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How To - Aquastyle DIY LED - Coral Photos Added


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#51
th64

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turns out im horrible at soldering lol

Edited by th64, 31 August 2011 - 04:28 PM.


#52
holla_passer

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This has been a great thread to read...very detailed...

im thinking of getting this DIY kit for my 35cm cube tank...would it be sufficient for LPS and possibly a little SPS??

Thanks!

#53
Trogdor447

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This has been a great thread to read...very detailed...

im thinking of getting this DIY kit for my 35cm cube tank...would it be sufficient for LPS and possibly a little SPS??

Thanks!



You may want to upgrade to a dimmable kit - entirely up to you.. but these are pretty darn bright :)
"hun I think George(anemone) is trying to eat Mr. Clown"

Burninating 40b
http://www.nano-reef...howtopic=268998

Aquastyle 36 LED Dimmable (40 LEDs)
http://www.nano-reef...?...279188&st=0

Aquastyle 12 LED Sump Reactor
http://www.nano-reef...howtopic=287534

My 20h - Flame on - Retired
http://www.nano-reef...howtopic=236391

#54
LeslieAnn

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If you are having trouble soldering...

You need to do what is called tinning. Use thin solder, about as thin as you can get with a flux core.
Strip the end of the wire, give it a twist to clean up the end, then add a bit of solder to it. Add a bit of solder to the pad you want to solder to, just a small bump. Press the iron to the pad and feed the solder into the crack between the iron and pad. Quickly. Now press the iron onto the wire as it presses down onto the LED pad. This should give you a clean result with less chance of hurting any electronics.


Also, if you can, line up your LED's so they line up positive to negative. Spend a few minutes on this as it makes it easier, faster and better looking. Granted some designs you have to zig zag, so they won;t be as simple as this, but try and keep it logical. Don't just stick the LED's where you want them, orient them as well to obtain the cleanest wiring scheme.

Like this:
Posted Image

Edited by LeslieAnn, 01 September 2011 - 08:05 PM.


#55
cberglof

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So I finished my light. Very pleased with the result It was much easier then I thought it was going to be, and had fun doing it. I ended up buying a project box for the drivers, and getting some four strand wire from home depot so I could have a cleaner look. The driver box gets warm but nothing that makes me nervous. I have it over my 10g QT/frag tank now with a pvc stand I build from stuff in the garage. I had planned to put it over a 29g tank that I am setting up as a frag tank, but not sure if it will be enough. These are bright, but my crees that I have running at about 25% on my biocube are much brighter. I may do another 24 for a total of 48 for over the 29g. I am going to let them run awhile and see how the do before I decide. Comparing the crees to aquastyles leds the crees win hands down. The blues are bluer and both whites and blues are much brighter. I think the aquastyles are great for a small tank for the money. For a larger tank I would recommend spending the extra and buying the crees.

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#56
th64

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If you are having trouble soldering...

You need to do what is called tinning. Use thin solder, about as thin as you can get with a flux core.
Strip the end of the wire, give it a twist to clean up the end, then add a bit of solder to it. Add a bit of solder to the pad you want to solder to, just a small bump. Press the iron to the pad and feed the solder into the crack between the iron and pad. Quickly. Now press the iron onto the wire as it presses down onto the LED pad. This should give you a clean result with less chance of hurting any electronics.


Also, if you can, line up your LED's so they line up positive to negative. Spend a few minutes on this as it makes it easier, faster and better looking. Granted some designs you have to zig zag, so they won;t be as simple as this, but try and keep it logical. Don't just stick the LED's where you want them, orient them as well to obtain the cleanest wiring scheme.

Like this:
Posted Image


I did all of that but when i try to tin the wire for some reason the solder doesnt flow onto it like its suppose to. Also am I suppose to attach the wireing to the PADS or the little bump like thing thats right below 1 of the positie and negative signs? Im such a newb at this I wish I knew someone who could just do it for me lol . Im going to try to find thinner solder even though I bought the thinnest available at home depot plus 3 different soldering irons

Edited by th64, 02 September 2011 - 03:05 PM.


#57
LeslieAnn

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I did all of that but when i try to tin the wire for some reason the solder doesnt flow onto it like its suppose to. Also am I suppose to attach the wireing to the PADS or the little bump like thing thats right below 1 of the positie and negative signs? Im such a newb at this I wish I knew someone who could just do it for me lol . Im going to try to find thinner solder even though I bought the thinnest available at home depot plus 3 different soldering irons

If the solder isn't flowing, it's usually one of 3 things:
Not enough heat, soldering irons vary GREATLY. A 40 watt from Weller pen style, can outperform a 70+ watt Chinese one. These work awesome and will handle just about anything you could ever solder except micro smd stuff.

Crappy or contaminated wire. Some wires just dislike solder, too much aluminum maybe? Aquastyle wire is fine though. Dirty wire can be an issue, too.

The last is probably your problem.
Flux. Flux looks like a wax, some solder is hollow with flux down the center, some solder is solid and you need a can of flux paste and apply it manually. Flux is an acid that cleans the wire and etches it to give solder grip. Make sure your solder has a flux core, or get you some paste or different solder with a flux core. Radio Shack and Home Depot both carry both.



See the little silver spots above and below the LED itself (two above, two below), attach your wires there.
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#58
petkingdom619

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awesome my turn to get one
24g aquapod
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#59
th64

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If the solder isn't flowing, it's usually one of 3 things:
Not enough heat, soldering irons vary GREATLY. A 40 watt from Weller pen style, can outperform a 70+ watt Chinese one. These work awesome and will handle just about anything you could ever solder except micro smd stuff.

Crappy or contaminated wire. Some wires just dislike solder, too much aluminum maybe? Aquastyle wire is fine though. Dirty wire can be an issue, too.

The last is probably your problem.
Flux. Flux looks like a wax, some solder is hollow with flux down the center, some solder is solid and you need a can of flux paste and apply it manually. Flux is an acid that cleans the wire and etches it to give solder grip. Make sure your solder has a flux core, or get you some paste or different solder with a flux core. Radio Shack and Home Depot both carry both.



See the little silver spots above and below the LED itself (two above, two below), attach your wires there.
Posted Image


You don't know how much I appreciate your help lol well the home depot link you gave me is 1 of the soldering irons I have but im going to get some different solder on my way home and give it another shot. Also to test the LED whats the best way? Is a digital multimeter necessary b/c I got a analog 1 and it didnt work out. Thanks a bunch!

#60
DreTheReefer

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I just got my kit the other day and got the LEDs plastered last night. Now I've never soldered anything before or built a light etc.. Directions says to power up my drivers first. Does this mean connect the power cord to the drivers first and plug it in or do I wire the LEDs and the connect the power cord to the driver and then to LEDs. I just don't want to blow them or fry myself.

#61
cberglof

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I just got my kit the other day and got the LEDs plastered last night. Now I've never soldered anything before or built a light etc.. Directions says to power up my drivers first. Does this mean connect the power cord to the drivers first and plug it in or do I wire the LEDs and the connect the power cord to the driver and then to LEDs. I just don't want to blow them or fry myself.


You don't want to plug anything in until everything is soldered and you have double checked that you have the leds wired correctly. The drivers + (red) going out to the + on your first led in the series, then the last - off that series gets wired to the -(black) of the driver. The connection to the wall plug can go either way, that is why they are both white. Soldering is really easy, but I suggest you read up a little or check youtube for walk through. The best thing to do is keep your iron tined, and then tin all your wires and mounts on the leds.

Edited by cberglof, 04 September 2011 - 12:53 PM.


#62
LeslieAnn

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You don't know how much I appreciate your help lol well the home depot link you gave me is 1 of the soldering irons I have but im going to get some different solder on my way home and give it another shot. Also to test the LED whats the best way? Is a digital multimeter necessary b/c I got a analog 1 and it didnt work out. Thanks a bunch!

You're welcome.

I didn't need a multimeter.
Just watch how you wire things, and double and triple check before you turn it on. Everything is labeled. The multimeter will help if you run into trouble though, but take your time and again, double and tripple check everything before you fire it up.

As for testing I wired them up and went, LOL. I figured I woudl just change the bulb later or de-solder and replace it if one was bad. All mine worked first try though.

Edited by LeslieAnn, 04 September 2011 - 12:52 PM.


#63
DreTheReefer

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I did it and I blinded myself thanks for the help. I see spots everywhere
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#64
Trogdor447

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haha why is it that we all have a fascination with plugging it in upside down :( think someone would get the hint here haha.. Looks great, is it bright enough for you?
"hun I think George(anemone) is trying to eat Mr. Clown"

Burninating 40b
http://www.nano-reef...howtopic=268998

Aquastyle 36 LED Dimmable (40 LEDs)
http://www.nano-reef...?...279188&st=0

Aquastyle 12 LED Sump Reactor
http://www.nano-reef...howtopic=287534

My 20h - Flame on - Retired
http://www.nano-reef...howtopic=236391

#65
DreTheReefer

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Yeah plenty bright but aorta of looks purple

#66
tyborbogdan

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just got mine today! looking through the box and pleased that everything is there and together :P He even threw in a few more whites and a couple extra blues, oh and a digital thermometer lol. Will be updating my progress about the build, still need to get my hands on a soldering iron :S

#67
Trogdor447

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just got mine today! looking through the box and pleased that everything is there and together :P He even threw in a few more whites and a couple extra blues, oh and a digital thermometer lol. Will be updating my progress about the build, still need to get my hands on a soldering iron :S


radio shack 10 bucks for a good one -
"hun I think George(anemone) is trying to eat Mr. Clown"

Burninating 40b
http://www.nano-reef...howtopic=268998

Aquastyle 36 LED Dimmable (40 LEDs)
http://www.nano-reef...?...279188&st=0

Aquastyle 12 LED Sump Reactor
http://www.nano-reef...howtopic=287534

My 20h - Flame on - Retired
http://www.nano-reef...howtopic=236391

#68
tyborbogdan

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just finished the wiring + install and everything, very pleased with the results, but i do need to figure out a way to mount it a bit higher. Super bright on my little 15 :)

I can post pics if people want, If i can find a before fts shot ill do like a before and after.

#69
th64

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done with mine as well the whites fired up nice and bright in my face but the blues are really dim and the 1st one in the series isn't turning on. Its the neg. 1 going to the neg. on the driver and everything seems to be good.. any idea?

#70
Trogdor447

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done with mine as well the whites fired up nice and bright in my face but the blues are really dim and the 1st one in the series isn't turning on. Its the neg. 1 going to the neg. on the driver and everything seems to be good.. any idea?


try to just bypass that first blue LED - might have got a bad LED.. If its not turning on either bad LED - or bad connection 1 of the 2..
"hun I think George(anemone) is trying to eat Mr. Clown"

Burninating 40b
http://www.nano-reef...howtopic=268998

Aquastyle 36 LED Dimmable (40 LEDs)
http://www.nano-reef...?...279188&st=0

Aquastyle 12 LED Sump Reactor
http://www.nano-reef...howtopic=287534

My 20h - Flame on - Retired
http://www.nano-reef...howtopic=236391

#71
th64

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i tested them all before and each 1 worked before so hm I don't know what caused it to stop now and when I test it w/ a multimeter, the rest of the blued light up (dim) but that 1 doesn't light

Edited by th64, 09 September 2011 - 11:08 AM.


#72
Trogdor447

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i tested them all before and each 1 worked before so hm I don't know what caused it to stop now and when I test it w/ a multimeter, the rest of the blued light up (dim) but that 1 doesn't light


id re-solder them in the opposite posts :)
but first remove the first one to test it out.. just to make sure the driver is functioning fine etc
"hun I think George(anemone) is trying to eat Mr. Clown"

Burninating 40b
http://www.nano-reef...howtopic=268998

Aquastyle 36 LED Dimmable (40 LEDs)
http://www.nano-reef...?...279188&st=0

Aquastyle 12 LED Sump Reactor
http://www.nano-reef...howtopic=287534

My 20h - Flame on - Retired
http://www.nano-reef...howtopic=236391

#73
th64

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try to just bypass that first blue LED - might have got a bad LED.. If its not turning on either bad LED - or bad connection 1 of the 2..



id re-solder them in the opposite posts :)
but first remove the first one to test it out.. just to make sure the driver is functioning fine etc


Well is it weird that I touched the red (pos) on the multimeter to the neg led side and black (neg) to the pos. led side and it lit up what the heck?!

#74
Trogdor447

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Well is it weird that I touched the red (pos) on the multimeter to the neg led side and black (neg) to the pos. led side and it lit up what the heck?!



sounds like there is
A: A bad connection
B: A bad led

Please do as I said - remove the LED from the chain and power it up without it -

THEN put a different LED in it's place (if you got an extra one or 2.. which he normally sends)
"hun I think George(anemone) is trying to eat Mr. Clown"

Burninating 40b
http://www.nano-reef...howtopic=268998

Aquastyle 36 LED Dimmable (40 LEDs)
http://www.nano-reef...?...279188&st=0

Aquastyle 12 LED Sump Reactor
http://www.nano-reef...howtopic=287534

My 20h - Flame on - Retired
http://www.nano-reef...howtopic=236391

#75
tyborbogdan

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first day with the lights on.. but only half of the corals are opened, is there a chance they could be in shock from the lights? idk