DiY canopy and NO lighting - how to affix endcaps? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-09-2004, 04:19 AM Thread Starter
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DiY canopy and NO lighting - how to affix endcaps?

i'm finishing a DiY hood and need to put in the ODNO flourescent bulbs. I've gotten 2 types of endcaps for T12/T8 bulbs from Lowes/HD. I have yet to figure out a way to install the endcaps so that I feel that the bulbs are safely secured in the hood. My hood is similar to Daemonfly's example:
http://www.plantgeek.net/article_viewer.php?id=11

I'd have to attach the endcaps to the top boards because of the width of the hood (48 1/2 in for a 75 gallon). The endcaps available in the hardware stores (and even the lighting supply store I checked) really don't have any way to connect them this way.
I looked at the possible options:
buy 2 2-bulb shop fixtures from HD, adjust the reflectors: 15 bucks for both
buy bulb clips from DrsFosterSmith.com - 4 pair for 20 bucks with shipping (ugh)

how have other people done this? "rigging" some way to attach the endcaps would make me too nervous about the bulbs hanging by something I pulled out of my aZ$. My concerns of the shoplights is not being able to fit in 481/2 inches of hood interior, and the added weight to the hood.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-09-2004, 09:21 AM
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Home Depot and/or Lowes have one type of an end cap with a screw mounting U slot in the center of it's base. You can just use a screw to attach them to the top of your canopy. I have 4 of these awaiting a new canopy I'll be building. If you're worried about it comming loose and sliding out from under the screw, you could glue a small piece of wood on the backside so it can't slide backwards.

And, glad you liked the design. I've built a simpler 15g high hood with the same general design, and will probably keep building them this way
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-09-2004, 05:16 PM
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certainly i agree with df here. the end caps he describes are the most common i have seen. i believe they are what you end up with when you buy a standard fixture. i got mine from my lfs for about $2.50 each just because i was in a hurry and didn't want to drive all the way to the borg, so no doubt you would pay less than that at a hardware store.

as an aside, i found it easiest to attach all the endcaps to a small piece of wood. then i attached the piece of wood (2 in total) to the inside of the canopy. if the bulbs don't quite fit (length wise) you can loosen up the individual screws, adjust the fit, then tighten the screw.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-10-2004, 03:13 AM Thread Starter
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thanks for the replies guys,
jart do you have a picture of the way you attached the endcaps? I'd like to try that, and after putting so much effort into the hood as it is I'd like to screw up on a small piece of wood rather than the hood itself.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-10-2004, 03:27 AM
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unfortunately, no i don't have access to a digital camera for a while. however try this link:

http://www.goodmart.com/products/179285.htm

near the base of the end cap you can see the notched-out "u". that's where the screw goes. as df suggested, if you should decide to install a small block of wood behind the end cap, there's no way it can fall out, as long as you choose a screw with a wide enough head.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-12-2004, 01:19 PM
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And if even that makes you a bit nervous, you can use a small washer with the screw for an added bit of security.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-15-2004, 06:14 AM Thread Starter
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thanks for the replies guys
I attached the endcaps as described, placed a piece of wood behind it, and then tightened the screws down tight once I made sure the bulbs fit correctly. I'll keep the washer in mind if I need to tighten the fastenings for any reason.

got the hood done, and the tank planted. Woohoo! It's taken forever to get this tank set up so it's great to finally see a result.
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