Apex DOS DIY level switch?

Discussion in 'Aquarium Controllers' started by CuseReefer, Apr 27, 2016.

  1. CuseReefer

    CuseReefer Active Member

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    Has anyone made a DIY harness that attaches to the 6 pin connector on the DOS unit? The optical sensors used by the DDR are a simple 3 wire switch (GND, +12V, Switch Status). I assume if you know the pinout of the 6 pin connector it would be easy to add level monitoring to any container.
     
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  2. Lobstergrabber

    Lobstergrabber Member

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    I would be very interested to know this as well. In my application I have no use for the ddr however I would like to add optical sensors to my containers.

    Richard
     
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  3. Kershaw

    Kershaw Valuable Member Build Thread Contributor

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    There is a diy video on here to do exactly that. I just seen it today. Here it is.
     
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  4. Lobstergrabber

    Lobstergrabber Member

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    Thanks Kershaw but not what we are looking for. I made my own break out box as well but what we are wanting to do is use the port on the actual DOS unit to control DIY optical level sensors.
     
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  5. CuseReefer

    CuseReefer Active Member

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    ImageUploadedByREEF2REEF1461817423.503595.jpg yeah this is the port I'm talking about.

    Anyone have a ddr? Do the switches show up after you plug in the ddr or they present after hooking up the dos? My dos comes Friday so I haven't looked yet.
     
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  6. Lobstergrabber

    Lobstergrabber Member

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    CuseReefer, I don't have one yet but I am almost positive the ddr does not attach to anything but the dos and cannot be used stand alone. So you would have to have the dose plugged in with the ddr plugged into the dose for the switches to show up.

    My interest is still if we can buy three wire optical switches, which are available, and then plug them into the dos to use in our own set up. So basically creating my own DDR with 55 gallon reservoirs.

    Richard
     
  7. CuseReefer

    CuseReefer Active Member

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    Yeah I understand the DDR can't be used alone. I didn't know if the DOS had a special way of knowing if the DDR was connected or not. Or if the switches just appeared when the DOS was added. When my unit comes tomorrow I will be poking around for sure.
     
  8. Lobstergrabber

    Lobstergrabber Member

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    You just got the dos itself right? No DDR? Either way I am looking forward to seeing what you figure out once your unit comes in. I have to believe it's just a matter of figuring out the pin layout for a diy option though. The three wires on the optical switches should be easy enough to figure out I would think. I wonder how hard it would be to find a matching plug.

    Richard
     
  9. CuseReefer

    CuseReefer Active Member

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    Yeah I am going to open it up and probe around. See what pins are ground, which are power (assume +12v), and such. The connector will be simple, its a standard mini-fit jr from molex. We use them all the time at work.
     
  10. CuseReefer

    CuseReefer Active Member

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  11. KingBlingTX

    KingBlingTX Active Member

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    I hope you are able to figure it out because I just got the DOS unit as well and don't want to use the smaller DDR containers.
     
  12. CuseReefer

    CuseReefer Active Member

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    Got my DOS today and did some poking around. Here is what I have found out so far:
    - One pin is a 5V source
    - One pin is GND
    - Two pins have a 4.7K ohm resistor to GND
    - Two pins have a 560 ohm resistor to 5V

    I think I know how they have this configured. The two pins with 4.7K resistors are most likely the switch inputs. And the 560 ohm pins are most likely the driver source for the LED that the optical sensors use. The following is the typical connections that an optical sensor uses, and typical resistors. They match very close to what I am seeing built into the DOS.
    [​IMG]
    Now one thing you will notice is that the DDR doesn't show up, nor do any switches show up in Fusion (but they do show in Apex Dashboard). Off one of the pins where the 560 Ohm resister resides is a line that goes back to the MCU controller inside the DOS. I think they use this point as a "DDR detect" to signal the software that a DDR is connected. With nothing connected the MCU is reading in 5V but after an LED (from the optical sensor) is connected to ground, it will cause a voltage drop on that sense pin. This is how I think they are detecting the presence of a DDR. Going to have to put this project down for a week or so, but I will try some things when I get back, but things look promising. I'll post full details when I figure it out, but please do not start poking and connecting things up to your DOS just yet. I'd hate to see anyone ruin their DOS.
     
  13. Lobstergrabber

    Lobstergrabber Member

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    Awesome work so far. Really look forward to your total findings.

    Does the DDR actually measure the amount left in container or is it just a fill now type of thing?

    Richard
     
  14. CuseReefer

    CuseReefer Active Member

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    The DDR only senses when you are low. BUT when the DOS senses a DDR it enables fluid usage monitoring. So if this works and enables the DDR software it will give you that functionality I assume.
     
  15. Danny1496

    Danny1496 Active Member

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    very interested following along
     
  16. CuseReefer

    CuseReefer Active Member

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    FIGURED IT OUT! And it works! Hooked up a optical sensor I had and it 1) enabled fluid monitoring and 2) detected the switch change (dry/wet). I'm going to do more testing but this looks VERY promising. So for $25-30 you can add 2 optical switches to your DOS and make it basically the DDR.

    ImageUploadedByREEF2REEF1461978577.651112.jpg
     
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  17. CuseReefer

    CuseReefer Active Member

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    Also I think I have a way for you to enable fluid monitoring without the optical sensors too. So if you want to just enable the software feature but not have the low fluid sense switches its possible to do with just a resistor jumper between two pins to trick the DOS into thinking you have a DDR connected. Or a single optical sensor will do it too.
     
  18. CuseReefer

    CuseReefer Active Member

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    Ok here it is. This is what I got working tonight using 1 optical sensor but should work with 2 with no problems. Do this at your own risk.

    DIY DOS DDR Optical Cable How To:

    [​IMG]

    Apex DOS detailed internal 6 pin DDR Pinout:
    Pin 1 - +5V Supply
    Pin 2 - 560 Ohm pullup to +5V (Switch 2 LED driver source)
    Pin 3 - 4.7K Ohm pulldown to GND (Switch 2 input)
    Pin 4 - 560 Ohm pullup to +5V (DDR Detect Pin*) (Switch 1 LED driver source)
    Pin 5 - 4.7K Ohm pulldown to GND (Switch 1 input)
    Pin 6 - GND
    (If you have a multimeter, measure from pin 1 to 6 to verify 5V and verify pinout before proceeding)

    Special note about pin 4: The DOS/Apex uses this pin to detect connection and enable the DDR software features in Apex Fusion. When connected to the LED port of an optical sensor this pin is pulled down to about 1.14V from 5V when nothing is connected. If you only want to connect 1 optical sensor up, it MUST be connected to this pin.

    Cable Supplies:

    - 2 Optical Sensors from eBay(http://www.ebay.com/itm/40093478080...&ssPageName=STRK:MEBIDX:IT&afsrc=1&rmvSB=true) This is the one I have used and tested to work. Other options may exist but I will refer to this part in this tutorial. If you use something else DO NOT use my pinout/color references.

    Two options for the connector:
    Option 1 - Crimp method (for the skilled only)
    [​IMG]

    - 6-pin Molex Nano-fit receptical (http://www.digikey.com/scripts/DkSearch/dksus.dll?Detail&itemSeq=195971922&uq=635975683447627144)
    - 6 crimp pins for Molex connector (http://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/molex-llc/0462350001/WM7082CT-ND/3045001)

    Option 2 - Premade assembly (easier)
    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    [​IMG]

    - 6 pin Molex PCI Express Power Cable (http://www.ebay.com/itm/4-Pin-Molex...508346?hash=item2edecd8c3a:g:n9kAAOSwNSxVAdh6)

    Schematic:
    Note: this uses the color/pinout for the optical sensor listed above. If you use a different sensor adjust accordingly.
    [​IMG]

    Disclaimer, try this on your own accord. I am not associated with Apex nor is this endorsed or supported by them. Do this mod at your own risk!
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2016
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  19. ngvu1

    ngvu1 Valuable Member

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    Very interesting @CuseReefer.
    I guess your next project will be ATO using the optical sensors? yeah? :); The most reliable tunze 3155 ATO strength is in the optical sensor. Now it can be done in $40 budget right? Well almost Hahahahahaha
     
  20. Breadman03

    Breadman03 Valuable Member Catskill Reef Member

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    Now you've got me thinking!
     
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