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Thread: DIY Light mover?

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    DIY Light mover?

    Any one ever made a light mover before. I am in the process of designing one but if it has already been done, I'd love to see previous ideas. BTW, I'm leaning towards one that run along a track back and forth. Not too interested in the fan blowing the light around in a circle idea. I have seen it and that's not for me.

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    420 Member iminadaze's Avatar
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    Re: DIY Light mover?

    I'm a do it yourselfer and enjoy a good project. After seeing this thread I came up with a rudimantary design that would work consisting of some electrical metal tubing or similar sturdy pipe, a pulley like used in outdoor close drying, two small dc volt motors, like toy train motors or toy racecar motors, 2 toy train track controllers (to control motor speed), 2 yo-yo's and two timers and some various simple fasteners and glue and wood.

    Just suspend the pipe, attach the pulley so the wheel is over the pipe and attach the light to the underside of the pulley, it will balance itself. drill a hole in the center of both yo-yo's 1/8 to 1/4 inch deep and glue the yo-yo's to the gears on the motor where you drilled the hole. attach each motor to each end of the pipe using some wood and some metal strapping, tie the strings from each yo-yo to the pulley, attach the controllers to the motors and plug one into each timer. set the speed on the controllers a low as possible. push the light all the way to one end where you want the light to stop and turn on the timer on the opposite end. Time how long it takes for the light to get to the other side where you want it to stop. That is how long you need to set the timers for, each timer alternating on/off cycles.

    Hey! I said it was rudimantary, but it will work

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    420 Member SourSkunkD's Avatar
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    Re: DIY Light mover?

    Quote Originally Posted by iminadaze View Post
    I'm a do it yourselfer and enjoy a good project. After seeing this thread I came up with a rudimantary design that would work consisting of some electrical metal tubing or similar sturdy pipe, a pulley like used in outdoor close drying, two small dc volt motors, like toy train motors or toy racecar motors, 2 toy train track controllers (to control motor speed), 2 yo-yo's and two timers and some various simple fasteners and glue and wood.

    Just suspend the pipe, attach the pulley so the wheel is over the pipe and attach the light to the underside of the pulley, it will balance itself. drill a hole in the center of both yo-yo's 1/8 to 1/4 inch deep and glue the yo-yo's to the gears on the motor where you drilled the hole. attach each motor to each end of the pipe using some wood and some metal strapping, tie the strings from each yo-yo to the pulley, attach the controllers to the motors and plug one into each timer. set the speed on the controllers a low as possible. push the light all the way to one end where you want the light to stop and turn on the timer on the opposite end. Time how long it takes for the light to get to the other side where you want it to stop. That is how long you need to set the timers for, each timer alternating on/off cycles.

    Hey! I said it was rudimantary, but it will work
    do you have a concept drawing for something like that, maybe i could picture it better.
    WINNING!!!!! :

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    Re: DIY Light mover?

    Quote Originally Posted by iminadaze View Post
    I'm a do it yourselfer and enjoy a good project. After seeing this thread I came up with a rudimantary design that would work consisting of some electrical metal tubing or similar sturdy pipe, a pulley like used in outdoor close drying, two small dc volt motors, like toy train motors or toy racecar motors, 2 toy train track controllers (to control motor speed), 2 yo-yo's and two timers and some various simple fasteners and glue and wood.

    Just suspend the pipe, attach the pulley so the wheel is over the pipe and attach the light to the underside of the pulley, it will balance itself. drill a hole in the center of both yo-yo's 1/8 to 1/4 inch deep and glue the yo-yo's to the gears on the motor where you drilled the hole. attach each motor to each end of the pipe using some wood and some metal strapping, tie the strings from each yo-yo to the pulley, attach the controllers to the motors and plug one into each timer. set the speed on the controllers a low as possible. push the light all the way to one end where you want the light to stop and turn on the timer on the opposite end. Time how long it takes for the light to get to the other side where you want it to stop. That is how long you need to set the timers for, each timer alternating on/off cycles.

    Hey! I said it was rudimantary, but it will work
    That's actually not a bad idea. If you substitute a strong "string" for the yo-yo concept, it would be plenty strong. One question though - How do you make the timer switch the direction of the motor? Does a train controller do that or what? If you answer that question, I think you might have solved the entire problem. Great idea!!

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    420 Member SourSkunkD's Avatar
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    Re: DIY Light mover?

    or make it a circle track and have a continuous running motor it can cover all the space and presents an outdoorsy feel too.
    WINNING!!!!! :

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    420 Member iminadaze's Avatar
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    Re: DIY Light mover?

    Quote Originally Posted by mygrow View Post
    That's actually not a bad idea. If you substitute a strong "string" for the yo-yo concept, it would be plenty strong. One question though - How do you make the timer switch the direction of the motor? Does a train controller do that or what? If you answer that question, I think you might have solved the entire problem. Great idea!!

    It doesn't matter which way the motors spin, whichever direction the motor spins the string will 'Wind Up" thats the cool thing about using a yo-yo, you would have to add a dab of glue to the yo-yo so the string does wind up.
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    Re: DIY Light mover?

    A good hardware store will have metal track and wheels (like for sliding wooden doors on a building). Also pulleys galore. Should be able to find stuff that is as heavy-duty as you want to make it.

    Should be able to do it with one DC motor and some switches on each end that act upon a relay to reverse the polarity. Unlike an AC motor, a DC motor should reverse when the polarity is reversed. Used to be able to get everything like that at Radio Shack before they turned into a cell phone store (lol). Maybe you still can.

    Make SURE to use decent enough components (and to align everything properly) so that it doesn't end up coming off whatever you use for a track and dropping your hot and expensive light onto your plants and/or something flammable. Ventilation setups may exert some sideways force as the light travels down the track, take that into consideration.

    Be safe.
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    420 Member iminadaze's Avatar
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    Re: DIY Light mover?

    This DIY forum is great. It starts with an idea, then a rough concept, then support joins and offers up more efficient alternative component solutions. Others will join in with possible drafts of the concept and other valuable information. Before you know it we will have a safe, practical, effective unit that the DIY'er can build in his/her spare time....

    Luv it....Way to go 420, this place is #1
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    Re: DIY Light mover?

    Ok, so here's the latest of what I found out for a light mover. I always assumed before that everyone would have the know how on how to either build a wooden track for cheap or buy one for whatever length they wanted so I am not going to cover that. Additionally, I am not covering any of the hardware to mount the light or track and such. That info is either self explanatory or available with some basic search on this site or other like this one.

    The only thing I wanted to know how to do was to make an electric motor move back and forth along a track. I considered a timer that would reverse the motor. But I liked the idea of a pressure switch instead. So, if you take a look at the following link, it describes exactly how to do this. The idea is to mount the pressure switches at the opposite ends of the track for the range of travel you want. The link explains the circuit that can be adapted to suit any electric motor that is reversible. As far as cost, I can pick up an electric motor from surplus stores from $10-$25. The other parts I'll have to pick up as I need them, but I'm guessing in total, I'll probably spend somewhere in the neighborhood of $45-60. that is total, including the track if I make it, and roller blade wheels to ride on the track. I figured I'd post the idea so anyone can start their own design. Make sure to post pics if you end up making it.

    http://www.instructables.com/id/H-Br...-a-Breadboard/

    I am considering an alternative grow method - vertical - where the plants rotate on their individual platform like a lazy susan. That way I can get light to the entire plant from all angles. So I'm not sure yet if I'll make the light mover but you never know.

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    420 Member Greenhouse250's Avatar
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    Re: DIY Light mover?

    I bought a light mover from the flea-bay for 120-140 can't remember. I have used it but i need a bigger light to make it worth while. Now i use the aluminium track to hang my lights, works good but i might not ever use the mover again?

    Lately i've wanted to do something to increase my yield, like scrog, sog, or high number of small plants, kinda like the 2l hempy ban waggon that 420 is on. I did try this with 26 one gal. but its not for me, watering every day sucks!

    So one day i'm on another site and see a vert section, checked thru it and found a cool journal with what they where calling a coliseum. Check this out 80 plants stuffed in this coliseum(all diy), three 1000w and one 600w all hanging on one chain with the 600 at the bottom. For me vert is the answer, some kind of vert cage scrog thing or like this coliseum make some sort of shelving that will hold the plants. This guys grow yielded 4.6lbs in dirt!

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    420 Member Smokemupm8's Avatar
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    Re: DIY Light mover?

    Hey mate, theres a few good ideas there to make a track its really not that hard once u have the basics. I actually used a curtain track, which had a pull across curtain - took them off and left the plastic runners in there, i connected my light with sum thin nylon rope which wa s tied thru the holes in the plastic runners and down to my hooks on my light. Cost me $10 from the rubbish dump! Betta than $180 from sum shops.. Good to b resourceful. Goodluk and Happy Harvesting

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    DIY Lights Perfected!



    Here is a link to my youtube video where I explain in detail how to raise and lower lights using pulleys. Very cheep and effective!

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    420 Member LEDRF's Avatar
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    Re: DIY Light mover?

    I've been pondering ways to make a light mover. I thought of using a bathroom or sliding closet deal for the track and wheels. Or pvc and rollerblade, etc. Two pvc next to each other, one rollerblade wheel in the center. Motor axle fits inside the wheel.

    Like the poster said, that part is easy to figure out. The hard part is figuring out how to get it to move back and forth. Getting it to go one way is easy.

    If the wheel hooks on similar to how a closet wheel hooks on, then you could put it on a loop track. I have to draw an image to show what I mean. The wheel will climb the little bit at the end, then tranfer to the top part of the track, and when it reaches the end, it drops back down to the bottom track, so the wheel never has to reverse the way it turns, but the light will go back and forth.



    The curved arrows show the direction the wheel always spins. Imagine the wheel is a powerful magnet, so when it hits the end, it crawls up to the top and continues rolling, but the opposite direction. In fact, a powerful magnet wheel, neodymium, would work.

    The bottom drawing is a partially see-through version of how a slider closet door wheel would work. The wheel sort of hooks in, if you ever put one on a track. So this way the motor only has to spin in one direction.

    Not sure if they make motors with a reverse button. If so, just extend the length of the reverse button, and make it so when the wheel reached the end of the track, it hit an obstruction that pushed the reverse button. Have one on each side of the track.

    Personally, I've been working on a cheap way to make an oval track or square track, so the light moves around in a small oval or square. Kind of like a choohoo train. I was thinking a train track or race car track.

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    420 Member LEDRF's Avatar
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    Re: DIY Lights Perfected!

    Another idea I had was to have the light on whatever straight track, and then there is a string attached to the light hood, and this attaches to the motor on the otherside of the track. The track is at a slight slant, so that when it reaches the motor, if the motor shuts off, the light slowly slides back down the slop to the oppisite side of the motor. I've been thinking of a way that after the motor winds up all the string, thus pulling the light to it, it lets go of the string, so that the light can slide back downhill to the opposite side. Because the motor never shuts off, it pulls it back again.

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    Re: DIY Light mover?

    Barn door track and trolley would probably be the easiest track, it's already engineered and it works well. I use that in mine without a motor. I just move it when I get a chance. The plants are all under continuous light, moving it just fills in the dark areas. Motors with heavy string or twine to move it is an interesting idea. The way I see it you would only need one proximity switch and a relay to operate two rotisserie motors. Possibly two prox switches, have to think and draw that one out. No timers needed if the power comes from the same timer as your lights. If it moves too slow you could put a pulley on the motor shaft to speed it up. Damn, now I have to go to work!
    Keep growing, be happy!

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