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Thread: What's Up With Raccin Industries?

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date:  Sep 2011

    Location:  Middleburg Heights, OH

    Posts:    1,939

    What's Up With Raccin Industries?

    And who the hell are you anyways? (For those newer members who weren't around when I first opened shop, or simply forgot).

    Basically, we sought to do parts no one questioned, but far better than anyone else even dreamed of. The first project featured prominently on the site (and seeing lots of resurgence in interest due to my own resurgence in activity here), the completely custom taillight assembly, has more or less hit a combo brick wall/backburner for now. I have prototyped several reflectors and not a one reflects! And I was smart enough to do this on the side markers. Not a bad investment ($350 + my own unpaid labor for about 10 prototypes), but I have bigger fish to fry. Hence the update!

    Two new projects are in the pipeline, both revolving around lighting. The first to release I am contractually forbidden from discussing, but rest assured if the prototypes are any indication, these are gonna be slick!. Functional, but fitment/assembly issues, so design has been adjusted and we are finding a good shop that can serve as our maker and asembler. Same shop will be used in the second project, which, due to intentions to open-source, I can talk all day long about.

    How many of you want to keep your side blinker mods intact with LED's? Literally anyone who perked up is my target market. Normally you would use a diode bridge, but this drops the voltage too much for LED's and will cause premature failure (dollar store flashlights keep burning out? That's why, battery voltage is undervolting the light!) Microcontrollers aren't suitable either, after all they do take some time to "boot up" when powered and ultimately will add latency as a result of that and logic involved. So what's the answer? Lucky me to stumble onto a chip that compromises the speed of raw components with the smarts of a microcontroller. It's expensive for one-offs, but higher quantities drops per-chip price significantly.

    How it works: with one 12V and one GND, the chip powers itself, then switches the appropriate two MOSFET's and sends power to the LED bulb in the correct polarity. It does this in I think the nanosecond range, and an early version of the circuit could power 50 amps of current @ 10 mV voltage drop. 50 AMPS, that's the draw of both radiator fans, and 10 mV is half the voltage drop of a run-of-the-mill 3mm red LED. Clearly problem solved, but!!! It was also massive in physical size, way bigger than then the fender itself would allow to fit through it, so I will be outsourcing this to someone who can assemble the boards with smaller SMD variants. I've found a few but it's all about pricing and quality now. I can't SMD solder anything that tiny.

    Also for no other reason than "we can", Raccin Industries is an approved trademark of the US Trademark & Patent Office, and the US Post Office is on very thin ice for destroying that paperwork plus a batch of boards relating to the last project I mentioned in a span of a week, and they don't re-send trademark approval letters (I have a PDF now though). I don't think anyone really argues Raccin was their name, especially after I dropped the trash panda mascot (he was cute though... easter egg maybe?), but never hurts to trademark and avoid the mess over Comic Con vs. Comic-Con: The Battle of the Hyphen (or allow for it? Wait...) It's a running name I've had since high school that just sounded so amazing to me, and I finally made a reality a decade later. Doesn't sound nearly as cool with "DeLorean Industries" taking front and center in the suffix category, but the confusion over "Raccin" being a misspelled "Racing" was an unintended bonus.

    Later updates on what we're doing will follow here also. Please note that I am working on a few ideas to make new interior part cores after seeing a resurgence in NLA interior pieces, or extremely limited stock at least. If you remove the vinyl and padding, that black foam with the bolt anchors? That guy. Vendors can take it from there (yes I am absolutely including binnacles in that approach). Any other new ideas are always welcome!

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date:  Sep 2011

    Location:  Middleburg Heights, OH

    Posts:    1,939

    Dropped off the radar rather suddenly by force, posting this while I have a quick minute or two. My grandpa was hospitalized with food-based pneumonia, and while he has been released with an oxygen tube, my uncle passed away from ALS. I would argue both were very much spared, ALS is nasty. Another uncle hit his head twice and was in the ER for a while, guy fell down a flight of stairs a year or two ago and has aged 30 years, also released. Fingers crossed that's the last of it.

    In the middle of all of that, also discovering the house I'm moving into had a racoon inside within the past year (which, as I write that bit, good lord that's fitting -- "Raccin" is a take on "racoon"), is in mostly good shape but has some minor surprises. Well within my own 10% additional budget for new house / house makeover to boot.

    Blah blah blah now project "money where your mouth is" stuff.

    Calling this the "Bipolar Rectifier" for obvious reasons. Anyone who's offended should note who created it and can suck it accordingly. Green wires are input, red is output hot, black is output ground.

    Bipolar Rectifier.jpg

    Benefits over a typical approach are mostly in the voltage drop category, speed might be a measurable (but irrelevant) difference as well. This guy is 600 Hz switching speed. Typical solutions use up 1-2 volts. While not terribly much, it is enough to murder LED's sitting on the other side that are already designed for car use, and I don't recommend it. This guy has a voltage drop of about 0.06 volts I believe drawing 1 amp. Highest amperage-drawing LED bulb in my inventory was a dual-filament red brake light replacement at 0.46 amps @ 12.0 V for the record.

    It could also be theoretically used to solve the "LED battery light" problem, however I will not support you if you try this. Looking to put a warranty on it.

    Neat bonus for those that design their own boards: it's one-layer by sheer use of a "not connected" pin. This is why autorouters suck. Here's a pic of the underside they sent me to clear up wiring (so forgive the direction being off):

    Bipolar Rectifier Underside.jpg

    These can cost an arm and a leg @ quantity 5, or about the same per-board cost with heavy negotiating and a higher quantity. In other words, I can reasonably sell these for $20 each, and if demand goes up enough (hello Tindie), I can drop to $15 each. It's $80 per car if used for the side markers, and while not as low as I'd like, I'm hoping chip costs come down as the brains of this board are on the market longer. It's still basically brand new.

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