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ReefBuddy DIY Aquarium Controller $89


hcsceo

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nerbaneth

!

Thanks so much

!!!!

You are awesome

:bowdown:

I can't wait to go to arduino!

good luck with your controller! :D

 

Thanks again,

Nerb

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we won't be including led control in the basic unit. We are thinking of doing it as a separate unit that is controlled by the controller. LED has limited use commercially as patent issues are consuming the advancement of technology in this area.

 

almost forgot about pwm and powerhead control. I don't think it will be viable as the pwm is DC currents and most pumps are AC. The trick is switching the relay on at the low side of the ac pulse so that the pump soft starts. We are working with a few octocouplers that do this.

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Hope this helps

 

Helps a little I think... What you suggest sounds better than building an extra board to give us rectified current.

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Helps a little I think... What you suggest sounds better than building an extra board to give us rectified current.

 

I'll be glad to work with you on this. I've got a ph probe coming. I've got the circuits done for it so it should just be a matter of plugging it in. As soon as that is done I'm going to focus on Conductivity. Looks like it might pose the most challenge of the probes and could be why many of the controllers don't offer it on the low budget models. What probe are you guys using? I'm looking at a few. I'm really interested in the inductive probes as they are coated.

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We are planning to use a DIY titanium probe but we haven't built it yet b/c we haven't worked out how to do it.

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We are planning to use a DIY titanium probe but we haven't built it yet b/c we haven't worked out how to do it.

 

I think it is pretty simple. Two rods spaced exactly 1cm apart wire and potted then leads sent to gnd and arduino pwm. Might need a resister 1k or so on the IO side. PWM at 60 HZ and read the ohms and convert with formula and shift it for temp. I have the formulas somewhere but I think this is it basically. Now with all that said you need to be careful cause it is possible that you could separate the hydrogen from the water molecule and create brown's gas and have a fire hazard if you got a spark. I don't think this will happen cause we are only talking like 20ma.

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In SW, a more serious concern would be the chlorine gas that is formed from the hydrolysis. More deadly in small amounts than a bit of hydrogen.

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In SW, a more serious concern would be the chlorine gas that is formed from the hydrolysis. More deadly in small amounts than a bit of hydrogen.

 

see this is why we need each other. I would have burned down the damn house. This is one of the reasons I'm really wanting an off the shelve probe. It'll be easier for our DIY people that will put this together and look professional when installed and mounting options are already taken care of.

 

 

If you polled the probe only once a minute for 5 seconds you should be fine.

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I would definitely be interested in being a tester! let me know if you don't already have enough

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nerbaneth

Hey, once again thanks so much!

 

What thermister did you prefer? I found 2000+ different kinds ranging from 30 cents to 80 dollars! I don't think I want to build the probe myself because of waterproofing issues (even though its only approx 5v and .5mA with a 10k thermister I would prefer not to put that in the tank) Maybe heat shrinking tubing would make it water proof?

 

Is there some database you guys refer to when trying to build the titanium probe? I would have no idea where to find a drop of information about any of that. Even the library at my school with an extensive EE section wouldn't have something this specific(I don't think).

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The Propagator

This is excellent for those electronics savey individuals who are good wiht an iron.....BUT

Dude you know you are going to get bombed with people who couldn't solder a single connection with absolutely nothing around it if their life depended on it. Those are the people that will be the majority of your 1st run I bet. They'll see the price and what it does then hop on it. Two days later destroy it with an iron and blame you. :(

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I barely understood any of the posts in this thread, lol. Looks like a good project for us cheap @ss reefers. I'd love to be a guinea pig if at all possible, but would still probably buy one of these regardless.

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/\

The defense rests.

 

 

:P

Ouch, that hurt. I can solder a circuit, but didn't understand some of what they were saying because I'm not an electrical engineer. I'm a drafter/cnc machinist student, talk machining or drafting programs and I'll understand. :)

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It seems like PWM might be the solution to the TDS problem. :)

 

The main reason we were thinking about a DIY probe was to keep the cost down. We are already going to have to buy a pH probe. The probes themselves will inflate the cost of the controller pretty quickly.

 

I've never had a chance to work with on of the higher-end controllers so I don't know what they recommend vis a vis their conductivity probes... It seems as though the longer it is in the tank, the more biofilm will grow on it and that should change the conductance. If so, the probe would have to be pulled out every couple days or so and cleaned.

 

I'd like to test one of these, BTW. You're a lot further along than we are. :blush:

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The Propagator
Ouch, that hurt. I can solder a circuit, but didn't understand some of what they were saying because I'm not an electrical engineer. I'm a drafter/cnc machinist student, talk machining or drafting programs and I'll understand. :)

 

I'm a be building one of these mama jamas soon !

 

CNC router

 

:D

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This is a very exciting project. I will start saving my money now. I can't wait until the end of summer.

 

Allen

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Just saw this thread and wanted to say how exciting it is to see a new product get "developed" here on N-R! I I am a firm believer of contributing to the success of fellow nano-reefers. SapphireAquatics and Stevie T and evilc66 are some that come to mind. All have developed great products and offered them to us. This is one of the things that makes Nano-Reef such a great asset!

 

Good Luck with your project and I'll be looking forward to the updates! ;)

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This is excellent for those electronics savey individuals who are good wiht an iron.....BUT

Dude you know you are going to get bombed with people who couldn't solder a single connection with absolutely nothing around it if their life depended on it. Those are the people that will be the majority of your 1st run I bet. They'll see the price and what it does then hop on it. Two days later destroy it with an iron and blame you. :(

 

Thanks prop. We have already decided on how to handle this. The great thing about open source is that we are betting on a community of people that will be willing to help advance the project. One of the ideas we have going is to find some people that might be willing to assemble and test the products for individuals with less than savvy iron abilities. Of course this would come at a cost that would be established by the person building and the person hiring. Secondly, soldering work is very easy. Most of our assembly people are trained in 10 minutes and have never handled an iron before. We are thinking of including a test product. Perhaps a simple led 9v battery connection and test pcb to practice on and include a section on soldering in the training video. Finally, there will be the obligatory "try this at your own risk, if you screw it up we'll help but don't cry if you have to buy another".

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It seems like PWM might be the solution to the TDS problem. :)

 

The main reason we were thinking about a DIY probe was to keep the cost down. We are already going to have to buy a pH probe. The probes themselves will inflate the cost of the controller pretty quickly.

 

I've never had a chance to work with on of the higher-end controllers so I don't know what they recommend vis a vis their conductivity probes... It seems as though the longer it is in the tank, the more biofilm will grow on it and that should change the conductance. If so, the probe would have to be pulled out every couple days or so and cleaned.

 

I'd like to test one of these, BTW. You're a lot further along than we are. :blush:

 

That's great on PWM and the probe. At $89 we never expected to include a probe with the product of course one will be available for purchase on the site. You might look closely at an inductive sensor. There are none out that I know of for tanks but they are designed to work in corrosive and unclean situations fulltime. As long as the center hole does not get clogged it will keep working without loss of accuracy. The only thing I wonder about is the energy field it creates and whether it effects other probes around it. Anyway, I might get some titanium rods from ebay and try and build one. Like you said it would need to be pinned out like the other offerings available so that it interfaces with the controller correctly.

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The Propagator
Thanks prop. We have already decided on how to handle this. The great thing about open source is that we are betting on a community of people that will be willing to help advance the project. One of the ideas we have going is to find some people that might be willing to assemble and test the products for individuals with less than savvy iron abilities. Of course this would come at a cost that would be established by the person building and the person hiring. Secondly, soldering work is very easy. Most of our assembly people are trained in 10 minutes and have never handled an iron before. We are thinking of including a test product. Perhaps a simple led 9v battery connection and test pcb to practice on and include a section on soldering in the training video. Finally, there will be the obligatory "try this at your own risk, if you screw it up we'll help but don't cry if you have to buy another".

 

 

That seems more realistic in a real world scenario then a separate jobber for hire. ;)

( well.. depending on the assembly fees I guess versus the cost of buying one assembled ? )

The test kit still wont do it for those who are truly turd burglars at soldering, and it would be fairly costly in bulk terms for you to purchase and include a test kit in each package.

I would just make the standard do it yourself warning loud and clear in bright ass orange writing and offer tech support if needed, but of course.. if you fudge the soldering up its on you because this is a DIY project.

All in all though It should turn out very well. I am POSITIVE you will have those with no skills trying it, but the average person I would think will have enough common sense to realize what this involves before they try it and recognize their own limitations. ( lets hope any ways LOL! )

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Don't specifically know what specific projects others are working on... I'm starting to mess around with building an LED driver shield; basically to eliminate the LED buckpuck etc drivers.

 

Still in the preliminary stages - idea is basically to incorporate 4 LED drivers onto a shield format; probably needing to incorporate I2C, constant current output would be software configurable from 100mA to 1500mA, pwm dimming, realtime voltage and mA outputs to the arduino for monitoring (ie if a led burns - the arduino can adjust or kill power to save the string as needed).

 

Found a basic PIC based led driver circuit @ http://ww1.microchip.com/downloads/en/AppNotes/01138A.pdf - but it's going to take some considerable upgrading to make it handle the loads that would be useful for driving luxeons/cree's, along with adding in the digital pot's needed to handle the software configurable current output... Talking to some geek friends last night who know the EE side better - it's definitely possible - just working out the hardware side - then the real fun of figuring out software side begins...

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