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CDI 2009 LED M5 Samples - PART 2


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I just wanted to start a new thread here. Yesterday I sent out updated samples to 5 testers that did the majority of the testing. This is for their comments.

Received my part 2 samples this afternoon.

Prelim. is they are different. Just started the evaluation.

This time Paul has 50 and 100 light strings.

More tomorrow.

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Just got through with the initial analyst of the strings, here goes:

50 - RED .024 amps 84.3 VDC

50 - Green .0334 amps 152.5 VDC

50 - Blue .0334 amps 154.5 VDC

50 - Wm White .0336 amps 150.7 VDC

100 - Red .0198 amps 194.3 VDC

100 - Green .0166 amps 301.6 VDC

100 - Blue .0190 amps 298.6 VDC

100 - Wm White .0212 amps 295.5 VDC

All light strings are using the voltage doubler design except the 50 Red string which uses the split full wave bridge rectifier circuit. Half of the circuit is in each end of the string inside the plug and receptacle modules.

50 count string of Red LED's has two diodes and one resistor on each end:

R1 = 680 ohm 2 watt

D1, D2 = 1N4007

Components in voltage doubler circuits (X2):

R1 = AC line input limiting resistor.

R2 = Bleeder resistor for the capacitor.

R3 = DC line limiting resistor to LED's

D1 = Diode on each end.

C1 = Capacitor on each end.

50 count strings of Green, Blue and Warm White have the same values.

R1 = 220 ohm 1/2 watt (Corrected)

R2 = 330K 1/8 Watt

R3 = 100 ohm 1/4 watt

D1 = 1N5399

C1 = .068 Mf 400V

100 count string of RED only:

R1 = 1.8K 1 watt

R2 = 330K 1/8 watt

R3 = 100 ohm 1/4 watt

D1 = 1N5399

C1 = 10 Mf 200V

100 count string of Green, Blue, and Warm White the the same values:

R1 = 220 ohm 1 watt

R2 = 150K 1/4 watt

R3 = 100 ohm 1/4 watt

D1 = 1N5399

C1 = 10 Mf 200V

Next I did a visual by plugging all eight strings in series and putting each color 50 & 100 count together.

Red:

Color looked good on both strings and intensity showed to be equal. Fade looked acceptable between the two.

Green:

100 count string was a rich dark green, but the 50 count was a bright Lime Green with high intensity, the 100 count fade was slow but much faster than the V1 Greens, but could be faster, almost there on this one, the 50 count faded well but does not match the 100 count green in color, this could be the intensity issue.

Blue:

50 & 100 count color matched but the 50 count string LED's are much brighter in intensity, fade was good with a very very slight lag on the 100 count.

Warm White:

50 & 100 count color matched but again the 50 count string was much brighter, fade was good with a very very slight lag on the 100 count.

Comments:

The 50 count Green, Blue and Warm White strings intensity has to be reduced to match the 100 counts. All three are using the same voltage doubler circuit and by the tests are operating at double the current of the 100 count strings.

The Green 100 count string fades should still be faster.

I am open to trying value changes to these so please post what you want me to try.

I have these modules marked per string so making changes to the circuits will be easy.

I see the manufacturer is trying to standardize the circuits to reduce the cost, this is a good thing, so hopefully we can come up with values we can recommend to make them work for our purpose.

Next will be mechanical.

Edited by Dennis Cherry
Error on 50 count R1 wattage
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Dennis,

What do the current and voltage readings signify, and how were they taken? Are they peak values, true RMS values or something else. Were they observed with an oscilloscope or some sort of voltmeter?

Made using a Fluke Model 77 DVM. I could have used a scope but that would not change the findings.

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Received my lights tonight. Won't be able to test until this weekend and I'll post my results also.

I too noticed improvements just out of the box turning on and off to test the residual fading to off issues. Still a small issue with green, but MUCH improved.

Dennis, I did notice the intensity difference between the green 100 and 50 count strings. The 50 count was much brighter. Installed a 2.7KOhm 2watt resistor in series with the LEDs on the 50 count and I cannot tell them apart now.

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Received my lights tonight. Won't be able to test until this weekend and I'll post my results also.

I too noticed improvements just out of the box turning on and off to test the residual fading to off issues. Still a small issue with green, but MUCH improved.

Dennis, I did notice the intensity difference between the green 100 and 50 count strings. The 50 count was much brighter. Installed a 2.7KOhm 2watt resistor in series with the LEDs on the 50 count and I cannot tell them apart now.

OK let me me try a couple of 1.5K inside the modules tomorrow and see how that works.

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I just wanted to give a quick post of appreciation to Paul and all the official testers and the really smart electronics people on this board pushing to make these products better.

We will all benefit from your efforts. Thank You and Merry Christmas.

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I just wanted to give a quick post of appreciation to Paul and all the official testers and the really smart electronics people on this board pushing to make these products better.

We will all benefit from your efforts. Thank You and Merry Christmas.

I'll second that, iresq!

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Hello,

I will 3rd that so I guess the motion passed. :-)

Well a few years ago when I built my first LOR controller my interest was peaked into electronics. I play around a little and am glad you have posted this for all of us to see.

Dennis, I read you said the 50's fade nicely but the 100's lag a little. I noticed the 50's have a .068Mf cap where the 100's are using a 10Mf cap. I know they are basically doubled because of the extra 50 lights on the hundred.

Please correct me as I may not understand this totally but if you doubled a .068Mf cap would you not come up with a .136Mf cap? That is still much smaller then a 10Mf and I think they may have meant to put a .1Mf.

Like I said still very much a newbi but I am willing to learn. So please feel free to correct me as I would like to know more.

Thanks,

Ted

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Hello,

I will 3rd that so I guess the motion passed. :-)

Well a few years ago when I built my first LOR controller my interest was peaked into electronics. I play around a little and am glad you have posted this for all of us to see.

Dennis, I read you said the 50's fade nicely but the 100's lag a little. I noticed the 50's have a .068Mf cap where the 100's are using a 10Mf cap. I know they are basically doubled because of the extra 50 lights on the hundred.

Please correct me as I may not understand this totally but if you doubled a .068Mf cap would you not come up with a .136Mf cap? That is still much smaller then a 10Mf and I think they may have meant to put a .1Mf.

Like I said still very much a newbi but I am willing to learn. So please feel free to correct me as I would like to know more.

Thanks,

Ted

The voltage doubler circuit might need the 10Mf cap to get the voltage high enough to light the 100 LED's right. But I can change it out for a lower value to see. The R/C time constant would be lower using a smaller cap.

I do not know why the Green LED's are so different than the White and Blue in the fade using the same circuit, normally they have the basic characteristics.

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The reason for using such a small cap on the Green/Blue/White 50-ct strings is to change the action of the RC-diode circuit from a voltage doubler (in the 100-ct string) to just a filter (more or less).

The 8 sample strings from CDI arrived yesterday afternoon. So far my observations based on just plugging them into an AC receptacle agree with what Dennis and others have seen. I'm ordering some 1 Ohm resistors to use in making current measurements with my scope, and they should arrive early next week.

Edited by pshort
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Phil,

When you test them also look at the noise they put out for me and let me know. The current ones are unbelieveable electrically noisey! I hope the newer ones are at least some quieter.

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Phil,

When you test them also look at the noise they put out for me and let me know. The current ones are unbelieveable electrically noisey! I hope the newer ones are at least some quieter.

I'm not sure what you mean by 'current ones' or by 'electrically noisy'. However, I do expect that this second set of samples to cause fairly large, short current spikes in the AC line when the 100-ct LEDs are dimmed. I expect that the 100-ct LEDs will be quite a bit worse than the 50-ct strings based on the posted schematics and reported component values. Is this what you are writing about?

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So far so good with the new 100ct. strings...

Since all my LOR equipment is now employed outside in my display, it's been a little more difficult to test the new strings.

I just added the new 100 ct. ones to my display. The green still has a little fade out when it's power is cut but it's much faster than before. To my eyes, maybe twice as fast. Plugging the 50 count greens into the wall, they appear to be basically instant off. I haven't been able to play with them on the LOR setup yet, because I haven't really figured out how to incorporate them into my display yet...

I've only been able to use one of the 50 count strings so far, the whites. Colorwise they look identical to the 100's. I have the 1st sample white 100's, 2nd sample white 100's and the white 50's all end to end on a tree. The biggest thing I notice is the 50's fade up and down faster and turn on and off faster.

Based on just plugging the green 50's into the wall, I imagine they will also fade differently than the 100's.

The different fade properties between the 100's and 50's isn't necessarily a problem, but it should be noted, and may drive people to use only 50's or only 100's in their display. I would be disappointed if I bought some 100's and some 50's to use together and then found they fade at different rates.

I haven't been able to check the reported color difference in the greens.

As a final note, so far all the samples have been holding up fine to rain, freezing rain, and now snow.

--Paul

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just wondering been maining sitting back and just reading the forums but havnt heard 1 person talk about there Icicle Lights noticed tests on 50 count and 100 count what about 70 count?

i been pretty lucky with my blue Icicle Lights from CDI so far only gotten 8 strings that failed so far

how are tests done with other light counts?

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I'm not sure what you mean by 'current ones' or by 'electrically noisy'. However, I do expect that this second set of samples to cause fairly large, short current spikes in the AC line when the 100-ct LEDs are dimmed. I expect that the 100-ct LEDs will be quite a bit worse than the 50-ct strings based on the posted schematics and reported component values. Is this what you are writing about?

Yep, I think that is what RJ was talking about. I have just some C9 size (I believe) 25 ct strands on my house right now. I was going to basically use the LOR box for a timer, which was a big mistake, I just had all the lights either on or off, and now all my red strands are goofed.

On the controller, even with all the whites just on constantly, with the reds disconnected, my computer's APC was turning on and off randomly. I removed the LOR controller, as it was running a bit weird, even all constant on, and with the lights plugged directly into AC, my computer's APC is not tripping anymore.

It would be good to take a look at the AC line while these are plugged in, versus some regular incandecent bulbs, both constant on, and maybe during a fade.

Of course, a silly scope would be needed in order to perform that test.

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What is an 'APC'? I haven't seen that term before.

Sorry, APC is the brand name, it is a UPS, uninterruptable power supply. It is basically a sealed lead acid battery that is charged and ready to go. The particular one I have is also a line conditioner, so it monitors the AC line voltage, and if it goes above/below a certain threshold, or is noisy, it uses the battery as a backup until the AC line is more stable.

On a second note, it would be nice to see what the ratings of the capacitors are, especially voltage. IIRC, the capacitors on the voltage doublers are on the doubled voltage side of the circuit, so these capacitors should be rated for at least half of the DC voltage applied to the LEDs, since each side of the string of LEDs is connected to a doubler.

So, that would mean, if the LEDs are connected to 300+ volts, that those capacitors should be rated to at least 150V, but would be better if they were rated at 300V (electrolytics are generally supposed to be derated by 50% as a good design practice).

From what I have been reading, the rectifiers that are going pop, sizzle, flame, and smoke, is generally a sign of the electrolytic going bad, at least, that has been my experience. Resistors generally do not pop or flame, they just get hot, and smoke.

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I'm not sure what you mean by 'current ones' or by 'electrically noisy'. However, I do expect that this second set of samples to cause fairly large, short current spikes in the AC line when the 100-ct LEDs are dimmed. I expect that the 100-ct LEDs will be quite a bit worse than the 50-ct strings based on the posted schematics and reported component values. Is this what you are writing about?

Current ones = 2008 model CDI lights

Electrically noisey = "fairly large, short current spikes in the AC line when the 100-ct LEDs are dimmed"

Thanks

RJ

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Thanks.

Dennis noted that the .068 uF caps are rated for 400V and the 10 uF caps are rated for 200V. The caps each see roughly the peak AC line voltage, which is 170V or so. Those 200V caps are rated a little lower than I'd like to see, although there are strong economic reasons for choosing that rating. Also, the surge rating of the caps is usually much higher than the DC rating, so there is some margin there.

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