Cocobball Reef-Pi build

COCOBBALL

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Ok so ive decided to document my reef pi build
I am a total amatuer when it comes to a project like this so should be a challenge.

I followed these excellent guides provided by Ranjib Dey as closely as possible.

reef-pi Guide 1: Setup and Demonstration

Initial setup and gathering parts done.
I sourced majority from a local distributor
Mouser Electronics and the rest from Amazon.

Initial setup was a breeze, follow Ranjib guide and this portion should have little to no difficulty.

reef-pi Guide 2: Power Controller

Ok this is where things become challenging for me. I assembled and wasnt working.


Posted on main thread and LionHeart2017 was quick to find my issue.

I made a mistake and put the ULN2803A in the wrong direction.

Starting part three and four today more to follow.
20181120_192130.jpeg
 
https://www.omegasea.net/

pdisner

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Hey how’s it going?. Wanted to say hi because I too am new and trying to get past the Test stage. I haven’t even started my build thread. I encountered some problems early on and had to reinstall. I got they it but it slowed me down on my build process.
I will keep a close eye on you because you’re a little ahead than I am. I like how you explained your mistakes. I have a huge learning curve ahead and not sure on a lot of things.
As far as buying parts, is Amazon the way to go? I have to buy my stuff today. Were you able to buy a controllable outlet? I’m wondering where the cheaper parts are. That Adafruit board is very cool. It looks like it makes a nice connection. Well let me know about all the above.
Paul
 
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COCOBBALL

COCOBBALL

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Hey how’s it going?. Wanted to say hi because I too am new and trying to get past the Test stage. I haven’t even started my build thread. I encountered some problems early on and had to reinstall. I got they it but it slowed me down on my build process.
I will keep a close eye on you because you’re a little ahead than I am. I like how you explained your mistakes. I have a huge learning curve ahead and not sure on a lot of things.
As far as buying parts, is Amazon the way to go? I have to buy my stuff today. Were you able to buy a controllable outlet? I’m wondering where the cheaper parts are. That Adafruit board is very cool. It looks like it makes a nice connection. Well let me know about all the above.
Paul
Hi Paul,

Happy to help any way i can! Ill let you know my difficulties following the given guides. This was my first experience using a soldering gun so total newb as well.

I tried to get all the parts for first three modules at once.

I sourced 90% from mouser electronics because they were local and same price of adafruit - the shipping

When buying the ULN i was only able to find a 10 prong. But it works the same here is part number from mouser
511-ULN2803A



The only parts i sourced from other places because not available from mouser

Amazon.
Powerstrip dj- https://www.amazon.com/American-DJ-SR-P8-Relay/dp/B007EYHBVQ/ref=redir_mobile_desktop?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&ref=yo_pop_d_pd_title
Buck converter
https://www.amazon.com/QLOUNI-Converter-3-0-40V-1-5-35V-Regulator/dp/B0788HNX1P/ref=redir_mobile_desktop?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&ref=yo_pop_d_yo_pop_d_pd_t2
Db9 adaptor https://www.amazon.com/Sysly-Adapter-Position-Terminal-Breakout/dp/B073H9BKZ5/ref=redir_mobile_desktop?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&ref=yo_pop_d_pd_title
DB9 female-female cable

Ebay(you may be able to locate these local at a frys or other Electronics store)

Barrel connector
Panel mount https://www.adafruit.com/product/3692
 
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COCOBBALL

COCOBBALL

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On my build.
@Ranjib
@LionHeart2017

I got the ATO up and running with no problems.

I am struggling with the temp sensor and heater control. Its not finding the prob at all.

My first thought if i wired the prongs wrong but before i redue, i tested with my voltage meter.

Im getting the same readings on the power rail as the data. 3.34v(the the circle is where i tested).

Is this correct? Shouldn't the resister change the voltage?

Screenshot_20181121-092125_Gallery.jpeg
 

Diamond1

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I've been having the same issues with my temp probe. From what I can tell the probes are somewhat unreliable. I hooked mine up to the 5volt rail instead of the 3.3v rail and got it to recognize the probe and it tested out just fine. Then after installing it on my system the probe started giving me very bad readings. I'm going to try a different type of probe and see if it clears up the problem.
https://www.sparkfun.com/products/11050
 
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COCOBBALL

COCOBBALL

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I've been having the same issues with my temp probe. From what I can tell the probes are somewhat unreliable. I hooked mine up to the 5volt rail instead of the 3.3v rail and got it to recognize the probe and it tested out just fine. Then after installing it on my system the probe started giving me very bad readings. I'm going to try a different type of probe and see if it clears up the problem.
https://www.sparkfun.com/products/11050
Good to know, anyway to test if the prob is good other than hooking it up to the reefpi?

Its new from mouser so hopefully its something i connected wrong. If not ill go get a bunch tomorrow and try again.
20181121_112942.jpeg
 

Ranjib

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On my build.
@Ranjib
@LionHeart2017

I got the ATO up and running with no problems.

I am struggling with the temp sensor and heater control. Its not finding the prob at all.

My first thought if i wired the prongs wrong but before i redue, i tested with my voltage meter.

Im getting the same readings on the power rail as the data. 3.34v(the the circle is where i tested).

Is this correct? Shouldn't the resister change the voltage?

Screenshot_20181121-092125_Gallery.jpeg
Can you share a photo of the opposite side of the perma proto hat ? I want to see the soldering, i worry that the data and 3.3v pins are shorted,. If you have a multimeter use it to test for continuity and double check the resistor value
One a side note, these silver colored female 3.3 panel mount jacks gave me lot of headaches, they bend and deform if you are not careful. I dont know if I had a bad source (from amazon). Now I always go with the gold plated (at least golden colored :) ), ones and they are way better
 
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COCOBBALL

COCOBBALL

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Can you share a photo of the opposite side of the perma proto hat ? I want to see the soldering, i worry that the data and 3.3v pins are shorted,. If you have a multimeter use it to test for continuity and double check the resistor value
One a side note, these silver colored female 3.3 panel mount jacks gave me lot of headaches, they bend and deform if you are not careful. I dont know if I had a bad source (from amazon). Now I always go with the gold plated (at least golden colored :) ), ones and they are way better
I dont see anywhere that those rails are touching. I tried to include good picture but its my first time using solder iron so very well could of shorted something.

I do have a multimeter but not sure how to test with it. Im getting the same 3.3 everywhere i circle.

Im using the resistor that came with the probe from adadruit.
20181121_125734.jpeg
20181121_125711.jpeg
20181121_125554.jpeg
20181121_125340.jpeg
 

Diamond1

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I'm considering upping the jacks from 1/8" to 1/4" or even going to full size xlr jacks. I think having a more robust connection would be worth the extra cost.
 

crusso1993

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@COCOBBALL and @Diamond1

If I am understanding what is going on; there is a way to test the sensor but you need a power supply. Typically, for this type of test, 2 AA batteries in a battery housing with red wire connected to positive and black wire connected to the negative terminals will work very well. You can also use a 4 AA battery housing if you do not have a 2 AA battery housing. (A 2-4 AA serves as a 2.7-5.5V power supply) (Red is power, black is ground) Then connect the red power wire to the red power wire of probe and black ground wire to black wire of probe. Then connect your multimeter red alligator clip to the white wire on the the probe and multimeter black alligator clip to the other black wires. Then hold the temp probe to an ice cube. As the temp drops so should the voltage. Then hold the cold probe in your hand. As the temp rises so should the voltage. If voltage doesn't drop and rise the probe is bad. I hope this makes some sense!

Here is a sample of a 2 AA battery power supply.

https://www.amazon.com/DSYJ-Battery-Holder-2AA-Switch/dp/B003YD8NPO/ref=asc_df_B003YD8NPO/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=167156423255&hvpos=1o3&hvnetw=g&hvrand=2555691423471024377&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9021493&hvtargid=pla-310985302442&psc=1

Oh, and @Diamond1 ... there you go again talking improper probing!
 

Diamond1

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@COCOBBALL and @Diamond1

If I am understanding what is going on; there is a way to test the sensor but you need a power supply. Typically, for this type of test, 2 AA batteries in a battery housing with red wire connected to positive and black wire connected to the negative terminals will work very well. You can also use a 4 AA battery housing if you do not have a 2 AA battery housing. (A 2-4 AA serves as a 2.7-5.5V power supply) (Red is power, black is ground) Then connect the red power wire to the red power wire of probe and black ground wire to black wire of probe. Then connect your multimeter red alligator clip to the white wire on the the probe and multimeter black alligator clip to the other black wires. Then hold the temp probe to an ice cube. As the temp drops so should the voltage. Then hold the cold probe in your hand. As the temp rises so should the voltage. If voltage doesn't drop and rise the probe is bad. I hope this makes some sense!

Here is a sample of a 2 AA battery power supply.

https://www.amazon.com/DSYJ-Battery-Holder-2AA-Switch/dp/B003YD8NPO/ref=asc_df_B003YD8NPO/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=167156423255&hvpos=1o3&hvnetw=g&hvrand=2555691423471024377&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9021493&hvtargid=pla-310985302442&psc=1

Oh, and @Diamond1 ... there you go again talking improper probing!
Are you insinuating that there is proper probing?
 

crusso1993

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Hi @crusso1993 and thanks. Im going to look for a clip so i can test this.

I also wanted to show better pics of my connections incase they are wrong.

Im also going to get better connectors like @Ranjib suggested
20181121_133349.jpeg
20181121_133344.jpeg
20181121_133316.jpeg
@COCOBBALL - I realize that all of this is new including the soldering. Hey, I'm very new to the reef-pi and Raspberry Pi too. As a matter of fact, I recently ran into to problems that are going to postpone setting up my tank and, therefore, will not be putting together a reef-pi until a future date. However, do yourself a favor and get in the habit of making good solder connections out of the gate. Try not to have any stray wires as they can really create a lot of problems down the road.

Untitled.jpg

Also, the connectors below might serve you well instead of the 3.5mm.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/10X-Black-IP65-Waterproof-3Pin-18AWG-Wire-LED-Cable-Connectors-L/401463537984
 
https://www.omegasea.net/
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COCOBBALL

COCOBBALL

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Get practice on soldering, are you using any flux to help, decent soldering iron or is it a struggle to use?
I have a $16 soldering iron and no flux unfortunately. I know what im getting for Christmas now :)

I can do a better job than that though, going to fix it and retry thanks
 
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COCOBBALL

COCOBBALL

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@COCOBBALL - I realize that all of this is new including the soldering. Hey, I'm very new to the reef-pi and Raspberry Pi too. As a matter of fact, I recently ran into to problems that are going to postpone setting up my tank and, therefore, will not be putting together a reef-pi until a future date. However, do yourself a favor and get in the habit of making good solder connections out of the gate. Try not to have any stray wires as they can really create a lot of problems down the road.

Untitled.jpg

Also, the connectors below might serve you well instead of the 3.5mm.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/10X-Black-IP65-Waterproof-3Pin-18AWG-Wire-LED-Cable-Connectors-L/401463537984
I ordered these cables thanks!
 
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