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Old 12/14/2011, 12:53 PM   #1
Devaji108
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Lightbulb DIY LED build for dummies…

Yup that’s me, after trying and blowing my DIY Led for my refugium I am still gonna try it for my DT. The purpose of this thread is to dumb it down to the very basics from soldering to testing with a millimeter to wiring the pots for dimming. Some with experience at this may find it to dumb. But I am sure others will find it refreshingly simple and easy to fallow.
First I would like to thank a few ppl that have been so help full in the DIY LED arena and invite them to this discussion/thread. Hopefully not only I, but all others that need basic training in LED’s will get the info we all need.

Kcress , fishman 65,soundwave, Katchupoy, der_wille_zur_macht

Here are some useful threads, links and videos that I found helpful, fun and inspiring:
JP’s build thread very good!! http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/sh....php?t=1973462

LED’s the write up: long but alot of amazing info: http://reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1587273

Katchupoy’s linear design: http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/sh....php?t=1952442

Rickets Reef videos: great 5-5 part videos… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4I_5u...feature=relmfu

My build thread: http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/sh....php?t=2043736

I am sure there is more great info that should be included in this LED build for dummies thread but I’ll post more in time.
Tank Info : 75 gallon 48X24X18 and will be a softie, LPS, and a few SPS
the array will be 48 Cree LED’s 36 royal blue to 12 cool white. A 2:1 ratio and I hope will give me a 15k look. However if it’s not just right I might a 2 -4 neutral whites.
Part list all from Rapied Led except the C channel.
36 RB led’s
12CW
4 Mean well ELN-60-48D drives
4 three prong plug
9V wall wart
2X pots ( dimming control)
Multimeter
AA battery tester for the LED’s
“Y” hanging kit
48” C channel from speedy metals
12” angle iron form speedy metals

I will be doing a linear build much like katchupoy’s and will be running them in a series so each string of 12 will have it’s own driver. The blues and whites will dim separately of each other .


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Old 12/14/2011, 01:16 PM   #2
homegrownREEFER
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I'll be following this build since I just started getting parts together for a LED build for a 75 as well. I too am gonna have 48 total LEDs, my breakdown is: 16 RB, 8 B, 12 CW, 8 NW, and 4 WW all Cree's. I chose to go with 1:1 ratio since I am not too big of a fan of the blue look but since I will be getting the 60-48D drivers and hooking them up to a Apex Jr, I'll play with them and see what look I like. I was contemplating on throwing in a few "UV" leds but the only ones I can find are 420 nm and everywhere I searched say to not even bother with them. I guess I'll hold off til there are "true" UV LEDS. Anyway I am looking forward to this.



Last edited by homegrownREEFER; 12/14/2011 at 01:24 PM.
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Old 12/14/2011, 02:18 PM   #3
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Homegrown yes please do come along for the ride. hopefully you will get somthing out of it as well.
off to work for a few hours,hopefully i'll be able to get something done tonight.


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Old 12/14/2011, 04:54 PM   #4
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so we are going to need a soldering iron for this. hear is the info I got when I ask ppl on RC on what they thought:
http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/sh....php?t=2050461

remember to pre-tin or tin the soldering iron. it's really easy even for us newbies. here is an example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j1ZnkTC5bps

also here is a thread on C channel VS. heatsink
http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/sh....php?t=2082821


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Old 12/14/2011, 05:09 PM   #5
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Tagging along


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Old 12/14/2011, 05:18 PM   #6
Devaji108
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so I am off to go tin or pre tin my LED's... TIP I read somewhere on here that it is much easier to do it before you attach to heatsink....
here is a video from one of our sponsors:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DtiuZUvCzMc


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Old 12/14/2011, 05:45 PM   #7
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Following along as well, I plan to order my parts tomorrow.


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Old 12/14/2011, 05:46 PM   #8
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And what kind of cree are you using? Xml, xpe, xte, xpg??


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Old 12/14/2011, 05:55 PM   #9
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So far so good! Im waiting for my LED kit to come in so I will be building soon too. But wouldnt 36 RB to 12 CW be a 3:1 ratio? Just not sure if you wanted it that blue since you said you wanted a 2:1 ratio.


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Old 12/14/2011, 06:17 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arentspowell View Post
So far so good! Im waiting for my LED kit to come in so I will be building soon too. But wouldnt 36 RB to 12 CW be a 3:1 ratio? Just not sure if you wanted it that blue since you said you wanted a 2:1 ratio.
well #$%^$ Dam your right. I was thinking that it was a bit off. guess I can't do math ether...man I am all confused now.


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Old 12/14/2011, 06:24 PM   #11
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here is what your LED will look like once you get them:

I found it easier to leave them together while tinning. started on one side and did the - (only one of them) all across the bunch then turned them around and did the +

here is the solder iron I am using:

I really like the "soldering stations" as they come with a iron holder and sponge to clean the tip.


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Old 12/14/2011, 06:28 PM   #12
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tested all RB with AA battery tester before and after tinning.
here is a pic of the tinning...what ya think is it ok?



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Old 12/14/2011, 06:34 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stancfii View Post
And what kind of cree are you using? Xml, xpe, xte, xpg??
I am using XP-E for the RB
and XP-G for the CW


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Old 12/14/2011, 06:48 PM   #14
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your tinning looks fine. I found it easier when i did mine to also tin the wire and then just "melt" the joint together. was faster and it made a much better bond


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Old 12/14/2011, 06:59 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Waddleboy View Post
your tinning looks fine. I found it easier when i did mine to also tin the wire and then just "melt" the joint together. was faster and it made a much better bond
thanks! yeah I will defiantly tin the wires as well.


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Old 12/14/2011, 07:02 PM   #16
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Devaji, will you be using thermal adhesive or screwing the LEDs in? I think for the drivers you can put 2 drivers on one 3 prong plug so then you'll have just two plugs instead of four. I plan on doing this so I can save some outlets on my Apex and also less plugs to deal with.


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Old 12/14/2011, 08:18 PM   #17
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AH very good! nice tip. thanks
i'll be using thermal adhesive...


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Old 12/14/2011, 08:25 PM   #18
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following along!


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Old 12/15/2011, 07:24 AM   #19
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Following also.....


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Old 12/15/2011, 09:26 AM   #20
Devaji108
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Hey Chimical edge welcome to RC! you find it's a great community of reefers.

so it looks like I will most likely be ordering a few more whites for the mix.
I was going for a 2:1 but had a brain fart and went 3:1...so I have 36 CW to 12 RB.
was hoping for a 15k look I think the mix I have will be more of a 20K??
can anyone chime in on that?

thinking of @ lest 4 NW and 2 more CW that way I can have 4 whites per bar...and one with 5.

the other thing is that if I add more white to the mix I am confused about driving them. my original thoughts were all whites on it own dimmable driver. and the blues on there own dimmable driver. however if I add more whites to the mix i'll have to but some 2-4 on the blue string. not sure if that's a big deal or not but was hoping to dim it down it the evenings to a nice dust effect...

anyway thoughts feedback??


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Old 12/15/2011, 10:40 AM   #21
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the Cw and the RB look VERY similar. notice the yellow in the diode or what ever it's called. center of LED on the CW and the white center of the RB.
here is a pic:

I went ahead and labeled the bottom of the CW as well. OK OK you got me it took a while for me to notice the difference...



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Old 12/15/2011, 10:42 AM   #22
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and here is what the array will look like:





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Old 12/15/2011, 10:45 AM   #23
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there is/will be 12 LED's per c channel.
around 3.5 inches apart with more in center for the center brace of tank.
C channel is 2.5" from each other.
total length is 48" with is 12"


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Old 12/15/2011, 11:00 AM   #24
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my mixing of the CW to RB are:
RB.....CW......RB.....RB....CW.....RB.....MIDDLE.....RB....CW....RB....RB....CW...RB

and my middle 2 rows will probably go with every other RB to CW.
that will give me a mix of 18 whites to 30 RB
thoughts??
still not sure how to drive them. I guess I have two options
1) drive all 18 whites with one driver running in parallel???
like in JP"S build...is the possible?
2) add four CW to the string of RB one every bar...
what do you all think?


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Old 12/15/2011, 11:45 AM   #25
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Hey guys I just received my meter oaks and I want to get started but there are two things unclear to me. First, what gauge wire and what kind of wire do you use?

Second when I test with my multimeter, do I have to unwire one of the LEDs? Pics of how you measure with the multimeter please, because it maybe difficult to explain


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