My Dimmable T5HO Hood - Page 4 - The Planted Tank Forum

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post #46 of 70 (permalink) Old 11-10-2011, 08:02 PM Thread Starter
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How about these LEDs? eb item# 120803062151 or 120783223209
Those are similar to what I used, only difference are the lens angles.

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I was thinking these as far as reflectors http://www.amazon.com/AquaticLife-Re...0950690&sr=1-2 but I'd rather have something cheaper
Cheaper:

http://www.hellolights.com/search.as...se&category=97

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I was probably going to go wood for this first one, but the one for class may be the acrylic design with CNC machine. That said, what wood should I use?
Use any wood you like, it's mostly an aesthetic choice. Pine is cheapest but is soft and easily marred. If I'd used paint, which can be touched up, pine would have been an option. But since I was putting on a fine glossy finish, I immediately disqualified pine, and went for birch instead.

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and as far as waterproofing the wood, what should I use for that?
Exterior sealed as described in the first post. Interior is not sealed. Not completely sure if that was the right choice. But I figure water can't get in due to the splash shield, and moist air isn't drawn in from the tank due to both shield and flow pattern. If the exterior sealant is breached and moisture gets into the wood, it should escape more easily through the unsealed interior. And since I was using self-adhesive velcro for mountings, adding an interior sealant might weaken the bond.

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And where do I get the connections for the bulbs themselves?
Got mine here:

http://www.aquacave.com/t5-socket-no...1-pc-2934.html

You must use non-shunted sockets for the Lutrons. Do not use shunted as these connect both pins together internally; which will short out the ballast! I believe this is a requirement for any T5HO dimming ballast, given how they work.

Aside from that, some others are waterproof, which may be useful if you don't have a splash shield. And different mounting options. I would have gone with something different if I'd screw-mounted, but it was irrelevant since I used a velcro mounting strip.
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post #47 of 70 (permalink) Old 11-11-2011, 09:06 PM
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awesome, I made a lower offer on the leds to see if I can get them for cheaper.
I ordered the "sockets" if thats what you call them, ordered 10 just in case.
I'll most likely order that fan and a chrome guard as well.

Also I sat a stared at your picture of the inside and the wires running everywhere, but I can't really follow it at all lol. Can I have close ups or something of that sort? I'm thoroughly confused as far as those adapters and what not in there. also where did you get your pc power cord male adapter thing?
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post #48 of 70 (permalink) Old 11-11-2011, 09:58 PM
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so this is totally cool and all but we absolutely need full, medium, and low light pictures to go with this !!!!!!!!! i wanna see it please
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post #49 of 70 (permalink) Old 11-11-2011, 11:17 PM
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>ceiling mount to be right on top of tank
>ISHYDDT

cool project bro

ΔΙΡΤ Fraternity, Inc. #33
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post #50 of 70 (permalink) Old 11-12-2011, 02:13 AM Thread Starter
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Also I sat a stared at your picture of the inside and the wires running everywhere, but I can't really follow it at all lol. Can I have close ups or something of that sort? I'm thoroughly confused as far as those adapters and what not in there.
Closeup, click to enlarge:



I used no solder joints or wire nuts for wiring. If I had to join any two wires, that was done at the terminal block. The terminal block columns:

#1: Neutral (White)
#2: Ground (Green)
#3: Hot (Black)
#4: Dimmed Hot (Orange)
#5: Switched Neutral (White)
#6: Switched Hot (Black)

The orange color coding at wire ends for #4 has faded to white. I used an orange highlighter on white heat shrink, should have used a Sharpie instead. The connector on the Lutron is orange as it should be.

The top X10 module switches AC to the ballast. Inputs #1 and #3, outputs #5 and #6.

The bottom X10 module provides dimmed hot to the ballast. Inputs #1 and #3, output #4. You can't see it, but the neutral output is clipped and taped over, and connects to nothing. It isn't needed.

The little circuit board beneath the terminal is resistors strung together to make the value I needed for the parallel load to make the dimmer work. Connects between #1 and #4. Not color coded.

Unswitched AC from #1 and #3 also run to the 12V adapter. All other high voltage connections are outputs from the ballast to the bulbs, wired as per the ballast's wiring diagram.

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also where did you get your pc power cord male adapter thing?
Salvaged for free from an old computer power supply, like the cord and chrome fan guard. Also available at various electronic shops, an example:

http://www.allelectronics.com/make-a...EPTACLE/1.html
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post #51 of 70 (permalink) Old 11-12-2011, 02:16 AM Thread Starter
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so this is totally cool and all but we absolutely need full, medium, and low light pictures to go with this !!!!!!!!! i wanna see it please
I'd made a short video of a quick dimming cycle from 100% to 10% and back, but the camera's auto exposure butchered it. Will try again in the next day or two.
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post #52 of 70 (permalink) Old 11-12-2011, 07:16 AM Thread Starter
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Video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zyK0hFK_SKQ

Sorry for the poor quality, my camera fights me on this one. Included the 10G high light on the left as both fixed point exposure reference for the camera, and as a brightness reference for you.

I did a slow dim from 100% down to 10%, manually via X10 remote. Followed by off. Then back on at 10%, and up to 100% again (faster, and a bit unevenly).
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post #53 of 70 (permalink) Old 11-12-2011, 07:29 AM
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I think you are right about this being a first. At least I haven't seen this before. And, I'm amazed that you can get the ballasts on Ebay, having never looked for one. This makes T5HO competitive with LED lights at what appears to be a much lower cost.

I'm moving to an apartment shortly, so I may not have room to work on projects like this, but if I do, I may try this too. Being able to dim the light is such a great feature.
If you ever need a place to work at, my house is avalible to you. I have some nice tools, good work areas and quite a few electronic tools (since I used to do alarms and stereo installs).
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post #54 of 70 (permalink) Old 11-13-2011, 02:07 AM
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If you ever need a place to work at, my house is avalible to you. I have some nice tools, good work areas and quite a few electronic tools (since I used to do alarms and stereo installs).
Thank you! That's a great offer. But, I suspect I will just get interested in things I do have room for. And, I might be able to use my "WorkMate" on the patio for some little jobs. Right now I have my tool collection reduced to where two large tool boxes hold them all. As long as I have a good place to store the boxes I'm good to go.

Hoppy
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post #55 of 70 (permalink) Old 11-13-2011, 07:55 AM
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Thank you! That's a great offer. But, I suspect I will just get interested in things I do have room for. And, I might be able to use my "WorkMate" on the patio for some little jobs. Right now I have my tool collection reduced to where two large tool boxes hold them all. As long as I have a good place to store the boxes I'm good to go.
LOL if you are interested and DONT have room you can leave it at my house . The offer will always be here.

sorry for threadjacking =)
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post #56 of 70 (permalink) Old 11-13-2011, 09:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkCobra View Post
Video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zyK0hFK_SKQ

Sorry for the poor quality, my camera fights me on this one. Included the 10G high light on the left as both fixed point exposure reference for the camera, and as a brightness reference for you.

I did a slow dim from 100% down to 10%, manually via X10 remote. Followed by off. Then back on at 10%, and up to 100% again (faster, and a bit unevenly).
I like it man, looks great!

So does the x10 dial back the voltage that goes to the dimmer or does it lower the frequency?
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post #57 of 70 (permalink) Old 11-14-2011, 03:00 AM Thread Starter
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sorry for threadjacking =)
No problem, very cool of you to offer workspace.

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Originally Posted by Salmon McCloud View Post
So does the x10 dial back the voltage that goes to the dimmer or does it lower the frequency?
Technically, it does neither. The frequency remains the same. And at >=50% power, the peak AC voltage still reaches 170V (yes, that's typical peak for 120VAC).

The X10 module acts identically to a standard AC wall dimmer. These work by using a TRIAC to let through only part of each AC sinewave. By doing so, it changes the average power. Try looking up "phase angle control dimming" for some examples with pictures (or even videos) of the output waveform.

Remember though, a dimming ballast is always powered by full, undimmed AC. It's only the control signal that's altered, and the ballast draws essentially no power from that input. That's why the parallel load is needed, a TRIAC will shut off and let nothing through if the load drops beneath a critical current (typically about 10ma).
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post #58 of 70 (permalink) Old 11-17-2011, 12:50 AM
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I will post my pictures of my ballasts when I get home, when i can plug my laptop in.
I had a question about how many LEDs to add. I want to have 3 strips, one on back, middle, and front, but I don't know how many I want for brightness. Its going on a 20 Long, dimensions are 30 in by 12 inch, and I don't know how big I'll make the light.
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post #59 of 70 (permalink) Old 11-18-2011, 11:20 AM Thread Starter
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I will post my pictures of my ballasts when I get home, when i can plug my laptop in.
I had a question about how many LEDs to add. I want to have 3 strips, one on back, middle, and front, but I don't know how many I want for brightness. Its going on a 20 Long, dimensions are 30 in by 12 inch, and I don't know how big I'll make the light.
Any progress with the pics?

No clue on the amount of LEDs for a moonlight. There are ways to figure out light intensity at the substrate for a given amount of LEDs. But I've never actually seen a recommendation for what intensity constitutes a decent moonlight.
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post #60 of 70 (permalink) Old 11-18-2011, 01:41 PM
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^Sounds like a good excuse to walk out into the country with a light meter on a clear night. I don't know where I saw them, but there are standards for brightness at night published out there somewhere. I'd occasionally see them at my last job.

Always curious.
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