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Old 04-05-2004, 12:13 AM   #31
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well i am electronics major, so i am pretty good on the electronics issue, however i am always looking for better ways to mount / install these new fangled moonlights. does that book have anything on mounting issues?
2cents if you want any help, ever with anything electronical.. by all means email me, i am always glad to help. ijedi@hotmail.com
I'm here for you and the rest of the squad at aquarium advice.com! lol
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Old 04-05-2004, 08:28 AM   #32
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I appreciate that. However I deal with electronics every day, I just get the series and parrell mixed up sometimes. I deal with alarm systems so I know which one does what I just get it backwards when I try and explain it. . It's really nice of you to offer your help to all of us at AA
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Old 04-10-2004, 02:12 PM   #33
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Well, just though I'd let y'all know that I've finally got them up and running. lsdiodes.com was a wonderful site, BTW. I'll be sure to use them in the future.

The lights look great. Until I get a canppy built for my tank, I've just got the LEDs taped facing into my main lights' reflectors. To help dispurse the light a little more, I'm temporarily using plain old Scotch tape placed over the LEDs. Once it gets dark outside I'll probably take a pic so y'all can see how it came out. 8)
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Old 04-10-2004, 02:57 PM   #34
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lol great, i would like to see the final results of all my hard work.. hahah. lsdiodes.com is a great store, hard to believe it's a basement company (a company ran out of some one's basement) fast shipers, and super cheap led's, but quality led's, i can't wait till they get some 20k+ mcd ones in. anyways i am glad i could help and if you ever want to add some bells and whistles to the moonlight, just let me know.
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Old 04-10-2004, 03:30 PM   #35
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What kind of bells and whistles CAN you add to moonlight?
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Old 04-10-2004, 04:35 PM   #36
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a timer or a photo sensitive system, dimming capabilites mostly. i knew i shouldn't have said anything.. sigh (joke)

timer uses a simple 555timer (ic) and a few common components, a resistor and capacitor, to make a timing constant. good for timing jobs in the micro second to the days.

-= or =-

photo sensitive system (my favorite)
instead of a timer, you install a special purpose diode that is sensitive to light, and wire it so when lite is not detected to 'turn on' the moonlight. basicly it's a fancy switch. here's the system in bit better detail.. install the photo sensitive diode near the existing lighting fixture, when that gets turned off the photo diode detects no light and turns on the moonlight and when the main lights come back on, the photo diode detects the light and shuts off the moonlight.

and/or you can install a dimmer switch to fine tune the moonlight's output. like i suggested before finding an external medium is the best choice.. but it's very simple to do, however it's not a 'true' dimmer, but it works in that capacity. all you will need is a 50k wand potentiometer (or pot for short) which is nothing more than a variable resistor, it can change it's outpot from ~0 to ~50k Ohm, also remember that 5% tolerance thing i was talking about ealier, it's valid on pots too. radioshack sells them for 1-2 bucks i believe, you install that between the dc transformer and the leds. i made up a pic for another aa member on how to install it. oh yeah bow down to my uber MSpaint skillz. lol http://12598.tripod.com/Pot.jpg
you will want connect terminal's A and C. if you connect anything else you will not have a variable output, it will be deadlocked at max resistance value of the pot, which happens to be 50k in this example.
if you hook up A and B = deadlock, B and C = deadlock

easiest addition is the dimmer pot, it's not a true dimmer, and i will save you from the theory of why it's not but it still works reasonably well as a dimmer. the timer is medium in the difficulty department, it's not that complex to build or do the math for, but can prove to be a pain if you exceed their max voltage/current requirements. and the photo diode idea isn't that hard it's just finding good ones, that's the problem. the ones radio shack sells have poor reactions (from personal experience) where it can take a full 75w bulb put 6inches from the diode to get it to react to the light and they weren't cost effective enough to buy from digikey.com either. (cost effective opinion is based on experiecnes from 2yrs ago, so plz don't quote me on that)

there are other things to you can do with led's but they don't really fit into the aquarium too well. those are the 3best ones i can come up, if you have any ideas on additions i am all ears.
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Old 04-10-2004, 10:40 PM   #37
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Definitely some neat tricks. Nothing I think I'd like to incorporate into my tank, but neat nonetheless.
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Old 04-11-2004, 07:49 AM   #38
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Very interesting thread. I've been searching for ways to upgrade my current lighting system with Red LED's for nighttime viewing of nocturnal creatures. I'm using a Custom Sea Life PC fixture with build it Moonlight. The only way to turn the Moonlight LED on is to plug in the transformer or put it on a timer. I decided to put a switch in the hood so I can easily turn it on and off. But since I'm gonna be drilling holes and cutting wires while having my light fixture disassembled, I'm also going to install the Red LED's. I just places an order with www.superbrightleds.com
They seem to have a large selection and pretty good prices. I'll let you know how the service turns out.

I'll post pics with the progress

Again, Awsome Thread!!
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Old 04-11-2004, 03:45 PM   #39
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i have seen that site before, but i was turned off by the layout (looked like a 3yr old desgined it) and looked for another led supplier. let me know how your transaction turns out micro ?

i am putting together a walkthrough / faq on moonlights, and electrical theory, so if you have any questions look for the thread, or just email.. i will be more than happy to help.
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Old 04-15-2004, 09:32 PM   #40
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I just recieved my order from superbrightleds.com and everything went smooth. I wasn't sure wich ones to get, so I chose a variety since they were only about 60 cents a peice. The ones I chose were:

1500 mcd / 60 degrees ( light spread angle )
8000 mcd / 30
12000 mcd / 8

I'm now searching for a nice switch for the hood. Form is just as important as function for this part.

Jprox,

any input is well appreciated. I started my search for light switches at Kack Shack because it was very close to the house.

MR
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