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TC420/421

zozo

Member
Joined
16 Apr 2015
Messages
8,302
Location
Netherlands
Of you are over powering the controller than components in it are going to overheat, I have no idea how much overpowering it can take to crash instandly it might have a build in thermal protection, i don't know. But you could get away with 5 amps and decrease it's life time and it maybe stops working after a few weeks or months. If it burns it could indeed cause a shortcut having effect on the transformer. Same goes for a transformer, if you over power it it gets hot, but it has a build in thermal protection and switch off when to hot. Some need a reboot to reset the thermal protection others power up again if cooled down enough and causing lights to flicker. Because it heats and cools and heats and cools. These transformers are the ones that can melt down and cause a fire.

I only have experience with using it within the rated values.. I only can tell it's the connected lights that pull the current, the power supply only gives what it is asked to give. For example you can connect a 250 Watt power supply doesn't make a difference as long as the connected light doesn't consume more than 48 watt you are OK .

http://www.tc420.net/
 

David Hewitt

Member
Joined
15 Mar 2017
Messages
25
Location
Edinburgh
Hey Zozo. Just a thought. Could you drive the one light from two channels? Obviously both channels would have the same dimming schedule. Sounds too easy so it probably won't work!
 

zozo

Member
Joined
16 Apr 2015
Messages
8,302
Location
Netherlands
Yeah, scratch that. I need to connect the twinstar to a 6 amp driver soldered to the pwm gate of the tc420. Yurgh.

That was my guess to, if you look at the pic i posted showing the PCB, you see custom cables soldered to the MOSFET gate pin. That's where the true PWM drive signal comes from i believe it is 0-5 volt and with this you can drive any other driver with PWM pin, e.g a powerfull enough meanwell driver..

Other option is, open up the light and see if it are different units, PCB's with SMD leds connected getting power over one source.. And split them up.. Eihther way, you need to modify the TC or Modify the light.

Maybe this one can do for you.. I'm mot yet 100% sure but it looks like it might help you out. But then you have to modify the TC.
http://www.electrodragon.com/product/high-power-mosfet-drive-module-pwm-control/
 

David Hewitt

Member
Joined
15 Mar 2017
Messages
25
Location
Edinburgh
Thanks so much for that reply. I actually had the same sitting it in my Amazon shipping basket.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/B01J7H2WCK/ref=ox_sc_saved_image_1?smid=AONS7HEF348I5&psc=1

A lot pricier but that's the privilege of paying 90 quid a year for Prime. You get humped twice.

Nevertheless, I was sitting on it cos I wasn't sure it was the right thing. You have reassured me I'm on the right lines so I'm going to give it a bash.

Based on price alone, i'd rather mod the tc420 than the light.

I'll report back once I have it done.

Thanks again for coming back to me.
 

zozo

Member
Joined
16 Apr 2015
Messages
8,302
Location
Netherlands
Thanks so much for that reply. I actually had the same sitting it in my Amazon shipping basket.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/B01J7H2WCK/ref=ox_sc_saved_image_1?smid=AONS7HEF348I5&psc=1

A lot pricier but that's the privilege of paying 90 quid a year for Prime. You get humped twice.

Nevertheless, I was sitting on it cos I wasn't sure it was the right thing. You have reassured me I'm on the right lines so I'm going to give it a bash.

Based on price alone, i'd rather mod the tc420 than the light.

I'll report back once I have it done.

Thanks again for coming back to me.

Lol he spelt his name wrong.. It must to be Dork.. :rolleyes: Or he's likely lolling himself thinking his buyers are..
 

David Hewitt

Member
Joined
15 Mar 2017
Messages
25
Location
Edinburgh
Just to update this for completeness. I finally got round to modding the TC420 with this mosfet, for use with the Twinstar 900S.

I bought some 6 amp cable from Maplin and a couple of DC jacks (2.5/5mm). This means that I didn't have to mod the Twinstar cables in any way.

The power from the Twinstar adapter feeds the mosfet power in. I then have a jumper cable coming off the mosfet to the TC420 power.

Soldering the PWM gate on the TC420 to the PWM input on the mosfet was a bit fiddly but ok.

I then attached the mosfet to the roof of the TC420 case with a 'no more nails' strip and closed it back up.

It is working perfectly and, unlike some of the cheap dimmers you can buy for Chichoros style lights, there is no buzzing when dimmed.

I am running a full schedule today and will keep any eye out for heat from the TC420, but I do not expect any problems.

Thanks to zozo for giving me the confidence to try this out!

If anyone else wants to program their Twinstar 900 on the relatively cheap, I'd be happy to answer any questions you have.
 

aquacoen

Member
Joined
8 Feb 2018
Messages
78
Location
Netherlands
Just to update this for completeness. I finally got round to modding the TC420 with this mosfet, for use with the Twinstar 900S.

I bought some 6 amp cable from Maplin and a couple of DC jacks (2.5/5mm). This means that I didn't have to mod the Twinstar cables in any way.

The power from the Twinstar adapter feeds the mosfet power in. I then have a jumper cable coming off the mosfet to the TC420 power.

Soldering the PWM gate on the TC420 to the PWM input on the mosfet was a bit fiddly but ok.

I then attached the mosfet to the roof of the TC420 case with a 'no more nails' strip and closed it back up.

It is working perfectly and, unlike some of the cheap dimmers you can buy for Chichoros style lights, there is no buzzing when dimmed.

I am running a full schedule today and will keep any eye out for heat from the TC420, but I do not expect any problems.

Thanks to zozo for giving me the confidence to try this out!

If anyone else wants to program their Twinstar 900 on the relatively cheap, I'd be happy to answer any questions you have.

Hey David,

Thank you very much for the information on dimming your Twinstar 900 series. Today I bought the Twinstar 600sp for my aquarium and came across your solution for dimming your 900(s?) Twinstar.
I'm not very technically minded so I was wondering if your TC420 modification will also work for my 600sp. Some specifications:

  • LED Source : RGB-W
  • Colour Temperature : 6500K
  • Lumens : 3100lm
  • Power : 45watts
It would be great if you have a picture to show how you modified your TC420. Thanks for your time.
 

David Hewitt

Member
Joined
15 Mar 2017
Messages
25
Location
Edinburgh
Hello aquacoen

You might be in luck. From my previous research, I am pretty sure that the Twinstar 600 draw is less than 4 amps. This means that you should be able to use the TC420 or TC421 (for wireless configuration) without modding it.

Have a look at the back of the power brick and check the output.
 

David Hewitt

Member
Joined
15 Mar 2017
Messages
25
Location
Edinburgh
I found this on the Green Aqua site:

LED Source : RGB-W
Color temperature : 6500K
Operating voltage and current : DC 24V / 2.5A
Input voltage : AC 110 – 240V, 50/60Hz
Lumens : 3100lm
Input voltage : AC100~240V 50/60Hz
Power consumption : 45W
LED Life Span : 30,000hrs (Subject to the operating environment)
Operating temperature range : 0~35℃
Limited Warranty : 2 year

https://www.greenaqua.hu/en/twinstar-light-600sp-60-cm-led-lampa.html

I think you should be good to go.
 

aquacoen

Member
Joined
8 Feb 2018
Messages
78
Location
Netherlands
I found this on the Green Aqua site:

LED Source : RGB-W
Color temperature : 6500K
Operating voltage and current : DC 24V / 2.5A
Input voltage : AC 110 – 240V, 50/60Hz
Lumens : 3100lm
Input voltage : AC100~240V 50/60Hz
Power consumption : 45W
LED Life Span : 30,000hrs (Subject to the operating environment)
Operating temperature range : 0~35℃
Limited Warranty : 2 year

https://www.greenaqua.hu/en/twinstar-light-600sp-60-cm-led-lampa.html

I think you should be good to go.

Thank you very much for your quick answer! That's great news. Excuse my ignorance but I don't understand how I connect the twinstar to the TC420's output. Do I connect it to the 'V+' or on the separated output channels?
And I assume I have to modify the Twinstar power cable in order to do so?

Good news but I think I need some electronics lessons :lol:
 

zozo

Member
Joined
16 Apr 2015
Messages
8,302
Location
Netherlands
Can't find a clear picture of the Twinstar powerset, but the light has a cable with a jack. So no need for cutting cables.. The plug on the power addapter is male the lights has female.. So find another set of fitting jack plugs with cables or screw connector male and female. The jack plug has a universal +/- (Inner is plus/outer is minus) if it has cables it will be red for positive obviously the other for negative. The jack with screw connectors has +/- markings so you can't miss that.

Connect a female plug for the 24 volt addapter with the positive to the V+ and negative to the V- Input connectors

Connect the male plug to the output connectors with the positive to the V+ and the negative to the Ch1 or any other preferd channel for the light. :)

Measure the diameter of the male jack plug and search for DC power plug in MM measured to find the correct one.
ug-Jack-Adapter-Connector-For-CCTV-For.jpg_640x640.jpg

:)
 

David Hewitt

Member
Joined
15 Mar 2017
Messages
25
Location
Edinburgh
I agree with zozo. The jack size for the Twinstar 900 was 2.5/5mm.

The retailer Maplin was very helpful for me, and might be for you too if you are in the UK and have one close by. Ebay would be much cheaper though.
 

aquacoen

Member
Joined
8 Feb 2018
Messages
78
Location
Netherlands
Thank you very much for your help. My Twinstar will arrive in two weeks. I will order the TC420 or TC421 today.
(my wifi connection is not very reliable so maybe I'll just go with the TC420..)
I"ll keep you posted. Thanks again!
 

jazzta

Seedling
Joined
12 Feb 2018
Messages
4
Location
Bulgaria
Can you show pictures of cables with colors and channels? And I ordered Twinstar 600S with TC421.
 
Joined
26 Jul 2016
Messages
895
Location
Australia
Just a FYI, I got the PLED program working on my mac using the app WINE, really handy to be able to program this controller on OSX.

Screen%20Shot%202018-02-09%20at%2010.53.50%20pm.png
 
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