reef-pi :: An opensource reef tank controller based on Raspberry Pi.

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Ranjib

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Here is some additional info about the dimming circuits that I installed in my SB reef lights

I used the circuit from @Ryan115 from this post reef-pi :: An opensource reef tank controller based on Raspberry Pi.

Here is a picture of my circuit. My perfboard doesn't have any traces on it so all the wiring was point to point on the backside (connections on back of board are in red below). The advantage of using the specific connectors listed below is that you don't have to cut any wires on the SB reef light black box so it is trivial to back to stock (if you have a different black box, I recommend opening your light to find out what type of connectors you will need before ordering!)

breadboard traces labels.jpg



Parts list:
2 NPN transistors (I used 2N2222A transistors)
2 LM7810 voltage regulators
2 3-pin JST XH (2.5mm pitch) male connectors
1 2-pin JST SM (2.5mm pitch) male connector
2 1k ohm resistors
2 10k ohm resistors
1 solderable perfboard
A three wire input connector of your choice to connect PWM from the PCA9685 on Reef-pi to the dimming circuit. I used Ethernet cable and JST connectors but other people use headphone cable and jacks

I made a video to help explain more about the circuit, wiring, and functionality



breadboard traces.jpg

Very nice. Its similar to the recommended kessil circuit, except it uses lm7810 instead of lm2596 to generate 10V DC current. I wonder if you need two of them,
Thank you for sharing, this will be helpful to others
 

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Well I'm thinking something similar to what you guys did for pwm for the lighting. Using that hardware and then feeding it to the jebao adapter. For programming, need to have them operate at a % for x time and be able to alternate that between multiple outputs in succession or to even setup different schedule per outlet.

Ease of just using the jebao adapter of providing a higher amp 24v supply to lessen power bricks.
 

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Adafruit just published the third reef-pi guide, temperature controller :) ,
https://learn.adafruit.com/reef-pi-guide-3-temperature-controller

Ranjib-

I also found your Adafruit articles. Very inspiring! I can't wait for the pH installment.

One question: Why do you use a 1/8" 3.5mm Audio Jack Connector for the temp probe if it risks shorting the controller. Wouldn't a different style connector be more suitable?

Thanks much for the hard work.
 
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Ranjib-

I also found your Adafruit articles. Very inspiring! I can't wait for the pH installment.

One question: Why do you use a 1/8" 3.5mm Audio Jack Connector for the temp probe if it risks shorting the controller. Wouldn't a different style connector be more suitable?

Thanks much for the hard work.
You are right an rj45, rj9, rj11 , mini-xlr , mini-din all of them are better.. but none are as common, cheap and abundant as 3.5 mm jacks. They are also easy to solder and they do not require any special equipment to connect (rj11,9,45 all requires special crimping tools). This is why I went with audio jack. When I started I didnt know, later I learned and tried different things, and they work too. But I realized, this projects original goal was to keep things affordable and easy, and I found if we are little careful (which we can afford to expect, since its a DIY thing, average users will know a lot during the build phase) we can probably get away with it.
That said, anyone who is keen enough, can certainly go with better connectors, and we make it abundantly clear that this is a good idea as well. But not required.
I hope it makes sense :) . Let me know if you all think it's not right, and I should instead go with some other connectors , cause I am actually thinking recommending the same for ato as well (i.e. connect the optical water level sensors using 4 pole TRS jacks).

On a side note, this whole connector topic is pretty fascinating in itself. I have spent weeks reading, testing and tinkering with different connectors. I would agree and accept openly that this is not a solved thing yet....at least for reef-pi.
 
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Ranjib-

I also found your Adafruit articles. Very inspiring! I can't wait for the pH installment.

One question: Why do you use a 1/8" 3.5mm Audio Jack Connector for the temp probe if it risks shorting the controller. Wouldn't a different style connector be more suitable?

Thanks much for the hard work.
And thank you for the kind words, I and the rest of the dev team truly appreciate all the support you all provide.
 

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You are right an rj45, rj9, rj11 , mini-xlr , mini-din all of them are better.. but none are as common, cheap and abundant as 3.5 mm jacks. They are also easy to solder and they do not require any special equipment to connect (rj11,9,45 all requires special crimping tools). This is why I went with audio jack. When I started I didnt know, later I learned and tried different things, and they work too. But I realized, this projects original goal was to keep things affordable and easy, and I found if we are little careful (which we can afford to expect, since its a DIY thing, average users will know a lot during the build phase) we can probably get away with it.
That said, anyone who is keen enough, can certainly go with better connectors, and we make it abundantly clear that this is a good idea as well. But not required.
I hope it makes sense :) . Let me know if you all think it's not right, and I should instead go with some other connectors , cause I am actually thinking recommending the same for ato as well (i.e. connect the optical water level sensors using 4 pole TRS jacks).

On a side note, this whole connector topic is pretty fascinating in itself. I have spent weeks reading, testing and tinkering with different connectors. I would agree and accept openly that this is not a solved thing yet....at least for reef-pi.
I understand the benefits of 3.5mm audio jacks. But my vote is with RJ-45 connectors. The crimping tool is an added cost but eBay & Amazon have lots of affordable ones and it's a 1 off cost.

Once you have a crimping tool the actual RJ-45 connectors (and sockets) are pretty dirt cheap (from China at least, I don't know how much they are in the US).

If you are doing a full Reef-Pi build I'd say RJ-45 connectors + a crimper would cost barely more (if that) than 3.5mm audio jacks.
 

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Rj-45 can be done without a tool. You can use a standard network cable. The little blocks for the female ends are numbered and come with a punchdown tool. A cheap one but it works. Then i used a breakout board that was also numbered in order. Worked like a charm!
c3c8f5a81ffe43e51fa206a209c58248.jpg
b65800e2ea4bb0e33bf448a90a03a4fc.jpg
 

Ryan115

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Here is some additional info about the dimming circuits that I installed in my SB reef lights

I used the circuit from @Ryan115 from this post reef-pi :: An opensource reef tank controller based on Raspberry Pi.

Here is a picture of my circuit. My perfboard doesn't have any traces on it so all the wiring was point to point on the backside (connections on back of board are in red below). The advantage of using the specific connectors listed below is that you don't have to cut any wires on the SB reef light black box so it is trivial to back to stock (if you have a different black box, I recommend opening your light to find out what type of connectors you will need before ordering!)

breadboard traces labels.jpg



Parts list:
2 NPN transistors (I used 2N2222A transistors)
2 LM7810 voltage regulators
2 3-pin JST XH (2.5mm pitch) male connectors
1 2-pin JST SM (2.5mm pitch) male connector
2 1k ohm resistors
2 10k ohm resistors
1 solderable perfboard
A three wire input connector of your choice to connect PWM from the PCA9685 on Reef-pi to the dimming circuit. I used Ethernet cable and JST connectors but other people use headphone cable and jacks

I made a video to help explain more about the circuit, wiring, and functionality



breadboard traces.jpg

I am glad that this is working for you. I have been toying around with the idea of modifying the circuit to add a channel cutoff utilizing the 3rd wire from the dimmer to the driver. I have the 32" basic and I wired all of the power into a single plug so that I can control the unit from a single relay. However since the channels will not dim to 0, I would like another way to turn them off individually without using extra relays/plugs.
Also, here is a fritzing diagram of the circuit to help others.
Custom Dimming Circuit Updated.jpg


Very nice. Its similar to the recommended kessil circuit, except it uses lm7810 instead of lm2596 to generate 10V DC current. I wonder if you need two of them,
Thank you for sharing, this will be helpful to others
I would have to look at it again, but since you are essentially shorting the output of the 10v to GND through the NPN, I think you would have issues trying to run it through a single 10V regulator. I want to mock this up now though.

You are right an rj45, rj9, rj11 , mini-xlr , mini-din all of them are better.. but none are as common, cheap and abundant as 3.5 mm jacks. They are also easy to solder and they do not require any special equipment to connect (rj11,9,45 all requires special crimping tools). This is why I went with audio jack. When I started I didnt know, later I learned and tried different things, and they work too. But I realized, this projects original goal was to keep things affordable and easy, and I found if we are little careful (which we can afford to expect, since its a DIY thing, average users will know a lot during the build phase) we can probably get away with it.
That said, anyone who is keen enough, can certainly go with better connectors, and we make it abundantly clear that this is a good idea as well. But not required.
I hope it makes sense :) . Let me know if you all think it's not right, and I should instead go with some other connectors , cause I am actually thinking recommending the same for ato as well (i.e. connect the optical water level sensors using 4 pole TRS jacks).

On a side note, this whole connector topic is pretty fascinating in itself. I have spent weeks reading, testing and tinkering with different connectors. I would agree and accept openly that this is not a solved thing yet....at least for reef-pi.

Am I missing something on how these have shorted out for other people?
If the VDC is on the tip conductor of the jack, there should be no way for it to hit any other conductor. The other two conductors are the data pin and GND. What am I missing?
 

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You are right an rj45, rj9, rj11 , mini-xlr , mini-din all of them are better.. but none are as common, cheap and abundant as 3.5 mm jacks. They are also easy to solder and they do not require any special equipment to connect (rj11,9,45 all requires special crimping tools). This is why I went with audio jack. When I started I didnt know, later I learned and tried different things, and they work too. But I realized, this projects original goal was to keep things affordable and easy, and I found if we are little careful (which we can afford to expect, since its a DIY thing, average users will know a lot during the build phase) we can probably get away with it.
That said, anyone who is keen enough, can certainly go with better connectors, and we make it abundantly clear that this is a good idea as well. But not required.
I hope it makes sense :) . Let me know if you all think it's not right, and I should instead go with some other connectors , cause I am actually thinking recommending the same for ato as well (i.e. connect the optical water level sensors using 4 pole TRS jacks).

On a side note, this whole connector topic is pretty fascinating in itself. I have spent weeks reading, testing and tinkering with different connectors. I would agree and accept openly that this is not a solved thing yet....at least for reef-pi.
I work in IT, and have access to crimpers and the such. Might go with rj45 for my build, but it's been a while since ive done any soldering, so i might go with what you suggested as well.
 
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Ranjib

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I work in IT, and have access to crimpers and the such. Might go with rj45 for my build, but it's been a while since ive done any soldering, so i might go with what you suggested as well.
Go for it. If the rj45 route is easier for you.
 
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I understand the benefits of 3.5mm audio jacks. But my vote is with RJ-45 connectors. The crimping tool is an added cost but eBay & Amazon have lots of affordable ones and it's a 1 off cost.

Once you have a crimping tool the actual RJ-45 connectors (and sockets) are pretty dirt cheap (from China at least, I don't know how much they are in the US).

If you are doing a full Reef-Pi build I'd say RJ-45 connectors + a crimper would cost barely more (if that) than 3.5mm audio jacks.
I can understand.
The rj45 connector male/female pair will add another 10$ , crimping tool separate. I agree its somewhat more readily available than mini-xlr or mini-din. Another connector to consider is jst .
 
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Rj-45 can be done without a tool. You can use a standard network cable. The little blocks for the female ends are numbered and come with a punchdown tool. A cheap one but it works. Then i used a breakout board that was also numbered in order. Worked like a charm!
c3c8f5a81ffe43e51fa206a209c58248.jpg
b65800e2ea4bb0e33bf448a90a03a4fc.jpg
I have ordered this exact connector, and another rj45 with individual female sockets. These cost at least 8$ and will take some real estate. Mine didnt came with any punchdown tool :-/ .
 
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I am glad that this is working for you. I have been toying around with the idea of modifying the circuit to add a channel cutoff utilizing the 3rd wire from the dimmer to the driver. I have the 32" basic and I wired all of the power into a single plug so that I can control the unit from a single relay. However since the channels will not dim to 0, I would like another way to turn them off individually without using extra relays/plugs.
Also, here is a fritzing diagram of the circuit to help others.
Custom Dimming Circuit Updated.jpg



I would have to look at it again, but since you are essentially shorting the output of the 10v to GND through the NPN, I think you would have issues trying to run it through a single 10V regulator. I want to mock this up now though.



Am I missing something on how these have shorted out for other people?
If the VDC is on the tip conductor of the jack, there should be no way for it to hit any other conductor. The other two conductors are the data pin and GND. What am I missing?
I did some research on this , and from my understanding its ok to connect multiple lm2596 GND.
http://www.ti.com/lit/ds/symlink/lm2596.pdf
https://electronics.stackexchange.com/questions/246669/common-gnd-with-buck-modules

the 3.5 audio connector has a tendency to short only when you plug/unplug it (the tip touches the other sleeve or ring), not when its connected and in operation. Does that make sense?
 

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I have ordered this exact connector, and another rj45 with individual female sockets. These cost at least 8$ and will take some real estate. Mine didnt came with any punchdown tool :-/ .


Hmm. i bought my female jacks at home depot in individual baggies. they had a cheapo plastic puncher in them.

I am looking into building the pump circuit. I am getting a PCA9685 breakout board. I dont know much about this. Can I run the 24V supply power thru this board using the large screw connector at the top to supply Power to the pumps thru the + &- located next to the PWM output? Unfortunately I dont believe that cat5E will be able to handle the Amperage for these pumps so what I plan to do is use the PCA9685 to drive signaling into the Cat5e connection and then run that over to the tank. once there I will break it out and Marry the PWM and its ground to a 24V power source and then push that into a female end to connect the Jebao pumps to.

Do you think I need Transistors and or resistors?

granted this will not be in working order until the Pump coding can be done which I am not skilled in.
 

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I plan to start to playing with some break outs for jebao pump hook up. Something that marries the 24v power to a pwm signal that then connects right to the jebao connector. Use the jebao power supply.
I use one of these with my Neptune Apex to control 2 Jebao PP-8 wavemakers.

https://www.amazon.com/Neptune-Syst...1538064436&sr=8-1&keywords=jebao+apex+adapter

It allows you to connect two Jebao wavemakers with a single 24V power supply, and has an RJ45 jack to connect 2-channels of 0-10V just like a Kessil. Would something like this work with Reef-pi?
 

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That was develop because Apex didn't do pwm. We would have to convert the pi pwm to analog and then back to pwm to the jebao
 

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Hmmm, I think I am going to jump on this. I have a 3 year old Reefkeeper lite that has started flashing "error" across the screen. Everything still works but I would hate for it to fail on me and they are no longer in business. Years ago I built a Mega squirt Electronic Fuel Injection controller from the circuit board up for my race car and loved it. This is right up my alley and a heck of a lot cheaper than an Apex.

So I just read through all the guides and its pretty straight forward. I will probably continue to read through the 300 pages of thread. But a couple questions.

Once wifi is enabled can I control/program 100% of the features via the web interface?

For my ATO I use a toms aqualifter pump. If I recall correctly it only works off a mechanical relay. Is that by design of the pump or the reefkeeper power strip? In other words if I wanted to initially start with 8 outlets how many should be mechanical and how many should be solid state or can they all be optocoupler relays?

Are there any major "known" issues/limitations in comparison to a commercial controller?
 

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Hmmm, I think I am going to jump on this. I have a 3 year old Reefkeeper lite that has started flashing "error" across the screen. Everything still works but I would hate for it to fail on me and they are no longer in business. Years ago I built a Mega squirt Electronic Fuel Injection controller from the circuit board up for my race car and loved it. This is right up my alley and a heck of a lot cheaper than an Apex.

So I just read through all the guides and its pretty straight forward. I will probably continue to read through the 300 pages of thread. But a couple questions.

Once wifi is enabled can I control/program 100% of the features via the web interface?

For my ATO I use a toms aqualifter pump. If I recall correctly it only works off a mechanical relay. Is that by design of the pump or the reefkeeper power strip? In other words if I wanted to initially start with 8 outlets how many should be mechanical and how many should be solid state or can they all be optocoupler relays?

Are there any major "known" issues/limitations in comparison to a commercial controller?
Ranjib has a guide on adafruit that is a lot easier than reading through 300+ pages of chat on here. It's very detailed. I just ordered all the components for the first 3 phases today.
 

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Once wifi is enabled can I control/program 100% of the features via the web interface?
YES. I do this.

For my ATO I use a toms aqualifter pump. If I recall correctly it only works off a mechanical relay. Is that by design of the pump or the reefkeeper power strip? In other words if I wanted to initially start with 8 outlets how many should be mechanical and how many should be solid state or can they all be optocoupler relays?
So the Aqualifter was a nightmare on the Triac due to its design. I cannot recall the exact technical reason. FWIW, in the build guides we are using a Pre-fab 8 channel relay Power bar much like the PB4 you have. I will have two of these soon.

Are there any major "known" issues/limitations in comparison to a commercial controller?
well, Pump control is not implemented YET. but hopefully soon. PH is in works as I am sure we will work on Salinity and such too.
 

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