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Old 01-14-2004, 12:05 AM   #1
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5 LED Moonlight

Here's my $32 moonlight. I'll rewire it once i build my hood. All of the parts were purchased at RadioShack. The most expensive part was the transformer. Each LED was $4.
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Old 01-14-2004, 10:09 AM   #2
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if you wanna make another one:
http://www.lsdiodes.com/
$.45 leds
spend less than $20 and shipping is $2 anywhere in the world!
ive purchased from them before and will again
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Old 01-14-2004, 11:35 AM   #3
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That's a cool site! I like the tutorial section. Now I can build some moonlights! If my hood is 72", and they can only fit across the front and back...how many should I have, and should they alternate on the top and bottom...kinda like:

, ` , ` , ` , `

Where ` are the back and , are the front? thanks! btw yakplsat, cool lookin' lights!
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Old 01-18-2004, 11:16 AM   #4
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Looks very cool. I am in the process of building a similar device but I have recently seen the CS moonlight for sale for 20 bucks.

None the less - checked out that LED site - it is really good and they are obviously making an honest profit rather than a 1000% mark-up like some places. However, the LED's they sell are minimum 4000mcd and the Radio Shack LED's that yaksplat (cool handle) used are probably somewhere between about 600mcd and 2500mcd (pls correct me if I'm wrong). I'm a little concerned about the 4000 mcds as that may be way too bright and intense. Non-diffused LEDs may have low wattage but their intensity can be focused in one very intense and narrow beam. At the 4000 mcd it might even be stressful to the tank inhabitants. The site even warns that their bulbs are so intense that if you look directly at them they could cause permanent eye damage.

Yaksplat - Does your moon unit (thank you Frank Zappa) provide enough light? And are you pleased with the effect it gives? If you are, I may follow in your brave, trailblazing footsteps

Tom
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Old 01-18-2004, 07:53 PM   #5
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Thought the 4000 mcd issue out for awhile and realized I could put an LED dimmer on the lights. Generally a 555 TTL timer chip wired up as a monostable pulse generator where the frequency of the pulse is fixed (high so no flicker in the LEDs) and where the duty cylce of the pulse is adjustable from 50% to 100%.

So I ordered the LEDs from LSdiode.

Really appreciate the ideas folks. Gave some kudos to both of you.

Tom
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Old 01-18-2004, 08:58 PM   #6
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I'm an electronics idiot.

What parts were used, and how were they connected? Got a diagram?

TIA
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Old 01-18-2004, 11:27 PM   #7
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Hi,

I'm not sure how Yaksplat did it but I can suggest a pretty cheap way with little to fail if you're not familiar with the electronics involved. Also a bit cheaper. First off I would purchase the following:

A few Blue 5mm LED's from www.LSdiodes.com as suggested by centurion (they are 45 cents each), A Transformer pack from http://www.allelectronics.com/cgi-bi...?item=DCTX-512 (Cat# DCTX-512 - $3.50) and a few 70 ohm 1/4watt resisters also from allcorp. (perhaps a few cents each). Resisters can be close as the operating range of the LED's is 2.9 Volts to 4.0 Volts. I selected 70 ohms because the nominal operating voltage of the LED's is 3.6 and using Ohms law it works out to 70 ohms. (5V - 3.9V/20mAmps)

Then wire up as indicated in the attached diagram. You may have to cut the end of of the transformer wire and strip the leads. If you can not tell which side is plus try hooking up one LED as per the diagram - if it does not light, reverse the leads. You will not be able to burn out the LED as the resistor is limiting the voltage across the leads of the led to an acceptable level.

well, whole thing with 5 LEDS might cost you $6. You might want to add a switch or timer.

Good Luck.

Tom
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Old 01-19-2004, 12:11 AM   #8
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yeah, i basically did the same thing. except i used a 12v transformer with 470 ohm resistors, but it's all the same

I'm working on a solid state timer to control all of my lights. I'm not an EE but a ME that's willing to learn.

Jim
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Old 01-19-2004, 12:26 AM   #9
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Hey Jim,

Cool. I started in EE then midstream switched to Comp Sci when I realized you could make twice as much if you even knew how to spell computer (ahhh those were the days - back when Disco ran rampant like a plague and computer geeks were held in awe rather then ridiculed.


Well if you need some EE help - I can always give it a try.

Lata'

Tom
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Old 01-21-2004, 01:03 PM   #10
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Where and what parts would I find to accomplish the timer and dimmer effects people speak about. I have done some wiring/soldering, but don't have the component knowledge of EE's.

I'd love to add a reasonable timed, dimmable moonlight to my tank.

TIA.
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