Dewd's Big Cube Reef-Pi build

Bigtrout

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I made some progress around South Africa's Rugby World Cup Victory and the associated celebrations.

Done some layout of components in the Electronics Box (EB)

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Had a few discussions with @Michael Lane about the different Power Options on the Hat Board. My question was how to run more than 8 Relays. The solution we came up with was to run 8 x 5V Relays off the "Power 1" pins that are essentially just GPIO breakouts, and to use the "Power 2" pins through ULN2803 but to supply the ULN with 5V instead of the suggested 12V. This would allow me to run the 5V relays I have until I manage to source 12V relays or decide on another route.

I built a housing for some of the equipment wall warts

Biggest thing was doing a fresh install on the Pi. I installed Raspbian Buster with Desktop , but without all the bloat software. Installed Reef-Pi 3.0 and got it all running in Console mode on my touchscreen. Maybe doesn't sound like much, but I'm very pleased with progress.
Looks like some nice work and progress so far!
If you have the 5 volt relay boards already just use them until they wear out. I have a @Michael Lane hat and am using it exactly as you are and havent had a problem with the 5v relay boards except for one relay that had a cold soldered joint and I even scored a nice set of 16 phoenix contact mini relays on ebay. Im too lazy to redo my build because my build just works!
 
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Bigtrout

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Another helpful hint that can be done with a relay board but NOT with the American DJ power strip or the HS300.
With a relay board you can configure your outlets on the normally closed contacts and save wear on the relay contacts and coils for things that you dont turn off very often.

For example. My filters in my freshwater planted are the lifeblood of the tank so I want them on even if reef pi takes a crap. So I wired those outlets to the Normally Closed contacts of the relays and then when setting them up in the connectors section I checked reverse.
This lets reef pi UI still be correct so when that equipment says on it is on but it gains me 2 things. If reef pi goes belly up my filter outlets are still on AND im not constantly powering those relay coils. Powering those coils turns the equipment OFF. The only time i really need the filters off is during a water change so im saving power and relay coil life that way.
 
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Des Westcott

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Another helpful hint that can be done with a relay board but NOT with the American DJ power strip or the HS300.
With a relay board you can configure your outlets on the normally closed contacts and save wear on the relay contacts and coils for things that you dont turn off very often.

For example. My filters in my freshwater planted are the lifeblood of the tank so I want them on even if reef pi takes a crap. So I wired those outlets to the Normally Closed contacts of the relays and then when setting them up in the connectors section I checked reverse.
This lets reef pi UI still be correct so when that equipment says on it is on but it gains me 2 things. If reef pi goes belly up my filter outlets are still on AND im not constantly powering those relay coils. Powering those coils turns the equipment OFF. The only time i really need the filters off is during a water change so im saving power and relay coil life that way.
Makes Perfect sense. I do the same.
 
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Michael Lane

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That looks so slick! It almost makes me want to rewire everything on my tanks.
 

Bigtrout

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Made some progress

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And getting metrics through
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Pretty happy so far. But i reckon in not even halfway there
Good looking work! This is what I imagine when I do my "Cadillac" build. The fact remains that my reef-pi is working well and I keep hearing the wise words in my head "if it ain't broke dont fix it"
 
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Ranjib

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Any recommendations as to which are at least moderately reliable?
Mechanical floatswitches are more reliable in my experience. Photoelectric sensor on the other hand can be mounted in different angles which make them bit versatile, but they are more expensive, complex and can have false positives/negatives compared to mechanical float switches.
 
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Des Westcott

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I've been researching float switches a bit and there seems to be a bit of evidence that the Madison Brand floats switches are slightly better quality and seem to be the brand of choice on Autotopoff.com http://autotopoff.com/Standard/ss01.jpg

I found a video where the BRS guys stated that they were better quality as well.

Anyone with personal experience with them?
 
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Des Westcott

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I'm looking for the post that shows the circuit for using the float switch with the pull down resistor, but can't find it.
 
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Des Westcott

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OK.

Completed my shopping list for ATO, water change and upper level safety.

Here's the overview:-

  1. ATO / normal running level.
    • Float Switch
    • 12V pump
  2. AWC low
    • Float Switch
    • 12V pump
  3. High Level
    • Float Switch
    • 5V actuated single Relay
General:
  • A - The ATO will run the tank at normal running level using an ATO system on the Reef-Pi. 12V pump will top up through the Kalk Stirrer.
  • B - For Auto water changes, there will be a float switch set at the level just above the return pump. ie just above the level where the return pump will suck air. There will be a 12V pump in the sump going to waste. There will be another 12V pump in the fresh sea water container discharging into the sump. There will be a makro to do a water change. and it will run a little something like this
    • turn off ATO
    • The low level float will be set up to an ATO on Reef-Pi, but in reverse. This will be activated for a specific time period based on testing (how long it takes to get to the lower float level plus a small margin). Pumping to waste until it gets to the lower float level. Once that level is reached, that ATO system is disabled.
    • Then another ATO is enabled. This one uses the normal water level float switch and the pump in the fresh sea water drum. This ATO runs for a pre-determined time till in stops at the normal running level. After this time this ATO is disabled.
    • Finally the Normal Level ATO is turned back on and goes back to topping up through the Kalk Stirrer.
  • C - All 3 of the above ATO's run on 12V. With it's own 12V power supply
  • D - There is a 3rd Float switch with it's level set to +- 25mm above the normal running level of the tank. This will run off a solenoid completely independant of the Reef-Pi and when it detects the water level at the level (25mm above normal) it will shut down the 12V supply, so chances of overflowing the sump should be minimal.
I think that's all for now. Let's see how it goes. I'll report back soon.
 
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