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Thread: Vdrive constant current source DMX controller

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    This space for rent. Al in Raleigh's Avatar
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    Default Vdrive constant current source DMX controller

    I found this on Planet Christmas.
    http://www.twodoglightstore.com/prod...?id_product=11

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    Professional Net Lurker Jack Stevens's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vdrive constant current source DMX controller

    It looks interesting; especially since they'll solder the SMT device (surface mounted technology) for you for $5; not something I want to try to learn how to do right now.

    I would have liked to be able to see the Bill of Materials; trying to do a search for the board by several keywords ended up far above the $15 they said it should be.

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    Registered User mschell's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vdrive constant current source DMX controller

    Looks interesting. However, I learned my lesson on several other projects - I'll let someone else try out version 1 of something. And wait for version 2. A certain wireless connection for light controllers comes to mind...

    But that's not to say this isn't a good way to run the MM or other LED projects. Just that technology needs to go thru some trial and error.

    Mark

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    This space for rent. Al in Raleigh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vdrive constant current source DMX controller

    I agree Mark. I totally agree. This is what I wanted if it works out fine. I may buy some to play with. No, I'll get Walter to buy them, and when they don't work I can talk crap about them and Walter will be out the money.
    Al

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    Official Lurker twodoglights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vdrive constant current source DMX controller

    Hi!
    Thanks for taking notice of the VDRIVE and VFLOOD! If you have any questions please feel free to ask. The VFLOOD boards should arrive here sometime tommorrow. VDRIVE boards will be arriving soon also.

    Here us the BOM for VFLOOD.

    Last edited by twodoglights; 05-12-2010 at 03:07 AM.

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    Official Lurker Dave H's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vdrive constant current source DMX controller

    Ok
    Having just invested half a kings ransom in Mighty Mini components with not a single one soldered yet and trying to avoid remembering my high school electronics classes some thirty five plus years ago (I’m trying the sympathy route here) , I’m trying to understand the true benefit of this new constant current “V-Board” that just surfaced in the last week.

    Can anyone share their knowledge of this component? / Pros & cons / cost benefits

    Will there be a truly noticeable difference in the colors and brightness of each flood utilizing the board or longevity of the LEDs to justify using it?

    Going back to the MM without the V-Board, is there a significant difference in voltage drop between using a 25 ft & 50 ft of Cat 5e cable and would it result in a noticeable difference in brightness or color intensity?

    If so, would I be best suited to keep all of the floods on the same length cable and coil up the excess?

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    Registered User mschell's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vdrive constant current source DMX controller

    What VDRIVE does differently is limit the current thru the LEDs. So you don't need the resistors that came with the MM kit. VDRIVE would send just the right current to drive the LEDs and no more. LEDs don't care about voltage (at least above their turn on threshold), they just care about current, and don't like too much or they "burn out."

    As for the cable lengths - not sure how much voltage drop you'll get with the extra 25 ft. But you're definitely safer to go with the same length for all of them.
    Mark

    New location - new display. Looking forward to 2015 season!

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    This space for rent. Al in Raleigh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vdrive constant current source DMX controller

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave H View Post
    Ok

    Going back to the MM without the V-Board, is there a significant difference in voltage drop between using a 25 ft & 50 ft of Cat 5e cable and would it result in a noticeable difference in brightness or color intensity?

    If so, would I be best suited to keep all of the floods on the same length cable and coil up the excess?
    No, the voltage drop is fairly insignificant, and yes I too plan to roll up about 50 ft of cable to each one and not have a localized ethernet connector on the Mighty Mini.

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    Official Lurker twodoglights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vdrive constant current source DMX controller

    Just so everyone see's everything is progressing.. the VFLOOD boards arrived today...VDRIVE will follow soon!



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    Official Lurker twodoglights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vdrive constant current source DMX controller

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave H View Post
    Ok
    Having just invested half a kings ransom in Mighty Mini components with not a single one soldered yet and trying to avoid remembering my high school electronics classes some thirty five plus years ago (I’m trying the sympathy route here) , I’m trying to understand the true benefit of this new constant current “V-Board” that just surfaced in the last week.

    Can anyone share their knowledge of this component? / Pros & cons / cost benefits

    Will there be a truly noticeable difference in the colors and brightness of each flood utilizing the board or longevity of the LEDs to justify using it?

    Going back to the MM without the V-Board, is there a significant difference in voltage drop between using a 25 ft & 50 ft of Cat 5e cable and would it result in a noticeable difference in brightness or color intensity?

    If so, would I be best suited to keep all of the floods on the same length cable and coil up the excess?
    Quote Originally Posted by mschell View Post
    What VDRIVE does differently is limit the current thru the LEDs. So you don't need the resistors that came with the MM kit. VDRIVE would send just the right current to drive the LEDs and no more. LEDs don't care about voltage (at least above their turn on threshold), they just care about current, and don't like too much or they "burn out."

    As for the cable lengths - not sure how much voltage drop you'll get with the extra 25 ft. But you're definitely safer to go with the same length for all of them.
    Quote Originally Posted by Al in Raleigh View Post
    No, the voltage drop is fairly insignificant, and yes I too plan to roll up about 50 ft of cable to each one and not have a localized ethernet connector on the Mighty Mini.
    mschell, Al
    thanks for chiming in...and you are pretty much on the money.....

    Let me ask a simple question to provide some details,

    Wouldn't it be nice to have as much wattage in dissipated power as possible being dissipated by the LEDs instead of the wiring and the current limiting resistors?

    This is the major advanatage of CC and VDRIVE.

    CC topology will adjust for the voltage lost in the cable to keep the current the same at the LEDs. While PWM dimming, current limiting cannot keep the current regulated at the LED, resulting in LED reduced life, color degradation and failure - CC can. So there is no need for "equal" length cables.

    By keeping the cable length the same, it does help some and does give a known reference point to calculate current limiting resistors against. But with the longer cable, more power is being wasted in the wiring, and the current limiting resistors!!

    By the numbers for example.... ( warning math fun ahead):

    At 24 volts, to get 100ma is R = E/I so if voltage is 24 and required current is 100ma then:

    R = 24/.1 or 240 ohms

    Lets say there is only 1 volt of loss in the cable (remember, the longer the cable, the more the loss)

    I = E/R

    or 23/240 which is about 95ma. With only 1 volt of drop you have lost 5ma of power to the LED. Now the LED is running on 95ma instead of 100ma. Since the LED is dependent on current, it will not be as bright as it is intended to be. If you adjust the current limiting resistor to make up for this, then you are wasting more power in the resistor which results in an inefficient design. CC assures that every PWM pulse supplies the correct current to the LED at every pulse and does not vary. What this means is that at a DMX setting of 1 or 255, the LEDs are seeing the same power regardless of the dimming level, something that current limiting cannot provide.

    With a CC design such as VDRIVE, there is no need to waste the extra cable.

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    Official Lurker Dave H's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vdrive constant current source DMX controller

    William

    From what I have read, it is the preferred method to mount the V-Board at the V-Flood (or other flood of preference) housing. It appears that the mounting holes for the V-Flood are comparable to that of the MM which are based on the mounting lugs inside the fixture housing.
    Looking at your cut-a-way picture, posted over on PC, there does not appear to be any holes in the V-Board PCB that would allow the threaded studs to pass through and then hold the V-Flood at the desired height at the lense.
    Am I missing something or is it intended to be mounted in an alternative manner ???
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -v-board-cut-away.jpg  

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    Official Lurker twodoglights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vdrive constant current source DMX controller

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave H View Post
    William



    From what I have read, it is the preferred method to mount the V-Board at the V-Flood (or other flood of preference) housing. It appears that the mounting holes for the V-Flood are comparable to that of the MM which are based on the mounting lugs inside the fixture housing.
    Looking at your cut-a-way picture, posted over on PC, there does not appear to be any holes in the V-Board PCB that would allow the threaded studs to pass through and then hold the V-Flood at the desired height at the lense.
    Am I missing something or is it intended to be mounted in an alternative manner ???
    Hi Dave, good observation and thank you for your question..


    What you see in the photo is the 3rd revsion of the original board design. Overall it was originally designed to fit in a remote location or alternative manner. But I was receiving PM's and emails from a few people that I relied on for input as extra eyes. One thing that those few kept requesting was that VDRIVE maybe fit inside the same housing.


    The original version was much larger, had a bunch of unnecessary stuff. On rev 1 you would have been able to use your choice of DMX jacks or RJ45 jacks, and it had an ugly barrel jack for power. Since I had not order test boards yet, I made template from a piece of heavy cardboard about the same thinckness of a circuit board.


    The flood board is easly resting in place without any attachements, with the template about 1/16" below it.


    My conclusion is that you could possibly set the drive board at an angle.and still use the stud mounts..


    Version 2, was time to wittle the original down... the dmx jacks were eliminated, and 2 pos barrier strip was added for the power junction. and a 5 pos barrier was added for the flood connection.

    What you see in that photo is V3. The board was made smaller by 1/4" on each end. A few items were moved around on the board to fit the new smaller size. Every attempt was made to line up those holes, but other parts were in the way that could not be moved easily. Size wise it fits easily, and much deeper into the cavity.

    By the time it was realized that both boards could fit, I had already ordered the VFLOOD boards so there was no way to alter the gerbers for them to create matching mount holes. Trust me when I say every attempt was made to match those mount holes.

    So its does fit. It will just have to be the creativity of the DIYer to make it a reality. I have 2 different sized housings ( the one above and the one below) that I will mount both boards in and photo log them as examples. I have good ideas on how to do it...and I will gladly share with everyone.

    *I picked this one up at Homedepot the other day for $8! Its a very small worklight! There is much more room in it, but not much bigger than the regular flood light housings. The LEDS are about 1/2" from the glass. The distance from the lens is not effecting anything at all. They do not need to be right up against the glass lens.






    more to come.

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    Official Lurker twodoglights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vdrive constant current source DMX controller

    here is the link to the work light at home depot. They "had" plenty of them when I was there last week. Somehow I feel there will be a "run" on these all in multiple HD's. For the price, I feel it is a great value and shaves an extra $3 more off the cost of building your flood project.

    http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1...atalogId=10053

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    Official Lurker Dave H's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vdrive constant current source DMX controller

    Quote Originally Posted by twodoglights View Post
    here is the link to the work light at home depot. They "had" plenty of them when I was there last week. Somehow I feel there will be a "run" on these all in multiple HD's. For the price, I feel it is a great value and shaves an extra $3 more off the cost of building your flood project.

    http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1...atalogId=10053
    I bought comparable work lights that were being discontinued at Lowes for under $6.00 each.
    The great thing about these are the “spare” parts that can be recycled as compared to using the hard mounted floods:
    You can use the
    120v power cord – to connect your 24v power supplies
    Plastic ground stake and base to mount directly on the ground
    Spring clamp to mount lights on various objects or add to your wood shop clamps
    Sure you have to hit it with a coat or two of paint. Probably would have done that anyway with the bronze finish lights too.

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    Official Lurker twodoglights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vdrive constant current source DMX controller

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave H View Post
    I bought comparable work lights that were being discontinued at Lowes for under $6.00 each.
    The great thing about these are the “spare” parts that can be recycled as compared to using the hard mounted floods:
    You can use the
    120v power cord – to connect your 24v power supplies
    Plastic ground stake and base to mount directly on the ground
    Spring clamp to mount lights on various objects or add to your wood shop clamps
    Sure you have to hit it with a coat or two of paint. Probably would have done that anyway with the bronze finish lights too.

    Was that your thread on those? I looked online at lowes.com and did not see any for that price. seems like it is quite a deal. I'll run by my Lowes and see of there are any of those left. If yes I'll grab one and document a build. If they are still available, they seem to be another great way to pinch a few extra dollars off a project!

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