DIY Aquarium Lamp

Ulu

Redtail Catfish
MFK Member
Dec 13, 2018
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The Sunny San Joaquin
Yes, and this idea came from a guy called the King of DIY on YouTube.*

The PVC pipe is attached at the ends with adhesive to give torsional stability to this otherwise flimsy box.

Also it does not have a full-length plastic lens, which was my eventual intention, but it does have two lexan stiffeners glued in where a lens would go.

They make a big deal in the structure of this when they get over 2 ft long.

Without that PVC pipe glued in there that channel will wind up like a corkscrew.

*I believe he used to post on this forum.
 

Lepisosteus

Potamotrygon
MFK Member
May 20, 2014
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Given how cheap LED units are now, what was the motivation to do such a project?
 

Ulu

Redtail Catfish
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Dec 13, 2018
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The Sunny San Joaquin
How much did you pay for a 6' lamp? ;)
I've been looking at $250~$300 lamps.

But that's just part of it.

I build things for fun. All the time.

My Punjabi friend who runs the liquor store is a retired civil engineer. He didn't understand why engineers in America would ever work in the shop, with tools, like a common laborer. Over there the other engineers would shun you for bringing down their professional image.

I told him it was due to the love of experimentation. Those fellows deny themselves this advantage from cultural prejudices. We do not, and if you want to know why, go watch the movie Apollo 13.
 

islandguy11

Redtail Catfish
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Sep 17, 2017
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Given how cheap LED units are now, what was the motivation to do such a project?
Good question but I think Ulu has a lot of time on his hands and just likes to keep busy lol. Fair enough and lucky him, he's retired and seems to be enjoying life at his little oasis in the desert.

But I understand your line of thinking -- if I tried anything like that for sure I would burn the house down lol.
 

johnnymax

Fire Eel
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Jun 7, 2019
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I was going to put a cheap 4' shop light on my tank from Walmart.
I went there and it was a little more than the light I was looking for with the long four foot flourescent bulbs.
They did not have them any more. All they had was LED. The times they are a changin'
I am happy, but my tank is 4' so it worked fine. I need a light for my 35 when I set it up, so a 4' light won't work.
I can cut a piece of gutter to length.
 
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Ulu

Redtail Catfish
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Dec 13, 2018
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The Sunny San Joaquin
Good question but I think Ulu has a lot of time on his hands and just likes to keep busy lol. Fair enough and lucky him, he's retired and seems to be enjoying life at his little oasis in the desert.

But I understand your line of thinking -- if I tried anything like that for sure I would burn the house down lol.

I have circuit breakers and 2 fire extinguishers. ;)
Also smoke alarms.

And I am 100% retired. I do pretty much exactly what I like.
 

islandguy11

Redtail Catfish
MFK Member
Sep 17, 2017
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Thailand
I have circuit breakers and 2 fire extinguishers. ;)
Also smoke alarms.

And I am 100% retired. I do pretty much exactly what I like.
Grass is often greener on the other side of the fence, but believe me, I'm very envious of the position you're in and likewise sure you earned it with hard work. Just as much I also envy your mechanical/engineering skills, unfortunately I didn't inherit those from my dad, like yourself the kinda dude you'd want around after a plane crash on a deserted island.
 
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Lepisosteus

Potamotrygon
MFK Member
May 20, 2014
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Ontario, Canada
How much did you pay for a 6' lamp? ;)
I've been looking at $250~$300 lamps.

But that's just part of it.

I build things for fun. All the time.

My Punjabi friend who runs the liquor store is a retired civil engineer. He didn't understand why engineers in America would ever work in the shop, with tools, like a common laborer. Over there the other engineers would shun you for bringing down their professional image.

I told him it was due to the love of experimentation. Those fellows deny themselves this advantage from cultural prejudices. We do not, and if you want to know why, go watch the movie Apollo 13.
A 72” lamp is $70 on amazon
 
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Ulu

Redtail Catfish
MFK Member
Dec 13, 2018
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The Sunny San Joaquin
A 72” lamp is $70 on amazon
Thanks, I'll have to check it out. Nothing in town is anywhere close to that price.

I put the new lamp on the Ivy plants over my aquarium, and set it on high, for a good heat soak. They've been going 8 hours, so I got out the laser thermometer and checked everything for hot spots.

The puck temps are from 190F to 210F. I think they vary because some of the pucks had more heat-sink compound on their backs. I was wiping the zinc grease off the edges as I disassembled these.

Also this may be a function of how I glued the heat sinks to the pipe. I used a bit of fast epoxy to set them, then secured them with white siliconized adhesive.

The wires were all about 80f and the chokes were at 100F.
 
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esoxlucius

Redtail Catfish
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Dec 30, 2015
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Apollo 13 is a great movie. Those engineers certainly got the crew out of the proverbial by making a life saving gizmo from bits of junk. Though I sense that Ulu would have come up with a faster and better solution. He is certainly the mad professor of the forum, in fact, I think he's just mad!!
 
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