LED build Part 3
Installing LED’s, Drivers and Fans.
Do at your own risk. Grouse Grows is not responsible or liable for any damage or harm that may be a result of following this build post. Included and not limited to production of dank. Ether way don’t blame me for how you go fried.
For installation of all LED’s, I used MX-4 and Gel Super Glue. Apply a rice sized bead of thermal compound (MX-4) on the centre of the heat-sink where the LED is to be located. Centre LED over bead and apply light even pressure on 4 corners. While applying light pressure make very small circle motions with a light twist until LED is seated. You will know when the led is seated when it seams to not want to move anymore. Warning to much pressure on LED’s will break then. When the LED is located perfectly, hold down 2 corners and apply a very small dab of Gel Super Glue where the LED meets the heat-sink on the outer edge. Avoid getting the super glue between the LED and the heat-sink Hold for about 30-40 seconds I put 1 on each side of the screw holes. I have used this method for years and never had one fail. The LED’S can still be removed with a fine blade to scrape off the glue.
When it comes to wiring the COB’s. All COB’s will be wired in series. The first thing we need to do is tin the soldering pads on each COB. Next cut all wires to length, mark the + end of each wire to avoid mixing the + and -. Trim and tin each end of all wires. Install wires and solder the marked end of wires to the + pads on the COB and the unmarked ends to the – pads. When complete you should have 2 pads left over, 1 on the first COB and 1 on the last COB. Cut 2 pieces of wire, one going from the + pad of the first COB to the driver and the other from the – Pad of the last COB to the driver. Drivers are normally marked + and – for the DC side and colour may vary pending on manufacturer and country they are from. Trim and tin the + wire on one end and solder to the + pad on the COB. Slide some heat-sink tubing over the other end and trim wire about 1/4”. Do the same with the + wire from the driver. Spread the fine wires out like fingers on each wire and butt them together so fingers overlap. Fold fingers down and twist until wires are tight and not overlapping wire shielding. Solder and cover with heat-sink tubing. Do the same for the – wire.
For wiring those nice solderless 660mn and 620mn LED’s from Rappid LED. All your going to need is 2 small pieces of heat-sink tubing and a little solder. All the LED’s come with your choice of wire length from 1.5” to 6”. You’ll need one Driver Jumper and one Solder-less LED Plug per solder-less string. Less then $2.00 for both.
The first thing we need to do is take 1 of the supplied wires and plug it into the first LED on the right side when the letters are facing you. Connect the other end to the second LED on the left side when the letters are facing you. Connect the wires by reading the printing on the LED example CREE==CREE==CREE. Extremely easy and the wire connectors are keyed so they can only go one way. When you get to the last one, finish with an end Plug. On the driver side, connect the driver jumper wires to the driver the same way it was done for the COB’s. Red for the + and Black for the -. For the people who think solder-less is the way to go. I can solder 2 COB’s in the same amount of time it takes to wire 32 solder-less LED’s from Rappid LED.
The heat-sink/fan shroud is a mock-up made from that plastic sign material stuff. It was cut and folded in a way to only leave half of the tower heat-sinks face exposed for exhaust. Holes were cut for the fans and the fans were attached on the bottom with hot glue. Fan filters were also attached with hot glue on the top. The fans are placed a little different on each side to see how it will effect cooling. I have a few ideas for the top section and want to maximize air flow and cooling. When opened it has a bit of a small city feel to it. So I am thinking of a clear covering to hold the fans and a little art to bring out that theme.
For the fans I used 4 Foxxconn 140mm fans and filters from scrapped Dell PC and a 12vdc 2amp switching power supply. The fans are a 4 wire type but i only need the red and black for power. There are 2 fans each side so we need to connect all the red wires together and run them to the + terminal on 12vdc power supply. Then all the black wires to the – side of the 12vdc power supply.
Moving over to the AC side, I used 16g scrap extension cord, 3 and 4 pin push in wire connectors and an AC plug for the cord. I started with one of the 4 pin push in wire connectors and the Line wires from the 2 COB drivers and connected them together pushing the pre-tined wires in the connector. I did the same for the Neutral and ground wires. Next I took a small piece of extension cord and stripped the outside shielding back about 1.5”, then each wire was stripped to just fit in the pin push in wire connector. I did this on both ends. Each wire gets it own 3 pin wire connector, Line, Neutral and ground. Then I took the White wire from the small extension cord and connected it to the to the Neutral wire connector from the 2 COB drivers. Next the Black wire goes to the Line wire connector from the COB drivers. The last one is the green wire is connected to the Ground wire connector from the COB drivers. Hooking up the discrete diodes driver on the 3 pin wire connectors was easy, just follow the colour code from the 4 pin wire connectors. Then I needed to run some wires from the 12vdc power supply to the 3 pin wire connectors. Stripped a small piece of extension cord and hooked up the Black wire to the Line, White to the Neutral and Green to ground on the AC side of the 12vdc power supply, then connected it to the 3 pin wire connectors by following the wire colours. The final thing I did was locate a spot for the AC plug in, cut out a small piece of thick clear plastic to mount the AC plug. Attached it to the frame with J B weld. I ran a piece of extension cord from the AC plug to the 4 pin wire connectors that everything is connected to, Black to L, White to N and Green to ground. The AC plug has marking for L, N and ground. Each wire going to the AC plug was stripped back and soldered to the pins. All wires are covered with heat shrink tubing.
My final words on this build is that, if you go this route of building a LED light system. You will find that everything that was recycled needs a good cleaning and maybe sanding. Also parts may need to be modified, drilled and or tapped. When it comes to soldering. The fumes are very harmful to your health, so I keep a fan blowing it away from me. If I had to solder all 32 discrete diodes and the 8 COB’s, I may have ended up with a little headache from the fumes in the air. This is what I love about Rappid LED. You can buy everything you need and not have to use a soldering iron. Just plug the LED’s into each other and 2 wago connectors for the driver side, that it. Plus all parts were super clean.
If you like working with your hands and have or want to learn basic electrical, DIY LED is the way to go. Even cleaning parts can be interesting, you get the opportunity to look at things in a way you normally would not have. I find DIY lets you think outside of the box, like using a transmission cooler from a truck to cool some liquid cooled COB’s. You get to make it yours, more red or blue, 2200k or 5000k. Its all about the enjoyment you get from it
Merry Cannamis to all the great DGC’ers
Any and all comments or questions are more then welcome.