Smart Reef Controller

JonCherba

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
Mar 8, 2021
Messages
29
Reaction score
9
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Amarillo
I'm working on a reef controller and I figured I would post about it and see what everybody's opinions and suggestions might be. I'll list features below:

-16 - 120VAC Outlets, Controllable (on / off), Power usage monitored as well (expandable to 32 with add-on).
-Wifi, Network, and Cellular Communication (cell for when power goes out and your wifi no longer works.
-Full system battery backup 8-12 hours (add-on).
-Ability to monitor and control RODI system.
-may include a remote control screen with rotating push-button for controlling the system from the tank.
-Android / Apple App (Future Plans)
-Web based portal to monitor and control from anywhere.
-Main Controller is: 18" X 12" X 3.25" (this should be able to fit under most tank stands)

-INPUTS:
6 - Temp Sensors
4-6 - Flow Sensors
2-4 - Water Level Sensors
1 - PH Sensors
1 - Conductivity Sensor (Salinity)

Any other suggestions or feature requests please feel free to comment. This is a work in progress. The image below is a basic idea of what it could look like so far.
Reef Controller Enclosure - 3D - ISO - 9.png


Reef Controller Enclosure - 3D - ISO - 9.png
 
Zoanthids

NoFoolin

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
Jul 23, 2019
Messages
39
Reaction score
39
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Grand Rapids
Looks to me like you got all your eggs in one basket. I like the modular approach. Having multiple small stations instead of one big one allows you to place the smaller modules closer to equipment and allows for shorter cables.
 

NoFoolin

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
Jul 23, 2019
Messages
39
Reaction score
39
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Grand Rapids
Looks to me like you got all your eggs in one basket. I like the modular approach. Having multiple small stations instead of one big one allows you to place the smaller modules closer to equipment and allows for shorter cables.
I should have mentioned you're going to need multiple circuits for that many plugs.
 

tc3driver

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
Apr 19, 2021
Messages
43
Reaction score
89
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Southern Ca, USA
I like the idea...
@NoFoolin is correct that you will probably need multiple circuits for that number of plugs.

The other problem I see is nearly nothing (at least that I have run into) in this hobby uses C14 connectors. This would mean that you would either have to include, or require the user to procure NEMA 5-15R to C14 power adaptors (just shy of $20 for a 5 pack of 1 footers on amazon). I get it for the power input, however the power output seems a bit short sighted (not to mention the users doing dumb things like plugging the source power into an output port, I am sure you can protect against this, however the differentiation will greatly improve the user experience). Then my last issue with the C14 connections is how easily they come out, I would recommend line clips for each one, at least then it is a more secure connection.

Sorry man, I don't mean to rain on your parade here.
 
OP
J

JonCherba

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
Mar 8, 2021
Messages
29
Reaction score
9
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Amarillo
I should have mentioned you're going to need multiple circuits for that many plugs.
Basically it's kinda like a power strip that everybody or most of you already use. power comes into the controller via a different style plug to prevent confusion and errors. then it goes through a current sensor that monitors both current and input voltage. then it's split between a step down transformer to provide 3.3v, 5v, and 12v DC to run the relays and other electronics, the other side of the split goes straight to the current sensors and relays to control each outlet. I have done the math on each piece of equipment i have and plan to have and the system can more then easily handle everything I have. Each outlet can handle 10amps, which if you do the math is 1200watts.

Does this explain better or have I misunderstood why I need multiple circuits?
I like the idea...
@NoFoolin is correct that you will probably need multiple circuits for that number of plugs.

The other problem I see is nearly nothing (at least that I have run into) in this hobby uses C14 connectors. This would mean that you would either have to include, or require the user to procure NEMA 5-15R to C14 power adaptors (just shy of $20 for a 5 pack of 1 footers on amazon). I get it for the power input, however the power output seems a bit short sighted (not to mention the users doing dumb things like plugging the source power into an output port, I am sure you can protect against this, however the differentiation will greatly improve the user experience). Then my last issue with the C14 connections is how easily they come out, I would recommend line clips for each one, at least then it is a more secure connection.

Sorry man, I don't mean to rain on your parade here.
The style of connector was chosen because it has a strong mount and it's universal for the most part. I would include adapters in the kit (when it's ready), unless we can find another style of outlet to use. I believe we can include a locking version of the outlet. I will look into it. I'll see if I can find another style of PCB mounted outlet that would still work with our design so far.

No worries, I posted this here because I wanted to hear opinions and concerns or requests. it helps build a better product.
 
Corals.com
OP
J

JonCherba

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
Mar 8, 2021
Messages
29
Reaction score
9
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Amarillo
Looks to me like you got all your eggs in one basket. I like the modular approach. Having multiple small stations instead of one big one allows you to place the smaller modules closer to equipment and allows for shorter cables.
I really wanted to design something that could be used across saltwater, freshwater, and other aquaculture type systems. I wanted it to be expandable, clean looking and as compact and affordable as possible. and of course as safe and user friendly as possible!
 
OP
J

JonCherba

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
Mar 8, 2021
Messages
29
Reaction score
9
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Amarillo
Which conductivity probe from Atlas Scientific would be ideal for saltwater aquariums?
0.1 = 0.07 - 50,000 uS/cm
1.0 = 5- 200,000 uS/cm
10 = 10 uS/cm - 1 S/cm

I tried to look up the neptune probe specs but i could not find the info i needed...
 

elysics

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Jan 15, 2020
Messages
926
Reaction score
821
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Regarding the clean looking part, maybe imagine, or better yet, draw up, how this would look with all power cables and adapters plugged in one side and a bunch of sensor cables plugged into the other side, and how you would have to place this in the stand such that the power cables are separated enough from the sensor cables.

What do you plan to do to mitigate all the interference from mains lines and relays on the sensitive sensor electronics in the same box?

Edit: as for practical suggestions, who has 6 temp probes but only 1 pH probe? If you run a calcium reactor, that's already 2 pH probes in most cases.
 
Last edited:

When is the last time you purchased cleanup crew critters?

  • Past few days

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Past few weeks

    Votes: 1 11.1%
  • Past few months

    Votes: 2 22.2%
  • Over a half a year

    Votes: 3 33.3%
  • Over a year ago

    Votes: 3 33.3%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
Gluemasters - your best choice for CA super glue
Top