TC420 to control fish room lighting - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-30-2017, 10:26 PM Thread Starter
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TC420 to control fish room lighting

so using a TC420 to control my fishroom lighting ramping and dimming with rigid led strips. I really wanted most tanks to have there own channel or atleast not have to have a tank on multiple channels on a tc420. but the 48 watt limitation is going to really suck for the 75 gallon + tanks in the room since they will be over that.

had a random...not sure if bad idea but what if I just ran the TC420 on 10V and used it as a PWM controller. I saw these which are designed for a bluefish controller. but I can't think of any reason why they wouldn't work with a 10V PWM signal from a TC420

https://aquarium-led-controller.com/...-power-dimmer/ I'm half debating about buying a bluefish to control my houses fish tanks but not sure if I can split the pwm signals and run everything off one unit.

each channel can do 120watt which is more than enough. its a bit more expensive this way (was going to need 2 TC420 just on the amount of lights alone. so if I did 1 TC420 and 2 of these units i'm only about 30 dollars more into but have 480 watts total control.

thoughts? horrible idea?
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-30-2017, 11:50 PM
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Search Fleabay for this-"Double BTS7960B DC 43A Stepper Motor Driver H-Bridge PWM" It's a little overkill, but they're 1/3 the cost of the BlueFish Power dimmer. They're meant to be used as a motor controller, but they'd also work just fine with led strips. 27Volt capable with 43 amps worth of current. Combine a few of them with a BluFish Mini, Arduino, or other 3.3/5V Micro-controller to do Sunrise/Sunset dimming and you'dd be all set.
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-01-2017, 12:26 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by O2surplus View Post
Search Fleabay for this-"Double BTS7960B DC 43A Stepper Motor Driver H-Bridge PWM" It's a little overkill, but they're 1/3 the cost of the BlueFish Power dimmer. They're meant to be used as a motor controller, but they'd also work just fine with led strips. 27Volt capable with 43 amps worth of current. Combine a few of them with a BluFish Mini, Arduino, or other 3.3/5V Micro-controller to do Sunrise/Sunset dimming and you'dd be all set.
AWESOME thanks o2 i was trying to find something like this. I figured there had to be something.

I'm going to PM you about an idea no point clogging this thread up with it.
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-01-2017, 01:02 AM
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Using the TC-420 as a pwm feeding the base of a larger MOSFET is another option I assume..
Your power handling is as big as the new one can take..
You'd reverse the ground though..Like this:
https://forum.allaboutcircuits.com/t...design.118295/
you can use either the orig. gate pulse to avoid that though..and be able to use a large NPN MOSFET
Connecting high power LEDs to the TC420
Doing that the TC-420 IS the Aduino..PWM frequency is around 900Hz..

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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-01-2017, 01:26 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffkrol View Post
Using the TC-420 as a pwm feeding the base of a larger MOSFET is another option I assume..
Your power handling is as big as the new one can take..
You'd reverse the ground though..Like this:
https://forum.allaboutcircuits.com/t...design.118295/
you can use either the orig. gate pulse to avoid that though..and be able to use a large NPN MOSFET
Connecting high power LEDs to the TC420
Doing that the TC-420 IS the Aduino..PWM frequency is around 900Hz..
I'm actually leaning towards just getting a bluefish mini or a HurcaneX atleast now. The module o2 mentioned really makes that work so much better. I sent o2 a message about maybe just comboing the whole deal with one of his controllers he has been working on but not sure if there ready for prime time. Have about 20 tanks with rigid led strips (about 500 watts worth) in the fishroom to control. then 3 other display tanks in the basement that i'm hoping to DIY some lights using LDDH drivers.
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-01-2017, 03:06 AM
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Any of these can easily control multiple LDD's per channel..or almost any low level "gate"..
I guess it depends on your end game..
If you want all strips (certain series) to go on all at once those large power handling "switches" are nice..

I guess you just need to be aware at the limitations..All or nothing.
You can achieve the same thing w/ multiple "small" switches which.. eventaully could be controlled independently..


10/$5... and can handle 10 amps each..
Control them all w/ the same PWM output or split each off..

Either way works..

Quote:
I really wanted most tanks to have there own channel or atleast not have to have a tank on multiple channels on a tc420. but the 48 watt limitation is going to really suck for the 75 gallon + tanks in the room since they will be over that.
There is no such limit to a tc-420. Either jumper off the "aduino like" part (giving you a 5v pwm output) or use larger MOSFETS ( a$2 addition)..
NOT trying to talk you into one, just stating your assumption is incorrect.

Like I said the "limitation" isn't that limiting..w/ a few $'s in parts..
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/20...d-drivers.html
now the software and program limitations is another story..

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Last edited by jeffkrol; 05-01-2017 at 03:28 AM. Reason: edit
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-01-2017, 03:43 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffkrol View Post
Any of these can easily control multiple LDD's per channel..or almost any low level "gate"..
I guess it depends on your end game..
If you want all strips (certain series) to go on all at once those large power handling "switches" are nice..

I guess you just need to be aware at the limitations..All or nothing.
You can achieve the same thing w/ multiple "small" switches which.. eventaully could be controlled independently..


10/$5... and can handle 10 amps each..
Control them all w/ the same PWM output or split each off..

Either way works..


There is no such limit to a tc-420. Either jumper off the "aduino like" part (giving you a 5v pwm output) or use larger MOSFETS ( a$2 addition)..
NOT trying to talk you into one, just stating your assumption is incorrect.

Like I said the "limitation" isn't that limiting..w/ a few $'s in parts..
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/20...d-drivers.html
now the software and program limitations is another story..
I guess i was looking for an easy way to do it without soldering on a PCB board. i was trying to keep within the 4amp per channel rated limitation of the TC420. is there enough overhead to the unit where I don't need to worry about that within reason?
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-01-2017, 01:37 PM
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First this is the soldering you hav to do to turn the TC-420 into a 5V PWM signal (only needed 4 outputs w/ this one).


If you don't want to do that AND exceed the power threshold you just need larger MOSFETS..


See top.. Now this was done not to increase power handling but to "invert" the ground since the TC-420 "pulses" the negative side.
This wouldn't have worked to dim "channels" on a modified Finnex planted plus (turned the light into a 3 channel controllable fixture, long story,Finnex was neg ground)

Point is that using larger than what is inside MOSFETS you can control anything.
THE catch.. you need to invert the MOSFET . Internal is an NPN (positive gate).. the external signal (no wiring) of the TC-420 gives you a negative signal for the gate..
so you need PNP Mosfets ) pretty sure one could also do this w/ power transistors but MOSFETS were the easiest,
PNP Mosfets are "inferior" to NPN and finding large ones is a bit costly (well more so than NPN at least) and something to do w/ less efficiency so heat sinking may be required..
Need a bigger geek than me for that..

Point is you can "free wire" a MOSFET and resistor.. Your "gate" voltage can be anywhere from 9-24V..5 and under voltage doesn't work.
Note -10V gate..
https://www.sparkfun.com/datasheets/...l/FQP27P06.pdf
Best fit is using DC to determine "safe drain" at your voltage..
@ 10V over 10A...
7-8A @ 12v..roughly.. 84w

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Last edited by jeffkrol; 05-01-2017 at 02:15 PM. Reason: ediy
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-01-2017, 04:30 PM
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to clean up this a bit.. Whether you go "modified" TC-420, Bluefish mini or Storm.. output will be 3.3-5V..
One can stick w/ the tc or upgrade controller eventually..

So either LDD's (need constant current strips) or large "switches" will be necessary..
Quote:
Specifications

Model Number: IRF520N HEXFET - NMOS
Max Gate to Source Voltage: +/- 20V
Max Drain Current: up to 9A - must attach a heat sink above 1 amp
Control Voltage: 3.3V and 5.0V - MCU compatible
Max Power Dissipation: 48W - use a heat sink
Temperature Range: -55 to 175 deg. C
nothing wrong w/ the O2 suggestion, though the need to "reverse" your voltage is unnecessary.. Though your single channel output wattage is phenomenal..
Simple-H 20A, 5V to 28V DC Motor Driver - RobotShop

still w/ that one you are limited to a PWM control voltage of 2.5-5.5V..
http://www.robotshop.com/media/files...manual-s-h.pdf

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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-01-2017, 09:23 PM Thread Starter
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ok i think i follow most of that.

back to o2's suggestion of the "Double BTS7960B DC 43A Stepper Motor Driver H-Bridge PWM"

as long as i feed it a 3.3-5v range PWM either thru a TC420 (modified) or other controller i'm good? or do I have to do some sort of voltage reversal wizardry your talking about?

really like the power handleing of the one o2 suggested. i'd prolly grab 2-3 and just put each rack on its own channel easier than individual tanks. my gut is leaning toard getting a stormx from steves led with 16 channels, reasoning being is I could wire up my fish room with a few channels, then pull a few cat 5s to each of my display tanks and each of them will get a few channels to use for there led control be it another "big switch" for a beamswork type light or a LDDH setup for high power leds with drivers.

That said I am really curious of O2s controller, i like the idea of being able to access it from my phone like a bluefish, but with possibly more channels available.
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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-01-2017, 10:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kampo View Post
back to o2's suggestion of the "Double BTS7960B DC 43A Stepper Motor Driver H-Bridge PWM"

as long as i feed it a 3.3-5v range PWM either thru a TC420 (modified) or other controller i'm good? or do I have to do some sort of voltage reversal wizardry your talking about?

really like the power handleing of the one o2 suggested
no, no wizardry is needed.. except to wire it correctly..
Ask O2 for clarification on wiring..

The H bridge (as I understand it) is simply to reverse polarity of the output voltage.. You know turn a dc motor forward,backward..
If you drive those strips "backward" w/ enough voltage they will fry.. Shouldn't be a problem w/ 12V though.

Need to clarify.. Thing aren't always as easy as I assume..

That one I posted has enough diagrams/data to figure it out.. Same bridge chips as the O2 one.. mostly exactly the same circuitry AFAICT.. but $50..


Not sure why you can't use a single MOSFET or transistor /mosfet (back to the voltage reversal thing) but it is on a spiffy board w/ connectors..
In its most basic form as long as your "signal" is positive NPN Mosfet...


starlight: Dimming a 12V LED strip with a mosfet and PWM
http://component.iiic.cc/index.php?m...Fca1wAodry0J6A
Needless to say, either work.

Note: Things aren't always as straight forward as I picture them.. but close most of the time..

Quote:
Mounting Type Through Hole
FET Type MOSFET N-Channel, Metal Oxide
Drain to Source Voltage (Vdss) 60V
Current - Continuous Drain (Id) @ 25 C 40A
Rds On (Max) @ Id, Vgs 16 mOhm @ 20A, 10V
Input Capacitance (Ciss) @ Vds 1400pF @ 25V
Power - Max 52W
Packaging Tube
Gate Charge (Qg) @ Vgs 29nC @ 10V
Package / Case TO-251-3 Long Leads, IPak, TO-251AB
FET Feature Logic Level Gate
Lead Free Status Lead Free
RoHS Status RoHS Compliant
48 cents in 100 lot quantities..

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Last edited by jeffkrol; 05-01-2017 at 10:14 PM. Reason: edit
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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-01-2017, 11:52 PM Thread Starter
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so been researching what your going into. and came accross this. semi unrelated but guessing the internal circuits are essentially a mosfet based setup. but 30 amps power, designed for leds and from what i understand its essentially designed to take a full power signal from a controller like a TC420 and allow you to add more led strips when you max out a channel

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/30A-...770785678.html

thouhts? sounds like its designed to basically do what I want to do anyway. i've seen a few posts talking about using smaller versions of these with an arduino, so i'm guesing they may accept PWM signal directly if I later upgraded to a Stormx/bluefish...etc? just trying to keep it simlar. picture below was a wiring diagram for RGB strips but i'm guessing same applies for a single channel amp like above?
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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-02-2017, 03:01 AM
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Yea, sort of.. but if your main power supply is large enough there is no need to "amplify" anything.. The 60 cent (up to $2 and change) MOSFET is good enough..


One of these every 100W should be sufficient w/out over complicating things..
10 connected to one PWM "should" be fine as well..though this needs verification..



To be honest , there may be better and or larger MOSFETS available.. not really my forte.. I can steer but prefer not to drive..

https://arduinodiy.wordpress.com/201...th-ttl-levels/
https://www.sparkfun.com/datasheets/...RFP30N06LE.pdf
8A approx [email protected]

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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-04-2017, 02:15 AM Thread Starter
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really like the cheapness and simplenss of those mpsfet switches now that i've done more research. problem comes is that from googling i've found lots of talk how the IRF520N is not designed for 3.3V/5V signal operation, and won't fully open so not suitable for loads much over 400ma unless driven by a 10V signal. really wish someone made something similar to that ready to go but with a Mosfet that is designed for a 3.3V/5V sign

also been chating with O2Surplus, and going to order one of his WEMOS based boards he designed for the pendent system. and just use it as the brains of the operation with SSLAC16 software to control the system. 1-3 channels for the fish room and the rest for other display tanks spread around the house.
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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-04-2017, 02:30 AM
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Yea I noticed that too... then again why sell them for Aduinos??? 3.3 to 5v signal..
There are work arounds.. usually are..

Found plenty of low level driven MOSFETS w/ large current carrying capacity.. just not on a nice board..
oddly enough many have odd voltages.. like 2-4v or this one:
1.2.5V..
8A at 12V DC..
http://cdn.sparkfun.com/datasheets/C.../FQP30N06L.pdf

That said it is easy to drop the 5V to 3.5 by putting a normal diode in line...
Quote:
The voltage dropped across a conducting, forward-biased diode is called the forward voltage. Forward voltage for a diode varies only slightly for changes in forward current and temperature, and is fixed by the chemical composition of the P-N junction. Silicon diodes have a forward voltage of approximately 0.7 volts.
2 diodes in series would drop 5v to 3.6 approx..
Logic Level MOSFET Selector Guide
https://www.arcade-electronics.com/N...p/nte-2986.htm


As I said.. just steering..
Besides I don't even know how much power you are looking at really..


Quote:
MOSFET breakout board module switch relay (15A, 60V) 3-outputs for Arduino/RPi
$11..
Uses this AFAICT:
http://www.mouser.com/ds/2/149/FQP30N06L-1009543.pdf
15A but you would only use one output..

Pretty sure somewhere on flea bay they have exactly what you need.. or close enough..

Oh and here is another wrinkle.. opto-isolated boards:
Quote:
Electronic Building Block MOSFET Switch IRF540 Isolated Power Module DC 9-100V
Basically it uses the logic level signal to light an led. This light triggers a transistor to conduct..The transistor feeds the gate voltage. EXACTLY how this is done is beyond my pay grade.
Point is you are no longer limited to 3.3v..

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Last edited by jeffkrol; 05-04-2017 at 03:28 AM. Reason: edit
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