LED Build, 465 Watts (Bridgelux EB Strip LEDs, prev. Vero18) *Updated 2017-01-18* - Page 2 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #16 of 161 (permalink) Old 09-29-2014, 03:49 PM
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when the drivers are coming in ? cant wait to see this bad boy fire up
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post #17 of 161 (permalink) Old 09-29-2014, 07:16 PM
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when the drivers are coming in ? cant wait to see this bad boy fire up
They're in the mail. I shipped them out over the weekend.


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225 Gal, Glass "Reef Ready" w/ dual Iwaki Pumps & 2 Ocean Clear inline filters. Makers 72" heat sink w/ 12 NanoBox V3 led arrays, custom built CC drivers. All controlled by a BlueFish "mini" Led Controller.
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post #18 of 161 (permalink) Old 10-01-2014, 02:55 AM
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Looking good, I like the idea of a computer case for everything. Where did you get the multi-conductor wire? That's a nice piece of cable.

One thing you forgot to mention, how much?
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post #19 of 161 (permalink) Old 10-01-2014, 10:57 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by robsworld78 View Post
Looking good, I like the idea of a computer case for everything. Where did you get the multi-conductor wire? That's a nice piece of cable.

One thing you forgot to mention, how much?
Got it from Elfa, called a control-cable translated directly. Unsure if you have the same name for it in the US. Digikey has them under Multiple Conductor Cables for example though it looks like they are in short supply for some reason.
I am going to post a shopping list when it is finished, will have to decide what day I want a sleepless night then. :P
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post #20 of 161 (permalink) Old 10-01-2014, 08:37 PM
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I was looking for something like that but could only find 8 or 10 conductor. The price will be high but you'll have a very high quality light which can't be touched by the anything on the market, that should help you sleep.
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post #21 of 161 (permalink) Old 10-01-2014, 09:53 PM Thread Starter
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The cable I use are from an Italian manufacturer called Cabloswiss if that helps anything.
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post #22 of 161 (permalink) Old 10-02-2014, 11:25 AM
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Wow this is going to be a nice build, sorry for myself i bought a 30x Cree XTE ( 20x CW 6500 and 10x WW 300 ) to my 120p tank it is under construction now

is adding all this colors necessary for healthy plant growth ?

and from where you got your Bridgelux Vero 18
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post #23 of 161 (permalink) Old 10-04-2014, 06:04 AM Thread Starter
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Updated the first post as of 2014-10-04 with some smaller progress.

Gamezawy: Would not say it is necessary but it will widen the spectrum of the light, also gives the possibility to tweak the color to your liking in the tank. Got any build thread on your light?

Have not happened very much unfortunately, no idea where my heatsink is, was hoping to give you an update after LEDs were mounted.
Anyways received the smaller conductor wire and desoldered the old one and finished up the new one.


Also got a box where the male conductor will sit on the heatsink. Will mount the box upside down underneath the heatsink where all the smaller cables to the leds will go out from to keep it neat and tidy.


Not many pics today so will fill out with a pic of the tank as well :P Not much of carpet plants since they mostly have died of. Also cut out the Shinnersia rivularis 'Weiss-Grün' (mid-right part), to skinny for my taste, will probably try to propagate the Alternanthera reineckii 'Rosanervig' in that part instead.

Last edited by Fissure; 10-09-2014 at 01:45 AM. Reason: update
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post #24 of 161 (permalink) Old 10-09-2014, 02:54 AM Thread Starter
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Hello boys and girls, Time for a little bigger update today!
Have been home with a cold and a fever so have been able to dedicate some more time into the build the last 2 days.

I received the Drivers from O2Surplus and the heatsink on the same day. Hooked them up pretty much instantly to try them out, but had some issues getting the PWM signal to the drivers. Turns out it was the atmega chip on the board that was messing with me. After A LOT of messages back and forth with O2Surplus he suspected the above and we reprogramed the the atmega chip on each driver board. Turned out a success and the drivers and some of the leds were working. Big thanks yet again to O2Surplus, a really nice and helpful man!
Picked up the build after there and here comes all the pics !


Changed the cable inside the chassis to the smaller one i bought for the connector. Mostly because I had piece over.



Boards mounted on some bolts to get them up a bit so the fan in the bottom can reach the heatsinks underneath the driver boards.



Time for some serious wiring to the driver boards



Yay \o/



Checking so there has been no mistakes (there were actually one pair i had switched)



Heatsink lying on the floor. Now this piece deserves a few extra rows.
The finish is pretty good on the top side and one front side. Otherwise there was some manufacturing defects and dings. Not enough for me to complain about though. It is... kinda massive and really heavy, in my imagination I fantasized about some light weight aluminum but I was really wrong. I would guesstimate it ways around 40kg at least. To be honest i am kinda worried for the tank and if we will be coming home to a disaster one day. Luckily the tank has thick plastic frames all around and two supports attached to this in the middle so it distributes the load somewhat atleast and it is not in direct contact with the glass. But still feels uneasy really :/
Anyway it is pretty kewl!




Hooking up some veros to check the Controller functions and going through all the Vero leds.



Chassis for the electronics officially finished. Looking pretty tidy. Lot of gaps in the bottom though but will have to be that way, not visible anyways when it is standing.



Arranging the leds on the heatsink to achieve best coverage for my tank.



Started attaching the leds on the heatsink. Going with thermal paste and instant glue. Was planning to drill and use screws to attach. But to much of a hassle tbh. Using really small dabs of superglue on two sides. Should be able to pry them if anything brakes.



Soldering time!



Taking much more time then expected. So many wires and connections to be soldered. Going crazy.



The box that houses the D-SUB male for all the LED connections. Will push in all wiring there later to tidy it up.



All the Vero LEDs soldered and the red LEDs as well. The rest of the colors will have to wait until tomorrow. Getting ready for a test run here.



Kinda nervous tbh, checking the wiring over and over again.



Eventually i maned up and plugged it in. Dimmed to 1% here


25% here, the pictures do not make it justice though. These leds are insanely bright at 100% running only @ 300mA. Think I will try running them all at 700mA when finished. Might be to bright but will try until I get overrun with algae



That's it for this time, will be updating soon with the finished build !
Thanks for reading!


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post #25 of 161 (permalink) Old 10-09-2014, 03:58 AM
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Freakin' Epic build. Nice job


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225 Gal, Glass "Reef Ready" w/ dual Iwaki Pumps & 2 Ocean Clear inline filters. Makers 72" heat sink w/ 12 NanoBox V3 led arrays, custom built CC drivers. All controlled by a BlueFish "mini" Led Controller.
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post #26 of 161 (permalink) Old 10-09-2014, 10:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Xiaozhuang View Post
For science! please run this on full power for sometime. Everything that is worth doing is worth over-doing-moderation is for the weak !
Vero 18's can be run at 3000ma with enough cooling so he is nowhere near to the max power those puppies can put out.

On my Vero 18 build I had reflectors on mine which do not create a laser beam like optics do and I could push 400PAR at 3ft high from the substrate @ 1600ma.

Bump: This build is massive man! The attention to detail and craftsmanship of your driver/power case is outstanding.
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post #27 of 161 (permalink) Old 10-10-2014, 09:40 PM Thread Starter
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Hi everyone!
Judgement day has come. The project is close to finished except for some small details that needs tweaking.

In the last update I had finished soldering the Veros and the Red leds, I will continue the walkthrough with pictures, it's more fun than reading a wall of text.

So here we go !


So here I continue soldering the rest of the colored LEDs, a real pain. Awkward working position and painfully many wires to strip and solder, add to that 2 cats walking on your back and head and it gets kinda frustrating.



Starting to see the light in the end of the tunnel.



Closeup on one of the clusters, forgot to split the stars in the top left but hey [censored][censored][censored][censored] happends!



The feeling when everything is cleaned up and you realize that the majority of the finicky soldering are over is amazing. Feeling kinda proud



First full test run, pushing in the plug in the wall socket was done with some hesitation...



Closeup on a lit up cluster, working really well.



All the cables pushed into the box, was a tight fit but worked out as planned, should have put on one of those braided sleeves for a neater look but forgot.



Finished product shot.



Cables clumped together with just a dab of glue to keep them from shadowing or blocking the smaller LEDs.



One more



And a tidied up star



Then my girlfriend came home and helped me lift up the heatsink since it is impossible to do safely alone, which is a drawback when it comes to tank maintenance and if you for some reason become single.



From the front, going really great with the tank design and does not stick out which was one of my goals for the project. Actually makes it look a bit more hightech and keeewwwl.



Had some issues with O2Surplus driver boards, they were making some serious noise when applying PWM dimming. Nothing he himself had issues with but this is a different setup and they behaved a bit differently here in Sweden . After some discussions with him we tried out a couple of different solutions, ended up with me swapping out the 15 output capacitors from ceramic ones to eloctrolytic ones and the problem was solved, no more noise from the boards when dimming!
The caps that were changed are the standing ones.



So that was pretty much it, gonna post some shots of the tank here.
This is with all the colors at 100% which actually gives a really nice color temp.



From above, not sure why...



The reds compared to the tubes I had been using are really amazing. They really stand out with this light. Can be tweaked even more to make them pop.
Actually tried with only the reds and blues at max and the reds on the fish looked totally crazy glowing red. Not on this pic though.



He looked kinda dull before, not anymore !



Colorsssssss, no -post-editing done in photoshop, totally amazing me thinks.



So not much to do now really.
Getting the controller to work as I want it, just have to learn how it behaves and it's functions. Got it simulating the weather from Manaus right next to the Amazonas. Pretty nice with the simulation of clouds etc.
Right now the drivers are running at the minimum current, around 300-400 mA wich gives much more light than my 4 x T5HO 54 watt tubes did and the coverage is now much better with very few dead spots. And the shadows the LEDs cast really makes a world of difference, and then we have the shimmering. All in all it really lifts the atmosphere in the tank.
One problem that I have to fix is the fans in the power supplies, the fans are redonkulous loud when they start and they do every 3-4 minutes when the light is at 100% and they go for 1-2 minutes.
I have already cut the fan cable connected to one of the power supplies board and fitted a fan shoe for 3-4 pin fan connectors. Tried out a 120mm noctua fan and it worked as intended, no sound and the fan was just active for 20 seconds. So will get them installed tomorrow properly.

All in all I am really happy with the result, it has been time consuming and kinda pricey but worth it now in the end.

BIG BIG thanks to O2Surplus for all the help he has given me under the project!

Got any questions? Feel free to ask.

Thanks for reading !


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post #28 of 161 (permalink) Old 10-10-2014, 10:21 PM
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sweet baby jesus this is glorious

Can you show us some tank shots of certain color combos? For example, just reds/3000k, lime/5600k, violets/white, your favorite combos, etc (or just all possible combos )

What was your reasoning behind putting the 3000k in the back? Some sort of horizon sunset effect I'm assuming?
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post #29 of 161 (permalink) Old 10-10-2014, 11:17 PM Thread Starter
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Sure thing, will take some photos of that tomorrow. The 3000k leds in the back was kind of a chance I took to be honest. In hindsight I probably should have either skipped the 3000K ones all together and had ten 5600k ones instead or i should have switched the two 3000k in the middle of the row with the two 5600k in the further most front of the fixture.
It looks kinda yellowish against the back wall now and it does not mix as I had hoped.
Nothing that can't be fixed in the future though. Never though about the sunset effect, but that would be friggin awesome if they were on a separate channel and would activate during sunset and the 5600k ones would dim down, unfortunately I "only" have six channels to use with the controller i chose so this Is how it will have to be for now. Though the system is prepared to accept 3 more channels, who knows?


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post #30 of 161 (permalink) Old 10-11-2014, 07:28 PM Thread Starter
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Switched all the leds to run 700mA and boy this thing is bright, probably pushing it now. Will have to slide it back when the algae comes :P
Modded both powersupplies now and replaced the stock fans with 120 mm Noctua fans. Thing is dead silent when the fans activate, really nice. Had some noise coming from an inductor belonging to the driver running the violet LEDs that had a cracked casing/shield, resulted in some vibrating noise when dimming. Dripped som thicker type supeglue on it and the sound went away as the glue got hard.
Going up too 700mA on the leds sure resulted in some additional heat making me wonder if a heatsink this size is pretty much necessary for this much light, at least if you are gonna run it passive. At 300mA the heatsink felt cold to the touch but now it is slightly warm to the touch on the fins. Somewhere around 40 degrees C (104 degrees F).


Going through my first day cycle now, starting with a morning period that is slightly dim and has a slight green/yellow tint with a touch of red. Pearling from the plants during this period were moderate.
Now it is in the late stage of the midday cycle and man the pearling is crazy. Coming from everywhere and FINALLY my Micranthemum 'Monte Carlo' is pearling (and the pearling is goooood). Also the first time I see my Alternanthera Reinecii variants pearling. Turning of the pump for 5 minutes and just watching all the bubbles raise up in a straight line is so friggin calming.
Feels good getting some sort of confirmation on the build resulted in something better for the tank.

Currently the controller is fetching the weather from Manaus in Brazil. A City right next to the Amazon River which is kinda cool. It is partially cloudy today, kinda nice with the cloud effect in the tank.

Only negative I have right now is the 3000K leds in the back. It is a tad to yellow back there. Will probably replace those 4 leds later with something a bit cooler.
Also now during the midday cycle I noticed the Angelfish and tetras being a bit lower in the tank, still not hiding but not acting like they used to. Might be to bright in the tank or they just have to acclimatize to the new light. Kinda hard to now where to draw the line where it gets to bright for the fish. Rest of the tank inhabitants do not seem to care, minding their daily business.


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