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Old 03-30-2010, 11:43 PM   #1
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Check out my new moonlights!!

Hey guys, check out my new blue moonlights. I only used 2 wide angle blue LEDs from radioshack. I was planning on using groups of LEDs, 1 blue and 2 white, but it made everything WAY too bright. I could use the white ones alone and it'd be a great daytime light. Anyway, here are the pics.

This is the closest to real thing I could get with my camera phone. It's actually darker than this.


I cranked up the ISO and got a much brighter pic, it's good for show, but it doesn't look like this.


Here are the brains behind the lights. I used 4 double A batteries, mounted externally (it was cheaper this way, and they're rechargeable). I used a variable voltage regulator, a potentiometer to set the voltage on the voltage regulator, and a couple capacitors. I found everything at radioshack. If I hadn't bought a bunch of extra LEDs, it would have cost me around $10. Since I bought the extra LEDs, I spend 25... I know, I could have done moonlighting cheaper, but I like DIY stuff.


Here's the TEMPORARY attachment of the project box to the my hood. Yeah it's duck tape.



Here's the fan that I attached to it to keep the voltage regulator's heatsink cool. I had this hangin around. It is rated for 12 V, but runs at 6V (albeit slower, which obviously makes sense).


Let me know what you think. I'll probably put one more LED in the middle, I just wanted to try it out with 2.
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Old 03-31-2010, 12:03 AM   #2
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Make some, Ill buy em.

I think it looks fine with two, subtle is natural. one would be ideal for a natural setting but to highlight the two look nice, lets the fish have a dark spot in the middle to go to if they want.
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Old 03-31-2010, 11:43 AM   #3
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one would be ideal for a natural
What I REALLY wanted to do was use a little microcontroller and have three LEDs. As the night went on, the "moon" would move across the "sky" aka I'd light up different LEDs as time went on. So at first, the leftmost LED would be lit dimly, then it would get brighter and brighter and go to it's peak brightness, then it'd start dimming, and the middle LED would start to light, and get brighter and brighter etc. etc until I get to the other side.

I think it'd be a cool idea. I might also be able to make it follow the lunar cycle. Aka there'd be a total brightness "factor" that'd be applied to all of the LEDs. When there's a full moon, they'd be at their brightest. When it's a NEW moon, they'd be really dim, or not light at all.

If I'd make these to sell, I'd probably make it very modular. Meaning that you could use many different types of LEDs, and different numbers of LEDs. I'd make plug in ports in the back or somethin. Just so one unit could be used for different sized tanks. For a 15 gallon, you could use two LEDs. For a 55 gallon, you could use... 5? 6? All with the same unit.
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Old 03-31-2010, 01:33 PM   #4
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No BS, that method will work. Ive done it before with different timer lights on screw in LED cfl things with the game fish at my old job, it tricked the bluegills into spawning as well as induced some very unseen lunar behavior in the fish.
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Old 03-31-2010, 02:02 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by corrado33 View Post
What I REALLY wanted to do was use a little microcontroller and have three LEDs. As the night went on, the "moon" would move across the "sky" aka I'd light up different LEDs as time went on. So at first, the leftmost LED would be lit dimly, then it would get brighter and brighter and go to it's peak brightness, then it'd start dimming, and the middle LED would start to light, and get brighter and brighter etc. etc until I get to the other side.

I think it'd be a cool idea. I might also be able to make it follow the lunar cycle. Aka there'd be a total brightness "factor" that'd be applied to all of the LEDs. When there's a full moon, they'd be at their brightest. When it's a NEW moon, they'd be really dim, or not light at all.

If I'd make these to sell, I'd probably make it very modular. Meaning that you could use many different types of LEDs, and different numbers of LEDs. I'd make plug in ports in the back or somethin. Just so one unit could be used for different sized tanks. For a 15 gallon, you could use two LEDs. For a 55 gallon, you could use... 5? 6? All with the same unit.
That is a great idea, man. If you could manufacture that in a shipable form i would totally buy one!! thats pretty sweet!!!
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Old 04-01-2010, 01:38 AM   #6
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That is a great idea, man. If you could manufacture that in a shipable form i would totally buy one!! thats pretty sweet!!!
I'm workin on it. If I can make it for cheap, I'd gladly make a few and ship them. Depending on how profitable they are, I might end up making a bunch.
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Old 04-03-2010, 07:28 PM   #7
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I actually figured the programming out!! Well, I haven't tried it yet, but I know I have. Programming microcontrollers isn't the easiest thing in the world, even for good computer programmers. Writing the program is the easy part, getting the microcontroller to operate how you want it to operate is the hard thing. I'm excited, I gotta wait till monday to do it though because I'm at home for easter break.
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Old 04-03-2010, 09:49 PM   #8
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do you have the coding? my old man writes code for fun. He can verify and see if there are any voids in the programming to get it to work right.

If it works, produce em, this might pay off the school and then some lol
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Old 04-03-2010, 10:42 PM   #9
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do you have the coding? my old man writes code for fun. He can verify and see if there are any voids in the programming to get it to work right.

If it works, produce em, this might pay off the school and then some lol

I haven't written the coding yet, as I have a thesis due on tuesday. But I know exactly what I have to write to make it work, it's just a matter of getting it on paper, or rather in digital form.

Also, as a hobby I like to play around with robotics, and I'm a member of a couple robot developing sites. That where I learned to actually write the code lol (I actually found an example that used the feature I need to use on the microcontroller I'm using, needless to say, a little copying and pasting, some slight modifying, and I'm good to go.)
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Old 04-09-2010, 06:49 PM   #10
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I'm gettin there!!! Check out what I've done so far!

YouTube - LED Dimmer with AtMega8
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