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Author Topic: Newbie help  (Read 2320 times)

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  • Cadet
  • Posts: 1
Newbie help
« on: August 21, 2014, 19:55:43 PM »
Firstly hello

Secondly I have zero knowledge of anything you guys go on about on this forum... Lol

Thirdly I come seeking help I hoping someone here can help

So anyway on to my dilemma

I looking at putting new lights onto a nano reef aquarium,  and my tank has limited options on a budget... All fully automatic light controllers/lights cost ?200 plus which right now I just can't afford :(

So searching google I found a light see picture that is cheap has the full light spectrum I need,  but only has dimmers to control the light.. Which is ok but I'd prefer a full automated system that can turn turn on/off and set dim level etc.

Here is the unit

Now my idea was if possible of course to remove the dimmers and some how wire it to a controller?,  like this??

I know this is probably a weird question or could be so stupid to ask but like I said I have no clue lol

Cheers to anyone that helps


  • Administrator
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Re: Newbie help
« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2014, 15:15:30 PM »
Its not a weird question, but its a rather difficult solution that you ask. You have to "reverse engineer" the controller and see its input (current or voltage and what levels) and then make an interface circuitry for those two to work together. In simple words, if you are able to do this, then you can definitely design one controller from a scratch.

What sort of lights do you use? LED? CCFL? And what color? Just asking... Because i'm designing one controller with day/night programming function and i want to see what sort of lights are best used for this. The controller will be a kit for flower growing or aquarium.  I do not suggest that you wait for this kit because it may take more than 3 months to start selling them.


  • Sr. Member
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Re: Newbie help
« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2014, 22:17:33 PM »
i would use a small microcontroller to interface some digital potentiometers. the digital pots can replace the 2 pots in your dimmer unit. this way you can control the dimmer by software