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scott711

Has anyone been able to control their D120 LED's with a controller?

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There have been a number of people on the reef angel forum who have done it. We're not talking about dozens but a few. I will be attempting the hack soon i hope.

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There have been a number of people on the reef angel forum who have done it. We're not talking about dozens but a few. I will be attempting the hack soon i hope.

 

do you have a link?  or info?

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Just a quick note that the ones that the guys are posting about on the RA forum are the new model, not the one that I did my graphs on for the thread that is linked back to here from the RA forums.  I assume you can still do 0-10V, but am not totally sure since I've not tried with them.  Some guy just sent me a question from RC saying that he has blown a couple drivers.  No idea what he did, but still, a risk.

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Just a quick note that the ones that the guys are posting about on the RA forum are the new model, not the one that I did my graphs on for the thread that is linked back to here from the RA forums.  I assume you can still do 0-10V, but am not totally sure since I've not tried with them.  Some guy just sent me a question from RC saying that he has blown a couple drivers.  No idea what he did, but still, a risk.

 

 

is there a big difference between the two?

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The dimmer board that is shown in the RA thread has a single component, which is a 10k Ohm pot on it. 

 

The one that I was using was totally different and had a 500k Ohm pot on it and a smoothing capacitor, an isolation diode, a small transistor that I don't remember the purpose for, and a couple of tapering resistors to make the 500k Ohm pot act more like an log taper potentiometer instead of a linear one.  The tapering resistors give less change in current at low dimming values so you have a bit more sensitivity as it gets really dim. 

 

I had bypassed all of those parts and just took the two dim wires coming off that board and was driving them with the 0-10V on my Apex VDM.  It worked pretty well.  However, I blew the transistor on one of those complicated little boards I had in mine so I swapped it out for soldering in a simple 10k Ohm pot and it worked fine too.  It doesn't get all the way bright as it used to because I'd need higher resistance than 10k to get there, but other than that, it works ok. 

 

I'm not sure if they decided that all the fancy tapering and isolation stuff wasn't worth the extra components and just ditched it or if they somehow incorporated that kind of stuff into the driver, hence my caveat.

 

Should be pretty easy to check, though.  Just open it up, pull the 4-pin connector off the dimmer board, short out the two wires that are the on-off switch and measure the voltage on the dim+ and dim- pins with the power on.  It should be full bright once you short the on-off wires together, and you're hoping to read something that's around 10V.

 

Then short the dim+ and dim- together (i.e. 0V) and see if it gets to full dim.  If you have an ammeter you should put it inline between dim+ and dim- and see how much current flows at full dim.  It is hopefully minimal. 

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Hey Alan..aside from doing what you suggested, I wonder if we can figure out when Evergrow changed their design? When did you buy your D120? Perhaps Marcos can chime in on when Evergrow changed over??? I bought mine during one of the last 2 or 3 WAMAS GB's that Marcos was handling....

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I got mine in the group buy March 7, 2013. By the July group buy they had switched to the new style of dimmers because I ordered new dimmers in that one and they weren't the same. They do mostly work, as I mentioned above. I just stuck one in because I didn't feel like doing a new surface mount transistor to replace the one I blew, even though it wouldn't be that hard, and have been using it ever since, but that channel never gets as bright as it used to.

 

I used them initially for tomato seedlings since i configured them as 2/3 red and 1/3 blue grow lights. They worked very well in that capacity, by the way. You could easily use them to grow huge quantities of other things.

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Ok, I was part of the April 2013 GB...anyone know if those had the new dimmers?

it's very obvious when you compare them. and you have some nice photos alan took in the other thread of the old. just open yours up and it's in plan sight so not too much trouble at all.

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