The Guide for a Perfect RGB Light with PMMA fiber optic cable

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The Guide for a Perfect RGB Light with PMMA fiber optic cable

Post  Magic-nozzle on Sun Sep 06, 2009 11:31 pm

Hi Laminar Freaks

A lot of Peoples ask me to write a little guide for lightening the laminar stream. I am not a pro doing this, i found my solution with experimenting around and it works fantastic.



First you need 3 Hi power led's, min. of 3 Watt each. I use Luxeon 3W hi power led's. 1 Red, driven at 1.25A, a green driven at 1A, and 2 blue driven together at 1A. You can use only 3 led's, its enough, but 2 blue gets some special nice FX.

My leds look like this, they have a perfect glss tip, easy to tuch with the fiber. dont try to use fiber cupplings, i try a lot, but the best is tuching exact in the center with the PMMA cable.



You need PMMA fiber optic cable, i recommend only using 3mm fibers with a coat, the skin is very scratch sensitive. You have to polish both ends with your dremmel and a special Plexiglas polishing paste. Details in this post http://laminar.forumotion.com/laminar-nozzle-talk-and-pictures-f1/polishing-pmma-fiber-optic-cable-t26.htm The fibers i use are expensive, 1 meter is 9 USD, but the quality is perfect. Some are using fiber strands, i don't know much about this fibers, search in the forum here, other experimenting with this ones.

I recommend, try not longer than 3 -4 meters each fibers.

Installing the Fibers:
The setup is rally easy, install in the center of the nozzle a plastic or better a brass tube, a brass tube can later bended inside and point direct to the output, a plastic one bends back, so better try a brass tube. The tube is fixed on the bottom Lexan plate with a plexi tube, drilled to exact fit for the tube, i can slide the tube up and down, and yes its water thight without using a rubber or silicon.







Next, mounting the fiber cables:

I use silicon to seal the space around the fibers, use a lot of silicon, because the water pressure is high in the nozzle.
when its dry, i put the tube with the fibers inside as close as possible to the outlet, i have less than 1 Inch, but this you have to try. maybe you can come closer, or not.

Fist setup:


Final setup:


Mounting the fibers on the Leds:
Here you can see how i mount my fibers on the led's.



Here can you see a detail scratch, exact how to mount it:
I use a U profile aluminum and mount the led's with 2 screws each on it (inside). Don't forget to use some heat transporting paste under each led (same you using on the CPU in your computer).



Next you need to build or buy a RGB controller board:

This is my final setup:
As you can see i use a vent to cool the led's im my closed environment.





I build a own controll board, using for the whole system with 4 Chips, Atmel Mega 8, communication thru RS 232, steering with a IR remote RC5.

Important, each led needs a constant power supply, how this is easy done, you can see and calculate here (sorry only in German). It is using the LM317K, yes it gets hot and needs cooling. The voltage is not that importanmt if you use a constant current power supply, the current is important for this leds. I use a 12 Volt to drive. Leds can easy controlled by a Mos-Fet and any Microcontroller with min of 3 PWM (Puls wide Modulation) outputs. Leonardo remember me that it is easyer to use a 6V Power suply for then LED's, because a 12V has to destroy too much Volt in the LM317 and it gets very hot, Thanks Leonardo :



http://www.roboternetz.de/phpBB2/konstantstrom.php

There are a lot ob cheap boards outside in Internet shops to buy a RGB controller or a constant power supply. I build my own system because i really love to have futures others don't have, and i love to build crazy stuff. my circuit is designed for my system and i did several changes from time to time, that means i don't have a really good PCB for you. You can have a look at my schematics, maybe this help for your project.



What you can do to have more light in the stream, use a water enhancer, i tested it with a drilling fluid, wow, it starts to glow like a laserbeam! You can see it on my RGB Video, amazing bright. Just use a view drops of this fluid.

In the video it was a mistake, i used dirt water from my laundry (Dirt in a thank) with some floor cleaning fluid in it, yes it was a mistake, first i had so much foam in my system, but later, when i changed part of the water, just a little diort and cleaning fluid was remaining, i had this effect. Later i try the Fluid for drilling, l had perfect glowing. But the problem is, when the whole beam is glowing, you cant use effects like a knocker or similar turbulance maker, its not visible anymore, so i dont use a enhancer now, i love this bright effects trveling thru my stream.

I give no guarantee for this stuff, its on your own to try and figure out what is the best for you.

I think this will help a lot people to have a perfect light in your stream.
If you find a better solution, plese let me know i will post it here to help others.

Good luck

Smile Smile Smile

Magic Nozzle
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Re: The Guide for a Perfect RGB Light with PMMA fiber optic cable

Post  covewi on Mon Sep 14, 2009 8:46 pm

i just ordered my PMMA fiber from

http://www.fiberopticproducts.com/Endglow.htm

Its at the bottom of the page.

What did you use to cut your PMMA fiber?

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Re: The Guide for a Perfect RGB Light with PMMA fiber optic cable

Post  Magic-nozzle on Tue Sep 15, 2009 1:27 am

Hi, my one looks different, the size is similar or same like than the "EGS3B 5/32" OD x 1/8"Solid ID Cable".
My one looks like a glass rod, hi gloss and clear like fresh water, like a small laminar stream *SMILE*
Your Cable looks not that clear, and maybe you dont will have that much power at the end.
But test it mybe it works perfect, i don't know.
For a better understanding, i made some Pictures.

This is my original Fiber cable 3mm with coat (iam not shure this is made from PMMA anymore)


This is the way i mount the fiber on the LED, its important that the LED has a verry small output and a less than 130 deg.




The pictuure can't show how bright it is, its enormously bright!
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Re: The Guide for a Perfect RGB Light with PMMA fiber optic cable

Post  covewi on Tue Sep 15, 2009 3:53 am

Where did you purchase your PMMA cable from?

Thanks - Great Photos.

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Re: The Guide for a Perfect RGB Light with PMMA fiber optic cable

Post  Magic-nozzle on Tue Sep 15, 2009 4:29 am

I buy my Cables frome here:
A small company in switzerland, price is about 10$ per meter or 3,3 foot. But i am not shure about the price.
http://www.fiberoptic.ch/
If you like, i can ask him how much the fibers really are and if he is interested to sell worldwide.

Here is a international dealer: http://export.farnell.com/jsp/search/browse.jsp?N=500006+1002403&Ntk=gensearch_001&Ntt=fiber&Ntx=

You can order from them in most every country, but i am not shore they have 3mm?, only 2,2 mm with coat, and you really need a coat!

The led you are using should not have a larger light outlet than 3-4 mm, otherwise you loose a lot of the light.

I hope this will help you.
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Re: The Guide for a Perfect RGB Light with PMMA fiber optic cable

Post  John on Tue Sep 15, 2009 7:59 am

Just a note:

The better the polish is on the ends the better the light will transmit through the fiber.

Start with some general sandpaper and get higher and higher grits. Then get some sandpaper that is capable of wet sanding.
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Re: The Guide for a Perfect RGB Light with PMMA fiber optic cable

Post  kyle_rh on Sun Sep 20, 2009 9:15 pm

Great Information Thank you

I was wondering which LED you used. Was it a Luxeon V or Luxeon III. Also how many lumen of light is produced by each LED.

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Re: The Guide for a Perfect RGB Light with PMMA fiber optic cable

Post  Magic-nozzle on Sun Sep 20, 2009 11:10 pm

Thanks

I use Luxeon 3W Leds: http://www.luxeonstar.com/luxeon-iiis-stars-c-24_43.php
Here you can find the spec of each color. 1 Year ago this was the strongest availibe. Now they dont produce it anymore and if you lite tzo have this leds, you have to buy it now. I recomend the seoul Leds, they are similar and stronger.
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Re: The Guide for a Perfect RGB Light with PMMA fiber optic cable

Post  covewi on Mon Sep 21, 2009 5:11 pm

Magic Nozzle

What voltage are you running for your LEDS? I see you talking about 6 and 12 V. Is that just your source and then you cut it back to meet the needs of the LEDS?
It seems most 3W LEDS are running at 3.9 forward volts. Is this correct?
Ideas?

I can see the lit stream from an angle but not when viewed from 90 degrees to the stream. I also see a the light going into the water.
When tapping on the nozzle I see the light jump - but the whole stream is not lit and glowing like yours.
Voltage to the LEDS?
I checked it again and it looks like only 3.2 volts running at 1 amp.

Please help

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Re: The Guide for a Perfect RGB Light with PMMA fiber optic cable

Post  Magic-nozzle on Tue Sep 22, 2009 12:34 am

Hi
I drive the leds with 12V and a current regulation see picture above, this way the voltage is not that important, but, hi voltage produces a lot of heat, thats the reason i need such large coolong aluminium at the LM ... Better is to use a 5V Suply, but when i started with this project i didnt know that, and i dont want to chnage it now. But 5 V is perfect for you and you need just to drop a little more than 1 V.

The lignt is more visible when you look against the strem flow, from the side its not that bright, but still bright enough to see it very well. How close do you have your fibers to thze outlet? How looks your endings? My one looks like a polished diamond! Relly extreme clear! Are you shure you use the right fibers? And can you see at the end of the stream, when splashing to a white or similar plastic palte a bright glowing spot?

Check this things, very important.

The first Picture in this how to of my Stream-light is a little brighter than in real person, that happens thru the long time shutter photograph. But in darkness my eye can see it like this is, a little less but still very bright.

Please can you make a picture?
Maybe with a 10 sek. long time shutter. I dont know your camera but try to experient with the time, and send a picture like your eye see it.
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Re: The Guide for a Perfect RGB Light with PMMA fiber optic cable

Post  covewi on Tue Sep 22, 2009 3:30 am

Thanks - so I should use 5 V for the power supply and use a resistor circuit to drop the voltage to around 3.9 V to drive the LEDS? Or drive the LEDS at 5 Volts?

Yes I can see the "green" spot in the pool of water. Its so bright that it lights a 3 foot area in the swimming pool.

No my fiber tips are not like diamonds. Sort of dull even after polishing up to 2000 grit.

Will try for a photo

Using the circuit above I would supply 6 V and use R1 to regulate the amps to say 1200ma?

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Re: The Guide for a Perfect RGB Light with PMMA fiber optic cable

Post  Magic-nozzle on Tue Sep 22, 2009 6:20 am

The voltage is not that important if you use a current driver, you need a current driver or a resistor fitting the led, but if you plan to high driven it you need a constant current cirquit.

After the 2000 sandpaper your endings needs to polish it with a special acryl or plexi polishing paste, you can buy it from a plexiglas worker. then use a dremmel and a felt to polish it with this machine, thats the only way it will work. You will have better light flow. the Red Luxeon can driven up to 1,4 A for full power, But you need a good cooling, otherwise the led is dying very fast.

You need a 1 Ohm 3Watt resistir acording the calculation of the cirquit abouve, to have your 1250mA.
You can use any Voltage, 5 / 6 / 12 V the more voltage, the more heat!
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Re: The Guide for a Perfect RGB Light with PMMA fiber optic cable

Post  John on Tue Sep 22, 2009 6:36 am

I'm using a constant current driver and it is really really nice! It's a really simple circuit and very robust. I have yet to destroy the LM317.
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Re: The Guide for a Perfect RGB Light with PMMA fiber optic cable

Post  John on Tue Sep 22, 2009 7:01 am

Mario,

I was looking through the old photos, and I notices that it appears that you have a dome on the output of your fiber. Is that the case?
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Re: The Guide for a Perfect RGB Light with PMMA fiber optic cable

Post  covewi on Tue Sep 22, 2009 7:53 am

Nice circuit for dimming LEDS

http://www.reuk.co.uk/LED-Dimmer-Circuit.htm

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Re: The Guide for a Perfect RGB Light with PMMA fiber optic cable

Post  Magic-nozzle on Tue Sep 22, 2009 8:21 am

John wrote:Mario,
I was looking through the old photos, and I notices that it appears that you have a dome on the output of your fiber. Is that the case?

Hmm, yes, a little bit, that is because when i polish the ends. My new Nozzle's Fiber are more flat, but still a little dome at the end.
Maybe if you can machine diamond polish it, then its 100% flat.
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Re: The Guide for a Perfect RGB Light with PMMA fiber optic cable

Post  covewi on Tue Sep 22, 2009 1:32 pm

I assume that the power supply 5,6 or 12 volts has to deliver an output amp's greater than the 1200-1400 ma that I want to get out.

What size power supply (amps) would you suggest.

Also can I use on LM317 voltage regulator to drive all three LEDS?

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Re: The Guide for a Perfect RGB Light with PMMA fiber optic cable

Post  John on Tue Sep 22, 2009 1:35 pm

No, you would need three lm317. Check out this link. http://www.reuk.co.uk/Using-The-LM317T-With-LED-Lighting.htm
It has a pretty good introduction to it and there is also a calculator there to figure out the appropriate size and power rating for the resistor that is needed.
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Re: The Guide for a Perfect RGB Light with PMMA fiber optic cable

Post  covewi on Tue Sep 22, 2009 6:11 pm

Like Magic Nozzle suggested - looks like a 1 ohm resistor is best. Do I connect a 1 ohm resistor to each LED and power each with the lm317 or power each LED after one resistor.

Can I use a 5 volt 2amp power source or do I have to stay at or below the 1.5 amp regulator rating.


Sorry Iam trying to learn as I go here.

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Re: The Guide for a Perfect RGB Light with PMMA fiber optic cable

Post  John on Tue Sep 22, 2009 9:42 pm

I just had a nice post explaining everything when I lost it because I accidentally clicked on a link and my browser when there. Sad

http://www.reuk.co.uk/LM317-Current-Calculator.htm

I will be referencing that link. Another source is

http://www.instructables.com/id/Circuits-for-using-High-Power-LED_s/

This is a tutorial written by a guy that is much smarter than me. Read and study it. I'm sure his stuff is a lot more accurate then what I will put down here.

You will need a LM317 per each color, since the max current is only 1.5A.

The LM317 has three pins. Vin - where the voltage comes into the circuit, Vout - Where you typically get your voltage out, and Adj - I'm guessing that it stands for adjust, the adj pin will be tied to the the Vout pin by a resistor. Typically the 1 ohm 2Watt resistor. BE WARNED! USING A 1ohm RESISTOR WILL MAKE YOU OUTPUT CURRENT 1250mA. Make sure that your LED can handle this. The typical optimal current is somewhere around 700mA depending on yours it may be higher. At any of the currents you WILL want a heatsink and probably some thermal grease!!! They can dissipate a lot of heat and it needs something to sink the heat into.

As far as your power supply goes. There is a voltage drop across the LM317 that is just wasted but the current seems great! You just want to make sure that you will be able to source enough current to supply the LM317s.

The other thing is that the LM317's can get very hot and should have a heatsink on them as well. The lm317 aren't electrically isolated so that means you will have to have a separate heatsink for each one.
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Re: The Guide for a Perfect RGB Light with PMMA fiber optic cable

Post  covewi on Wed Sep 23, 2009 3:15 pm

Okay - I made a simple one resistor - lm 317 power supply - its running at 4.92 volts and should be at 1200ma.

I LED does appear brighter and will test it out tonight in the fountain.

I am still confused! If the laminar stream is so good (like a fiber optic cable) and I see a strong light in the swimming pool. Why cant I see it in the stream?

I cant believe that every laminar fountain that has fiber optics is using a water additive to make it "glow". In my thinking if I had a poor finish to the outside of the laminar stream I would see more light leaking out - like a side glow fiber.

I will try and get a photo of the light in the pool to show how strong that is.

Wish me luck. Its driving me crazy

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Re: The Guide for a Perfect RGB Light with PMMA fiber optic cable

Post  John on Wed Sep 23, 2009 3:48 pm

Good luck!

If you look at the Pentair model that pbracer put on the forum, he has a "bubble injector" the bubble injector puts a tiny bit of water on it and the water takes up the drop of water and "ruins" the stream. If you notice tonight that when you ruin the stream the light shines really bright!

The basic gist of it is, laminar stream is too efficient at transmitting the light. In order to "fix" that you need to ruin the stream to an extent.

I've seen some "scratchers" on some designs where they use some pins or something really small and pokes the stream so that it is more disrupted. Mario uses a needle on a solenoid to poke the stream to disrupt it.

when testing tonight. Poke the water with things and see if you can get it to disrupt the stream better.

Also remember that a lot of the photos that you've seen of the laminar streams with light in them may have used a "delayed shutter" technique that would enhance the light. Then there is also photoshop!!!! Unless you've seen them in person you may not be able to trust what you see.
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Re: The Guide for a Perfect RGB Light with PMMA fiber optic cable

Post  covewi on Wed Sep 23, 2009 6:57 pm

Magic Nozzle - As you may have seen the water ruined my fiber cable - fogged it all up - cant see anything through it.
Any chance you could see if your company
http://www.fiberoptic.ch/VerfugbareProspekte.htm
Would sell to the USA?
Did you put a cap of any sort over the top of the water end of the cable.
Did you every have any water leaking down the inside of the cable like I did? I think it ran between the core and jacket.

Thanks

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Re: The Guide for a Perfect RGB Light with PMMA fiber optic cable

Post  Magic-nozzle on Wed Sep 23, 2009 11:10 pm

Hi Covewi

I think one of your problems is maybe calc or the wrong Fibers (because i think your fibers never look glassclear from the side, thats mean for me, wrong one)! Calc, We have also a lot over here, a water hardness of 8.6 PH! I dont know if this are the same messurments than in the US or the rest of the world. A good Water PH (Pool quality) is 7.2 PH, so you have to bring it down to that level, like in a swimming pool, so i don't have that calc white powder problem anymore. Go to a Pool store and buy some messure stripes, and PH plus or PH minus chemicals.

I do have nothing over my fibers, the boss of fiberoptics.ch tell me not to cover it, this have a result of give avay a lot of ligght, because every glass has a refraction.

Yes its very hard to seal the cables 100% just using silicone, under the nozzle i have some water come out of the fibertube, but i cant see a differece in the stream, shure its better wehen its 100% dry! the problem is the coat of the fibers is made from PE and there is nothing in this world can connect to PE, exept PE Welding. A simple solution is to use a large rubber pad with 3 holes in it, a little smaller than the fibers at the ending, then weld a Cable gland on the end and push it in there, no problems anymore and 100% thight. Bit at the moment it's ok for me, maybe i do this in winter, when i take out the nozzle from the yard. There are professional Cable glands out there, its used to seal Electrical cables. Check here, just you have to replace the special rubber, you need one with 3 holes in it.
http://www.industrial-enclosures.com/html/cable-glands.htm

I ask the Fiber Optic man if he can sell to the USA or anywhere in the World, and if yes, what price.
EDIT: look here, John hase some but no coat but this is the material http://laminar.forumotion.com/laminar-nozzle-talk-and-pictures-f1/my-project-t72-60.htm#1021

Should i alsk the Fiber man or not? Thanks.
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Re: The Guide for a Perfect RGB Light with PMMA fiber optic cable

Post  liteglow on Thu Sep 24, 2009 12:34 pm

covewi wrote:
I am still confused! If the laminar stream is so good (like a fiber optic cable) and I see a strong light in the swimming pool. Why cant I see it in the stream?


Wish me luck. Its driving me crazy

I understand you (btw, luck to you) ..
But I did have the same problem, the light is visible at the start of the laminar, but not anyway close as Marios !

But i guess I must wait one year to next time I give it a try Surprised
There was SNOW in the mountains here last night .......
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