hcsceo

ReefBuddy DIY Aquarium Controller $89

474 posts in this topic

Don't get me started on Gran Tourismo 5.... it was a spit in the fans faces with GT5 Prologue.... >:(

Edited by Bamato

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car games are for cool people. my inner geek craves wizardry.

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How accurate/whatever is the salinity probe? My holy grail for a tank is a system that monitors the salinity and can do slow continuous water changes.

 

My plan would be that every 10 minutes or so the salinity probe gets dipped into the tank to measure the salinity. It would than get placed back into a fresh ro/di water container since keeping a probe like that in salt water is apparently a bad plan for the longevity of the probe. If I could somehow accomplish that with this controller I.... I don't know what I would do. No more water changes for sure!

 

Even better would be a system that could add salty/fresh water to correct any issues ;)

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there's a controller coming out sometime that will be cool and we still don't know when Diablo 3 will be released.

 

yw.

 

Man I can't wait for that. I made so much money selling stuff on Ebay from DII.

 

I sold some random unique hammer for 250 bucks.....

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This is a fantastic project. I am concerned though how mutliple probes pH, salinity, orp etc can work simultaneously. I know other manufacfures that cannot support multiple probes in the same tank as each of the probes are NOT electrcially isolated from one another. Are we sure salinity and pH both work together. You may have to look at a DC/DC isolating converters for the probe cct. It get difficult as the adc channel with provide an earth loop as well between probe cct's.

 

BTW I do infact have ph, orp and conductivity running in my tank however these probes do have isolation see

www.rjconway.homeip.net

 

Rob

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Just letting everyone know that I am working (though a bit slower than I had hoped for) on the current PCB design. Lots of functionality is placed, mechanical constraints are in place, and a few optimizations have been made. There is only a small amount of routing which is complete, but there aren't too many complexities in the design so once part placement is finalized, it should be a few hours tops :)

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Just letting everyone know that I am working (though a bit slower than I had hoped for) on the current PCB design. Lots of functionality is placed, mechanical constraints are in place, and a few optimizations have been made. There is only a small amount of routing which is complete, but there aren't too many complexities in the design so once part placement is finalized, it should be a few hours tops :)

 

 

Can't wait :happy:

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Nice build, you are way more handy than I am.

 

Bruce

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Very nice,

I will look forward to buying the controller and assembling it.

I could whip an arduino one up,

however this will be superior to whatever I can make.

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IS the kit included net access too?

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Sorry guys it's still hunting time in texas with spring turkeys and now spring tball for the kids so I normally leave the house at 7am and return around 9pm so no time to devote to nano-reef, but theatrus is working away. I'll try to answer a few questions that are stacking up. BTW if you need to get in touch with me the best way is PM since I don't come here much right now, but since PM lets me know you have a question I'll come right in and answer.

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How accurate/whatever is the salinity probe? My holy grail for a tank is a system that monitors the salinity and can do slow continuous water changes.

 

My plan would be that every 10 minutes or so the salinity probe gets dipped into the tank to measure the salinity. It would than get placed back into a fresh ro/di water container since keeping a probe like that in salt water is apparently a bad plan for the longevity of the probe. If I could somehow accomplish that with this controller I.... I don't know what I would do. No more water changes for sure!

 

Even better would be a system that could add salty/fresh water to correct any issues ;)

 

I found the Salinity probe is very accurate. I've tested it against my calibrated refractometer and have not had any issues. You could set it up robotically to dip in the tank and move it to a fresh water container after but that adds a bunch of complexity. You could replace the salinity probe annually as a maintenance item and be fine I'm sure. It might be better to have the salinity probe only turn on twice a day or so to check. What makes the probe fail is compounds in the water building on the probes because of the way the ions move towards the two probes in the AC field around it. The final option would be to clean it weekly as part of your tank maintenance. You could easily do water changes using the system, but so much tank maintenance revolves around that time that I think I'd continue to do that manually. A better option is to monitor salinity to add makeup water. I"d put in a failsafe float just in case the probe was not reading right and wanted to add water indefinately, you should have this anyway with anytype of ATO system.

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This is a fantastic project. I am concerned though how mutliple probes pH, salinity, orp etc can work simultaneously. I know other manufacfures that cannot support multiple probes in the same tank as each of the probes are NOT electrcially isolated from one another. Are we sure salinity and pH both work together. You may have to look at a DC/DC isolating converters for the probe cct. It get difficult as the adc channel with provide an earth loop as well between probe cct's.

 

BTW I do infact have ph, orp and conductivity running in my tank however these probes do have isolation see

www.rjconway.homeip.net

 

Rob

 

You are right about the issue with electrical isolation. I can tell you in my case I struggled with this very same subject for a few weeks. What finally solved it? Well believe it or not I added a ground probe to the tank and all the issues went away. I also keep the salinity probe away from the PH and orp probe and that is a big help. But yes it is working fine on this system at this point. I think adding the ground probe is good for several reasons 1. Safety (this reason alone should make it mandatory) 2. Stray voltages are bled off (The benefits or not of stray voltages in a tank are much debated. My personal belief is that bodies of water are grounded by the very nature of being in the ground and so should our tanks This is based only on personal belief and not based on any science at all so take it with a grain of salt :) ) 3. Adding the ground probe creates a common ground for the entire system. Once we release this verson I think I'll rely on the community to come up with ways to optically isolate these probes as it is beyond me at this time.

 

Very nice,

I will look forward to buying the controller and assembling it.

I could whip an arduino one up,

however this will be superior to whatever I can make.

In the end it will be arduino based but with the sanguino processor so there are a ton of applications. I'm looking forward to it to :)

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Is there a new projected release date?

 

No there isn't. My life is entirely too busy and since the work is volunteer based I'm not making any commitments at this time. I will promiss to keep everyone up to date on the progress and Theatrus will do the same. The work he does professionally revolves around open source projects so he is a VERY good fit for this project. On top of everything else in my life I try and fly heli's competitively and restore motorcycles. If the day was 5 hours longer I'd be set.

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IS the kit included net access too?

 

Not in the release form, however, it will be easy to add with off the shelf components currently available for arduino. This will be one of the features I definately want to add for the second release and will look to the community for help on this after the initial release. Basically all the parameters are passed via Serial communications to an ethernet card that has an embedded webserver and that information is displayed on the site that we build. It really is easy. I'm not sure how much memory is on the ethernet deal for storing historical data at this time.

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Hi... any luck routing the boards?

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The other item you want is regarding a relay to switch high power devices on and off. There are a lot of ways to do it but I think i would look into some ssr's in your case. Inside an ssr is simply a octocoupler and triac and a few resistors. For the reefbuddy controller we are building the ssr's completely. We need to be able to control what phase the relay turns on and off and take into consideration inductive devices that cause an ssr to perform poorly, not at all, or lock them in the high position permanantly.

 

You may have already solved your SSR design challenge, but if you haven't you might find this application note interesting (if you have not already seen it):

Zero Crossing Detector

 

It would require replacing the i2c port expander with one or more micros that have i2c capability but any simple AVR with i2c and 19 available I/O pins would probably do the job. Two pins for the i2c. One pin for the zero crossing detector and 16 more pins to control your outlets, or 8 if you're using 8 outlets. So 19 pins total or 11 pins total for 8 outlets.

 

Personally, I like the idea of putting one ATtiny25 on each outlet, but that's several dollars more expensive than using a single processor to control them all. The nice thing about one uC per outlet is that it simplifies the i2c command structure a little bit. With one processor for eight (or more) outlets you send it commands with its i2c address, but then you must also tell it which of the several devices the command is meant for. Then if you have other i2c devices on the bus which control only one thing, you either send them a redundant word, or use a different command structure.

 

With one uC per switchable device, you just send the i2c address and then the commands. And it's the same for every device, except that some commands obviously wouldn't apply to some devices.

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Very excited about this project. Any updates would be appreciated whenever you get a chance. :-) Also I noticed your domain (reefbuddy.com) is parked at godaddy. If you need hosting for this I manage a couple linux hosts for clients and would be willing to host you for free (full shell access, cPanel, etc).

 

- aba

Edited by abatardi

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I look forward to the release of this, I will buy one for sure.

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I look forward to the release of this, I will buy one for sure.

 

+1

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im sorry i havent read through all of the posts but any odeas when the unit is going to be aviable?

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im sorry i havent read through all of the posts but any odeas when the unit is going to be aviable?

 

no ETA right now.. originally it seems it was supposed to be done Fall/Winter last year but got delayed.

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