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View Full Version : Help, LED Driver needed, not sure where to look?


rob.mwpropane
10/06/2017, 03:39 AM
Hey guys, long story short. I built a diy LED fixture a few years ago. I ordered all my parts from Steve's Led's. One of my fans stopped working and one of my 4 drivers must of got hot and stopped also. I figured no big deal, I'll just order another. Well the new version is version 8 (mine were all version 7). On version 7 there was a switch to control via the driver or via external controller. I have a reef angel and wired it to be controlled through that.

Version 8 does not have that and is supposed to just "know". Well I promise you that it does not. It's either on or off and is not accepting 0-5 PWM. I've even traded out one of the other drivers, and my wiring / lights work just fine. This new driver does NOT dim at all, except through the potentiometer.

I've gone back and forth numerous times via email with Steve's and they have been no help whatsoever. I need a driver that can control 3 arrays that my Reef Angel can control via 0-5 PWM, that I can hopefully put up in the canopy.

Here's a link to everything I have for my build;
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/snguajj01ipnxky/AACHqKncEuscwTpKRUC6l3hRa?dl=0



Any ideas?

I tried searching, but it's been like 3 years since I've built this, my corals aren't looking great (been 2 weeks already without these lights as it is). I'll be honest, this light worked great and I never looked into lighting again, so I'm lost where to look.

oreo57
10/06/2017, 11:43 AM
AFAICT Reef Angel only does 10V analog or 10VPWM.. Not 5V..

Steves needs..
"-Aquarium controller compatibility - YES! Any aquarium controller with 0-10V dimming can control this driver using Steve's Aquarium Controller Harness. For this driver to accept a 0-10V input, Steve's Aquarium Controller Harness is required."...

http://www.stevesleds.com/Aquarium-Controller-Interface-Harness_p_183.html

More to start this conversation...

rob.mwpropane
10/06/2017, 12:28 PM
I have a few emails with Steve's back and forth. They said 0-5v and my reef angel dimming expansion is set for that from when I built the light. This is on steves site, right above what you quoted. I should not need his "ACI".

-PWM Input - YES. This accepts standard PWM for dimming and automation. Accurate linear dimming is compatible with PWM frequencies from 100 Hz to 5 kHz for PWM duty cycle down to 1%. PWM frequencies up to 50 kHz can be supported for duty cycles greater than 10%.

I was told just to swap the drivers and the new driver would "know" by programming what's controlling it. I did that and it won't let the reef angel control it. Lights come on as soon as I plug it in (24v), even with the reef angel @ 0%.

rob.mwpropane
10/07/2017, 07:07 AM
I never ask for help, as searching is 99.9% great for me, but I'm so lost which way to go. Anybody know of a solution for Steve's drivers?

Has anybody used version 8 drivers and been able to get it to work from a dimming signal?

oreo57
10/07/2017, 12:49 PM
I never ask for help, as searching is 99.9% great for me, but I'm so lost which way to go. Anybody know of a solution for Steve's drivers?

Has anybody used version 8 drivers and been able to get it to work from a dimming signal?Sorry ..still no help..

Steves used to have manualson line.. Can't find them..

Never cared for linear drivers and use Meanwell LDD's or equiv..

Again though:
-Aquarium controller compatibility - YES! Any aquarium controller with 0-10V dimming can control this driver using Steve's Aquarium Controller Harness. For this driver to accept a 0-10V input, Steve's Aquarium Controller Harness is required.

- 3 year limited warranty against manufacturing defects. Steve's LEDs, LLC will determine the nature of the defect, and your item may be repaired or replaced free of charge.

- Current version shipping is V8.0

Gorgok
10/07/2017, 02:14 PM
As silly as it may sound, is your PWM signal referenced to the power supply negative? With my old CAT4101 drivers that was a requirement or it wouldn't see the pwm at all. Common negative on the signal and supply fixed it.

mcgyvr
10/07/2017, 02:58 PM
As silly as it may sound, is your PWM signal referenced to the power supply negative? With my old CAT4101 drivers that was a requirement or it wouldn't see the pwm at all. Common negative on the signal and supply fixed it.
Nothing silly about that at all..
Its absolutely required..

rob.mwpropane
10/07/2017, 03:17 PM
As silly as it may sound, is your PWM signal referenced to the power supply negative? With my old CAT4101 drivers that was a requirement or it wouldn't see the pwm at all. Common negative on the signal and supply fixed it.

We'll, I appreciate the response. It's a little over my head. On the driver there is a header that has 3 solderless futtings. I beloeve all 3 are tied together for ground. I have ground ran from both the PWM (from reef angel) and from the meanwell power supply.

I'm kinda fed up with Steve's. I like the product, but the product support sucks. Is there any other alternative that I could put in my canopy?

oreo57
10/07/2017, 05:24 PM
We'll, I appreciate the response. It's a little over my head. On the driver there is a header that has 3 solderless futtings. I beloeve all 3 are tied together for ground. I have ground ran from both the PWM (from reef angel) and from the meanwell power supply.

I'm kinda fed up with Steve's. I like the product, but the product support sucks. Is there any other alternative that I could put in my canopy?

Just switch to Meanwell LDD's ..Still need to convert the Reefangel to 5V PWM though..

Problem w/ Steves linear drivers is if the voltage between the power supply and what the voltage draw of the LED string is large.. then heating is a problem

Meanwells do not have this problem

BTW: Looks like the reefangel can be hacked to do 5V PWM..
Yes, you can desolder and create jumpers to have a 5V output.
Let me know if you are interested.

http://forum.reefangel.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=1948&start=10

Certainly not recommended but interesting idea.

rob.mwpropane
10/07/2017, 05:28 PM
UnJust switch to Meanwell LDD's ..Still need to convert the Reefangel to 5V PWM though..

Problem w/ Steves linear drivers is if the voltage between the power supply and what the voltage draw of the LED string is large.. then heating is a problem

Meanwells do not have this problem

Excuse my ignorance, but how many will I need to drive 21 royal blues?

My reef angel is pretty easy to change it can do 0-5, 0-10, digital or analog.

Thanks for your help, any links?

oreo57
10/07/2017, 05:39 PM
Un

Excuse my ignorance, but how many will I need to drive 21 royal blues?

My reef angel is pretty easy to change it can do 0-5, 0-10, digital or analog.

Thanks for your help, any links?

So you can set it to 5V PWM?

LDD's control the current within it's voltage parameters..

Ldd-H's will handle up to 56V..

Your only "problem" is w/ power supplies..and not sure if Steves needs a voltage differential.
Meanwells need about 2V between input and output.. soo a 24V ps is "only" 22V

At 3.4V per diode its 6 stars..

Knowing the LEDs voltage at the current you are driving them helps a lot..
Voltage will change w/ current..

giving EXACT specs of wha you have know would help..
Power supply volts and either watts or amps
Current driver mA output.
LEd type/brand specs ( Forward Voltage is 2.75V @ 350ma, 2.95 @ 700ma, 3.00V @ 1,000ma (Datasheet Figure 10) guess from your photos)

[email protected] 1A per ldd..........

rob.mwpropane
10/07/2017, 09:54 PM
Yes I can set 0-5v. I have the dimming expansion that has different settings in it if you open the box. Right now, it's set for 0-5v PWM.

I hope this is everything your looking for;

Power source:
Mean Well MW 24V 14.6A 350W AC/DC Switching Power Supply NES-350-24 UL PSU

Edit: this PS did not come from Steve's. The first PS that was sent with my kit was doa. They sent another right away, and it died within 2 months. Both were off brand junk, so I purchased a mean well from ebay that had the same specs that came with the kit.

Luxeon ES Royal Blue 3 watt LED's
Forward voltage is 3.00V @ 1,000mA
Drivers are @ 1000mA

Right now (the ones that don't work) are set up in arrays of 7, 3 of these arrays are on this "triple driver". (So currently 21 of my leds don't work)

Thank you for your help, please let me know if you need any more information. I've wasted so much time with Steve's "support", my corals are starting to look unhappy. So I'm sure they'll thank you as well!!

oreo57
10/09/2017, 09:48 PM
Just get one of these if you want something different..
don't want (nor should I ) to spend your money..

you shouldn't be having this issue..

Your 3x 7 array is still fine

Rapid's board has a jumperable pull down resistor so it's easier to trouble shoot issues..

PS is plenty big enough..and w/ LDD's no issues w/ voltage mis-matches as w/ Steves..

rob.mwpropane
10/10/2017, 03:48 AM
Just get one of these if you want something different..
don't want (nor should I ) to spend your money..

you shouldn't be having this issue..

Your 3x 7 array is still fine

Rapid's board has a jumperable pull down resistor so it's easier to trouble shoot issues..

PS is plenty big enough..and w/ LDD's no issues w/ voltage mis-matches as w/ Steves..

I appreciate everyone's help. Steve's finally got back to me and they agree that it's an issue with their driver. They sent a new driver free of charge.

I should not have had these issues. I'm not crazy, I checked my wiring a million times, and even traded out with the other drivers.

I'm ok with Steve's, it's just when and if this happens again, I think I'm heading in a different direction. If I can't get a hold of them, their drivers are useless.