DIY dimmable LED fixture - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-15-2014, 10:08 PM Thread Starter
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DIY dimmable LED fixture

I want to make a dimmable LED fixture for my new paludarium. I want to use this programmable dim controller because it is cheap and does everything I want:


Specifications:

1. Name: Programmable led time controller

2. Operating temperature: -20 to 60 degree

3. Supply voltage: DC12-24V

4. Output: 5 channels

5. Output: Five CMOS drain-open output

6. Control variant: common anode

7. Max load current: 4A each color

This is the only connection schema I could find:


First of all, I guess it dims LEDs by using PWM, am I right?

On the back I want to use Cree high power LEDs in serie (+/- 24V, max 700mA per serie). But I already read it is not as easy as just attaching a string of LEDs. So I found the LM317. Very easy to hook up, but not dimmable. Than I found people using the CAT4101 for dimmable setups. Can I use this? And can someone help me how to use it?

Second, can I use a regular 24V power supply before the controller or do I need a LED driver? And if I need the LED driver, do I need a dimmable one?

Any help is appreciated!
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-16-2014, 08:32 PM
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follow this post:
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...d.php?t=243562

and you should be all set!

Aram
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-16-2014, 08:54 PM Thread Starter
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Thnx! Looks interesting so far!
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-16-2014, 11:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yo-han View Post
I want to make a dimmable LED fixture for my new paludarium. I want to use this programmable dim controller because it is cheap and does everything I want:


Specifications:

1. Name: Programmable led time controller

2. Operating temperature: -20 to 60 degree

3. Supply voltage: DC12-24V

4. Output: 5 channels

5. Output: Five CMOS drain-open output

6. Control variant: common anode

7. Max load current: 4A each color

This is the only connection schema I could find:


First of all, I guess it dims LEDs by using PWM, am I right?

On the back I want to use Cree high power LEDs in serie (+/- 24V, max 700mA per serie). But I already read it is not as easy as just attaching a string of LEDs. So I found the LM317. Very easy to hook up, but not dimmable. Than I found people using the CAT4101 for dimmable setups. Can I use this? And can someone help me how to use it?

Second, can I use a regular 24V power supply before the controller or do I need a LED driver? And if I need the LED driver, do I need a dimmable one?

Any help is appreciated!
i pulled my earlier comments because I wasn't sure exactly how that controller worked. I had guessed it's output was "constant voltage"..
which made using high power LED's a bit more problematic than constant current drivers.. Well I finally found this to give you an idea of how to hook up your LED's w/ this controller which BTW is way more advanced than the Typhon.....

Haven't quite figured out how he did it though..but it looks quite simple....... but it is only 3= 1W LED's

Quote:
Simple constant (current) driver (connected) to the led time controller tc 420.
Leds are 3x 1w.
Only when controller is output max the light is off. Controller output is min the lights are max.
This is simple to change using a transistor between the opto (coupler) and the switching mosfet.
My edits are in ()
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-17-2014, 06:25 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, he's Dutch as well I noticed, so I sent him a message, hoping he's willing to help!
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-06-2016, 02:53 PM
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I'm figuring out my TS420 now... the software that comes with it is a bit difficult because the labels on things aren't "standard English" but from what I see you can control everything in %, I have 36W and dozens of LEDs on mine including some for reef if I ever want to upgrade.

PS- Channel 5 can be hooked up to a fan to cool the entire unit and works the same as the lights with values of 0-100 as % of power. It should never be set lower than 5%. ALSO YOU MUST USE JUMP not FADE between power levels when adjusting the fan!
It's useful if you have the tank right next to a TV viewing or sleeping area to have the fan quieter.

Last edited by Franquixote; 04-06-2016 at 03:12 PM. Reason: add info
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-07-2016, 07:48 AM
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Mornin’All from UK
My first post here.
I too have been playing with this controller thus. 12VDC input from PC PSU, 12VDC output wired directly to up to 4X 1Amp, 10Watt Leds from each channel wired parallel, without separate drivers and it appears to work perfectly. Once you’ve figured out the software, it can dim to 0% and ramp up/down perfectly. I did find that because it runs PWM it made a DC cooling fan noisy but my aim is to run at reduced PWM to keep the heat from the Leds down, so not need the fan. That or run fan from it’s own DC supply. The Leds are cemented to a full length heatsink which is effectively a Luminaire. I have found that I can run 1,2,3 or 4 of these square, 9 chip leds from each channel. I must say that I’m no electrician but can assemble and solder stuff. This may help you and advice from more knowledgeable members welcome.
Cheers

Last edited by Parablennius; 04-08-2016 at 06:08 AM. Reason: added detail
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-07-2016, 02:42 PM
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The software's most confusing issue is that it uses "packages" to store modes and it isn't clear how the packages work. It creates a separate file extension for a package but when you open that package it doesn't automatically open up all the "modes" you created within the package.
I guess because there are an almost unlimited number of bulbs and configurations there will never be a real way to share these packages or modes.
If one community adopted a specific board or configuration it would make sharing settings possible. The way I have mine setup was from the company "Edgebrite" and I got everything he offers in Cree bulbs with the max wattage he offers (36 watts total) so I can use this on any setup from fish only to plants to reef.

Anyway, the software PLed is rather confusing, and besides the fact it was obviously written by someone that is not a native English language speaker, some features don't work well such as the "test" feature to check your settings before putting it back on your tank. It crashes sometimes and there's no way to tell it exactly what you have hooked up- it's not "smart" enough to detect what kinds of bulbs you have, what channels they are on, the wattage, etc.

I guess maybe given another decade or two and we'll have all that.
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