dinotte xml-3 fix/rebuild- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    dinotte xml-3 fix/rebuild

    I have an older dinotte xml-3 bicycle handlebar light that recently began malfunctioning. This was a nice USA made bike light that uses a 7.2v 2S2P Lion battery pack driving three cree XM-L2 emitters that apparently are wired together in series.
    DiNotte XML-3 Headlight (Li-ion Endurance Series)

    The driver board on my light apparently is failing. The light should have hi-med-low settings but it seems to now only use the low output for all three settings, it will cycle through all three setting of the push button but there is not difference to the output, all are (identically) too low to be useful for me, only about <200 lumen when this light should be over 1500 lumen on high.

    I removed the on/off push button endcap (by removing the retaining o-ring) and then was able to pull the driver board out to investigate.

    dinotte xml-3 fix/rebuild-img_9275cr.jpg

    Photo shows a somewhat large black carbon cylinder with blue painted rings that is attached to the PCB that appears to be possibly damaged on the driver board for my light. Any ideas on what this black & blue ringed cylinder is? On mine, it looks as if this cylinder is cracked near the bottom and feels slightly wobbly. I could likely remove and re-solder a replacement if I know what sort of component it is and can procure a replacement IF this is the source of the problems.

    With the malfunctioning driver board out, I measured with a voltmeter that on all three hi/med/low setting the driver is only producing a consistent 8 volts, no change to voltage for the different settings. I tried connecting the contacts for the three serial XM-L2 LEDs directly to a 12v, 2amp automotive charger and verified that the LEDs are still very nice an bright when they have sufficient power. Direct driving the LEDs with the auto charger at 6v setting was more similar in weak light output as I am getting from the failing driver board.

    If I cannot easily repair the original driver board, I would like to try to replace the dead driver board with a new driver. I am having trouble figuring out a suitable replacement driver that would work with my 7.2v battery to drive the three serial LEDs which I think should need about 10v at around 2 amps for high power. I know this will likely need to be a voltage boost driver board but I cannot make sense of all the different specifications to identify a driver that should work for this drive voltage/amperage from my 2S3P battery. I think that the HBFlex board from TaskLED would probably work but at $40 it is pretty expensive. Is there any other comparable driver available from kaidomain, mtnelectronics or elsewhere that you could suggest that should would work for my light?

    I could likely push a few more watts through my dinotte light than the 1500 lumens that it was originally configured for. All of my bike riding needing lighting is done in cold, cold Alaska winter (<20F) conditions so should help for keeping the LEDs sufficiently cooled.

    While it is perhaps not still state of the art, the Dinotte light is nicely made and I would like to fix/mod it as a learning project if practical. I also just recently re-built the old battery pack with fresher cells so would prefer to be able to use those but thinking perhaps re-building to 3S 11v configuration might be easier to allow the use of a linear (non-boost) driver board such as those available from adventuresports.

    Thanks for reading and for any suggestions or help!

  2. #2
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    I'd contact Dinotte and see what they say they could do. I know in the past they would do repair work, and upgrade outdated components.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrayJay View Post

    Photo shows a somewhat large black carbon cylinder with blue painted rings that is attached to the PCB that appears to be possibly damaged on the driver board for my light. Any ideas on what this black & blue ringed cylinder is? On mine, it looks as if this cylinder is cracked near the bottom and feels slightly wobbly. I could likely remove and re-solder a replacement if I know what sort of component it is and can procure a replacement IF this is the source of the problems.
    That looks to be an inductor which is often used in boost drivers. Typically the construction is a coil of wire wrapped around a ferrite core (the black cylinder). If you have a multimeter you should be able to check for a low resistance between the two pins where it attaches to the board to verify it isn't electrically broken.

  4. #4
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    Taskled are extremely good drivers and IMO well worth the money. If I were considering your project, I'd switch to a 3S battery configuration and use a B3Flex as first choice or the LFlex as a second choice. The B3Flex is a buck type driver and will be a little more efficient than the LFlex which is a linear regulator. The gap between them is pretty small when you run the light at maximum, but the LFlex loses efficiency when the light is run at lower level due to the greater difference between Vin and Vf at lower outputs.

    The original power switch might not work with a Taskled driver. They require a NO momentary switch. Not sure what the Dinotte is equipped with.

    With all that being said...

    I have a couple friends that bought Magicshine lights years ago. Both failed with similar symptoms to what you describe. Both ended up being broken connections on the inductor due to vibration. Finding an inductor with the same form factor to replace yours might be the toughest part of the job.
    GoPro adapters for bike lights http://www.pacifier.com/~kevinb/index.html

  5. #5
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    Thanks to all for the component ID that the blue-ring component was an inductor, it does match closely to the appearance and markings of a 100uH SMD such as;
    https://www.enrgtech.co.uk/buy/produ...55T-101M1R1-PF

    I checked with a meter and it did still have continuity so is possibly not actually the source of my boards problems. Still, I de-soldered the inductor from the board, added test lead wires to the board contacts and tried substituting several other inductors that I harvested from a old computer PSU. The light does not work at all without an inductor in place (no surprise!) but when adding any of the several other inductors that I harvested it still worked the same, consistently stuck on low output for all settings so I am thinking that the inductor is not the problem and so I probably do need to replace the driver board.

    It looks as if the dinnotte OEM repair service is just $20 so if they would put a new board in for that cost it could be reasonable option if I just wanted to return it to original condition and use the 7.2v 2S battery packs.

    An replacement/upgrade driver from taskLED is a possibility. The dinotte light does use a normally open control switch, the board stays powered-on whenever battery is connected, the switch just toggles through the hi/med/low/off and flashing modes and the battery will slowly drain if left connected while the light is off.

    Alternately, I realized that I do already have a 11.1v (3S) laptop battery pack that I could use for powering this project so am intrigued at the idea of using it via the following linear driver;
    https://asflashlights.com/-diy-parts...voltage-6_volt

    Has anyone here had any experience with the asflashlight linear driver? On it's 100% level, would my 3-up XML series LEDs be overdriven by the 11.1v battery or is there sufficient resistance from the LEDs and/or regulation from the driver to keep from overheating the LEDs?

    Thanks-

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrayJay View Post
    .......On it's 100% level, would my 3-up XML series LEDs be overdriven by the 11.1v battery or is there sufficient resistance from the LEDs and/or regulation from the driver to keep from overheating the LEDs?
    I did not read through all the specs on that driver to understand all of it's capabilities. It's marketed as a 10+ Amp driver. Your XMLs in series are rated by Cree as 3A max drive current. I'm running them in my lights at 3.5A just fine, but they do make a fair bit of heat there. 10+A will kill them quickly, if not instantly. If the driver has some ability to program a maximum drive current of 3.5A or less you will be fine as long as the housing and thermal path can deal with the heat. It would also take a heck of a battery to get any runtime even if the light could tolerate 10A.
    GoPro adapters for bike lights http://www.pacifier.com/~kevinb/index.html

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