Go Back   Aquarium Advice - Aquarium Forum Community > General Aquarium Forums > DIY Projects
Click Here to Login

Join Aquarium Advice Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com
 
Old 05-28-2005, 03:14 AM   #1
Aquarium Advice FINatic
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Rancho Cucamonga, California
Posts: 819
Documentation: How to DIY Moonlights ***dial up sensitive***

Well... here's the second part to my overhaul. I purchased an 8 LED diy kit from www.ledwerx.com for $15 total. He has a store on ebay too... but I figured I would just get them direct. The kit comes with 9 LEDs (in case you mess up one), 9 resistors, 6' of wire, and an AC adaptor! Here's how I did this in under an hour:

First, gather your materials and make sure none of the LED's are cracked. Here's what the package looked like out of the shipping box:


The only thing that you need to get on your own is a piece of material to attach the LEDs to. I chose a piece of wood lattice that was 1.25 inches wide, and 1/4 inch thick. Pine. Cut it to length. My canopy is 48 inches long on the inside, so I made my piece 47 inches for clearance.



Now, lay out where you want the holes for the LEDs to be. Since I had 48 inches of tank to cover with 8 LEDs, I measured off every 6 inches so that way the tank would be evenly covered. You don't have to do 8... you could do 4, or 6, or 10... but IMO, 8 was just right. Measure them out, mark the holes.



Next, when you're drilling the holes out, make sure to use a 13/64" wood bit. This is standard for LEDs to fit perfectly. If you're using different sized LEDs, obviously use a different sized drill bit Carefully drill all the way through the piece of wood.



Next... this is the tricky part. Take this part with care, and go slowly. Get out your trusty soldering iron and solder. You want to make sure that you work in a well ventilated area and make sure that you familiarize yourself on how to use the soldering iron before you go to town with your newly bought LEDs.



Stick the LEDs in each hole, and line them up. Each LED has a short end, and a long end. The resistor HAS to be soldered onto the SHORT end of the LED. Line up all of the short ends to one side of the wood piece, and the long ends to the opposite. Hot glue the LEDs so they don't move around. Make sure the glue dries before moving to the solder.



Next, when you solder the resistor directly to the short end of the LED, make sure that you only touch the solder & iron to the metal for 5 seconds MAX... any more, and the LED runs risk of burning out. If you do not successfully solder the two together on the first try, let it cool for a min, and then try again. Never try to keep the iron on there.


(fuzzy pic... sorry )

After you wire all of the short ends together, this is more or less how it will look:



Close-up

The positive (long ends) are done the same way, only differing in the fact that there are no resistors needed on the (+) sides. Wire all of the (-) to (-) and the (+) to (+).

When you get to the end, it should look something like this. **Make SURE you cover/wrap all of the exposed wiring with electrical tape BEFORE you test it out. No (-) wire should be touching a (+) wire at ANY time or else you risk a fire. All connections should be firm with no excess solder poking out or touching other objects.



All you need to do now is to hook up the power supply. Cut off the round endpiece and separate the wires. The ribbed end of the power cord is the positive. Just solder that end to the positive wire of the LEDs, and the (-) to the (-) and you're done! PARTY!!!

Here's the tank on the first test run:


Just note: the order of the wiring should be: AC adaptor -> length of wire -> resistor -> LED -> length of wire -> resistor -> LED -> wire (and so on). That first resistor needs to be between the AC adaptor and the first LED, or else the first LED will blow out.

When you get it all mounted (I used a few simple screws to my DIY canopy), this is what it should look like (or at least on my end) :



Here is what it looks like when finished:


Now don't worry, it doesn't really look this bright! My camera merely didn't use flash, so it looks brighter than normal. This setup was easy to do, and only required a little bit of patience, a steady hand, and a fearless attitude to risk blowing $15 Now I can see my fish at night w/o a flashlight, and can stimulate corals by mimicking the moon.

Total setup: $3 HD wood, $14.99 LED kit shipped. DIY Moonlights for less than a fifth of the price of a retail setup... priceless
__________________

__________________
~~Rob
RLG2182 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2005, 03:23 AM   #2
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Central Kentucky
Posts: 6,015
Send a message via AIM to greenmaji
Nice! good documentation..
__________________

__________________
greenmaji is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2005, 06:45 AM   #3
Aquarium Advice FINatic
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Virginia Beach, VA
Posts: 743
Very nice!
__________________
Freedom is the sure possession of those alone who have the courage to defend it. -Pericles

Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of Liberty -JFK
fishyrican is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2005, 12:52 PM   #4
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
revhtree's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Rossville. Ga
Posts: 4,500
Once again Rob......Awesome Job! Your really getting good at these DIY projects. Next your going to have to do a 380g In Wall...... :P
__________________
Remember to Keep Christ First!
revhtree is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2005, 01:26 PM   #5
zacdl
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
You need to write a DIY book
__________________
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2005, 04:26 PM   #6
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
mentallylost's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Olympia, Washington
Posts: 301
Great write-up on the lights. I used the same lights a few weeks ago on one of my tanks. I love them. They truly are easy to put together.

Have you considered submitting your DIY Documentations to be added in the Articles section? They would make great additions.
__________________
mentallylost is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2005, 05:14 PM   #7
Aquarium Advice FINatic
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Rancho Cucamonga, California
Posts: 819
Quote:
Originally Posted by mentallylost
Have you considered submitting your DIY Documentations to be added in the Articles section? They would make great additions.
Errrrr... I never thought of that. 8O Thought they had to be UBER AWESOME DISCOVERIES before they could be added to the "official" sticky list (or articles).

Quote:
Originally Posted by revhtree
Next your going to have to do a 380g In Wall...... :P
Don't even tempt me!! :P Actually, my girlfriend's parents are wanting to build an in-wall aquarium for the house that they're building this year. That might be fun... but first I need to teach them how to take care of fish!!! I think they might be paying an aquarium service to take care of the tank for them... might be the best route. At least I can choose what equipment they'll buy and make it for them. I'm guessing it'll be 8'l x 2'h X 2'w . 239 gal.

As for a book... this is just the stuff I've done for my tank. I literally am a jack of all trades, master of none. Laid wood floors for my parent's house, did their tile work, plumbed their sprinklers system, wired their entertainment system, laid Saltillo tile on their two decks (HEAVY stuff!!! 8O ) and even set their vcr timer. Free rent/food/bills for several summers before I moved out after college. For myself I've built wood furniture, an entertainment center for my big screen tv, wooden desks, computer systems, servers, and reptile terrariums.

As for my tank... I should've documented my stand & canopy when I was building them. I have several pictures of it finished, but not "as I was making" it. I just finished putting in (4) 80mm fans into my canopy... took the better part of the morning. I figured with that, I would just show pics of it finished. There are literally thousands of canopy variations that I figured I would merely show my end result & wiring tips (not that there are many tips to be told... but still).

Thanks for the positive feedback guys! My goal is to encourage others to dabble in DIY by starting SMALL. I support LFS's whole heartedly... but we as a society must become more self reliant for information and service. Changing the world, one DIY project at a time. HAH. :P
__________________
~~Rob
RLG2182 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2005, 08:14 PM   #8
AA Team Emeritus
 
czcz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: US
Posts: 2,821
Nice write up. Just constructive criticism and notes for someone following howto: Trimming the resistors and LED leads would have been neater and limits corosion possibility, even with them coved in electrical tape (better would have been heat shrink over those connections). Pic immediately following recommendation of taping all electrical wire shows exposed solder connections.
__________________
"2- before attempting to plant, have a beer or a Bourbon. That will help to steady your hands…" -- elwaine

wet.biggiantnerds.com
czcz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2005, 08:31 PM   #9
Aquarium Advice FINatic
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Rancho Cucamonga, California
Posts: 819
Quote:
Originally Posted by czcz
Pic immediately following recommendation of taping all electrical wire shows exposed solder connections.
Yah... was just the timing that I took the pic. There's a lot on the underside that didn't show... made sure to cover everything up before I plugged it in. As for the trimming of the LEDs... good tip!! I never considered trimming them before. I'll make sure to do that next time. It's always after you finish something that you wish you could've made changes mid-stream.

I actually ran out of heat shrink... my next project will have it though. Should be picking up some more when I go shopping this weekend.
__________________
~~Rob
RLG2182 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2005, 11:51 PM   #10
zacdl
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Same on you... I bought the kit!
__________________
  Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
diy, light, lights

Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Documentation: 40 gal sump project ***dial up sensitive*** RLG2182 DIY Projects 37 11-05-2012 07:09 PM
DIY MoonLights Liquid_Pyro DIY Projects 12 05-15-2009 12:25 PM
DIY Moonlights. SparKy697 DIY Projects 26 03-27-2007 11:24 AM
DIY Moonlights Dewey DIY Projects 2 07-02-2005 03:08 PM
DIY Moonlights Joshsmit56001 DIY Projects 4 12-03-2003 06:09 PM







» Photo Contest Winners








Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 12:58 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.