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ludi
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Re: LED Light for Snowblower

Sat Nov 16, 2019 6:21 pm

I've used the DC-DC converter that SecretSquirrel linked a few times and can vouch for its usefulness. You can also reduce the filter cap sizing when using it, since the converter is capable of eating some input ripple.

This here is your visual shopping list, other than a couple cord grommets not pictured. Or add the DC-DC converter and move up to a larger chassis.

Image
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Heiwashin
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Re: LED Light for Snowblower

Sat Nov 16, 2019 6:31 pm

ludi wrote:
I've used the DC-DC converter that SecretSquirrel linked a few times and can vouch for its usefulness. You can also reduce the filter cap sizing when using it, since the converter is capable of eating some input ripple.

This here is your visual shopping list, other than a couple cord grommets not pictured. Or add the DC-DC converter and move up to a larger chassis.

Image


Looks like fun to me. This thread is going to make me do more unnecessary tinkering too :lol:
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DPete27
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Re: LED Light for Snowblower

Sat Nov 16, 2019 10:46 pm

I ordered everything you recommended SS, except I found this 3300uF axial lead capacitor which I felt would make organization inside the box easier (rectifier on one side of the box, converter on the other side, capacitor between them). Figured 3300uF was close enough to 4400uF, and since the converter has some capacitors, I figured it could do some smoothing of it's own.

I also ordered a KBPC5010 rectifier for $0.80 incl. shipping (probably from China). I like the quick connect terminals. Not sure if I'll actually get what I ordered (and I have to wait 3 weeks to find out) but I figured it was worth a shot to save $5.

Excited to give this a try. I think it's going to work nicely.

Was the consensus that I need a fuse?
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Heiwashin
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Re: LED Light for Snowblower

Sun Nov 17, 2019 10:08 am

I let my functional components play the role of the fuse. I usually regret it :lol:
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SecretSquirrel
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Re: LED Light for Snowblower

Sun Nov 17, 2019 10:14 am

DPete27 wrote:
I ordered everything you recommended SS, except I found this 3300uF axial lead capacitor which I felt would make organization inside the box easier (rectifier on one side of the box, converter on the other side, capacitor between them). Figured 3300uF was close enough to 4400uF, and since the converter has some capacitors, I figured it could do some smoothing of it's own.


The worst that will happen if the capacitor is to small is that you'll have some flicker and will need to bodge in a second capacitor.

As far as the fuse goes, there are two reasons to have it.

1) A continuous direct short of the AC output will cause damage to the snowblower.
2) The AC output is capable of enough power to cause a fire.

If the AC output is only capable of about 27W are you state, then #2 is unlikely. #1 is also pretty unlikely. Since its AC output, there isn't likely to be any electronics in the snowblower and a direct short isn't going to put enough of a load on the engine to cause any damage. Depending on how the ignition is done, a direct short might actually just interfere with the ignition and stop the engine. All that said, I can't recommend not putting a fuse in because -- safety -- but should you choose not too, I doubt it would cause a problem.

--SS
 
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Re: LED Light for Snowblower

Sun Nov 17, 2019 10:32 am

If it was me, I'd include the fuse. It is cheap protection against wiring mistakes and component failures which can potentially cause short circuits.

OTOH there's also the old EE joke about how a $100 component will quite happily fry itself to protect a 20 cent fuse. :wink:
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DPete27
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Re: LED Light for Snowblower

Sun Nov 17, 2019 1:57 pm

I think it's just a cost saving measure. Wanted to keep this as cheap as possible, but everything costs so dang much with shipping (RIP Radio Shack) that it's prohibitive to do small simple projects like this.

Just got the notion from the circuit potential being so low, that it probably wouldn't be dangerous.

I dunno, we'll see. Maybe I'll change my mind when it comes time to assemble.

BTW, if anyone's curious. This was a full-on restoration. I did a horrible job taking pictures of original condition before I started, but here's the motor for example. Everything else got the same treatment. Full disassembly, repair/replace, clean, expose bare metal, repaint (with some color accents/mods), etc etc.
Image
Image
You can see the AC lead I'm attaching to in the bottom picture hanging right below the bottom red (gas tank) bracket. It has a clear plastic connector tip on the end of it.
Last edited by DPete27 on Sun Nov 17, 2019 8:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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SecretSquirrel
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Re: LED Light for Snowblower

Sun Nov 17, 2019 7:41 pm

Direct links to google images break randomly... :evil:

--SS
 
DPete27
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Re: LED Light for Snowblower

Sun Nov 17, 2019 8:35 pm

Yeah, that's strange. I noticed it on my cell, but the pics show up just fine on my desktop. Also strange that there's other pictures in that album that are displaying just fine on TR.
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DPete27
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Re: LED Light for Snowblower

Tue Dec 10, 2019 7:40 pm

Just got my last component (KBPC5010 bridge rectifier for $0.80 total from China.... just shipping must cost more than that, right?). Too cold to install until this weekend. Then I'll post a completion photo/write-up.

Since there's no negative from the snowblower, do I hook the "in -" from the DCDC converter to the ground wire, or leave that and the "out -" empty and just ground at the light?
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Wirko
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Re: LED Light for Snowblower

Wed Dec 11, 2019 3:52 am

DPete27 wrote:
Just got my last component (KBPC5010 bridge rectifier for $0.80 total from China.... just shipping must cost more than that, right?). Too cold to install until this weekend. Then I'll post a completion photo/write-up.

Since there's no negative from the snowblower, do I hook the "in -" from the DCDC converter to the ground wire, or leave that and the "out -" empty and just ground at the light?


The former. The "IN -" and "OUT -" may or may not be the same (at the same potential, connected internally by just a copper trace on the PCB). It's probably true of your converter, judging by the looks, but it's not a general rule in DC-to-DC converters.

Do not ground the light at all, and also make sure it does not have an electrical connection to the snowblower chassis. Just run two wires from the output terminals of the converter to the light.
 
DPete27
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Re: LED Light for Snowblower

Wed Dec 11, 2019 1:49 pm

So ground the "In -" terminal on the converter? Then the "Out -" terminal would be the negative wire from the light?
(that's what I figured)

Final wiring diagram will be:
Strator - Switch - Fuse - Rectifier - Capacitor - DCDC Coverter - Light - DCDC Converter - Ground.
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Wirko
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Re: LED Light for Snowblower

Wed Dec 11, 2019 5:26 pm

I'm not sure we're talking about the same thing when we say "ground".

Two wires should go to the AC (~) terminals of the bridge rectifier: one from the stator (this one goes through the switch and fuse), the other from the metal frame. It does not matter which is which. This is the AC part.
Then there's the DC part. Ground is the (-) on the rectifier. It gets connected to the (-) on the capacitor and the (IN -) on the converter. But not to the frame!
Same for the (+) side.
Another two wires go from the converter output to the LED light. A cable is better than two individual flying wires of course.
I don't know what kind of light you bought (Amazon link not working for me). If its case is made of metal, chances are that the negative wire is connected to it and makes contact with the frame when the light is mounted. That's perfectly good when you have battery power but not when you have AC power and a rectifier, so check that out.
 
DPete27
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Re: LED Light for Snowblower

Wed Dec 11, 2019 9:45 pm

Doh! Forgot to finish the loop.

Strator - Switch - Fuse - Rectifier - Capacitor(+) - DCDC Coverter - Light - DCDC Converter - Capacitor (-) - Rectifier - Ground.
A picture is worth a thousand words:
Image

I think that's right now (?)

Hmm, the light frame and mounting bracket is aluminum. How would I test your claim? Full disassembly?
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Wirko
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Re: LED Light for Snowblower

Thu Dec 12, 2019 5:11 am

Yes, the circuit is OK.

Regarding the light - simple things become complicated if you don't have a multimeter. You're going to need one, most certainly if you're planning to restore another vintage multimeter, and it has many purposes anyway.
Take the light apart if it's possible at all. If not then you can check electrical conduction with a 12V battery in series with a small 12V light bulb. You can't destroy anything this way. The bulb will light up fully when you find a conducting path (between the negative wire and mounting bracket). The LEDs will light up too if they get some current through the bulb in the right direction.
 
SecretSquirrel
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Re: LED Light for Snowblower

Thu Dec 12, 2019 8:58 am

You can connect all the grounds to the chassis.

One AC input on the rectifier goes to the generator output through fuse and switch. The other AC input on the rectifier goes to the chassis. + on the rectifier goes to the positive side of the capacitor and to the IN+ on the regulator. - on the rectifier goes to the the negative side of the capacitor and the IN- on the regulator. OUT+ on the regulator goes to the positive side of the LED light. OUT- on the regulator goes to the negative side of the LED light. If the light housing is connected to the negative line of the light, that's ok. Things will work just fine. I'll try and draw it up later.

*edit*
Image

--SS
 
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Re: LED Light for Snowblower

Thu Dec 12, 2019 10:41 am

Kudos for drawing a proper diagram, SS.

But ... that would be correct if the converter's output were isolated from the input. Having seen the photos on Amazon, I believe that's not the case. IN- goes directly to OUT-, So in this circuit, the rectifier's (~) and (-) terminals would be shorted.
 
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Re: LED Light for Snowblower

Thu Dec 12, 2019 11:23 am

Yes, I believe Wirko is correct. You want to keep the DC and AC sides isolated, which means no common ground. Just float the whole DC side and you should be OK.
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SecretSquirrel
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Re: LED Light for Snowblower

Thu Dec 12, 2019 1:31 pm

Wirko wrote:
Kudos for drawing a proper diagram, SS.

But ... that would be correct if the converter's output were isolated from the input. Having seen the photos on Amazon, I believe that's not the case. IN- goes directly to OUT-, So in this circuit, the rectifier's (~) and (-) terminals would be shorted.


Yes, you are correct, and I would expect that to be the case for a cheap buck converter. Now, the funny thing is that the schematic I posted wouldn't actually blow anything up since the limited power available from the generator wouldn't be enough to destroy the diode in the bridge rectifier. Still, not a good thing to try.

So, yeah, you need to verify whether the case of the light is connected to the negative wire of the light or not. If it is, you'll have a problem and will need to isolate the light from the chassis, or take the light apart and see if you can isolate the case from the negative lead.
 
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Re: LED Light for Snowblower

Thu Dec 12, 2019 2:29 pm

SecretSquirrel wrote:
Wirko wrote:
Kudos for drawing a proper diagram, SS.

But ... that would be correct if the converter's output were isolated from the input. Having seen the photos on Amazon, I believe that's not the case. IN- goes directly to OUT-, So in this circuit, the rectifier's (~) and (-) terminals would be shorted.


Yes, you are correct, and I would expect that to be the case for a cheap buck converter. Now, the funny thing is that the schematic I posted wouldn't actually blow anything up since the limited power available from the generator wouldn't be enough to destroy the diode in the bridge rectifier. Still, not a good thing to try.

So, yeah, you need to verify whether the case of the light is connected to the negative wire of the light or not. If it is, you'll have a problem and will need to isolate the light from the chassis, or take the light apart and see if you can isolate the case from the negative lead.


If the LED negative terminal is tied to the case (ground), you'll do a "fuse durability test" right away...
 
Wirko
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Re: LED Light for Snowblower

Thu Dec 12, 2019 4:29 pm

SecretSquirrel wrote:
Now, the funny thing is that the schematic I posted wouldn't actually blow anything up since the limited power available from the generator wouldn't be enough to destroy the diode in the bridge rectifier.

If the snowblower was used on a hot summer night, the stator would soon overheat. That's much less likely in winter but still possible.
 
ludi
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Re: LED Light for Snowblower

Fri Dec 13, 2019 1:44 pm

The existence of a chassis ground on the LED light will be a definite wildcard.

The construction of the light linked by OP suggests one of those generic Chinesium affairs where they never connect the chassis to anything, even in cases such as e.g. aluminum bodied, 120V LED ballasts where it SHOULD be grounded and a color-coded ground lead is provided (and then disappears to nowhere inside). So, best guess is no chassis ground on the light. A quick meter check should validate that neither power lead has continuity with the aluminum body.

But if it does have one, the light will need to be isolated. A simple block of wood, plastic, or hard rubber would do nicely.
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Re: LED Light for Snowblower

Fri Dec 13, 2019 1:51 pm

ludi wrote:
But if it does have one, the light will need to be isolated. A simple block of wood, plastic, or hard rubber would do nicely.

...and nylon hardware, assuming it is going to be bolted on.
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DPete27
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Re: LED Light for Snowblower

Mon Dec 30, 2019 12:07 pm

Update:
Shipping (from China) and the holidays delayed progress, but I'm done with the unit. Will be installing it later this afternoon. Pretty happy with how this turned out. The fitment inside the box is perfect (the converter and rectifier are very snug against the sidewalls). Will have some installed pics later today or tomorrow.
Image
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Re: LED Light for Snowblower

Mon Dec 30, 2019 12:13 pm

Nicely done. It's always so satisfying when things fit well and result in a clean install.

--SS
 
Wirko
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Re: LED Light for Snowblower

Mon Dec 30, 2019 3:12 pm

Well done!

A minor problem: looking at the photo I can't say for sure but it seems like you may have cold joints. I know those large KBPC bridges, their terminals are made of something that's hard to solder properly. You need to scratch them with a knife or sandpaper before soldering, then use a large soldering iron and maybe some flux too. The solder should wet all the metal surfaces, that is, spill over them at least a little, like a drop of water expands on clean glass, but not on greasy glass. Check those joints carefully again.
 
DPete27
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Re: LED Light for Snowblower

Wed Jan 01, 2020 12:24 am

Thanks for the tip. I did check all the solder joints, and they're all good. That picture angle certainly makes them look like cold joints. I melted quite a bit of solder into those terminals to form a dumbbell around the actual peg to keep things secure (hopefully).

The fuse holder is tighter than I wanted it to be after I had to re-cut one end twice and lost an inch of length. It works though.

Anyway. All up and running. Converter is tuned to ~12.6V (wanted to keep it juuust above 12V). I'd like to thank everyone again for all the great help in guiding me through this. Pretty pumped.
Image
Image
Image
(Yeah...that last image isn't great. I think I'll re-shoot it now that we've got snow on the ground and to correct the red color looking orange)
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Re: LED Light for Snowblower

Wed Jan 01, 2020 11:39 am

DPete27 wrote:
Thanks for the tip. I did check all the solder joints, and they're all good. That picture angle certainly makes them look like cold joints. I melted quite a bit of solder into those terminals to form a dumbbell around the actual peg to keep things secure (hopefully).

This isn't just a mechanical issue. Unless the solder flowed over the surface of the terminal and wetted it, the electrical connection is going to be dodgy, and may degrade over time as the two metal surfaces slowly corrode. The dumbbell shape is actually a visual clue that things may NOT have gone as they should; on a good joint the molten solder tends to spread out rather than balling up like that.
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Wirko
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Re: LED Light for Snowblower

Thu Jan 02, 2020 7:01 am

Happy new year, happy same winter! (or how do snow blower operators greet each other when working on January 1st?)

It is also a mechanical issue: a solder joint, even a perfect one, can withstand very little mechanical stress. It will start to crack over time if exposed to vibration. Don't let just solder joints carry the weight of the large capacitor. Fix it in its place with a little glue, something like rubber-based glue that stays elastic and isn't hard to remove if necessary.
Then again, it's nothing critical because if the light ever stops working, it won't take you long to find and fix the issue.
 
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Re: LED Light for Snowblower

Thu Jan 02, 2020 8:38 am

Wirko wrote:
... a solder joint, even a perfect one, can withstand very little mechanical stress.

As an aside, this was the root cause of the poor reliability of the 2nd-gen Rosewill RK-9000 mechanical keyboards. When they first switched to the new design, the switches weren't always mounted completely flush with the mounting plate and PCB, which meant the solder joints between the switch terminals and PCB were the only things mechanically supporting the switch. The solder joints got stressed every time the key was pressed, eventually causing them to fail. Affected keys became intermittent, or would register multiple presses for each keystroke. Keyboards which failed this way could be fixed by re-flowing the solder connections for each switch, while firmly pressing the key to re-seat the switch flush against the PCB.
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