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Old 06-11-2012, 07:24 AM #1
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Default Are these toast?

I bought some flexdrives and they arrived looking like this:



Can they still be used? A better question is would you trust one to power your $50 diode?


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Old 06-11-2012, 07:41 AM #2
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Default Re: Are these toast?

I found this on the net.

The effects of chipping off a piece of the actual core
of the inductor will vary according to what circuit it's
used in and how much chipped off, and if it's really
part of the core or just part of the packaging.

If it's just packaging, it wont bother it at all except
maybe paint it with some nail polish or something.

If it's part of the actual core, the effect of removing
part of the core (the chip) is to reduce the area, which
means the inductor saturates more easily and the inductance
goes down. The amount of this change goes with how much
area was lost -- a little area changes it a little while
a lot of area changes it a lot. Also, if it goes all the
way through (a crack) it may reduce inductance quite a bit.

Unfortunately, without knowing what circuit is being used
and what value of inductance is and the actual construction
and how much chipped off it's very difficult to assess the
damage, either immediate or long term.

One thing you could do is super glue the piece back
where it came from, if that's possible. That would
mean you've put back part of the core area.
You can also check for excessive heat rise while it's
running full steam. Check various components as well as
the inductor itself.

If the flashlight is still running and it appears to be
about the same brightness there's a good chance nothing
was hurt. The effects i talked about above could all
reduce or increase current to the LED, so if the brightness
seems the same it's probably working either the same or
almost the same as it was.
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Old 06-11-2012, 08:05 AM #3
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Default Re: Are these toast?

it looks like just the surface coming off, but still, humility will still goes in there, so even it will work, I think it won't last... I think it's a good idea to change to a different one.
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Old 06-11-2012, 08:06 AM #4
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Default Re: Are these toast?

@ Blord: Thank you very much for the great info.

These will be used to run PL450 laser diodes.

The chips off the Top seem pretty large. Would this qualify as chipped packaging?

I know nothing of inductors. I'm guessing they are designed with the "top" for a reason.
Missing 1/4 -1/3 of the Top can't be good. I don't know if just gluing them back using super glue will be sufficient.

I'm open to more input about this. Please keep it coming.

Thanks!
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Old 06-11-2012, 08:11 AM #5
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Default Re: Are these toast?

I have a dead Flexdrive with an intact inductor. You can have it to replace the inductor.
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Old 06-11-2012, 08:26 AM #6
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Default Re: Are these toast?

That is very generous, but isn't it soldered on using a reflow oven? It might be challenging for me to switch them.
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Old 06-11-2012, 08:29 AM #7
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Default Re: Are these toast?

Glue the bits back and test them out. The PL450 diode doesn't need high current to run. Maybe the stability is still within the limits.
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Old 06-11-2012, 09:59 AM #8
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Default Re: Are these toast?

Ive loads like this, and the broken inductor worked fine, as long as the core is intact, which it looks like it is on yours, the top bell shaped piece is just to stop the coil unwinding.
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Old 06-11-2012, 10:25 AM #9
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Default Re: Are these toast?

I think Dr.lava put epoxy over the inductors and I believe that's what's chipped off. The driver should be fine as long as the core for the inductor is not damaged. (As everyone else said)
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Old 06-11-2012, 10:40 AM #10
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Default Re: Are these toast?

I wouldn't run those Flexdrives at their Max ratings
with those Inductor Core segments missing.
Would probably be OK to run low power LDs.

Like you said... would you want to risk a $50 LD with
a questionable $20.00 Driver...

BTW...drlava put epoxy on top of the Inductors as a
simple way to stop the inductor core from chipping.
Didn't seem to work too well.


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Old 06-11-2012, 10:48 PM #11
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Default Re: Are these toast?

Thanks for everyone's input.

What is the worst case scenario if I use one? Will it not regulate current? Will current fluctuate? Might it supply too much current?
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Old 06-11-2012, 11:11 PM #12
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Default Re: Are these toast?

The biggest risk mind you imo only is it could short if it comes in contact with the heatsink or host , and there could be a tiny amount of leaked power though it would just make it more inefficient and heat up if that's the case. I have seen them cause CE or coronal ejection in power lines but I think that's a non issue here :P

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