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6 Channel Full Spectrum 36" MakersLED Build

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So I just finally finished the lighting setup for my new 90 gallon build. I went a little over board with it, but with how much things have advanced since my last bc29 build(2 years ago) I didnt want to hold anything back.


One of the main things I wanted was all drivers to be nicely mounted into a driver box along with the dim4. I also wanted to use one cable to connect the light fixture to the driver box that would supply power to the leds, fans, and moonlights. For this I used a 22awg 16 conductor cable to which i soldered a 16 pin deck connector on to each end.


On my last build I had the dimmer knobs/potentiometers for each channels dimming attatched to the driver box. I found it a pain to adjust the color ratios because I had to pull the box out from out from inside the stand and kneel down while looking up at the tank to adjust it. I wanted the abillity to stand a couple feet away from the tank and be able to adjust things at an angle the tank would normally be viewed.To do this i built a seperate hand held box that connects to the DIM4 tfrom the driver box to the box containg potentiometers and back to the drivers dimming circuits via one cable.


Lastly, I wanted to try something different for the moonlighting. I used 2 OCW clusters with a Ledgroupbuy hyper violet next to it. Each color is independently dimmable and no drivers were used. All that was required for this is a 12v power supply, some resistors, potentiometers, and the ledgroup buy 4 channel dimmer box for it all to be cleanly mounted in. I can truely make almost any color for the moonlights.


List of LEDs


16 - Luxeon Rebel 5k Neutral white

8 - Luxeon Rebel Deep Red (660nm)

8 - Luxeon Rebel Cyan (495nm)

8 - Luxeon Rebel Cool Blue (480nm)

8 - Cree Blue (470nm)

32 - Luxeon Rebel Royal Blue (445nm)

8 - LedGroupBuy (430nm)

8 - Semileds violet (422nm)

4 - Epiled Violet (410nm)


List of Drivers


1 - Meanwell ELN-60-48D 1.3 A @ 24-48V (Royal Blue)

2- Meanwell LPF-16d-24 .670mA @ 13-24V (Deep Red and Cyan)

2 - Inventronics 700mA @ 18-54V (5K Neutral White and Cool Blue)

1- Inventronics 450mA @ 30-89V ( Violet leds)


Unfortunently the tank this will be going on isnt even fully setup yet. I may take a trip to my local fish store and set it up over one of his tanks to test it out and get some pics.


I will be adding on extra posts further detailing into each section of the build. If you have any questions along the way feel free to ask and I'll do my best to answer it.












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Looking good!

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I'm very impressed with the detail and effort you put into your driver box and connectors. I feel like these parts are always overlooked in DIY LED builds which make the lights look like cheap chopped up frankenstein projects. Although I understand aesthetics aren't that important to every DIY'er, it is to me. I look forward to your detailed post about it so hopefully implement something similar into my own build.

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Very nice! Also really clean and professional looking... good job!

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So in this post I'm going to be giving some details into the driver box build. I wanted to be able to contain nearly all components used that arent attatched to the light fixture inside the box.


Parts List

Aluminum enclosure 12L x 9 W x 3.25H

DIM4 (Older Model Recycled out of my last BC29 build)

1 - Meanwell ELN-60-48D 1.3 A @ 24-48V (Royal Blue)

2- Meanwell LPF-16d-24 .670mA @ 13-24V (Deep Red and Cyan)

2 - Inventronics 700mA @ 18-54V (5K Neutral White and Cool Blue)

1- Inventronics 450mA @ 30-89V ( Violet leds)

12V power supply 3 Amp

12V power supply 1 Amp

Power chord male to female

Power socket with 5 amp replaceable fuse

16 pin deck connector

DB15 connector

60mm cooling fan

4-40 screws and nuts for mounting all components




I first started off with the blank aluminum enclosure.I made all the cut outs for the connectors, fan, and DIM4. Then drilled the holes for mounting the drivers and 60mm fan. This was a much more time consuming then i thought it would be. I used a dremel for all cutouts(mini cutoff wheel and carbide cutter).




For the DIM4 cutout i made a stencil with a note card so i could skecth onto the box where the screen cutout would be and also the holes for mounting screws.





Next all componenents were then mounted inside and wired together. The 12v 3amp computer power supply is used to power the 4 fans on the light fixture, 60mm fan in the driver box, and 2 120mm fans on my cannopy. I simply cut both connector ends off of the power supply. Tieing the AC side directly to the AC input on the box and the DC output was spliced to 2 pins on the 16 pin connector (runs up to fixture to power the 4 heatsink fans) and to the 60mm fan in the box. All of the drivers AC inputs where connected using a 6 conductor wall nut. The drivers LED output wires where then soldered to designated pins on the 16 pin deck connector. The DIM4 needed its own power supply so it doesnt shut off when the fans do. For this I used a 12v 1amp supply. I went to radio shack and found a matching receptical plug for the end of the power supply. Mounted the plug on the box so all i had to do was plug the power supply into the wall and then connect it to the box.




The process of mounting the DIM4 inside the box was not to difficult but did require a little work. A quick trip to the local ACE hardware and i was able to figure out a way to make buttons that would push down onto the DIM4. I believe I bought 4- 3/4" cotter pins, 4- 1/2" long plastic sleeves that the pins fit perfectly into, 4- 3/4" bushings to space the DIM4 from the box, 4- 1/8" bushings, and 4- 1.25" 4-40 screws and nuts.

(note: double check your pin/sleeve/bushing measurements if you do this. I cant find my notes with the exact measurements and I know the newer model DIM4s have changed a bit.



I put a small ball of jb weld on the end of each pin so that thy are unable to fall out of the sleeve if for some reason the box is tipped upside down.



The plastic sleeves were mounted to the box with jb weld.



Picture of the pins slid into the sleeves after the jb weld has dried.



Next insert the 4-40 screws and slide the bushings over them.



Then install the DIM4 and with the small plastic bushings on the back side of the circuit board.






Since i wanted to use a seperate controller box for the dimming, things got a little complicated. For variable volate the potentiometers need both the positives and the grounds from the DIM4. I had to run the positive and negative from the DIM4 to the hand held dimming box and then the variable voltage side of the pot back into the box for the drivers dimming circuit. To keep things simple below is a diagram of how 1 of the channels dimming circuit is wired.




(Note: I know this may seem obvious to some of you but i didnt know any better. For the dimming circuit I used a DB15 VGA connector. Big mistake! I didnt know what VGA meant (used for screen monitors). A normal VGA cable cant be used for this as it is not a straight through serial connection. This left me with the options of changing my connectors out after everything was assembled or custom making my own cable. I choose to custome make my own cable. If your going to use a db15 cable be sure to order db15 serial conncetors and a db15 serial cable.)


Finally the driver box complete!





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Wow!!! I hope that my DIY LED build for my 180 will be this good!!!

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That is a super nice and clean build!!! Impressive! What kind of cord is the one that goes from the fixture to the driver box?

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Sharp driver box.....

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