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Old 06-11-2009, 08:21 AM   #1
Laurens
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Default Completely lost with Xerogear

Ok here's the problem, I've tried to get my Xerogear stuff working, however I don't seem to get it to light. I soldered - to -, and + to +. However, when I'm connecting to my 2s 400 pack, it won't light.

Now if I directly connect a - and + on one end, and my battery on the other end it will shortcircuit. I had this happen 2 times, the first time thinking I hit some other part accidently.
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Old 06-11-2009, 08:50 AM   #2
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Well, for starters, the Xerogear is designed for 12V power.
A 2S pack should still light it up, it just will be very dim.
You may want to try a 3S pack, Depending on how much lighting you have a 400mAh pack may be a little small.
Double check the polarity on your connectors. If you reverse the connections to an LED it simply will not light, no harm will be done.
Try reversing the connections to the LED strip and see if that helps.
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Old 06-11-2009, 11:33 AM   #3
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Is it ok to solder a - and + at the end of a strip together?
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Old 06-11-2009, 12:22 PM   #4
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Let me preface everything I'm saying with this: I've never seen a Xerogear product in person. I've never used any of the similar LED strips. But I have researched similar LED strips and I believe I have a sense of how they are supposed to be used.

The way theses strips are supposed to work is there are multiple modules in a full strip... perhaps one, two or three LEDs in a module. And you can cut a strip in between modules to make a shorter strip, but you can't cut it somewhere else.

This design leads me to believe that there is a + bus and a - bus all along the strip and that each module has its own resister to to restrict current for the module. If that's true (and I'm going with my intuition here) then NO, you do not want to short out the +/- at the end of the strip. That will short across the battery and burn up a trace somewhere in the strip and ruin at least one module. (If you find a ruined module, cutting it out may save the rest)

That's just my guess. YMMV.
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Old 06-11-2009, 01:40 PM   #5
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Laurens,

Do not solder the +/- together on the end of a strip leave it open.

Can you try a small strip of just 3 leds? (each set of 3 should be one module) You did cut them in the right locations right?

At least that way, all three LEDs will light, and you know your lipo pack is good. I use both a 2S or a 3S (both under 500mah) depending on how bright I want the LED's

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Old 06-11-2009, 01:49 PM   #6
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Look at the closeup pics here:

http://www.helifreak.com/showpost.ph...9&postcount=63

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Old 06-11-2009, 01:55 PM   #7
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So thats - soldered on the - of the next strip. I did cut them on the cutlines.

Also, I should leave the ends open and it'll be closed circuit?
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Old 06-11-2009, 02:03 PM   #8
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The LEDs themselves "close" the circuit. If you close off the end, then the power just goes through the end (short circuit) instead of having to find a path through the LEDs. Leave the end open.
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Old 06-11-2009, 02:06 PM   #9
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I used a short piece of solid wire to go from + to + and - to - when connecting the strips because I needed the bends around the canopy.


Little bit more advanced but you can tin the +/- on the top of one strip and tin the +/- on the bottom of the other strip, match the + to + and - to - and apply a little heat to each pad on top to merge the strips into one. This will not work on a bend and really only used if you messed up and made the length to short.

Yes, leave the end of the strings open, do not short them.

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Old 06-11-2009, 03:08 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marked23 View Post
Let me preface everything I'm saying with this: I've never seen a Xerogear product in person. I've never used any of the similar LED strips. But I have researched similar LED strips and I believe I have a sense of how they are supposed to be used.

The way theses strips are supposed to work is there are multiple modules in a full strip... perhaps one, two or three LEDs in a module. And you can cut a strip in between modules to make a shorter strip, but you can't cut it somewhere else.

This design leads me to believe that there is a + bus and a - bus all along the strip and that each module has its own resister to to restrict current for the module. If that's true (and I'm going with my intuition here) then NO, you do not want to short out the +/- at the end of the strip. That will short across the battery and burn up a trace somewhere in the strip and ruin at least one module. (If you find a ruined module, cutting it out may save the rest)

That's just my guess. YMMV.
-Mark
You are correct in your assumptions.
Do what Mark said.
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Old 06-11-2009, 08:17 PM   #11
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Think of the + and - on the strips as a bus bar like in a receiver because that's essentially what they are.
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Old 06-12-2009, 05:19 AM   #12
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IF you've cut the strip sometime even if it says positive when you go to connect Positive to the next positive the next strand of lights won't light up. IF that's the case try connecting the positive to the negative on the next strand. Doesn't make sense but I have over 17 feet of Xerogear on my heli, and have found this to be the case in a few spots on my heli. mostly when switching to a different color.

But Yes you do not need to close the circuit at the end of the lights just leave them open. You can make a complete loop of say Positives all the way around the heli and then connect all the negatives all the way around the heli.

I do this in case a wire comes off at 1 end it will still light up.

Hope that helps if you need picts I can post close ups later when i get back from work.


And definetely use 3S it'll light up the ground from about 10 feet up. Depending on how many lights you have.
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Old 06-12-2009, 06:49 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SlowWhite View Post
And definetely use 3S it'll light up the ground from about 10 feet up. Depending on how many lights you have.
I was concerned about not running a landing light, but I noticed how bright the LEDs were when I was testing them. The green strip was bright enough that I couldn't look directly at one of the LEDs for more than about a second without the image burning into my retina.
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Old 06-12-2009, 04:49 PM   #14
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I run Xerogear on my 450 and one of the LED strips the + / - was reversed. took a little time to run that down. just get one section working then move to the next... Hope this helps....
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Old 06-12-2009, 04:51 PM   #15
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Luckily, you won't damage anything by hooking it up backwards. LEDs can take a pretty good amount of reverse-bias voltage.
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Old 07-01-2009, 12:56 PM   #16
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Default Laurens

"LED 101"

Think of LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes) as a one way valve, or the one way valve YS engines come with. Voltage will only flow one way through the LED and produce light. If reversed, no light.

The Physics of LEDs:

Like a normal diode, the LED consists of a chip of semiconducting material impregnated, or doped, with impurities to create a p-n junction. As in other diodes, current flows easily from the p-side, or anode, to the n-side, or cathode, but not in the reverse direction. When an electron meets a hole, it falls into a lower energy level, and releases energy in the form of a photon, light.

Operation of LEDs:

A typical LED requires 1.2 volts DC to operate and draws ~20 milli amps. The resistor takes up the extra voltage in the circuit. So a single LED with a resistor connected to a 12 volt battery is a single circuit. The light string you have has two "power strips" (one +, and one -) on the edge of the strip. There are "pads" that allow / have room for the LEDs and resistors to be soldered to.

The LED strip:

The LED strip (for Xerogear) consist of 3 LEDs and one resistor, then a dashed line. This is repeated for the lenght of the strip. You can only cut the strip at the dashed lines. Each 3 LED section is one circuit. 3 LEDs in series (+ to -, + to -, and + to -). At about 1.2 volts per LED, they add in series, like batteries. 1.2 volts X 3 LEDs = 3.6 volts. Still not enough to equal a 12 volt LiPo. (11.1V). The resistor then takes up the rest, 8.4 volts.


So for you, just connect the positive wire, from the battery, to the "+" on the strip and the negitive wire, from the battery, to the "-" on the strip. If connecting more LEDs to the same string, just connect "+" to "+" and "-" to "-" with a jumper wire.
You can connect the battery to several strings instead of one long string. This is a form of "power distribution". Remember the older Christmas tree lights?? When one light goes out....they ALL go out!

And like the others have said; do not connect the "+" and "-" together at the end of the string, this becomes a dead short accross the battery.
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Old 06-10-2011, 12:27 PM   #17
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I had some issues with xerogear not being labeled correctly... Had the + and - printed incorrectly on the label.



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Old 06-15-2011, 10:53 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kitfox View Post
I had some issues with xerogear not being labeled correctly... Had the + and - printed incorrectly on the label.



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Me too.
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