ProFlatlander15

PFL15's DIY Canopy

31 posts in this topic

Ok, so I've been contemplating a new lighting system for a while now, and finally got the balls to start. It will be the same dual 150W Halides that are over my 29G now, but instead of PCs, it will be running T5s for actinic. It is my first time working with metal, so be nice.

 

The backboone of the structure. Some stock aluminum I had laying around.

mhrackmetalvc2.jpg

 

Closeup of how it is hagning in there. I used mostly rivets on the project. The other side is identical.

mhcloseupzs3.jpg

 

A bracket that will sit on the T5 reflector rack to support the MH backbone. You'll see!

mhrachbracketto5.jpg

 

The T5 reflector setup. Notice the brackets where the MHs will sit.

t5rackwbracketcn3.jpg

 

T5 structure

t5racknh9.jpg

 

Basics all together from the top.

closeuptoppj0.jpg

 

Basics all together from the bottom.

closeupbottomza8.jpg

 

The guts.

bottomnoelectriceu1.jpg

 

 

 

T5 ballast installed.

topnoelectricej7.jpg

 

T5s wired, fans wired (minus the fans, they will be arriving from NewEgg shortly). You can see the AC adapter I plugged in there for the fans. The T5s and the fans will be wired from the same hot wire. The MHs will be separate.

closeupwiresyb0.jpg

 

Sheet aluminum cut to size... It's starting to come together...

lightingcutoutsqx4.jpg

 

Cover made of the same sheet. Since it is .02" thick, it is easy to bend and arcs nicely. I actually cut it with a razor blade and bent it by scribing it with a razor blade. I know there are better ways, but thats all I had around.

covertw3.jpg

 

As far as I have gotten. 80% of the wiring is done, I am waiting on the fans and I have to do the MH wiring, but most of the rest is done.

bottomcoveronfj3.jpg

 

I have about $100 of materials into this project, though I know it can be done with less. I made a few bad cuts on the auminum sheet and also remade some brackets to simplify my design. It is actually comming along better than I had expected. Comments, criticisms will be appreciated. Thanks guys.

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wow this is nice... now those are skillz... that z at the end of skill means its really well done...

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very sexy indeed. Good jorb! I'll be tagging along to see this one completed.

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Ok, so I got the fans hooked up, and one side is covered. Good news is all I have to do now is wire the switches, cover up the last side, and put on the splashguard.

 

Bad news, I just started a summer class and it will proably take up all of my time.

 

I will try to keep updated pics.

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I did a little work throughout the week, so I figured I'd get some pictures up for you guys.

 

Here is a pic of the end of the fixture.

endkh9.jpg

 

This is a pic of the template of other side of the fixture. This side will have switches to control the T5s and fans. Tou can see where I cut extra for tabs to be bent into the sides for a tight fit. I did alot of guesswork here, and it really paid off, both sides fit perfectly.

templatewi6.jpg

Edited by ProFlatlander15

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Ha, I wish I had the time to do some, but it is kinda expensive and very time consuming. I learned alot though, and if I had to do it again it would look much nicer.

 

Update: I had some faulty wiring I had to redo yesterday and the fans were rubbing on the metal, so I had to switch them around. Almost ready for painting though!

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Ok, so it's been a little while, but I have been steadily working on this thing, and I am almost done! I have about $150 into this project so far. Here's some updated pics:

 

The bottom of the canopy slides in via some bent metal grooves I made. The top part is not painted yet.

canopy95bottompb2.jpg

 

The grooves I am talking about:

canopygroovesvz2.jpg

 

Pretty much done for the most part:

canopy95vz1.jpg

 

This is how I plan on hanging it: I have steel wire with pulleys. I made loops at the end of the wire so I can pull it and hook it onto a hook, thus raising the canopy for maintainence, etc.

hangingmechanismzk3.jpg

 

And the whole thing right now, showing the hanging system.

hangingfullsm6.jpg

 

Should be done by the end of the week, but I was looking at my MH bulbs and they aren't lookin' good, so I might have to buy new ones.

Edited by ProFlatlander15

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Tagging along to see the end product. Looking real nice so far.

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Yea, but that's just materials. I already had the bubls, ballasts for the MH, and AC adapter and such. If you were to do this yourself you'd probably break even, or maybe save like $5.

 

Edit: Thanks guys

Edited by ProFlatlander15

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Yea, but that's just materials. I already had the bubls, ballasts for the MH, and AC adapter and such. If you were to do this yourself you'd probably break even, or maybe save like $5.

 

Edit: Thanks guys

 

Ah, yes, therein lies the rub.

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...So I just dropped it. It's ready to be hung, and I dropped it. I hit the corner on the doorway (typical of me) and it fell.

 

A reflector is bent, and the back is a little kinked for absorbing the fall, but after another coat of paint it should be OK.

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So after a little TLC, I put an new coat of paint on, making this like the 4th or 5th coat, plus 2 coats of primer. It looks pretty good right now, I was gonna hang it today, but now I have to wait for the paint to dry again...

 

paintdryingoa6.jpg

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NICE NICE VERY NICE.

 

To me its not about the money saved or spent. I wouldn't get the same satisfaction if I got an Aqua Medic for free. I think... :unsure:

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So it took me a month of planning, and 2 months to finish it, but here it is: the finished product!

 

Just leveling it before it hangs on its own:

gettinglevelledvi6.jpg

 

And all done, MH and T5s on. Man, the T5s by themselves are bright enough for my tank!

donemhonhu4.jpg

 

Enjoy!

Edited by ProFlatlander15

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this has to be one of the best DIY lighting systems EVER!

I'm going to try this for my 75g, I'll try to use wood and the cover it with aluminum

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