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  1. #1
    mc416 is offline Registered User

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    Planning a custom LED Hood (like Solaris LED)

    Hello everyone!

    My cousin is an avid keeper of salt water fish and he's asked my help to build a custom LED hood like one from SolarisLED.com (expensive!!!!). I'm in the processes of learning how to build my own little saltwater tank (the intention is to eventually custom build a bullnose 48" x 24" x 24"). And I'm in the planning stage for building a prototype hood for my little tank (the design should be totally scalable). I've looked around and I haven't been able to find anyone else who's tried this?

    Anyways the big idea is to emulate the SolarisLED H4 design but with a nano/pico-itx based computer running (maybe in Linux). I'll write some software to control the LED's on a timer or some GUI on a little 7-10" LCD touch screen to control it. I will probably heat-pipe the LEDs out of the tank too.



    I've been looking at these specs for the timer/led controller:

    http://www.solarisled.com/Specificat...3/Default.aspx

    I'm just trying to see if I understand this correctly.. The "sunrise" start time at 8am really means raising the intensity from 0 to 100" gradually in 30 minutes? Do corals really react to moon cycles and seasons, sun rises and sunsets? If its purely for show, perhaps red/orange LEDs would work to enhance the effect?


    Are there any other features I should consider?

    I don't have a tank yet


  2. #2
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    Re: Planning a custom LED Hood (like Solaris LED)

    In case you weren't aware also take a look at http://www.aquaillumination.com/

    Set up date: Over Ten Years Ago Display Size: 120 Total Water In System: 120 Do you have a sump? NO
    Do you have a refugium? NO Amount of Liverock: <100 Depth of Sandbed: 4-6 Salinity level: 1.025ish
    ALK level: 10-12 Ammonia: 0 Nitrate: 0 Nitrite: 0
    What lighting are you using? What skimmer are you using? Calcium Reactor? Calcium level: 400+
    1x250w MH 1x LED array none no
    Fish and Inverts: Yellow Tang, A, 1 Zebra Gobies, 3 engineer "Gobies", Orange Ocellaris, Black Ocellaris, Lawnmower Blenny, 7 Blue eyed Cardinals, Coral Beauty, zebra goby, starbust anthia Various shrimp, hermits, snails, RBTA, Corals: Orange Capricornis, Orange+Purple Tipped+Green+Blue Montipora, 2 encrusting montipora's, Brown Hammer, Green Torch, pink birdsnest, 2 millis, Umbrella Leather, Various Buttons, Colt , Anthelia, Green Star Polyps, Various Shrooms, Pink Pocilipora, Isuarus Polyps, duncan,
      Other Information: In hobby since 1998.

  3. #3
    mc416 is offline Registered User

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    Re: Planning a custom LED Hood (like Solaris LED)

    Hmm.. thanks for the link! I think I will model this after Aqualumination's solution.

    Their website states that their unit consumes about 90w per foot. Their LED's are arranged in Arrays. The math breaks down like this:

    Unit width = 6.38 inches = 16.2 cm (fans look to be 60mm)
    Power use for 1 Array = 8 lamps + 2 x 60mm fans + controller

    2 fans @ 0.115 amps (average) x 12v = 2 x 1.38 = 2.76 W

    1 lamp = 2x White + 1x Blue = (2 x 3.5v x 1a) + (1 x 3.5v x 0.8a) = 9.8W
    8 lamps x 9.8 W = 78.4 W

    1 Array = 78.4 + 2.76 + ? = 81.16 W + ?W (probably 9-10w for the controller)

    So the math appears to show that 1 foot has 8 lamps (24 leds). However, if you eyeball this picture, judging width to length, one foot appears to contain two arrays instead of one (16 lamps, not 8). Can someone double check my numbers?

    I don't have a tank yet


  4. #4
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    Re: Planning a custom LED Hood (like Solaris LED)

    Have you done a preliminary budget for this project or are you in the early planning phases?

    Set up date: January 2002 Display Size: 220 Total Water In System: 286 Do you have a sump? YES
    Do you have a refugium? NO Amount of Liverock: 200+ Figi Depth of Sandbed: 1.0 Salinity level: 1.025
    ALK level: 10.2 Ammonia: 0 Nitrate: 0 Nitrite: 0
    What lighting are you using? What skimmer are you using? Calcium Reactor? Calcium level: 420
    3 x Vertex 400 Watt MH, 2 x PFO 110 Watt VHO Actinic Vertex Alpha 250 Kone Skimmer GEO 6-18
    Fish and Inverts: Livestock: 1-Hippo Tang 1-Yellow Watchman Goby 1-Green Clown Goby 1 Neon Goby 2-A. Ocellaris with a Hectoractis Magnifica Anenome Corals: A mix of SPS, LPS, and Zoas. Too many to list and I am not too concerned with correct scientific names.
    Other Equipment: Gen-x Mak 5 return pump from basement sump room. 2 x Tunze 6100, Profilux Plus III EX Controller. Ecotech Radions are on the way.
    If my wife asks, it was only $20.

  5. #5
    mc416 is offline Registered User

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    Re: Planning a custom LED Hood (like Solaris LED)

    I'm in the planning / info gathering stage. The plan is to build a 24 LED array in a corner bow front tank, test the lighting levels, and grow a small coral/anemone. Then graduate to a 4 foot bull nose.

    The budget is not restricted, but at the same time the intention is to build something equivalent or better at a cheaper price. The pricing for a 1 foot Aqualumination system is $850 USD. Not considering shipping and tax, it works out to be roughly $350 for the electronics and $500 per foot for the LEDs. The savings is not worth it for a small tank, but a 4+ foot system fully customized solution would save a bit!

    Here's a breakdown of what I think it will cost:

    1) 8x blue LEDs from mouser (can't find anywhere else) = ~$42.24 (based on price break at 10 LEDs)
    2) 20x white LEDs from dealextreme (mouser sells for 2 x $) = $117.2
    3) lens/holders (i'm having trouble finding) should be $5 x 8 = $40

    Total = ~$199.04 for LEDs per foot.

    4) (optional) Via NX nano ITX computer = $250 (you can also use an old PC - i'd write software to allow you to control as many tanks as you want)
    5) ATX power supply $50
    6) (optional) 7-10" LCD VGA touch screen ~ $200 from ebay
    7) If you modify the existing hood, then the extra materials (heatsink, fans) should not cost more than $100.

    I'm not sure yet what i'll do to control the LED's with the computer. Some existing systems dim the LEDs by strobing them at various rates. I'm not exactly sure how that will affect fish/coral.

    Total = ~$150-600 for the other parts

    1 foot = $350-800 (vs $850)
    4 foot = $950-1400 (vs $2490)
    6 foot = $1350-1800 (vs $3660)

    I don't have a tank yet


  6. #6
    mc416 is offline Registered User

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    Re: Planning a custom LED Hood (like Solaris LED)

    Just to show that I'm not totally unfamiliar with the computer side of this stuff
    Attached Images Attached Images

    I don't have a tank yet


  7. #7
    tdhawk is offline Registered User

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    Re: Planning a custom LED Hood (like Solaris LED)

    Quote Originally Posted by mc416 View Post
    Just to show that I'm not totally unfamiliar with the computer side of this stuff
    Looks good... What is it? I like the idea of led's, as soon as the cost becomes reasonable I'll be looking at converting. This is a great hobby for diy'ers, good luck with the project and keep us informed of your progress.

    Set up date: July 2006 Display Size: 375 Total Water In System: 500 Do you have a sump? YES
    Do you have a refugium? NO Amount of Liverock: 500 Depth of Sandbed: 5-6 Salinity level: 1.025
    ALK level: 10dkh Ammonia: 0 Nitrate: 0 Nitrite: 0
    What lighting are you using? What skimmer are you using? Calcium Reactor? Calcium level: 400
    4x400mh,2x96w-pc 72" Lifereef reeftek
    Fish and Inverts: Naso, Hippo tang,Yellow tang,Coral Beauty, Juvi Emp, 2xbarlett anthias,4xgrenn chromis,midas blenny, Crosshatch pair Corals: mix
    Other Equipment: kalk reactor, Osmolator top-off, Oceansmotions closed loop, Vortech pump,Tunze 6101, Aquacontroller
    375g Reef, 4x400w XM20k, Oceansmotions with Barracuda, Dart return pump, 72"-Lifereef skimmer, Ocean Aquatics kalk reactor, Koralin calcium reactor, Vortech pump, 100g Rubbermaid sump,Aquacontroller
    Naso,Hippo,Yellow tang, Crosshatch pair, juvi Emp angel, Coral Beauty. 2 Bartlett anthias,4 green chromis,2 Skunk Clowns, 14" Derasa, 5"Maxima, Tuxedo urchin, various acros, Rose Bubbletip anemone

  8. #8
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    Re: Planning a custom LED Hood (like Solaris LED)

    The most important parameter to keep in mind is the operating temp, as this dictates the forward current that can applied to the device.

    You mentioned Heat Pipes. Have you sourced and priced a heat pipe that would be adequate for each array so that you can allow enough current to flow to make the project worthwhile.

    You might find that the cooling system will be a significant cost factor for your project.

    Please keep us posted on your progress. I would be interested in your design mathematics.

    Set up date: June 2005 Display Size: 130 Total Water In System: 170 Do you have a sump? NO
    Do you have a refugium? YES Amount of Liverock: 220 lbs. Depth of Sandbed: 6 inches of Bomix Salinity level: 1.025
    ALK level: na Ammonia: 0 Nitrate: 0 Nitrite: 0
    What lighting are you using? What skimmer are you using? Calcium Reactor? Calcium level: na
    6 X T5 HO DIY fixture. DIY No
    Fish and Inverts: Hippo Tang, Coral Beauty, Tank Raised Perc Snowflake Moray, Bubble Tip Anemone. Corals: Common Mushrooms, Small Toadstool. Brown Gorgonian Frags, Green Open Brain
     
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  9. #9
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    Re: Planning a custom LED Hood (like Solaris LED)

    WELCOME
    your knowledge will be greatly appreciated here


    vic

    Set up date: November 2011 Display Size: 60"x36"x24"=225 Total Water In System: 152 Do you have a sump? YES
    Do you have a refugium? NO Amount of Liverock: 100LBS MARCO ROCK,20 LBS JACKARTA ROCK Depth of Sandbed: 4" Salinity level: 1.025
    ALK level: 8 Ammonia: 0 Nitrate: 0 Nitrite: 0
    What lighting are you using? What skimmer are you using? Calcium Reactor? Calcium level: 450
    two 200w, 3w led's, 700mA, 90 degree optics, 2-1 blue to white ratio bubble magus curve 7 yes,mtc
    Fish and Inverts: 1 sea cucumber,70 trochus snails,2 serpant stars,1 brittle star,100 nassurious snails ,PURPLE TANG,REGAL TANG,YELLOW TANG,SCRIBBLED RABBIT,C-QUEST ONYX CLOWNS,REGULAR ONYX CLOWNS,CORAL BEUTY,GREEN CHROMIS,,SWISSGAURD BASSLET Corals: frogspawn,,xenia,candycane ,zoos mainly SPS
    Other Equipment: Kalk reactor, osmallator, .mp40 vortech,microb-blend. REDSEA and REEFCRYSTALS SALT.,WP 40 Other Information: going back to old school methods.

  10. #10
    mc416 is offline Registered User

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    Re: Planning a custom LED Hood (like Solaris LED)

    Quote Originally Posted by tdhawk View Post
    Looks good... What is it?
    Its a custom MAME arcade cabinet (2 joysticks, 2 car speakers) with a computer/amp/subwoofer inside. The LEDs light up the buttons and the buttons themselves emulate keyboard strokes (both controlled by the computer). Its all hooked up to a projector. All in the name of playing pacman, 1942, qbert, ninja turtles and street fighter on a 120" screen!

    I don't have a tank yet


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