Looking for something better than TC420 - The Planted Tank Forum
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-01-2020, 11:15 AM Thread Starter
Planted Member
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: May 2018
Location: California
Posts: 190
Looking for something better than TC420

Hello folks,

I have two of these units, which I have successfully built into DIY lighting units using Bridgelux strip lighting, LED drivers, etc. The only thing I want to replace is the TC420 itself because the PLED program that comes with it is wretched and buggy. The unit itself only runs at 300 Hz and not 600 as advertised, so that kind of sucks too. Basically I just want a multi-channel 24 hr programmable PWM controller that is easy to set up.
beanbag is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-01-2020, 03:05 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: WI
Posts: 11,915
Bluefish Mini is easy, though restrictive..
Well once you Blynk in. found that to be a PIA.
Oh and can't use low mA LDD-L's with it.

If the hurricane X is anything similar to the Typhon ..also pretty easy.

Problem is there is really no good "point to point" controller like the Radion/AI/Fluval...that I know of.

you could do ReefPi or asst. controllers or when one
looks around finds all sorts of odd stuff, like this:
https://www.satisled.com/shop/produc...ler-board-8388

"A man with a watch knows what time it is. A man with two watches is never sure"

Last edited by jeffkrol; 07-01-2020 at 03:18 PM. Reason: edit
jeffkrol is online now  
post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-02-2020, 11:06 AM Thread Starter
Planted Member
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: May 2018
Location: California
Posts: 190
Thanks for all the suggestions.
The Hurricane X seems OK because it is made in USA (I think?) and seems simple enough.
The Reef Pi is also a good idea because I already got a Raspberry Pi but never got around to using it.
I'm not using the Meanwell drivers because I found that they are flicker-y and unreliable at low percentage of dimming, i.e. moonlight. I just ended up converting the PWM signal back to analog, and then use that to drive a single-transistor current source to power the LEDs. It's actually fairly efficient to drive LEDs this way since the voltage difference between full power and "barely on" isn't very much. Therefore, not much power dissipation in the transistor.

BTW, I forgot to mention this in my original post, but the only reason I am bothering to do this is because the PLED software for the TC420 is wretched and buggy and greatly pisses me off.
beanbag is offline  
 
post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-02-2020, 05:08 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: WI
Posts: 11,915
Quote:
Originally Posted by beanbag View Post
Thanks for all the suggestions.
The Hurricane X seems OK because it is made in USA (I think?) and seems simple enough.
The Reef Pi is also a good idea because I already got a Raspberry Pi but never got around to using it.
I'm not using the Meanwell drivers because I found that they are flicker-y and unreliable at low percentage of dimming, i.e. moonlight. I just ended up converting the PWM signal back to analog, and then use that to drive a single-transistor current source to power the LEDs. It's actually fairly efficient to drive LEDs this way since the voltage difference between full power and "barely on" isn't very much. Therefore, not much power dissipation in the transistor.

BTW, I forgot to mention this in my original post, but the only reason I am bothering to do this is because the PLED software for the TC420 is wretched and buggy and greatly pisses me off.

Odd, you are the first to ever mention LDD issues?
I've used a modded tc-420 for years w/ LDD's and never experienced that w/ it THOUGH the tc did act up a bit at one point. Never found out why but took it out of service and redid some of the small gate wires..


As to the software.. yea no love for it..


Found this the other day, you might want to take a peak at it, though 100% Chinese.
https://www.satisled.com/shop/produc...88#attachments

I haven't looked at the software yet.. both Win10 and my android aren't happy w/ the source. Assume a bit over protective though.

Also check out this thread:
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/2...-progress.html

"A man with a watch knows what time it is. A man with two watches is never sure"
jeffkrol is online now  
post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-03-2020, 12:26 PM Thread Starter
Planted Member
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: May 2018
Location: California
Posts: 190
Here's a picture of a datasheet for an older version of the LDB drivers. I'm fairly sure the older LDD drivers had this bug too, but I can't find proof of it. Maybe I meant LDB, then.
Thanks for that other link too. I guess there are many DIY RPi and Arduino projects, so I will just try to quickly find the one that is easiest to implement.
Attached Images
 
beanbag is offline  
post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-03-2020, 03:48 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: WI
Posts: 11,915
Quote:
Originally Posted by beanbag View Post
Here's a picture of a datasheet for an older version of the LDB drivers. I'm fairly sure the older LDD drivers had this bug too, but I can't find proof of it. Maybe I meant LDB, then.
Thanks for that other link too. I guess there are many DIY RPi and Arduino projects, so I will just try to quickly find the one that is easiest to implement.
That'sthe more typical pattern w/ analog dimming..
New LDD's dim smooth to zero


https://www.meanwell.com/Upload/PDF/...LDD-H-SPEC.PDF

"A man with a watch knows what time it is. A man with two watches is never sure"
jeffkrol is online now  
Reply

Tags
None

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome