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RGBW COB LED driver board


We created a board for driving  RGBW COB (Chip-On-Board) LEDs. We also sourced some RGBW (red, green, blue, white) COB LEDs, and heatsinks to put together a complete LED lamp kit. The drivers are constant-current source drivers based up the same topology as a buck switching regulator, so there is very little heat generated by the drivers. The other advantages of the driver, and the reason that switching regulators have taken over the world, is that any voltage supply may be used (at or above 12V) without losing efficiency. In other words if the supply voltage is raised, the current draw at the supply is reduced while the current supplied to the LEDs will remain constant.

The COB LEDs however do get hot, and definitely need a heat sink. We put a thermistor on the board, with a voltage divider, so you can monitor the heat on the heatsink if you are using a microcontroller board.

We also sourced the COB leds and the heatsinks so we can provide this either as a complete kit or an complete assembly.

A great thing about the LED driver we found is that the LED AL8861 driver chip inputs can accept an analog input, as well as PWM, allowing you to build a nice variable color RGBW lamp with only four potentiometers. The driver board inputs work equally well with PWM outputs from an Arduino or other microcontroller, and dim easily from 0 to 100% in a nice linear curve. The driver board will accommodate either one or two COB LEDs with currents up to 600 mA.

There is also nothing to say that you couldn’t drive a whole host of other types of LEDs such as 24 or our 1 watt LEDs arranged in a 3 series x 2 parallel x 4 channels, or  120 5mm LEDs arranged in 3 series x 10 parallel x 4 channels. The mind boggles at the possibilities.

Some custom applications might include:

    • Controllable LED signage
    • Custom / DIY LED Lamps
    • Theatrical Lighting
    • Grow Lights
    • Colored Strobe Light Experiments
    • Impressive and blinding Halloween costumes

Specifications for the COB LEDs:

These are the specifications from the manufacturer for one COB LED.

Channel Volts Current Lumens
red 6-7V 350mA 200-220
green 9-11V 350mA 320-340
blue 9-11V 350mA 80-100
white 9-11V 350mA 320-340

We’ll have product links up as soon as get done editing the product pages. Also a discount code for the first few buyers.

Three New Fluxamasynth Variations

We just launched a modest Indiegogo campaign to seed some new electronic music products that I’ve been cooking up. The Fluxamasynth is an add-on electronic module for Arduino for making your own electronic musical instruments or embedding high quality sound in projects. Now in three new flavors on Indiegogo:

This campaign is to expand the Fluxamasynth platform with three new modules and to expand on the documentation and example projects.

There are other projects out there that have similar capabilities, but the Fluxamasynth is an embarrassment of riches when it comes to big sound, access to lots of low level tweaks, and a design that emphasizes quality and affordability.

These will be available in the shop as soon as the Indiegogo is over.

Wind Sensors on Kites

Chris Fastie of the KAPtery has been testing the Modern Device wind sensor for Public Lab by putting them up on kite-borne sensor arrays. Chris has been documenting his work on Public Lab’s collaborative research platform. Below you can see the $27 Modern Device wind sensor compared to a $300 Kestrel 550 anemometer.

It tracks surprisingly well, though gives a consistent lower reading which we believe is how the sensor was mounted in the rig (it has a directional bias). Seeing how these sensors are used in the field is very helpful to us; we are now working on a boost regulated mod that will allow you to power it from a few AA batteries instead of the 10V the sensor requires now (well > 9.2V technically).