Reef-Pi Base Boards

theatrus

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Latest project status:
  1. Feb 2019: More Revision D is on hand, one more update to the case design before finalizing the artwork and shipping with labels
  2. Still looking for beta-testers of the Revision D board.
  3. Guides and instructions are pending, collecting wisdom from the thread.
  4. pH sensor support will land in Reef-Pi 3.0
  5. Dosing module, pH module, lighting module, and level sensing module are under development.


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(I'm branching this from the Reef-Pi Megathread)

I'm working on a functional base-board to be used by the Reef-Pi project and software as an open hardware design. I worked with Ranib initially to come up with some concepts of I/O and other capabilities he would like to see in such a module, and prototyped an initial concept that was named the "Pico". Unfortunately I had to take many months off due to family and personal reasons, but now would like to kick this project back into action.

The overall and original goal was to provide the basic building blocks and hardware I/O:

- Host to a Raspberry Pi Zero W board
- Onboard 5V power supply for the RPi
- Buffered or high current digital I/O blocks at 5V (brought out over an HDMI and pluggable terminable block)
- Direct 1 wire interface
- 2x 0-10V analog output using the onboard PWM
- Hardware RTC with battery backup for the Raspberry Pi
- Optional isolated pH circuit
- Optional interface to aquarium CAN bus

The board was designed to fit in an off the shelf plastic box, namely the Polycase LP-55F
https://www.polycase.com/lp-55f


After the initial design, several changes were proposed:

- Swapping the digital I/O to use a DB9 with current sinks for the American DJ relay power strips.
- Cleanups and misc other connector re-arrangements.

The first version of the board looks like this:



The schematics for it are below:
https://theatr.us/images/blueacro/reefpi/reefpi_pico_v1.pdf

The updated revision is not yet ready, as I'm busy validating this design end to end.
 
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Ranjib

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I am so looking forward to this.

Thank you so much for creating a separate thread for this.
I can't recall if I called it out, the American DJ power strip works at 12V.
I noticed on the board GPIO 23/26 is labeled as PWM pins. Generally, its GPIO 18/19, although it's configurable via kernel configuration.
Keep us posted, I bet many other folks would absolutely love to get this, specially those who are not comfortable with soldering.
 

Ranjib

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my Dream would be a board like this that has a DB9 for an Easy hook up to an american DJ strip. possibly integrated PCA9685 for PWM. and hookups for a temp probe and ATO sensor.
When we initially talked about it, the goal of this board was to support a pico tank , powered by an 8 outlet poised strip , a temperature sensor , a kessil light , an ato and I think @theatrus also added an optional ph sensor. This should work just fine with a pi zero, which was the target computer for this board . I felt this brings a great value to price ratio while letting us test reef-pi against a much larger user base
 

speedstar

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Looks awesome, why the lower powered pi zero and not the 3b? Or can you still remote vnc into the pi zero? I like the peace of mind when away.
 
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Ranjib

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Looks awesome, why the lower powered pi zero and not the 3b? Or can you still remote vnc into the pi zero? I like the peace of mind when away.
Because it’s a pico board , with minimal features (no pca9685, multiple temp sensors etc ), and pi zero is good enough to run it.
The board itself does not include pi zero and the headers will work with pi 3 or 2 as well. So , you can just use the board with pi 3 if you want, but I definitely wanted to test and use it with pi zero. My understanding is that it will bring down cost, and if it works on pi zero it will most certainly work with pi 3. Does that make sense ?
 

speedstar

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Because it’s a pico board , with minimal features (no pca9685, multiple temp sensors etc ), and pi zero is good enough to run it.
The board itself does not include pi zero and the headers will work with pi 3 or 2 as well. So , you can just use the board with pi 3 if you want, but I definitely wanted to test and use it with pi zero. My understanding is that it will bring down cost, and if it works on pi zero it will most certainly work with pi 3. Does that make sense ?
Makes sense, thanks
 
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theatrus

theatrus

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Looks awesome, why the lower powered pi zero and not the 3b? Or can you still remote vnc into the pi zero? I like the peace of mind when away.
VNC should still work, though the web interface is where it’s at :)

Mainly since it’s much smaller and has much fewer pokey headers flying in every direction making is harder to fit in a small plastic box. ReefPi really doesn’t need much in resources, and on board WiFi is a nice selling point.
 
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theatrus

theatrus

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Because it’s a pico board , with minimal features My understanding is that it will bring down cost, and if it works on pi zero it will most certainly work with pi 3. Does that make sense ?
Agreed here.

The biggest problem in the initial design was actually finding space for connectors where they’d be usable along the edges of the board. I’d imagine we would still expose the I2C bus over a connector (HDMI?) so we can add a few things externally as well.
 

rushbattle

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Looking forward to this! It seems to be a good way to get two analog 0-10V outputs. I would like to run two banks of pumps like BRS does on the BRS160, alternating with one bank ramping down slowly while the other ramps up. Does anyone know if that is easily programmable via reef-pi?
 

Ranjib

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Looking forward to this! It seems to be a good way to get two analog 0-10V outputs. I would like to run two banks of pumps like BRS does on the BRS160, alternating with one bank ramping down slowly while the other ramps up. Does anyone know if that is easily programmable via reef-pi?
If I understand correctly, BRS dosing pump is like any other AC equipment and timers are used for them. reef-pi already has timers, so the dosing pump will be connected to the american DJ power strip and timers will be created to in reef-pi to automate them.

reef-pi has built in dosing module as well, but thats bit different, more like other commercial doser where you get to choose speed, frequency and duartion of the dosing process
#reefpi
 

rushbattle

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If I understand correctly, BRS dosing pump is like any other AC equipment and timers are used for them. reef-pi already has timers, so the dosing pump will be connected to the american DJ power strip and timers will be created to in reef-pi to automate them.

reef-pi has built in dosing module as well, but thats bit different, more like other commercial doser where you get to choose speed, frequency and duartion of the dosing process
#reefpi
Cool! I didn’t know about the dosing module! This is going to be awesome!

I’m referring to the flow pumps in the tank though. Via 0-10V ports, it controls the pumps on the left and right of display. So at 10V on the left, 0V on the right. Then the left ramps down to 0V over 45 mins, while the right ramps up from 0 to 10V. Stays that way for a while, then ramps in the other direction. I want to do this badly, but have zero desire to buy an Apex product of any sort. Possible via reef-pi?
 

Ranjib

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Cool! I didn’t know about the dosing module! This is going to be awesome!

I’m referring to the flow pumps in the tank though. Via 0-10V ports, it controls the pumps on the left and right of display. So at 10V on the left, 0V on the right. Then the left ramps down to 0V over 45 mins, while the right ramps up from 0 to 10V. Stays that way for a while, then ramps in the other direction. I want to do this badly, but have zero desire to buy an Apex product of any sort. Possible via reef-pi?
Are you talking about wavemakers? If so, it will really depend upon the pump itself, since each pump has their specific signal requirement. Wavemaker is slated for next major release (3.0), and we are gathering requirements right now
 

rushbattle

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Are you talking about wavemakers? If so, it will really depend upon the pump itself, since each pump has their specific signal requirement. Wavemaker is slated for next major release (3.0), and we are gathering requirements right now
Yes, that's what I am talking about. It would be super awesome to have reef-pi control the wavemaker pumps and allow operation as described above. The Reef Octopus pumps have 0-10V analog signal control, as do some of the chinese pumps. Icecap has a number of modules that control pumps via a 0-10V analog signal as well. And then it would even more game changing if it could do some digital control of other pumps, that would be next level incredible. Is there a way to contribute to development of the wavemaker module? A donation link? Very exciting!
 

Ranjib

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Yes, that's what I am talking about. It would be super awesome to have reef-pi control the wavemaker pumps and allow operation as described above. The Reef Octopus pumps have 0-10V analog signal control, as do some of the chinese pumps. Icecap has a number of modules that control pumps via a 0-10V analog signal as well. And then it would even more game changing if it could do some digital control of other pumps, that would be next level incredible. Is there a way to contribute to development of the wavemaker module? A donation link? Very exciting!
If the pumps work on 0-10v, you should definitely test them with reef-pi. Just declare them as light and see if you can vary their speed when you change the corresponding light intensity (fixed mode , as we call it in reef-pi).
Currently we are not taking any donation, but you could really do much more valuable contribution by testing, building, documenting and sharing your experience. If nothing, just your involvement and moral support itself goes a long way. This is a hobby project for all of us, and keeping it like this keeps it light and stress free for us (the developers).
 

Kampo

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so brainstorming on this, what would be cool is maybe instead of making a big board for the "full feature version" is just build it out with modules. bascially the module would have everything you need electronically done, and just have a the pins to wire it to the pi. could have a "power Module with a DB9 plug on it, a Temp module with a 1/8 jack on it, a PWM module with 4 stereo 1/8th in jacks (could do up to 8 but don't see a need for more than 8 pwm) just some examples, could be a ATO add on module, or a PH module.

Seems like a way for those not comfortable with electronics to have a more full featured controller, but flexiblity to set up what they need.
 

rushbattle

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If the pumps work on 0-10v, you should definitely test them with reef-pi. Just declare them as light and see if you can vary their speed when you change the corresponding light intensity (fixed mode , as we call it in reef-pi).
Currently we are not taking any donation, but you could really do much more valuable contribution by testing, building, documenting and sharing your experience. If nothing, just your involvement and moral support itself goes a long way. This is a hobby project for all of us, and keeping it like this keeps it light and stress free for us (the developers).
So in this case I would need to breadboard the circuit to go from 5v pwm to 10V dc with a 12v supply? I'll give it a shot if that helps out!
 

Bengals888

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Is this geared towards those who know how to code to their liking or will there be some easy GUI for non software folks?
 

Bengals888

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Is this geared towards those who know how to code to their liking or will there be some easy GUI for non software folks?
 
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How are you accomplishing water flow in your reef tank?

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