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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Getting back into darts, lifes busy + I work late often... All my aquariums are arduino controlled... So the Viv's going that way too come heck or high water :)

Here I go again with this project... Open source, everything should be cheap and easy to find, any idiot (ie me) with a soldering iron, should be able to replicate it and adjust to his needs.

Shopping list (ok well I have a lot of this lying around) - links are generally to my local geek shop (yeah I said it). You can find them on ebay, sparkfun, any number of other retailers, I just happen to know this site better :)

Freeduino - brains of the unit 28920 - SB-Freeduino « Products « Solarbotics - you can go with any of the thousand varieties of arduino, just know you're going to want memory, so get the atmega328 at minimum. If you want a multi tank setup, you're going to want one of the MEGAs
Humidity sensor- Sparkfun HIH-4030 50664 - Humidity Sensor - HIH-4030 Breakout « Products « Solarbotics
Temp - DS18B20's in my case, likely you'll be sourcing DS18S20's 35040 - DS18B20+ Temperature Sensor « Products « Solarbotics
Light Dependant resistor - I always run these, there's many days I leave before lights on, and return after lights off... It's nice to have warning, if the lights didn't come on, and it's easy to dump the # to flash - so once output drops 30%, I get a warning to order bulbs...
CDS - CdS Light Sensitive Resistor « Products « Solarbotics
Solid state relays -you'll want one of these for every device you want to control (heater/pumps/lights/nightlights etc) Look for a 5vdc control circuit and size appropriately for amps (don't worry on voltage for the other side, most are 240vac, just do not exceed). Usually cost about 5$ each

So that'll make a functional controller (with a few other odds and ends... Get to those in a bit) But what good is a controller without some interfaces?

2x16 lcd - I wont be using this, I'll be running an ebay one (backlit blue 2x16 off ebay - 3$ vs 50+ ) but they are essentially the same... HD44780 compatible is pretty much all you need; this is where you can pick your preference, they run from 1x8 all the way out to 4x40
21410 - Parallax 2x16 Backlit LCD Module « Products « Solarbotics

And of course, need to have some input for adjustments
4x4 keypad -http://www.solarbotics.com/cad/products/31000/

Usually I build this all on a protoshield 16090 - Freeduino SB-Protoshield « Products « Solarbotics , with the exception of the relays - usually I put those in one of these American Audio PC-100A 8 Switch On/Off Power Center [AA PC-100A] : AVShop.ca, Canada's Pro Audio, Video and DJ Store - However I'll be doing some shopping this time, man have these gotten expensive, used to get them for about 20$.

I'll see if I can have a nice kicad project file available by the weekend with schematics, full parts lists, board layouts the works...

I was thinking I'd just modify one of the reef controller projects' programs for this; this is what takes me forever, I'm TERRIBLE at programming :) Anyone want to help?

Basics:

Temp sensors are I2c - 1 wire technology, If I recall, you can connect 64 1-wire sensors to this line... Tech details are here Arduino playground - OneWire

Humidity sensor - simple analog device. Arduino Forum - HIH-4030 Humidity Sensor and Arduino example code? (now if you're doing multiple tanks, you MIGHT want to consider an arduino mega, Could get short on analogs if you want tons of these)

Light dependant resistor - again as above simple analog device How to use photocells, LDRs, CdS cells, photoresistors!

LCD is an HD44780, only problem with it is it chews up pins, so we'll go to i2c, for a port expander - a PCF8574. Library and schematics are over Arduino Forum - My most beloved topic - the PCF8574 with a HD44780

I'm going to try to keep the PWM pins open for dc motor control (ie cooling or ventilation fans)

Code I use on my aquarium controllers - is over here: Code - Reef Projects We almost built these side by side; and worked off eachothers ideas in many cases... Even for a non programmer like me - relatively easy to figure out and modify... There's a ton of stuff in here that can be deleted...

Here's his (much prettier than mine) american dj power center:
I usually go the ratsnest method and stuff my (much smaller) SSRs in between the switches and plugs... But I hear the new versions have less space...

About all that I see that might be left, are float switches for top off/water features/overflow prevention... While those are analog switches, we should be able to implement them on either analog or digital pins, very easily...

Now... I've never been big on internet connectivity for my tanks... But I know some of you are, and you're probably noticing that I haven't really accomodated datalogging (I think a daily min/max is good enough). I know there's enough memory left on my reef's arduinos (which have way more code and sensors) to handle either a ethernet, wifi or bluetooth connections; I know there are ethernet wifi and bluetooth shields already designed and sold... This is where I get back to that whole - I'm no programmer :) The way to communicate is designed, just needs someone to come up with a plan on implementation... Be it web apps, emails, whatever... The shields are there, I'll design the control shield so that one can stack a comms shield on top (and work to see if we can't accomodate any pins it might need)
 

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AHHH you saw my thread as well!
so it all comes down to software, hardware design is stupid simple with these things. i really could care less about controlling anything with, but thats just me. Its the notification viv SMS that i really want.
 

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I really wanted to do this with my tank, but I just couldn't find a good enough looking display for it all. I'm definitely interested to see what you come up with :)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Not so much based off yours, I've got 2 reefs and a FW planted aquarium that are run by arduino's... Though your post did make me think, since it's not documented - might as well post it up as I go... I'm not a big fan of these stupid expensive commercial units, that aren't expandable, use proprietary hardware and software...

Wow, arduino development has come a long way in the past two years; was just noticing all the shield available - including one that would almost be plug n play for our needs (arduarium - basic is about 120$) but its so badly documented... If one wanted, you could stack a couple shields and have virtually everything, for still less than a commercial control unit...

Just noticing some of the new i2c chips since last time, wow - they keypad controller looks nice :)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I really wanted to do this with my tank, but I just couldn't find a good enough looking display for it all. I'm definitely interested to see what you come up with :)
What? I thought for sure you had one? Must be confusing my n-r'ers...

are you talking a project box, or a pretty little lcd display? I'm all about function over form, mine get stuffed in rubbermaids :D If it's the LCD - ebay hd44780 - if you can't find something there you like.. lol :D
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Yup, just make sure you don't get an older board with one of the old atmega chips..

One of those things on my todo list, is an idea I stole (that seems to have gone nowhere by it's originator)... A LED Driver shield - drivers so you can power the high power LEDs directly off the arduino, so you end up with full control of intensity, color/spectrum, pwm driving, etc etc etc and build in monitoring (ie one led in the array fails, arduino adjusts the array to avoid burning out the rest (and sends email preferably)). Knowing how much buckpucks run - for the price of 2 buckpucks, one could build one hell of a arduino shield...
 

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Discussion Starter #10
A lot of people went to them for the atmega328 - more memory; but often because they wanted additional i/o pins... There are ways around that, adc's and port expanders... I mentioned it in my initial post - if you're going multiple complex tanks, probably want the mega, but 99% of the time the basic arduino is plenty...
 

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Discussion Starter #12

Basics - if one was smrt they wouldn't send it off to a chinese board builder/assembler yet :) I'll go chase down some PCF8574 port expanders hopefully later today and start breadboarding...

BTW if anyone wants the kicad project files, pm me your email and I'll happily share.
 

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Getting back into darts, lifes busy + I work late often... All my aquariums are arduino controlled... So the Viv's going that way too come heck or high water :)

Here I go again with this project... Open source, everything should be cheap and easy to find, any idiot (ie me) with a soldering iron, should be able to replicate it and adjust to his needs.

Shopping list (ok well I have a lot of this lying around) - links are generally to my local geek shop (yeah I said it). You can find them on ebay, sparkfun, any number of other retailers, I just happen to know this site better :)

Freeduino - brains of the unit 28920 - SB-Freeduino « Products « Solarbotics - you can go with any of the thousand varieties of arduino, just know you're going to want memory, so get the atmega328 at minimum. If you want a multi tank setup, you're going to want one of the MEGAs
Humidity sensor- Sparkfun HIH-4030 50664 - Humidity Sensor - HIH-4030 Breakout « Products « Solarbotics
Temp - DS18B20's in my case, likely you'll be sourcing DS18S20's 35040 - DS18B20+ Temperature Sensor « Products « Solarbotics
Light Dependant resistor - I always run these, there's many days I leave before lights on, and return after lights off... It's nice to have warning, if the lights didn't come on, and it's easy to dump the # to flash - so once output drops 30%, I get a warning to order bulbs...
CDS - CdS Light Sensitive Resistor « Products « Solarbotics
Solid state relays -you'll want one of these for every device you want to control (heater/pumps/lights/nightlights etc) Look for a 5vdc control circuit and size appropriately for amps (don't worry on voltage for the other side, most are 240vac, just do not exceed). Usually cost about 5$ each

So that'll make a functional controller (with a few other odds and ends... Get to those in a bit) But what good is a controller without some interfaces?

2x16 lcd - I wont be using this, I'll be running an ebay one (backlit blue 2x16 off ebay - 3$ vs 50+ ) but they are essentially the same... HD44780 compatible is pretty much all you need; this is where you can pick your preference, they run from 1x8 all the way out to 4x40
21410 - Parallax 2x16 Backlit LCD Module « Products « Solarbotics

And of course, need to have some input for adjustments
4x4 keypad -http://www.solarbotics.com/cad/products/31000/

Usually I build this all on a protoshield 16090 - Freeduino SB-Protoshield « Products « Solarbotics , with the exception of the relays - usually I put those in one of these American Audio PC-100A 8 Switch On/Off Power Center [AA PC-100A] : AVShop.ca, Canada's Pro Audio, Video and DJ Store - However I'll be doing some shopping this time, man have these gotten expensive, used to get them for about 20$.

I'll see if I can have a nice kicad project file available by the weekend with schematics, full parts lists, board layouts the works...

I was thinking I'd just modify one of the reef controller projects' programs for this; this is what takes me forever, I'm TERRIBLE at programming :) Anyone want to help?

Basics:

Temp sensors are I2c - 1 wire technology, If I recall, you can connect 64 1-wire sensors to this line... Tech details are here Arduino playground - OneWire

Humidity sensor - simple analog device. Arduino Forum - HIH-4030 Humidity Sensor and Arduino example code? (now if you're doing multiple tanks, you MIGHT want to consider an arduino mega, Could get short on analogs if you want tons of these)

Light dependant resistor - again as above simple analog device How to use photocells, LDRs, CdS cells, photoresistors!

LCD is an HD44780, only problem with it is it chews up pins, so we'll go to i2c, for a port expander - a PCF8574. Library and schematics are over Arduino Forum - My most beloved topic - the PCF8574 with a HD44780

I'm going to try to keep the PWM pins open for dc motor control (ie cooling or ventilation fans)

Code I use on my aquarium controllers - is over here: Code - Reef Projects We almost built these side by side; and worked off eachothers ideas in many cases... Even for a non programmer like me - relatively easy to figure out and modify... There's a ton of stuff in here that can be deleted...

Here's his (much prettier than mine) american dj power center:
I usually go the ratsnest method and stuff my (much smaller) SSRs in between the switches and plugs... But I hear the new versions have less space...

About all that I see that might be left, are float switches for top off/water features/overflow prevention... While those are analog switches, we should be able to implement them on either analog or digital pins, very easily...

Now... I've never been big on internet connectivity for my tanks... But I know some of you are, and you're probably noticing that I haven't really accomodated datalogging (I think a daily min/max is good enough). I know there's enough memory left on my reef's arduinos (which have way more code and sensors) to handle either a ethernet, wifi or bluetooth connections; I know there are ethernet wifi and bluetooth shields already designed and sold... This is where I get back to that whole - I'm no programmer :) The way to communicate is designed, just needs someone to come up with a plan on implementation... Be it web apps, emails, whatever... The shields are there, I'll design the control shield so that one can stack a comms shield on top (and work to see if we can't accomodate any pins it might need)

Are you kidding me! ? THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT IVE BEEN TRYING TO FIGURE OUT !!!!!

thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
well couldn't find any pcf8574's local today... have some coming from digikey, and I know I have at least one here - I just can't put my hands on it... so testing might have to wait until next week...
 

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What? I thought for sure you had one? Must be confusing my n-r'ers...

are you talking a project box, or a pretty little lcd display? I'm all about function over form, mine get stuffed in rubbermaids :D If it's the LCD - ebay hd44780 - if you can't find something there you like.. lol :D
I ended up going with a fancy fan controller. I'm heavily biased towards form over function.
 

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Discussion Starter #16

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Nice project! A friend of mine showed me those Arduino and it was the first I had in mind; make a controller for vivs.
I don't have enough skills yet but maybe one day. Keep us updated!
Julien
 

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Discussion Starter #20
OK, since I'm a dart noob... help me out... what controls do you guys actually want?

Lighting timer is obvious, but this gets more involved - any desire for sunrise/sunset effects (ie an additional output for a lower wattage/redder light?) Moonlights? Can go two ways our enjoyment or its easy to handle moon phases too...

Temperature? I'll probably be the only one controlling, from what I read... any desires for control? Anyone wanting ability to control chillers or a/c units?

Air circulation, internal for moving air through the enclosure, I'm going to build these in as 5 or 12vdc PC style fans, full variable pwm speed control. Also external - summer cooling via ventilation and semi-regular air turnover (if I'm going to have control over temp & humidity anyway - this isn't an issue)

Humidity, via mister or fogger. Foggers interesting, they're 12vdc devices and dirt freaking cheap on eBay, why was I going to spend a ton of cash again? Yes I know you guys prefer misters, but I'm going to run the fogger as well to make some air circulation possible in my arid environment.

Any need for topoff/pumps/filters/??? Sorry haven't figured out a vacation mode ff feeder yet :D but could be possible (think those circular office doors on buildings, culture below, spin a simple stepper motor 180°...)

I have kinda wrapped my head around the wifi/Ethernet, shields are pretty simple - so the hardware is plug and play... should be able to run Apache (web server), maybe even a webcam... but what stats/info are people interested in? Current conditions or daily/weekly averages or?

Help me understand the needs/desires...
 
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