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MakersDRIVER 2Up PRO User Manual
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hw 1.2 fw 2.0





Manual Control

MakersDRIVER Data Interface & Apex VDM Interface


0-10V Input

Determine the number of LEDs for each channel


Water and Salt Spray

Static Electricity





Hardware Setup

Recommended Build Supplies

Preparing the 48V Power Supply

Check and/or Tune in the 48V Power Source

Install the Meanwell LDD Drivers, Confirm they are Fully Seated

Connect the 48V Power

Bench Test your Power Supply + MakersDRIVER + two LEDs

Wire and Mount LEDs to the MakersLED Heatsink

Connect the Fan



How do I check the fuse?

How do I replace the fuse?





The MakersDRIVER takes building DIY LED fixtures to a new level by simplifying power connections and providing multiple options for dimming control.

The MakersDRIVER utilizes an inexpensive 48V DC power source to drive up to 28 LEDs, a fan, and an optional controller. It provides 2 dimming channels, each capable of driving 14 LEDs. The MakersDRIVER incorporates user-replaceable Meanwell LDD series LED drivers. Dimming options include integrated knobs, 0-10V input, and a serial data interface.


The MakersDRIVER incorporates user-replaceable Meanwell LDD series LED drivers. The Meanwell LDD drivers provide a constant current source needed to drive the LEDs. Meanwell LDD/H series drivers are available at 300mA, 500mA, 700mA, and 1000mA. This range of LED driver options provides the flexibility to safely drive inexpensive generic 1W LEDs all the way up to the high end CREE or Luxeon 3W LEDs.

By utilizing multiple MakersDRIVERS, full spectrum LED builds can be easily assembled with high a degree of color control.



Dimensions: 5.2” W * 1.9” L * 1”T (1.9” T with knobs)

Terminal Blocks: Single 14-22 gauge wire, or two 18-22 gauge wires

Input Voltage: 48VDC (52VDC Max)

Overcurrent & Reverse Polarity protection: 2.5A non-resettable fuse

Fan output: 12VDC, maximum 250mA

0-10V input:  0-10V DC ( not rated to exceed 10.0 Volts)

Total Power Consumption: 90 Watts (including LEDs)
Recommendation: Dedicate 90W of PSU per every fully loaded MakersDRIVER

LED CH1 Output Voltage: Up to 45VDC with 48VDC input. (48VDC with 52VDC input)

LED CH2 Output Voltage: Up to 45VDC with 48VDC input. (48VDC with 52VDC input)

For indoor use only.

Required Tools:   1 (one) flat blade terminating screw driver, 1 (one) 1/8” allen wrench, wire strippers

Continue below for detail on how to calculate the number of  LEDs per channel.



MakersDRIVER has been developed to utilize multiple input options.  These inputs include manual control, a MakersCONTROLER interface, or a 0-10Volt analog input.

Manual Control

Manual control can be accomplished via the two knobs on the top of the MakersDRIVER.  The knobs always set the ratios and max intensities for the two LED channels.  

A MakersDRIVER without an automated controller can be turned on/off using a standard 110V lamp timer.  This is accomplished by plugging the power supply into the 110v lamp timer.  When the MakersDRIVER is powered on, there is a 5 second delay, and then a five second ramp up period.  The maximum intensities are set by the manual knobs.  When the fixture is turned off, the lights will instantly turn off.

If any external control is added, (see below: 0-10V Controller or MakersCONTROLLER interface,) it is these the knob-set maximum which is adjusted.

MakersCONTROLLER Interface

The MakersDRIVER has the ability to be controlled by the MakersCONTROLLER. This interface can control the 2 (to 4*) channels through serial commands over a single control cable (3.5mm stereo cable).

*NEW: Version 1.2 of the MakersDRIVER 2Up PRO has an optional “3&4” jumper on the underside which will allow your MakersDRIVER 2UP to “listen” on channels 3 & 4 instead of the default channels 1 & 2. This allows for greater channel control when using multiple 2Up PRO MakersDRIVERS. Note: that channels 3&4 will only work with MakersDRIVER 1.2 hardware and a MakersCONTROLLER with firmware version 2.0.

Daisy chain multiple MakersDRIVERs back to a single MakersCONTROLLER using 3.5mm stereo cables (see figure below). Cables are plugged in by following the INPUT and OUTPUT labels on the bottom of the MakersDRIVER. If the Input/Output connections are not correct, it will not pass data.  Note: the “INPUT” connector is the side which has the roman numerals “I” or “II” under the knob.

If communication is lost with a MakersCONTROLLER for over 5 secondso, the MakersDRIVER will automatically turn off as to not exceed the set photoperiod. Please see the MakersCONTROLLER product page and user guide for more information.

NOTE: Confirm the audio cables are fully seated in the MakersDRIVER cnnectors before powering. Partially seated connectors may cause temporary shorts. Always remove unused cables. Avoid hot-plugging audio style cables when possible.


The MakersDRIVER Data interface jack (3.5mm stereo cable port) is APEX READY for the Neptune Apex VDM Serial interface in combination with the Advanced LED Dimming Cable for VDM.

The Neptune Apex controller has the ability to control LEDCH1 and LEDCH2 independently. If multiple MakersDRIVERs are daisy chained together using audio cables then all the LEDCH1 channels are pooled together for Apex control and all the LEDCH2 channels are pooled together for Apex control.

Note: Apex has not been tested for use with the “3&4” jumper on the bottom of the MakersDRIVER 2Up PRO (see MakersCONTROLLER interface).

0-10V Input

A 0-10 VDC lighting controller output (ie: 0-10v Potentiometer or DIM4 controller) will scale the knob-set maximum intensity of the two LED channels. This means that only one 0-10V analog line can control any ratio of light up or down, while keeping wiring and wire management simple.

The 0-10VDC control input is wired into the black “Analog 0-10V” input terminal block (see above picture).  

To control multiple MakersDRIVERs with one 0-10v signal, daisy chain the 0-10v signal cable to each MakersDRIVER 0-10V input. Or, multiple 0-10V signal cables can be ran to multiple MakersDRIVERs.

To setup a 0-10V controller, set the desired color ratios with the two manual knobs, and use the external 0-10V controller to ramp the lights at the desired times. The single 0-10V input ramps both channel 1 and channel 2 at the same time. 

For Example:

0-10V Analog input at 5v (ie, 50% from an Apex):

Remember to observe the polarity markings (-/+) at the terminal blocks and do not exceed 10V on this input.

Note:  An analog input signal that is greater than or equal to 0.5V must be detected on bootup before the controller will go into analog input mode. Once an analog signal is detected, it will utilize the supplied analog input signal for external control (until reset).

Advanced Users: To force the MakersDRIVER to always scale from the 0-10V analog source (even when at 0v on bootup): Remove the cover on the MakersDRIVER and add a solder bridge/blob between the solder pads labeled “ANALOG” or “I700MA” (depending on board version). When connected, the unit will always scale off of the ANALOG 0-10V value, and the MakersCONTROLLER data interface will not function.


Determine the number of LEDs for each channel

With the 48V DC input power, the MakersDRIVER can drive up to 45V of LEDs. Look at the product page or datasheet of your LEDs to determine the voltage of each LED (also called Forward Voltage or Vf).

45V / LED Voltage = # of LEDs per Channel


If you have 3Vf LEDs:

45V/3Vf = 15 LEDs per channel

For a mix of various LEDs on one channel, add up the Vf of each LED.  Do not exceed the 45 volt output of either channel. Example:

Six Red LEDs @ 2.8Vf and Six Blue LEDs @ 3.0Vf: (6 x 2.8) + (6 x 3.0) = 34.8Vf

For advanced users: You may consider turning the PSU voltage up to 52V. Do not exceed 52V. This will provide about 48V of usable LED voltage (instead of 45V).

Note: It is always a good idea to leave some unused voltage since LED forward voltage can fluctuate depending on LED bins, current, and temperature. Instead of maxing out at 45 volts(15 x 3v LEDs), one may consider using 14 LEDs instead. If the forward voltage of the driver is exceeded, the LEDs will become dim, even at full intensity.


You are the builder and integrator, so you are responsible for all aspects of safety. Improper use of supplies, tools, bright lights, and electricity may cause damage to yourself and/ or your property. This product is intended for qualified builders.

Water and Salt Spray

Do not allow water splash or salt spray to come into contact with the driver. Keep your fixture elevated so this is not a problem.

Static Electricity

Static discharges to circuits can destroy them or cause them to operate erratically. Always discharge yourself on something metal before touching the driver electronics.


The MakersDRIVER was designed to utilize the air flow from the fan docked into the MakersLED heatsink. To help prolong the life of the driver, do not allow the driver temperature to exceed 120F (50C).


The 48V DC power supply you select will require 220-120VAC input. If the line voltage plug does not come pre-wired with your power supply, have a licensed electrician assist you. Use caution when working with these voltages - they can hurt or kill you. Always place your 48V power source on a GFCI outlet. Properly ground all metal surfaces.


MakersDRIVER is NOT weather rated. Intended for indoor use only. Keep bags and small parts away from children.


Hardware Setup

Recommended Build Supplies

*NOTE: Use a small handled screw driver to avoid over tightening! If you use a large handled screw driver it is possible to overtighten the screw terminals and shear the connector off in the process.

  1. Preparing the 48V Power Supply

  1. Check and/or Tune in the 48V Power Source

  1. Install the Meanwell LDD Drivers, Confirm they are Fully Seated

  1. Connect the 48V Power

  1. Bench Test your Power Supply + MakersDRIVER + two LEDs

  1. Wire and Mount LEDs to the MakersLED Heatsink

Once you have tested your hardware in the previous step, mount and wire all of the LEDs on your heatsink. Run the final 48V power cable(s), strain reliefs, grommets, and drill any holes needed for wiring your LED array.

See the MakersLED HowTo Build Log: for layout worksheets and more build info.

Wire your LEDs in series (connect the +’s to the -’s and finally back to the MakersDRIVER).

It is not recommended to wire LEDs in parallel unless you are an advanced user and understand issues involved with parallel wiring.

Connect the Fan

Once the fan is connected and powered on, test the tachometer detect (fan failure detect) by hot-unplugging it. After 5 seconds the 2 channels on the MakersDRIVER will go into a strobing mode to alert of fan failure. Plug the fan back it to return to normal. Note, that if the MakersDRIVER does not detect a fan upon startup it will assume no fan is connected. For this reason, it is important not to ignore strobing fan alert and cycle the power - which would effectively clear the alert.

Once the fan connector is installed and tested, it is recommended that you install the supplied cable tie through the nearby hole in the circuit board to secure the cable and to provide a relief to the wires in the fan connector. In general, fan connectors are not designed for many plug and unplug cycles.

The fan power source is rated for 200mA. This is enough current to power one typical 92mm fan. One fan per 12’’-18” is recommended for a fully loaded MakersDRIVER on the MakersLED Heatsink. Two 200mA could be connected (via splitter cable, not included) if no MakersCONTROLLER is present on the the MakersDRIVER.




Possible Resolution

Sparking Noise

Check for shorts and poor 48V connections. Confirm the screws on INPUT48V terminal block issecurely tightened. Confirm the Meanwell LDD drivers are securely seated into all pin sockets.

Sparking Noise

Confirm no bare wire is exposed outside of the terminal blocks including loose wire strands or broken wire jackets that may short (and blow the fuse).

Unit will not power

Using a multimeter, check if 48V exists on the two +/- screw terminals on the top of the INPUT48V terminal jack. If no power is present, check power supply.

Red indicator lights labeled PWR and STAT exist on the top edge of the board (under the plastic housing). On a normally working board, PWR indicator should always be on while unit is powered up,  and the STAT will flash during bootup.

I may have connected the 48V DC +/- wires backwards. The MakersDRIVER will not power.

How do I check the fuse?

Check if the fuse has blown.

Locate the fuse behind the INPUT48V terminal block (FU1). Check the fuse using the beep/continuity feature on a multimeter. A working fuse will have a continuity connection between the two wire leads on the sides of the fuse.

If blown, a new fuse will have to installed. See below.

I connected the 48V DC +/- wires backwards, powered on, and the MakersDRIVER does not work.

How do I replace the fuse?

Incorrect polarity will blow the fuse. The fuse is labeled FU1 and is located behind the INPUT48V terminal block.  

If the board is labeled version 1.0, a new fuse must be soldered onto FU1. If your board version is 1.1 or greater, the fuse is socketed like the LDD LED Drivers and may be replaced with a needle nose pliers.

If need an extra fuse, please send an email to with your mailing address and we will send one to you at no charge.

Version 1.0: If you are not able to replace the fuse on your own, please or arrange for service through We’ll get you back up and running!  

(Fuse part number: 507-1016-ND)

My board rev is 1.0 and my fuse is blown. What is the easiest way to solder a new fuse on?

As seen above, the fuse is located behind the 48V terminal block.


If the board is labeled version 1.0, The easiest way to repair the fuse is to leave the blown fuse in place and simply add the new fuse to the back side of the circuit board. If the board is newer, it has sockets (see above).

1. Remove the MakersDRIVER from the housing by removing the knobs and nuts

2. Locate the fuse solder points on the back of the board

3. Cut the fuse leads to short length

4. Set the fuse in place and apply a small amount of solder to each side

Fan will not power

Check fan connector is fully seated. Check for broken wires within the fan connector. Verify power to the MakersDRIVER. Try another fan. Hint: Use a small cable tie to secure the fan cable from falling out of the fan connector.

If the fan will still not power, please contact Please also tell us if the RED power  indicator light on the side of the MakersDRIVER board illuminates.

LEDs don’t light up right away

This functionality is by design. The driver will wait approximately 5 seconds for external control/commands before ramping up to the knob-set intensity.  Check that the position of the knobs is not at the minimum setting.

The LED channels are strobing

Check the fan connector.

If one channel ramps up then the other channel ramps down, and repeats, this is the pattern to alarm you that the fan or fan tachometer has stopped working.

Re-connect the fan connector and check that all wires in the fan connector are in tact. If necessary, replace the fan.  Note: Use a small cable tie through the adjacent hole to help secure the fan cable from falling out of the fan connector.


The fan warning feature is only present after a fan is detected.  This warning feature will not be displayed when no fan is plugged in.

If this warning functionality is unwanted, remove the cover of the MakersDRIVER and add a solder bridge/blob between the solder pads labeled NOFAN. All fan alerts will be disabled.

My white LEDs look like they are always slightly on, when they should not be.

This may be normal. If you have blue LEDs turned on next to white LEDs that are off, the blue will cause the phosphor in the white LED lens to glow white.

I have powered up MakersDRIVER and I have placed 0V on the 0-10V input terminal jack. The analog dimming is not changing the light output to zero light intensity, what gives?

The 0-10V lighting input requires a voltage above 0.5V to be initialized.

Before internally switching over to analog input mode, the MakersDRIVER must first see a voltage above 0.5V. Once a voltage above 0.5V (and below 10V) has been applied, the controller will switch into the analog monitoring mode where it monitors the ANALOG 0-10V input all the way down to 0V (until reset).

For alternative functionality, remove the cover on the MakersDRIVER and add a solder bridge/blob between the solder pads labeled “ANALOG” or “I700MA” (depending on board version). When connected  to an external analog signal, MakersDRIVER will always scale off of the 0-10V analog input.

One LED channel always stays on and does not respond to the knob.

Confirm the Meanwell LDD driver is completely pushed into the driver sockets. Confirm that the Meanwell LDD driver does not have any bent pins.

My LEDs don’t light up

Verify that the manual dimming knobs or external controller(s) are not overriding your knob-set LED intensities.

Verify that the DC power supply is turned on, check proper voltage (48V).

With power off, verify the Meanwell LDD drivers are properly installed and fully seated into the driver sockets.

Confirm your individual LEDs work. Switch to the diode mode* on your multimeter and place the probes on each +/- pad to confirm the LED lights up.

Alternatively, you may use 2 AA batteries to test individual LEDs.

Diode Symbol on multimeter:

Check LED polarity: confirm the +’s connect to the -’s throughout the whole series of LEDs. Check for shorts and good solder/connector connections.

There may be too many LEDs and the forward voltage of the LEDs may be too much for that LED channel output.

Minimize variables by attaching only one tested LED on each LED channel output. Once you see one is working, add more LEDs.

Only one channel of LED’s light up

If only one LED channel is working, try swapping the LEDs from one channel to the other. If the problem follows the LED, is it your LEDs at fault.

If the problem does not follow the LEDs, try swapping the Meanwell LDD drivers around. If the problem follows the LDD driver, it is the LDD driver at fault.

I may have exceeded 10V on my Analog 0-10V input terminal block -or- I may have had the polarity backwards on the Analog 0-10V input terminal block. I smelled smoke but everything still seems to work.

Depending on how much current and voltage was applied, the protection diode on the back of the board may have smoked and saved the onboard microprocessor. You may continue to use the MakersDRIVER but you may no longer have circuit protection.

My power supply makes a slight whining noise depending on the dimming level.

This is normal. The capacitors in your power supply will make some noise depending on the dimming level (PWM duty cycle) and power draw. This sound is sometimes avoided by oversizing your power supply.

My lights run for awhile then turn off for a while - this repeats.

You may have too much load on your 48V power supply. Use a kill-a-watt meter or multimeter to determine load. If the power supply is in fact sized correctly, it may be overheating (Increase air flow to the power supply).

I have an issue that has not been addressed!



90 day limited warranty against defects in materials and workmanship. MakersLED LLC will determine the root cause of the defect, and your item may be repaired or replaced free of charge. Customers pay for shipping to our service location, and we pay for the return shipment. For any repairs determined to be the fault of the end user, it will be the responsibility of the end user to pay for any postage, time, or materials.


MakersLED, MakersDRIVER, MakersCONTROLLER are trademarks of MakersLED. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Product Manual                                  Page
  of                                    Version 1.0 | March 2014