Cold Cathode Moonlighting? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-06-2005, 01:47 AM Thread Starter
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Cold Cathode Moonlighting?

Has anyone tried this? http://www.cichlid-forum.com/articles/diy_moonlight.php

It would be a lot easier then putting a bunch of LEDs together. Also the kits are pretty cheap from computer modding places. All you would need is a power supply for them. You can also change them out easy, they have standard plugs so you can change them just as easy as flourescent tubes. I've been looking for white ones, but they are considerably harder to come by then any of the colors
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-09-2005, 05:23 AM
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I actually saw this post and it influenced me to try it. It looks amazing. I would HIGHLY reccomend it over LED's because it lights everything, not just spots.

I used a power supply from an old cordless phone. It's output is 9v and 200mA. Don't listen to him and use 1000. It wont make a difference. But mess around with different power supply's.

Cost: The light kit was 16 from my local CompUSA. Its made by memorex. The power supply I had laying around. Don't waste the money on one. They cost from 20 - 30$ at radioshack. Just look for some old electronics around the house.

For 16$ and about 10 mins of my time this was the best investment for my tank. Blows LED's away.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-10-2005, 05:42 PM
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Interesting, you are running a 12 volt light using only 9 volts, and a low mA. Eventually one or the other will fail. Ihave bought power supplies at the local Value Village (used thrift shop) for $2.00, and they had every voltage going.

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-10-2005, 08:41 PM
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I agree, CCLs are much better than LEDs. You can get a 2x kit for $7 at Xoxide.com, cool price. I connected mine to an old 6V transformer, they just so light up, but it is sufficient to watch fishies go to sleep or do their thing in the moonlight. Of course 9 or 12V works too but it was too bright for me to qualify as moonlight.

Why would underdriving/dimming cause the components to fail?


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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-14-2005, 03:58 PM
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They wouldn't...There is a point where if you run too little power it wont light up at all. And on the flipside if you run over 12 volts it would probably blow the lights. At a low voltage they wouldn't fail they just wouldn't light up. But if your lights work now then you're good to go.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-19-2005, 05:33 AM
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Cold cathode tubes sound like a good idea, but I could never find the right color of blue. It was always too light. I wanted to deep, rich blue that could only be had by LEDs. You may want a light colored blue, and in that case CC tubes are the way to go...

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-19-2005, 05:39 AM
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I did this. But in searching for the perfect Power converter i found out that i am a biiig cheapskate. Some of the 'switching' power converters can be more than the cathodes!

My solution was simple. Find an old converter you have sitting around that closely matches the 12v requirements to run the cathodes full wattage. This gives you the optimal life span. Wire it up solid......aaand the trick to keeping just the right amount of light so as not to flood your tank with blue light?!??

Spiral wrap black electric tape around it. :P Serious. I just started wrapping electric tape around the cathodes to limit the amount of light they put out. Eventually i hit the perfect medium.

With normal lights i would say this is a bad idea b/c of heat, but Cold Cathodes, run cold...so your good to go and its super cheap.... Besides the only ppl that are going to see the electric tape are the ones messing with your lights.... tell them to bugger off.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-23-2005, 12:05 AM
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Careful with cold cathodes those cheap inverters can start on fire (has known to happen) get a set of THESE>>>>

http://www.xoxide.com/melib.html

However the "program" varies the way the led's work you would HAVE to bypass the control chip and just power the leds with straight voltage (the leds can have 8 programs but defalt to a "blin-bling" thing on start up)

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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-24-2005, 07:42 PM Thread Starter
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I finished mine the other day and I think it turned out really nice. I hooked it up to a 12v power converter and put a potentiometer in there so I could adjust the brightness. I used plain white lights (I like the river bottom look) from Xoxide, the kit cost 7 bucks. I've used these lights for years in my pc and controled the voltage for them then. Ive never had one burn out, but they do break extremely easy. I was surprised how much some of my fish are active during the night.

Ill try to post some pics when it gets dark.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-26-2005, 05:21 AM
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yes it lookis great i used an adjustable a/c adapter so i can choose what i want when i feel like it
its very easy i mounted mine it to my original fixture
instead of a adjustable adapter u can use the 12v adapter and put a dimmer switch on it.
this might help too http://www.fishforums.net/index.php?showtopic=46380
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