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

Bzar

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agree they are pretty good and affordable alternative. but i doubt they can be as precise as stepper motors, which is what we need for very precise volume dosing to experiment with things involving titration, other than general dosing.
In fact after running ATO via DC motor based peristaltic pumps and using tropical marine all in one, i think i will not need stepper based dosing pumps purely for dosing regimen. The ATO based dosing is pretty effective when I know whats my ATO consumption at weekly cadence
Any progress on stepper interface? With this type of control we could do so much :) Easy reliable precise motors for things like skimmer cup cleaners, dosing, auto feeders, maybe even a reefpi based reefbot for water testing :)
 
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redwayjay

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I'm afraid I am not familiar at all with the Apex unit at all. In South Africa, they are prohibitively expensive. I doubt there are more than a handful in the whole country.

Apart from the tinkering factor, that is my main reason for going the reef-pi route.
Hopefully the Hydros from Corallife will make its way to S.A., looks promising.
 

AbjectMaelstroM

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Hopefully the Hydros from Corallife will make its way to S.A., looks promising.
Took a look at it and it seems pretty neat and definitely more affordable than the Apex, but slightly less features (unless you get Control 4 which is $400). That being said, if you've got a bit of DIY in you, I would argue ReefPi blows the pants off of anything on the market as far as features vs price. Granted if you want set it and forget it, Hydros is definitely a great alternative.

Curious to see the price of the add-ons/sensors.
 

redwayjay

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Took a look at it and it seems pretty neat and definitely more affordable than the Apex, but slightly less features (unless you get Control 4 which is $400). That being said, if you've got a bit of DIY in you, I would argue ReefPi blows the pants off of anything on the market as far as features vs price. Granted if you want set it and forget it, Hydros is definitely a great alternative.

Curious to see the price of the add-ons/sensors.
For 399 you get hydros 4 one power switch box pH probe and a temp sensor.
The 4 power switch I thought was suppose to be like 35.00.
The wave control is 299.00
ATO I heard was around 100.00
 

marekd1

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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.
Just a note to be aware of: each pca9685 has pull-up resistors for the SCA and SDA lines. If you are planning to add more than one board you should remove them on the others as they will be all in parallel drastically reducing the overall resistance. As a result I2C communication will be failing or be inconsistent.
 
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Ranjib

Ranjib

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Just a note to be aware of: each pca9685 has pull-up resistors for the SCA and SDA lines. If you are planning to add more than one board you should remove them on the others as they will be all in parallel drastically reducing the overall resistance. As a result I2C communication will be failing or be inconsistent.
Thank you so much for bringing that up. This is very useful and I was not aware of it.
 
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marekd1

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Thank you so much for bringing that up. This is very useful and I wan not aware of it.
Every i2C board you buy will have pullups, so if you adding more than one its a good thing to check. Just measure the resistance between SDA and VCC then SCL and VCC before connecting to the bus. It should be the same after you plug it into the bus.


here is a typical case...

1581133391313.png
 

Bzar

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Quick question as I haven't found the answer easy enough. What's the best/easiest process to update to the newest version and keeping your current settings?
 
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Michael Lane

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Quick question as I haven't found the answer easy enough. What's the best/easiest process to update to the newest version and keeping your current settings?
Upgrading from 2.x to 3.x will require setting everything up again. The settings are not compatible between the 2 versions.
 

Bzar

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Upgrading from 2.x to 3.x will require setting everything up again. The settings are not compatible between the 2 versions.
Thanks. I'm thinking 3.0 to 3.2. Does the upgrade keep your settings or do i have to backup/replace the db or do i have to write down and redo settings from scratch like 2.x to 3.x ? Just wondering from thoae that have done it.
 

AbjectMaelstroM

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Thanks. I'm thinking 3.0 to 3.2. Does the upgrade keep your settings or do i have to backup/replace the db or do i have to write down and redo settings from scratch like 2.x to 3.x ? Just wondering from thoae that have done it.
3.0 to 3.2 you don't need to reset.
 

marekd1

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Thanks. I'm thinking 3.0 to 3.2. Does the upgrade keep your settings or do i have to backup/replace the db or do i have to write down and redo settings from scratch like 2.x to 3.x ? Just wondering from thoae that have done it.
all settings are retained. upgrade process is the same
 

Tom Bishop

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I'm still working on my stand but getting closer, if the weather would co-operate would allow me to get more done. I know its been discussed a lot but one of the items I am trying to figure out is what is everyone using for ATO with reef-pi. My DT will only be 29G so it will not require a large ATO but would like to figure out what is one of the more reliable ones to look into, e.g., optical vs float etc.

Thanks
 

AbjectMaelstroM

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I'm still working on my stand but getting closer, if the weather would co-operate would allow me to get more done. I know its been discussed a lot but one of the items I am trying to figure out is what is everyone using for ATO with reef-pi. My DT will only be 29G so it will not require a large ATO but would like to figure out what is one of the more reliable ones to look into, e.g., optical vs float etc.

Thanks
I'd probably get a small pump or even a dosing pump. I'm using a tunze osmolator pump on my 120, but that would be overkill for a 29g tank lol. With a 5g jug you'd be set for a while.

On mine I have to refill the 5g bucket every 3 days or so. I need a bigger reservoir.
 

Michael Lane

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I'm still working on my stand but getting closer, if the weather would co-operate would allow me to get more done. I know its been discussed a lot but one of the items I am trying to figure out is what is everyone using for ATO with reef-pi. My DT will only be 29G so it will not require a large ATO but would like to figure out what is one of the more reliable ones to look into, e.g., optical vs float etc.

Thanks
Optical, mechanical, and capacitive sensors can all be used with reef-pi. I think mechanical float sensor makes the most sense unless there are other restrictions.

Here's how I understand the differences between them.

Optical
+ No moving parts to get jammed by snails or algae
- Water drops can stick to the sensor causing false readings

Capacitive
+ Can be mounted on the outside of the reservoir
- Somewhat difficult to get lined up exactly where you want it since the trigger point is somewhere in the sensor

Mechanical
+ Inexpensive
+ 2 can be wired in series to provide fail safe shut off
+ Easy to identify switching point
- Snails and algae can cause the switch to stick
 

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