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Swope2bc
07/16/2015, 01:04 AM
Ok guys, I'm going to post a quick write up on converting the Chinese black box to operate with the Neptune Apex.

http://images.tapatalk-cdn.com/15/07/15/63f007f12644634dd6aae9abd6cf8e8e.jpg

Opening up your black box will look similar to this inside.

http://images.tapatalk-cdn.com/15/07/15/2ca6750c30de63d9ec839a6486a25cb4.jpg
http://images.tapatalk-cdn.com/15/07/15/007806ec640ffda41382db8972fb615c.jpg

Disconnect the power and over temp sensors from the LED board to allow easier work.

http://images.tapatalk-cdn.com/15/07/15/bddcd8aad9d575746ff75eb981dfe43c.jpg

Your dimmer board will resemble this, in the next photo you will see the back side of this board. Be sure to look closely at this so you know which white feeds your power and switch and which two are your 0-10v and ground. My two dimmers were reversed, meaning that the symbols on the wires cannot be trusted.

http://images.tapatalk-cdn.com/15/07/15/96e46cb44ebed2876b5d6c004240fa4d.jpg

http://images.tapatalk-cdn.com/15/07/15/0ceac9b4a79a8adbb0d09f866b682393.jpg

The apex uses pin 3/4 and 7/8 on a standard network cable. 3&7 being grounds. Depending on the connector you use be sure your pins line up.

http://images.tapatalk-cdn.com/15/07/15/e7cefca08f5e7863f115e48a1b12e23a.jpg
http://images.tapatalk-cdn.com/15/07/15/7a0c803f97f2acfcd7eff53ca1423380.jpg

The power from your LED power supplies is being jumped together creating a constant ON, but your APEX will turn it on and off.


(Conclusion in next post)

Swope2bc
07/16/2015, 01:05 AM
(Continuation)

http://images.tapatalk-cdn.com/15/07/15/1ea31d2c5c7b833c1c820053496a2065.jpg

http://images.tapatalk-cdn.com/15/07/15/63b418449f5caafd92bb688f339dc310.jpg

http://images.tapatalk-cdn.com/15/07/15/762778038b2b01425c19b38d6ca8eee9.jpg

http://images.tapatalk-cdn.com/15/07/15/da04dbab2aa3bfcb50b55aad7b9fb9a1.jpg

Here it all is installed. I need one more connector to get this to my APEX and I'll let you all know how it goes.

skibums
07/19/2015, 10:39 AM
Following :)

Swope2bc
07/19/2015, 10:43 AM
Well, I've got it coming on from the apex, but I've not mastered the dimming yet.. I'm not sure why but they seem to come on full bright. This does not mean anything yet though as I've only tested one cycle.

Anyone else who has attempted this, please chime in

Swope2bc
07/21/2015, 09:38 AM
I believe there is something about the Chinese drivers that is not allowing the apex to dim them. I've seen a video mod that includes wiring it up to new dimmer pods before going to the apex but I cannot seem to find what those pods are...

Anyone out there with knowledge in this department?

Swope2bc
07/22/2015, 12:57 AM
Ok, problem understood. These drivers are digital PWM, the apex sends an analog 0-10v signal which works for many LEDs but not these. Simple $30 fix though, I've ordered an analog to PWM converter from stevesled and should have things running smooth by next week.

wbwhale
07/22/2015, 07:17 AM
I'm juuuust starting to learn electronics for lighting (oh, the hobbies this hobby will give you) and I think the Arduino sends a digital PWM signal, right? Do you know? I love the idea of the black box lights as I think they're more affordable than me soldering together a bunch of LEDs.

Swope2bc
07/22/2015, 08:11 AM
I don't know much about the arduino setups I'm afraid. Yes, lots of hobbies within the hobby lol. As for building your own, if you have time, patience, and knowledge you can build a nice unit yourself. But I have found these to work out quite well none the less

Reefer PT
07/23/2015, 02:34 PM
SO if I understand you correctly, you jumped the On/OFF and +12V wires? And one driver is on pin 3+4 and the other driver is on pin 7+8? Are you able to control both drivers off one PWM converter? Do you think you can control multiple fixtures with one converter? (i understand they will not be independently controllable set up like this)I have 3 evergrows and would love to control them on the APEX.
Thanks for doing this!
Dave

Reefer PT
07/23/2015, 02:44 PM
Just looked up the interface, I see that if I get the 4 channel for $45 I can control 2 of the LEDs and get the 2 channel for the other LED. Not bad, full control for $75, less then the upgrade cost of the units with built in controllers!

Jlentz
07/23/2015, 02:54 PM
Thanks for the write up Swope2bc! I've been pondering this lately. I didn't think anyone made a 0-10v > pwm converter.

FYI, arduino does do pwm. It might do 0-10 as well.

Swope2bc
07/23/2015, 04:34 PM
Just looked up the interface, I see that if I get the 4 channel for $45 I can control 2 of the LEDs and get the 2 channel for the other LED. Not bad, full control for $75, less then the upgrade cost of the units with built in controllers!


I've been told that the apex can control more than one unit off of the same variable speed port so, if I'm not mistaken, you can run the whites on both units off of one channel and the blues of bot units off of the other. I may be wrong on this though...

Reefer PT
07/23/2015, 06:04 PM
That would be nice. It would save having to get a VDM as I have one port tied up with pumps.

Swope2bc
07/23/2015, 08:00 PM
Go onto the Neptune forum, a guy who goes by the name zombie has helped me a ton and would know

Reefer PT
07/24/2015, 08:56 AM
Checked out the thread, great info! Do you mind me asking what brand of black box is this? Is it the typical evergrow/reefbreeders value fixture?

Swope2bc
07/24/2015, 09:27 AM
The brand on mine is global star but they are all pretty much the same thing.

Reefer PT
08/01/2015, 09:05 AM
Any updates?

Swope2bc
08/01/2015, 09:19 AM
Any updates?


Yes actually, I have the controller from StevesLEDs and it's all hooked up, the lights will come on and off but no dimming yet.. I will be consulting with Jeff from Stevesled support next week.

Reefer PT
08/14/2015, 08:52 AM
Ever get it working?

Swope2bc
08/14/2015, 10:36 AM
Ever get it working?


Yes, sorry for the lack of update on this. Once I got the wires hooked up correctly it's working perfectly. The diagrams provided by Steve's only showed 3 wires but my drivers have 4, the 12v power has to return to the unit so I had to link the in/out wire to force the driver to receive a constant on signal with the 0-10v signal telling it when to actually come on.

Reefer PT
08/18/2015, 08:57 AM
Do you have pictures/diagrams of the final mod?

Swope2bc
08/18/2015, 09:41 AM
I didn't take a picture of the final, but I'll work up a diagram and post it pretty soon

s2nhle
08/18/2015, 09:56 AM
wow, great. Tagging along.

bapicella
08/18/2015, 09:05 PM
awesome write up Swope2bc!

Swope2bc
08/18/2015, 10:54 PM
Ok guys, here are 3 images with information on how to wire it up. If you have a question just let me know

http://images.tapatalk-cdn.com/15/08/18/91859f0f49cc9e3b23cb2e7bbce1886c.jpg

http://images.tapatalk-cdn.com/15/08/18/88692d5807d64bae8ab70782bdf8d4fb.jpg

http://images.tapatalk-cdn.com/15/08/18/8604e957f196e5988e5eee010c4b5ba4.jpg

Swope2bc
08/20/2015, 08:01 AM
Awesome write up. Thank you


Your welcome [emoji3]

Reefer PT
08/20/2015, 10:10 AM
WOW! awesome write up and diagrams. My lights are for sure going to be gutted now!
Thanks so much for doing this. as you are aware, information like this is hard to come by.
Dave

scubasteve3
08/20/2015, 07:02 PM
Thanks for the write up

Swope2bc
08/20/2015, 07:03 PM
WOW! awesome write up and diagrams. My lights are for sure going to be gutted now!

Thanks so much for doing this. as you are aware, information like this is hard to come by.

Dave


It was a bit of trial and error for me because of that very reason. Hopefully this makes it easier for others down the road [emoji3]

scubasteve3
08/21/2015, 05:38 PM
No can you just redo everything in a youtube video :)

Swope2bc
08/21/2015, 05:39 PM
No can you just redo everything in a youtube video :)


Lol, haha.. Unfortunately I'm not YouTube savvy...

niko5
11/06/2015, 07:56 PM
Thanks so much for this writeup! Working on mine now...only have one light right now answer I'm still waiting on my board from Steve's leds... but I made a little board to put in my lights I can plug the dimmer wires into then a phone cable to anot her box that will house to stevesled board.

I also rewired the power outlets so it's powered off one cord to help with wire clutter.

Swope2bc
11/06/2015, 11:51 PM
Thanks so much for this writeup! Working on mine now...only have one light right now answer I'm still waiting on my board from Steve's leds... but I made a little board to put in my lights I can plug the dimmer wires into then a phone cable to anot her box that will house to stevesled board.

I also rewired the power outlets so it's powered off one cord to help with wire clutter.


Looks great Niko!! I love the board you created, it will allow for a simpler plug and play option!

niko5
11/07/2015, 07:23 PM
http://images.tapatalk-cdn.com/15/11/07/050e37bf198b8871da43d9cf4e37e209.jpg

One more pic this will be the receiver box one rj11 from each led box (3 of em) then inside it hooks to the converter board and has a rj45 jack thst I will make a cable with the two connectors on the other side for the apex... Now just waiting on my new apex to test it out.

niko5
12/02/2015, 01:02 AM
Swope2bc, are you able to turn the lights on and off completely using the 0-10 on the apex or do you still have to switch the power cord? Iv hooked the light to the controller and it's not coming on hoping it's cause the apex isn't hooked to it... It Rives tomorrow but I'm worried I may have something miswired

dakar
12/02/2015, 03:25 PM
Following along...

niko5
12/02/2015, 06:38 PM
Is is completely off at 0v with the steve LED controller board. Pretty nice :)

geekengineer
12/02/2015, 09:29 PM
swope did a really good job on this too. :bounce2: I can able to use part of it when I need to connect up the pwm to the dyi controller..

Swope2bc
12/05/2015, 01:23 AM
Is is completely off at 0v with the steve LED controller board. Pretty nice :)


Mine goes completely off but the power lights still light up on top of I don't shut off the outlets during off time... How's everything running?? Sorry for the delayed response.

niko5
12/05/2015, 06:06 AM
Mine goes completely off but the power lights still light up on top of I don't shut off the outlets during off time... How's everything running?? Sorry for the delayed response.
It's working grest thanks again for ur writeup

SammyL
12/05/2015, 07:28 AM
Do you feel that this upgrade can be incorporated into Reef Breeder / Reef Radiance lights?

I have asked Charles from Reef Radiance for months for help with no luck. I am still waiting for new controllers from him that he promised me over a year.

I feel very uncomfortable as I do not want to ruin my lights.

Anyone live SE PA that wants to help me if this can be done?

niko5
12/05/2015, 07:54 AM
Do you feel that this upgrade can be incorporated into Reef Breeder / Reef Radiance lights?

I have asked Charles from Reef Radiance for months for help with no luck. I am still waiting for new controllers from him that he promised me over a year.

I feel very uncomfortable as I do not want to ruin my lights.

Anyone live SE PA that wants to help me if this can be done?
Have you opened them up to see what's inside? If you open them and take pics of the boards we can try to help

SammyL
12/05/2015, 08:28 AM
Have you opened them up to see what's inside? If you open them and take pics of the boards we can try to help

I will open one of them up tomorrow after I do a WC.

Mike1992
12/05/2015, 09:27 AM
I really want to do this, I have 5 reef breeder value lights over a 210g 7' tank and Apex

Swope2bc
12/05/2015, 11:05 AM
I will open one of them up tomorrow after I do a WC.


Glad to help I'll watch for your photos

I really want to do this, I have 5 reef breeder value lights over a 210g 7' tank and Apex


It is easier than it looks, and the added flexibility is wonderful!

jedimasterben
12/05/2015, 04:43 PM
OP, did you test the power consumption of the fixture to ensure the drivers used are 5v PWM and not 10v? The converter from Steve's only outputs 5v, and if these are anything similar to the MarsAqua panels, they use 10v PWM, and giving them 5v cuts the power consumption and output roughly in half.

Swope2bc
12/06/2015, 03:55 PM
OP, did you test the power consumption of the fixture to ensure the drivers used are 5v PWM and not 10v? The converter from Steve's only outputs 5v, and if these are anything similar to the MarsAqua panels, they use 10v PWM, and giving them 5v cuts the power consumption and output roughly in half.


I did not check that, but they are not any more dim on full with or without the controller. Also, my corals seem to be thriving. Would 5v input be harmful or simply less power and therefore less intensity?

jedimasterben
12/06/2015, 04:09 PM
I did not check that, but they are not any more dim on full with or without the controller. Also, my corals seem to be thriving. Would 5v input be harmful or simply less power and therefore less intensity?
Like I had mentioned, roughly half the intensity. Human eyes are poor judges of intensity, especially with heavy blue light, I wouldn't trust them in this regard :)

Just wanted to mention it for others so that they don't expect, say, 300 PAR only to be getting 140-150. A Kill-a-Watt meter is only $20 and is super handy for everything around the house and can help verify that your fixtures are operating to their capacity.

O2Surplus
12/06/2015, 05:26 PM
Like I had mentioned, roughly half the intensity. Human eyes are poor judges of intensity, especially with heavy blue light, I wouldn't trust them in this regard :)

Just wanted to mention it for others so that they don't expect, say, 300 PAR only to be getting 140-150. A Kill-a-Watt meter is only $20 and is super handy for everything around the house and can help verify that your fixtures are operating to their capacity.


Ben-

If the drivers do indeed react to a PWM signal, then 5V may be "high enough" to be considered "high" by the driver's dimming circuitry. It's the duty cycle of the PWM signal that's important, not so much the voltage. If the drivers rely on an analog signal instead of PWM, then your logic has merit. The fixture would only run at half power with a 5V signal.:twitch:

jedimasterben
12/06/2015, 05:41 PM
Ben-

If the drivers do indeed react to a PWM signal, then 5V may be "high enough" to be considered "high" by the driver's dimming circuitry. It's the duty cycle of the PWM signal that's important, not so much the voltage. If the drivers rely on an analog signal instead of PWM, then your logic has merit. The fixture would only run at half power with a 5V signal.:twitch:
It's possible that it fits the voltage range of the input side, kinda like the LDD having a PWM voltage range of 2.5-6v, but with these drivers being made as cheaply as possible and by several different manufacturers, who knows :)

What I do know is that my fixture with 5V PWM at full duty cycle the fixture pulled roughly 58 watts from the wall, whereas with 10V PWM at full duty cycle was around 114w. :)

It also pulls two more watts using an analog 10v signal, and is a little less linear across the dimming range than in PWM mode. It doesn't make the fans buzz, though, so that's what I am using :D

O2Surplus
12/06/2015, 09:25 PM
but with these drivers being made as cheaply as possible and by several different manufacturers, who knows :)

LOL- "Chinese Electronics are like a box of Chocolates- You never know what you're gonna get":facepalm:

oreo57
12/07/2015, 07:57 AM
It's possible that it fits the voltage range of the input side, kinda like the LDD having a PWM voltage range of 2.5-6v, but with these drivers being made as cheaply as possible and by several different manufacturers, who knows :)

What I do know is that my fixture with 5V PWM at full duty cycle the fixture pulled roughly 58 watts from the wall, whereas with 10V PWM at full duty cycle was around 114w. :)

It also pulls two more watts using an analog 10v signal, and is a little less linear across the dimming range than in PWM mode. It doesn't make the fans buzz, though, so that's what I am using :D


don't actually think that that has anything to do w "cheap", not that they aren't though..

It is odd except it might be a "feature" of multi-protocol dimming topology..
What that does make one wonder is why they would bother w/ PWM when a simple pot would do.

https://www.trcelectronics.com/ecomm/pdf/lpf16d.pdf

There seems to be no "choice" as to PWM voltage w/ the above Meanwell.

niko5
12/07/2015, 10:42 AM
OP, did you test the power consumption of the fixture to ensure the drivers used are 5v PWM and not 10v? The converter from Steve's only outputs 5v, and if these are anything similar to the MarsAqua panels, they use 10v PWM, and giving them 5v cuts the power consumption and output roughly in half.

You got me wondering so I tested my fixture with the Steves LED Apex controller and without... Good thing I had my quick disconnect boards i made made going back to the pots real easy.

I saw the exact same Watt pull and Amps with both control options (YAYY)

.88 Amps and 110 Watts at 100% on both Pots and Apex 0-10 Control

White only or Blue only were as expected .44 Amps and 55 Watts.

jedimasterben
12/07/2015, 10:48 AM
You got me wondering so I tested my fixture with the Steves LED Apex controller and without... Good thing I had my quick disconnect boards i made made going back to the pots real easy.

I saw the exact same Watt pull and Amps with both control options (YAYY)

.88 Amps and 110 Watts at 100% on both Pots and Apex 0-10 Control

White only or Blue only were as expected .44 Amps and 55 Watts.

Good deal. :)

For others' reference, what brand fixture is this?

oreo57
12/07/2015, 10:56 AM
You got me wondering so I tested my fixture with the Steves LED Apex controller and without... Good thing I had my quick disconnect boards i made made going back to the pots real easy.

I saw the exact same Watt pull and Amps with both control options (YAYY)

.88 Amps and 110 Watts at 100% on both Pots and Apex 0-10 Control

White only or Blue only were as expected .44 Amps and 55 Watts.

since you are playing with it can you verify the PWM is 5V while connected?

niko5
12/07/2015, 12:33 PM
It is a AQUAMANA AQ LED-55x3W

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00FHDEAFQ?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s02

niko5
12/07/2015, 12:33 PM
since you are playing with it can you verify the PWM is 5V while connected?

To do this I need to check the PWM voltage while the controller is at 100% or 10V correct?

oreo57
12/07/2015, 12:47 PM
To do this I need to check the PWM voltage while the controller is at 100%
Yes, but any % is diagnostic as long as the meter is averaging..'IF" the meter is set to "max" then it is a different story..
Best to do it at 100%.. ;)
"IF" it was at 50% AND the pwm voltage was 10V the meter would most likely show 5V-ish..10V at 1/2 the time, zero at the other 1/2.
steves is suppose to output 5V as I understand it..but that is the question.

If you feed the board 10V (well 6-35V side really)is the PWM still controlled to 5V..At 100% the output at the PWM should be 5V..
In cases like this I don't like to assume anything really..

I can't imagine it is NOT 5V though as it should have a voltage regulator on that side...

http://www.stevesleds.com/uploads/Steves_LEDs_Aquarium_Controller_Interface_62415.pdf

niko5
12/07/2015, 01:00 PM
At 100% it does output 5V or 5.02V to be exact.

Just for reference my blue are at 22% because I like a whiter looking tank and Im reading 1.25v when I have them at 22%.

oreo57
12/07/2015, 01:12 PM
At 100% it does output 5V or 5.02V to be exact.

Just for reference my blue are at 22% because I like a whiter looking tank and Im reading 1.25v when I have them at 22%.

Ok doky, answers that question and
thanks..

5x .22= close enough.. ;)

Back to jedimasterben's mystery..

SammyL
12/10/2015, 04:10 PM
Ok I opened up the lights and OMG their are wires and power units everwhere.....LOL

Of course I broke a connector when I first opened it up due to the incrediable limited length of wire but after swearing and a beer I was able to diagnose and repair the wire.

The wires were so tight from the lid to the LED's it was very difficult to take any quality pictures but this is what it seems to be inside:

1. 4 power supplies
2. 2 power bridges
3. Control board
4. Some other small board (1st pic)
5. Two other black boxes but I do not remember what they were for.
6. 3 fans

Due to the control board (3rd picture) I have no idea where to even start on this.

I know it can be done because for a very limited time you could order these as APEX controllable but of course Reef Radiance has been totally no responsive and will not perform the upgrade nor will they send me any information on how to do it.

oreo57
12/10/2015, 05:20 PM
Ok I opened up the lights and OMG their are wires and power units everwhere.....LOL

Of course I broke a connector when I first opened it up due to the incrediable limited length of wire but after swearing and a beer I was able to diagnose and repair the wire.

The wires were so tight from the lid to the LED's it was very difficult to take any quality pictures but this is what it seems to be inside:

1. 4 power supplies
2. 2 power bridges
3. Control board
4. Some other small board (1st pic)
5. Two other black boxes but I do not remember what they were for.
6. 3 fans

Due to the control board (3rd picture) I have no idea where to even start on this.

I know it can be done because for a very limited time you could order these as APEX controllable but of course Reef Radiance has been totally no responsive and will not perform the upgrade nor will they send me any information on how to do it.

coin battery usually means a controller/time built in (memory/clock save).

Why would you need (notice I didn't say want) to use an Apex?

SammyL
12/10/2015, 05:26 PM
coin battery usually means a controller/time built in (memory/clock save).

Why would you need (notice I didn't say want) to use an Apex?

You are correct it is a want not need due to two reasons:

1. It is a real pain in the $% to change the program over a 24 hour ramp up and ramp down light schedule (ie coral introduction)

2. They do not keep time and go off schedule between 10-19 minutes a day.

niko5
12/11/2015, 10:21 AM
In your 3rd pic the control board with the 4 connectors of 4 wires (make since?) those r prob the control wires ur best bet would be to see of you can remove that control board and see if the board has a label on top or bottom where they plug in so you know which wire is your power ground and control wire.

Swope2bc
12/11/2015, 10:29 AM
Ok I opened up the lights and OMG their are wires and power units everwhere.....LOL



Of course I broke a connector when I first opened it up due to the incrediable limited length of wire but after swearing and a beer I was able to diagnose and repair the wire.



The wires were so tight from the lid to the LED's it was very difficult to take any quality pictures but this is what it seems to be inside:



1. 4 power supplies

2. 2 power bridges

3. Control board

4. Some other small board (1st pic)

5. Two other black boxes but I do not remember what they were for.

6. 3 fans



Due to the control board (3rd picture) I have no idea where to even start on this.



I know it can be done because for a very limited time you could order these as APEX controllable but of course Reef Radiance has been totally no responsive and will not perform the upgrade nor will they send me any information on how to do it.


Ok, so first off the 4 strand wire with markings on each should be your control wire. I do not know what all is happening on the control board so you will need to examine it in more detail to determine what all is happening on it. Does power come from the controllers to the board and then go to the lights? The controller in your unit is much more complex than the average black box LED. Clearer pictures from the top down, perhaps a detailed wiring diagram will be needed in order for us to help you accomplish your task. Also, are those (Orange) controllers 0-10v or PWM?

Nano_reeflover
12/13/2015, 04:53 PM
How can I tell if my controllers are PWM or 0-10v?

Swope2bc
12/14/2015, 12:22 AM
How can I tell if my controllers are PWM or 0-10v?


It should say right on them either PWM or 0-10v. Snap a picture of the labels and post

Nano_reeflover
12/14/2015, 11:25 AM
Here ya go

http://imgur.com/a/RLajW

Nano_reeflover
12/14/2015, 11:26 AM
Wow sorry they're so big. RC doesn't resize images?

Edit: I just put a link to the gallery instead.

oreo57
12/14/2015, 02:34 PM
Here ya go

http://imgur.com/a/RLajW

looks voltaqe controlled to me...

kenko
12/14/2015, 04:52 PM
I have the same sets. Want to make sure it's 0-10v controlled. I am assuming the vdim is "voltage dim" but you know what happens when one assumes.

Swope2bc
12/14/2015, 05:39 PM
Wow sorry they're so big. RC doesn't resize images?

Edit: I just put a link to the gallery instead.


Where is the 3rd photo located? That is a control board of some sort.. I cannot tell for sure from the pictures but there is a simple test run that will tell you if your PWM or 0-10v... If you read the early part of this walk through I bridged two wires and connected the rest. This gave me on off capabilities from the APEX but no dimming.. That was because mine are PWM and I needed the converter.

Nano_reeflover
12/14/2015, 06:02 PM
Where is the 3rd photo located? That is a control board of some sort.. I cannot tell for sure from the pictures but there is a simple test run that will tell you if your PWM or 0-10v... If you read the early part of this walk through I bridged two wires and connected the rest. This gave me on off capabilities from the APEX but no dimming.. That was because mine are PWM and I needed the converter.

I took the black controller box apart to get that last pic. Guess I'll have to give it a try and see what happens.

Swope2bc
12/14/2015, 06:03 PM
I took the black controller box apart to get that last pic. Guess I'll have to give it a try and see what happens.


I see, I did not have to mess with anything inside the controller box. Take a picture of the front of the dimmer where that wire connects

oreo57
12/14/2015, 07:02 PM
you opened the driver... in other words..


Yes it will PWM dim the light.. BUT it is controlled by the voltage..

you have 4 wires going to the "pot" to 1) on/off.. 2)12V and 3)4) dim plus/minus..

Nano_reeflover
12/14/2015, 07:08 PM
you opened the driver... in other words..


Yes it will PWM dim the light.. BUT it is controlled by the voltage..

you have 4 wires going to the "pot" to 1) on/off.. 2)12V and 3)4) dim plus/minus..

So does that mean I don't need the board from steve's LEDs?

firebirdude
12/14/2015, 07:09 PM
Hey Swope. Thanks for this writeup as well as your help in the MarsAqua thread. I think you've seen a couple of my recent posts in there regarding my struggles getting the ReefKeeper ALC (lighting) module working with my 300W MarsAqua. The ALC just says it has two 0-10V outputs. I really don't know much on how all this works, but I've followed this (http://www.forum.digitalaquatics.com/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=13360&p=61956#p61956) walkthrough which shows the exact same stuff others have posted. The dimming control knob/board in my MarsAqua looks a bit different than what you have posted here. It looks like this:
http://i1233.photobucket.com/albums/ff390/Muscleschnitzzle/20140424_214653_zps84df7762.jpg
I double checked mine and it does indeed say "VDM+" and "VDM-" on my boards. The writeup I just linked to shows that pins 1 and 2 are suppose to be shorted together and pins 3 and 4 run to the ALC. But that's not what you show here. While I realize you're not using the ReefKeeper ALC, they're both simple 0-10V outputs, yes? Any ideas?

Swope2bc
12/14/2015, 07:10 PM
On the contrary, I believe based upon his assessment that you will need the controller from Steve's

Swope2bc
12/14/2015, 07:12 PM
Hey Swope. Thanks for this writeup as well as your help in the MarsAqua thread. I think you've seen a couple of my recent posts in there regarding my struggles getting the ReefKeeper ALC (lighting) module working with my 300W MarsAqua. The ALC just says it has two 0-10V outputs. I really don't know much on how all this works, but I've followed this (http://www.forum.digitalaquatics.com/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=13360&p=61956#p61956) walkthrough which shows the exact same stuff others have posted. The dimming control knob/board in my MarsAqua looks a bit different than what you have posted here. It looks like this:

http://i1233.photobucket.com/albums/ff390/Muscleschnitzzle/20140424_214653_zps84df7762.jpg

I double checked mine and it does indeed say "VDM+" and "VDM-" on my boards. The writeup I just linked to shows that pins 1 and 2 are suppose to be shorted together and pins 3 and 4 run to the ALC. But that's not what you show here. While I realize you're not using the ReefKeeper ALC, they're both simple 0-10V outputs, yes? Any ideas?


I attempted the linking of the two wires to begin with too, I would have to read back so see what I did but it should be identical to what I went through. The reef keeper and APEX both use the same 0-10v signal.

oreo57
12/14/2015, 07:20 PM
So does that mean I don't need the board from steve's LEDs?

No you are confusing the internal workings of the driver and the "control signal" it needs...My fault I guess.

There is a big difference..

Since I'm not an owner of these but have been fascinated by the sometimes easy, and sometimes difficult methods to control these lights, I'll just add, it is not as straightforward as many think..

mostly because 0-10v dimming rarely turns the lights totally off.. so as you see, the need for some sort of "off" circuitry..
4 wires as opposed to 3 (simple 10v dimming) or 2 (simple pot dimming).
well for the most part..

and if you are referring to Steves 10v to PWM boards.. no I'm not seeing them as being necessary to replace the pot..if you have a 0-10v control source such as an Apex..

https://youtu.be/0SsT28rSmjI

firebirdude
12/14/2015, 07:23 PM
I attempted the linking of the two wires to begin with too, I would have to read back so see what I did but it should be identical to what I went through. The reef keeper and APEX both use the same 0-10v signal.Ahhh I followed the link to this topic from the MarsAqua thread and for some reason it just links to you using the StevesLED board and it didn't show the others pages or replies/maybe I just didn't see them.

Anyway, the EXACT problem you had is what I'm having. They just come on full brightness. No dimming. So it would seem that I need the StevesLED board to convert from PWM to analog? I thought that was a whole lighting control board or something. Had no clue it was converting PWM to analog. Ugh. So I guess I need to dump more money into my tank.
http://previews.123rf.com/images/bloodua/bloodua1005/bloodua100500007/6979147-Goldfish-in-aquarium-with-money-on-a-white-background-Stock-Photo.jpg

Swope2bc
12/14/2015, 07:24 PM
Ahhh I followed the link to this topic from the MarsAqua thread and for some reason it just links to you using the StevesLED board and it didn't show the others pages or replies/maybe I just didn't see them.



Anyway, the EXACT problem you had is what I'm having. They just come on full brightness. No dimming. So it would seem that I need the StevesLED board to convert from PWM to analog? I thought that was a whole lighting control board or something. Had no clue it was converting PWM to analog. Ugh. So I guess I need to dump more money into my tank.

http://previews.123rf.com/images/bloodua/bloodua1005/bloodua100500007/6979147-Goldfish-in-aquarium-with-money-on-a-white-background-Stock-Photo.jpg


Yes, but thankfully it's simple and relatively inexpensive. I believe it was $30

firebirdude
12/14/2015, 07:44 PM
Yes, but thankfully it's simple and relatively inexpensive. I believe it was $30This (http://shop.stevesleds.com/Aquarium-Controller-Interface-Harness-8794102424.htm)? Looks as little different from what you have.... and it says that it converts any 0-10V input into a PWM signal. I thought we were trying to do the opposite? My dimming board says "VDM" on it, which I take to mean analog? And I thought the ReefKeeper ALC does PWM?

Or maybe I'm just thinking about it in reverse. Steve's board takes the analog signal from the MarsAqua and makes it PWM so the ALC can use it?

Don't know why I'm making this so difficult.

Nano_reeflover
12/14/2015, 08:30 PM
No you are confusing the internal workings of the driver and the "control signal" it needs...My fault I guess.

There is a big difference..

Since I'm not an owner of these but have been fascinated by the sometimes easy, and sometimes difficult methods to control these lights, I'll just add, it is not as straightforward as many think..

mostly because 0-10v dimming rarely turns the lights totally off.. so as you see, the need for some sort of "off" circuitry..
4 wires as opposed to 3 (simple 10v dimming) or 2 (simple pot dimming).
well for the most part..

and if you are referring to Steves 10v to PWM boards.. no I'm not seeing them as being necessary to replace the pot..if you have a 0-10v control source such as an Apex..

https://youtu.be/0SsT28rSmjI

Good info and great video. His light components look just like mine. He repeated what you wrote about the apex controlling dimming, but it won't turn the light all the way off. So should I just use the outlets that the lights are plugged into for on/off then?

oreo57
12/14/2015, 08:55 PM
Good info and great video. His light components look just like mine. He repeated what you wrote about the apex controlling dimming, but it won't turn the light all the way off. So should I just use the outlets that the lights are plugged into for on/off then?

sorry .. don't own an Apex. I do understand they have a programmable power bar (energy bar) that you use for the on/off part.

also not programming the light to go below 10% to avoid light flash..

Sorry, a lot of hearsay and tid bits but...... worth looking into.

Swope2bc
12/14/2015, 10:05 PM
This (http://shop.stevesleds.com/Aquarium-Controller-Interface-Harness-8794102424.htm)? Looks as little different from what you have.... and it says that it converts any 0-10V input into a PWM signal. I thought we were trying to do the opposite? My dimming board says "VDM" on it, which I take to mean analog? And I thought the ReefKeeper ALC does PWM?

Or maybe I'm just thinking about it in reverse. Steve's board takes the analog signal from the MarsAqua and makes it PWM so the ALC can use it?

Don't know why I'm making this so difficult.


It's all good, you have it backwards though. The Steve's controller alters the signal in both directions so that the 0-10v sent by your RK is understood by you lights. The ALC sends a 0-10v signal.

That is the correct item BTW

OllieNZ
12/15/2015, 07:32 AM
It's all good, you have it backwards though. The Steve's controller alters the signal in both directions so that the 0-10v sent by your RK is understood by you lights. The ALC sends a 0-10v signal.

That is the correct item BTW

Sorry guys as I tried explaining in the mars aqua thread, that will not work for the analogue dimming black boxes. The controllers produce their own 0-10v signal and so do the drivers, feeding one into the other directly will not work. The driver requires its 10v(vdm+) to gnd(vdm-) signal to have resistance applied to it, to control the amount of voltage allowed to ground to dim the lights.
A simple way to see if this is how your driver works is with the lead unplugged from the dimming board bridge the v+ and on/off pins to switch the driver on and put a multimeter set to vdc across the vdm+ and vdm- pins you should get around 9.5v and max led brightness if you then switch the multimeter to the ammeter you should see around 3ma and minimum led brightness.
In order to use this with an existing controller you need a way of varying the resistance using the 0-10v signal. In theory you could use steve's board to control something like this
http://i809.photobucket.com/albums/zz15/OllieNZ/Mobile%20Uploads/2015-12/MOJkJ_zpss3wzk03r.jpg (http://s809.photobucket.com/user/OllieNZ/media/Mobile%20Uploads/2015-12/MOJkJ_zpss3wzk03r.jpg.html)
Feed the vdm+ into the circuit where the power supply goes and connect the vdm- to the 0-10v output.

Swope2bc
12/15/2015, 01:04 PM
Sorry guys as I tried explaining in the mars aqua thread, that will not work for the analogue dimming black boxes. The controllers produce their own 0-10v signal and so do the drivers, feeding one into the other directly will not work. The driver requires its 10v(vdm+) to gnd(vdm-) signal to have resistance applied to it, to control the amount of voltage allowed to ground to dim the lights.

A simple way to see if this is how your driver works is with the lead unplugged from the dimming board bridge the v+ and on/off pins to switch the driver on and put a multimeter set to vdc across the vdm+ and vdm- pins you should get around 9.5v and max led brightness if you then switch the multimeter to the ammeter you should see around 3ma and minimum led brightness.

In order to use this with an existing controller you need a way of varying the resistance using the 0-10v signal. In theory you could use steve's board to control something like this

http://i809.photobucket.com/albums/zz15/OllieNZ/Mobile%20Uploads/2015-12/MOJkJ_zpss3wzk03r.jpg (http://s809.photobucket.com/user/OllieNZ/media/Mobile%20Uploads/2015-12/MOJkJ_zpss3wzk03r.jpg.html)

Feed the vdm+ into the circuit where the power supply goes and connect the vdm- to the 0-10v output.


That is what Steve's controller does. I have it installed on mine and it works wonderfully.

OllieNZ
12/15/2015, 01:13 PM
That is what Steve's controller does. I have it installed on mine and it works wonderfully.
As far as I can see steves controller converts 0-10v analogue to pwm nothing else. The circuit I posted is a way of using pwm to vary a voltage.

BigElvis31
12/15/2015, 05:54 PM
I bought the pieces I needed to do this months ago but never got around to making it happen. (Buying a house & 10+ hours of homework a week will do that.)

I'll have to tear into mine this weekend, though I think I have the fixtures OllieNZ is referring to. I'll have to use some of the other toys I have to test them.

OllieNZ
12/16/2015, 03:38 AM
Just to try and clear the waters.......

1) 0-10v analogue dimming; The controller produces a 0-10v signal which is received by the driver to control the drivers output.

2) Resistive dimming; The driver outputs its own control signal voltage which is returned to ground via a variable resistor. Adjusting the level of resistance changes the amount of voltage allowed to ground controlling the driver output.

3) PWM dimming; A controller produces a pulse width modulated signal(very rapid on-off signal) which is received by the driver controlling the drivers output.

The RK alc and Apex vdm units are controllers that output the signal for dimming type No1

Steve's adapter converts No1 to No3

The mars aqua black boxes I have use dimming type No2.

You need an adapter to convert one type to another. None are directly compatible.

Going from No1 to No3 is easy just use Steve's adapter
Going from No3 to No1 is not overly difficult this is something that can be done with most off the shelf micro controllers and a circuit like I posted above.
Going from No3 to No2 Similar to above. The are several ways to achieve this.
Going from No1 to No2 not so easy, this is currently beyond my level of electrical knowledge and there doesn't really seem to be any call for it either so finding examples is very difficult. You could go from No1 to No3 to No2 but this seems a tad excessive and there must be a simpler way to achieve this which is something I'm working on with other's that have much more electrical knowledge than myself.

Hope this helps clear up the types of dimming we are dealing with and how they relate to each other.

As someone else said earlier in the thread these things "are like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're gonna get"

firebirdude
12/16/2015, 06:50 AM
Adjusting the level of resistance changes the amount of voltage allowed to ground controlling the [/QUOTE]
Resistors in series do not change voltage, they impede current. But it sounds like you're maybe describing a voltage dividing network in which multiple resistors are used in parallel, in which voltage is shed to ground. But in a circuit like this, the remaining voltage is the output. Shedding to ground is just a "method to regulate" voltage. Meaning you could use any method you wanted so long as the variable voltage is then output on that same wire. What Im getting at is 0-10V analogue and the resistive ordeal you describe should be compatible together, though you may not be able to solder the wires in at the same positions.

OllieNZ
12/16/2015, 08:42 AM
Resistors in series do not change voltage, they impede current. But it sounds like you're maybe describing a voltage dividing network in which multiple resistors are used in parallel, in which voltage is shed to ground. But in a circuit like this, the remaining voltage is the output. Shedding to ground is just a "method to regulate" voltage. Meaning you could use any method you wanted so long as the variable voltage is then output on that same wire. What Im getting at is 0-10V analogue and the resistive ordeal you describe should be compatible together, though you may not be able to solder the wires in at the same positions.

Resistive is a tad misleading, a potentiometer is used to control the amount of voltage getting to ground.

One of the guys that I'm working on this with suggested that may be possible but I need to get my hands on a circuit diagram or map the driver circuit myself to find out where to apply the voltage.

BigElvis31
12/16/2015, 02:20 PM
Adjusting the level of resistance changes the amount of voltage allowed to ground controlling the
Resistors in series do not change voltage, they impede current. But it sounds like you're maybe describing a voltage dividing network in which multiple resistors are used in parallel, in which voltage is shed to ground. But in a circuit like this, the remaining voltage is the output. Shedding to ground is just a "method to regulate" voltage. Meaning you could use any method you wanted so long as the variable voltage is then output on that same wire. What Im getting at is 0-10V analogue and the resistive ordeal you describe should be compatible together, though you may not be able to solder the wires in at the same positions.[/QUOTE]

If you add more resistance in series to an existing circuit you will have a voltage drop on that added resistance, lowering the voltage that is dropped across the load.

I can see how variable resistors/pots do exactly that.

In a nutshell- Ohm's law. E=IR, I=E/R, R=E/I
IE: 12vDC applied to a 6 Ohm load will have all 12 volts dropped over the load at 2A.
If you add a 6 Ohm resistor in series with the load you will have 6v dropped over the resistor & 6v dropped across the load. You'll also decrease the current to 1A.

Swope2bc
12/17/2015, 12:00 AM
Just to try and clear the waters.......



1) 0-10v analogue dimming; The controller produces a 0-10v signal which is received by the driver to control the drivers output.



2) Resistive dimming; The driver outputs its own control signal voltage which is returned to ground via a variable resistor. Adjusting the level of resistance changes the amount of voltage allowed to ground controlling the driver output.



3) PWM dimming; A controller produces a pulse width modulated signal(very rapid on-off signal) which is received by the driver controlling the drivers output.



The RK alc and Apex vdm units are controllers that output the signal for dimming type No1



Steve's adapter converts No1 to No3



The mars aqua black boxes I have use dimming type No2.



You need an adapter to convert one type to another. None are directly compatible.



Going from No1 to No3 is easy just use Steve's adapter

Going from No3 to No1 is not overly difficult this is something that can be done with most off the shelf micro controllers and a circuit like I posted above.

Going from No3 to No2 Similar to above. The are several ways to achieve this.

Going from No1 to No2 not so easy, this is currently beyond my level of electrical knowledge and there doesn't really seem to be any call for it either so finding examples is very difficult. You could go from No1 to No3 to No2 but this seems a tad excessive and there must be a simpler way to achieve this which is something I'm working on with other's that have much more electrical knowledge than myself.



Hope this helps clear up the types of dimming we are dealing with and how they relate to each other.



As someone else said earlier in the thread these things "are like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're gonna get"


Great explanation, my drivers are PWM so it works like a charm, many others will be too. It seems that the type 2 drivers would be rare and a simple solution there it to just replace the drivers... 2 $10-$15 drivers that are 0-10v and problem solved.

atraperegrinus
01/02/2016, 12:16 AM
Great explanation, my drivers are PWM so it works like a charm, many others will be too. It seems that the type 2 drivers would be rare and a simple solution there it to just replace the drivers... 2 $10-$15 drivers that are 0-10v and problem solved.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/70013956/2016-01-01%2023.58.35.jpg

just curious if you could tell me if i can go the steve's board route with my drivers? if u need other angles of picture let me know.

i linked to my pic, because its huge and im too lazy to resize lol

these are ocean revive s026 lights for the record.

there is a 4 wire pwm plug on the opposite side of the board, so i'm really hoping i can use a stevesled board to make mine work.

edit: seems to be a very similar board to fire's posted above. so im not sure.

OllieNZ
01/02/2016, 02:47 AM
I'd say they are resistive, the dimmer circuit board layout is nearly identical to mine. I'm still looking for a solution to adapt this type to analogue dimming. When I'm back at work next week I'm going to adapt mine to pwm so the easiest solution may be to buy the steve's led adapter and then add a small amount of extra circuitry (I'll post my circuit when I get it working) to use the pwm to control the lights

OllieNZ
01/02/2016, 02:50 AM
One more thing, 4 pin connectors aren't pwm specific.

OllieNZ
01/02/2016, 02:54 AM
Great explanation, my drivers are PWM so it works like a charm, many others will be too. It seems that the type 2 drivers would be rare and a simple solution there it to just replace the drivers... 2 $10-$15 drivers that are 0-10v and problem solved.
Thanks,
The type 2 drivers may be more common than you think. Unfortunately finding a replacement driver is neither easy nor cheap due to the max output of the driver needing to be around 100v I've not yet confirmed the current output of the drivers (its on my to do list).

oreo57
01/02/2016, 07:35 AM
Thanks,
The type 2 drivers may be more common than you think. Unfortunately finding a replacement driver is neither easy nor cheap due to the max output of the driver needing to be around 100v I've not yet confirmed the current output of the drivers (its on my to do list).

surprised it's not on there..Usually around 500
This one is 500-550mA. I've seen them lower though..
http://www.qualiteitems.com/images/ma.jpg

Swope2bc
01/02/2016, 11:19 PM
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/70013956/2016-01-01%2023.58.35.jpg

just curious if you could tell me if i can go the steve's board route with my drivers? if u need other angles of picture let me know.

i linked to my pic, because its huge and im too lazy to resize lol

these are ocean revive s026 lights for the record.

there is a 4 wire pwm plug on the opposite side of the board, so i'm really hoping i can use a stevesled board to make mine work.

edit: seems to be a very similar board to fire's posted above. so im not sure.



Can you get a picture of the driver label?

atraperegrinus
01/02/2016, 11:26 PM
Can you get a picture of the driver label?

sure after work tomorrow i'll pull it apart again and snap a picture.

edit: found it on google

http://i486.photobucket.com/albums/rr227/lazylivin/IMG_9091_zps977690de.jpg

Swope2bc
01/03/2016, 12:54 AM
sure after work tomorrow i'll pull it apart again and snap a picture.

edit: found it on google

http://i486.photobucket.com/albums/rr227/lazylivin/IMG_9091_zps977690de.jpg


Unfortunately that does not help me to identify it... Perhaps one of the others following here can assist. What I did was hook it direct to the APEX first and found it would either turn it on or off but no dimming. I then acquired the controller from Steve's and that dos the trick. Mine said PWM on the driver label though...

OllieNZ
01/03/2016, 01:06 AM
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/70013956/2016-01-01%2023.58.35.jpg

just curious if you could tell me if i can go the steve's board route with my drivers? if u need other angles of picture let me know.

i linked to my pic, because its huge and im too lazy to resize lol

these are ocean revive s026 lights for the record.

there is a 4 wire pwm plug on the opposite side of the board, so i'm really hoping i can use a stevesled board to make mine work.

edit: seems to be a very similar board to fire's posted above. so im not sure.
They are resistive. Identical to the mars aqua ones I have. Not directly compatible with a standard controller or steves board.

OllieNZ
01/03/2016, 01:09 AM
surprised it's not on there..Usually around 500
This one is 500-550mA. I've seen them lower though..
http://www.qualiteitems.com/images/ma.jpg
None of mine are identified. I'm surprised that the driver current is that low. Suggests they a being under driven.

oreo57
01/03/2016, 05:29 AM
None of mine are identified. I'm surprised that the driver current is that low. Suggests they a being under driven.

Underdriven is a matter of opinion.. ;)

At that density and design, probably the best one can do w/out sig. shortening the diodes lifespan..
The one driver shown after the one I posted is 600mA max..

atraperegrinus
01/05/2016, 01:43 PM
So as someone mentioned earlier in the thread, I could technically just buy a 0-10v analog driver and replace the drivers in my Ocean revive lights right? and then do the simple hook up method.

as long as the stats on the drivers match up it shouldn't mess with the lights correct?

I might go that route until ocean revive figures out their dimmable drivers.

Swope2bc
01/06/2016, 02:46 AM
So as someone mentioned earlier in the thread, I could technically just buy a 0-10v analog driver and replace the drivers in my Ocean revive lights right? and then do the simple hook up method.

as long as the stats on the drivers match up it shouldn't mess with the lights correct?

I might go that route until ocean revive figures out their dimmable drivers.


I believe this would work, but don't quote me on it lol

OllieNZ
01/06/2016, 05:00 AM
So as someone mentioned earlier in the thread, I could technically just buy a 0-10v analog driver and replace the drivers in my Ocean revive lights right? and then do the simple hook up method.

as long as the stats on the drivers match up it shouldn't mess with the lights correct?

I might go that route until ocean revive figures out their dimmable drivers.
Shouldn't be an issue but good luck finding match. Let us know if you do.

oreo57
01/06/2016, 12:34 PM
So as someone mentioned earlier in the thread, I could technically just buy a 0-10v analog driver and replace the drivers in my Ocean revive lights right? and then do the simple hook up method.

as long as the stats on the drivers match up it shouldn't mess with the lights correct?

I might go that route until ocean revive figures out their dimmable drivers.

Matching driver is not that difficult.. Cost can be an issue though.
specs are a bit flexible as well
Example..
http://www.inventronics-co.com/upload/EUC-050SxxxDT%28ST%29_2013081509132107011.PDF
https://octopart.com/euc-050s058dt-inventronics-26684687

OllieNZ
01/06/2016, 02:37 PM
Nice find, it's also capable of lower output voltage making a ramp up/down more noticeable

niko5
01/19/2016, 04:42 PM
Hey guys i have another problem... My first unit it working GREAT... i finely got around to ordering a 2nd light and ofcourse the first one I ordered isnt available any more... so I ordered one that was as close as I could find... well the board inside it abit different but still has the 4 wires... so after hooking it up... when i plug it in the lights come on 100% but when I plug the cable into the steves LED board the lights dim abit but do not shut off... even though i have the VS port set to off on the apex... and my other light is off (when unplugged it also off).

Any ideas what I have wired wrong or is it just a different kinda light? I attached a pic of the board

I swiped the pic from Swope its the same as mine lol :)

homer1475
02/25/2016, 09:30 AM
I got it all hooked up and working, but my 0% does not turn the lights off? Is this supposed to work that way? I would say they stay on at bout 20%, even though I have them set to 0%.

jedimasterben
02/25/2016, 09:31 AM
I got it all hooked up and working, but my 0% does not turn the lights off? Is this supposed to work that way? I would say they stay on at bout 20%, even though I have them set to 0%.
The drivers do not shut off below their minimum dimming threshold, which is like 11% in mine, you need to run them on a timer.

Swope2bc
02/25/2016, 09:35 AM
As jedimaster just stated, some units have a min threshold. If your able to plug it into your apex just program it to turn the channel off at the 0% times. That will be better for the u it anyway. My unit has an actual 0% so the lights do shut off at 0, but not all do...

homer1475
02/25/2016, 09:39 AM
I guess I just figured they would completely shut off like my meanwell drivers on the rapidLED puck I have. Kind of defeats the purpose of a ramp up or down. :(

homer1475
02/25/2016, 09:41 AM
I'm looking at about 15% is as low as they go, which to me makes no sense since the manual dimmer can dim them to 0. Of course I'm no electrician either.

Swope2bc
02/25/2016, 09:41 AM
Yeah, I wouldn't be very impressed if mine did that but it isn't the first time I've heard it at this point. Still, mine jump from about 8% to 0% so there is a slight hop but it's not too bad. Your fish and coral will never notice, and after you've seen it a few times you will notice less too.

homer1475
02/25/2016, 09:53 AM
I guess at this point I'll leave the blues on as nightlights, and turn the whites and colors off.

Thanks for the quick response, here and in PM(I wouldn't have thrown you a PM if I didn't see you were active).:thumbsup:

Swope2bc
02/25/2016, 09:54 AM
No problem, any time

OllieNZ
03/03/2016, 05:29 AM
Okay, I've cracked the resistive/potential dimming to pwm.
This is the circuit to replace the dimming board
http://i809.photobucket.com/albums/zz15/OllieNZ/Mobile%20Uploads/2016-03/20160303_122052_zpsfjaukbmc.jpg (http://s809.photobucket.com/user/OllieNZ/media/Mobile%20Uploads/2016-03/20160303_122052_zpsfjaukbmc.jpg.html)
The circuit set up for testing purposes.
http://i809.photobucket.com/albums/zz15/OllieNZ/Mobile%20Uploads/2016-03/20160303_121925_zpss2ihj5qz.jpg (http://s809.photobucket.com/user/OllieNZ/media/Mobile%20Uploads/2016-03/20160303_121925_zpss2ihj5qz.jpg.html)
The only "issue" so far is that the dimming operates in reverse, the higher the pwm duty cycle the dimmer the lights but due to the nature of the dimming circuit this was the expected result.

homer1475
03/03/2016, 05:35 AM
My mars aqua has the same switch. Jump the on/off and V+, put your apex wires on the vdm - and vdm+. Then set the apex to turn the outlets off when you want them off. Works perfect for me, not sure why everyone is trying to over complicate it.

OllieNZ
03/03/2016, 06:00 AM
My mars aqua has the same switch. Jump the on/off and V+, put your apex wires on the vdm - and vdm+. Then set the apex to turn the outlets off when you want them off. Works perfect for me, not sure why everyone is trying to over complicate it.
Because that hasn't been working for people? Me personally, I'm building my own controller and the only "analogue" outputs are pwm so you need a small circuit to convert it to true analogue

vjhjk
03/03/2016, 10:26 AM
That would be nice. It would save having to get a VDM as I have one port tied up with pumps.http://s.coop/1xskm

OllieNZ
03/03/2016, 10:55 AM
That would be nice. It would save having to get a VDM as I have one port tied up with pumps.http://s.coop/1xskm
The hardest part is writing the programme for the arduino (experience in that area depending).

jrhupp
03/03/2016, 01:26 PM
Because that hasn't been working for people? Me personally, I'm building my own controller and the only "analogue" outputs are pwm so you need a small circuit to convert it to true analogue

If you are building your own board I would suggest taking a look at the one I did. It uses an opto isolator to provide ground isolation between the dimmer and the micro controller. This is a much better approach then tying grounds together.

I don't have a link handy, but if you go to my user name you should be able to find it. Or it's linked in my build thread (signature).

OllieNZ
03/03/2016, 02:17 PM
If you are building your own board I would suggest taking a look at the one I did. It uses an opto isolator to provide ground isolation between the dimmer and the micro controller. This is a much better approach then tying grounds together.

I don't have a link handy, but if you go to my user name you should be able to find it. Or it's linked in my build thread (signature).
That's a good idea. I need to double check but iirc the max current from the vdm+ on the Mars aqua driver was 10mA

mattruggiero
04/19/2016, 02:37 PM
Hey Guys,

I just wanted to jump on this thread and hopefully get some help on how to accomplish hooking up my LEDs (Mars Aqua 2x300W) to my APEX.

I think it's similar to what Homer is using so maybe his procedure will work. I just don't want to take chances as I'm no expert on electrical design and don't want to harm my lights or APEX.

Here are photos of my driver and pot dimmer. (*edit - driver pic for some reason is doubled. please ignore.)

<iframe class="imgur-album" width="100%" height="550" frameborder="0" src="//imgur.com/a/R4JMH/embed"></iframe>

Do you guys know how I might do this? Or have a link to a thread/site that could help?

Also, what type of voltage meters are you guys using? Just curious.

Thanks! :thumbsup:

Swope2bc
04/19/2016, 11:25 PM
Not able to see your pics... Should be pretty easy though..


40b mixed reef build with 40b sump
Reef Octopus 110 classic skimmer
Duel jaebo wave makers
Jaebo DCT 12000 return pump
300W Chinese Blackbox LED modified to run on APEX

mattruggiero
04/20/2016, 09:06 AM
Weird. Here is an attempt to post the pics again. Thanks for letting me know Swope!

http://i.imgur.com/44IiKKo.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/CoIiDn1.jpg

mattruggiero
04/20/2016, 10:09 AM
Hey ahnnyr,

Just curious how can you tell it's PWM? I didn't see PWM labeled anywhere.

I'll order the part from Steves. I have read that it's required for a PWM driver.

Thanks!

OllieNZ
04/20/2016, 12:44 PM
Hey ahnnyr,

Just curious how can you tell it's PWM? I didn't see PWM labeled anywhere.

I'll order the part from Steves. I have read that it's required for a PWM driver.

Thanks!
Sorry to say that your dimming is not the pwm variety. The dimming board is identical to mine, which would make it the resistive dimming type.

mattruggiero
04/20/2016, 01:45 PM
Sorry to say that your dimming is not the pwm variety. The dimming board is identical to mine, which would make it the resistive dimming type.


I had a feeling that it wasn't PWM driven. Since it's resistive dimming.. do I have any good options? Would Homer's method work:

My mars aqua has the same switch. Jump the on/off and V+, put your apex wires on the vdm - and vdm+. Then set the apex to turn the outlets off when you want them off.

I see that you're trying to control it through an adrino board. that's above my skill level. Anyway, any info you have will help. :thumbsup:

OllieNZ
04/20/2016, 02:20 PM
I had a feeling that it wasn't PWM driven. Since it's resistive dimming.. do I have any good options? Would Homer's method work:

My mars aqua has the same switch. Jump the on/off and V+, put your apex wires on the vdm - and vdm+. Then set the apex to turn the outlets off when you want them off.

I see that you're trying to control it through an adrino board. that's above my skill level. Anyway, any info you have will help. :thumbsup:
I'm not sure. I don't have an apex so it's not a method I've tested, I may be able to rig up a bench power supply to simulate it though. I'll give it a go tomorrow and get back to you.

Swope2bc
04/20/2016, 10:53 PM
Post #131 is a bot guys. It just copies old messages.


40b mixed reef build with 40b sump
Reef Octopus 110 classic skimmer
Duel jaebo wave makers
Jaebo DCT 12000 return pump
300W Chinese Blackbox LED modified to run on APEX

OllieNZ
04/21/2016, 10:51 AM
I had a feeling that it wasn't PWM driven. Since it's resistive dimming.. do I have any good options? Would Homer's method work:

My mars aqua has the same switch. Jump the on/off and V+, put your apex wires on the vdm - and vdm+. Then set the apex to turn the outlets off when you want them off.

I see that you're trying to control it through an adrino board. that's above my skill level. Anyway, any info you have will help. :thumbsup:
I've put it to the test today and it will give you partial control but it starts at around 50% output and goes up to 100%. Tbh it's not something that I'd recommend doing seeing what I did. It may have the potential to damage the apex or the driver. I was able to restrict the voltage and current flow from the bench power supply but that is something it's designed for. Depending on the circuitry of the apex it may be possible to draw enough current to do damage.

As for tools, nothing special just a bench power supply and multi meter.

OllieNZ
04/21/2016, 10:56 AM
http://i809.photobucket.com/albums/zz15/OllieNZ/Mobile%20Uploads/2016-04/20160421_131814_zpsgwu2ubku.jpg (http://s809.photobucket.com/user/OllieNZ/media/Mobile%20Uploads/2016-04/20160421_131814_zpsgwu2ubku.jpg.html)

mattruggiero
04/21/2016, 12:08 PM
I've put it to the test today and it will give you partial control but it starts at around 50% output and goes up to 100%. Tbh it's not something that I'd recommend doing seeing what I did. It may have the potential to damage the apex or the driver. I was able to restrict the voltage and current flow from the bench power supply but that is something it's designed for. Depending on the circuitry of the apex it may be possible to draw enough current to do damage.

As for tools, nothing special just a bench power supply and multi meter.

Thanks for putting the time in. I really appreciate it! Yea 50% up to 100% probably won't work and my main concern is damaging the gear. Hate to spend the money on equipment only to break it. I may just have to stick with turning the knobs. :lolspin:

Your gear is much better than my cheapo sears voltage meter. I swear the thing barely works.

Thanks Ollie!!

OllieNZ
04/21/2016, 12:18 PM
Thanks for putting the time in. I really appreciate it! Yea 50% up to 100% probably won't work and my main concern is damaging the gear. Hate to spend the money on equipment only to break it. I may just have to stick with turning the knobs. :lolspin:

Your gear is much better than my cheapo sears voltage meter. I swear the thing barely works.

Thanks Ollie!!
No worries,
The tools belong to my work, I spent someone else's money on them ;)

I'm still working on my circuit to give a more linear response to the pwm duty cycle. Once I've got it working you should be able to use any pwm source to dim the lights.

Reefer PT
04/21/2016, 02:07 PM
check out my thread http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2570457
The funny behavior of these fixtures if there is no control signal they start out at 50%. with the apex controlling it it starts out at the same intensity as when you "click it on." The pot switches on yours look like it should work. You do have to program the outlet on the apex for on/off then the VDM 1/2 for dimming.

OllieNZ
04/21/2016, 02:36 PM
check out my thread http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2570457
The funny behavior of these fixtures if there is no control signal they start out at 50%. with the apex controlling it it starts out at the same intensity as when you "click it on." The pot switches on yours look like it should work. You do have to program the outlet on the apex for on/off then the VDM 1/2 for dimming.
I'm not quite sure how you define control signal? I simulated a 0-10v 40ma analog signal using the psu. No control signal on the Mars Aqua driver is maximum brightness. Some drivers can use multiple dimming types on the same 2 input wires. So it's possible the drivers in your unit accept an analog dimming signal.

homer1475
04/21/2016, 04:53 PM
With the way I wired mine, they start out about 35%(about the same intensity as clicking the pot switch on), then I can turn up to 100%. I use the switch on the EB8 to turn them on and off.

Reefer PT
04/21/2016, 05:27 PM
I'm not quite sure how you define control signal? I simulated a 0-10v 40ma analog signal using the psu. No control signal on the Mars Aqua driver is maximum brightness. Some drivers can use multiple dimming types on the same 2 input wires. So it's possible the drivers in your unit accept an analog dimming signal.

Maybe using the wrong term. Let me re-phrase, If I do not plug in the VDM to the APEX the light by default is brighter than if the apex is telling it to be say 10%.

Reefer525XL
04/21/2016, 08:51 PM
Has anybody been able to successfully control a Ocean Revive Arctic T247 with the apex?

oreo57
04/21/2016, 10:35 PM
I'm not quite sure how you define control signal? I simulated a 0-10v 40ma analog signal using the psu. No control signal on the Mars Aqua driver is maximum brightness. Some drivers can use multiple dimming types on the same 2 input wires. So it's possible the drivers in your unit accept an analog dimming signal.

Couple of years ago (I believe) over at nano tank or some such site the "research" was fairly good but also a bit all over the board.
BUT...one thing I do remember is the talk of a "pot" on the driver board that could be tweaked to somewhat "fix" the dim range..
W/ that in mind and this vid @ 43 second mark.. Note the pot label..
https://youtu.be/0SsT28rSmjI


Give it a look..

OllieNZ
04/22/2016, 12:56 AM
Maybe using the wrong term. Let me re-phrase, If I do not plug in the VDM to the APEX the light by default is brighter than if the apex is telling it to be say 10%.
I've looked at your unit and it seems they also offer a version with a built in controller. So it's likely that your drivers are different to the Mars aqua drivers in that they will accept other types of dimming signal.
Couple of years ago (I believe) over at nano tank or some such site the "research" was fairly good but also a bit all over the board.
BUT...one thing I do remember is the talk of a "pot" on the driver board that could be tweaked to somewhat "fix" the dim range..
W/ that in mind and this vid @ 43 second mark.. Note the pot label..
https://youtu.be/0SsT28rSmjI


Give it a look..
Vid's not available for me sorry. I did try it with a 50k pot and could get it to dim down but not up.

Also while doing these tests I'm monitoring the driver output and dimming voltages, not doing it by eye.

There seems to be a wide variety of drivers in these things.

oreo57
04/22/2016, 05:42 AM
Also while doing these tests I'm monitoring the driver output and dimming voltages, not doing it by eye.
Yea not the best way to do things.. Most ramps aren't "visually linear" anyways..


There seems to be a wide variety of drivers in these things.
Yep..

As to the "trim pot" ..I have no idea exactly what this controls, but as I mentioned "some" had luck w some type of trim pot on the driver (some of the drivers??) to improve dim response..
http://www.qualiteitems.com/images/dim3.jpg

OllieNZ
05/19/2016, 11:39 AM
I've had a bit of time today to do a bit more work on this and I think I've come up with a reasonable solution to dim the Mars aqua drivers with pwm. The circuit provides reasonably linear dimming with just a touch of log/anti log at the ends. I'll post a circuit diagram once I get it finished up tomorrow. I also took a video showing driver forward voltage vs dimming voltage I'll upload when I get a chance.

OllieNZ
05/20/2016, 03:50 AM
This is a quick circuit diagram for independently controlling 4 drivers.
http://i809.photobucket.com/albums/zz15/OllieNZ/Mobile%20Uploads/2016-05/20160520_104120_zpswtt4ciry.jpg (http://s809.photobucket.com/user/OllieNZ/media/Mobile%20Uploads/2016-05/20160520_104120_zpswtt4ciry.jpg.html)
The driver dimming circuit doesn't have enough power to get the circuit to run properly limiting the brightness. So an additional 10v supply is required to give a little boost achieve max brightness.
So far I've only tested 1/4 of the circuit (one driver) and it's working well. Will be adding a second driver today.

sickreefbro
05/20/2016, 02:01 PM
Im just thinking out loud...is there a way to rig up a digital pot and have an apex/RK etc control the Digital pot?

OllieNZ
05/21/2016, 03:18 AM
Im just thinking out loud...is there a way to rig up a digital pot and have an apex/RK etc control the Digital pot?
Not sure. Most of the digi pots I looked at were i2c interface and had a +-0.3v tolerance for all inputs.

OllieNZ
05/21/2016, 03:54 AM
E3acHSg8Crc
The Meter on the left is showing the driver fwd voltage (driver output) and the meter on the right is showing the potential difference between the Vdim+ and Vdim- pins 10v being open circuit 0v being short circuit.
The Arduino is just running a basic up/down fade sketch with 1 pwm step per 100millisec.
(Sound track provided by someone running a diesel scissor lift in the hangar ;))

When I get some more free time I'll map driver output vs pwm value to check the actual dimming curve but it's definitely much more linear than my initial circuits.

sickreefbro
05/21/2016, 07:39 AM
So, did you convert the drivers output votage to pwm and then the Arduinos voltage to pwn also?

OllieNZ
05/21/2016, 08:21 AM
So, did you convert the drivers output votage to pwm and then the Arduinos voltage to pwn also?

The arduino is outputting it's normal 0-5v pwm signal. This is smoothed by the capacitor before going into the op amp. The positive from the driver's dimmer is fed into the voltage supply rail of the op amp. The resulting output of the op amp goes to the negative terminal of the driver's dimming circuit. Controlling the duty cycle of the pwm changes the op amp output.

sickreefbro
05/21/2016, 08:51 AM
Can this circuit be altered to work with apexs 0-10v input? Forgive me, trying to catch up. Im in the same boat having 300 watt mars light and an apex. Found another thread where a guy used a lm358 as a unity gain buffer, which i assume was just to protect the apex. With these drivers have theyre own bias voltage im absolutely stumped.

OllieNZ
05/21/2016, 09:11 AM
Can this circuit be altered to work with apexs 0-10v input? Forgive me, trying to catch up. Im in the same boat having 300 watt mars light and an apex. Found another thread where a guy used a lm358 as a unity gain buffer, which i assume was just to protect the apex. With these drivers have theyre own bias voltage im absolutely stumped.

It should be able to. I was testing the system with opto isolation and a separate 5v supply and was playing about with varying the 5v supply voltage up and down and it was responding as expected. You'll have to drop the apex to from 0-10v to 0-5v as you'll get no further response beyond 5v. Or treat 0-50% on the apex as 0-100%
Connect the apex+ in place of the pwm+ and the ground will be the same
I used the LM324 as I had one laying about and it offers 4 channels in a single package.

csammis
05/21/2016, 10:48 AM
It should be able to. I was testing the system with opto isolation and a separate 5v supply and was playing about with varying the 5v supply voltage up and down and it was responding as expected. You'll have to drop the apex to from 0-10v to 0-5v as you'll get no further response beyond 5v. Or treat 0-50% on the apex as 0-100%
Connect the apex+ in place of the pwm+ and the ground will be the same
I used the LM324 as I had one laying about and it offers 4 channels in a single package.

I'm not familiar with Arduinos as a microcontroller and even less with op-amp circuits but I'm a little confused by this post.

The Apex 0-10v output is not PWM with logical levels at 0v and 10v. It's a variable voltage output that ranges between 0v and 10v. If you set 50% on the Apex variable output you get 5v not a PWM signal with a 50% duty cycle. If the Arduino is putting out a PWM then how does is your circuit able to drop in a non-PWM signal and get the same results?

OllieNZ
05/21/2016, 12:00 PM
I'm not familiar with Arduinos as a microcontroller and even less with op-amp circuits but I'm a little confused by this post.

The Apex 0-10v output is not PWM with logical levels at 0v and 10v. It's a variable voltage output that ranges between 0v and 10v. If you set 50% on the Apex variable output you get 5v not a PWM signal with a 50% duty cycle. If the Arduino is putting out a PWM then how does is your circuit able to drop in a non-PWM signal and get the same results?
I'm smoothing the pwm to provide a 0-5v analog voltage to the op amp so starting with an analog voltage in the first place makes things easier. This circuit is tuned to take 0-5 in and output 0-10v

oreo57
05/21/2016, 12:25 PM
so starting with an analog voltage in the first place makes things easier.
Not sure why it would be "easier" than using the 5v pwm in the first place though..

just curious..

http://birota.azurewebsites.net/content/images/2015/03/im5-1.png
http://birota.azurewebsites.net/0-5v-to-0-10v-pwm-converter-for-arduino/
Using thee 10v from the driver and you wouldn't even need the 220..

But your programming would be reversed???
sorry just throwing this in for understanding..

RC filters have their own idiosyncrasies..

All above my pay grade but I'm curious..

OllieNZ
05/21/2016, 12:39 PM
Not sure why it would be "easier" than using the 5v pwm in the first place though..

just curious..

http://birota.azurewebsites.net/content/images/2015/03/im5-1.png
http://birota.azurewebsites.net/0-5v-to-0-10v-pwm-converter-for-arduino/
Using thee 10v from the driver and you wouldn't even need the 220..

But your programming would be reversed???
sorry just throwing this in for understanding..

RC filters have their own idiosyncrasies..

All above my pay grade but I'm curious..
Mostly above my pay grade too but (shrug) someone's gotta play.
The issue I had with a basic transistor circuit was the output curve was rubbish.
http://i809.photobucket.com/albums/zz15/OllieNZ/Driver-PWM%20map_zpsmm6wimu0.jpg (http://s809.photobucket.com/user/OllieNZ/media/Driver-PWM%20map_zpsmm6wimu0.jpg.html)
The op amp circuit seems (I still need to map it) much more linear in its response. I could have run with the first circuit and used 10 or 12 bit pwm and a lookup table to smooth the curve on the controller side but that was to much of a headache for someone who's pretty new to programming.
Another issue with the drivers is the 10v signal they produce is very low current, I've measured 3mA dead short so not a lot to play with.

OllieNZ
05/21/2016, 12:40 PM
Yes you do need to invert the pwm programming 255 being min and 0 being max

oreo57
05/21/2016, 12:54 PM
Thanks.. Just an FYI the eye response is not linear in regards to dimming..

“The reason why the exponential ramp is important is because of the way the human eye senses light,” Woodward says. “A quick linear ramp is not very pleasing to the eye, but if you ramp exponentially and gradually turn it on at the lower levels first and then faster, your eye perceives that in a nice smooth transition. That is really why we ramp exponentially, to give the human eye a nice gradual response. You won’t see any flicker on the screen.”

http://www.digikey.com/en/articles/techzone/2014/jun/led-driver-solutions-for-mobile-backlighting

OllieNZ
05/21/2016, 01:03 PM
The fwd voltage across the leds and their rated output has a fairly linear relationship. Which is why I'm focusing on the driver output rather than what I perceive. If I had a par meter I'd be using that. How bright a light appears to the human eye means nothing to a photosynthetic orginisim.

csammis
05/23/2016, 06:51 AM
I'm smoothing the pwm to provide a 0-5v analog voltage to the op amp so starting with an analog voltage in the first place makes things easier. This circuit is tuned to take 0-5 in and output 0-10v

Thanks for the explanation!

OllieNZ
05/23/2016, 10:41 AM
Thanks for the explanation!
No problem,
Hooked up a second driver today, all worked as expected. I did add a diode between each vdim+ and the 10v supply rail so I can tweak the 10v supply up a touch if needed.
http://i809.photobucket.com/albums/zz15/OllieNZ/Mobile%20Uploads/2016-05/20160523_153443_zpsrcxtagle.jpg (http://s809.photobucket.com/user/OllieNZ/media/Mobile%20Uploads/2016-05/20160523_153443_zpsrcxtagle.jpg.html)

theatrus
05/24/2016, 12:52 AM
Everything is looking good here :).

Does the circuit dim to zero? The low end of the "rail to rail" LMV32x series is about 60-180mV above V-, I have no idea how sensitive the drivers are (they might have some hysteresis near zero or not).


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

OllieNZ
05/24/2016, 03:16 AM
Everything is looking good here :).

Does the circuit dim to zero? The low end of the "rail to rail" LMV32x series is about 60-180mV above V-, I have no idea how sensitive the drivers are (they might have some hysteresis near zero or not).


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
Thanks, it doesn't quite get to zero but the drivers don't dim to zero anyway. It drops the driver fV to 74v from 90v which is about the same as the manual pot.

kdirk
05/26/2016, 10:05 PM
looking at doing the apex mod for light control. For wiring is it better to get the one with the off switch built into the intensity knob, or the one with a separate on/off switch?

OllieNZ
05/26/2016, 11:34 PM
looking at doing the apex mod for light control. For wiring is it better to get the one with the off switch built into the intensity knob, or the one with a separate on/off switch?
Mine has both. The separate switch is on the A/C power side before the driver and the built in switch is part of the drivers control system.

kdirk
05/27/2016, 09:43 AM
If i get the right one can i avoid getting the controller from StevesLEDs and just wire it up to the plug?

OllieNZ
05/27/2016, 12:24 PM
If i get the right one can i avoid getting the controller from StevesLEDs and just wire it up to the plug?
Yes but you would have to be certain that the drivers will accept a 0-10v analog dimming signal.

kdirk
05/27/2016, 04:57 PM
I'm looking at this one

http://www.ebay.com/itm/171860123001?_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

kdirk
05/27/2016, 04:59 PM
I would like to get them to shut off with the 0-10v and not have to shut off the outlet from the apex. But how knows what driver they put in there.

kdirk
05/27/2016, 05:04 PM
I wonder if this one would be better with control wires running to a internal control. Just rewire their and run to apex
http://www.ebay.com/itm/281788090341?_trksid=p2055119.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

oreo57
05/27/2016, 06:07 PM
I would like to get them to shut off with the 0-10v and not have to shut off the outlet from the apex. But how knows what driver they put in there.


Not sure that is possible w/ any of these.

OllieNZ
05/28/2016, 12:42 AM
I would like to get them to shut off with the 0-10v and not have to shut off the outlet from the apex. But how knows what driver they put in there.
It won't happen sorry, I've not seen a black box that dims to zero yet.

kdirk
05/28/2016, 06:53 PM
So most are timing them out on a apex?

OllieNZ
05/29/2016, 05:07 AM
So most are timing them out on a apex?
I don't use an apex so can't answer that one. My build will have relays on the AC side of the drivers for on/off control.

Crjdriver
06/02/2016, 10:03 PM
I don't use an apex so can't answer that one. My build will have relays on the AC side of the drivers for on/off control.

Hello OllieNZ
I am dead in the water, I just purchased a apex jr with vdm module, big mistake was assuming I had 0-10 driver, I have the drivers I believe you have, because I have a identical dimmer pot and when I hooked up the apex the light came on but no dimming capabilities, do you have a solution or am I stuck with replacing driver boards?
Thanks in advance

OllieNZ
06/03/2016, 12:16 AM
Hello OllieNZ
I am dead in the water, I just purchased a apex jr with vdm module, big mistake was assuming I had 0-10 driver, I have the drivers I believe you have, because I have a identical dimmer pot and when I hooked up the apex the light came on but no dimming capabilities, do you have a solution or am I stuck with replacing driver boards?
Thanks in advance
I still need run a full test but you should be able to use my op amp circuit with the apex. It will need a voltage divider in place of the capacitor on the input to allow you to use the full resolution of the apex as the circuit is designed to use a 0-5v input. I'm away from home this week, I'll run a more comprehensive test next week if you can wait?

sickreefbro
06/03/2016, 01:48 PM
I have my marsaqua 300watt ramping. I have the the 0-10v inputs to the vdim+ and vdim-, which ramps fine and the outlets are just programmed to shut the lights off. At first the blues would ramp up to 100% and the whites would only ramp to 99% even though the profile states 100%. Now, a couple weeks later, the blues and the whites will only ramp to 99% (according to apex), even though the profiles specifically state they need to ramp to 100%. Now in the grand scheme of things this isn't a big deal for me. 1% is not that big of a deal. Any Idea why this is happening? Is my light only allowing the apex to ramp it to 99%? or do you suspect this is happening on the apex side?

AZReefRat
06/04/2016, 01:39 AM
Haven't seen a anything like the ones I bought...can somebody help me out

OllieNZ
06/08/2016, 06:31 AM
Finally managed to test my circuit with a 0-10v analog signal. It works quite well but you need to invert the operation of the apex eg, 100%=min, 0%=max. You'll most likely see no response for values above 85% (it will hit minimum brightness at this point) assuming the apex outputs 100mV per 1% step.
This is the revised circuit diagram
http://i809.photobucket.com/albums/zz15/OllieNZ/Mobile%20Uploads/2016-06/20160608_132222_zpsmqbte4wn.jpg (http://s809.photobucket.com/user/OllieNZ/media/Mobile%20Uploads/2016-06/20160608_132222_zpsmqbte4wn.jpg.html)

Chris Abbott
10/10/2016, 06:13 PM
Have two units dimming to 10% for d/d effect. one unit is far brighter than the other, any chance there is a gain control anywhere in my box i could adjust?

Chris Abbott
10/10/2016, 06:39 PM
Found it, not exact but close enough for me.

Atomic081
05/28/2017, 06:45 AM
Quick question about this mod.

I'm building 2 450gallon aquariums and I'm going to use the mars aqua 300w. I know they can be linked together but would I need to mod all of them or can I just mod the first of them in the line?


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Reefer PT
05/28/2017, 08:45 AM
You would need to mod all.


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brad2388
08/26/2017, 07:18 PM
Finally managed to test my circuit with a 0-10v analog signal. It works quite well but you need to invert the operation of the apex eg, 100%=min, 0%=max. You'll most likely see no response for values above 85% (it will hit minimum brightness at this point) assuming the apex outputs 100mV per 1% step.
This is the revised circuit diagram
http://i809.photobucket.com/albums/zz15/OllieNZ/Mobile%20Uploads/2016-06/20160608_132222_zpsmqbte4wn.jpg (http://s809.photobucket.com/user/OllieNZ/media/Mobile%20Uploads/2016-06/20160608_132222_zpsmqbte4wn.jpg.html)

I cant pm yet as im new.

Can you help me get this going? Or have anymore pics of the details?

OllieNZ
08/26/2017, 10:52 PM
I cant pm yet as im new.

Can you help me get this going? Or have anymore pics of the details?I'll get the wiring diagram back up when I get a chance (stoopid photobucket)

I did encounter some issues with the pwm controlled version of the dimming circuit as the RC filter provided logarithmic response curve. Never got round to sorting that out but if you're using an analog control signal it will work fine.

OllieNZ
08/26/2017, 11:14 PM
For analog dimming you replace the RC filter with a voltage divider (x2 resistors) as shown

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4159/34819535973_37cd661a90_c.jpg
(https://flic.kr/p/V3TdX8)
20160608_132222 (https://flic.kr/p/V3TdX8) by Ollie Ball (https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/), on Flickr

This was the response curve for 8bit PWM

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4167/34821405943_be9c8ec85d_c.jpg
(https://flic.kr/p/V43NPZ)
Driver-PWM%20map_zpsmm6wimu0 (https://flic.kr/p/V43NPZ) by Ollie Ball (https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/), on Flickr

fulkerl
01/29/2018, 06:46 AM
I just got a couple CBB and they are like nothing I have seen..
the dimming volts are 0 - 22.6. I would like to control with my adruino.
any help would be great..

fulkerl
01/29/2018, 07:01 AM
could you change the 10 volt power adapter to the CBB LED driver +22.6 volt out with this simple transistor fix we used on the meanwells?