My RapidLED build (FTS Color Blended pg6)

Discussion in 'I made this!' started by Atticus818, Aug 26, 2011.

  1. Atticus818

    Atticus818 Eyelash Blennie

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    So I finally went for it. I decided to go LED, and to DIY the project.

    So I went ahead and ordered the parts;
    48 LED Dimable premium kit, changed to have (16 ) RB (16 ) Blue ( 8 ) NW and ( 8 ) CW instead of the standard 1:1 ratio.
    (2) 5.9x14" heat sinks from heatsinksusa.com
    Hakko 937 Soldering Iron
    60/40 Solder and separate flux (I know the flux is not needed but it helps quite a bit in tinning the stars.
    80* optics all around.
    Misc parts

    [​IMG]

    1st some photos of it being built; then an update after its over the tank.

    Went ahead and figured out my pattern first...

    Cyan = Blues
    Blue = Royal Blues
    Yellow = Neutral Whites
    Red = Cool Whites

    So this is the array I went with:

    [​IMG]

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    Then I have the unboxing of the rapidLED order.

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    Here is the new controller from rapidLED
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    Starting to lay out the blues and RBs
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    All glued down and in place:
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    Just the blues on the 1st driver:
    [​IMG]

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    Lowest dim level:
    [​IMG]

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    100% power:
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    Crappy shot of my very 1st solder job ever! Not bad!
    [​IMG]

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    Special thanks to:
    Evolved for his help in learning a lot about LEDs and serious advice on what I was doing.
    Mike @ RapidLED for the perfect customer service and insane amount of help figuring out what I wanted and needed
    Travis45 for being such a good friend and helping me spend my hard earned dough to do this! Haha

    Thanks guys!!!
    And thanks for checking my build out


    Andrew

    P.S. More photos to come as the 2nd fixutre gets wrapped up, the fixtures finished up, and mounted over tank shots.
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2011
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  3. jkat21

    jkat21 Bangghai Cardinal

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    Congrats..Looking good so far,and welcome to the led world.. I like how you went with diff blues and whites..I just finished a build my self not to long ago..keep us posted ..
  4. Atticus818

    Atticus818 Eyelash Blennie

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    Thanks! I took my inspiration from the AI sol blue.
  5. Nismo400rgtr

    Nismo400rgtr Teardrop Maxima Clam

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    Very nicely done!!! I love LED'S!!

    What was your old lighting?
  6. Ashevillian

    Ashevillian Pajama Cardinal

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    Does this kit come with everything you need to solder the wires or the fixture to mount them to? This looks so amazing to me. I do not know much about LED's for aquariums, but can you change the brightness of different colors and the intensity to get different visual effects in the tank?

    Very amazing!!!!!

    btw +1 to the CAD skillzz ^_^
  7. lynnmw1208

    lynnmw1208 Skunk Shrimp

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    very cool! I would love to see some pics of all the lights on over the tank. I was debating on whether I wanted to put different colors on mine if I ever went that route. I'm interested to see what kind of color you will get :) also let us know how that controller works!!
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  9. Atticus818

    Atticus818 Eyelash Blennie

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    My old lighting is a 6 bulb Nova Extreme running this set up
    All ATI bulbs
    Blue plus
    Aquablue special
    Fiji plus
    Blue plus
    Blue plus
    Aquablue special

    It does come with what you need to mount them. You can order a heatsink (This is the "fixture" we shall say) with holes pre drilled or you can use a thermal adhesive. I went the glue route. I didn't own a quality soldering iron so that was separate, and an absolute must for this build. Also you need to get your own 60/40 solder, and I would suggest some flux. Those are the things needed to solder correctly and are not included with the kit, but can be ordered through RapidLED if you didn't want to search elsewhere as I did.

    And yes it is all dimmable to get any blend of color you wish. You can go several routes on how to do this;
    A.) Go all manual on dimmers (physical knobs) and use timers to control on off.
    B.) Get a controller from one of the companies who offer them and use those to do your dimming and control the on off also.
    C.) You can use the internal pots on the drivers to blend colors by setting the max current to the correct level for you percentage for each driver then use the aforementioned controller to control sunrise sunset.
    D.) Use a reefkeeper, reefangel, apex, ect to control 1-10v dimming, but often this limits you to 3 maybe 4 drivers at full power, so it will not work very well for a larger tank such as mine.

    Thanks for noting the CAD work! Hehe, I'm going to school for Architectural Engineering so I've had my share of AutoCAD/Revit/3ds Max stuff to do. LOL

    Will do, thanks! I had read that many people loved the slight red spectrum from the neutral whites, without it being too overpowering, also the AI Sol Blue uses RB and B separately, and in person it really shows. You can get that crazy florescent color, or blend it all the way down to a smooth light blue that I would say is close to the 24k range. So add in the whites and its perfect for my needs. I really like the controller so far, but EVERY change emits a loud beep and it drives me nuts. LOL minor but very frustrating.
  10. ReefBruh

    ReefBruh Giant Squid

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    Excellent job. I know how I was when I did my actnics strip. I was nervous.
  11. Travis45

    Travis45 Scooter Blennie

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    Looks great Man!!! Looks like you have the whole thing wired up and ready to mount?
  12. bmw112482

    bmw112482 Plankton

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    What is the reason you can only control 3-4 drivers on a controller I am about set up a new tank with leds and I am going to need 5 drivers and was planning on using an apex controller :confused:
  13. Atticus818

    Atticus818 Eyelash Blennie

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    Thanks! Yes I was very nervous, but things got okay after the 1st strip.

    Yeah, 1 of them LOL still gotta do the other, and since I got the wrong LEDs in my order that won't be this monday/tuesday after classes.

    Because the module used only can provide enough current to 3-4 drivers depending on the actual unit. I suppose you could use 2 of the ALC modules, but that would cause other cost issues. For example, with my reef keeper there are only (2) 1-10v channels per control module. Yes, you can wire the drivers in parallel and have all 4 drivers run off of the 2 channels, However it cannot provide enough current to actually run the product appropriately. If you check out the various manufacturer forums, many people claim that it does not work for the vast amount of users. Some have reported that it can/does work for them, but not without troubles.

    The only work around is to use (2) of these units. I hope I explained it okay.

    Thanks!
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  15. bmw112482

    bmw112482 Plankton

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    Well that sux I'm glad I read this thread thank you for the info cause I sure was about to buy a controller mainly to control my lights but not if i would have too buy 2 module's they are 100 a pop
  16. evolved

    evolved Wrasse Freak

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    No need to thank me; but you're very welcome.

    Glad to see it turned out well and you sound pleased; looks very nice.
  17. Atticus818

    Atticus818 Eyelash Blennie

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    No problem! You can still use the timers for on/off function using a controller but not dimming without the additional modules.

    Thanks! I can't wait to see it over the tank.
  18. exactlyobp

    exactlyobp Giant Squid

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    Congratz on making the 3reef top page!! Keep the pics coming. I love DIY/mod threads with lots of pics!!

    evolved is my mentor too, btw :) He helped me with my Rapid LED DIY as well. Very knowledgeable guy.
  19. Atticus818

    Atticus818 Eyelash Blennie

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    Thanks! I will keep the photos flowing. Got the 1st one split loomed up so it's nice and pretty now, and the 2nd mounted and wired 1 driver. Tomorrow some more wrap up and canopy work hopefully!
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  21. Ashevillian

    Ashevillian Pajama Cardinal

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    Thats amazing you can dim and control the colors so from what it seems you can get a huge array of color schemes, am I correct? I was looking at the par38 bulb, from what I can tell it's 7 LEDs in one and that would be perfect for my 28g nano

    Here is a pic of a security desk I designed for a museum using AutoCAD and another add-on software. Been doing it for about 6 years but I'm still in school for the same thing actually :) with a minor in surveying.
    [​IMG]
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  22. Atticus818

    Atticus818 Eyelash Blennie

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    Thanks! Yes, you do get quite a broad range of color out of this type of set up. That is really the only thing I could find that the $1000+ LED set ups had that the cheap ones didn't, so that's why I decided to incorporate it.

    Project looks really good! I am not a huge fan of AutoCAD's 3d engine. I think it definitely has its upside for mechanical engineering, but for just standard renders I am not in love. LOL

    This is TOTALLY off topic haha but its cool someone else is studying the same thing. Here's my final project from a couple years back for some basic 3d renders.
    [​IMG]

    And to get back on track...
    I do think a par38 bulb would be quite nice of a nano. I am not sure you could keep SPS under it, but I am not sure that is your goal either. Although, just my opinion, but I have not been in love with the color and brightness of most par38 bulbs. That's just my 2 cents though..

    Thanks for the comment!
  23. Ashevillian

    Ashevillian Pajama Cardinal

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    I'm still very new to this hobby and I just want to upgrade my lighting. Was considering the K-2 Viper HQI but after looking into LED's and the fact you can control the brightness and color scheme so it's a moonlight actinic and bright daylight all in one. Tbh I'm a little intimidated by the DIY kits although they look amazing, just not sure what I'm getting... not to mention I wouldnt know what I would need for the 29 Biocube. Oppinions on the Viper or whether I should go with LED

    Was just looking at RapidLED.com

    Biocube 29 Dimmable Retrofit Kit - $225

    vs

    K-2 Viper Deluxe HQI Clamp Lamp - 150W - $165

    But again the LED's would allow me to pick my color scheme as well as control the brightness and the lighting. [would have to make thread on what type of lights i'd probably need]
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2011
  24. Atticus818

    Atticus818 Eyelash Blennie

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    That would be perfect for you. I would maybe switch a couple of the CW out for NW LEDs though, but I prefer it to be a little warmer with my whites. You may not like it that way. You see it says you need a controller or pots though

    So on top of that kit you would need:
    DDC-01 PWM Controller

    I would say the DIY route is the best, but I understand your nervous. I was very nervous also but after a TON of research and careful planning, it was not nearly as bad as I thought it would be. If you have a basic understanding of what your doing (research) and are apt to learn, then you will be totally fine.