops down to moonlight mode (~1% max drive) so you'll never be left completely without light.

    4) Oscillating "on-and-flashing" strobes - 2 oscillating strobe modes (regularOoOoOoO and double-pulseooOoOoooooOoOooo) with 2 different power levels each in a 1 to 4 ratio (flash is 4x the drive current of steady state).

    5) High 18kHz PWM, so no whine or flicker

    6) Ships by default with 2 mode groups; group one has 2-50-100% and group two has all the strobes.

    7) Available in max drive currents from 1.05A to 2.8A in 350mA increments, although I'm sure he'd be able to add or subtract chips to order, he's a very helpful guy.

    8) The switch is wired up to one of the stars and driver ground, so it's pretty simple http://drjones.dyndns.info/lumodrv-connect.jpg

    I think this will make a neat driver in between the cheap'n'cheerful AMC7135 drivers from China and the boutique Taskled drivers. Hopefully most of the features of the latter with the price closer to the former. I think it will make an awesome rear light driver too, with the ability to have whatever set up of solid and flashing modes you want (or even just one flashing mode!).

    Speaking of price, each driver (whatever the power level) is $7 and shipping is $2 for single sided drivers (up to 1.4A) and $2.50 for double sided drivers.

    I've just paid for my first one, a 2.1A driver to set up in Master-Slave configuration for a new helmet light. Hopefully the ~$20 I'll have saved will stop her eyebrow rising as far as it usually does (it'll pay for the battery too!).

  2. #2
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    Bloody brilliant! I may upgrade the lights I did with the Lupodrv driver.
    Thanks for the hard work, Matt (and doc Jones).

    Do you have a link to buy them?

  3. #3
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    thanks! I'm super impressed by the work DrJones has put into this (my side has largely consisted of "hmm, I don't think that'll work so well for cycling, try this"), so he definitely deserves the majority of the credit for this. I'm even thinking of tearing down the 2 bike lights I have that use linear drivers to replace them with these, as I've never been 100% happy with the Judco switches I use.

    No link to buy them, just PM DrJones at http://budgetlightforum.com/user/417 for a quote or PM me for his email (thanks for the reminder!).
    Last edited by mattthemuppet; 03-26-2013 at 01:53 PM.

  4. #4
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    I have to ask since I am getting use to thinking about things with a clicky switch... what is an electronic switch (I know the obvious answer), but can you link to one someone where for my visually challenged mind. Ready to start working on a brighter (more LEDs) light so I want to wrap my mind around the new switch option.

    This is kind of topical because I lost a driver (yup, I lost it somewhere in my house) and am not ready to build with the b3Flex I bought.
    Fat guys need bikes too.

  5. #5
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    an electronic/ tactile switch is one which carries little current (compared to a clicky that carries all the current) and is used to close a circuit. In the case of light drivers, it usually pulls a voltage to 0V which is interpreted by the driver as a signal.

    here's a very fancy one I used with the Taskled drivers
    search.digikey.com/scripts/dksearch/dksus.dll?vendor=0&keywords=EG4574

    but you can get them in all shapes and sizes.

    The biggest difference for me is that they're much easier to actuate (less feedback though) and, because they don't carry much current, they tend to be much more reliable in my hands than the Judco switches I've been using as clickies.

  6. #6
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    must do more reading.... I have a secondary light on hold, so I have to figure out the switch thing and then I will likely try one of these out.
    Fat guys need bikes too.

  7. #7
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    My mind works slow... but I got it now. Normally closed (on); momentary open (off) switch. Got it.
    Fat guys need bikes too.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Knight511 View Post
    My mind works slow... but I got it now. Normally closed (on); momentary open (off) switch. Got it.
    No, the manual switch is a click-on, click-off.
    The "electronic switching" circuit needs a normally open momentary switch to briefly close the circuit to change modes.

  9. #9
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    someone over on BLF posted a great video of the driver in action:

    mobydrv - programmable driver mainly for cycling (electronic switch) | BudgetLightForum.com

    looks like I'm going to be fitting this to a bunch of lights, especially my triple red XP-E commuter light

  10. #10
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    Greetings,

    I would just like to confirm that I am very impressed with this driver. Since that video I added one more mode in constant illumination section (5%-25%-50%-100%). Programming is not so hard as it seems to be, I failed only 2 times before succeeding :P but now it's perfect
    The problem is: I have only one of these drivers and many plans for it, I must buy more

    Here is one of my ideas: buy 2x ordinary Qlite Nanjg105C drivers, remove MCU's from them (to make them "slaves"), connect them to DrJones driver (which will be "master" driver) and add 3xXM-L2 U2 emitters, pinch of thermal paste, bit of copper and a bit of aluminium, some good wires and 4 batteries
    *Welding goggles = mandatory :P

  11. #11
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    Thanks for doing the video.
    I'm planning to set up my drivers the same way, with the 4 modes.

  12. #12
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    You're welcome

  13. #13
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    sounds like a neat plan sirius, don't forget to take pictures before you're blinded Glad you like the driver too, DrJones was simply awesome to work with (if you can call what I did work!).

  14. #14
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    Haven't built a light in ages, but it was dumping rain and stupid TSN decided the second Pyrinees stage of the Tour wasn't interesting enough to broadcast, so I put together another Easy2LED light with the MobyDrv and an XML-2 on a nice copper star from the invaluable Matt.

    Build was straightforward enough, but the LED contacts are very tiny, especially if you use beefier wires so it's a bit fiddly there to not short it out to the case/batt contact. Next time I'll try and paint something on the ring to insulate it a bit first.

    http://drjones.dyndns.info/lumodrv-connect.jpg

    Once built, the light program is good. It's simple, but most of what you need is there. I really like the battery voltage indicator mode, and also the idea that as the battery runs down it keeps reducing brightest instead of warning flashes then cut-off.

    I wanted to add another power level, as it comes with 3. Only beef I have is that you have to add additional levels after the existing 3, so it means reprogramming the levels on all of them as you end up with low, med, high, low when you add one. A good change for Dr.Jones to make would be for any new levels to be added immediately after the one you were on before programming, which is how brightness and flashing programs work.

    Otherwise, so far so good.

  15. #15
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    I need to order one of those drivers to try out

    Been prototyping a weapon light in between bike light builds

    mobydrv is born - all your cycling single LED driver needs in one :)-img-20130708-00660.jpg

    Is running an XP-G2 mated to a Regina reflector, single mode current regulated at 800 ma's at the moment. Thinking a mobydrv mady be just the ticket.

    About 1 7/8" long and 7/8" diameter


    ****

  16. #16
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    At my request DrJones created a slightly different version of mobydrv code to be more flashlight friendly Regular mobydrv has a feature that does not allow you to turn it off so easily while riding, there is no instant OFF capability, if you are in 4-th mode you have to go: 4->3->2->1->and only then it's OFF, version I requested (ordered it today, should be here in couple of days) has a instant off function from any mode you are using currently, so now its: short tap (<1/3s) switches up a mode, a longer tap (>1/3s) switches down a mode, and a hold (>1s) switches off. If this one better suits your needs just contact DrJones and ask for mobydrv with instant off funcition

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sirius9 View Post
    At my request DrJones created a slightly different version of mobydrv code to be more flashlight friendly Regular mobydrv has a feature that does not allow you to turn it off so easily while riding, there is no instant OFF capability, if you are in 4-th mode you have to go: 4->3->2->1->and only then it's OFF, version I requested (ordered it today, should be here in couple of days) has a instant off function from any mode you are using currently, so now its: short tap (<1/3s) switches up a mode, a longer tap (>1/3s) switches down a mode, and a hold (>1s) switches off. If this one better suits your needs just contact DrJones and ask for mobydrv with instant off funcition
    Even better. *Now* you tell me! I wonder if Dr.Jones can pre-program them with 4 or 5 modes on request too?

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by scar View Post
    Been prototyping a weapon light in between bike light builds

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG-20130708-00660.jpg 
Views:	461 
Size:	277.0 KB 
ID:	814388

    Is running an XP-G2 mated to a Regina reflector, single mode current regulated at 800 ma's at the moment. Thinking a mobydrv mady be just the ticket.

    About 1 7/8" long and 7/8" diameter


    ****
    Will the Mobydrv be too much power for a single XP-G2? Won't 3A blow it to kingdom come?

  19. #19
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    Well, mobydrv is fully programmable so you can delete or add what ever mode you want, I think up to 8 constant modes + blink-blink modes.
    XP-G2 will handle 3A but you have to have VERY GOOD cooling and it must be on a Noctigon (or similar) copper star
    or
    you can remove couple of 7135 regulators (only leave 4 or 5) and use it like that with XP-G2
    or
    since mobydrv has 12 levels (in %: 1 2 5 10 16 25 32 40 50 63 79 100) you could programm it so the max level you use is not greater than 50%

  20. #20
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    I was thinking of using a Moby for a single red Cree taillight, but I think I'd need to hook it up to an XML first and program it for lower output as you suggest, Sirius.

    Removing 7135s can be a pain.

  21. #21
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    hmm, red cree XP-E emitter will accept only up to 700mA according to CREE (http://www.cree.com/~/media/Files/Cr...g/XLampXPE.pdf) maybe a bit more if you overdrive it so you would be better with 2.8A Nanjg (with mobydrv) that has older 350mA 7135 regulators and you could divide them in pairs (by cutting PCB leads) to drive 4 x red XP-E emitters with one driver

  22. #22
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    interesting sirius, I didn't realise that you couldn't turn off by a press and hold in any mode. Sounds like a great improvement.

    Great feedback Rich and glad you liked the LEDs. I was just thinking about emailing you to see if they arrived ok. Hope you like the custom lapping job on the stars I agree that soldering thick wires to Nanjg drivers is a PITA, especially compared to the through holes on Taskled drivers. Using silicon or teflon wire helps a hell of a lot - it's pre-tinned and the insulation doesn't melt. I also think that modes should be added above the mode that you're in so that you can insert modes without having to reprogram the others. BTW, you can order Mobydrv drivers with however many 7135 chips on that you want, so you shouldn't have to take any off unless you want to use one you already have. If so, the easiest way is to get a wide tipped iron, melt a blob of solder across the 3 front pins of the chip and then lay the iron across the pins. As soon as it starts moving, pick it up with a pair of tweezers. Once I heard about that method I haven't had any problems removing them. Plus you'll then have spares if you ever want to increase the current of a driver.

    Cool light scar, looks great. Wouldn't you want a momentary pressure switch for a gun light? Most of the gun light builds I've seen on BLF seem to use them, although I haven't personally got a clue about the pros and cons

    BTW, another linear driver seems to be taking shape, I'll post a new thread.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sirius9 View Post
    hmm, red cree XP-E emitter will accept only up to 700mA according to CREE (http://www.cree.com/~/media/Files/Cr...g/XLampXPE.pdf) maybe a bit more if you overdrive it so you would be better with 2.8A Nanjg (with mobydrv) that has older 350mA 7135 regulators and you could divide them in pairs (by cutting PCB leads) to drive 4 x red XP-E emitters with one driver
    nah, they'll take 2A easy on copper A really neat option that I've used in a rear light is mounting then on a triple parallel star from Illumination Supply. I'm only driving them at 1.4A pulsed, so each LED is seeing 450mA or so, but it's stonkingly bright, even in bright sunlight. I don't think that much higher than 2A total would be worth doing as you'd probably cause more accidents by blinding drivers than save by them seeing you

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattthemuppet View Post
    nah, they'll take 2A easy on copper
    interesting, I didn't play with them so far. Nice idea would be to use defused TIR optics and that triple star

  25. #25
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    that's just 2nd hand info, Match on BLF did the testing, although I don't think that he did it on copper and I can't find the thread

    When I re-did my rear commuter light, I just left it as a mule. Unfortunately, it doesn't throw very far and way more light than necessary comes out the sides, so I bought a tight and a medium triple optic from IS. Just haven't had time to play with them yet!

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