Finished!: My DIY conduit mount for Finnex Ray 2 (24")
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Old 08-06-2013, 07:46 PM   #1
rcs0926
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Finished!: My DIY conduit mount for Finnex Ray 2 (24")


I want to document the creation of my DIY conduit mount for my 24" Finnex Ray 2. My primary goal is to use a single piece of conduit with only one 90 degree bend and mount the conduit on the side of my tank stand. I know there are a lot of people who use one or two pieces of conduit mounted to the back of their stand, but I wanted to avoid doing that since it would've required me to empty my tank in order to have access to the back of the stand. I plan on completing the mount over the next week or so, so I figured I would create a thread to document my progress. So far, I have almost all the materials. I'm just waiting on a pair of items, which should be arriving tomorrow. Anyway, here's a list of tools and materials I will be using for this project:

Materials

A single 1/2" EMT 10' conduit pipe ($1.48)
http://www.lowes.com/pd_72711-1792-1...uit&facetInfo=


Halex 3/8 in. - 1/2 in. Conduit and Pipe Hangers (5-Pack) ($2.48) - 2 pieces will be used to mount the conduit to the stand, and the other 2 pieces will be used as the base for hanging the Finnex Ray 2 from the horizontal portion of the pipe
http://www.homedepot.com/p/Halex-3-8...y#.UgFDIqzfJI0

1-1/2 in. Zinc-Plated S-Hook (30-Pieces) ($5.75) - 2 hooks will be inserted into the holes in each of the conduit hangers, and the remaining 14 pairs give me the ability to adjust the length of my S-chain in 1.5" increments (1.5"-22.5")

http://www.homedepot.com/p/1-1-2-in-Zinc-Plated-S-Hook-30-Pieces-15572/100337743#.UgFIZqzfJI0


3/4 x 3/4 x 1 Hardwood Square ($0.67) - The lip of my stand sticks out about 1.25" from the side of the stand. This 3/4" piece of wood combined with the 1/2" of clearance provided by the conduit hanger will allow me to properly mount the conduit to the side of my stand. This piece of wood will be attached to my stand, and the conduit hangers will be attached to the piece of wood.

http://www.homedepot.com/p/3-4-x-3-4...0#.UgFHDKzfJI0


6 x 1-1/2" sheet metal screws ($1.18) - I only need 2 for each of the conduit hangers that are going to be used to mount the conduit to the stand. The screws are long enough to go through the 3/4" block of wood and the wall of the tank stand. The head is also big enough to not pass through the hole in the conduit hanger.


3/32 in. x 2 in. Zinc-Plated Cotter Pins (5-Pieces) ($0.68) - 4 of these pins will be inserted into the holes for the stock mounting brackets of the Ray 2. I read that some people found 3/32" metal rods that they used to create mounting clips for the Ray 2, so that's why I went with this size. I originally tried going with 1/16" x 1" cotter pins, but the pins were a little short and may have required me to wrap them with electrical tape in order for them to fit snugly. I may still need to wrap the 3/32" pins with electrical tape, but I at least have an extra inch of length to provide better support. I plan on using the eyes of the cotter pins to thread something through so that the Ray 2 can be hung from the S-hook chain.


http://www.homedepot.com/p/3-32-in-x...5#.UgFKLazfJI0


Aircraft Cable Wire Key Ring Keychain Stainless Steel Gear 6" X 1.5mm (2 Pack) ($6.05) - This is what I'm going to thread through the holes of the eyes of the cotter pins. I could use fishing line or any number of other things, but I wanted to get something that I know would be uniform. I'm hoping that I can thread one end of the cable through the eye of the cotter pins, but if that doesn't work, I can always just open up the cotter pins a bit and slide the cable through.

Amazon.com: Aircraft Cable Wire Key Ring Keychain Stainless Steel Gear 6" X 1.5mm (2 Pack): Office Products Amazon.com: Aircraft Cable Wire Key Ring Keychain Stainless Steel Gear 6" X 1.5mm (2 Pack): Office Products


1/2" knockout plug ($0.49) - To cap the horizontal portion of the conduit



Tools

Conduit bender - I was able to borrow one and bend one 90 degree angle on my conduit, but these will set you back about $30 if you need to buy your own.

Drill - I have one I can borrow as well, but these will set you back at least $30 as well.

Pipe cutter - I bought one for about $8. It's one of those ones that has a circular blade and a knob that you turn to cut the pipe. I'm not completely certain this will cut through conduit pipe, so I guess we'll see.


The total out of pocket cost for me so far has been about $25, which includes the pipe cutter. If you have your own pipe cutter, then the total cost would be around $18. If you have fishing line hanging around, you can do without the air craft cable, which will put you in the $12-13 range.

At any rate, I'll post an update with pics once I've put this thing together.

Last edited by rcs0926; 10-08-2013 at 05:57 PM.. Reason: Changed Title
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Old 08-07-2013, 11:07 PM   #2
rcs0926
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Here's a pic of the aircraft wire key chain with 2 cotter pins attached. I was hoping to be able to thread the wire through the holes in the cotter pins, but the holes were just a little too small. However, a 1/8" cotter pin (vs. 3/32") might have an eye/hole big enough to thread the wire through. Still, I think that having to open up the cotter pins will actually help in terms of plugging them into the mounting bracket holes of my Finnex Ray 2 because the opened pins will create tension after I squeeze them together to fit the mounting bracket holes.
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Old 08-08-2013, 03:39 PM   #3
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Here's a pic of what I've done so far with my mounting fixture. I apologize for the crappy cell phone pic. As you can see, I've got a single piece of conduit with one 90 degree bend. I had to cut the pipe on both ends because it was too tall, and the overhanging portion extended too far beyond the tank. I used the cheap pipe cutter shown in the first post. It took a little bit of doing because I think the pipe cutter is really meant to cut softer/thinner pipes like copper or pvc. However, I was able to get nice clean cuts on both ends. I used some WD40 to lubricate the area I was cutting as well as the blade. I had to rotate the pipe cutter 4-5 times around the pipe before it cut deep enough for me to be able to re-tighten it. It wasn't a fast process by any means, but I accomplished my goal of getting smooth, clean cuts.

The pic below also shows the basic hanging mechanism for my Finnex Ray 2. You can see that I have 2 conduit hangers serving as the base of my hanging mechanism. The screw holes of the hangers are facing downward with the S-hooks plugged into them. Attached to the S-hooks are the aircraft wire cables with the 2 cotter pins (see pic in the previous post). I'm happy to report that the cotter pins fit very nicely into the mounting bracket holes of the Ray 2. As you can see from the pic, they aren't currently attached to my light fixture because I'm not ready to hang it yet. Still, the pins can be inserted all the way into the fixture so that just the eye of the cotter pins are exposed. I inserted the cotter pins in such a way that the eye/hole faces up/down (i.e. if you were threading some sort of hanging line, you'd have to thread it vertically rather than horizontally). I'll take pics of how the cotter pins are inserted when I put everything together this weekend. I still think it might be possible to use 1/8" x 2" cotter pins, but the ones I got (3/32" x 2") work just fine. Also, the 6" aircraft wire key chains definitely have a wide enough diameter and will work perfectly in terms of providing a uniform hanging mechanism for the Ray 2. Overall, the aircraft wire key chain along with the cotter pins works nicely as a hanging mechanism for the Ray 2.

Note: Don't mind the piece of plastic attached horizontally to the wall. It's just a hanging bracket used for a picture frame that used to be on the wall.

Overall, I'm pretty happy with how the hanging fixture is coming along. Given the height of the conduit, I can hang the Ray 2 and get anywhere from 35-75 PAR at the substrate. I think I'm aiming for something in the 40-ish PAR range since I only have DIY CO2, so I'll probably have to add 2-3 S-hooks on each side. I also didn't account for the fact that the bend in the conduit pipe won't allow S-chain to hang straight down with the Ray 2 being centered properly over the tank. I'll have to move the conduit hanger on the left side in a little bit, and the S-hook chain will flare out a bit towards the tank just a bit. Fortunately, I can play around with the positioning of the conduit hangers, so I doubt this will be a problem. At any rate, I'll post pics of the full process when I complete it this weekend.
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Last edited by rcs0926; 08-08-2013 at 04:30 PM.. Reason: Added details
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Old 09-22-2013, 10:07 PM   #4
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Been a little over a month, any progress? Completion?

Interested in doing this myself and wanted to see your finished product =)
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Old 09-23-2013, 07:35 PM   #5
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I've been stuck since the last post because I didn't have access to a drill. I've had access to it for the last few weeks but haven't summoned up the motivation to finish my project. I'll see if I can get it completed this week, and I'll post the pics.
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Old 10-08-2013, 05:53 PM   #6
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OK. So I finally finished my mount:

1. I drilled 2 holes into the block of wood I purchased. After drilling the 2 holes into the block, I positioned it along the side of my stand and drilled corresponding holes into my stand. I used 2 screws to attach the conduit hangers to the side of my stand. Note: The screw goes through the hanger, block and side of the stand.

2. I slid the conduit pipe into the conduit hangers and tightened the screws on the hangers to hold the conduit in place. As you can see, the wooden block allows the conduit to clear the lip of my stand.

3. Here's a pic of the bent conduit pipe mounted to my stand. You can see that there are 2 conduit hangers attached to the horizontal portion of the conduit.

4. This picture shows the actual hanging mechanism. One S-hook is attached to the hole of the conduit hanger, and additional hooks can be added to adjust the length of the chain. The last hook attaches to the aircraft cable wire ring.

5. Here's a closer look at the aircraft cable wire ring that's attached to the light fixture. As you can see, there are 2 cotter pins inserted into the holes for the stock mounting clips. The holes in the cotter pins weren't quite big enough to thread the aircraft cable through, so I had to open them up a little bit and slide the cable through. Still, it worked out nicely since opening up the cotter pins provides added resistance when you insert them into the light fixture.

6. Here's the somewhat finished product. I took the picture at a weird angle, so everything (tank, light, mount) looks off balance, but you can see that the mount serves its purpose. The good thing is that it's very easy to adjust the positioning of the light by adding/subtracting S-hooks and/or repositioning the conduit hangers up top.

At any rate, I apologize for taking so long to follow through with this project. If I had completed this in one sitting, it would've taken me less than a couple of hours. If anyone has any questions, please feel free to post in this thread or PM me.
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Old 10-08-2013, 06:59 PM   #7
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Not bad at all. I actually like the cotter pin idea! I've been playing with bending a metal hanger. I just can't get two of them bent the same! I'm going to steal your cotter pin idea ;-)
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Old 10-08-2013, 07:11 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BriDroid View Post
Not bad at all. I actually like the cotter pin idea! I've been playing with bending a metal hanger. I just can't get two of them bent the same! I'm going to steal your cotter pin idea ;-)
That's the reason why I wanted to work with one piece of conduit and only do one bend. Others have created great DIY mounts by using multiple pieces of conduit with multiple bends, but I wanted to keep things as simple as possible.

As for the cotter pins, it's probably the easiest and cheapest way to create a hanging mechanism for the Ray 2. The aircraft cable wire is optional since you can probably find any number of items (i.e. fishing line) to attach to the cotter pins.

Edit: Just realized that you were talking about bending metal clothes hangers as opposed to conduit pipe.
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Old 10-08-2013, 07:55 PM   #9
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oh yeah I am doing this!!!!
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Old 10-08-2013, 09:28 PM   #10
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Looks great! Thanks for the in-depth description!

Love the cotter pin idea! Didn't think of that before and I wasn't sure how I was going to bend a coat hanger either.

Only thing ill prob do diff on mine is use aircraft cable to suspend it instead of the S-hooks.

It looks like the left side is a smidge higher than the right in the last photo but maybe it's just the camera angle.

Good job!


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Old 10-08-2013, 09:32 PM   #11
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Nice job, that's pretty slick what you did with the cotter pins!
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Old 10-08-2013, 11:30 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ConfidentBlue View Post
Looks great! Thanks for the in-depth description!

Love the cotter pin idea! Didn't think of that before and I wasn't sure how I was going to bend a coat hanger either.

Only thing ill prob do diff on mine is use aircraft cable to suspend it instead of the S-hooks.

It looks like the left side is a smidge higher than the right in the last photo but maybe it's just the camera angle.

Good job!


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Thanks for the positive feedback. I definitely think the most important element of my DIY project is the use of the cotter pins. Everything else can be tweaked. I used the aircraft cable wire key chains and S-hooks because I wanted to do as little measuring as possible. I wanted to keep everything as uniform as possible. I also used the conduit hangers on the horizontal section of the pipe because I didn't want to drill holes in the pipe.
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Old 10-08-2013, 11:33 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xmas_one View Post
Nice job, that's pretty slick what you did with the cotter pins!
Yeah, I randomly came across the cotter pins while I was browsing Home Depot's website looking for other pieces for my mount. I think it's an easy solution for Finnex owners because they are a lot easier to find than the metal rods that others used for mounting clips, and you don't have to deal with the hassle of bending them.
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Old 05-07-2014, 02:25 PM   #14
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Sorry for bumping an old thread, but I figured it may help others if this became visible again. Lots of good info here and details. I'm not following to the letter here since I use different lights, but the hardware choices are great and will help me get my conduit hanger set up tonight.
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Old 05-07-2014, 03:18 PM   #15
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Glad my thread has been useful in making your own light hanger.
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