LLS on a Hydros

Neptune

JeffB418

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Figured I would share what I have done with a Neptune LLS sensor which I have running on a Hydros X4 controller. Hydros X4 (and wave engine/ wave engine LE) has a 0-10V Input port on the controller that makes it very powerful as a DIY interface. It allows you to interface up to 4 channels of 0-10V analog inputs. These can be all sorts of sensors from simple switches, to complex analog interfaces (humidity sensors, CO2 sensors, and more). The Hydros software also allows a lot of flexibility in reading and using data off the 0-10V inputs as well.

I recently got my hands on a 15" LLS and was able to interface it to my X4 so that I could monitor sump levels. Here you can see it monitoring the level, with spikes where I enabled feed mode and the pump turned off. Additionally you can see every hour where the sump level increases slightly because I have a secondary rock only tank that exchanges water with my main system by pumping a few gallons into the sump and then refills with the same amount. The small dropout of data was when I rebooted my controller.

1662559717511.png


Overall it works very well but there's a couple of small limitations:
- The LLS is basically a voltage divider that provides a voltage based on depth. I have found that the response between depth and output voltage isn't perfectly linear when reading with Hydros. And currently Hydros only allows you to use a linear conversion to map voltage to depth (in inches) by using only a scale and offset value. So the mapping from voltage to depth isn't perfect (mostly its within 0.5" of actual). But that being said, measurements are repeatable. 5" actual depth will always read the same depth by hydros, consistently. So if you treat the data not as absolute but more of a relative value it works very well.
- The responsiveness of the sensor. If you increase in depth, the reaction time of the sensor itself is pretty fast. But if you drop in depth, the response time of the sensor can be VERY slow. I measured over 1 min when going from 15" to 1" for the reading to settle to the correct reading. The sensor seems to take its time to response to changes, this isn't a hydros issue and def an issue for Apex too. So that being said you could use these for ATO since you need a quick response refilling a sump. But I would advise against using it for a AWC sensor since the response of dropping in sump level is slow. Altho if you drain pretty slow for ATO it might work, but know this limitation.
- The first inch of the sensor isnt used. The sensor reads the same output voltage across this first inch. So take that into account.

To make a simple adapter you will need to know how to solder. You will need 2 items:
3.5mm phono pigtail https://a.co/d/ivDx6cG
GX12-6 connector: https://a.co/d/4J3ERJd

For the above pigtail the wiring would be:
  • Ring 2 - GREEN Pigtail Wire to GX12-6 PIN 6 Ground
  • Sleeve - BLACK Pigtail Wire to GX12-6 PIN 3 5VDC
  • Ring 1 - WHITE Pigtail Wire to GX12-6 PIN 1/2/4/5 based on which input you want to use
  • Tip - RED Pigtail Wire is UNUSED and can be cut
  • If you want more than 1 LLS, you connect multiple pigtails as shown above and use multiple input pins.
As for the offset and scale values to use, you can either try using values I measured (for 15" sensor, use 9.247 as scale and -21.448 as offset) or measure a few points across depths and use excel or this site (https://www.socscistatistics.com/tests/regression/default.aspx) to calculate the required scale and offset for the sensor you have.

If you want the nitty gritty details on this project, they are documented over on the coralvue hydros forums under the DIY section. It also goes over how to make inputs based on the LLS and more.
 
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Lbrdsoxfan

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If it helps, I was hunting for who makes the LLS. Dead ringer, so I assume this is it. Specs are on the site @ the link I posted. I wanted to see if it could work for A1 apex users.

 
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JeffB418

JeffB418

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Yeah none will work in A1 it’s locked out in software.
Here is more info on these sensors and hydros
 
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