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Old 11-11-2008, 01:22 PM #1
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Default Flexdrive Acting Like a Linear Drive?

I have been monitoring the output of my 4X/6X more closely than I normally monitor the output of my lasers. *This is because we are still trying to ascertain a "safe" current for them. *I built one into an MXDL "chicken leg" (DX, 3405) using a flexdrive, a Merideth glass lens, and powered by three AAA's (Duracell, Copper Top). *I set the driver at 210mA.

The laser started out at 180mW. *Then it started a slow decline in output. *I was half expecting it to do this based on some of IgorT's work. *It slowly "degraded" down to 135mW and then blinked out. I was sure it had died. *However, as is my usual routine, I replaced the batteries before going on to the next step in it's demise (I learned this the hard way). *To my surprise, with the new batteries, it is still lasing AND it is now back up to putting out 180mW!

I thought that the flexdrive would hold the current constant until the lower limit of the voltage was reached. *Was I wrong? * *I don't remember observing this sort of output decline in any other lasers using the flexdrive. *In addition, if this is the case, this diode/driver combination is draining the batteries very rapidly.

Peace,
dave


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Old 11-11-2008, 03:07 PM #2
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Default Re: Flexdrive Acting Like a Linear Drive?

Hey daguin,

That seems pretty strange. A driver like a flexdrive should in theory and practice hold a constant current right until the minimum voltage.

However, is it possible that the batteries were just a "bad batch" and were not able sustain the flex to do its magic? I have gotten "bad" alkaline batteries before. Perhaps, try using the "bad batteries" in another one of your many builds to see if it is indeed the batteries causing the problem?


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Old 11-11-2008, 08:08 PM #3
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Default Re: Flexdrive Acting Like a Linear Drive?

Dave, I'm sure you checked other things like the battery connections in the battery holder...

Some people swear by Duracell. I have never liked them. It seams like when ever I picked up a flashlight to find the batteries dead, they were that brand!

I have noticed that Energizer Alkaline batteries last much longer. e2 Lithium even better!

This is why I doubt it was the driver, more likely the batteries...
Jay

P.S. I got 183mW's @ 210mA's with my GBW 4X with a Meredith glass lens (FlexDrive). Very much the same!
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Old 11-11-2008, 09:40 PM #4
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Default Re: Flexdrive Acting Like a Linear Drive?

That is not normal operating mode, it might drift a few mA but shouldn't go that much. *Try adding a small approx. 10uF capacitor in parallel with the part that is right next to the battery connections on the driver. *Is this a V2 driver? They were more sensitive to battery resistance in some cases than V1 and the currently shipping V3.

The E2 lithium batteries, as long as the voltage is right, should have a lower all around series resistance than the 'regular' alkalines.
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Old 11-11-2008, 10:07 PM #5
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Default Re: Flexdrive Acting Like a Linear Drive?

Quote:
Originally Posted by drlava
That is not normal operating mode, it might drift a few mA but shouldn't go that much. *Try adding a small approx. 10uF capacitor in parallel with the part that is right next to the battery connections on the driver. *Is this a V2 driver? They were more sensitive to battery resistance in some cases than V1 and the currently shipping V3.

The E2 lithium batteries, as long as the voltage is right, should have a lower all around series resistance than the 'regular' alkalines.
This is a V2. I'll try switching out the batteries first. It's already in a host.

Peace,
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Old 11-12-2008, 09:27 PM #6
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Default Re: Flexdrive Acting Like a Linear Drive?

ive got a v2 driver in my sonar II case that i tested the other day with some batts that had been in there for a while and the phr diode tested around 70-75mw with my laserbee lpm. i retested today with some newer batteries today and got 160mw with the same driver/diode setup.

both tests were done with these batts but the first set i used were more depleted than the others i used today: http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.14
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