The Modified Black Box Thread

Semisonyx

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I have been on the fence looking at mars or phlizon . I’m not really happy with the blue channel or the white for that matter. I like a lot of 450s on the blue side they are useing a lot of 470s and the whites are a bit yellow . They need to be more like 12000k not 3000 and 6500 .
I would hate to buy a light just to molest it . Would be nice if they would already be doing the changes .
I would split the blues to 430-450-470 and have some 420s even a couple of 490s on the white channel.
Philzon has two channels, but only one plug. Since it isn’t digital, that means BOTH channels can only come on at the same time; you can’t have blues on only, and then the whites come on at a separate time.
 
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Semisonyx

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So I got two of the “next gen” Marsaqua units in today. One from an Amazon vendor and another from an eBay vendor. Both had the same pictures, but different diode descriptions that didn’t match the pictures. All were wrong. Both units were the same and had the following layout:

CH 1: 8 x12000k, 6 x 6500k, 6 x 3000k, 2 x 520, 2 x 660, and 4 x 460.

CH 2: 27 x 460

Couldn’t take a picture worth a dang with my iPhone.

Very disappointing. All that blue with all the warm white and red diodes made for a Grimace purple hue. My sps looked brown, but my coraline algae sure did pop .

I have a viparspectra on the way and will see how that goes.
 

Backreefing

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Thx Semi for clearing that up . If I known the blue channel would have been all 460s then I would have purchased them a couple weeks ago.
But my black box issues got cleared up for good last night. I got 2-250 watt Hamilton metal halide cayman lights, with 2 adjustable electronic ballasts . For only $120- Woop Woop!!!
I like black box LEDs they are affordable and powerful and have good PAR . But compared to halides and my T5s they can’t touch that . My old 2 year old black box is going on the quarantine tank . Happy reefing.
 

Wolf94

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Hello,

I have a marsaqua 300w of about 1 year. how to see if they are smd?
I just order a 165w ebay, on the description is still marked epistar, I necessarily have smd too?

second question :


I have the disco effect on my ramp placed at 8 ".

To improve all this, must I :

- remove the lenses only from reds and greens?
Or
- remove ALL the lenses and increase the power?
Or
-Remove the lenses on the outside and keep only lenses in the center?

thank you
 

Flippers4pups

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Hello,

I have a marsaqua 300w of about 1 year. how to see if they are smd?
I just order a 165w ebay, on the description is still marked epistar, I necessarily have smd too?

second question :


I have the disco effect on my ramp placed at 8 ".

To improve all this, must I :

- remove the lenses only from reds and greens?
Or
- remove ALL the lenses and increase the power?
Or
-Remove the lenses on the outside and keep only lenses in the center?

thank you
SMD's
Hello,

I have a marsaqua 300w of about 1 year. how to see if they are smd?
I just order a 165w ebay, on the description is still marked epistar, I necessarily have smd too?

second question :


I have the disco effect on my ramp placed at 8 ".

To improve all this, must I :

- remove the lenses only from reds and greens?
Or
- remove ALL the lenses and increase the power?
Or
-Remove the lenses on the outside and keep only lenses in the center?

thank you
SMD's are mounted differently than the traditional 3w ones used on the older PCB boards. SMD's are heated to get the solder to flow, older diodes are soldered to the board by their anode and cathode (positive and negative connections)

Disco, remove your blue lenses first. Should help. If not remove some from the whites, not all. Should help.
 

Wolf94

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SMD's


SMD's are mounted differently than the traditional 3w ones used on the older PCB boards. SMD's are heated to get the solder to flow, older diodes are soldered to the board by their anode and cathode (positive and negative connections)

Disco, remove your blue lenses first. Should help. If not remove some from the whites, not all. Should help.
Ah yes ? Only blues or white ?
I was thinking better red and green, im wrong ?

Cordially
 

Backreefing

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Disco affect is almost impossible to eliminate it’s the second of the two problems with black box lights . It comes from the even spacing of the different colored LEDs. This is why $900 led lights have groups of LEDs behind one large lens ( raydons, hydras )
The first problem is a concentrated hot spot dead center of the box all the way down. In my opinion black box makers can remedy this easily, but not at this time . For this maybe remove some lenses from the center of the unit. But removing any lenses at all will reduce some of the led punch so to speak.
I have no name box from eBay ( I’m happy with ) it has min disco and with a iPhone lux meter app it to has the hot spot . But I keep it cranked up 100% on the blues and 80-90% on the whites . Combined with a couple t5s. Hot spot or not I need the power because I’m a stickhead this set up is just fine.
 

Backreefing

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Ah yes ? Only blues or white ?
I was thinking better red and green, im wrong ?

Cordially
You do need the red and green.IMO they should have a little more aqua blue/ green. If you look at the spectrum graphs . The whites give a little red . These pics show why we need a little red in our lights.
FD72FDA9-829C-415A-B198-21FAAC576880.jpeg
A9BED4D2-A098-4ED8-A59E-1772BFC62704.png
FD72FDA9-829C-415A-B198-21FAAC576880.jpeg
A9BED4D2-A098-4ED8-A59E-1772BFC62704.png
 

Wolf94

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Disco affect is almost impossible to eliminate it’s the second of the two problems with black box lights . It comes from the even spacing of the different colored LEDs. This is why $900 led lights have groups of LEDs behind one large lens ( raydons, hydras )
The first problem is a concentrated hot spot dead center of the box all the way down. In my opinion black box makers can remedy this easily, but not at this time . For this maybe remove some lenses from the center of the unit. But removing any lenses at all will reduce some of the led punch so to speak.
I have no name box from eBay ( I’m happy with ) it has min disco and with a iPhone lux meter app it to has the hot spot . But I keep it cranked up 100% on the blues and 80-90% on the whites . Combined with a couple t5s. Hot spot or not I need the power because I’m a stickhead this set up is just fine.
Hello.

I see the red disco effect on the ground, I think already remove the red lenses to mitigate, I'm good?
then about the hot spot, you tell me to remove some lenses in the center, ok but at random? what colors?

since time, is there a precise setting that satisfies everyone in terms of lenses? kind remove such and such lenses?

thank you for my noob questions
 

Flippers4pups

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Hello.

I see the red disco effect on the ground, I think already remove the red lenses to mitigate, I'm good?
then about the hot spot, you tell me to remove some lenses in the center, ok but at random? what colors?

since time, is there a precise setting that satisfies everyone in terms of lenses? kind remove such and such lenses?

thank you for my noob questions
I removed all my lenses to aide in shadowing i had when I first mounted mine. Corners of the tank were shadowed. Removing all my lenses corrected this, it also removed any "disco ball" effect, but I lost my shimmer. To get this shimmer back, I replaced six lenses on some of my whites per box. Its a perfect balance for light blending and natural shimmer.

After removing the lenses, yes I had to increase intensity a little to compensate a small loss in PAR.
 

Wolf94

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I removed all my lenses to aide in shadowing i had when I first mounted mine. Corners of the tank were shadowed. Removing all my lenses corrected this, it also removed any "disco ball" effect, but I lost my shimmer. To get this shimmer back, I replaced six lenses on some of my whites per box. Its a perfect balance for light blending and natural shimmer.

After removing the lenses, yes I had to increase intensity a little to compensate a small loss in PAR.
Hello

thanks ''

you advise me to remove ALL my lenses except a few, because for you it was top?

so I have to leave some white of origin?

which ones? in the center or on the edges?
 

EMeyer

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I played with this way more than I should have. I've removed no lenses, some lenses, and all lenses, with and without diffusers. Finally settled on removing all lenses and adding diffusers.

This severely limits the max PAR I can achieve (200 is max now vs >300 with lenses) but has helped a lot with hot spots. I'm currently riding the theory that high PAR from LEDs is a bad thing, and this setup allows me to hit ~100-200 throughout the tank without detectable hot spots.
 

Flippers4pups

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Hello

thanks ''

you advise me to remove ALL my lenses except a few, because for you it was top?

so I have to leave some white of origin?

which ones? in the center or on the edges?
Just to clarify, shimmer and "disco ball" effect can be interpreted as the same.

"Disco ball" in my book is a noticeable "blue, red, white...etc dancing light on rocks and substrate.

"Shimmer" in my book is a natural light refection that occurs in the ocean when sunlight is refracted by waves or ripples on the ocean surface. If you've been in the shallows of the ocean, you know exactly what I'm referring to.

The sun is a single point of light and this is why a shimmer effect happens. It's a natural look to have this replicated in our tanks. Some people like it, while others don't. Thus, some people place light diffusers over their light fixtures, such as Radions. To corals, it really doesn't matter, but with lenses especially with black boxes, this focuses a beam of light that can cause "hot spots".

With all of that said, on the black boxes, for me, removing the lenses diffuses the "hot spots", blends the spectrums of light and reduces shadowing. Replacing a few lenses over a few of the whites brings back those single points of light, which allows for "shimmer" to happen. Which I like. It's more a aesthetic effect than something needed.

Height of the fixture plays into all of this. The sweet spot for me is to have them around 12" above my water line. This height way have to be adjusted depending on your tank depth.
 
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miroch

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Anyone know what type of connector are on the dimmer pods? Some are 4 pin, others are 3 pin, I would like to buy a female extension so I dont have to cut the connector off when adding the Apex cable. I am looking at the SB reef lights right now which are 3 pin.
 

Wolf94

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Just to clarify, shimmer and "disco ball" effect can be interpreted as the same.

"Disco ball" in my book is a noticeable "blue, red, white...etc dancing light on rocks and substrate.

"Shimmer" in my book is a natural light refection that occurs in the ocean when sunlight is refracted by waves or ripples on the ocean surface. If you've been in the shallows of the ocean, you know exactly what I'm referring to.

The sun is a single point of light and this is why a shimmer effect happens. It's a natural look to have this replicated in our tanks. Some people like it, while others don't. Thus, some people place light diffusers over their light fixtures, such as Radions. To corals, it really doesn't matter, but with lenses especially with black boxes, this focuses a beam of light that can cause "hot spots".

With all of that said, on the black boxes, for me, removing the lenses diffuses the "hot spots", blends the spectrums of light and reduces shadowing. Replacing a few lenses over a few of the whites brings back those single points of light, which allows for "shimmer" to happen. Which I like. It's more a aesthetic effect than something needed.

Height of the fixture plays into all of this. The sweet spot for me is to have them around 12" above my water line. This height way have to be adjusted depending on your tank depth.
good evening

so, to sum it up, I remove all my lenses, except maybe 6-8 white in the center and I move to how much in the blue and white percentages. about ?
I am 8-9 "from the water line for information.

thanks
 

Flippers4pups

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good evening

so, to sum it up, I remove all my lenses, except maybe 6-8 white in the center and I move to how much in the blue and white percentages. about ?
I am 8-9 "from the water line for information.

thanks
Depends on depth of the tank and what your keeping coral wise.
 

miroch

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Anyone know what type of connector are on the dimmer pods? Some are 4 pin, others are 3 pin, I would like to buy a female extension so I dont have to cut the connector off when adding the Apex cable. I am looking at the SB reef lights right now which are 3 pin.
I am quite certain after research that the connector on the dimming pod is a JST XH 3 pin. You can find these pretty easy online and make a custom harness to connect to the dimming driver.
 

Wolf94

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Depends on depth of the tank and what your keeping coral wise.
Nothing too hard.
Montipora stellata , digitata
Acropora formosa green
Milka
Acant'
Zoanthus
Lobophyton
Sarcophytonpachy and briareum

Deph 50cm
Line water marsaqua 22cm
 
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