I have a question about a cheap Chinese black box.

Discussion in 'Aquarium Lighting By Dana Riddle' started by Aidanwolf, Sep 4, 2017.

  1. Aidanwolf

    Aidanwolf Well-Known Member

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    I recently bought a cheap Chinese black box light for my 29 gallon biocube. I put it on a coral life timer but every time the timer turns the light off and on the light changes cycles. Is there a way to fix this?
     
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  2. sbash

    sbash Not Just a Potato R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    Can you post more details on the 'Chinese black box'?

    I have several different iterations of these and none of them will do what you describe...

    That said, it sounds like they might have a built in controller, which is being reset every time you cut the power. Are you user the Coral Life timer is needed with these lights?
     
  3. Aidanwolf

    Aidanwolf Well-Known Member

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    I will try and find the link to the one I bought
     
  4. Aidanwolf

    Aidanwolf Well-Known Member

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  5. Aidanwolf

    Aidanwolf Well-Known Member

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    I think you might be right about it being the controller getting reset. Is there a way to fix that?
     
  6. EthanDouglas

    EthanDouglas Well-Known Member

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    It looks as though it should have come with a remote you control it from, so the timer would be unnecessary. If it didn't come with a remote, I would try contacting the seller to work this out.
     
  7. Aidanwolf

    Aidanwolf Well-Known Member

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    It did come with a controller but It doesn't have a timer on it.
     
  8. Aidanwolf

    Aidanwolf Well-Known Member

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    I need a timmer on it so when I go out of town.
     
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  9. sbash

    sbash Not Just a Potato R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    Ugh, sounds like a real pain...

    Post up pictures of the remote, and any markings on the fixture... The link you provided has implications of a scheduler, but without seeing the entire interface it is hard to give advice.

    As mentioned above, contact the seller right away!
     
  10. Aidanwolf

    Aidanwolf Well-Known Member

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    15045865854061487095707.jpg
     
  11. sbash

    sbash Not Just a Potato R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    Well, if that is it, then you might be out of luck. You cannot set a timer without a clock!

    Even if you rip out the controller, there is no other dimming mechanism, so the lights would be 100% unless you found a compatible dimming circuit.
     
  12. Aidanwolf

    Aidanwolf Well-Known Member

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    So there is no way to use a external timer without it changing cycles?
     
  13. sbash

    sbash Not Just a Potato R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    Based on the information provided, unfortunately, without physically modifying the device, the external timer will continue working in the same fashion.

    Did you reach out to the seller? There could be a way to change the default behavior (or commit your settings for example).

    This is a big risk when ordering these lights from over seas. I have five black box lights, one of them came with the wrong LED configuration. It took me many hours to map out each LED and swap out the diodes to make it useful.
     
  14. Aidanwolf

    Aidanwolf Well-Known Member

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    I haven't talked to the seller yet,because it has been more than 30 days since I bought the lights on ebay, so the lights are not under my recent purchases.
     
  15. Aidanwolf

    Aidanwolf Well-Known Member

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    How would you modifi it,to make it so that it doesn't go through the cycles?
     
  16. sbash

    sbash Not Just a Potato R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    First, we should gauge your comfort level. Was you would need to do is similar to this:



    Watch that, and let us know if you are comfortable with that sort of procedure!
     
  17. Aidanwolf

    Aidanwolf Well-Known Member

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    I could probably do this, Is this going to fix my problem.
     
  18. sbash

    sbash Not Just a Potato R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    I imagine that literally would fix your problem if you have an Apex.

    If not, then instead of going from 'dimmer knob to Apex' like in the video, then you would need to from 'remote dimmer to dimmer knob'.

    First thing, make sure yours look pretty much the same as the one in the video on the inside.

    Next you need to figure out what potentiometer you are going to need. The size of the unit will likely dictate the specs of the potentiometer, so even if I could pull one of mine down, it would be a different pot. So, I would say, open it and take it into a local electronics shop (you know, like Radio Shack used to be), where they sell capacitors and resistors and such. Usually their employees have a decent grasp at basic circuits.

    Once you open it up, post some pictures - especially of the power supplies (the stickers).

    You also might need to figure out how many LEDs are on each channel.
     
  19. Aidanwolf

    Aidanwolf Well-Known Member

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    Okay I will try and do that. But if I took out the dimmer remote receiver I wouldn't be able to use any of the light settings.
     
  20. sbash

    sbash Not Just a Potato R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    Well, not really...

    Yes, if you took out the remote dimmer module, it would break the circuit so nothing would work.

    However, your goal is to replace the remote dimmer with a manual dimmer knob (the potentiometer); similar to what they do in the video I posted (well, the opposite). But, like I said, take it apart and post up pictures so we can see what we are dealing with BEFORE disconnecting anything.
     
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