LED Light for 36" High Tank - Page 3 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #31 of 269 (permalink) Old 05-16-2011, 02:44 AM
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Progress report:
Yesterday I wired up the dimmer circuits - 2 10K ohm pots and a 10 volt wall wart type power supply. When I tested it one pot raised the voltage going clockwise and the other raised it going counterclockwise. I quit for the day in frustration.
My two dimmers do this, but I just left it. I keep them hidden from view and I'm the only one that uses them lol. I just need to reverse the outer pins to fix it.

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The LEDs and lenses are still shown on the ledgroupbuy site as not yet fulfilled, so it may be some time before I see those. They don't provide estimated times there.
They send out emails on the ETA. If you're not on that email list (if someone else ordered them and shipped them to you), send Milad an email and ask him to add you since you're the one waiting for them and doing the legwork. He's good to work with.
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post #32 of 269 (permalink) Old 05-17-2011, 02:14 AM Thread Starter
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The ammeters arrived today, so I should get the power/control module finished tomorrow. I'll wait another week before bugging ledgroupbuy about that order.

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post #33 of 269 (permalink) Old 05-17-2011, 03:08 AM
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This is going very nicely. I'm watching carefully to see how your control box goes together. Right now my dimmer/driver rat's nest is screwed to a board and slid under the stand. I guess I follow redfish's "I'm the only one who messes with that anyway" approach.
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post #34 of 269 (permalink) Old 05-17-2011, 06:55 PM Thread Starter
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All the connections made! The ammeters come on when the switch is flipped to the on position, so that much works. The rest will await when I get the LEDs and get them installed.

The finished box looks about like I envisioned. I don't think I could have made it any smaller.

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post #35 of 269 (permalink) Old 05-17-2011, 08:26 PM
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wow that looks so professional. How difficult is it to wire the knobs to the ammeters? Does this require calibration or is it when the know is all the way to the right it's at 100% and when it's all the way to the left it's 0%?
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post #36 of 269 (permalink) Old 05-17-2011, 10:00 PM Thread Starter
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wow that looks so professional. How difficult is it to wire the knobs to the ammeters? Does this require calibration or is it when the know is all the way to the right it's at 100% and when it's all the way to the left it's 0%?
The dimmer circuit in the Meanwell drivers works by giving a current that is proportional to the voltage across two wires out of the driver. The voltage across those wires has to be 10 volts maximum. So, you use a 10 volt DC converter, with that connected across the outer terminals on a 10,000 ohm potentiometer. Then the wires from the driver go to the 0 volt end of the potentiometer and to the middle terminal on the potentiometer, so turning the shaft clockwise increases the resistance (voltage) between those two terminals. It sounds a lot harder than it is.

Then the digital ammeter also has 10 volts DC on the backlight circuit, from the same 10 VDC converter, and the two current measuring wires from the ammeter connect in the circuit to the LEDs, so all of the LED current flows through the potentiometer. That way the ammeter readiing is the LED current.

I will set the light up, and measure the PAR I get at 3-4 different currents, plot those data points to get a calibration curve for the light, showing PAR vs current. I have two colors of LEDs, neutral white and cool white, so I will have a calibration curve for each color. And, each chart will have the PAR vs current curve for probably 4 different heights of the light from the PAR meter sensor. Since the PARs add together, you can set the color of the light to suit you, then adjust the two currents to maintain that color, but at the PAR that you want at the substrate.

There are 3 blue LEDs, which have a separate power cord, so they can be on a different timer, for moonlight, and/or to add some more blue to the daytime light. Those will probably add a tiny bit of PAR, so can be ignored when figuring how much PAR you have.

This is the first time I have attempted to make a PAR calibrated light, so who knows how well it will actually work out.

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post #37 of 269 (permalink) Old 05-17-2011, 10:12 PM
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wow that sounds kind of complex. But long story short are you attaching

the dim-able wires on the meanwell driver ----->to a potentiometer------->knobs----> to ammeter?
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post #38 of 269 (permalink) Old 05-17-2011, 10:54 PM Thread Starter
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wow that sounds kind of complex. But long story short are you attaching

the dim-able wires on the meanwell driver ----->to a potentiometer------->knobs----> to ammeter?
No, it is a bit more complicated than that - the wires have to go to the right places, matching the positive and negative voltages as marked on the various parts. If you understand electric circuits, and use of a potentiometer as a voltage divider, it is very simple. If you don't, it would be difficult.

Now, a question: has anyone been soldering LEDs with an ungrounded soldering iron? I have a grounded one and a little higher wattage one that isn't grounded. I would prefer to use the ungrounded one, but have been using only the grounded one on LEDs. I can't see a reason why it needs to be grounded for that use.

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post #39 of 269 (permalink) Old 05-17-2011, 11:15 PM
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mine is ungrounded. I think? It only has 2 prongs on the plug vs 3.
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post #40 of 269 (permalink) Old 05-17-2011, 11:20 PM
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Radioshack soldering iron here, only 2 prongs and no shocks that I remember
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post #41 of 269 (permalink) Old 05-17-2011, 11:21 PM
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Hoppy, Cree has a pdf doc on their site called Soldering & Handling CLD-AP54 REV 0.

I don't know if you've read it yet, but I didn't find any warnings about ESD handling issues.

So I think your ungrounded iron should be fine.

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post #42 of 269 (permalink) Old 05-17-2011, 11:46 PM Thread Starter
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Ungrounded it is! Thanks to all of you.

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post #43 of 269 (permalink) Old 05-18-2011, 12:18 AM
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+1 I use the Radioshack $8 wonder and it works just fine.
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post #44 of 269 (permalink) Old 05-18-2011, 03:04 PM
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looks AWESOME!!!
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post #45 of 269 (permalink) Old 05-18-2011, 05:53 PM
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I will set the light up, and measure the PAR I get at 3-4 different currents, plot those data points to get a calibration curve for the light, showing PAR vs current. I have two colors of LEDs, neutral white and cool white, so I will have a calibration curve for each color.
I want to do something similar to this. Putting aside the fact that I don't have a PAR meter, my question is this: does PAR work purely additively? In other words, let's say you know the PAR that one string is giving you all on its own at a given dimming level, and the PAR that another string is giving you all on its own at a given dimming level. Can you just add those two PAR numbers together to get your total PAR for running both strings at those dimming levels at the same time?
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