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

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NeonRabbit221B

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Is reef-pi fully functional with the Raspberry Pi 4?

For being the same price, I'm debating on just going for the Pi 4... Should I?
When you are talking about $10-30 part costs it doesn't vary a whole ton so I would say if you won't miss the extra $40 or so, go for it. Pi zero w is about $10 and a pi 4 is about $45

It should be fully functional. If you ever want to upgrade to an Apex a Pi 4 would make a great retro gaming system or media center.
 

crusso1993

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In a semi-related question for any electronics experts; I have an opportunity to pick up some Tektronix 2215A oscilloscopes. Being that I know very little about oscilloscopes, I'm hoping to get some input or advice. I can get them for about $20 each. I did pose this question to an electronics expert who is an active member of this forum, in a PM, but I believe he is on vacation and if I am going to buy the oscilloscope(s) it has to be by tomorrow afternoon.

Any input would be appreciated!
 

Phildago

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In a semi-related question for any electronics experts; I have an opportunity to pick up some Tektronix 2215A oscilloscopes. Being that I know very little about oscilloscopes, I'm hoping to get some input or advice. I can get them for about $20 each. I did pose this question to an electronics expert who is an active member of this forum, in a PM, but I believe he is on vacation and if I am going to buy the oscilloscope(s) it has to be by tomorrow afternoon.

Any input would be appreciated!
That's 100% worth it. If for nothing else, just to play around with.
 
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Ranjib

Ranjib

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For past few days, I have been experimenting with reef-pi in standalone mode where it runs as its own wifi hotspot. This is to facilitate my home migration during which i expect some of the builds to not have internet access. I want reef-pi to run and be accessible even when wifi network is not accessible. If this works, it also means I can run reef-pi powered by a power bank (I shared some benchmarks before) and the setup (mobile power and no network requirement) means I can use reef-pi during a power outage as well as in transit, when my corals will be in containers for several hours.

Following document describe how to configure raspberry pi to run as wifi hotspot: https://www.raspberrypi.org/documentation/configuration/wireless/access-point.md

After following the guide, I was successfully able to run Pi as a hotspot and access reef-pi running in it by connecting to the hotspot. Everything works as expected.

This setup is more involved than the normal reef-pi setup. It involves installing additional packages, editing configuration files and executing few commands. This is very common for getting new features up in linux userland. I am doing similar things to setup home assistant, octo print and handful of other smart home softwares. There are purpose made tools for this, called configuration management system.

My current apartment setup has 11 pi doing various works, and I expect the number to go up in the new home, covering blinders, sprinklers, gardening system, presence detection and more. Scale like this justifies a full-fledged configuration management system. It will streamline the update and patch management. So I started working on chef cookbooks (a popular configuration management system) for my current setup, a couple of week back. Today I am open-sourcing them: https://github.com/reef-pi/chef-repo.
I don't expect them to be readily useful to others, but once they are polished up, we'll work on some reef-pi integration where users will be able to reconfigure their controller to act as hotspot, or to upgrade reef-pi or to change /boot/config.txt (i2c, one wire etc configurations) using the reef-pi UI directly, and reef-pi will use chef underneath to reconfigure the system.

I know few of you have devops experience, please help us out with code review, testing or any feedback you may have.
 
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Ranjib

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Is reef-pi fully functional with the Raspberry Pi 4?

For being the same price, I'm debating on just going for the Pi 4... Should I?
Yes. Pi 4 is not super useful, because it costs more money (you need hdmi adapter) and consume more power. Unless you plan to use the extra computing power pi 3 is better. If you are familiar with linux comand line then pi zero is best.
 

cwalton00

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In a semi-related question for any electronics experts; I have an opportunity to pick up some Tektronix 2215A oscilloscopes. Being that I know very little about oscilloscopes, I'm hoping to get some input or advice. I can get them for about $20 each. I did pose this question to an electronics expert who is an active member of this forum, in a PM, but I believe he is on vacation and if I am going to buy the oscilloscope(s) it has to be by tomorrow afternoon.

Any input would be appreciated!
if they are functional pick them up for sure. I would check for screen burn if they have been used a ton other than that they should be pretty bulletproof
 

Schreiber

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In a semi-related question for any electronics experts; I have an opportunity to pick up some Tektronix 2215A oscilloscopes. Being that I know very little about oscilloscopes, I'm hoping to get some input or advice. I can get them for about $20 each. I did pose this question to an electronics expert who is an active member of this forum, in a PM, but I believe he is on vacation and if I am going to buy the oscilloscope(s) it has to be by tomorrow afternoon.

Any input would be appreciated!

They're great for verifying PWM output from the PCA9685.
 

crusso1993

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Alaa

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Hi
Help needed, i need to connect second PCA9685 to my pi setup using goby hat from @Michael Lane (needed to control 10 channel lights and additional 2 fans) my understanding is that the VCC on PCA9685 should be connected to 3.3V, so i figured that i can use the connector attached and connect the second PCA9685 (will be located in a separate box from R-Pi) using 3.3V, SDA, SCl, and ground then give it a proper address.
the pH connectors on the goby Hat has 5V so i can't just use it for my second PCA9685.
Will this work or the PCA need to be chained one to another for them to work, also can it damage my Pi (already fried one).
My second option (i really don't like it) is to use another r-pi with a reef-pi build for lights only.

Thanks

connector.jpg
 
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Ranjib

Ranjib

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Hi
Help needed, i need to connect second PCA9685 to my pi setup using goby hat from @Michael Lane (needed to control 10 channel lights and additional 2 fans) my understanding is that the VCC on PCA9685 should be connected to 3.3V, so i figured that i can use the connector attached and connect the second PCA9685 (will be located in a separate box from R-Pi) using 3.3V, SDA, SCl, and ground then give it a proper address.
the pH connectors on the goby Hat has 5V so i can't just use it for my second PCA9685.
Will this work or the PCA need to be chained one to another for them to work, also can it damage my Pi (already fried one).
My second option (i really don't like it) is to use another r-pi with a reef-pi build for lights only.

Thanks

connector.jpg
How you are powering pi? If possible get 5v output from the source and use a 5v to 3.3v converter (there are plenty cheap ones in amazon) to power the second pca9685. You can also power it from pi’s 3.3 v , but be aware of current draw. Everything collectively should stay below 500ma and any single pin should not draw more than 80ma. Pi when powered feom gpio can only supply 1a . When powered by micro usb connector , pi can supply more than 2a (assuming 2.1a supply and 100ma draw from pi zero). It’s a good idea to throw 100 and .1uf capacitors in between sources. I always keep separate pi as plan b. In case things go south. I had worst power induced issues with pwm and light controllers :-/
 

Alaa

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How you are powering pi? If possible get 5v output from the source and use a 5v to 3.3v converter (there are plenty cheap ones in amazon) to power the second pca9685. You can also power it from pi’s 3.3 v , but be aware of current draw. Everything collectively should stay below 500ma and any single pin should not draw more than 80ma. Pi when powered feom gpio can only supply 1a . When powered by micro usb connector , pi can supply more than 2a (assuming 2.1a supply and 100ma draw from pi zero). It’s a good idea to throw 100 and .1uf capacitors in between sources. I always keep separate pi as plan b. In case things go south. I had worst power induced issues with pwm and light controllers :-/
Thanks for your response
I'm using the original pi power supply through the micro USB, as i understand the PCA V+ pin is not used to power the chip (PCA pinouts) it is used for the servo, before in my original setup (not using goby hat) i didn't connect the v+ at all and was able to control the lights, however in the (PCA chaining) tutorial they used a separate power supply that is where i get confused.
to rephrase my questions,
1- Can i add a second PCA through my connector and not being chained through the Goby Hat PCA?
2- Do i need a separate power supply 5V to the second PCA?
 

BenB

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Hi
Help needed, i need to connect second PCA9685 to my pi setup using goby hat from @Michael Lane (needed to control 10 channel lights and additional 2 fans) my understanding is that the VCC on PCA9685 should be connected to 3.3V, so i figured that i can use the connector attached and connect the second PCA9685 (will be located in a separate box from R-Pi) using 3.3V, SDA, SCl, and ground then give it a proper address.
the pH connectors on the goby Hat has 5V so i can't just use it for my second PCA9685.
Will this work or the PCA need to be chained one to another for them to work, also can it damage my Pi (already fried one).
My second option (i really don't like it) is to use another r-pi with a reef-pi build for lights only.

Thanks

connector.jpg
The PCA9685 operates with a supply voltage range of 2.3 V to 5.5 V and the inputs and outputs are 5.5 V tolerant.

And you can connect more than one like this:
1580975133229.png

And give it a proper address. https://learn.adafruit.com/16-channel-pwm-servo-driver/chaining-drivers

If the second pca9685 is in another box that is further away than 1 meter best is to use a shielded cable.
 

Alaa

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The PCA9685 operates with a supply voltage range of 2.3 V to 5.5 V and the inputs and outputs are 5.5 V tolerant.

And you can connect more than one like this:
1580975133229.png

And give it a proper address. https://learn.adafruit.com/16-channel-pwm-servo-driver/chaining-drivers

If the second pca9685 is in another box that is further away than 1 meter best is to use a shielded cable.
thanks
the point is that i cant chain them like that because of the goby hat, so i guess ill try to hook it up through the pi connector and see how it goes
 

Michael Lane

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@Alaa The goby board exposes 12 pwm outputs at 3.3v over Light1, Light2, Light3, and Doser ports.

Pca9685 can work with 5v, so you may not need to convert anything unless your target requires it. You could possibly just connect to ph2.

It sounds like you have a lot going on with this build. Do you have a build thread that shows more details? I'd be happy to take a look and help where I can.
 

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