DIY Finnex Timer Project - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-10-2013, 04:06 PM Thread Starter
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DIY Finnex Timer Project

Hi guys,

I'm looking into building a timing project for my Finnex Fugeray light.

I'm using the http://www.amazon.com/Finnex-FugeRay-Aquarium-Moonlights-30-Inch/dp/B008K23JE4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1370878888&sr=8-1.

This particular model has one power cord, and two switches (one on each side). One switch controls the white lights, the other switch controls the blue lights. Both can be powered at the same time.

I'm not an electrical engineer, but I have done a few projects in the past, and I'm a diligent computer programmer. So, what I want to accomplish, is cheap and efficient way to control the lights independent of each other.

My first thought was to build two circuits with some small timers, and DIP switches, to control each hour of the day. But this looked like a bit more work than I wanted to put in.

My second thought was to pull in a cheap microcontroller (PIC16F) to handle the dirty work. This would work well, but it raises the barrier of entry for those who aren't familiar with programming microcontrollers. Plus it raises the cost a bit.

I'm settling on the fact that I might use an Arduino, since they're a bit more ubiquitous now-a-days, even though they're more expensive.

Some of the thoughts that I'm sitting with, is if an Arduino is used, we could actually get past the hardware required to manually set the time (moving switches and such), and just use a web interface. That would give more granularity for times, and allow for better patterns, if you wanted to have your lights change to emulate seasons. Doing that further increases the price, as you'll have to get a wireless/ethernet shield for your Arduino.

That puts this, and the Raspberry Pi very close to one another pricewise (the common WiFi dongle for the Raspberry Pi is about $10 from NewEgg, EDIMAX EW-7811Un).

The difference between the two, is now more a matter of getting things set up, and the initial programming that goes into it.

Does anyone have any thoughts on this? Has it been done before?

My preference, again, is to put more work in on the front-end, so that we can do more later on. I think it'd be neat to have "seasonal mode", where your lights begin to emulate photoperiods with minimal switching on your own.

And finally, I think another option I'd like to add, if I'm going to be modifying my lights, would be swapping out the switch from a toggle, to three-position switch. That way you could have an "On, Off, Auto" selection. And possibly an LED to indicate what position you're on.

Has anyone seen something like this? Is anyone interested in nerding out with me?

After I do this, I'll be releasing a tutorial, schematics and the code.
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-07-2014, 03:13 PM
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Finnex / Arduino yet?

Hi ifoundthetao,

Looks like not too many other Finnex owners are interested.
I'm afraid I am of no help to you as I am just getting into wanting to ramp my Finnex for two cycles per day (so called "siesta" lighting).
I'm interested in learning/building an Arduino for my Planted+ but am stat=rting at the most basic level.

Have you had any success? Is there a tutorial for this yet?

Thanks

Joe D.
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-08-2014, 05:36 AM
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I really would like a timer on my planted+ that only effects the "day" lights, leaving the "nights" lights on 24/7. I'm disappointed with the setup of the Finnex, to prevents this from being done in any reasonable matter.

My thoughts on the matter are much simpler then yours. I was thinking I needed to find a timer that ran on AC (along with the transformer), but could control the flow of DC power to each switch independently.

I wish you luck, and look forward to your results.

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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-08-2014, 06:00 PM
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As a finnex owner, I'd prefer they manufacture a model with a built in timer. There is room inside the chasis to place one in.


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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-11-2014, 07:57 PM
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Finnex Planted+ Arduino compatable?

I'm a newbie to microprocessors. I would like to automate sunrise/sunset. Your help would be greatly appreciated. Are you able to tell me if it's possible to configure an off the shelf Finnex Planted+ with an Arduino for sunrise/sunset?

Only specs I know are:
Transformer 110-120v, DC15V. 11.85 watt
LED fixture: 60 x 7000k Daylight, 32 x True 660nm Deep Red, 4 x Actinic Blue Moonlights

No other specs available and not certain what questions to ask. Can anyone point me to right questions to ask Finnex (if Finnex would be forth coming), basic hardware components to use with Arduino, LCD & RTC1307... (which relay or driver?), threads and sketches to study?

thanks -

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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-11-2014, 10:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeD View Post
Finnex Planted+ Arduino compatable?

I'm a newbie to microprocessors. I would like to automate sunrise/sunset. Your help would be greatly appreciated. Are you able to tell me if it's possible to configure an off the shelf Finnex Planted+ with an Arduino for sunrise/sunset?

Only specs I know are:
Transformer 110-120v, DC15V. 11.85 watt
LED fixture: 60 x 7000k Daylight, 32 x True 660nm Deep Red, 4 x Actinic Blue Moonlights

No other specs available and not certain what questions to ask. Can anyone point me to right questions to ask Finnex (if Finnex would be forth coming), basic hardware components to use with Arduino, LCD & RTC1307... (which relay or driver?), threads and sketches to study?

thanks -
hint to get you started on a controller

You can "gang" 2 channels.. say 1) on @8 off at 11 2)on at 2 off at 6..
Both channel hooked to the same driver PWM dimmer circuit
Now all you need to do is get some PWM drivers and tear apart the Finnex..
Easier to do a complete build..

http://shop.stevesleds.com/Typhon-Ty...ler-Typhon.htm

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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-12-2014, 10:20 PM
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jeff,


I happen to have that typhon and a planted+ light. The transformer box for the light says 15v out. The typhon has a 5v and 10v port. Does that mean I couldnt use it.?
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-13-2014, 02:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevreh View Post
jeff,


I happen to have that typhon and a planted+ light. The transformer box for the light says 15v out. The typhon has a 5v and 10v port. Does that mean I couldnt use it.?
The Typhon could be powered from the same 15V supply as the light, but you'd need to make some modifications to the led drivers inside the light, before you could use the Typhon to control the light.


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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-13-2014, 03:05 AM
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Originally Posted by kevreh View Post
. The typhon has a 5v and 10v port.
Those are the "out" ports for PWM (or analog dimming w/ modifications) BUT that is for use w/ a dimming circuit built into the drive.. You cannot power LEDs w/ them.. AFAIKT there output milliamp wise and digital.......
5 & 10 v PWM....

REGARDLESS of the ports you can't use it unless you you do major modifications to the light (unless by SOME freaky chance they use PWM dimmable drivers, which I would probably give zero chance to. most likely they are even driver-less.. relying on resistors and a constant voltage..just a guess though )

You can design LED lights without drivers......
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-13-2014, 03:07 AM
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Originally Posted by O2surplus View Post
The Typhon could be powered from the same 15V supply as the light, but you'd need to make some modifications to the led drivers inside the light, before you could use the Typhon to control the light.
Any info re: IF they even use drivers????
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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-13-2014, 12:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by O2surplus View Post
The Typhon could be powered from the same 15V supply as the light, but you'd need to make some modifications to the led drivers inside the light, before you could use the Typhon to control the light.
I was thinking to use the typhon AFTER the driver/power supply. Theres a little black box between the power chord and the hood. It has transformer, capaciters, and the little black driver, cant remember the name.

I have seperate leds I could make my own lighting with. Problem is I would get spotlighting and color spots (blues, reds, whites) since I wouldnt need more than about 9 leds. Current and finnex hoods have manyn smaller leds.
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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-13-2014, 05:10 PM
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Originally Posted by kevreh View Post
I was thinking to use the typhon AFTER the driver/power supply. Theres a little black box between the power chord and the hood. It has transformer, capaciters, and the little black driver, cant remember the name.
Can't see that working.
Quote:
Originally Posted by kevreh View Post

I have seperate leds I could make my own lighting with. Problem is I would get spotlighting and color spots (blues, reds, whites) since I wouldnt need more than about 9 leds. Current and finnex hoods have manyn smaller leds.
Short of stripping the Finnex and replacing "driver" and power supply..it is your best option.
1w LEDs can be blended fairly well..
Also using the "sticky strips" will work.

see this:
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...d.php?t=545113
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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-13-2014, 08:07 PM
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If you do decide to take it apart, please share photos of the electronics. Any advice on a 'wired' solution would be highly dependent on the internal construction.

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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-13-2014, 08:56 PM
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If you do decide to take it apart, please share photos of the electronics. Any advice on a 'wired' solution would be highly dependent on the internal construction.
Agreed..
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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-14-2014, 12:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffkrol View Post
Can't see that working.


Short of stripping the Finnex and replacing "driver" and power supply..it is your best option.
1w LEDs can be blended fairly well..
Also using the "sticky strips" will work.

see this:
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...d.php?t=545113
Thanks, I think your right, the strips are the way to go. I suspect the led stars are just too strong for a smaller-footprint tank.
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