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Arduino Aquarium Controller?

Discussion in 'DIY (Do-It-Yourself) Projects' started by Sour137, Jan 29, 2018.

  1. Sour137

    Sour137 Copepod

    Has anyone here done this? The biggest challenge I foresee is getting power for pumps and powerheads to be controlled via the controller, just like any other commercial grade controller. I currently have the RKL and I found a piece that can interface with the RJ25 and RJ11 that the RKL uses, but I expect there to be more challenges trying to interface with that hardware than trying to do it all from scratch Any ideas?.
  2. Cherub

    Cherub Shark M.A.S.C Club Member

    reef angel already does this. I bought the latest one and sent it back same day I got it because how cheap it was, the power port broke on second insertion of the power cable.
  3. Sour137

    Sour137 Copepod

    Hmm. That sounds like an easy fix, but understandably not ideal.
    Cherub likes this.
  4. Cherub

    Cherub Shark M.A.S.C Club Member

    Well at 550 dollars I did expect it to last more then a day lol
  5. Sour137

    Sour137 Copepod

    Jeeze. I have literally no intention of selling it. I'm an aspiring EE so doing the programming with C, and the systems is really all I'm keen on doing. If it eventually means I can sell my RKL bits then all the better, but I'm just doing it for the shiggles.
  6. Balz3352

    Balz3352 Marlin M.A.S.C Club Member

    You should post on the national forum I think thert was something similar posted recently on r2r
  7. JZinCO

    JZinCO Copepod M.A.S.C Club Member

    Robo-tank is another to look at how that controller does it. Also they have a good forum that's more likely to address your question
  8. Sour137

    Sour137 Copepod

    Wow, those look like they're made from duct tape lol. That's almost exactly what I'm looking for. Thanks
  9. halmus

    halmus Cuttle Fish Staff Member M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. M.A.S.C Secretary

    If your concern is controlling 120ac via the microcontroller, Sparkfun has a product that looks pretty much plug and play. Or, you could build your own relay board for educational purposes. It’s not hard, just takes a little research. I’d go with solid state relays if I built something from scratch. And don’t forget the fuses to protect yourself. If you’re not comfortable with 120ac, you should probably go with a plug and play solution for that part and stick with learning on the low voltage stuff first. I’m not sure where you’re at in the EE path.

    Sparkfun IOT power relay:
  10. Sour137

    Sour137 Copepod

    Well, I am independently studying circuits and components right now, and learning C++ in a class. I'm about to get an arduino to begin playing with that kind of stuff, so this is more of a long term project, but probably the end goal with the arduino.
  11. jda123

    jda123 Tuna M.A.S.C Club Member

    You can buy USB power strips and sensors (temp, PH, etc.). Will the Audrino use these like a Raspberry PI or Mac Mini? Most of them are significantly higher quality than those in an Apex, but also more expensive.
  12. Sour137

    Sour137 Copepod

    I'll have to do some research on that, but if the pi can then I have little doubt the arduino can as well. I can't speak to mac however. Literally no experience in over a decade with anything apple.
  13. Sour137

    Sour137 Copepod

    Well in two minutes of research, arduino can't do that. Surprising. The pi can however. I have seen an arduino control panel for kerbal so there might be something there. Those posts were all the way back in 09.
  14. jda123

    jda123 Tuna M.A.S.C Club Member

    That is too bad. It it really easy to control outlets and check probe data with either the mini or pi if you can write actual code (not Apex code) - the only really semi-difficult thing about the apex is the pseudocode interpreter, but that is still Comp Sci 200 level stuff and not rocket science. I used a Mac Mini once for a controller until I figured out what a pain that they are and I just let it slip away into nothing and still just use light timers.

    You might have to write java on the Mini, but you can ssh into it from anywhere, host anything and it has a full unix suite of tools. If you are going to write code, you might want to consider using a real machine - used Mac Minis are really cheap. You could probably use Ruby if you wanted to.

    ubuntu on an old PC would be just as good.

    These are skill that might be able to get you a good job.
  15. SkyShark

    SkyShark Tuna Staff Member M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. B.O.D. Member-at-Large

    Sounds like a great learning project! I’ll be following along.

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