Robo-Tank w/Reefpi: Adding other I2C sensors

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Atrumblood

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Greetings all,

So I have recently set up my first reef aquarium controller and I want to start adding other sensors.
I would like to add a salinity probe and an ORP probe to my toolset.
Ideally, I would like to be able to monitor all the parameters necessary for keeping a healthy reef tank, but some of the probes are crazy expensive.

Does Reefpi / Robo-Tank support those? I would imagine it can as long as the probes use the I2C protocol?
 
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robsworld78

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Hi @Atrumblood you are correct, if other sensors or circuits use I2C it's possible to use but reef-pi doesn't directly support salinity or ORP. You can however run an additional script / program on the Pi that will read Atlas circuits, save the data to text file and then it can be imported into reef-pi and used like pH.

For this to work you would need to be a little comfortable using the SSH terminal for Pi as you need to send commands to the script for calibration or change settings. If this sounds good I can help get you going and on a side note I'm working on an app of my own that will support the Atlas salinity and ORP and other circuits from them but it'll be a few months till it's ready.

Things aren't cheap, the circuits would cost about $150 + 2 probes.

Atlas recently came out with a USB version which is better than I2C but I've yet to get one to test it. If you think you can get this running on your Pi using their driver and examples I can help edit the code so data gets saved to text file.

You would need two of these.

This is the EC circuit, it can output conductivity, TDS, salinity and in salt water specific gravity.

This is for ORP.
 
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Atrumblood

Atrumblood

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Hi @Atrumblood you are correct, if other sensors or circuits use I2C it's possible to use but reef-pi doesn't directly support salinity or ORP. You can however run an additional script / program on the Pi that will read Atlas circuits, save the data to text file and then it can be imported into reef-pi and used like pH.

For this to work you would need to be a little comfortable using the SSH terminal for Pi as you need to send commands to the script for calibration or change settings. If this sounds good I can help get you going and on a side note I'm working on an app of my own that will support the Atlas salinity and ORP and other circuits from them but it'll be a few months till it's ready.

Things aren't cheap, the circuits would cost about $150 + 2 probes.

Atlas recently came out with a USB version which is better than I2C but I've yet to get one to test it. If you think you can get this running on your Pi using their driver and examples I can help edit the code so data gets saved to text file.

You would need two of these.

This is the EC circuit, it can output conductivity, TDS, salinity and in salt water specific gravity.

This is for ORP.
Hey man, I appreciate the reply.

I am decently familiar with SSH and linux in general. I have some programming experience so it would be nothing new to me.

I think my only area of confusion would be how to access the various GPIO ports from a script (python I assume).

Can you point me to some documentation on how I can do that?

Thanks,
 

robsworld78

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Hey man, I appreciate the reply.

I am decently familiar with SSH and linux in general. I have some programming experience so it would be nothing new to me.

I think my only area of confusion would be how to access the various GPIO ports from a script (python I assume).

Can you point me to some documentation on how I can do that?

Thanks,
Great, if you go I2C you can connect to external I2C port on controller or with USB just plug into a Pi USB. USB is better as the I2C is prone to electrical noise.

This covers the 3 ways to connect.

And if you go to the circuit listing and click on "documents and downloads" there's lots of info.

In reef-pi you use the file driver to read text files, put in the file path, add an analog connector and then you can use the pH tab to import.
 
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Ranjib

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We'll be adding the EC/ORP support if folks continue to use it. I didn't add it in the beginning because I was not interested (less necessary and high price/maintenance). I'll keep this in mind for the next major release
 
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Atrumblood

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We'll be adding the EC/ORP support if folks continue to use it. I didn't add it in the beginning because I was not interested (less necessary and high price/maintenance). I'll keep this in mind for the next major release
Glad to hear that. IMO it is nice to have options even if they are not popular.

I am a metrics junkie and so the more data I can get the better.
 
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Atrumblood

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Great, if you go I2C you can connect to external I2C port on controller or with USB just plug into a Pi USB. USB is better as the I2C is prone to electrical noise.

This covers the 3 ways to connect.

And if you go to the circuit listing and click on "documents and downloads" there's lots of info.

In reef-pi you use the file driver to read text files, put in the file path, add an analog connector and then you can use the pH tab to import.
Thank you for your reply.
This looks very helpful.
 
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Atrumblood

Atrumblood

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First time seeing this Robo Tank equipment. Neat.
It seems like a good investment and is expandable to whatever you need (as long as you don't mind a little DIY).

I got it because it seemed like a great way to dive into automation without spending 500-1000 dollars to get started. If you include the cost of a pH probe, you can get a system going for less than 300 once you factor in the cost of the raspberry pi unit.
 
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