The Planted Tank Forum banner
1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just wanted to post that I successfully connected my 48" VivaGrow 24/7 fixture to my TC420 along with my Finnex Planted +. I wan't happy with the 24/7 light cycle and the TC420 gives me much more control.

All I had to do was disconnect the controller on the IR end of the fixture and solder wires to each of the solder points on the power end. I then just had to attach them to the respective channels on the TC420.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
125 Posts
Just wanted to post that I successfully connected my 48" VivaGrow 24/7 fixture to my TC420 along with my Finnex Planted +. I wan't happy with the 24/7 light cycle and the TC420 gives me much more control.

All I had to do was disconnect the controller on the IR end of the fixture and solder wires to each of the solder points on the power end. I then just had to attach them to the respective channels on the TC420.
Forgive my ignorance but can we get some more detailed DIY info here.... I bought several of the vivagrows since they were basically have the cost of the 24/7s... I personally like how the finnex are programmed a bit better, but for the cost difference I can suffer.

It seems vivagrow changed the programming a little. The blue moonlight is more turqoise then the true blue of the finnex version, but both versions seem to suffer from a brighter early evening moonlight then I'd like... but basically what is possible by hoocking th tc420 to these. Can I cantrol the individual colors or am i just basically hooking the thing up as a ramp timer?

And once again I'd just like to suggest finnex tweak this light to make it even better. All the pieces are here to make this thing even more awesome then it already is but the short day cycle and the first half nights moonlight being to bright are really annoying
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Sorry that I don't have pics, maybe this weekend I can take it apart again. This mod assumes you have some basic electrical experience and basic soldering skills. I take NO responsibility and you are VOIDING all warranties! Here are the steps:

1. Remove the end cap on the IR cord side. There are 2 screws holding it in.
2. Desolder (or cut) the white wires connected to the LED panel. At this point, I removed the IR control board and IR cord all together.
3. Reattach the end cap.
4. Remove the end cap on the power side.
5. Desolder the + and - connections.
6. I used a spare cat5 ethernet cable for my feed coming from the TC420. You will see 6 solder pads on the LED panel. You need to connect the +, W(hite), R(ed), G(reen), and B(lue). Do not use the -. Of the 8 wires in the cable, I used brown for +, brown/white for white, orange for red, blue for blue and green for green.
7. That's it for the fixture. Run the cat5 through the grommet where the old power cord was and you're done.

Now for the TC420. I have mine paired with my Planted + (non 24/7 just regular). Doing that with the two fixtures requires a bigger power supply than either provide. So for my configuration, I bought a 15v 6A laptop power supply. If you are only running the Viva Grow, you can use its power supply. Here's how the TC420 is connected:

1. Cut the connector of your power supply. On the Viva Grow it will be the barrel connector.
2. Strip the leads and connect the + to the + on the TC420 and the - to the - at the two top terminals.
3. The 420 has 5 channels. My config uses all 5 since I run the Planted + fixture on its own separate channel. Using the cat5 that you connected to the light, You will connect the brown wire to the V+, the brown/white to CH1, the orange to CH2, the blue to CH3, and the green to CH4.

From there, you can install the TC420 software, connect it to your computer and power it up. The TC420 software is pretty simple. You create a mode and add steps (time points). On my set up at 7 am the RGBs from the Viva Grow start. So step 1 is 0% on all channels. At 9am (step 2) white is 0, red is 40%, blue is 10% and green is 50%. This gives a nice fade from dark to a golden sunrise. Step 3 is at noon where all lights fire to 100%. Step 4 is at 3pm and is also set to all channels at 100% this gives a ramp to 100% at noon, a hold at 100% until 3pm and a ramp down to step 5 at 6pm. Step 5 is set at 0 for white, 50 for red, 20 for blue and 50 for green. This is a little more violet than the sunrise. That ramps to step 6 where white is 0, red is 6, blue and green are 10. This is a light cyan colored moonlight that fades until 10pm where step 7 is 0% across the board.

This took less than and hour to complete and the hardest part was getting the courage to do it. Let me know what else I can clarify. Best mod to date on my tank. I'd also like to thank jeffkrol and others for their posts regarding the TC420.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
125 Posts
Thanks for more detail...pics would be great if you get the chance though. I can solder and have some very basic electrical tinkering experience but i'm a visual learner, so pics or even a video walkthrough would be a big help ;)
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top