DIY Controller for TrueLumen Pro LED Striplight? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-12-2014, 03:28 PM Thread Starter
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DIY Controller for TrueLumen Pro LED Striplight?

I'm resurrecting a neglected 37G tank and have started working on providing better light for it. It's an Eclipse tank in which I had already replaced the lamp with a 65W SunPaq retrofit kit. I've been researching different options, and have been most interested in LEDs, primarily as an opportunity to play with the control side. I've been looking for an excuse to get into microcontrollers like the Arduino.

I ended up buying a 24" TrueLumen Pro LED Striplight (8000K), power supply, and manual dimmer off of Amazon for a great price (returned items). I'm very happy with the color in my tank, and I think adding one or two more strips would give me the brightness I'm after without the PC fixture. I bought it assuming I wouldn't be able to control it (that it was some sort of closed system) but an unrelated post on Makezine about LED lighting for photography made me realize there's no reason I wouldn't be able to do so. Discovery of the Blue Fish controller with its PWM add-on confirmed that I should be able to manage these strips the same way I might control a DIY fixture.

With all that background, I think I should be able to build a fairly straightforward set-up using the following:

* Arduino
* RTC add-on (DS1307) to provide a clock
* Coralux LDD-3 Driver Board
* 3 ea. Meanwell LDD drivers
* appropriate connectors

Assuming I haven't missed anything so far, the question I have for this group is how to determine which LDD I need to get. What's the best way to determine the appropriate constant current for the TrueLumen strip? Do I just need to build a rig to measure the current with my VMM? I can't find that spec online anywhere.

Thanks for your advice!
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-12-2014, 06:03 PM
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Originally Posted by ChrisHobbs View Post

* Arduino
* RTC add-on (DS1307) to provide a clock
I fail to see why everyone wants to reinvent the wheel every time..
AFAICT this is reprogrammable w/ a small add on board..(the header is there)..

Has RTC, backup battery and 4 channels of PWM and an LCD screen..........
http://shop.stevesleds.com/Typhon-Ty...ler-Typhon.htm
Granted it "may" be a tad cheaper for some to do it "piecemeal" but I'm not seeing it..
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-12-2014, 06:08 PM
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Originally Posted by ChrisHobbs View Post
I ended up buying a 24" TrueLumen Pro LED Striplight (8000K), power supply, and manual dimmer off of Amazon for a great price (returned items). I'm very happy with the color in my tank, and I think adding one or two more strips would give me the brightness I'm after without the PC fixture.

Assuming I haven't missed anything so far, the question I have for this group is how to determine which LDD
what would you need drivers for??? The tru lumen in order to be controlled by the bluefin needs to be constant voltage.. AFAICT


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Not recommended for products using a fan or other devices besides LEDs on the same power supply. Not for constant current LED drivers (eg. DIY LED drivers).
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-12-2014, 06:11 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Jeff, that's a good point. $48 is a cheap (and very fast) way to get that part of it up and running.

Is it (easily) possible to swap in alternative sketches? I'm interested in using the set up as way to get my 3rd grade daughter writing more code; we were talking about it this morning and she's excited at the possibility of making her own storm code

Still need to figure out what current I need to run the LDDs at though.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-12-2014, 06:18 PM Thread Starter
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what would you need drivers for??? The tru lumen in order to be controlled by the bluefin needs to be constant voltage.. AFAICT
Hmm. I was assuming (with all that entails) that the Bluefish PWM controller (http://aquarium-led-controller.com/p...wm-led-dimmer/) was functionally equivalent to a pair of Meanwell LDD-H's.

To be clear, I'm not planning on using any of the Bluefish gear; I was just using its existence as proof that the TrueLumen strips could be digitally controlled in some fashion. Of course Current's own ramp timers prove that as well as I look around more...
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-12-2014, 06:48 PM
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Hmm. I was assuming (with all that entails) that the Bluefish PWM controller (http://aquarium-led-controller.com/p...wm-led-dimmer/) was functionally equivalent to a pair of Meanwell LDD-H's.

To be clear, I'm not planning on using any of the Bluefish gear; I was just using its existence as proof that the TrueLumen strips could be digitally controlled in some fashion. Of course Current's own ramp timers prove that as well as I look around more...
Well I just realized that "potentially" that bluefin board ($30) and a Typhon may be a cheapish and easy way to run most constant voltage lighting..

My only concern is IF the bluefin PWM out is "standard" 5V...or do you need the $200 unit???

$80 to control 2 separate strips w/ timed dimming.. well what can I say:

I "believe" all the bluefin does is regulate voltage per PWM signals..

As to "saving" the current program then importing another.. well out of my league.. I have one (Typhon) and a breakout board to hook to it and my computer via err.. Serial/USB.. (need a program ect.)
but never got around to hacking it ..



of course BYO...........


Last edited by jeffkrol; 04-12-2014 at 07:21 PM. Reason: diy
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