The Ultimate DIY Aquarium LED Build - Page 5 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #61 of 109 (permalink) Old 12-31-2016, 10:03 AM
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AS a "story" to tell, the reason I made the 12v /LDD test power supply was my white channel on the 40b went out.
Tested every diode w/ a VOM. All glowed when touched. Even went from another star to star so as to check the wiring.
This channel had been running flawlessly for over a year.

Well long story short I couldn't find a bad diode anywhere, no shot to sink, and no broken/detached wiring.. yet didn't work.
Swapped drivers to eliminate that..

Found nothing out of the ordinary yet just wouldn't light.

Using the test supply I fired up 3-4 diodes at a time.
Found a set of 3 where it would only dimly light.. Then found one that at 12v only dimly lit. Jumpered around it and off it went.
Full on for that channel

Point is VOM test wasn't good enough. Needed to put it under load to find it..
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post #62 of 109 (permalink) Old 12-31-2016, 10:07 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffkrol View Post
AS a "story" to tell, the reason I made the 12v /LDD test power supply was my white channel on the 40b went out.
Tested every diode w/ a VOM. All glowed when touched. Even went from another star to star so as to check the wiring.
This channel had been running flawlessly for over a year.

Well long story short I couldn't find a bad diode anywhere, no shot to sink, and no broken/detached wiring.. yet didn't work.
Swapped drivers to eliminate that..

Found nothing out of the ordinary yet just wouldn't light.

Using the test supply I fired up 3-4 diodes at a time.
Found a set of 3 where it would only dimly light.. Then found one that at 12v only dimly lit. Jumpered around it and off it went.
Full on for that channel

Point is VOM test wasn't good enough. Needed to put it under load to find it..

I hate everything

I'm so discouraged....


If I learned anything from Mythbusters, its that getting multiple rockets to fire at the same time is very difficult. The same seems true with one long string of LEDs...
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post #63 of 109 (permalink) Old 12-31-2016, 10:21 AM
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A few points that ,right or wrong, I would have done differently...
1) Use nylon screws
2) wire gauge between stars would be 20-22 gauge.
Voltage drop is minimal and you are only carrying 1A current..
Voltage Drop Calculator
3) solder a group and test, another group and test.. ect.. till at the end..

Now some of this became relevant after the fact..and strictly dealing w/ large strings..

On a personal note.. These setbacks would haunt me till I figured out the problem..
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post #64 of 109 (permalink) Old 12-31-2016, 12:37 PM
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pull out the electronic debugger, a multimeter. Check voltage and ground, check the circuit.

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post #65 of 109 (permalink) Old 12-31-2016, 01:28 PM
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If O2 is correct than the LED's that are firing are less than minimum voltage from driver.
This could explain blowing out an LED.
If he is correct by testing in groups of 4 you will find the problems.
Need to not run that big driver until problems are resolved.

I noticed a PEZ dispenser on the work bench there.
Don't get wired on too much candy!

Please remember Mythbusters is entertainment.

Swimming is not that difficult.

Last edited by Maryland Guppy; 12-31-2016 at 01:32 PM. Reason: edit
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post #66 of 109 (permalink) Old 12-31-2016, 01:46 PM
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I finished my LED build about a month ago and I had the same issue as you do. A string would light up, there would be an off section, and then more LEDS would be on again. I had a short to the heatsink, so I re did it using smaller wire 20 gauge as jeffkrol stated above and everything worked fine.
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post #67 of 109 (permalink) Old 12-31-2016, 01:59 PM
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To test for shorts, unplug the fixture and grab your multimeter. Stick one probe to the heatsink and set the meter on continuity - it's really helpful if you have a meter that will beep at 0 ohms - then touch the other probe to each one of your solder connections. If you get anything other than infinite ohms anywhere, you've either got a solder bridge between the LED and the star chip or your screws are touching something they shouldn't.

A question, did you put thermal paste on your star chips before you screwed them down?
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post #68 of 109 (permalink) Old 01-01-2017, 03:27 PM
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Well?
You are to far for me to come help or I would.

Any updates?
Testing?
Hangover?
PEZ?

Swimming is not that difficult.
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post #69 of 109 (permalink) Old 01-01-2017, 06:26 PM Thread Starter
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Kinda fed up with this project right now. Im going to need to step away from it for a little while... :/
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post #70 of 109 (permalink) Old 01-01-2017, 06:50 PM
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Keep us posted, I can feel that success is right around the corner!

Swimming is not that difficult.
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post #71 of 109 (permalink) Old 01-08-2017, 12:57 AM
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Been 6 days now I am sure you have at least touched this light project?

Swimming is not that difficult.
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post #72 of 109 (permalink) Old 01-08-2017, 01:24 AM Thread Starter
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Been 6 days now I am sure you have at least touched this light project?
Lol nope, haven't even looked at it.
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post #73 of 109 (permalink) Old 01-08-2017, 01:58 AM
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Just had to ask.
Though of your light project last night, switched out my old LED build to a new one.
Old build was an 80 watt 6 channel, moved to a 168 watt 4 channel.

This was all part of an older tank renovation.
Softer water, in tank substrate change, increased ferts, and a lighting upgrade.
All in a new canopy too! Been staring @ it for 3 months sitting in the hallway.
D-Day was last night.

Swimming is not that difficult.
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post #74 of 109 (permalink) Old 01-08-2017, 11:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maryland Guppy View Post
Just had to ask.

Though of your light project last night, switched out my old LED build to a new one.

Old build was an 80 watt 6 channel, moved to a 168 watt 4 channel.



This was all part of an older tank renovation.

Softer water, in tank substrate change, increased ferts, and a lighting upgrade.

All in a new canopy too! Been staring @ it for 3 months sitting in the hallway.

D-Day was last night.


Fantastic can you stick up some pics once your underway.


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post #75 of 109 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 09:58 PM
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Hey Sean! Having an electronics background working on planes, I loved the troubleshooting and I really want to help you out on this. Feel like coming to Arizona this weekend LOL!

As others have said a multimeter and a beer would help you narrow down the short to ground issue that you most likely have. I just looked over your build video and you said you used a plastic o-ring on the screw head, is it an o-ring or a solid plastic washer? If it's a squishable o-ring, that could be part of the issue vs a hard plastic washer. So if you check each LED for a short to ground (the heatsink) make sure you can get less than 1 ohm reading between two points on the sink and then while holding the lead to the sink check positive and ground for anything other than infinity on the multimeter and as others have pointed out if you do, that's a problem and you need to look to see where it's shorted out.

Did you use any thermal paste on those LED's? If so, it's possible depending on what it is, like Artic 5 with silver in it vs ceramic you could have a short to ground from that. The ceramic version doesn't conduct electricity whereas the one with silver could.
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