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My Reef-Pi build thread

dmolavi

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After doing a lot of reading (the main reef-pi thread is pretty big, and the reef-pi pico thread is growing), I've decided I'm going to take the plunge and build myself a reef-pi controller.

Mine will be a bit unique, however. I've been in the hobby for about 6 years, and already have controllers for various things, but no "central" controller to monitor/control it all...

Instead of the following "stock" components of reef-pi:
  • Power controller
  • Temperature controller
  • Auto Top Off
  • Light controller
  • pH Monitor
I'm going to implement the following:
  • Power controller/monitor - I have a Digital Loggers Web Pro switch, and will interface to it's internal controller via reef-pi. The reef-pi UI will be modified as appropriate.
  • Temperature monitor - I already have a Ranco ETC controller. I will interface to this to just get the reading. If this isn't possible, I will buy a temp probe to use for monitoring only.
  • Auto Top Off - As with most people, I use a Tunze Osmolator. I won't use Reef-pi for the control, but I'll wire up a voltage divider so I can track ATO usage. A long term "nice to have" would be a pressure sensor to tell my when my ATO resevoir is low.
  • Light controller - Should be straightforward to control my BuildMyLED and ReefBrite fixtures.
  • pH Monitor - Just like it says...Monitor the pH.
I don't expect many updates to this thread in the short term. With 3 kids, life has a way of getting in the way. Once I gather all the components, most of the work will be done on the weekends in whatever scraps of spare time I have.

Many thanks to @Ranjib and @theatrus (and everyone else who's contributed) for their work on this project.
 
Lazys Coral House
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dmolavi

dmolavi

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Bah, I knew I forgot something - pump control. I use 2x Jebao RW4s on my tank. Currently the programming is controlled via a JBWave bluetooth controller, which actually does a pretty decent job, and the overall power on/off is via the Digital Loggers switch. This isn't a necessity, but it'd be nice to have programming control in one place. Might be a "reach" goal here...esp since the interface isn't well documented. Can't be all that complex though - just 3 wires.
 

Ranjib

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Go slow and start with getting some of the simple features working first. Circuit complexity grown non-linearly, and its safer to test things individually as you progress your build
 
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dmolavi

dmolavi

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Here's my plan:

  • Temperature monitor - Ranco ETC has not replied to emails or voicemails about the availability of getting the analog signal off the controller. I hesitate to modify the PCB on the controller because it's very close to mains voltage real estate and I don't want to fry the controller (or myself). I will most likely have to grab another sensor.
  • Auto Top Off - I will add a voltage divider on a PermaProto board to register when the ATO has been turned on, stepping 12V down to 3.3.
  • Light controller - Should be straightforward to control my BuildMyLED and ReefBrite fixtures, though I do need to get the 0-10VDC dimmer module for the ReefBrite for the integration to be complete.
  • pH Monitor - Just like it says...Monitor the pH - once it's available (reef-pi 3.0?).
 
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dmolavi

dmolavi

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More notes here (mainly for me so I don't lose track of stuff)...loosly in order of how I will go about tinkering with this:
  1. Temp - I'll use the existing temp controller module, set to monitor only. I'll probably grab an Apex probe unless someone is able to ID a sensor that is better suited to our needs, or if I can figure out how to pull the value from my controller.
  2. ATO - Using a voltage divider, I'll grab the on/off from the Tunze. To enable the 'usage' in the existing ATO module, instead of an actual ATO pump as the attached equipment, I plan on just using an LED that will be driven.
  3. Lights - Not a problem. Probably the last thing I'll tackle.
  4. Power - Not sure if I can repurpose the existing power module, or if I will need to write my own. This is definitely the long pole in the tent.
WRT the enclosure - I'm going to grab one that's large enough for both the Pico board and the Pi3 board. I have the ribbon cable to connect them. For external interfaces, I'm thinking of a dual color (red/green) LED for each of the power outlets, a tri-color (red/yellow/green) for the ATO (once the pressure sensor module is complete), and a simple green LED for overall system power. I'd like to have an external power switch as well, along with a reset button, if that's possible.

If I don't go the power outlet status LED route, I may have individual switches on the enclosure that can control the outlets (if that can be done..I have no idea). My power controller already has an API available that I will exploit for ReefPi, so I could just build it into my custom UI.

I'm also looking to mount a small LCD display, similar to what the Apex has, to be able to show temp, pH (when available) and maybe ATO level (when available).
 

Ranjib

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ph monitor is already available, via the atlas scientific board. 3.0 will add the support for the opensource boards (by Roberto_b and theatrus)
 
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dmolavi

dmolavi

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Some progress....soldered and heat-shrunk the XLR connectors for the 2 temp probes:
20190206_182443.jpg

With a few drops of superglue, everything is secured in the case (mounted on standoffs):
20190206_184220.jpg

Wired up the 3.5mm jack for the one-wire interface to the Pico board:

20190206_192154.jpg

Here's the start of the one-wire circuit. The power and ground will be connected to the power/ground from the 3.5mm connector. Data will be connected to the other end of the 4.7k pullup on the board.
20190206_193509.jpg

Here are the panel mounted XLR connectors for the temp sensors. Power/ground will be connected to the board, and data to the other side of the pullup. I need to heat shrink these, then mount in the enclosure.
20190206_200702.jpg

Here's a mockup of the front panel:
fp1.PNG
 

crusso1993

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Looking good! I liked your first post and then forgot to follow your thread. That has been remedied.

Will be cool to see how that Atomic Pi works out for you.

Decongestants? Feel better soon!
 

theatrus

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Some progress....soldered and heat-shrunk the XLR connectors for the 2 temp probes:
20190206_182443.jpg

With a few drops of superglue, everything is secured in the case (mounted on standoffs):
20190206_184220.jpg

Wired up the 3.5mm jack for the one-wire interface to the Pico board:

20190206_192154.jpg

Here's the start of the one-wire circuit. The power and ground will be connected to the power/ground from the 3.5mm connector. Data will be connected to the other end of the 4.7k pullup on the board.
20190206_193509.jpg

Here are the panel mounted XLR connectors for the temp sensors. Power/ground will be connected to the board, and data to the other side of the pullup. I need to heat shrink these, then mount in the enclosure.
20190206_200702.jpg

Here's a mockup of the front panel:
fp1.PNG
Note that the Pico already has a 4.7k pull up on it.
 

Ranjib

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Feel better. I myself got a nasty flu few days back, on my way recovering . Build is coming out pretty good :)
 

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