Monday, July 8, 2013

That's a lot of soldering

Today was a big shopping day for the Idaho Reef. After all the meticulous planning for the lighting system, it felt good to finally get the build underway. When I saw that Steve's LEDs was running a 15% off sale to celebrate their expansion, I knew it was time to pull the trigger; $200 off is nothing to sneeze at. And the first purchase always makes each subsequent purchase easier, so I also ordered the LDD breakout boards, various miscellaneous electronic components to assemble them, solder, wire, etc., etc.

I did a little back-of-the-envelope math to determine just how much soldering there will be in my future -- with 84 single-emitter LED stars and 84 triple-emitter LED stars, just wiring up the heat sinks will require soldering 672 connections. Add in the ~100 solder connections on each of the 7 breakout boards, and there's nearly 1400! Hopefully a pound of solder and almost half a pound of thermal compound will be enough.