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Thread: DIY Mega LED Build

  1. #1
    Registered User SpaceOps's Avatar

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    DIY Mega LED Build

    So this build will take a while. The parts will take up to a month to get here. I'll be building my version of a Reefbreeder Photon II, but on steroids. It seems that a lot of LED systems are just a little short on output for the more demanding SPS, so I'll be adding extra LEDs for additional power if needed.

    I'll be using one of the monster heat sinks I scavenged these from an old IT power cabinet I got at the annual University of Alaska auction. These guys are each 12" x 36" x 3 1/2" milled aluminum. The base is 1/2" thick. I think I paid $10 for the entire cabinet.


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    Registered User SpaceOps's Avatar

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    Reefbreeder actually lists their complete LED makeup. For a 48" unit:

    Ch 1: 4 Osram 3W 660nm red
    Ch 2: 4 SemiLED 3W 520nm green
    Ch 3: 24 Cree XT-E 5W 450nm royal blue
    Ch 4: 20 Cree XP-E 5W 5,500K white
    Ch 5: 16 Cree XP-E 3W 480nm cool blue
    Ch 6: 20 SemiLED 3W 420nm violet

    I've begun buying the LEDs online. Buying them on the PCB stars is really expensive, but I've found some PCBs with 30 LED chips already mounted that I can remove and refloat on new stars for very little money.

    Since the LEDs won't come mounted on star heat sinks, I'll need to find some. I got 2 orders of these: https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Free...208.0.0.mc9lGV
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  3. #3
    Registered User SpaceOps's Avatar

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    Here are 30 Cree 470-480nm blue LEDs for just $30: http://www.topledlight.com/100w-cree...ght_p1887.html
    Northernmost SPS aquarium in the US.

  4. #4
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    Here are 30 Cree royal blue LEDs for $30: http://www.ebay.com/itm/191183023580
    Northernmost SPS aquarium in the US.

  5. #5
    Registered User SpaceOps's Avatar

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    And another 10 that are actually on stars: http://www.ebay.com/itm/311516165247...%3AMEBIDX%3AIT
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    Instead of white XP-Es, I'll use XT-Es and run them at a lower setting: http://www.ebay.com/itm/like/2318548...&ul_noapp=true
    Northernmost SPS aquarium in the US.

  7. #7
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    For the violets I found these 430nm Crees already on PCBs: http://www.ebay.com/itm/231789456445
    Northernmost SPS aquarium in the US.

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    Northernmost SPS aquarium in the US.

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    Registered User SpaceOps's Avatar

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    A bunch of these lenses. I could've gotten cheaper lenses, but I like these. https://www.aliexpress.com/item/10-s...608.0.0.BMBpXd
    Northernmost SPS aquarium in the US.

  10. #10
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    200 of these 20mm PCBs (saving a few for later): https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Free...608.0.0.BMBpXd
    Northernmost SPS aquarium in the US.

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    Registered User SpaceOps's Avatar

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    So now comes the decision point. Do I want to dim the LEDs with a 0-10VDC or a 0-5VDC variable driver,? Do I continue down the money-saving route and go with an Arduino-based controller and deal with all the DIY aspects of setting up an Arduino (5V pulse width modulation (PWM)), or do I spend more and go with an Apex (variable DC from 0-10V) or Bluefish controller (controls anything that accepts variable 0-5V, 0-10V, 5V PWM, or 10V PWM signal)?

    BuckPucks come in versions that can be controlled by 0-5V and 0-10V input voltages, and both can be dimmed by PWM. For anyone following this, in the context of LED dimming, PWM is a method of controlling the on/off time of an LED using pulses of variable widths, hundreds or thousands of times per second. If, over a short duration of time, we turn the LED on for 50% and off for 50%, the LED will appear half as bright since the total light output over the time duration is only half as much as 100% on. By varying the on and off time durations, we can vary the overall intensity of the light.

    So, even though the Arduino would be much cheaper, I like the Bluefish enough to pay a bit more to save time and frustration. It also comes with a nice app that allows control and monitoring over the Internet, the ability to integrate the video feed from webcams directly into the app, and comes with built-in wi-fi. All this and more for about $200. Here's a link: https://aquarium-led-controller.com/...ed-controller/
    Northernmost SPS aquarium in the US.

  12. #12
    Registered User SpaceOps's Avatar

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    I saw this video of the Bluefish and had to laugh. It can "copy" the weather from anywhere in the world, to include the sound of thunder from a bluetooth speaker???!!! The next thing we know they'll actually install sprinklers over the tank to simulate raindrops. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zs_vm1kIaYg

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  13. #13
    Registered User SpaceOps's Avatar

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    Of course, Arctic Silver thermal epoxy to attach the LEDs to the heat sink.
    Northernmost SPS aquarium in the US.

  14. #14
    Registered User SpaceOps's Avatar

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    So, since each heat sink is 45 pounds, I'll have to make sure the aquarium isn't supporting the weight.
    Northernmost SPS aquarium in the US.

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    I am using the blue fish mini. I just run the ground of each channel driver through a tip30 (TO220pkg) Running the output of the bluefish to control the transistor. Saves a hundo on the bluefish. Since you can buy the mini instead of the standard unit.


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    Doyle

    "It's better to be silent and thought the fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt."



    90g sps Reef, DIY LED Lighting.
    180g Reef - rebirth started Jan 2013
    260g Coral Propagation System.


    Go dtí go bhfilleann sé abhaile!

  16. #16
    Registered User SpaceOps's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by hooked View Post
    I am using the blue fish mini. I just run the ground of each channel driver through a tip30 (TO220pkg) Running the output of the bluefish to control the transistor. Saves a hundo on the bluefish. Since you can buy the mini instead of the standard unit.


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    Interesting. How many separate channels are you able to control? It looks like I may want to control 6.
    Northernmost SPS aquarium in the US.

  17. #17
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    It has 6 channels output. I'm controlling 14 with it. That's why I went with the to220pkg. It can handle I think 5 amps.


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    Doyle

    "It's better to be silent and thought the fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt."



    90g sps Reef, DIY LED Lighting.
    180g Reef - rebirth started Jan 2013
    260g Coral Propagation System.


    Go dtí go bhfilleann sé abhaile!

  18. #18
    Registered User SpaceOps's Avatar

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    Gotta send me a schematic with that CAT. I'll check it out.
    Northernmost SPS aquarium in the US.

  19. #19
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    Northernmost SPS aquarium in the US.

  20. #20
    Registered User SpaceOps's Avatar

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    Not sure, they're needed, but I was going to put these heat sinks on the CAT4101 drivers. They're cheap and easy to attach, so no biggie. https://www.aliexpress.com/item/UXCE...c-1e17361df434
    Northernmost SPS aquarium in the US.

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