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Old 11-21-2004, 03:52 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default $2 DIY light hood

I just posted several pictures of an extremely cheap way to make your own light reflector/hood. Use the "Previous" and "Next" link in the album to see all pictures.

The things that I tried to achieve with this project:
- Low cost
- Completely heat proof
- Streamlined appearance

Low cost:
About $2.

Heat proof:
All parts are metallic and the mounting legs cannot convey too much heat to the plastic tank brace.

Streamlined appearance:
The height of the hoods is minimal - just enough to accomodate the bulb (offset 1/2") from the hood.
The length is also minimal - there are no waterproof end caps that add about 1-/2 inches to the total length. I just wrapped the wires around the pins of the PC bulbs and covered them with silicone.
The mounting legs are very thin aluminum looking threaded rods and colorwise don't differ from the material of the hood.

The hoods are 35" long and contain a 96 watt PC each. As I mentioned in one of the pictures' comments - the hoods have to be turn around - the light seepage from the 2 overlapping pieces that form the hood has to be pointed to the back.

It wouldn't be that hard to hang the hood using thin steel rope from 2 L-shaped aluminum braces that extend forward. I think that the looks of the hood may improve that way.

--Nikolay

Last edited by niko; 08-26-2005 at 02:49 PM..
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Old 11-22-2004, 09:50 AM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Would it be possible to get a materials list? This looks very interesting.
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Old 11-22-2004, 01:10 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
I just wrapped the wires around the pins of the PC bulbs and covered them with silicone.
Niko, You're a valuable member of our community. I don't want to hear that you have been electrocuted if those wires disengage and touch the metal hood. I think the end caps might add only a small amount of money to the overall cost but they may ensure some safety. Does your life insurance policy include self-wired aquarium hoods?

Andrew Cribb
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Old 11-23-2004, 04:34 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Sir,

The materials used are simple:

- L-shaped galvanized tin
Found in Home Depot where they sell gutters and roofing materials

- Short screws + nuts for them
Smallest size you can get.

- Threaded rod
For the legs. Home Depot, in the hardware materials section.

You will need an electric drill for the screw holes, household scissors, plyiers, and a 2x4 piece of wood that will allow you to press and spread the L-shaped tin without making dent marks on it.

Let me know if you need more information.


Pinneapple,

Thanks for the kinds words!

The bulbs have no end caps... and I don't have life insurance (any insurance actually). Come to think of it these 2 taken together must make some sort of a perfect mix

Actually I'd like to improve the electric connection part. Even if it was safe it is unsightly. If you or anyone else has any idea (other than using the end caps) please post it here.

--Nikolay
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Old 11-23-2004, 04:44 AM   #5 (permalink)
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What is wrong with end caps? Are you out of length? If so I think the best thing to do would be to solder the wires securly to the lights and use a section of heat shrink tubing for each pin. Make sure you slide the shrink tubing onto the wire before you solder I assume there are connectors that will fit the pins well but I don't know. If you don't have space for the waterproof endcaps, look at the regular endcaps. They only cost $3 and make life easier and safer.

As Andrew said, awesome job from a valuable member of our community.
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Old 11-23-2004, 04:07 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Ok here is the truth:
I made the hoods, 2 of them.. and then I realized that the waterproof end caps that I got will not fit in them because the bulb occupies almost the entire length of the hood.

I tried several crimping connections - the soft metal tubes that you squish with plyers. They did not hold well for some reason

I didn't even think of soldering the wire to the pins. I like the idea but the pins are made of some sort of yellow metal. I'm not sure that the soldering will be reliable.

I have an old non-working PC which I could use to experiment with the pins. Thank you for the advice!

Ah, one last thing... I'm now going to put "Valuable Member of This Community" under my screenname

--Nikolay
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Old 12-08-2004, 08:15 PM   #7 (permalink)
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what ballast are you using?
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Old 12-20-2004, 06:07 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Turtlehead,

I'm using a Workhorse 7 ballast - a remote balast, not mounted on the hood.

--Nikolay
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