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Scratch Build – In Progress Erector Set WaterPlant - Aug 17: All operational!

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by dacust, 12 Mar 2007.

  1. DarkLord7854

    DarkLord7854 New Member

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    I'm loving the way you're running the tubes at right angles and support. It reminds me of this old marble set I had where you built a giant network with plastic pipes, was great fun.
     
  2. Damouse

    Damouse Thats no moon!

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    ahh.. sweet childhood fun...

    hmm, this goves me some motivation for a lego-themed mod...
    hmm...
     
  3. dacust

    dacust What's a Dremel?

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    Light strips built and mounted

    I have a bunch of UV LED light strips. You are probably familiar with these. 2 strips to a controller. The controller will do various patterns or solid on. I wanted to mount these inside the tower to light up the water, but they are too big. SO, make 'em smaller. Also, make the mounting dark and they double to block the slits in the sides of the tower where the sides don't exactly meet.

    Here is the light strip before operations:

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    Then, Dremel in hand (hey, I know what a dremel is, now), carve off the ends, split the piece on the top, and pull the strip out of the tube:

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    Wrap with electrical tape. Split to wrap between the bulbs. This will leave it almost all black so no white reflections in the tower.
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    Done.
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    Here's the before/after:
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    I have dismantled 4 of them, taped and mounted 2. Time to go to bed. Besides, a photo of them installed will just look like it did before, so no excitement there.
     
    Last edited: 18 May 2007
  4. dacust

    dacust What's a Dremel?

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    Photo update: Lights installed, reservoir plumbing started.

    I installed the lights with the tower still in place (see Tapper, I lied, I wasn't REALLY sitting in a corner.). They work perfectly. One shorted out, but when I covered the contacts, it worked again, so no damage done. Then I removed the tower to start working on the plumbing for the reservoir. Another of the lights died at that point. After some jiggling, it works again. So, I'm going to remove them all and heat-shrink the ends. I think most of the damage is because the reservoir presses against the ends when installing/removing. SO, I'll also dismantle the bottom of the tower and reverse the bolts so the heads are inside.

    Here are some photos taken after removing the tower and getting them all working again.
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    The out of focus ends are what need heat-shrinking, and the bolts reversed.
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    I cut one of the light controllers apart to see if it could be mounted in a smaller package. Not sure. Good news is it still works. Might just leave them alone.
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    I bought some more Erector stuff off e-bay. All I need from this batch right now are the 6 short girders in the center. They will finish up the flying runs for the plumbing. The large pieces will be used on the PowerPlant Erector PC.
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    And, here are the plumbing goodies I got for working on the reservoir, along with some electrical stuff. I mounted the switches in that plate earlier, but then bought those project boxes to mount them in.
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    Here is where I started working on the plumbing.
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    I gotta run to the store for some silicone. I got tons on the boat, but none at the house. Heat gun, soldering iron, all on the boat. So much of the wiring will have to wait until I go back down there next weekend. But, for the 4 connections I have to do right now, I think I can carefully use a lighter.

    I hope to have a coupla more updates this weekend. My goal is to have the water loop finished and testing. Then comes all the lights and wiring.
     
    Last edited: 18 May 2007
  5. TapperSwe

    TapperSwe New Member

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    (see Tapper, I lied, I wasn't REALLY sitting in a corner.) He He im glad u dident ,those lightings do look tremendously nice :thumb: I also see it hard to make the controller cage smaller since i see no screwholes in the Printed Circuit Board ,otherwise u could just have mounted it on some acrylic,maybe u can drill holes in it.

    Regards.
     
  6. DarkLord7854

    DarkLord7854 New Member

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    Looks awesome, how many more of those tubes are you going to hack apart? Are you going to try maybe making the LEDs light up sequentially? Would be kinda neat, would give some sort of motion effect if you put enough of them, maybe leave the UV ones lit up and put secondary strips to make the motion effect?

    Anyways, awesome mod! :D
     
  7. dacust

    dacust What's a Dremel?

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    Thanks! That's basically what I'm going to do.

    The light strips are in sets of two and the controllers do patterns. The LEDs are divided into 3 sections. One of the patterns is the lower set gradually comes on, then the middle set comes on, the bottom goes out, then the top comes on. I have the sets on opposite corners of the tower. One set will be solid on and the other set will do the rising slide up. So, it will never go out, but there will be a pulsing going up. I'll try to get a movie of that sometime later.

    There are other patterns, so I can have fast blinking, whatever seems to work best. They are controlled by a momentary switch, so those will be mounted in the projects boxes and I can change it on the fly. Only gripe is that it doesn't remember the setting and the initial setting is for it to cycle through all the patterns. Looks kinda cool, but with more than one set, the patterns get out of sync after running a while.

    And, yes, I got more tubes, so I can play with it some more. Only $6.99 for each set of two so I got 5 sets! I plan to use a set or two in the PC.

    Back somewhere, I think on the second page, there is a video of the rising effect, but just one set of lights, so it goes black at times. Here's the link again:

    15 second quicktime movie of UV light strips (4mb)

    <edit>
    OK, here's a short movie with two light strips. The slow rise does not show up on camera, so I used a faster pattern.
    7 second quicktime movie of 4 UV light strips (2mb)
    </edit>
     
    Last edited: 7 Apr 2007
  8. Mr-IK

    Mr-IK Member

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    Are you gonna polish the plates down or leave them "raw" like they are now :)

    Different mod btw! in the good way :)
     
  9. dacust

    dacust What's a Dremel?

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    I'm leaving them like they are, the painted stuff anyway. The old decrepit industrial complex look. If I get ambitious, I'll take it all back apart and nickel plate the bright stuff. That'll make the different colors reflect off the brightwork. Most of the color won't come until the wire management phase.
     
  10. DarkLord7854

    DarkLord7854 New Member

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    Hmm, though that light pattern does look neat, I was thinking more of a faster motion, where it'd be individual LEDs lighting up in sequence, not a set of them, still looks cool though I think having LEDs lighting/fading in sequence one by one would loook neater since you could have a space of 1 dark LED between fading LEDs, making a much faster and smoother looking motion effect. I also think that making the LEDs to be used as motion LEDs should be a different color maybe.
    Anyways, that's just my thoughts ;)

    Keep up the good work
     
  11. dacust

    dacust What's a Dremel?

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    Gotcha. That actually sounds good. And I could add that later on, on the outside of the tower. Leave the UVs on steady inside with the other lights running up the outside corners. Low output LEDs.

    I AM planning to put a slow blinking red on the very top (a clearance light for low flying aircraft :rolleyes: ). But I have no idea how to build a circuit to do that, or the scrolling lights like you suggest. Can you (or anyone else) give me some direction on that? Meantime I'll look around on the web. <edit> Silly me. I never think to look in the other forums. I'm looking in the Electronics stuff, now. </edit> I saw a tutorial on making a separate DD activity light for each drive in a system, but it was for IDE. Wonder if there's a way to do that with SATA. I could use that for the PowerPlant PC. Sorry, jumping ahead a project. Better finish this one first.

    I'm working on the plumbing right now. Another update will follow, maybe later this evening depending on how late I stay up. Since I just cracked open a Dr. Pepper, it may be late. :D
     
    Last edited: 8 Apr 2007
  12. dacust

    dacust What's a Dremel?

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    Reservoir bottom glue drying - more photos, less talk

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    The barb fittings have a pipe thread on them, so all I could find was a cap, no nuts, obviously. The o-rings are more for spacing than sealing, so the homemade nuts will press down far enough. Sealed with a plumbing glue. We'll see if it works.

    The green mark was on the protective film, so it peeled off after being cut down on the band saw. It'll be finished up after the glue dries.

    The flash makes it look white, but it's still clear.

    Sloppy glue job, I know.

    And one last shot with some of the last plumbing done.

    [​IMG]2272x1704
     
    Last edited: 18 May 2007
  13. DarkLord7854

    DarkLord7854 New Member

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    Lookin good!

    For some reason I was thinking of how that rad would look if you slapped together some turbines on the front. (Not real turbines, just free spinning fan which will start spinning with the airflow, to make the case look a bit more like a machine since I guess that's what you're aiming for kinda?)
     
  14. dacust

    dacust What's a Dremel?

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    Have you been peeking at my plans for WaterPlant II? :eeek:
     
  15. DarkLord7854

    DarkLord7854 New Member

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    Pft, peeking is a thing of the past.. I can read your mind :D
     
  16. dacust

    dacust What's a Dremel?

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    Small update - Reservoir done except for fill port

    I had a choice. Either take the tower completely apart, or figure out how to assemble the reservoir inside. The barbs keep it from sliding in. And I can't reach down the tube to get the top barb in place.

    So I cut the tube about 1/2" above the top barb and installed it. To extend the tube back up to the top I needed to glue it in place. But with the contact cement, I was afraid I couldn't line it up perfectly. So I made a small mounting plate to go in the junction.

    Using a small section of tube, I drew lines for the cut:

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    Rough cut it on the bandsaw and glued it in place.

    [​IMG]2272x1704


    Sorry, no photo of after I smoothed the inner and outer edges. I left about 1/16" border inside and out.

    [​IMG]2272x1704


    Here it is complete. Not sure why I shot it this way, the wires will actually go out the other side.

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    The joint doesn't look this messy in RL. The flash makes the glue gleam.

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    The top barb. Below it you can see one of the attachment bolts that holds the tank in place. I'll mention that below.

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    Here you can see the tube peeking out the top. I'll probably use a DD Fill Port here. The Erector top will cover that.

    [​IMG]2272x1704


    After washing the tube out, I think there is a small leak in the lower barb, so some sealing will be needed. I'm not sure I like the way the connections worked out. I have two more tubes, so I'm thinking I will build another one from scratch. It will end up looking the same, except that I will dismantle the tower to install it, so there won't be the extension joint. I'm not rebuilding it to get rid of the joint, just a by-product. Another reason to re-do, is that currently, to remove the reservoir, I'll have to break the top barb loose, because the bolts holding the tank on top are on the inside. When I re-assemble, those mounts will be turned around so the bottom sticks out undet the tank, and the bottom bolts will be accessible.
     
    Last edited: 18 May 2007
  17. DarkLord7854

    DarkLord7854 New Member

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    Makes me think of a car's exhaust tip for some odd reason, good work anyways :D
     
  18. dacust

    dacust What's a Dremel?

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    VERY small update - no pics - tested plumbing

    I tested the plumbing. No leaks anywhere except the reservoir - no surprise there. I figured it would, but before building another one, I just had to test it. The leak was so small I let it run for about 15 minutes. The pump quieted down after about 5. The pump is a little louder than the fans, but still very quiet.

    I have the plans and materials for doing the reservoir right. Build the reservoir with better mounted fittings and then construct the tower back around it. I have two more tubes, so that gives me, uh, let's see, uh, two more tries?

    Warning to Modders: When using the pump to evacuate water from the system, don't mix up the intake with the output. Interesting things can happen....Or so I've heard.
     
  19. DarkLord7854

    DarkLord7854 New Member

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    Sounds like you found out too :hehe:
     
  20. dacust

    dacust What's a Dremel?

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    My hallway is lined with about 30 drying paperback books.
     

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