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Old 06-20-2010, 08:13 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by ilostnemo View Post
the holes will be enough for air flow, and i think this is for his FW tank. and there is rust in alot of water. plus they wont rust that quick unless he has insane amounts of evap..
I think you'll find if there is enough restriction against the blades the fans will overheat,you need to measure the opening of the fan and have the same amount in the hood,i use these fans at work and they don't take any restrictions hence all the noise from computer fans because no one cleans the inlets this applies to fridges and freezers which use these fans.
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Old 06-20-2010, 09:45 AM   #12
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Thanks for the advice guys. I think that I'm just going to leave the fans and housing as is. My reasoning is that the fans are only going to come on whenever the tank gets above a certain temp (probably 82 degrees). Meaning that they're probably never going to come on since my temp is set at 77 degrees or so. (Well, I'll probably turn them on once a day to keep them from dying from never being used) The hood doesn't cover ALL of the tank, there's about an inch in the back that is still uncovered, so I think there'll be enough airflow. It leaves more room uncovered than both of my other hoods did. Also, if something bad were to happen where the tank would REALLY heat up... (Like our A/C breaking), I'd know about it, and simply remove the hood. Honestly the fans are for the (Just in case scenario). However, like I said previously, I will probably turn them on once every couple hours (for a few minutes) to get the air moving a bit, so they won't have time to overheat.

I appreciate the advice though.

Anyway, I installed the fluorescent bulb last night, as I wanted to use the hood today (since both of my other lights are in pieces :p). It looks really good on the tank, but I haven't taken a picture yet, as I'm going to the Pittsburgh Parts-A-Rama today I'll have some pics tonight.
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Old 06-20-2010, 09:34 PM   #13
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Update!!

Alright guys, it's finished for now. All that's left to do is the electronics, and I have a shipment coming, so those will be done soon. Basically, last night when I installed the fluorescent light, it hit the fans when the lid was opening and closing, so I took out the fans. This morning I realized that I could just move the fluorescent bulb to the front instead of the back. That's exactly what I did. I also installed the other set of lights and drilled and sealed a whole in the back for wires. I also did some wire management. The lid is about an inch and a half above the water, and the light bulbs are about 2.5-3 inches above it. Here are the pics!

Here's the lid open. Yes the CFLs are a bit crooked... stupid screw slipage...


Here it is on the dark tank.



Lid open on dark tank.


Here it is with the lights on. (yeah I stressed the fish a bit, they'll be fine).
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Old 06-20-2010, 11:41 PM   #14
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I think it great Looks really good on top of the tank, and since you built it you'll learn from it so if you build another it will be even better.
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Old 06-28-2010, 02:04 AM   #15
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Alright guys, the electronics are... well.. tested... Right now they're sitting on a breadboard in front of me lol. Basically this is what they do.

I have my desk light on, so when the program starts running, it tests the light and waits for it to be turned off (waits for the normal lights in my hood to turn off. They're controlled by a timer in the wall). Once the lights are turned off, immediately my "sunset" LEDs turn on. It'll maybe be a second (hopefully a microsecond) before the lights turn on, so it shouldn't spook the fish. Then, the sunset lights dim over a time period. Immediately after that (well, maybe after a half hour or so), the moving moonlights turn on. They move from the left side to the right side of the tank. Once they're done, the "sunrise" lights start getting brighter and brighter. (Again, maybe a half hour pause between the moonlights and sunrise lights.) Once the sunrise lights are at their brightest, they stay on until they detect light (from the normal aquarium lights). Once that happens, the cycle starts over again.

Cool. Right? I like them, now I just gotta get it soldered up and put in my hood. I'll have a vid in a few.

Here's the vid. In the video the middle green LED is the sensing LED, it's slow at sensing right now, but I'm sure I can modify the program to sense things much faster. The green LED on the right represents the sunrise and sunset LEDs (of course there will be a lot more in place of one single LED ). The red LEDs represent the moving moonlight. There are only three cause that's all I need for my tank (and I'll still have to dim those). Once everything get's installed, the moonlight will be blue, and the sensing LED will be white, and the sunrise/sunset LEDs will be a mix of red, orange, some yellow, and a bunch of white. Oh, and as I mentioned, the moonlights are still dimmable so I can make them dark as heck if I want to (as to not bug the fish). When I say dimmable, I mean overall. Yes they dim and stuff when they move, but I'm talking about overall dimming, I can make their overall brightness much...well... dimmer lol.

Oh and, yeah, everything's pretty much light speed right now as I don't feel like waiting 12 hours for this whole process to finish... Oh, and I'll throw a lunar cycle in there. That's really simple. It's just a 28 day counter that has an overall brightness "factor". Since I already have a "factor" like that implemented, it'll be just adding one more variable. Actually, it's already done. (Yes I finished it between those two sentences)

EDIT: **Read the above paragraphs before you watch the video, it'll make EVERYTHING clear!**
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but if they were I wouldn't be able to see them. lol They have a wavelength of 395 - 410 which is right at the edge of the visible light spectrum. I think I'm gunna use these for moonlights.
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Old 06-28-2010, 07:24 PM   #16
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I am very, VERY interested in your LED setup. I've been toying with the idea of doing pretty much exactly what you did with some high-power LEDs for a planted tank. Would you be willing to share the technical details of your setup?
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Old 06-28-2010, 07:33 PM   #17
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I might have skimmed over it, but what are you using to program all of this, Arduino? Also, you should just get a really thin piece of acrylic and screw it on the underside for a splash guard. Will help keep the evap and all that stuff you were worried about to a minimum.
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Old 06-29-2010, 12:06 AM   #18
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I am very, VERY interested in your LED setup. I've been toying with the idea of doing pretty much exactly what you did with some high-power LEDs for a planted tank. Would you be willing to share the technical details of your setup?
Of course! Let me get it workin first . I'm halfway through soldering everything in. I was going to make a nice PCB for it, but I don't have any etchant, so I did it all on a little project board. It's a PITA doing it this way, but it'll work. And I'm gunna make a small "Project Box" out of acrylic to hold everything, (and keep it dry).

And I'm using an Amtel AtMega8, as it's the microcontroller I'm most familiar with. (And I have a socket for it, and it works with a project board) But the programming can easily be adapted to other microcontrollers. Heck, I'll even help ya do it.

I'll also draw up a schematic on the computer when I have time.
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Old 06-29-2010, 10:20 AM   #19
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Radio Shack carries little project boxes that could be waterproofed. I used their little aluminum box to make a portable fish finder last summer. I didn't waterproof it, but it could be done.

The microcontroller is where I was struggling. I haven't worked with them before, so I didn't know where to start to pick one. HowStuffWorks built a clock using a microcontroller and it cost them $200! I figure there has to be a cheaper way. I've got three tanks, maybe more, that I want to do this with, so even if the startup cost was a little higher, I'd be fine with it if the extra controllers were cheap.
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Old 06-29-2010, 12:33 PM   #20
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Ha, microcontrollers are REALLY cheap. Mine cost $3. :p (EDIT: The most expensive part of this project is the LEDs) If you wanted to, I could help you with the programming and what not, since I have all of the stuff to program the microcontrollers, I could just send the programmed chip to you? We'd change the programming to whatever you wanted it to be though, as I'm sure our needs/wants are slightly different. I'm sure we could work something out. The programming is done in C, if you want to try it yourself, but you gotta learn about the "registers" and stuff to change in the microcontroller. Basically on my MCU (microcontroller Unit?), there are 28 pins. Almost every pin does 3 different things. To make the pins do different things, you gotta change "registers" or basically switches inside of the chip. There are thousands of switches, and anywhere from 1 to 20 need to be in the exact right position to make the pin do what you want.

If you want to do it yourself, I'd be glad to help you out. I've learned that I'm actually a pretty good teacher when it comes to these things. Other people really really over complicate it. I just say 'Look up what switches to change, then change them'. Of course, the whole "looking up" and "changing" are two completely different and a little complicated things, but once you do it once, it's easy. Once I learned how to program MCUs, my whole world of electronics opened up. You can't imagine what you can do with these little things.

Anyway, I've got everything soldered, but I've run into a problem. Apparently my potentiometer (variable resistor) either broke, or isn't the one I thought it was. I thought it was a 10k pot, meaning it could have values anywhere from 0 to 10k Ohms of resistance, but mine only goes to 1000 (actually 800). I used a variable voltage regulator cause that's what I had available, and I need a resistance of 2000 for it to work. So I gotta desolder the pot and switch it for another one... On a high note though, I applied power, and got regulated voltages of 15.5 and 5V. I found out my power supply isn't a regulated power supply, so I had to regulate it twice regardless. Oh, and nothing blew up when I applied power. :p
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