Tamazula's BC29 LED Retro

Discussion in 'DIY' started by Tamazula, Feb 10, 2011.

  1. Tamazula

    Tamazula Guest

    Well... it's finally finished, and I posted a lengthy writeup on my reef blog. It's about five pages long, but it still seems to be only a quick summary of what actually went into the project. Read more at http://thereefexperiment.blogspot.com/2011/02/led-project-complete.html.

    Let me know if you have any questions. I'm pretty happy with the end result.... currently running at roughly 50% output and things seem to be responding positively except for my Cyphastrea, which is utterly nonplussed.

    Logical connections, not a full diagram:

    The finished product.

    My dad and I designed an aluminum mounting plate, and fabricated it on a mill.

    Verifying Meanwells fit. Perfect, imo. :)

    Watching paint dry.

    Back plate.


    Finished hood.

    Final calibration.

    Final light test!

    Finished and in the stand.
  2. Coral reefer

    Coral reefer President

    Nice work. Good to be happy after all that!
  3. yardartist

    yardartist Guest

    Is the cyphastrea showing loss of color? I have to move mine when the sun hits the tank or place a sheet of paper on the side to keep the sun off. I glued it to a magnet so I could easily move it up or down to find the right light. It lived there for a year. I recently moved it to the rock work and it is still happy. Several little chips were glued to rubble and they are skinning over well even with the change to LED.
  4. Tamazula

    Tamazula Guest

    Nah no bleaching or any color changes so far. It was just a little closed up. It's one of my most reliably happy looking corals so for it to show any signs of being unhealthy is a good indication to me that something has changed.
  5. Tamazula

    Tamazula Guest

    I think the Cyphastrea being closed was just an anomaly, they have been open and very happy. Christmas favia may be having an adjustment period but I can't move it (it's grown onto the base rock). Fed it last night and am revising my gradual lighting increase to several weeks from the original 2 I had planned.
  6. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    As usual, these fancy builds make my system look so ghetto.
    Custom milled plate - no fair!
    Looks great!!!

    Have you measured the temps on the power supplies?
    Probably fine with all that fancy aluminum, but enclosed like that, and then inside the stand, a possible concern.
  7. Tamazula

    Tamazula Guest

    Thanks rygh.

    As far as temps go, I've touched the outside of the enclosure, but that's it.... no proper measurement thus far. It's never more than slightly warm (a little bit above ambient?), but I had the same thought when I was already well into the project. They're rated for up to 140 degrees F (operating temperature) so I think I'm alright.
  8. JAR

    JAR Supporting Member

    do you have plexi covering the LED's to protect them from salt spray?
    Just wondering. I don't know if it is even needed.
  9. Tamazula

    Tamazula Guest

    Not plexi- I use the original clear plastic cover that screws into the hood which used to protect the PC bulbs.. It has a gasket and is splash resistant.

    Protecting the LEDs and all exposed wiring, metal, etc from splash and spray is definitely a mandatory step. I'll post up a pic of it when I get home this week.
  10. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    BTW: They sell a spray on protective coating as well.
    Look at ledsupply misc supplies.
    Does not replace the acrylic, but helps if it is not completely sealed.
  11. JAR

    JAR Supporting Member

    I thought so.
    Very informative Blog.
  12. heyitsomid

    heyitsomid Guest

    Salt and spray can always get in somehow. Awesome project box, much nicer than my MWs all strewn about in the bottom of my stand. GL with the experiment. I've had mine with mixed success. Whatever you do don't add red LEDs.
  13. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    Disagree. Love the extra color.
    A pain to get right, but then, so are most DIY LED systems.
  14. Tamazula

    Tamazula Guest

    Thanks. Yea, I am very happy with the blue/white mix. I know people are experimenting with warm whites, blues, reds, etc, but so far I have zero complaints (other than my wallet hurting a little bit). In time the technology will become more mature.
  15. Tamazula

    Tamazula Guest

    Do you have before/after shots rygh? I know how cameras can't really capture LED setups very well but I'm curious how much of a difference you see, and how much banding there is.
  16. heyitsomid

    heyitsomid Guest

    i agree the reds did add a lot especially bouncing off the coralline algae. It was amazing. But I think I wayy over did it. I had four red XREs. Rygh from what I red on your LED color thread you were running tops a couple of 25ma 5mm LEDs. I think thats more modest. I also read red(which was also reiterated in that same color thread) can bleach over 60days a coral, which happened to me eventually to the death of a couple frags(wish i had read that article earlier). I think UV might be a stretch but i've ordered one off ebay (unfortunately the big names, cree, don't make 3w uv leds, they did refer me to someone else, but they were charging $25 each!). Sorry don't mean to take over your thread.
  17. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    I will try to get some pics with/without red.
    I do have that funky video on my LED thread, which shows the red alone.
    But yes, really hard to get a good image, especially with a barren tank.
    My original testing was out of the water, shining various configurations on paint samples and crayons samples.

    When it comes to red, modest is KEY.
    First, too much red looks rather funky. A cool purple, but not something you want in the DT.
    Second, algae loves red.
    Third, some corals cannot regulate that wavelength, so bleach. Very bad.

    I was going to run 5mm, but switched to normal stars. Just too much of a pain for all that installation.
    I have 8, each running about 1/2 watt, and PWM-down to about 30%.
    Plus I plan to add a lot more diffusion grid, to eliminate banding, but also lowers light.
    So roughly 1-3 watts of red, on a 330 watt LED system.
  18. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    You can get UV-Purple LEDs for about $10 now.
    Here for example: http://www.satisled.com/3w-high-power-uv-purple-led-star-emitter-trichips-400405nm_p285.html

    But they are a bit too low in my opinion. 400nm range, where we want more around 420nm.
  19. Tamazula

    Tamazula Guest

    Mod is still running strong. Have it dialed down to about 70%. Any more and I get more light than I need and more heat than I want- both in my enclosure and in the hood.
  20. Tamazula

    Tamazula Guest

    Hi guys... been a long time!

    Here's an update out of nowhere. LED mod is still going well and has not had to be worked on, opened up, fixed, etc. Knock on wood. I really don't want to have to bust out those wiring diagrams and re-figure out what I did.

    Picked up a beautiful centerpiece Trachy from Joe at Aquatic Collection along with some SPS.

    A new pygmy angel is the current 'owner' of the tank (my sixline disappeared weeks ago - went from healthy and full of energy to gone).

    I also am doing a new acrylic insert mod for chamber 2, details of which are on the blog - http://thereefexperiment.blogspot.com/

    Here's a preview...

    It's curing in the garage as I type this.

Share This Page