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Old 10-10-2010, 10:54 AM #1
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Wink How to set up the Flexmod P3 for a handheld laser

Ok so I got another batch of Flexmod P3's in today. I have had a few questions on how I set it up in my Frankenstein unit so I thought I would just make a thread.


Also if you would like to see more of my reviews and tutorials please visit my compilation page.

http://laserpointerforums.com/f51/dt...tml#post759223




Here is the specs and the module.












You neet to get a 1.5 K Ohm 1/2 Watt resistor which will be used to bridge the V+ and the M+. The M+ is the modulation input that can be used to adjust the current while in use. We will not be needing to adjust it in this manner so we will use the 1.5 K Ohm 1/2 Watt resistor to wire it in an always on full power mode.

Please disregard the actual resistor shown in the tutorial. I accidentally used a 1 Ohm resistor but the placement is the same.

Here is some info Jayrob got from drlava when developing his Mag kit.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jayrob View Post
I spoke to drlava direct on the phone to make sure I would be setting up the FlexModP3 properly...

He told me that if you have less than 11 volts supply, then you do not need a resistor at all. Just a wire to bridge across.

But if over 11 volts. You could use (he gave a specific Ohm but I forgot because we came to the following...)

I then told him that I wanted to use a resistor that would be fine for either set up to avoid confusion. (2 X Li-Ion vs 3 X Li-Ion)

That's when he told me that the 1.5 K Ohm 1/2 Watt resistor would be suitable for either set up. And I have been setting them up like that.

The driver works perfectly with either supply. I love the FlexModP3. It adjusts so smooth... 1/2 turn on the gain equals about 100mA's. It's an awesome driver if you have the room for it! Check this thread! (shameless plug)

I have a Word document in that thread linked, so you can print it out. It shows the basic set up of the FlexModP3. It's just a one page condensed version of what DTR shows in this thread...







Put the resistor in the holes and manipulate it into the position you want it to be.










Clip the resistor wire for the in the M+ hole. Then solder it in place.
















Now get some wire out. I like to use the extremely flexible and burn resistant Flaminpryo wire.












Next shove the positive wire in the V+ hole along with the resistor already in place.












Clip the wires flush and solder them in place.











Add a negative wire in the G hole and solder it in place.







Your Input wires are done. And it should look like this.








The interlock is a safety feature that can allow the user to cut off the laser. It can be hooked up to an external switch in labbys but since I am using a handheld host I will wire it to be on all the time.











Here is where the hole is for the interlock on the back.








Put a wire in the hole from the underside and solder it in place.









Now run this line over to the bottom of the driver to the V+ input on the driver.









Now strip the wire at the perfect length when pulled tight.












Clip the wire down to the right length.










Solder the wire in place keeping it tight across the bottom.











Now for the diode wires.









Here are the holes from the backside.










Solder you positive wire in place.











Solder your negative wire.











This unit comes with a default 7 second delayed startup. To say the least in a handheald that would be very annoying. If you look on the top side bottom left you will see five contact pads in a line.











Just dab some solder over the last two of them bridging the connection and the starup delay has been disabled.











If you connect it to your power source with no diode you will see the light come on.











Now I soldered a diode onto the output wires on the driver.











I put the module in my Max Sink and was able to bolt the drivers heatsink onto the Max Sink's fins. Making a little labby.










To adjust the power you need to turn the pot that is furthest from the heatsink. Circled in red.









Now all you have to do is adjust the gain to the desired current and you are done.







Also if you don't have a bench power supply you can use a battery and your DMM to set the current.

You can monitor current draw by using your DMM to complete the circuit like in the picture below. Set your DMM to 2M and put the positive line in the 10ADC slot.







Depending on your hosts setup you can put the drivers heatsink on wires to extend it to reach your host heatsink. This is how it looked after moving it on my Frankenstein. I used three strands of pyro wire for each pin.







EDIT

I thought this video would help in deciding on your battery setup. The P3 can drive a 445 @ 1.6A with any voltage between 5.5V and 24V. So two 3.7V 26500's might be a good setup if we could find a host that fits the batteries and driver.



EDIT





That's it for now. I will update this thread when I get my next host with any other stuff that comes up in installing it. Hope you found this helpful.



Last edited by DTR; 12-29-2011 at 10:25 PM.
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Old 10-10-2010, 11:22 AM #2
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Default Re: How to set up the P3 for a handheld laser

Absolutely superb. When i saw your frankenlaser i wonderd how you set up the flexmod.

+1 fo sure
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Old 10-10-2010, 03:22 PM #3
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Default Re: How to set up the Flexmod P3 for a handheld laser

Why not use an LM338? They're rated for 5A, take MUCH less work to set up, are one tenth the price, and are much smaller.
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Old 10-10-2010, 05:24 PM #4
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Default Re: How to set up the Flexmod P3 for a handheld laser

Great tutorial...

Thanks for showing this!

The last pot (the one you circled in red), is it the only pot used? The other two are not used at all? Only leave them untouched in the position they come?
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Old 10-10-2010, 07:02 PM #5
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Default Re: How to set up the Flexmod P3 for a handheld laser

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyparagon View Post
Why not use an LM338? They're rated for 5A, take MUCH less work to set up, are one tenth the price, and are much smaller.

Could it be because the 338's a voltage regulators, whereas the the flexmod is a current regulator? (CC i mean)

I honestly cant remember haha
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Old 10-10-2010, 07:05 PM #6
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Default Re: How to set up the Flexmod P3 for a handheld laser

You could use it in the LM317 circuit, I'd think, as it's just the big brother to the 317, and the 317 works fine as a driver .
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Old 10-10-2010, 07:11 PM #7
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Default Re: How to set up the Flexmod P3 for a handheld laser

Yeah, until a malfunction occur's , the 317's and 338's will dump ALL available current into the diode, where as the the flexmod is a CC device, and will only supply the current set by the user.
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Old 10-10-2010, 07:14 PM #8
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Default Re: How to set up the Flexmod P3 for a handheld laser

Obviously it won't have the level of sophistication but the 'DDL' (lm317 circuit) driver was used for a long long time and still is used, it has worked and will work, it's a better route for those who don't want to spend $40 on a driver like the flexmod so they can have a portable laser.
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Old 10-10-2010, 07:42 PM #9
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Default Re: How to set up the Flexmod P3 for a handheld laser

Oh yeah, course im not saying it wont work haha of course it does, but the question was asked, why not use a 338 , maybe thats why...its very "crude", even though as he pointed out its a lot cheaper, some people like to pay extra for precision, where thier $40 diodes are concernd...strictly speaking you could use a power resistor with a couple of batteries to power a diode.
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Old 10-10-2010, 08:31 PM #10
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Default Re: How to set up the Flexmod P3 for a handheld laser

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyparagon View Post
Why not use an LM338? They're rated for 5A, take MUCH less work to set up, are one tenth the price, and are much smaller.
It was what I had on hand when I built my Frankenstein and it had great results. It is running a 445 @1720mA giving 2W output. Also I was asked to show how I set it up. Also these are quality units and there are a lot of safety features incorporated in this driver. Diode protection from a bad connection is one of my favorites. You can protect your $50 diode by paying a little extra that alone is worth it in my book.

I will look into a LM338. I will say the ability to attach the driver heatsink to the host heatsink is a must.


Quote:
Originally Posted by jayrob View Post
Great tutorial...

Thanks for showing this!

The last pot (the one you circled in red), is it the only pot used? The other two are not used at all? Only leave them untouched in the position they come?
The first pot is the 0 bias. This is used to set the standby current. Since we are not using standby there is no need to set it.

The second is the bias. It has to do with power supply rejection. Which I will admit I don't have a full understanding of the benefits or implantation of this setting. So I leave it alone. Here is what the manual says about it. By what is says I should hook up my driver to my bench supply and vary the voltage between the full and empty range of my batteries as it would be in normal use and adjust the bias until I get the smallest amount of change in output to the diode.


Last edited by DTR; 10-10-2010 at 10:08 PM.
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Old 10-11-2010, 12:18 AM #11
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Default Re: How to set up the Flexmod P3 for a handheld laser

Holy pictures! I think this is one of the few threads that wouldn't load fully on my 1.5MBit DSL connection in one try. They probably don't need to be that huge to get the point across, but they do show off your camera. Nice tutorial. The Bias is set at around 100mA from the factory so when you adjust the gain, you're adding to that. You don't need to worry about Balance for these purposes.
Nice work again on your monster blue.

A lot of thought goes into designing a reliable sand safe driver, a simple LMXXX based unit would not have the protection features that the FlexMod does, and many people prefer to use a driver that they know works well and is built well and tested instead of futzing around with parts and spider-wiring. Just think - one blown 445 diode from a mis-assembled home brew driver instantly turns you from saving money into losing it.

Last edited by drlava; 10-11-2010 at 12:27 AM.
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Old 10-11-2010, 01:02 AM #12
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Default Re: How to set up the Flexmod P3 for a handheld laser

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Originally Posted by drlava View Post
Holy pictures! I think this is one of the few threads that wouldn't load fully on my 1.5MBit DSL connection in one try. They probably don't need to be that huge to get the point across, but they do show off your camera. Nice tutorial. The Bias is set at around 100mA from the factory so when you adjust the gain, you're adding to that. You don't need to worry about Balance for these purposes.
Nice work again on your monster blue.

A lot of thought goes into designing a reliable sand safe driver, a simple LMXXX based unit would not have the protection features that the FlexMod does, and many people prefer to use a driver that they know works well and is built well and tested instead of futzing around with parts and spider-wiring. Just think - one blown 445 diode from a mis-assembled home brew driver instantly turns you from saving money into losing it.


Thanks for the reply. I also think the LD protection is worth the cost alone. Plus there are a lot of other nice features this driver provides.

Also I resized the pictures let me know if they are easier on your connection.
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Old 10-11-2010, 05:26 AM #13
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Default Re: How to set up the Flexmod P3 for a handheld laser

Quote:
Originally Posted by DTR View Post
Depending on your hosts setup you can put the drivers heatsink on wires to extend it to reach your host heatsink. This is how it looked after moving it on my Frankenstein. I used three strands of pyro wire for each pin.









That's it for now. I will update this thread when I get my next host with any other stuff that comes up in installing it. Hope you found this helpful.
Im not trying to be a smart ass here but you keep calling it a heatsink, isn't it a MOSFET, a transistor? They produce heat and need to be attached to a heatsink but they are not heatsinks .

Quick question: the reason you attached a resistor from V+ to M+ is to have pretty much all the current flow into the V+ instead of M+ (as it is not needed) while maintaining 5V at M+ for modulation?
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Old 10-11-2010, 05:34 AM #14
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Default Re: How to set up the Flexmod P3 for a handheld laser

The component has it's own little heatsink that DTR has attatched to the large host heatsink...
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Old 10-11-2010, 05:36 AM #15
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Default Re: How to set up the Flexmod P3 for a handheld laser

Quote:
Originally Posted by jayrob View Post
The component has it's own little heatsink that DTR has attatched to the large host heatsink...
I understand that, but the wording is a little confusing that's all

P.S. DTR Thank you for adding this thread with detailed mods. Very helpful info for the future!
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Last edited by gillza; 10-11-2010 at 05:52 AM. Reason: Corrected misleading to confusing :)
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Old 10-11-2010, 07:30 PM #16
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Default Re: How to set up the Flexmod P3 for a handheld laser

DTR, this is the kind of tutorial that we need for every build, and every part of a build. VERY, VERY INFORMATIVE, EXCELENT! BEST TUTORIAL YET!

Most people do a half @$$ job, expecting newbies like me to fill in the blanks, thank you!


Last edited by LiquidLife; 10-11-2010 at 07:36 PM.
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