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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone, first post, but I have been doing a ton of research on this site.

I wanted to buy a good light for a high-tech tank with co2 but decided that making it would be more fun. I was going to go with a chihiros wrgb ii for the light but came across cree xml rgbw led stars for a great price on ebay. Each star has 4 diodes close together with individual tabs for each color. I am planning to have each color on a separate channel to get perfect color combos to my liking.

Has anyone used these stars on a tank and how are they?

I'm building a tank 28x14x14 (about 23 gal) that the light will go over. Planning on using makers slim heatsink 28" (unless someone has suggestions!) with 10 of the rgbw stars (40 diodes in total) and another string of 10 CW xml2. These will be running on LDD-h drivers (350ma green, 500ma red & blue, 700ma for warm white in the rgbw star, and 700ma for the string of cool white) Powered by a meanwell lrs-100-36 (100w, 36v, 2.8a). Is this overkill? any way to find my projected par?

I plan to control each channel with either the storm controller or bluefish mini controller, but I would like to use a cheaper option and just manually adjust each level then slap a timer on. Does anyone know a good way to use a knob to dim ldd-h drivers?

Thanks!
 

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You can modify manual pwm strip dimmers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You can modify manual pwm strip dimmers.
Thanks for the response! I have actually been reading a lot of info from your posts and I saw this one. My concern in having the shared ground with 36 v and 12-24v. Would I need to have a converter to turn my voltage down from the 36v PS for the common ground? Also would this method work for all of those little pwm dimmers, just provide correct power and pwm-> gate pin? have you noticed flickering at all with these dimmers? also the output on these dimmers could technically power a fan right? will the dimmer work for dimming the output side of the dimmer once the mosfet is already modified?

Any thought if this will be overkill for my size of tank?
 

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Thanks for the response! I have actually been reading a lot of info from your posts and I saw this one. My concern in having the shared ground with 36 v and 12-24v. Would I need to have a converter to turn my voltage down from the 36v PS for the common ground? Also would this method work for all of those little pwm dimmers, just provide correct power and pwm-> gate pin? have you noticed flickering at all with these dimmers? also the output on these dimmers could technically power a fan right? will the dimmer work for dimming the output side of the dimmer once the mosfet is already modified?

Any thought if this will be overkill for my size of tank?
"My" manual dimmer , which wasn't actually used in anything, just proof of concept ran at 540ish Hz.
That's sort of Aduino standard I believe.
Now other things like the TC-420 I used for over a year and it ran at 540-ish as well. No issues.

as to grounds, no no issues..
Overview w/ almost everything. In this case the tc-420 controlled a fan. Channel 5 would be set to simple on/off, not ramping.
Adding a pwm fan is normally not possible due to the low frequency of the pulse.
Just substitute manual dimmer for tc-420
LAST thing I did hear one report that the PWM rate on the mosfet gate was not 540-ish with one version of the dimmer at at least double that. I do know it exceeded Meanwellls
recommendation (frequency spec) but worked fine.
"May" (no proof) flicker at low percents but not reported to.
No need to "common" the grounds w/ the voltage regulator board added.
1026685
 

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"My" manual dimmer , which wasn't actually used in anything, just proof of concept ran at 540ish Hz.
That's sort of Aduino standard I believe.
Now other things like the TC-420 I used for over a year and it ran at 540-ish as well. No issues.

as to grounds, no no issues..
Overview w/ almost everything. In this case the tc-420 controlled a fan. Channel 5 would be set to simple on/off, not ramping.
Adding a pwm fan is normally not possible due to the low frequency of the pulse.
Just substitute manual dimmer for tc-420
LAST thing I did hear one report that the PWM rate on the mosfet gate was not 540-ish with one version of the dimmer at at least double that. I do know it exceeded Meanwellls
recommendation (frequency spec) but worked fine.
"May" (no proof) flicker at low percents but not reported to.
No need to "common" the grounds w/ the voltage regulator board added.
NOTE: Themal switch should be closed.. open on heat rise.
View attachment 1026685
Adding dimming make "too strong" a mute point.

I've modified 3 separate controllers like this. All worked fine.
for $20 I'd stick to the tc-420 if you have a Windows computer to program it.
Software's weird but functional.

TC420 DC12-24V 5 Channel Time Programmable Controller, LED Controller

Cheaper on the bay of E.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
"My" manual dimmer , which wasn't actually used in anything, just proof of concept ran at 540ish Hz.
That's sort of Aduino standard I believe.
Now other things like the TC-420 I used for over a year and it ran at 540-ish as well. No issues.

as to grounds, no no issues..
Overview w/ almost everything. In this case the tc-420 controlled a fan. Channel 5 would be set to simple on/off, not ramping.
Adding a pwm fan is normally not possible due to the low frequency of the pulse.
Just substitute manual dimmer for tc-420
LAST thing I did hear one report that the PWM rate on the mosfet gate was not 540-ish with one version of the dimmer at at least double that. I do know it exceeded Meanwellls
recommendation (frequency spec) but worked fine.
"May" (no proof) flicker at low percents but not reported to.
No need to "common" the grounds w/ the voltage regulator board added.
View attachment 1026685
This is a great diagram! very helpful. when you say the gate was not 540 are you talking about the manual hand dimmer or the tc420?
 

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Adding dimming make "too strong" a mute point.
This is a great diagram! very helpful. when you say the gate was not 540 are you talking about the manual hand dimmer or the tc420?
It was a manual one and believe the frequency was just double the 540 soo could be user error.

My numbers are only memory ballpark figures
 

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Most of the ebay Cree LEDs are either seconds or fakes. I would recommend buying from one of the known online sellers. I have the bluefish mini and I am quite impressed with it.
"My" manual dimmer , which wasn't actually used in anything, just proof of concept ran at 540ish Hz.
That's sort of Aduino standard I believe.
Now other things like the TC-420 I used for over a year and it ran at 540-ish as well. No issues.

as to grounds, no no issues..
Overview w/ almost everything. In this case the tc-420 controlled a fan. Channel 5 would be set to simple on/off, not ramping.
Adding a pwm fan is normally not possible due to the low frequency of the pulse.
Just substitute manual dimmer for tc-420
LAST thing I did hear one report that the PWM rate on the mosfet gate was not 540-ish with one version of the dimmer at at least double that. I do know it exceeded Meanwellls
recommendation (frequency spec) but worked fine.
"May" (no proof) flicker at low percents but not reported to.
No need to "common" the grounds w/ the voltage regulator board added.
View attachment 1026685
What is the part number you are using for the thermal switch?
 

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Most of the ebay Cree LEDs are either seconds or fakes. I would recommend buying from one of the known online sellers. I have the bluefish mini and I am quite impressed with it.


What is the part number you are using for the thermal switch?
Well not my diagram. Never used thermal switches on my builds.
IF I'd have to pick one

Well prefer them to open around 175f though.
Think I'd like a manual reset so as to monitor frequency.
There are more elegant solutions though.

Selection:
 
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