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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Well…. After 4 years with same DIY led lighting system over my tank, I came to the decision that it was finally time to replace it with a new, more efficient system. I knew right off the bat that I wasn’t going to settle for an “off the shelf” product to replace what I had built previously, so I began planning for my new build. To make a long story short- Here’s what I came up with….

(1) 6’ Makers Heat sink kit- purchased from LEDGroupBuy. The heat sink comes with 6 fans and a ton of led mounting hardware. Cost- $300 and change. There’s no better deal out there for a heat sink kit this large.



(2) LED’s- BridgeLux VERO 18’s. This build uses 12 of them to be exact. I used a 50/50 mix of 5500K “Cool White” and 97CRI 2700K “Warm White”. The 2700K leds were chosen for their excellent color rendition rating and help provide more of the “red light” that’s missing in most freshwater led lighting systems. I purchased the leds and their 18”wiring harnesses from DigiKey for approximately $270



I arranged the leds along the heat sink starting with a cluster of 4 “warm” & “cool” at the 3 foot center line.




The remaining 8 leds are mounted in “cool/warm” pairs at 1’ increments from the 3’ centerline.



Here’s a lousy shot that shows the final led spacing-




(3) LED Drivers. Here’s where my build differs from most and gets complicated. I’d originally planned to use the MeanWell LDD-H series of led drivers mounted to custom built PcB’s. The custom PcB’s would have been designed to mount the LDD-H drivers to the top rail of the Makers Heat Sink in an inverted position. I chose something a bit different….



This is a driver that I designed and custom built from scratch. It’s based around the Allegro Microsystems A6211 constant current led driver IC. The driver IC is rated for 48VDC and up to 3000ma. I designed the driver board to include these features…
1) 5 independent channels.
2) 4 user adjustable current levels for each channel. Each channel can be set to provide 300, 700, 1000, or 1400ma output.
3)12V/5V on board power. No need for separate 12V & 5V power supplies or their associated wiring to provide power for cooling fans or led dimming controllers. This Driver board contains a mounting spot for a MeanWell SCW05C-12 DC/DC convertor. The SCW can drop 48V to 12V and provide up to 470ma for powering cooling fans and feed to an on board 5V regulator.
4) 2 cooling fan output connections with transistorized control. Each connection can be utilized for PWM speed control of 2,3, & 4 wire PC cooling fans.
5)On Board Atmega328 Microcontroller prewired to each driver’s PWM input and to the Cooling fan connection points.
DS1307 Real time clock & battery backup.
2 Dallas OneWire Temperature probe connections with built in PullUp circuitry.
2 I2C Enabled Device connection points with built in PullUp circuitry.
1 FTDI Connection point for programming purposes.

Here’s a photo showing the Atmega328 and the copper heat sinks for cooling the A6211 led drivers.




I built 3 driver/controller PcB’s for this project and mounted them between the 6 cooling fans that came with the Makers Heat Sink kit. Each Driver/ Controller powers 4 Led arrays and two cooling fans. A single pair of wires run to a 48VDC/7.3 amp Power supply runs the whole show.
Here’s a photo showing one of the driver boards nestled between two fans-




Here’s a shot that I took while test firing the new system and checking the LCD for proper readout.




Here’s a shot in the dark showing the new system under test while straddling a couple of saw horses.





I programmed each of the driver/controllers with the same coding so they all operate independent of one another. The new system has been over my tank for 5 days now and is working beautifully. I’ve played around with the current settings for the Led’s to get the best color temp/rendition and I’m happy with the results. I currently have all 6 “cool whites” being driven at 1000ma and the “warm white” at 300ma. The resulting light is a nice white, while still showing the red coloration of my Ludwigia Inclinata Var. “Cuba”
I’ll get some pictures up…… just as soon as I get a new camera. The one I had got dropped while taking the shots I posted earlier in this thread. LOL
 

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Children Boogie
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Can't wait to see this on top of a tank. I built an LED light a while back just to see. I think I might give the meanwell ldd driver a try in conjunction with the arduino. I'm not digging the multiple shadows. I might need a longer heatsink and spread those LEDs out.

I recently added roscolux filters into the CEP/PAR meter researched by Hoppy. It looks to be pretty accurate. I can send you one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Can't wait to see this on top of a tank. I built an LED light a while back just to see. I think I might give the meanwell ldd driver a try in conjunction with the arduino. I'm not digging the multiple shadows. I might need a longer heatsink and spread those LEDs out.

I recently added roscolux filters into the CEP/PAR meter researched by Hoppy. It looks to be pretty accurate. I can send you one.
Oooh! so the filter makes it more accurate? I like the sound of that and I'll take you up on your offer. I'd love to test the PAR output of this light at different power levels, so a more accurate PAR meter would be awesome to have. (I've been storing mine in the dark to keep the diode fresh- lol)

Tell you what...spend some $ on a better led (these VERO's are Killer) and I'll send you one of my Meanwell LDD-H compatible A6211 drivers to power it with. I'll send it with a selection of resistors that will allow you to set it's drive current anywhere from 300 - 1600ma. This way you won't have to guess which LDD-H to use.:icon_smil
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
hah, that's smart. Didn't even think about using a resistor for the LDD driver.

No- the resistor isn't used with an actual MeanWell LDD. They're for setting the drive current on the LDD-H "CLone" driver that I build. Check this out- The driver I build fits all of the popular LDD-H driver mounting PcB's because it has the same pin out arrangement and is the same size footprint of the MeanWell LDD-H. The big difference being You can't adjust the programmed current setting on a MeanWell LDD-H (say you buy a 1000H, but need a 300H, oh well you're screwed. Go buy a 300H) You CAN adjust the programmed current value on my driver. All it takes is one resistor swap. (it's that little 1206 package resistor next to the inductor coil) I've got these little drivers reliably pushing 1600ma. You can't do that with a genuine LDD-H.LOL


 

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Children Boogie
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No- the resistor isn't used with an actual MeanWell LDD. They're for setting the drive current on the LDD-H "CLone" driver that I build. Check this out- The driver I build fits all of the popular LDD-H driver mounting PcB's because it has the same pin out arrangement and is the same size footprint of the MeanWell LDD-H. The big difference being You can't adjust the programmed current setting on a MeanWell LDD-H (say you buy a 1000H, but need a 300H, oh well you're screwed. Go buy a 300H) You CAN adjust the programmed current value on my driver. All it takes is one resistor swap. (it's that little 1206 package resistor next to the inductor coil) I've got these little drivers reliably pushing 1600ma. You can't do that with a genuine LDD-H.LOL


oh, I see. That's a smart setup.
 

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very nice looking unit cant wait to see its color over a tank. i just picked up some of the luxeon cob arrays to try out over something. either my fw sump light or over my old reef tank frag tank with alot of rb added. i was hoping to get the 90 cri 4k temp luxeons but i couldnt find a source for less than a around 80 of them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
LOL- It's my anorexic version of "An Evil Cluster on Steroids"

very nice looking unit cant wait to see its color over a tank. i just picked up some of the luxeon cob arrays to try out over something. either my fw sump light or over my old reef tank frag tank with alot of rb added. i was hoping to get the 90 cri 4k temp luxeons but i couldnt find a source for less than a around 80 of them.
I had to borrow a camera,and one that I'm not familiar with, so bear with me. These pictures don't do this thing any justice. LOL

Here's a shot looking down at the completed lighting system.





Front View ( Starougyne's out of control- I know )






Complimentary side view-





That's it for now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Very nice!!!
Fantastic project execution!

Are this LED's get very hot?
If you compare with XM-L

Thank you
Aram
Thanks Aram!
These Leds are gigantic in size when compared to an XML, so their larger surface area should allow them to run much cooler. I'm not worried about them ever overheating LOL- The "warm white" leds are only being driven at 300ma or 10% of their rated current capacity. The "cool whites" are at 1000ma or 33% of capacity. With 6 cooling fans and 6' of aluminum, the heat sink never even feels slightly warm to the touch.


Very impressive! How do you keep controllers in sync? Are they all connected to one master clock or do they each have their own time?
LOL- Each has it's own DS1307. I haven't noticed any time "drift" yet. It's been 6 days and they're still within 2 seconds of each other. I programmed the clocks using the "TimeSet" sketch that "Sink" posted here a few years ago. The sketch pulls in the system time/date from your computer and transfers it to the DS1307. In the future, I plan to eventually move most of the dimming & time keeping chores to a Master controller & reprogram the 3 driver boards as it's Slaves, using I2C for communication.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
That's probably best.

What thermometer are you using for the tank?

I'm using a DS18B20 that's reporting to one of the controllers and printed to an LCD.
 

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Children Boogie
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Do you know of any other devices that use onewire.h like the DS18B20?

I had a hunch people are using this and want to incorporate this into my web ardunio controller either as a generic onewire device or a specific onewire thermometer.
 

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LOL- Each has it's own DS1307. I haven't noticed any time "drift" yet. It's been 6 days and they're still within 2 seconds of each other. I programmed the clocks using the "TimeSet" sketch that "Sink" posted here a few years ago. The sketch pulls in the system time/date from your computer and transfers it to the DS1307. In the future, I plan to eventually move most of the dimming & time keeping chores to a Master controller & reprogram the 3 driver boards as it's Slaves, using I2C for communication.
Those DS1307s aren't exactly the most accurate clocks around, the alternatives are just so much more expensive.. But since all 3 have pretty much the same environment they might at least drift in the same direction :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Do you know of any other devices that use onewire.h like the DS18B20?

I had a hunch people are using this and want to incorporate this into my web ardunio controller either as a generic onewire device or a specific onewire thermometer.
OneWire devices are convenient to use on an Arduino project because they only cost you one digital pin to run a huge network of sensors and other devices. Here's a list- http://www.maximintegrated.com/pl_list.cfm/filter/21/ln/en
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Those DS1307s aren't exactly the most accurate clocks around, the alternatives are just so much more expensive.. But since all 3 have pretty much the same environment they might at least drift in the same direction :)
Yes- They're not the most accurate, but we're talking about turning a light on and off over a fish tank. LOL- My fish won't care if their "daytime" gets skewed forward or back a few minutes over the course of a year. I only paid $.40 for each chip, so I can't complain either.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
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