Dreading the Jarduino Reef Aquarium DIY Project

Discussion in 'Anything DIY Related' started by ChrisRaubs, 9 Aug 2012.

  1. ChrisRaubs

    ChrisRaubs

    Joined:
    30 Jun 2012
    Posts:
    892
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    Pretoria
    Hey there MASA peeps!!

    So i'm starting up a 700mm*700mm cube sometime soon, and was looking at various "controllers" that i could use to help make the living environment for the inhabitants of the tank as "good" as possible...

    I had in mind that the controller should be able to:

    1) Measure params such as - Temp, pH, Salinity/Conductivity
    2) Do certain things with the above params (for example temp control)
    2.1) this would entail switching plugs on & off...
    3) Conveniently display params on screen.

    I quickly found out that there's not many controllers compatible with SA electricity range (as most where running off 120VAC - referring to the plug-bars coming with the controllers) and the ones that where available in SA, literally cost an arm & a leg... Unless i'm missing one... ?

    After about 5 days solid surfing, and looking into the possibility of doing a DIY controller; after being inspired by @Manic 's DIY, i stumbled upon the "Jarduino" DIY controller.

    I prefer this build over any other on the net, cause:

    1) There is a relatively "step-by-step" guide to which i can refer
    2) ALL of the programming in the C++ environment is already done, from front to back, and expansions can be obtained directly from the "creator", Jamie aka "TheDOdblG", at a nominal Donation... :thumbup: He will even do some marginal custom coding... This guy is a LEGEND!!

    This is great cause I have NO skill in either! :whistling:

    Here are some links to entice... :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=gN4XQHNijxw

    http://ukreefs.com/index.php?topic=117.0

    I have began with inspecting the "step-by-step" guide to make a "parts" list that would be required to pull off this build,,, it include links where the particular parts can be purchased etc... Will probably be done with this list in about 2 or 3 days...

    The cost of this project is relatively low, if only the "controller" is bought, but it becomes quite pricey if LCD's and stuff is added... But since i'm starting out, and would need to spend this money in anyway on either T5 or MH set-up, i might just as well go for the LED's since this will pay for it self if operating cost and replacing cost of MH and/or T5's are taken into account... ;)

    So,,, are there any takers?

    It would be nice to do a sort of "team" build here cause then us "newbies" can phone each other up and help each other out with the difficult parts... :)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  2. AdS Guest




    to hide all adverts.
  3. Rory

    Rory Admin MASA Contributor

    Joined:
    5 May 2007
    Posts:
    4,850
    Likes Received:
    34
    Location:
    JHB
    I'm also keen to build an arduino controller (for my planted tank).
     
  4. Clownfish9906

    Clownfish9906

    Joined:
    5 Mar 2012
    Posts:
    688
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Midrand, Gauteng
    Seems like a good thing to get onto...
     
  5. Jeann1

    Jeann1

    Joined:
    21 Dec 2010
    Posts:
    830
    Likes Received:
    18
    Location:
    Witbank - Mpumalanga
    @ChrisRaubs

    Did you have a look at the Reef Angel?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  6. Karman

    Karman

    Joined:
    6 Aug 2012
    Posts:
    30
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Stellenbosch
    Hi

    Just my 1 tip about DIY controllers.. Please get a proper "I/O" unit. (I spend more building DIY ones than proper one cost)

    My first automation project used standard Relays' powered via Transistor circuits, the problem came in trying to switch 3 x Florescent tubes at same time, the feedback/noise from these (20m away from relay) was enough to actually trigger the other transistors on the controller board (after the relay) so the whole house was nice disco for few seconds (got 24 lights on same board).

    I upgraded to "industrial I/O device" (Barionet I/O 12) and not day issue since then.


    L:
     
  7. erratiC

    erratiC

    Joined:
    8 Dec 2010
    Posts:
    804
    Likes Received:
    22
    Location:
    Durban
    Pics or we don't believe you. :thumbup:
     
  8. Karman

    Karman

    Joined:
    6 Aug 2012
    Posts:
    30
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Stellenbosch
    HAHA

    Its my home automation system (every single light in house runs on it with motion sensor via alarm, bla bla bla bla).

    The 3 compact tubes was co-incidentally the lights over the Fresh tank (so at least semi related) :lol: We run with the disco for about a year trying to fix it before just buying proper thing.. Might be why the fish all bit :eek:

    I can post pics of the DB boards.. but that pretty boring.:001_huh:
     
  9. crispin

    crispin

    Joined:
    22 Jan 2008
    Posts:
    12,223
    Likes Received:
    160
    Location:
    Lilliehammer, Norway
    Hello Chris, i dont think ive welcomed you to masa before, nice to have you here:)

    personally I would also dread the DIY of a controller and there are some excellent automated reef systems available in SA. Unless its something you really want to do (in which case you shouldn't be dreading it) then i would suggest looking at an automated controller from a commercial supplier.

    there has been lots of excitement about the reef angle as suggested above, although Ive personally never seen one.

    A profilux system is brilliant and will do more than you want at this stage.

    vertex seem to be coming out with a controller called cerebra and that sounds excellent too.

    You have options without the electrocution:)
     
  10. Quintin

    Quintin

    Joined:
    30 Aug 2010
    Posts:
    1,607
    Likes Received:
    37
    Location:
    Ruimsig
    "I quickly found out that there's not many controllers compatible with SA electricity range (as most where running off 120VAC - referring to the plug-bars coming with the controllers) and the ones that where available in SA, literally cost an arm & a leg... Unless i'm missing one... ?"

    Buy yourself a 220V to 110V transformer.
    Simple solution.
     
  11. Quintin

    Quintin

    Joined:
    30 Aug 2010
    Posts:
    1,607
    Likes Received:
    37
    Location:
    Ruimsig
    I have loads of spare parts if you are interested.
    LCD screens, touch panels, screen with buttons, relays and arduinos......
    Let me know if you want me to post pics....
     
  12. ChrisRaubs

    ChrisRaubs Thread Starter

    Joined:
    30 Jun 2012
    Posts:
    892
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    Pretoria
    Hey @Jeann1 ,

    I actually did, but was a bit concerned about the prices (at first) , UNTILL i did the sheet for prices PROPERLY ... Yes, it still works out cheaper to do the DIY thing , but for the amount of money saved vs. the frustration of doing it myself with the limited / NO knowledge i have of this field of electronics + coding , i don't think it's gonna be worth it to go this route,,, but i'll have to make a few more enquiries before i make my final decision.


    A lot of hype about this Cerebra controller... I wonder how much they will sell for, and if it will be useable in SA... Do you have anymore detail around this thing??? :whistling:

    i thought of this, and my mind led me to think that a step down converter would need to be bought to take it to 120VAC, do the controlling interface etc, and then i need to buy another step-up converter to 240VAC for every plug i want to control,,, which would inevitably just add to the total price of things...

    maybe this conclusion is correct, but it just shows you how "little" i know about this field... ;)

    So, in conclusion,

    My mind have been kicking me from left to right for the past days :( and depending on the outcome of my enquiries, i might be going for the out of the box route...
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  13. ChrisRaubs

    ChrisRaubs Thread Starter

    Joined:
    30 Jun 2012
    Posts:
    892
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    Pretoria
    Hey @Jeann1 ,,,

    Popped you a mail.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  14. Rory

    Rory Admin MASA Contributor

    Joined:
    5 May 2007
    Posts:
    4,850
    Likes Received:
    34
    Location:
    JHB
    Yeah definitely. Only saw your post now, wasn't too much signal where I was on holiday. Been scouring ebay and the local guys sites now as well as the official arduino site.

    I saw a "combo" on ebay that is the mega, 3.2 touch screen and sd card and a shield for it for a decent price. That would save on buttons and stuff and be a lot easier to make look "neat". Then the main extra bits would be temp sensors, ph interface+prob, rtc and a relay block or 2. And of course a box and power supply. (and lots of wires, connectors, etc).
    I want the sd card bit for logging of parameters/actions etc. Ethernet I'll only add if I ever get around to actually running any ethernet cables in my house. I don't leave anything running and don't want it to be reliant on any server/connection being up etc for that purpose.
     
  15. naptalene

    naptalene

    Joined:
    6 May 2007
    Posts:
    365
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Randburg
    I started fiddling with mine from scratch.

    1. Bought a Typhon for LEDS anyway cause it's quite a learning curve.
    2. Don't have a running tank so time doesn't matter
    3. I have itchy feet so love learning new crap and it's always intrigued me
    4. Too stubborn to give up at this point, probably should have bought a controller :whistling:
    5. Quite possibly will :eek:

    my 2c

    PS. Got it reading temps, displaying and starting to work on switching according to the input sensors etc. with no previous knowledge at all - if I can do that you can.
     
  16. Jeann1

    Jeann1

    Joined:
    21 Dec 2010
    Posts:
    830
    Likes Received:
    18
    Location:
    Witbank - Mpumalanga
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  17. ChrisRaubs

    ChrisRaubs Thread Starter

    Joined:
    30 Jun 2012
    Posts:
    892
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    Pretoria
    Haha,,, you must have,,, you already replied as well.. . ;) :whistling:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
Recent Posts

Loading...
Similar Threads - Dreading Jarduino Reef Forum Date
Jarduino Aquarium controller v1.2 Test Kits, Controllers, Reactors and Dosers 3 Jan 2016