Reef Pi Build

Diamond1

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I wanted to start a thread for my reef pi build that documents the whole process and puts the process of building it in one thread. I will post the resources that I use in the build here with links to the parts and links to how to videos.

A very special thanks goes out @Ranjib and everyone who is actively participating in the reef pi thread, software development and prototyping.
https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/reef-pi-an-opensource-reef-tank-controller-based-on-raspberry-pi.289256/
They are all quick to answer any questions and that makes it the best resource for all things Reef Pi. I will be posting there with any questions or issues I might have.
I will also be referring to some of that thread in this one as well.

I was quite overwhelmed going through @Ranjib 's build and prototyping thread. There is a ton of great info and builds in that thread but at over 300+ pages it's a bit cumbersome and some of the information is hard to find.
I thought that documenting my build might be a good way to consolidate some of that info into 1 thread.


"MY UP FRONT DISCLAIMER"

I have absolutely no background in doing these types of things and my electrical circuit building experience is limited to basic soldering skills (I know which end of the soldering iron not to hold). Also I have little to no experience with programing other than what I've been researching in my quest to get started with this build. So if I can do this successfully anyone can.
Hopefully this thread will be helpfull to anyone wanting to try.

This won't be an all inclusive build, but I do plan on incorporating most of the features and options that @Ranjib has included in his software.

For starters I want my Reef Pi to:
1 Monitor and control my tanks temperature through a temperature probe and electrical relays.
2 Monitor and control an ATO system.
3 Have the ability to control all electrical components of my tank. (skimmer, return pump, refugium and sump light etc..)
4 Have real time monitoring of said functions.
5 Be able to remotely access the reef pi with my smart phone, tablet or computer.

As the build goes forward I would also like to incorporate 2 part dosing with dc peristaltic pumps, dimmable t5 lighting, a ph monitor and DC wavemaker controls.
That's the beauty of this project... It's totally expandable!

First off here are links to the overview, parts lists and circuit construction of the modules.

OVERVIEW
https://learn.adafruit.com/reef-pi-installation-and-configuration

POWER CONTROLLER
https://learn.adafruit.com/reef-pi-power-controller

TEMPERATURE CONTROLLER
https://learn.adafruit.com/reef-pi-guide-3-temperature-controller

WATER LEVEL CONTROLLER
https://learn.adafruit.com/reef-pi-water-level-controller

LIGHTING CONTROLLER
https://reef-pi.github.io/build-guides/lighting/

As of now these are the modules that are available with complete parts lists and circuit building specs. The ph probe is in development now and when it's available I will add it.

You can find the Reef Pi software here.
https://github.com/reef-pi/reef-pi/releases
 
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Diamond1

Diamond1

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Ok now onto my plan and some of the stuff that I have acquired so far.

I want to make a box for the Reef pi that matches my stand and looks aesthetically pleasing. For this I am using 1/4" Red Oak plywood, 2 x 1/4" red oak strips and some black abs panels from some material I have laying around.

This is the stand I want to match the enclosure to.
tank3.jpg


The Module will be hung on the right side of the stand with access holes going through the sides for easy cord management. I will also be building a matching cabinet that will house a container for ATO water, 2 Part containers and I may put a remote refugium on top.

So far I have the raspberry pi, power supply and Micro SD card. The PI 3 has built in wifi and bluetooth.
https://www.adafruit.com/product/3055
IMG_4058.JPG


Temperature probe and connectors.
https://www.adafruit.com/product/381
https://www.adafruit.com/product/3692
https://www.adafruit.com/product/1800
IMG_4056.JPG


ULN2803 and socket,and male header pins.
https://www.adafruit.com/product/970
https://www.adafruit.com/product/2204
https://www.adafruit.com/product/3002
IMG_4064.JPG


Buck adjustable step down power supply.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/LM2596S-DC-DC-3A-Buck-Adjustable-Step-down-Power-Supply-Converter-Module-Arduino/382552225398?ssPageName=STRK:MEBIDX:IT&_trksid=p2060353.m2749.l2649
IMG_4063.JPG


A bunch of these jumper wires.
https://www.adafruit.com/product/825
jumper wires.jpg
 
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Diamond1

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I will be going to Menards tomorrow and getting the electrical outlets and wiring for my power supply.
The power supply is loosely based on this type of build.
 
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Diamond1

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I started working on the Temp sensor probe getting it ready for installation.
These are the parts I used.

1/8-3.5 mm TRS Jack
https://www.adafruit.com/product/3692

1/8-3.5mm Stereo plug.
https://www.adafruit.com/product/1800

DS18B20 water proof Temperature probe.
https://www.adafruit.com/product/381

First I tinned the lead wires from the probe and the pins on the plug .

The blue wire is the ground. Yellow is the data line and red is the +Ve. I stripped off the male ends of the wires tinned them and then soldered them to the plug.

IMG_4067.JPG


Ready for soldering
IMG_4069.JPG


Soldered in place.
IMG_4070.JPG


IMG_4071.JPG


IMG_4073.JPG


IMG_4081.JPG





Next I took a black yellow and red wire from the male to female jumper wires to use for leads from the plug. The Black (ground), Yellow (data) Red (+Ve)
IMG_4078.JPG


IMG_4076.JPG



I used aquarium safe silicone and coated the end of the probe with a thin layer. This should keep the probe from corroding and extend it's life.

IMG_4079.JPG


IMG_4081.JPG


IMG_4075.JPG
 
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Diamond1

Diamond1

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Today I got my Pi up and running with Noobs.
Having never used a system like this before I was a little apprehensive about it but Noobs was very easy to navigate through and has nice feel to it.
Adafruit also recommends Noobs for first time PI users.
Here's a link to the raspberry pi foundations explanation of Noobs (New Out Of Box Software)
https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/introducing-noobs/

The raspberry pi kit I got came with a 16GB class 10 Micro SD card pre-loaded with the OS. It's my understanding that anything less than a class 10 SD card is going to make the operating system run slower and you need at least a 4GB card for it to work at all.

IMG_4085.JPG


Here's the card installed in the pi
IMG_4087.JPG


If you don't have a pre-loaded card Adafruit has a whole section on how to format your card, load the image onto it, first time configuration , network and ssh set up.

Prepping your SD card
https://learn.adafruit.com/adafruit-raspberry-pi-lesson-1-preparing-and-sd-card-for-your-raspberry-pi

Booting your pi for the first time.
https://learn.adafruit.com/adafruits-raspberry-pi-lesson-2-first-time-configuration

Network set up ethernet or wifi
https://learn.adafruit.com/adafruits-raspberry-pi-lesson-3-network-setup

ssh (remotely controlling you pi from another device over your network)
https://learn.adafruit.com/adafruits-raspberry-pi-lesson-6-using-ssh

While I was doing the card I attached the heat sinks to the processors. The heat sinks are easy to install they have a sticky backing and you just have to peel the paper off and stick them down.

Heat sinks attached
IMG_4088.JPG


For the first time booting my pi I used an ethernet cable so I haven't set up the ssh yet. I just wanted to get it up and running, make sure it worked and download reef pi.
My kit also came with an HDMI cable that hooked right up to the back of a tv.

For a power supply I am using this one.
https://www.adafruit.com/product/1994
adafruit pi power supply.jpg

It takes a USB to micro USB cable just like a Samsung phone charger and I have about 20 of those laying around so I just used one I had.

If you don't have an extra one this will work.
https://www.adafruit.com/product/592
usb to micro usb cable.jpg


I have a wireless keyboard and mouse that I will be using after everything is built and in place but for now I just used USB beyboard and mouse.

Everything but the ethernet cable hooked up and ready to go.
IMG_4091.JPG
 
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Diamond1

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Next up I connected everything up and configured my raspberry pi for reef pi.
Since there are very detailed instructions for configuring your pi here: https://reef-pi.github.io/general-guides/install/ I won't go into a lot of details.

Here is a video from you tube that gives a pretty clear overview of installation.

You can get the latest version of reef pi here.
https://github.com/reef-pi/reef-pi/releases

Make sure you download the appropriate version for your Pi.
The pi0 version is for use with a Pi Zero and the pi3 version is for Pi 3.

I downloaded the file directly onto my pi and then just opened the file and ran it.

After you have reef pi installed you can access reef pi from your raspberry pi with the browser or through a computer, tablet or your phone with wifi if you have enabled ssh. The internet isn't needed for reef pi to run but if you want to access the UI it makes life easier without having to hook up a monitor keyboard and a mouse.

If you access it from your rasp pi you can just open the browser and enter (http://reeftankname.local)
Whatever you name the host will be used for this.

This will open the UI in your browser. The first time you access the UI you will be prompted to enter a user name and password. Use reef-pi for both.

Since my build isn't complete I don't have anything to program with the UI, but I was able to mess around with it and get a bit familiar with the UI. If you're raspberry pi is ready to hook up equipment to you can go here to get info on setting up the UI with whatever equipment you have.
https://learn.adafruit.com/reef-pi-installation-and-configuration/installation-and-ui-overview
 
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Diamond1

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Made some more progress with the reef pi interface. My Pi is now on the internet via wifi and I was able to get remote access to reef pi with a remote viewer from VNC. Noobs comes with VNC Connect already loaded.
I went to their website https://www.realvnc.com/en/connect/download/viewer/ and downloaded VNC viewer, created an account and was able to get logged in on my pc.

Pi running on my PC.
i screen shot.jpg




Just choose the platform you want and download it.
The viewer works with Mac, Windows, Android, iOS and a bunch of other operating systems. There are a couple other ways of getting access (like Windows remote access and Putty) but after a lot of messing around with them, I feel that VNC was the easiest to get up and running. VNC is free and you can add up to five devices to remote view your reef pi from.

I had to go into the Pi and enable both ssh and VNC via the preferences tab, then raspberry pi configuration tab, then interfaces tab.

You will need to go to VNC on your pi and sign in to the account you created to enable VNC connect.
I was so busy trying to get this up and going I forgot to take pics of the VNC login and connection process but it is pretty straight forward, just follow the prompts.
When you log in from your PC or other device you will need to know the user name and password from your raspberry pi.


IMG_4099.JPG




IMG_4100.JPG



Just click what you want enabled and you are good to go.
IMG_4101.JPG
 
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Diamond1

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Reef pi running remotely on my PC.
Since I don't have any circuits built, there's not much to do with the reef pi UI but this was more of a test to make sure everything is working properly and if my wifi system could handle it without issues.
So far so good!!!

Reef PI on pc.JPG
 
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Diamond1

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So in addition to keeping a reef tank I am teaching myself woodworking and guitar building. (There's a point to this...Really!!)

I turned this...
IMG_2400.JPG


into this...
IMG_2531.JPG


LOOK you can actually see a reef tank in this pic ;)
IMG_2586.JPG


Some of the instruments I've built.
IMG_4113.JPG


If you look in the last pic there are 2 cigar box guitars.
If you've never heard of them go to you tube and check them out. They are easy to make and a blast to play.

Again I digress...

I have a bunch of cigar boxes out in my shop and was moving them to make room on my bench to work on a box for my reef pi when it dawned on me that instead of making an enclosure for the pi I could use a cigar box.

So I have a couple different boxes I was thinking might work.

IMG_4109.JPG


IMG_4110.JPG


IMG_4111.JPG


I kinda like the one with the moose just chillin but the other 2 would match my stand better and I could use one for the controller and the other for the power outlets. I checked all the boxes to see If I could fit everything inside and any of them would work.

I finally got my 8 channel relay today so I can start working on the power outlets this weekend.
 
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Ranjib

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This is awesome :0). I dont know how come I missed you thread. Keep us posted. And dont hesitate to tag me in if any help needed right here,.
 

Ranjib

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So in addition to keeping a reef tank I am teaching myself woodworking and guitar building. (There's a point to this...Really!!)

I turned this...
IMG_2400.JPG


into this...
IMG_2531.JPG


LOOK you can actually see a reef tank in this pic ;)
IMG_2586.JPG


Some of the instruments I've built.
IMG_4113.JPG


If you look in the last pic there are 2 cigar box guitars.
If you've never heard of them go to you tube and check them out. They are easy to make and a blast to play.

Again I digress...

I have a bunch of cigar boxes out in my shop and was moving them to make room on my bench to work on a box for my reef pi when it dawned on me that instead of making an enclosure for the pi I could use a cigar box.

So I have a couple different boxes I was thinking might work.

IMG_4109.JPG


IMG_4110.JPG


IMG_4111.JPG


I kinda like the one with the moose just chillin but the other 2 would match my stand better and I could use one for the controller and the other for the power outlets. I checked all the boxes to see If I could fit everything inside and any of them would work.

I finally got my 8 channel relay today so I can start working on the power outlets this weekend.
Wow... great craftmanship
 
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Diamond1

Diamond1

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Ok so I got some parts for the power center and started building. I'm still waiting on some things like a perma proto board, water level sensor and the fused power switch for the power center.
I was hoping to get the board so I can start on the circuits but it probably won't be here till Monday.


DISCLAIMER!!

This part of the build requires a basic understanding of high voltage wiring. It can be very dangerous. If you're not comfortable doing it the way I am, Ranjib's guide uses the DJ power strip with built in relays.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B007EYHBVQ/

I got 4 electrical outlets, 4 face plates and a 25 foot roll of Romex 14/2 electrical wire.
The outlets, face plates and wire are just off the shelf stuff from the big bog box store of you're choice.
The cigar box I decided on for this part is made from all wood and I'm not sure if it's going to stay natural wood finish or not.

IMG_4122.JPG


This is just regular construction grade wiring
IMG_4174.JPG


I took the 14/2 wire and stripped off the outer insulation so I could use it for wiring the outlets. I ended up cutting around 4 feet of the wire and used most of it.
IMG_4124.JPG



Layout of the outlets and relay
IMG_4130.JPG


I used a face plate to help with the outlet placing I and cut the hole with a jig saw and cleaned it up with a chisel.
I wanted to make sure that there was enough room in between the sockets so I could plug in big power bricks.
IMG_4131.JPG


IMG_4135.JPG


IMG_4136.JPG



IMG_4137.JPG


The blue stuff around the sockets is a thin layer of rubber I had laying around. I put it between the box and the back of the face plates as a moisture barrier.
Once the box has been finalized I will seal all the seams with silicone.
IMG_4138.JPG


Placing and attatching the relay.
IMG_4139.JPG


IMG_4141.JPG


I used these little rubber vibration dampening feet for stand offs to keep the bottom of the relay off the wood.
When the relay is powered the bottom of it has exposed circuits that carry high voltage so it needs to be isolated.
I used these instead off traditional nylon standoff blocks so I wouldn't have holes in the front of the box.
IMG_4147.JPG


IMG_4149.JPG

IMG_4149.JPG
 
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