Alright, so let's circle back about building your own light, or really just getting boards and a driver, the frame is optional. The important thing with boards or the QB 96's style, is matching the Driver to the boards. It's not too hard to do, just need to match the board output, which in my case with the 132 boards is 2000mA. My driver is actually over-powered just a little (C2100A), but it's the closest I could get to 2000mA, and these boards are known to be underrated and can go up to 320 watts or so MAXXED out. I am currently running them at 280 watts, or 70 watts per board. I usually run them around 260 or slightly higher, but the lights are bit higher up this round to get the outer branches better coverage. I have a Lux meter that I dial in the canopy with, and a Reader that tells me the Output of the boards (280 watts). So, once you have matched your combo, or plenty of info online that has already done the work for you, especially since the strips are popular to build, the Driver will tell you how to put it together.
First Picture for a Visual
So much information on the Driver, but here's the Key. Always remember it's Output to Input. Meaning, the OUTPUT of the wall power (3 prong Plug), to the Input of the device (Lights). Don't over complicate this. When you plug in any device, the power from the wall is the reason why the device works RIGHT. Without the Output of power, whether that's solar, hydro, or traditional On the Grid, it's supplying your house somehow. Back on track, the left side of the driver is the input from the wall. See where I am going with this. It's the side you wire the Power Plug to. NOW, if you use a MW driver, or drivers like I do, the colors are different to wire up. Here in America, we use black, green, and white. The driver is setup for UK style wiring, it's no problem, the Brown is LIVE in UK, Green (yellow strip) is Ground, and Blue is the Neutral. The driver also will tell you what the colors are to the right on the Output side if you don't understand the symbols. Brown is Plus and Blue is Minus. So it's as simple as Black/Brown, Green/GreenYellow, and White/Blue. You can wire up your plug with Wago's like I did, or a permanent connection with butt connectors or shrink wrap. Whatever you want to do, I used an old Computer Power Cord I had laying around, but if you don't have one, they are under 10 bucks at any hardware store.
I can detach in the Matter of seconds with the Wagos. Alright, halfway home, the Plug is wired up, now it's time to Wire up the Lights (Right Side). You will have two wires, positive and negative or Brown and Blue. You will need some solid core wire and the positive will go to one side of the positive board (or reader first in my case) and the negative will go to the opposite side (farthest right board) to a negative. Now connect the negative to positves (Across the boards I went left to right) 3 times to complete the wiring. There are plenty of pictures out there for a great visual of wiring in Series. I used to wire Subs in Series when I was into BASS in my Ride when I was younger. I basically went postive wire to the farthest left board since i have 4, the Negative wire to the farthest Right board, and make the other three connections from negative to positive. I promise, it works, if you are wiring in Parallel, it's straight forward, positive to positive and negative to negative wires for all. It's much more wiring needed to wire in Parallel. Here is my Parallel 3 QB 96's.
Anytime you see a driver with 54A (Volts) or similar, it's a parallel driver, and for series, it will be in mA format (C2100A). The A means it's adjustable and can be adjusted with a small Phillips screwdriver.
I used 1/16th inch cheap aluminum framing for the frame, I went thinner since my Driver is remote and not in the tent. Makes life easier to adjust and less heat build up in the grow room. I didn't have a way to cut metal at the time other than a hacksaw, but worked all the same with a little elbow grease. Bought a cheap pack of nuts/bolts/ and washers to connect the corners, drilled a few holes and an easy frame.
My drill bit broke (Old and brittle) drilling holes to mount the boards, so I improvised and used some small zip ties I had laying around. I doubled up the zip ties on the corners just in case one decides to break (fault tolerance). I just never went back and drilled in some M3 screws is all.
Here's the Reader, very simple to wire Up.
Diagram on the back, but u basically wire them into the reader or DC IN (Always Output to Input hence, DC IN), and then you go to the lights instead of being a direct connect to the boards. That's it, it really sounds harder than it is. Once you understand the Brown to Black Green to Green and White to Blue. ALL good. That's MY Time.
Edited by MushLuvR, 28 March 2022 - 01:18 PM.