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Super cheap Dimmable LED Driver (cost under $3)

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Davidwillis View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Davidwillis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 19 2011 at 11:45am
Thanks.  How wide are those aluminum T, or U channels?  I see you ran two rows on one.  NPS is a ways to drive for me, so I am going to see if I can find any closer to me.  They cost too much at Lowes, but I may be able to find them at ipaco (except they will probably make me buy 20 feet or charge for cutting).

Edited by Davidwillis - March 19 2011 at 11:45am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote seti007 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 19 2011 at 12:38pm

I used 2 types of Aluminum channels tht T channels with two staggered rows of LEDs (14 total) are 2" wide and have a fin thats 1" high. I also used another type of AL channel with 1 row of LEDs (7 total) that is 1.5" wide and is sort of a distorted U. I partially removed one from the canopy to take a shot of it. The nice thing is that I can easily add this U channel to the canpopy to add more light as needed.

Both these were very light weight, super cheap and work awesome. Here is a pic i just took:


Edited by seti007 - March 19 2011 at 12:39pm
Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic--Arthur C. Clarke
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jcom Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 19 2011 at 6:08pm
Just saw this setup in person today...amazing! 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote seti007 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 19 2011 at 8:05pm
Originally posted by jcom jcom wrote:

Just saw this setup in person today...amazing! 
]
Thanks for the fragThumbs Up LMK when you wanna come by and get some from me.
Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic--Arthur C. Clarke
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jcoulter17 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 19 2011 at 11:56pm
Saw it today too and it is one of the best setups I seen here in Utah. Even better than the LFS.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote seti007 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 20 2011 at 9:55am
Originally posted by jcoulter17 jcoulter17 wrote:

Saw it today too and it is one of the best setups I seen here in Utah. Even better than the LFS.
Thanks, it was great having you guys over.
Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic--Arthur C. Clarke
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Davidwillis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 20 2011 at 2:41pm
Thanks for the picture.  I went to lowe's, and home depot yesterday, but couldn't find anything like that.  They just had flat aluminum, or L aluminum.  They did have small U shaped aluminum, but it was only 3/4 inch wide.  Do you know what that distorted U is used for?  Hopefully I can find something without driving all the way to NPS.

Originally posted by seti007 seti007 wrote:

I used 2 types of Aluminum channels tht T channels with two staggered rows of LEDs (14 total) are 2" wide and have a fin thats 1" high. I also used another type of AL channel with 1 row of LEDs (7 total) that is 1.5" wide and is sort of a distorted U. I partially removed one from the canopy to take a shot of it. The nice thing is that I can easily add this U channel to the canpopy to add more light as needed.

Both these were very light weight, super cheap and work awesome. Here is a pic i just took:
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote seti007 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 20 2011 at 2:52pm
You can find some really cool pieces at Utah metal works on 805 Everett Ave in SLC. You will for sure find something close to if not better than what I have. The U channel piece, I got was from them. You'll have to rummage through toms of junk metal to get to the good stuff but its well worth it for the price. They sell everything by weight so its cheap as it gets.
Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic--Arthur C. Clarke
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BnK Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 20 2011 at 7:41pm
Yes thank you for those frags i love them. And your tank is real nice, love the light set up.
Brett and Kristine | Layton, UT | Brett's e-mail: bruno21447@yahoo.com | Kristine's e-mail: oocherryo0@yahoo.com
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote chris.rogers Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 24 2011 at 12:48pm
awesome info, asad. 

couple q's...

have you noticed a power bill drop?

and what're the specs on the LEDs?
Ils sont fous, ces Romains!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote seti007 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 27 2011 at 3:19pm
Quite frankly, I havent looked at my electric bill for years Shocked i just have it on auto pay and it just gets paid without any bother to me. But, I guess I can look at the record and let you know. I do however, remember putting a kill-a-watt meter on the old lights and then on the LEDs and noticed a lower wattage draw ( cant remember the exact figures). So, hopefully the power bill will go down a bit. I was using T5s before and they are quite a bit more efficient compared to MH lights already. So, I expected only a small drop in power consumption. One thing I am counting on is that I would not have to replace the bulbs any time soon. That is where the real savings would be IMO.
The lights I used were from Steve's LEDs. They are a generic Chinese 3W LEDs that are quite cheap (about half the price of CREE) but not quite as efficient as Cree. You can go to his website and check them out.
 
Originally posted by chris.rogers chris.rogers wrote:

awesome info, asad. 

couple q's...

have you noticed a power bill drop?

and what're the specs on the LEDs?
Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic--Arthur C. Clarke
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote chris.rogers Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 29 2011 at 1:51pm
Nice.

I'm really impressed, Asad.  Well done.  And high five for using the LM317.  Thumbs Up
Ils sont fous, ces Romains!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote seti007 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 30 2011 at 1:04am
Originally posted by chris.rogers chris.rogers wrote:

Nice.

I'm really impressed, Asad.  Well done.  And high five for using the LM317.  Thumbs Up
Thanks Chris :)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rbtron Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 30 2011 at 9:39am
[QUOTE=seti007]

LEDs are all the rage these days and a lot of peopel are doing DIY projects withe them. I thought I'd post a simple and very easy to build DIY driver that Im using on my tank. I originally went with a design based on cat4101 chip that could drive 6-7 3watt LEDs depengin in the forward voltage. But I found some issuees with the CAT4101 chip that forced me to look elsewhere. 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rbtron Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 30 2011 at 9:41am
What kind of problem did you see with the CAT4101? Thermal shutoff?
Thanks, Tron
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote seti007 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 30 2011 at 6:27pm
Originally posted by rbtron rbtron wrote:

What kind of problem did you see with the CAT4101? Thermal shutoff?
Thanks, Tron
Dont know exactly, but my guess is that I got a bad batch from the manufacturer. Some worked but most did not work or overheated. I have sent samples back to the manufacturer in order to check whats wrong but have not heard back yet. So i switched to the lm317.
Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic--Arthur C. Clarke
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jeffatpm Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 04 2011 at 11:00pm
Thought I would share a link for awesome LED drivers similar to thomas research - http://www.inventronics-co.com/
These are what I'm using on my 210 setup I'm building led's should be in soon, I should have it up and pics up soon!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jerrick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 05 2011 at 3:12pm
Okay So Since I just read the entire thread and still have no clue! how much would someone charge me to put a setup together for a 36 Gallon bow front frag tank? ANYONE?  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jeffatpm Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 05 2011 at 5:18pm
I am going to start doing just that - I'm just thrilled with LED's and I want to help/build fixtures for people.
PM Me and we can talk more.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sanddune600 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 07 2011 at 11:40am
I just built 4 drivers to run 5 leds each from cat4104 I am very happy with the simplicity of them and sunrise/sunset effects controlled with a hydra controller (diy arduino based reef controller)
Andy Jorgensen
My number is four three 5 7 six four 8 0 three four
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