Aquarium Light Mk2 and other fishy bits.

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bigal344
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Aquarium Light Mk2 and other fishy bits.

Postby bigal344 » Mon Sep 03, 2012 7:08 pm

After the success of the original aquarium light (well sort of!), It was time to make some gear for my son's new aquarium which was a cheap clearseal 24"x12"x15" tank.
After reading some great instructables and being horrified by the price of 3D aquarium backgrounds I decided to make one myself. So I picked up a sheet of expanded polystyrene and some cement for the covering,I cut two pieces of poly for the back allowing room to get it in and then started sticking bits together, using a craft knife and a cunningly altered solder gun with a sharpened piece of wire stuck in the ends!!

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Checking the fit.

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Rough rock shapes.

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After some hot wire carving action! :D
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First coat of very weak cement.
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Final two stages after some copious drybrushing with colored cement.

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The background was allowed to dry for a couple of days and then stuck onto the back of the aquarium with some marine sealant. The water in the tank needed changing many times over the space of a week or two as the cement leached off some nasty additives that raise the PH of the water dramatically, and would prove fatal to fish, after awhile the PH settled down and the tank is ready for fish.
However it also needs some lights ,so its time to build a custom lid methinks!! ;)
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Rich
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Re: Aquarium Light Mk2 and other fishy bits.

Postby Rich » Tue Sep 04, 2012 9:22 am

Cool, I bet you used to watch Blue Peter lol

My fish kept dieing so I sold the tank and led top on eBay.

bigal344
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Re: Aquarium Light Mk2 and other fishy bits.

Postby bigal344 » Tue Sep 04, 2012 9:30 am

Yeah, I did actually! :D :D
We seem to be gaining tanks at a rate, 3 at the moment. The only thing thats stopping me from building my dream, great big marine tank is that we really do need to be moving house soon and its gonna be bad enough moving what we have!
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Today I have been mostly Nyaning.

bigal344
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Re: Aquarium Light Mk2 and other fishy bits.

Postby bigal344 » Fri Sep 07, 2012 6:43 pm

Here we have a big piece of alloy that was 'rescued' from the scrap bin and re-purposed!!
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Don't trust my sawing, so I used the 5 axis to cut 4 strips of wood and then cut a 3mm groove on all 4.
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After a bit of head scratching and scaling up of the smaller previous version, I decided on spacings and scribed everything out roughly on the board.
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Bung it up on the machine again and machine in the location holes for the blue moonlight LED's.
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Next up was machining in the location grooves and pilot holes for the daytime LED's. No clamps this time as I managed to get away with using the vac holding on the table itself!
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This shows the 2 halves of the surround assembled and laquered, I done this to 'smooth' out the wood slightly when it's painted.
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Just before assembling it all, I suddenly thought that I would need somewhere to put food into the tank, so I quickly cut out a small section at the front for this purpose.
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Here's the hole thing assembled and ready for the inside to be coated with some black paint to make it look nicer.
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Once this was dried off a bit, I made up a small inset section to form the feeding 'tunnel' to allow for feeding and stuff with having to remove the whole lid or without allowing moisture into the electronics enclosure.
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At this point you can tell that I got really bored because I found some U section and decided to make a slightly over engineered rack to hold the circuit board.
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Today I have been mostly Nyaning.

phenoptix
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Re: Aquarium Light Mk2 and other fishy bits.

Postby phenoptix » Wed Sep 12, 2012 9:29 am

One question about the "rescued" alloy. Who put it in the scrap bin in the first place? :D
That work rig of yours is an absolute beast! Fancy milling some aluminium raspberry pi cases on it?
Loving the rocks by the way.

vimes79
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Re: Aquarium Light Mk2 and other fishy bits.

Postby vimes79 » Wed Sep 12, 2012 12:29 pm

That is a seriously nice build!
Love the machine work.
Grats on the lucky find, that's one heck of a piece to scrap! Best things I ever recover from the scrap bins where I work is the odd 2' or 3' length of 50 Pair comms cable (which is handy as it = 100x 2-3ft lengths of decent wire after an hour or so of cutting the plastic off with the dremel and then pulling all the metal strand armouring off), and a couple of lucky finds of clean and straight timber and the odd bit of either steel or occasionally some aluminium box section or angle iron.
Great job, looking forward to see the finished piece in place.
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bigal344
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Re: Aquarium Light Mk2 and other fishy bits.

Postby bigal344 » Fri Sep 21, 2012 5:04 pm

This is a relatively small piece of alloy, most of our sheets are about 8' x 12' in varying thicknesses.
I'd have a go at building anything on the machine, what sort of sizes are the Pi boxes?
The rocks have turned out really well, but I think it'll all look a lot better once it gets a bit of 'grime' on it and looks a bit more 'used' so to speak!!
I have got on with some more of this project and I'll get the next build log up asap.
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vimes79
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Re: Aquarium Light Mk2 and other fishy bits.

Postby vimes79 » Sat Sep 22, 2012 12:12 am

So is that the workshop where you work or is it a uni shop? Apologies for the questions but im new here so don't know what any of you do or how old you are etc..
If its work, what is it you do (Apart from machining im guessing)? I would love to work in a place with heavy duty milling kit etc..

Ben or Dan can give you exact measurements for their plans for Pi Boxes but the pretty standard size of most including the Adafruit ones that Phenoptix are producing for the UK on their behalf are 97mm x 64mm x 24mm at the further most external point based on 1/8" Acrylic/Perspex.
Having some aluminium Pi cases would be pretty nice! Sign me up for one.
Supporter of Official Arduinos - BeagleBone - RasPi + EVE
-PROUD OWNER OF RepRap PRO MENDEL 3D PRINTER-
Current Projects : + Twitter Bug RGB + RoboBrrd UK #004 (Wireless IoT Brrd) + "Imp Print" +


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bigal344
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Re: Aquarium Light Mk2 and other fishy bits.

Postby bigal344 » Sun Sep 23, 2012 8:11 pm

Here's a lovely panoramic view of my room at work, which is a bit of a tip at the moment!!
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We're an aerospace company, in Yeovil. But I've just noticed that you're in Somerset so you've probably heard of GKN or Westlands, I personally make door frames and nose parts for Boeing and various other bits for aerospace applications, both small and large (8ft panels!).
The machine itself is very large but not all that good at milling anything that's a bit substantial, its only really any good with thinner gauge stuff as it was meant for mc'ing wood originally.
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Today I have been mostly Nyaning.

Rich
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Re: Aquarium Light Mk2 and other fishy bits.

Postby Rich » Mon Sep 24, 2012 10:29 pm

We work on compressed air dryers and process chillers for a few aerospace companies around Mansfield. Bulwell Precision Engineers mainly though, they make stuff for Rolls Royce at Derby.

SPS aerospace at Mansfield too is another one we've worked at, they make wing parts for Airbuses.

Another one, erm... at Pinxton made turbofan blades. We fitted a couple of A/C systems there, can't remember the name of the firm.

I think high tech manufacturing is OK for now in the UK :-)


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