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Ponddude

LED Flood Strip...Interested?

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So I am sitting here in my hotel room kicking myself for not being at Jeff's mini today and I finished up a PCB design I have been working on. I really have been trying to learn as much as I can about PCB's and designing them, as I feel as though I could really add a lot of cool stuff to my display with my own designs. There are two projects going on right now. One I am working on with Craig Marshall (which hopefully will be finished up this week) and the other I have been working on myself.

I really want to add a strip of lighting under the eve of my house that points down and lights the house that way. Originally it was going to just be a single color that I would put on inbetween songs. Then I thought that was dumb and decided it was best if it had Red, Blue and Green LED's, was controlled by the LOR DC controller and could be daisy chained together. The beauty of these is the ability to have millions of different colors available to you depending on the intensities you choose of the LED's.

The boards are fairly simple. They are 13" x 1.5" in size. There is a single Cat-5 cable at each of the board. This is used for daisy chaining. The LED's are 5mm Super Flux Piranha LED's with a fairly wide viewing angle and put out 5500 Lumens of lights. Basically...these are bright.

Now for the important stuff. These boards, with all the parts shipped directly to you will cost $35.00 a piece, plus shipping. Shipping will be via a Flat Rate USPS box and will most likely be around 10 bucks. Now, if people want a lot of these the price will go down as the price of the PCB's will go down. If you want to get the parts on your own, you can but if I buy them, the price will obviously be less in bulk. The boards will run about $14.50 a piece for 30 boards. I am buying 15 no matter what, so the price will go down if we go over 30. Just so you are aware, I am not making a profit at all on these. Just a design I came up with and thought I would share with the community for their use as well.

Now, I am sure a lot of you may not have soldered anything before in their lives, so if you would like, I will solder the boards for you at a fee of $2.00 more per board. Really just for my time. You just have to understand that it may take me some time to do them so you will have to be patient. I will also test them and make sure they work before I send them to you.

I have ordered these boards as prototypes, which I should have in my hands next week. I will put them together and make sure that they are working as designed and also post real pictures and a video. My main purpose of this post is to find out if anyone else is interested in these. If you are, please let me know and we can discuss them. If you have any questions let me know as well.

I also attached a picture of of the PCB just so you can get an idea of what it will look like.


Attached files 175969=10076-LED Flood Strip PCB pic.jpg

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Greg,

I can most likely help you with your PCB design questions. As far as the flood strip, that is a very cool idea. I could have used something like this 2 years ago.

I am curious about your other endeavor with Mr Marshall, how that is going?

Mark

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Wow funny you have posted this at this time Greg.

I have been working on a very similar design for my house for the last couple of weeks. I haven't gotten to the stage of doing the PCB design but from what I gather from your post this is almost exactly what I am looking for.

I too want to add lighting to the the eave of my house and under my front deck to use as in between lighting and maybe as some form of lighting during shows as well. I like your idea and am very interested in possibly purchasing some boards with the parts if things work out for these.

Please keep me in mind and I am looking forward to seeing some pictures of these assembled and maybe a little video of them in action. These could have other possible uses that I have been considering as well out in the display. Have you considered any form of housing for them yet?

I'll be watching for their "debut". :cool:

Bill

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Greg,

You probably don't have this answer yet, but about how far apart would you have to place these boards to get the downward wash? I'm looking at about 92 feet of space and just wondering how many of these I would need.

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Greg

Im interested too in the LED flood panel you are making. Just waiting to see the final result of them and how much light they put out.

Keep me in mind this year. Sound like a winter project this year for next year.

Thomas

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Ok, I will try and answer all of your questions. First, just want to point out a mistake I made in my original post. The lumens per LED is 10 and change, not the 5500 that I posted. I figured that was high, but I didn't understand that it was listed as micro lumens.

Now, for the questions.

Mark..I think I am pretty set with the PCB design. It is fairly simple, however once I get them I will contact you if there are issues. I also don't want to bring up the project with Craig until it is set. I will say I am very excited about and when we deliver it, its gonna be like its snowing.;)

Bill...because I planed on putting these on the eves of the house, I wasn't so concerned with any form of covering. Once I get them built I will see how they do and possibly put them in some sort of clear plastic tube. That is still yet to come.

Denny...like you said, I don't know yet. I was going to put them every 18" to 24" apart, but it may not be enough light. I will have to see when the proto boards come in.

If you have anymore questions, please let me know. Once I get them built next week I will post more info, pics and possibly a video.

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Greg,
Are there mounting holes on the PCB or how are you planning on mounting them and or in what

possibly put them in some sort of clear plastic tube. "Hum"

We will wait to see the photos :cool:

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OK, I'm officially interested. I was going to make a eaves bracket for my MR 16's, but these look like they will function much better. Once I know what kind of lateral spread they have, I will have a better idea of how many I will need. The home improvement stores sell fluorescent tube protectors that would work great to protect these and then a simple compression clip attached to the soffit to clip them to and your in business. Looking forward to the prototype results.

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Sounds interesting... I like it! (all sorts of ideas spinning) Will be watching as you proceed.

Any idea how many of these you will be able to drive from the DC board?

-jim

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Sorry I haven't been answering your questions, put I was away at a dumb managers workshop and just got home. Anyway...back to the regularly scheduled program...

There are no mounting holes in the Proto-PCB's that are on their way, but that certainly can be added on the production boards. Actually, their should be holes on them, I just forgot.

When I thought more about covering, I am not 100% sure if the fluorescent tube covers will be wide enough. However, I can also look into that. What I was really planning on using was clear shipping tubes. Uline sells them and the price isn't all that bad.

http://www.uline.com/Product/ProductDetail.aspx?model=S-10733&ref=3651

Those are 18" and the next smaller size is 12" long. The tubes are 13" long, so I would have to see if I could cut an 1" off. They sell end caps for them as well, however I don't think they will need them if you are putting them under the eaves of your house. Again, I will wait and see when I get them.

Also, the LED's are wired in parallel and designed to run off of 12 volts. A quick calculation tells me that the Red and Green LED's will pull 130mA and the Blue LED's will pull 150mA. I think that the DC boards can handle 4 amps per channel, so you could in theory put 26 of these on one channel set. (1 Channel for Red, 1 Channel Green, 1 Channel Blue)

Now I have a question for everyone else. There are 4 available connections in a Cat 5 jack. Here, 3 are being used to each set of LED's. I wired in straight through power into the 4th set of connections on the board incase I wanted to use it somehow. However, now I don't think there will be a use for it. Does anyone think they would have a need or use for that power? If I remove the traces it will shrink the board size and lower the price.

I am really happy so many people are interested in these. I will make sure the turn out really well so everyone can add them to your displays.

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Ponddude wrote:

Also, the LED's are wired in parallel and designed to run off of 12 volts

I'm confused. Wouldn't it be 3x as efficient to wire them in groups of 3 in series?

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Actually Steven the first version of the board was like that. The problem is that I am trying to keep costs down on these boards. This keeps the traces much more stream lined and also there are a few less resistors. Also, the boards are a little smaller. I worked for a little bit this afternoon making these boards smaller to fit in a 12" tube.

Today I also was thinking how difficult it could be to wire these to a Cat-5 connector. I also designed an adapter that has a single molex connector that will easily wire these to the DC controller. There are also 2 outputs so you can cut down on the wiring.

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Here is what the adapter will look like. It will allow you to easily wire 3 channels into the cat-5 cable.




Attached files 176091=10079-Adapter PCB pic.jpg

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This sounds really cool. I'm interested also.
Thanks for doing this.

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Alright, so I got all the confirmations today of everything shipping. The PCB's will be here on Thursday and the parts should be here on Friday. The only issue is I order my superflux LED's from England because they are so cheap. They will take a little longer to get here.

I'll post pictures and videos as things start arriving.

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PCB's and components showed up today for these lights. I expect the LED's to be in from England either Monday or Tuesday the latest. I will have them assembled and testing will begin that night.

I'll keep you posted.

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Got all the LED's in today and built the strips...WOW is all I have to say.

These strips are extremely bright, have great color distribution and really are going to look great in my display, and hopefully yours. There was some concern regarding the heat that the resistors would be displacing, but I have had these suckers on full blast for about an hour and they aren't overly hot at all. Originally I had thought that I would have to put these at 18" intervals, but the initial testing I had these connect with a 3' CAT-5 cable and was beyond impressed with the light distribution.

Unfortunately there is a huge mid summer afternoon monsoon going on outside right now, so I can't get pictures or a video yet. I will try my best to get it tonight, but if not I will definately get it tomorrow. I am also going to pick up those flourescent tubes as well and give these a try in those as well.

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That great to hear, can't wait to see pictures and the video of them in action.

Thomas

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Alright, so as promised here are the pictures of the flood prototypes. I will say this for the record...I CAN'T TAKE PICTURES. Trust me when I tell you these lights are bright. They put out a large amount of light. Also, I will post a video tomorrow night but my camera battery was dead, making it difficult to make a video...lol.

This is a picture of the completed prototype:
DSC_1079.jpg

Next is the two boards I have full assembled. Please note that the actual production boards will have a silkscreen and solder mask. That will make life much easier to assemble them and to ensure they are aligned correctly. These are purely prototype boards.
DSC_1080.jpg

Here are the boards mounted on the eaves. When these are the actual production boards they will obviously be encased in a plastic tube (which I hope to get tomorrow.)
DSC_1086.jpg

Finally, here are the 3 main colors of the lights. Red, Green Blue and White.
DSC_1097.jpg

DSC_1107.jpg

DSC_1106.jpg

DSC_1109.jpg

Like I said, I really can't take pictures so please bare with the quality. Tomorrow I will get the video and post these in action. Their fading ability surprised me a lot. They are very dim at 1% intensity and get brighter and brighter all the way up.

Please feel free to ask questions. The adapter I designed will be here tomorrow so I can show you how that connects to the strings. If all goes well and there is still an interest in these, people can start to order them and I will get things going.

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Ok, that is very impressive to say the least. What do you estimate to be the final cost per board if a bulk purchase is done?

Now I haev to make myself look stupid. How do you run a DC board with an AC show? I understand all the LOR stuff, but I am lost when it comes to different currents and mixing them together.



Chris

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Chris,

There is no such thing as a stupid question. Lets start with your first one. It looks like the cost of these should be around $30-$35. As usual with PCB's, the more you buy the lower the price. Same goes with the components. The kicker here is the cost of the LED's themselves. The reason I use Superflux LED's rather then regular LED's is simply because of the light distribution and the amount of light these put out. I would probably need double or triple the amount of LED's if I were to have used regular LED's.

Now for the power. Right now these will be controlled with either the LOR DC controller, which will allow you to do all the effects that regular lights can do. (fade, twinkle, shimmer, etc.) However, if you wanted to just have these on all the time, distributing white light, then you could use a 12volt wall adapter to power the strips. That will not allow you to do any of the effects though. I will say this now...these strips can not be power from direct AC current at all. The boards are not designed for that and the LED's will not handle the voltage at all.

A future board design I am working on will allow you to hook these up directly to the iDMX and do all same effects via DMX protocols. However, that is most likely not going to happen this year but will allow us another leave of control.

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You got me excited now. Last year, I used a long flower pot (window box type) and mounted some MR16 DC lights in it to make a flood. It worked pretty well; I think these might even work better. I still have ten of the flower boxes left too. You don't have to take a picture, but do you think maybe you could see how much light one would reflect off a wall from a distance of about six feet or so? Just wondering if it would it be effective that way or better hung on the eave as in your picture.

Thanks,

Denny

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I certainly could do that Denny. I will do that tomorrow along with the video. I also will place these on the ground and show you the effect of lighting up the wall instead of down.

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Those look great.

What is the wattage of the superFlux LED's that you are using? I had put together a light using (9) 1 watt Luxeon stars; (3) red + (3) blue + (3) green. They have an integral heatsink/mounting base. I screwed these to an aluminum bar and mounted them in a flood enclosure. The issue I ran into is that the aluminum bar got too hot to hold after about 20 mins. The heat was coming from the led's. The resistors weren't the source.

Are the LED's you have kicking out much heat?

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