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Old 08-28-2012, 09:40 PM   #91
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No, I found that making more than one of these sensors is a very unpleasant task for me with my less than great vision and not too steady hands. But, it is basically an easy project for someone younger. I was hoping someone would jump on this as a chance to make some money selling these on the for sale forum.

If I were doing the sensor over I wouldn't use acrylic cement as a casting material inside the housing with the photodiode. It just releases too much plastic altering gas for that application. Instead I might use "plumbers" epoxy - an easy epoxy to work with. It is fun to work with this, so someone should step up now.....anyone?
I am in the poor vision and shaky hand category. If anyone wants to step in and follow Hoppy's 'manufacturing' design, I could be the first customer .

Last edited by toffee; 08-28-2012 at 11:25 PM.. Reason: typo
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Old 08-29-2012, 12:36 AM   #92
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I wouldn't have a problem making a few of these for interested parties. I just read this all the way through and it's a simple device.

Would someone mind putting together a single post with all of the necessary materials and maybe a few notes on construction? I'm pretty certain I understand how to put one of these things together, but I don't want to be making them incorrectly or be missing some feature...

Last edited by Ductapemaster; 08-29-2012 at 12:36 AM.. Reason: Grammar
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Old 08-29-2012, 04:11 AM   #93
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If I did this again I would use this basic design:


But I would use http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1...1#.UD2HGWjOzfI or a similar epoxy putty, to fill the cavity of the acrylic housing. I would still use the acrylic cement to seal the hole where the electric cable comes into the acrylic housing. I would try to minimize the use of acrylic cement inside that housing. See http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...2&postcount=29 and following posts for more details.

Anyone who makes these has to work out most of the details to match their abilities and materials available. Make a prototype or two to be sure you have it worked out.
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Old 08-29-2012, 07:23 PM   #94
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I'm going to order some parts today so I can play around with them. Apparently there's a plastics supplier on the next street over from work, so I'm going to check that out at lunch. Hopefully they have what I need.

I have a bunch of epoxy so I was planning on using that anyways as well. I'm assuming you glued the half sphere to the pipe using cement as well?

Also, I'd like to get an idea of how many people would want one of these. Would it be kosher to post in the for sale forum to judge interest? I want to make sure its worth my time.
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Old 08-29-2012, 07:46 PM   #95
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I'm going to order some parts today so I can play around with them. Apparently there's a plastics supplier on the next street over from work, so I'm going to check that out at lunch. Hopefully they have what I need.

I have a bunch of epoxy so I was planning on using that anyways as well. I'm assuming you glued the half sphere to the pipe using cement as well?

Also, I'd like to get an idea of how many people would want one of these. Would it be kosher to post in the for sale forum to judge interest? I want to make sure its worth my time.
Yes, I glued the half sphere to the tube with acrylic cement. That part was pretty easy.

I think it is against the rules of the for sale forum to take orders for something, but I could be wrong. You could post something in the lighting forum to see how many would be interested. I have had about half a dozen people PM me asking for me to sell them one, so there should be a market for 10 or so, at least.

I sold 5 at $35 each, and barely broke even. I briefly considered making more to sell at $45-$50, so there would be some reward for the labor. I think that would still attract the same number of buyers.
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Old 08-29-2012, 07:56 PM   #96
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I'll throw a post up in there and see what happens!

$45-50 is about what I estimated for materials + my time. Considering what something like this costs to make new, I'd say its worth it.
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Old 08-29-2012, 09:00 PM   #97
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I'll throw a post up in there and see what happens!

$45-50 is about what I estimated for materials + my time. Considering what something like this costs to make new, I'd say its worth it.
Count me in, I was going to buy a lux or rent a PAR meter.

Make sure you do caliber the new unit against a PAR though. I am going to use it to decide how many solartubes etc., getting the data wrong could be really really bad as Solartube is almost $800/unit installed and HOA may not allow me to keep making changes to their roof.

Thanks
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Old 08-29-2012, 11:00 PM   #98
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Count me in, I was going to buy a lux or rent a PAR meter.

Make sure you do caliber the new unit against a PAR though. I am going to use it to decide how many solartubes etc., getting the data wrong could be really really bad as Solartube is almost $800/unit installed and HOA may not allow me to keep making changes to their roof.

Thanks
Why do you want to use a PAR meter for that, instead of a standard lux meter? Is that for lighting a big aquarium?
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Old 08-29-2012, 11:56 PM   #99
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Why do you want to use a PAR meter for that, instead of a standard lux meter? Is that for lighting a big aquarium?
8'x30"x20" room divider. Planning to use solartube as main source of light if possible, then LED as night time lighting source. Just want to measure PAR under a solartube.

Last edited by toffee; 08-30-2012 at 05:06 AM.. Reason: typo
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Old 08-30-2012, 04:42 AM   #100
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8'x30"x20" room divider. Planning to use solartube as mine source of light if possible, then LED as night time lighting source. Just want to measure PAR under a solartube.
You can use a lux meter, divide the reading in lux by 61 and be very close to the accurate PAR reading. It is only when you want to measure the light in the water filled aquarium that a PAR meter, with waterproof sensor, is needed. I'm curious about how much light you get from one of those solar tubes too.
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Old 08-30-2012, 05:17 AM   #101
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My idea probably won't work as the end of solartube will be 5ft from the top of the tank. Tank will be 20" deep, so 6.5ft2 to the bottom. The manufacturer claim that each tube is good for 6ft diameter of area, so using 2 tubes with 2.5ft apart means a lot more light in towards the center of tank. A rough drawing of the space where the tank will go.

Hobbyists, mostly reef guys extend the tubes to about 1ft on top of the tank, that has proven to work, but mine will be 5 ft away... or 4ft too far.

Like to measure to make sure though.
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Old 08-30-2012, 07:10 PM   #102
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Toffee, be sure to start a thread on this when you start building it. It will be very interesting, and I predict that you will have very high light from just one solartube.
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Old 08-30-2012, 07:38 PM   #103
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Toffee, be sure to start a thread on this when you start building it. It will be very interesting, and I predict that you will have very high light from just one solartube.
Hoppy, I have multiple of solartubes in my houses so I am familiar with them, I have been using them since the early 2000s. I must be one of their pioneer customers. I have no doubt that it will work if the tubes can be extended closer to the tank, like 2ft or so. At 5-7ft, I am simply not sure.

But I really don't want the tubes to be extended as it really won't look right to have something blocking the view. The end of the house, extreme right on my drawing, faces south and has very nice view. Besides not sure how extra weight will affect the roof structure considering it's almost 30 ft un-supported.

If I would to start a thread about this on going project, where should I put it? I really would benefit from inputs during the planning stage.
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Old 09-05-2012, 02:13 AM   #104
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Quote:
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Toffee, be sure to start a thread on this when you start building it. It will be very interesting, and I predict that you will have very high light from just one solartube.
Gotten about 6000 lumens 1ft from a north facing solartube. Future tubes on top of aquarium will be south facing, so may be a bit more lumens. As it is, I may get 3 - 4 hours of appr 30 micromols at the substrate level from solartube. That plus the evening LED for another 3 hours or so. So together 6 hours of 30PAR and another 3-5 hours of morning and evening light from solartube.
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Old 09-05-2012, 10:53 PM   #105
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Start a thread in this forum - DIY forum. We have discussed solartubes here before, but not in any detail. As I recall at least one member in Mexico uses them to light his tank.

If you can get 30-40 micromols of PAR you will have great light!
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