Control for my Reef Tank

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Hi Everyone

It's a automated control system with either a touch of a button, or a flick of a switch . or just let It all do it's business by it's self.

I have a PLC "Programmable Logic Controller" that has 12 inputs and 6 outputs .

This means I can use for example 12 switches/buttons " it can be much more complex than this but we will keep it very simple " no disrespect to anyone here .

with these 12 inputs I can program the outputs to do anything that I wanted."mind you though you don’t have to use all inputs I only used 8"

from the pic you can see I have 3 lights at the top.
the first light is a red LED ,that is an alarm for the temp controller which is not associated with the PLC. the temp controller controls my heating and cooling via a thermocouple that senses a voltage ,via a difference in temp 0-10 volts then switches either a heating relay or cooling relay ."that's it for the temp controller, I wanted to do more with it but the control box physical size would not allow me ,and my wife would have killed me if I had a bigger panel"

The second LED is blue , this is telling me that the auto top up is at the correct level.

the pump to come oN only for 3 min every 12 hours subject to the float switch . "if the sump is full the there is no water needed to be pumped into the sump."but from this pic, the bottom right hand selector switch allows me to turn this top up pump on and off at will,but I must hold the switch in the on position as it is a spring return "so I can not walk away and forget about it and over fill!

Now to the second row of switches

The first button “illuminated as all buttons are”

1)Red ,this is the return/ calcium reactor button.
it is controlled via the switch and also other buttons, but we will get to that if I have not bored the crap out of you just yet !

2)Blue, this is the 2x250w metal halides these turned on via the timer through the PLC also the button and also controlled via another switch .

3)White, this control’s the sump light

The third row of buttons

1) Red this is for my power heads they can be switched on or off but once again programmed to be off via another switch.

2)Blue this is for my center light a 1x250w metal halide only on for 3 hours a day via the timer in the PLC but once again can be turned on or off via the button.

3)LED blue lights these come on after all my metal halides go off “only for one hour though, just to stop light shock. once again controlled via a timer and the button.


the fourth row of buttons

1) green button this is my feeding time button . It will turn off all power heads and return pump and calcium reactor for 10 min , it stops blowing the food all over the tank , it automatically turns all pumps back on after 10 Min.

2) yellow button this turns “everything off” once pressed for 8 seconds .”I forgot to mention the metal halides have the same feature, they need to be pressed for 3 seconds to activate “

the selector switches “the bottom of the control panel

switch 1) skimmer either on or off

2)chiller pump on/off

3) as mentioned above the auto top up switch

ok here are the pic’s

cheers everyone please enjoy


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Argh I wish i could build my own..
How mush would a unit like this cost to build. (just a ballpark figure)
very nice!!!
 
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It was easy to build and program "only because i am an electrician/instrumentation technician"

The cost i am unsure of , but could be anything from say $1200 AUD to $3000 AUD

Depends on how cheap you can get the parts for :)


Cheers Andrew
 
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Is it then not cheaper to get a profilux? well for me it would be cause if I had to build that I would most def bugger it up.where can I see pics of your system?
 
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wow.

Damn.

Thats pretty impressive.

Thanks for sharing
thanks :)


Renier, the only reason i built this was due to having to un plug all my pumps when i wanted to feed my fish , as i like to turn all power heads/ pumps off .

and also i had all this equipment as pretty much in the junk pile in my shed , except i did buy a few relays and also the box itself :)

cheers mate

P.S i have not posted any pics of my tank yet , although i have posted a few pics of my clams :) in the invert section
 
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Thanks mate , also i will post a tank journal , once i find all my pics on photobucket !

Cheers mate :)
 
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WOW, Andrew - most impressive :thumbup: and VERY professionally done - I can see that you do this sort of thing for a living.

Do you hard-wire the pumps, etc. to the relays inside the box, or do you have plug outlets somewhere on the box - reason for asking, is that if everything was hard-wired I would expect that it would be difficult to quickly change a pump, or am I wrong?

Oh, and WELCOME to MASA - it's GREAT to have another DIY man on the Forum :biggrin:

Hennie
 

jacquesb

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WOW Andrew/Tommo! Awesome man! Thanks for sharing this with us!

What did you use as the "computer" part? Do you perhaps have PLC PIC model numbers for us? And/or schematics? If you don't mind disclosing this info, that is......
 
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Thanks everyone :D
Just going to answer the questions .

No the pumps are not hard wired, i have from the terminal strip flex cable comming out with a plug on the end , and you are right if a pump or any peice of equipment does break it is easy to change .

The computer part is the PLC which i just wrote a program , it is rather easy to do simple logic , i have no wiring diagrams nor schematics as 2 things ,1) for me i am an electrican and it easy to work out , only because i built it and it is a small panel ,2) there would be no point it wiring diagrams as to do say this for your aquarium , it would be totally different , say you might have more lights or pumps wanting them turned on/off on different buttons and use timers with other equipment :)


Cheers
 
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I have a PLC with 6 inputs and 4 outputs with battery backup module which I use for my lights. 2 x 54w blue actinic come on at 09h30 and switch of at 21h30, 2 x 39w 10000k come on at 10h30 and switch off at 20h30, 2 x 39w 10000k come on at 11h00 and switch off at 20h00, my sump light comes on at 21h30 and switches off at 09h30. All this cost me +/- R1300.
You can purchase a PLC with 12 inputs and 8 outputs with the battery backup module and the software for less than R3000. The applications of this is unlimited beacause you could install heaters without thermostats as you would use a temp probe to establish the temperature in your display tank and switch the heaters on when the temp reaches say 24 C and switch off when the temp reached say 25 C. You could measure water levels and switch top up pumps on and off. Powerheads, etc could be switched on and off at any time - the uses of PLC's are actually unlimited for the serious reefer.
 
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Hi Ted

Yeah i use a thermocouple as my temp sensor , and controlled via the eurotherm controller, which does my heaters and chiller :)

But that is not part of my PLC only because of the outputs "not enough"
also the auto top up "not part of the PLC" if i could have more outputs , i would make some thing a little more technical.

cheers mate :)

What sort of PLC are you using ?
 

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