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Old 02-26-2011, 01:02 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Floyd R Turbo View Post
Mine will be made from board with the pots built in, and the boards have PWM inputs so I can hook up an Arduino and program dimming cycles, etc. Same control as you described above, I just have to do the programming myself (which I look forward to, plus much of it is on RC already) and I won't have huge unnecessary heat sinks (just adequate ones) and it will cost about 1/3 to 1/2 as much, easily
As long as you can do the programming yourself and manage to keep all of the wiring nice and tidy then you're all set. BTW what LED's and optics are you going with? Maybe you start a thread in the DIY section for your led build.
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Old 02-26-2011, 01:11 PM   #12
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I have a build thread for the tank project started

Turbo's Reef Project

I'm using CREE XP-G and XP-Es and not 100% on the optics yet, was going to go with 60 degree but I'm holding off on ordering those for $ reasons, will get them eventually. Plus I can figure out the height above tank and think about 40 deg vs 60
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My tanks: 120 Reef w/L2 Algae Scrubber, 60 Reef Pond w/floating Algae Scrubber, 40 Breeder Reef w/L2 UAS Tester Algae Scrubber
I maintain: 144 SW Reef w/L2 Algae Scrubber | 200 SW Reef w/L4 Algae Scrubber
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Old 02-26-2011, 01:14 PM   #13
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If it helps I'm about 13 inches above the water with mixed 40 and 70 degree optics and still manage to torch things at only 40%.
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Old 02-26-2011, 01:25 PM   #14
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I see you're running AIs on a 120, what dimensions is the tank and how many AIs / what model?

I'm going with 60 RBs and 36 CWs so 96 LED all together.
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My tanks: 120 Reef w/L2 Algae Scrubber, 60 Reef Pond w/floating Algae Scrubber, 40 Breeder Reef w/L2 UAS Tester Algae Scrubber
I maintain: 144 SW Reef w/L2 Algae Scrubber | 200 SW Reef w/L4 Algae Scrubber
Special knowledge: Algae Scrubbers, Acrylic Fabrication
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Old 02-26-2011, 01:59 PM   #15
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I'm running 4 Sol Blues. Tank dimensions 60x18x26.
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Old 02-26-2011, 03:03 PM   #16
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Building your own LED fixture is not for everyone but I have to disagree about all the R&D that goes into a manufacturers built fixture because there are a lot of crappy pre-built fixtures out there. With a little planning and research you can build your own LED fixture that will blow any pre-made unit out of the water as far as par readings are concerned. 60-70 degree optics are the way to go if you have a deeper tank otherwise most people do not use any optics on the 3 watt Cree's.
As far as how the DIY units look, if your worried about aesthetics find yourself someone who is good with sheet metal and have them bend you up a case to house your light and get it powder coated.
Next LED unit I build I will take pics and post a step by step on the build if I have the time.
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Old 02-26-2011, 03:18 PM   #17
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Ooooh.. My cousin does custom electrical cabinets and does painting, possibly powder coating. Oooooooh...thanks for the brain jog!!
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My tanks: 120 Reef w/L2 Algae Scrubber, 60 Reef Pond w/floating Algae Scrubber, 40 Breeder Reef w/L2 UAS Tester Algae Scrubber
I maintain: 144 SW Reef w/L2 Algae Scrubber | 200 SW Reef w/L4 Algae Scrubber
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Old 02-26-2011, 04:20 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Limpits_Reef View Post
Building your own LED fixture is not for everyone but I have to disagree about all the R&D that goes into a manufacturers built fixture because there are a lot of crappy pre-built fixtures out there. With a little planning and research you can build your own LED fixture that will blow any pre-made unit out of the water as far as par readings are concerned. 60-70 degree optics are the way to go if you have a deeper tank otherwise most people do not use any optics on the 3 watt Cree's.
As far as how the DIY units look, if your worried about aesthetics find yourself someone who is good with sheet metal and have them bend you up a case to house your light and get it powder coated.
Next LED unit I build I will take pics and post a step by step on the build if I have the time.
I'm referring to reputable Manufacturers not these no name units from china. And yes you are correct about it just being an LED which in itself is a very simple device and is extremely easy to make a useable fixture with or without optics, the R&D I'm referring to is when a company goes to great lengths to develop their own optics to enhance the efficiency of the LED's being used and the development of an easy to use and reliable controller that is upgradeable by the end user as the manufacturer adds new features free of charge whom also provide quality service. There are only a handful of companies out there that are making quality fixtures the rest are just crap.
As you well know you get what you pay for, you buy cheap and you get cheap. The one thing that amazes me is that everybody want's to buy 100 dollar item for 10 which just isn't going to happen
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Old 02-26-2011, 07:17 PM   #19
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I'm with you there. The LED industry is being flooded with salesmen that have no idea what they're selling, they're just on the bandwagon. This is not specific to any particular industry. There are groups in place attempting to prevent what happened with T8 ballasts back in the 90s, there were problems that caused people to swear off them for quite a while.

There are reputable manufacturers of LEDs and fixtures. The first is the really important one. Cree and Phillips and I think there's one other, the rest are just flat out "avoid". Starting to see the mainstream manufacturers like Marineland come out with fixtures. So far, I don't like them. AI (which is based 30 miles north of me) has a fantastic fixture, but like you said, you need a deep pocketbook. But you can't go wrong - upgradeable modules for technology advances, all the bells & whistles. I bet their customer service is top notch also. I have heard nothing bad about them.
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My tanks: 120 Reef w/L2 Algae Scrubber, 60 Reef Pond w/floating Algae Scrubber, 40 Breeder Reef w/L2 UAS Tester Algae Scrubber
I maintain: 144 SW Reef w/L2 Algae Scrubber | 200 SW Reef w/L4 Algae Scrubber
Special knowledge: Algae Scrubbers, Acrylic Fabrication
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