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Old 06/14/2008, 01:42 AM   #1
xtm
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DIY Wavebox Tutorial from start to finish!

sup fellow RC'ers

I see a lot of threads discussing and planning DIY wavebox projects but for some reason, most of them never came to fruition. In this chapter, we will discuss and learn how to build a wavebox. We will go through the construction pics, the materials needed, and you will even learn how to build your own controller! By the end of this class, each of you will each have your own, fully functional wavebox! So pull out your pen and paper and let's get started!

Before we begin, I like to show you exactly what we are trying to achieve. This is my completed DIY wavebox in action:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W1duSSdjRb4

This whole project will cost about $220, give or take. The 'box costs around $565 USD brand new so it's up to you if it's worth the saving. Like the saying goes: "Why buy when you can D.I.Y.?"

Here's the parts breakdown:

Tunze 6100 - $200 used. Go to the For Sale forum.. they're all over the place.
Electronics - $5.00 MAX
Acrylic, Weld-On, etc.. $15.00
Total = ~$220.00 give or take a few bucks

==--==--==--==--==--==--==--==--==--==--==--==--

OK so let's build the wavebox itself FIRST and deal with the controller later on. So let's start with the parts list. You will need:

-An acrylic sheet. I can't remember the exact thickness but I think it's something along the lines of 0.38" thick.. ok it's thick enough so that you can firmly glue the edges. You will need to fabricate a box that is 5"x4.5"x11", so get whatever acrylic size you can get, as long as you have enough to cover these dimensions.

- A dremel, or any cutting tool for acrylic

- Weld-On #16, to glue the acrylic

- A controllable Tunze Stream pump (6055, 6100, 6101, 6200, etc)
(note: you can NOT use a non-DC stream pump! e.g. 6060, 6025, 6080, etc. They have brakes that can wear down and kill the pump!) The stronger the pump, the more water it will displace and the bigger the wave! If you use the 6055, you can have a wavebox for your nano, even before the wavebox nano even come out

Ok so first let's fabricate the wavebox itself. I cut 5x sheets and glued them as per the original wavebox dimensions (5"x4.5" x11")

I laid out the stream to make sure I have enough space..




Next, I drilled a hole for the mouth of the stream pump so that it sticks out. The stream is being held in place by the "hole" and make sure that it is snug enough so it won't move. The stream is dropped from the top of the box, so make sure you provide enough leeway to maneuver the stream once it enters the box.

As you can see, I suck at everything.. can't glue stuff, can't draw a circle either





Another shot




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Old 06/14/2008, 01:44 AM   #2
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Ok now that you've fabricated the 'box itself, you will need to wait about 24 hrs to let it cure. You also need to fabricate the BOTTOM part of the box however you need to LEAVE THE TOP OPEN. The only hole you have is the "mouth" of the stream pump.

I also suggest you paint your wavebox black so algae won't grow inside, but it's up to you

So after killing my hand with sanding, here's what the box looks like:



Now we're ready to paint! I used Rust-O-Leum plastic paint.. but you can also use Krylon Fusion. Same difference This thing looks so wet already!



ok it's almost 1:00am and I know the RC daily scheduled maintenance will kick in anytime now. I'm going to bed and continue posting tomorrow


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Last edited by xtm; 06/14/2008 at 01:59 AM.
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Old 06/14/2008, 02:04 AM   #3
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sweet video! I love my DIY wavebox also. Its pretty much like yours except I used black acrylic. Great informative post that will really help folks out!


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Old 06/14/2008, 09:57 AM   #4
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what kind of electronics are you using.that looks great.never would have thought it would be so cheap


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Old 06/14/2008, 10:05 AM   #5
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xtm used simple things you can purchase at a local electronics store. you'll see (so will I) lol. He's been talking about posting this diy page for months


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Old 06/14/2008, 10:47 AM   #6
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awsome.. this will be very helpfull..

and the smaller the tank, the lesser the cost I would imagine..

What size pump should I scale it down to?


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Old 06/14/2008, 01:03 PM   #7
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tagging along


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Old 06/14/2008, 01:29 PM   #8
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That looks fierce.

Thanks for sharing. Tagging along as well.


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Old 06/14/2008, 01:33 PM   #9
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Old 06/14/2008, 01:37 PM   #10
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what pump do you think I'll need for a 36" tank


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Old 06/14/2008, 02:34 PM   #11
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Here is another site for the electronics, but it would be nice to see xtm's schematic

http://ealex.aqua-web.org/wavebox/index.htm


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Old 06/14/2008, 07:40 PM   #12
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really cant wait to see the electronics behind this...i would love to use a 6055 in my nano for this...price of one of those is a little prohibitive though...

are seio pumps DC? you can get the 620/820 for a dime a dozen...mani would be in radio shack faster than a fat kid on a smartie if this will work with a seio..


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Old 06/14/2008, 09:08 PM   #13
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very cool


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Old 06/14/2008, 09:49 PM   #14
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Great build.
I will definitely be following along and building at least one for myself. If anyone want to buy a Wave2K box Ill have one for sale.



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Old 06/15/2008, 12:03 PM   #15
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ok so now it's time to build your controller. You can try Radio Shack or your local electronics store for parts but if you don't have a store nearby, you can order the components from www.allelectronics.com



From top to bottom:
(C2) 1uF electrolytic cap (polarized.. but it wouldn't matter)
(IC1) 555 timer IC + socket (easier to solder)
(R1) 1KΩ resistor
(C3) .1 uF ceramic cap
(R2) 20KΩ resistor
(C1) .47uF capacitor
(P1) 500kΩ pot

If you can't find the exact values in the store, you can always buy one that is similar or close to the value of the original. For example, if you can't find a 1KΩ resistor, you can always substitute a 980 Ω in its place.

For a really neat and professional project, you should also consider getting an enclosure and a circuit board for it. I have a huge blank circuitboard that I just cut into many smaller pieces.



If you are not familiar with electronics or just starting out, it's best to use a breadboard to prototype your circuit so you can alter the wiring easily without de-soldering the components.


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Old 06/15/2008, 12:22 PM   #16
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So here's what everyone's waiting for



Pins 1, 2, and 5 go to the Stream Controller's Female DIN5, as designated below:



The Pot in the above schematic will only have two pins connected - namely the middle and one of the side. The other side is not connected to anything.

Here is the completed project



Note that the yellow 1K resistor is not on my parts list.. it's the SAME. Just different format (it's my spare components). Also some components were soldered on the other side of the circuitboard (the electrolytic cap for example). The extra resistor here is used for the LED that blinks on and off when the controller pushes the Stream. I will add that to the schematic later.



And this is the finished product:



Any questions, please post here and I'll answer them


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Old 06/15/2008, 12:24 PM   #17
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i need more info this is just what i want for a 240 i have how big of pump would you use on a 6 foot tank


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Old 06/15/2008, 12:27 PM   #18
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Exactly what info do you need?


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Old 06/15/2008, 12:39 PM   #19
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Your controller box has a LED how do you wire it?


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Old 06/15/2008, 12:43 PM   #20
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so this can only be done with tunze power heads? will it work with seio's?

and also you need a controller for the power head aswell?

the list is then a PH, a controller (7091?), and your DIY controller, and the scrap acrylic..

i am thinking this is too big and ambitious a project for my 20G tank..

i did however stumble across a 6055 for $200 brand new..


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Old 06/15/2008, 01:18 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally posted by NanoReefWanabe
so this can only be done with tunze power heads? will it work with seio's?
DC controllable pump needed, Seios are AC, and they need a really special controller for their "controllability". I wouldn't be surprised if you couldn't do this on a Vortech as well even though it supposedly has that feature built in, I can't get a wave with 2 on my tank for nothing, but the displacement of water might help matters. (although different design, might be worth a shot)

Quote:
and also you need a controller for the power head aswell?

the list is then a PH, a controller (7091?), and your DIY controller, and the scrap acrylic..
He builds the controller himself.

Quote:
i am thinking this is too big and ambitious a project for my 20G tank..

i did however stumble across a 6055 for $200 brand new..
That would be some wave you get on there


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Old 06/15/2008, 01:49 PM   #22
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xtm,

with your electronics skills, you could have built the entire DC speed controller with only a few more components.

You can build a 555 based Pulse Width Modulator circuit which uses a IRF510 Power mosfet to controll the current to the powerhead. You would just add a 12Volt wall wart supply that can supply the PH.

I have one sitting in front of me that I intend to put in my hood to control the moon lights & fan speed. Since I have four channels & only using two, I could control two of those waveboxes. Oh, and my 4-channel PWM is accessible via ethernet & programmable.

Very good job!

Stu


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Old 06/15/2008, 03:37 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally posted by xinumaster
Your controller box has a LED how do you wire it?
Nevermind, I look at the data spec for 555 timer, already. I know now where to connect the LED.


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Old 06/15/2008, 04:54 PM   #24
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ok, im officially "electronics stupid" here... if that controller controls the pump, why do you have to plug it into the tunze box thing you show there?

was this demonstration for people with prior skills, or for the regular joe jack like myself?


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Old 06/16/2008, 02:26 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally posted by chrismunn
ok, im officially "electronics stupid" here... if that controller controls the pump, why do you have to plug it into the tunze box thing you show there?

was this demonstration for people with prior skills, or for the regular joe jack like myself?
When you buy a Tunze Stream, it comes with:

-Stream pump
-Controller box
-Transformer

The "controller box" is the driver for the Tunze stream. Without it, the stream pump will not run. It has speed control, alarm, etc. The stream pump will run at steady mode with just the driver box and transformer.

The function of my "controller" is to tell the Tunze driver box to turn ON and OFF rapidly. By doing so, it discharges the water from the box and lets it IN again - in a rapid way. This rapid In-OUT motion is what creates the wave in your tank.

Using the Pot (potentiometer, or variable resistor) in my controller, you can vary the frequency of the ON/OFF signal. You need to "find" your tank's resonant frequency to create a massive wave.

It should be noted that the presence of other powerheads/stream pumps will NOT affect the waves.

I hope that explains it. Has anyone started building theirs yet?


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