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Old 12-18-2014, 12:41 AM   #1
Maryland Guppy
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New LED Build


I've posted a thread for a Perfecto Retro-Fit.

I liked the project a lot, might not be what I want in the end.
I want the PAR readings to be higher.

I am starting a new LED project based on the Storm controller and LDD drivers.
Newly acquired aluminum extrusions will be used for the project.

Heat sinks will include a proven 1-watt "C" channel and new 3-watt channel.
The 3-watt heat sink is an extrusion from a conveyor application.

1-watt heat sink material. 3.15" perimeter
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3-watt heat sink material. 8.15" perimeter.
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More thoughts to follow.
Tank is a 40G long and Lo to almost Med lighting at substrate level.
Fixture will be 48" long.

Anybody use the "Storm Controller" ?
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Old 12-18-2014, 02:26 AM   #2
robsworld78
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I have the Storm controller, after I got it of course I wished I bought the StormX, the dimming isn't very smooth on the low end with 8-bit and LED's pushing 6w. I'm also using the LDD drivers. Because of that I can't use the lunar settings because I need a minimum setting of 30 for brightness as the cycle is ruffly 30 days. So that means a full moon for me is a bright tank. Even on a new moon at 1 its too bright.

The controller works great though, and considering it only has one control knob on it its pretty easy to change the settings although it can be a little slow.

I'm building a bigger and better iAqua controller to replace it, I have 12-bit dimming and its quite amazing!

I recommend the StormX for the 12-bit plus the fact that the LCD dims, its actually quite bright at night and I wish mine dimmed.
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Old 12-19-2014, 02:05 AM   #3
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I am going to look over the stormX controller and really check out the differences.

Any more words on the storm controller???
The Good the Bad and the Ugly is all appreciated.

I'm stuck on wanting to use the LDD drivers on a 6 channel board.
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Old 12-20-2014, 05:53 AM   #4
robsworld78
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I think the only difference between the Storm and StormX is more channels, 12-bit dimming and LCD dims.

If you're looking forward to the lightning and cloud effects, they're not that great IMO. The clouds transition quite fast and lightning is basically just bright flashes. It's also a bit of a pain to turn on and off. There are a lot of options for clouds and lightning, I haven't really tested them all as its a pain and not really sure what the settings do, the manual isn't that clear.

Overall I'm happy with it, does what it should and for the price you can't go wrong.

I love the LDD drivers, they dim very low, cheap and small. I attached a couple pics comparing 8-bit to 12-bit dimming. The images are a 9w LED driven to a max of 6w. The first is 8-bit at #1 and the second is 12-bit at #1. In real life with the 12-bit you can barely tell they came on when the lights are on in the room and that's staring right at them. I can actually see 8 or 9 small leds lite up inside the one, at 8-bit you'll go blind looking at it, definitely black marks appear in your image.

Yes I'm trying to sell you on the 12-bit.
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Old 12-20-2014, 12:24 PM   #5
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Thanks rw78: this really makes me think the stormx is the way to go.

I want to download the manuals and check them out.
I am correct that all channels are not used for moonlight?

I am interested in a good dimming feature.
Sunrise and sunset with good ramp times are a must.
The moonlight, lightning, and cloud cover are kinda fluff for me.
All channels have their own independent setup?

Sorry, but I'm great with the LED to driver applications.
Unfamiliar with all the controllers though.
I will have to check all the KHz specs on the PWM comparison.

What style/cat# LDD are you using.
I am planning LDD L series.
7 lamps per channel, 24VDC power supply.
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Old 12-20-2014, 06:48 PM   #6
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I think its worth the extra $30, as soon as I had my hooked up I was upset I didn't get the X. With that said its worked out fine and there is nothing wrong with it but if you do want good low level dimming than you want 12-bit. Definitely a good idea to read the manual.

Yes all channels have there own setup, you can have different levels on different channels. There is only one level of ramping, it will ramp up to sunrise and down to sunset, they share the same settings. The thing that scares me on the X is changing those values on the 16 channels. If I have to turn from 0 to 3500 that's a lot of turning the dial, just turning to 255 takes to long. Hopefully you can adjust by 10's as well. You can use all or none of the channels for moonlights its up to you. In the end I feel this is a set it and forget it type of controller.

The worst thing about the storm for me is I'm unable to see the different looks my LED's produce. For example I have 2700k, 6500k and blue LED's. I can set it so both 2700k and 6500k are turned right up, but if I want to see the difference between just the 6500k its very hard because by the time I turn the dial down to zero the transition is so smooth I can hardly notice a difference. I just hooked up my DIY controller which has sliders and now I can instantly go from 2700k and 6500k to only 2700k or 6500k and then add full blue and wow what a difference. I never realized this before, I didn't think there was much difference. So if you have 6 different color LED's and you want to tune it to a specific look it will probably be very difficult. Hope that all makes sense.

I'm using the LDD-700HW, 9 of them in total. 2 of them are for moonlight LED's and the other 7 have 4 9w LED's hooked up to each. This is way to much light though so I'm only running half power. My power supply is a NES-350-48. What's the difference between my drivers and the L series you are going to use?
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Old 12-20-2014, 07:59 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robsworld78 View Post
I think its worth the extra $30, as soon as I had my hooked up I was upset I didn't get the X.

I read the manual and will get the X.

In the end I feel this is a set it and forget it type of controller.

I doubt after initial setup I will mess with much.

So if you have 6 different color LED's and you want to tune it to a specific look it will probably be very difficult. Hope that all makes sense.

CHN1= 6 pieces blue 1 watt.
CHN2= 6 pieces UV 395nm 1 watt.
CHN3= 7 pieces 7300K 1 watt. Left half
CHN4= 7 pieces 7300K 1 watt. Right half
CHN5= 5 pieces 6500K 3watt + 2 pieces 3500K 3 watt Left.
CHN6= 5 pieces 6500K 3watt + 2 pieces 3500K 3 watt Right.

48" 40G long, I don't think anything will run without dimming.
Maybe royal blue at night.

I'm using the LDD-700HW, 9 of them in total. 2 of them are for moonlight LED's and the other 7 have 4 9w LED's hooked up to each. This is way to much light though so I'm only running half power. My power supply is a NES-350-48. What's the difference between my drivers and the L series you are going to use?

I am going to buy the LDD-H driver board, Only one I could find.
"L" series is 1/2 the price but could find no driver board.
H can be supplied with 56VDC, L can be supplied with only 36.
Just means more lamps per channel.
I am only using 24VDC for power so 7 per channel anyway for me.

I've changed my mind on lamp layout several times this morning.
I'll just say I'm very close now.

Acquired new aluminum channel this week for fixture and heat sink channel .
I'll post some pics of channel later today.
Curing new aquascape in the tub as we speak, just finished.
Going to take pics of plants @ LFS this evening.
Come up with final plant decisions, they have plenty of choices.
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Old 12-20-2014, 08:40 PM   #8
robsworld78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maryland Guppy View Post
I've changed my mind on lamp layout several times this morning.
lol, I'm sure by the time you get everything you'll have changed it again.

I would suggest moving the 3500k on their own channel this way you can have better sunrise sunset effect. On mine with sunrise the 2700k come on first so you get that yellow/orange look, then the whites slowly catch up to it. Then at sunset the whites turn off first and you get the sunset affect. Its actually a nice look.

Lots of fun!
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Old 12-20-2014, 10:38 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robsworld78 View Post
lol, I'm sure by the time you get everything you'll have changed it again.

I would suggest moving the 3500k on their own channel this way you can have better sunrise sunset effect. On mine with sunrise the 2700k come on first so you get that yellow/orange look, then the whites slowly catch up to it. Then at sunset the whites turn off first and you get the sunset affect. Its actually a nice look.

Lots of fun!
Adding a deep red channel is more dramatic. forgive the crude video though.. Dawn to noon sequence:
http://youtu.be/VruO2w1d3Ls
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Old 12-20-2014, 11:43 PM   #10
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rw78: I think splitting up the white lamps on their own channels is a grand idea.
I might as well buy an additional driver board and some 700mA drivers.
I have 24VDC switching power supplies 10amp in abundance.
I can't see shelling out for another power supply of different voltage.

Plenty of stormX channels for sure.

jk: I personally am not a fan of the red led, amber and orange have got my interest.
Question to any: I have read somewhere that warm white usage supplies enough red for plant growth.
I don't have the warm whites ordered yet, I could lower the K, 3000 ?

I'm going to keep this thread going till the build is done.
I appreciate any criticism good or bad.

I will do what I didn't want too.
I'll move to 48VDC two supplies in series, less drivers required.
Up to 14 lamps per driver.
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Old 12-21-2014, 12:55 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maryland Guppy View Post

jk: I personally am not a fan of the red led,
LOL, then you share the same thing I share regarding "UV" or "indigo"..
As a side note deep red, indigo and shorter, and cyan are really the only things "missing" in quantity from a mix of various white K's..
Granted ind. supplier and phosphors can change a lot of this..
Except UV/Indigo which do need a separate diode..
But again for me, a useless "color".. unless you want day glow fish or of course saltwater..
"purple" LED plus good phosphors..

http://www.yujiintl.com/high-cri-led-lighting

As to combining whites.. this will give you a good idea of the combined spectra.. worth playing around with:
http://www.1023world.net/diy/spectra/
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Old 12-21-2014, 01:37 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maryland Guppy View Post
I'm going to keep this thread going till the build is done.
I appreciate any criticism good or bad.

I will do what I didn't want too.
I'll move to 48VDC two supplies in series, less drivers required.
Up to 14 lamps per driver.
Fun stuff just as an FYI:

Quote:
I've designed a circuit board that takes both (LDD-H, LDD-L) and has micro switches that allows you to gang multiple drivers together to run off of 1 PWM pin - and you can daisy chain multiple boards to build large arrays. The drivers just snap into 24 pin sockets and you connect your microcontroller using standard male headers/wires.


A lot of creative people doing good stuff..
BTW: You can buy a lot of $ Drivers for the cost of a decent power supply..5-10 depending..
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Old 12-21-2014, 03:26 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffkrol View Post
Adding a deep red channel is more dramatic. forgive the crude video though.. Dawn to noon sequence:
http://youtu.be/VruO2w1d3Ls
That's to dramatic. I would start at the 2nd image in the video, the first it looks like the sun blew up, lol.

One day soon I'm going to change my light and add extra colors so I can can play more. I'll be banging when that time comes, lol.

Maryland if you go with less drivers that means less control. Since you have 16 channels it might be best to have 1 driver per channel till you're out of drivers or channels. Of course drawing the line on cost, I don't think you want to buy 16 drivers.
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Old 12-21-2014, 05:49 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by robsworld78 View Post
That's to dramatic. I would start at the 2nd image in the video, the first it looks like the sun blew up, lol.

One day soon I'm going to change my light and add extra colors so I can can play more. I'll be banging when that time comes, lol.

Maryland if you go with less drivers that means less control. Since you have 16 channels it might be best to have 1 driver per channel till you're out of drivers or channels. Of course drawing the line on cost, I don't think you want to buy 16 drivers.
it looks a lot better (still dramatic though) in
person.Problem w/ the dig.photo conversion..
660nm and 3500k early prototype using 2-10w 660's 15-1W 3500K


just 3500k
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Old 12-21-2014, 07:48 AM   #15
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I bet it does look better in person, cameras and lights don't mix. That's why I want some color so I can get dramatic.
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