HELP!! Attempting to make a Light Tree

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davidpai
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HELP!! Attempting to make a Light Tree

Post by davidpai » Thu Jan 26, 2006 10:11 am

I am trying to make the 110V light tree that Julian Richards shows here within this website:

http://grandprix-race-central.com/modul ... age&pid=11

He made his using 220V and I even recieved an email from him about his system. The question I have is he stated that I would need to change or calculate the value for the Triacs to be used on the 110V system.

I am not sure what this would be or how to do this, can anyone help?

I am a novice in the area of electronics, not a newbie but definitley not a guru.



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gpraceman
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Re: HELP!! Attempting to make a Light Tree

Post by gpraceman » Thu Jan 26, 2006 10:19 am

BTA08-600BW Snubberless Triac (ST Microelectronics)
or MAC8M Triac
These are the suitable parts specified in the parts list. Either of these will work. The circuit posted there is 110V, not 220V.

That is an AC circuit, so you do need to be very careful with your wiring to make sure you don't get a short :shock:


Randy Lisano
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Awana Grand Prix and Pinewood Derby racing - Where a child, an adult and a small block of wood combine for a lot of fun and memories.

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Re: HELP!! Attempting to make a Light Tree

Post by davidpai » Thu Jan 26, 2006 10:44 am

Randy,

Thanks Bunches! I have ordered those from www.newark.com so I hope I am good to go.

Thanks!! :D



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Re: HELP!! Attempting to make a Light Tree

Post by gpraceman » Thu Jan 26, 2006 11:43 am

I know that you already ordered parts, but there is an alternative to the AC circuit plans.

There are some 12V DC plans posted on this Yahoo group http://groups.yahoo.com/group/PinewoodTimer/. You have to go to the files section and then look for these two files.

FULL TREE circuit.pdf
starting tree.pdf

I've been trying to get a hold of the author to see if he'd be willing to get these plans on the GrandPrix Race Central website. I think building a low voltage DC circuit would be easier.


Randy Lisano
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RandyUnderwood
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Re: HELP!! Attempting to make a Light Tree

Post by RandyUnderwood » Wed Sep 06, 2006 9:38 am

I just saw your post - sorry it took me so long - anyway, several years ago I wanted a start tree and I hate 110AC (it scares me) so I decided to make a DC one - I am attempting to attach my circuit diagrams - the light tree itself is made from hardboard, the LEDs are from SuperBrightLEDs.com and the control circuit is fairly easy to construct (good luck finding the logic level MOSFETs at radioshack but newarkinone.com sells them). It's designed to be driven by the GPRM software.

The files are located here:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/PinewoodT ... ht%20Tree/



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Re: HELP!! Attempting to make a Light Tree

Post by RandyUnderwood » Wed Sep 06, 2006 9:56 am

A couple of notes on my circuit diagrams - Q1 is for a solenoid activated start gate - if you're not going to have one iqnore that part of the circuit - also - unless you are an expert at soldering (which I am not) don't order the IRL510S - it's a surface mount device - trying to hand solder a surface mount device showed me very quickly that I am not all that good at soldering - try the IRL510 for the standard three-hole-through device.

Also my light tree (race-day version) has four light off each pin - two single bulb LEDs mounted on the side of the light tree (so you can see them from the side of the track) and two multiple bulb LEDs mounted toward the track.

This was my first attempt at building one - on my second one I used a 12-LED bayonet plug bulb (also from SuperBrightLEDs.com) - these LEDs SERIOUSLY light up the track - you can run the race with the lights off with these guys.

One last thing - take note that this is powered by an external 25VDC power supply - they're pretty inexpensive if you're only going to run the lights but if you plan on using the solenoid make sure you get a pretty hefty one. Sometimes when you plug it in and GPRM isn't running all of the lights will come on and it will activate the solenoid - so make sure your power supply can handle all of your electronics being ON at the same time - take it from someone who learned it the hard way - thank goodness it wasn't on race day.



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Re: HELP!! Attempting to make a Light Tree

Post by gpraceman » Wed Sep 06, 2006 9:57 am

RandyUnderwood wrote:the LEDs are from SuperBrightLEDs.com
I do think with the Super Bright LED's available today, that a DC system is better option than an AC system, since you can get visibility and not have to deal with the safety risk of higher voltage.

I like the multi-LED bulbs that you can get, like the 4 LED bulbs at http://superbrightleds.com/BA9S6_specs.htm They are not too expensive and you can use a simple bayonet lamp holder (like in many flashlights).


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Re: HELP!! Attempting to make a Light Tree

Post by gpraceman » Wed Sep 06, 2006 10:02 am

RandyUnderwood wrote:This was my first attempt at building one - on my second one I used a 12-LED bayonet plug bulb (also from SuperBrightLEDs.com) - these LEDs SERIOUSLY light up the track - you can run the race with the lights off with these guys.
Looks like we were posting at the same time. I assumed you used single LED's since your schematics showed 4 LED's per pin.
RandyUnderwood wrote:One last thing - take note that this is powered by an external 25VDC power supply
What about using the 6V or 12V bulbs? Those power supplies are easier to find and less expensive.
RandyUnderwood wrote:Sometimes when you plug it in and GPRM isn't running all of the lights will come on and it will activate the solenoid - so make sure your power supply can handle all of your electronics being ON at the same time - take it from someone who learned it the hard way - thank goodness it wasn't on race day.
GPRM will make sure that all of the parallel port output pins are turned off. I would not normally think that a computer would have these pins at a +5V state.


Randy Lisano
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Re: HELP!! Attempting to make a Light Tree

Post by RandyUnderwood » Wed Sep 06, 2006 10:09 am

Randy,

For my race day tree - all of the bulbs I used were 12V - you'll see in the schematic that I have four lights per pin - two each in parallel.


Randy Underwood

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Re: HELP!! Attempting to make a Light Tree

Post by gpraceman » Wed Sep 06, 2006 10:14 am

RandyUnderwood wrote:For my race day tree - all of the bulbs I used were 12V - you'll see in the schematic that I have four lights per pin - two each in parallel.
I guess I didn't look close enough at the schematic. If they were all in parallel, instead of pairs in series, I would think that you could then use a 12V power supply.


Randy Lisano
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Re: HELP!! Attempting to make a Light Tree

Post by RandyUnderwood » Wed Sep 06, 2006 10:15 am

I suppose one could use the same 12V LEDs and wire them up differently - I choose the way I did because I have a solenoid that has peak pull force @ 24V - I already had a power supply and didn't want to add another one.

I was shocked as well when I hooked up my newly built tree and everything came on - I immediately unplugged it - because it startled me - I calmed down and plugged it back it - double clicked GPRM and then my light tree went out - I noticed that burning electronics smell - a smell familiar to me from my college EE lab - and it no longer worked - good thing I had another power supply on hand - so the current owner of my original light tree knows not to apply power until after GPRM is fully loaded. On my new light tree I just got a mongo power supply - it was neither easy to find nor inexpensive - it's a 2A 24VDC @ $90.00.


Randy Underwood

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Re: HELP!! Attempting to make a Light Tree

Post by gpraceman » Wed Sep 06, 2006 10:26 am

RandyUnderwood,

Do you have any photos of your tree that you could post?


Randy Lisano
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Re: HELP!! Attempting to make a Light Tree

Post by gpraceman » Thu Sep 07, 2006 11:01 am

A revised set of Randy Underwood's plans are now available at GrandPrix Race Central. Once we get some photos of a completed tree, we'll post them as well.

Thanks Randy! (gee... there are a lot of Randys involved in this type of racing)


Randy Lisano
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Awana Grand Prix and Pinewood Derby racing - Where a child, an adult and a small block of wood combine for a lot of fun and memories.


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Da Graphite Kid
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Re: HELP!! Attempting to make a Light Tree

Post by Da Graphite Kid » Fri Sep 22, 2006 11:26 am

That's a whole lot of very useful information on your web page - thanks for posting the link! Thanks also for all the information. :thumbup: :thumbup:

Da Graphite Kid



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