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Everything posted by Hud357

  1. Take a look at Norway. Something like that is probable. If we come to a reasonable 'deal' with The EU that is. This is the insanity of it all. I can still buy from The US but a seller in France needs to be deleted from my list!
  2. You should be OK if it was so short a duration. I have lost plants with long duration (month long) freezes. This winter, here in Northern England, I just (March) noticed that hidden away was a Cymbidium (orchid) that has spent all its time outdoors this year with no problem. That isn't supposed to happen.
  3. If only we encounterred customer service like this in normal every day to day life. I have found that once you are away from companies reliant upon 'churn' as their business model then you find a lot of businesses that are just fine. They want you to come back. Often you do.
  4. I'm going for a Hooker (rafflesiana x ampullaria) crossed with something long (spectabilis?). Then again, I have absolutely no idea.
  5. Sphag tends to colour up for a whole host of reasons.
  6. I don't beleive that anyone has suggested getting the 'Empire' back. You need to remember that there are two faces to 'Europe' The EEA - The free trade element The EU - The project to create a single European state. I don't believe that this country will ever agree to the second set of goals (The EU) and so we should just get out of the way of those (countries) that do. Even in the worse case scenarios painted for leaving, I don't believe that easy trade in plants even enters my 'radar' when considering The EU.
  7. Bloody thing (terrarium) has just become so overgrown with Neps, Heliamphora and every bloody Sundew in Qeensland. Took me a full afternoon today to break the b*stard up. e-bay time.
  8. I have to say that I'm winding down my LED's from 50->40->30 now. (3ft x 12 fish tank)
  9. I was thinking of that stuff (live Sphag) that is pretty much dead (or will be very soon) and covered with a layer of 'slime'. I have been known to cultivate it from time to time but I'm never quite sure how. :) As far as plants (Sarracenia?) are concerned, I'm not sure that it's ever a good sign.
  10. It does look like old, decomposed Sphag. (either that or someone has been sick in your pot) I would just re-pot it after removing all the existing stuff. You could always just clean it up and pop it (bare root) into the fridge if you are worried about dormancy issues.
  11. I have one of those on my small tank (2ft) driving an 18W LED - very handy little unit. It's been running for over 12 months now.
  12. Get yourself some more plants! I'm looking at a bunch of sorry looking Sars but having to look over some Orchid flowers (and flower stems) to do it. If you have a garden as well then by getting a range of plants you can have something going on year round. There's nothing more heartening than having Orchids bloom in Dececember followed by Snowdrops in January ...
  13. What he said. Though I would put S. Purpurea (and hybrids of same) outside in the full force of a Manchester Winter (though not in trays - you get too much water). A few years ago I lost some previously hardy plants, VFT's and some of the more delicate Sars, by keeping them outside. So if it looks like another 10/11 type Winter then bring such plants indoors for the duration of the (extra) cold.
  14. A man that likes to live on the edge - I like that.
  15. I just ignored the red/blue ratios (most 'white' LED's are made from red/blue anyway). If one were a commercial grower then these things may be important but in my living space a nice warm white is OK. The plants seem to be OK with it too. I have ramped down the power lately for much the reason you suggest. They were getting a little too red. The whole set-up provides a nice light to the room that allows me to not turn on main lights. Couldn't ask for more really. Plants happy, me happy.
  16. With the LED's Wired in series, the adapter should give you any current (and voltage - bear in mind that you are dealing with semi-conductors) you want. The adaptor should 'give' a lot more than 27W. At 50W mine never even warmed up. (nothing to do with MarkB...) Something for readers to consider is that wiring LED's in parallel opens one up to 'cascade failure' (or a 'complete shed collapse' as we call it in the trade). It works like this ... Your three parallel LED's are taking (a constant) current (let's say 3A total/1A each). One goes down, now two LED's are taking 1.5A. LED 2 now 'blows' and LED 3 is left with the full 3A and doesn't last long. Cascade failure or shed collapse - call it what you will. All three LED's burn out quickly in sequence. The point here is that wiring the LED's in series can protect the circuit. It is not guaranteed that an LED will fail in any particular manner however (open or short circuit) and so you must ensure that you have included appropriate fuses/protection. Another issue is that 'lap top' PSU's are not 'isolated' from the mains supply and so all exposed metal work should be separately earthed. Always think of the worse case scenario ('shed collapse') when examining any mains powered system. Practice 'safe electricity' at all times - always wear a condom (fuses / earthing / RCB's etc).
  17. "problems keeping my Cephalotus happy" - Only on CPUK could one find such a title No experience with Cephs but I would have thought that they would be happier with a bit of seasonality - which they wouldn't get in a typical Nep house. I would consider keeping them a little drier and exposing them to 'the weather'. It's always worth, with any plant, playing around (within reason) with things. I never had any success with some Madagascan Orchids until I stopped treating them as tropical. Now, on an East facing windowsill in a cool room in Northern England, they do just fine and have started growing 'properly'. Then again, in Madagascar, they don't grow in pots or LECA either. My Paph philippinense hybrid managed to do nothing for a decade until I stopped treating it as a tropical. On my kitchen windowsill, with my 'Madagascan Orchid' it is now throwing up flowers. Never quite sure what constitutes Winter in Melbourne - I know it isn't Darwin but I'll bet it isn't Leeds (UK) either Anyhoo. My point here is that bit of experimentation is often the way to go with a particular plant that isn't doing what it should. Try something different.
  18. For those viewing this thread that don't understand whats going on here ... LED's are not like regular lamps (bulbs), they are semi conducting devices. This means that, for a given current and temperature, they will always have a set voltage. This may seem 'counter intuative' but it works like this ... At a given current the LED will (approximatly) have a predictable voltage across it. Unlike a traditional 'lamp', it matters not one jot how much you attempt to increase the voltage. The Voltage will, at double the current, stay pretty much the same. Blown LED. To light one (50W rig) long term you need to control the current, to a large extent the LED controls its own voltage. If you have an LED that the manufacturer rates at 1.5V 100mA then, with a 5v supply you can simply stick a resistor into the circuit. This is OK at the kind of power (heat) you will have to dissipate in the resistor. 5V-1.5V * 100mA. Once you start dealing with 50W LED's then sticking a resistor in series is a problem and you need a more sophisticated set-up to 'feed' it.
  19. I've dropped my potential 54W set-up down to 30W. The Neps were getting sunburn and the Heli's were getting nice and red. Hopefully I've found a medium, for my set-up, that works for all. With the CC/CV adaptor there is a one-off set up. Wind the current and voltage (anti clockwise) back to zero (you should hear faint clicks). Connect up the circuit with your meter inserted (series for current) into the return leg and set it on the 10A configuration (if your meter has one - most do).Gently wind up the voltage until you get some light. Then start to increase the current. (From there it is much easier if you have two meters, one for current one for voltage but it can be done well enough with one (current)). Just tweak each (gently) until you have (with your 3x18W LED's) something like 1.2A flowing and altering the voltage doesn't have much effect (34V or so?). Leave it at that 1.2A (measured) x 34V (guessed) = around 40W. Your LED's should take 54W but you need to be more accurate the closer you get to that limit. I would guess that 40W will be fine, allowing a bit of error on the set-up, and possibly too much for your plants, but I will leave that to you. Glad that it all sounds to be working. I don't think that you will disapointed with the results. Nice, family and living space freindly, set-up that plants seem to like too.
  20. It got some from here and was well pleased with what arrived ... The seller is right though, it may contain 'bugs'. Don't remember that being a problem with mine. As Jonathan F suggests, drop it into a bucket of water and make them swim for it. Mine grows fine in one of those plastic garden sievs so long as it is kept moist.
  21. Think I've spotted the problem. It looks as though you have them wired in parallel. This would be consistent with your 'symptoms'. Each LED should have around 11V (total in series something like 34V) across it but your driver module can't give less than you put in, 19V. The psu is delivering pretty much all it can currentwise. The top diagram is how yours looks to be wired and the bottom one is how I think that you intended. It isn't too much of a change so shouldn't require dissasembly. Hope that helps
  22. It sounds like only luck has saved you from having to get some new LED's. They need a constant current. The module I pointed to earlier does two things. 1) It's a step up (Voltage) unit so it allows me to use whatever PSU (within reason) I have around. My LED's settle out at around 34V (~ 3LED's x 12V each). I can't remember if I used a 12V or 19V PSU. 2) It allows me to set the current flowing through the LED's at a constant rate. Say 1.2A (1.2A x 34V = 40W total) You would have to photograph or diagram up your set-up for more comment but it sounds as though your LED's are running on luck atm.
  23. If you are having to purchase all of the equipment from scratch then it might turn out a little expensive. I had it all to hand. For mounting the LED's I used pop rivets. Laying the LED's out and marking up the holes then drilling 3mm holes and using pop rivets. Don't forget to wire them up before final mounting and you will need some silicone sealant to encase the electrical points (where you have soldered the LED's and the inlet connector) Don't forget that, although you are only using a 12V PSU, all exposed metal work eg the tank hood should be still earthed. I have to admit that mine is still 'loose' though tucked away. I was just looking at enclosing it when I came across your comment. You may be able to mount it by just replacing the four corner screws on the PCB side with (35mm+ on mine) spacers and then screwing them to the base of your enclosure. The heatsink would be facing up, components down, with four 'legs' slightly longer than the tallest component on the PCB - I hope that makes sense because I have no spacers to try it and photograph it for you. But I can do a (very) rough and ready drawing ...
  24. I'm no expert but I would imagine, given that most Neps grow on the equator, twelve hours light is a constant in their native environment. I would look first to temperature (ranges) and then humidity. However I would also suggest that many plants grow much better outside of the conditions they might experience naturally. I've never seen a wild plant growing in a plastic pot.