DIY PAR meter, Yeah you heard me - Page 23 - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #331 of 731 (permalink) Old 05-25-2012, 02:50 AM
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I think the old design with the cup is much more robust. What is the cost change?

Always curious.
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post #332 of 731 (permalink) Old 05-25-2012, 03:09 AM
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Will it still be water proof? Have you tried it out yet?
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post #333 of 731 (permalink) Old 05-25-2012, 03:55 AM Thread Starter
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Just tried it out in water. No short.
I think it saves $5 but more importantly, assembly time.

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post #334 of 731 (permalink) Old 05-25-2012, 04:32 AM
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Here's an idea- Why not sandwich the diode between two layers of plastic. You could use two different colors so people would know the "blue side" faces the light source and make them about 2"x2" so they would lay flat on their own. You could water proof the sensor by sealing the two halves of the "sandwich" with aquarium safe epoxy. Whatcha think?

Last edited by O2surplus; 05-25-2012 at 04:33 AM. Reason: darn spell check!
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post #335 of 731 (permalink) Old 05-25-2012, 05:11 AM Thread Starter
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Not sure what you mean. What's the purpose of the sandwich?

I have silicone underneath the diode. It keeps it from shorting and waterproof maybe.

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post #336 of 731 (permalink) Old 05-25-2012, 05:22 AM
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I think the heatshrink method should work fine, but I recommend upgrading to adhesive lined heatshrink, it's a thick walled polyolefin but lined with some hot melt adhesive, stuff sticks to almost anything extremely well. It should stick to that acrylic diffuser as long as you get it nice and hot. Remember, silicone doesn't bond well to acrylic.
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post #337 of 731 (permalink) Old 05-25-2012, 05:34 AM
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Weld-on bonds acrylic very nicely.

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post #338 of 731 (permalink) Old 05-25-2012, 05:41 AM
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Another issue - unless the silicone is spec'd for electrical use it can be corrosive when used as a potting compound.

I'll have draw up a picture of how I would construct the sensor. I'm just looking for a sure fire way to provide a long lasting= water proof seal for the sensor, that's easy to construct. Drying time for the epoxy would not be an issue since you could pre=solder all the diodes to the wiring, prior to encapsulating all the sensors in 1 final step.
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post #339 of 731 (permalink) Old 05-25-2012, 05:47 AM
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I believe GE RTV silicone works with electronics/electrical parts. We used it in the Navy sealing up the mag amp boxes on the flight deck.

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post #340 of 731 (permalink) Old 05-25-2012, 06:05 AM
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Here's what I had in mind-

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post #341 of 731 (permalink) Old 05-25-2012, 06:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by O2surplus View Post
Another issue - unless the silicone is spec'd for electrical use it can be corrosive when used as a potting compound.

I'll have draw up a picture of how I would construct the sensor. I'm just looking for a sure fire way to provide a long lasting= water proof seal for the sensor, that's easy to construct. Drying time for the epoxy would not be an issue since you could pre=solder all the diodes to the wiring, prior to encapsulating all the sensors in 1 final step.
There is silicone conformal coat spray you could use for PCBs as well, comes in aerosol cans.

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post #342 of 731 (permalink) Old 05-25-2012, 06:45 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by O2surplus View Post
Here's what I had in mind-

Cool design but it might take a bit of time to assemble. Plus, I'm worried about the wires coming out of the sandwich. There's no support and can easily break. We can give it support but then it complicates things more.

Fixing it would be impossible as well. You'd have to throw away the whole unit.

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post #343 of 731 (permalink) Old 05-25-2012, 05:46 PM
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Problem is, epoxy doesn't bond to acrylic, the best you can do with it is a mechanical fit but that won't seal all that well long-term. Epoxy also doesn't bond to vinyl or whatever thermoplastic they use in cat5 to insulate the individual strands of wire.
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post #344 of 731 (permalink) Old 05-25-2012, 06:09 PM Thread Starter
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Problem is, epoxy doesn't bond to acrylic, the best you can do with it is a mechanical fit but that won't seal all that well long-term. Epoxy also doesn't bond to vinyl or whatever thermoplastic they use in cat5 to insulate the individual strands of wire.
yeah, that's true too.

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post #345 of 731 (permalink) Old 05-25-2012, 08:20 PM
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Be careful with the shrink tubing. While it's a good insulator it;s not very durable and the properties change once its been heated. If you decide to pot the sensor in epoxy you can supply strain relief with short pieces of tubing over the wires just make sure the back ends are surrounded by the epoxy so the water doesn't wick into the wires. You can get epoxies that will adhere to Acrylics and polycarbonates. Try Loctite Epoxy plastic bonder it looks like it may work.
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