Aquarium timer using Irrigation computer - The Planted Tank Forum
Closed Thread
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 43 (permalink) Old 02-25-2008, 07:29 PM Thread Starter
Are these real?
 
Wasserpest's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Monterey, CA
Posts: 15,494
Aquarium timer using Irrigation computer

Not sure if anyone has ever attempted this... Most of us use several timers for our tanks. I usually have one for main lights, one for dimmer sunrise/sunset lights, one for moonlights, and one or two for fertilizer dosing.

So I thought, why not use one of the irrigation timers with multiple stations/zones?

I could imagine a daily "6 Zone" program like this:

9:59 Dose macros
10:00 Turn on sunrise lights
10:30 Turn on main lights/CO2
21:00 Turn on sunset lights
22:00 Turn on moonlights
0:00 Dose micros

There are a couple of issues... like the 24V output which would require relays to switch line voltage. I could imagine modding a power strip...

Another issue (or fact) is that you can run only one zone at a time. That means, if you have two seperate banks of light, they would not run simultaneously, only one after another.

Also, the simplest timers only allow for up to 90 or 120 minutes run time. Better ones allow for 4 hours, with stackable programs (ABC) which would let that extend up to 12 hours. Not sure if there would be a little off/on cycle when the next program kicks in. And not sure how much "better" timers run these days.s

<<WP out looking at Irrigation timers>>

Last edited by Wasserpest; 02-25-2008 at 09:54 PM.
Wasserpest is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 43 (permalink) Old 02-25-2008, 09:50 PM
Algae Grower
 
Fish'InMN's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: MN, USA
Posts: 88
Prices vary considerably.. Cheapest I saw was a 4 zone 'interior mount' for $26 which isn't bad. Putting the money into figuring out the control structure, modifying a power strip or adding sockets, etc.. Still fairly bulky, but it could work. Its got a nice interface too,

I am tinkering with a PIC 'system' to control my lights, heater, and fans, as well as monitor temperature (and use temp to regulate heater/fan on/off) and maybe pH. Will have a USB port so I can hook it up to my laptop to update the program, but no other controls except reset and power switches. Nothing new though, I know its been done before. Still waiting for my samples though...


Marty

Eheim Pimp Club Member #245
Even he, to whom most things that most people would think were pretty smart were pretty dumb, thought it was pretty smart. Douglas Adams
Fish'InMN is offline  
post #3 of 43 (permalink) Old 02-25-2008, 10:00 PM Thread Starter
Are these real?
 
Wasserpest's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Monterey, CA
Posts: 15,494
Heh. Just spent $35 on this thing.

Couple of interesting points:

* Independent program for each valve
* Watering Duration: from 1 minute to 11 hours and 59 minutes in 1 minute increments
* Four start times per day on weekly schedule
* Automatic short detector isolates the faulty valve and continues the irrigation cycle
* Start time stacking prevents hydraulic overload
* Water budget from 95% to +95% in 5% increments
* Three modes: automatic, semi-automatic and manual
* Can operate two valves at the same time
* Waiting mode for third and fourth valves
* Manual irrigation cycle via the controller
* Battery backup retain program memory during a power outage

So I was wrong about not being able to run two things at the same time. And one minute to 12 hours in one minute steps for six different stations is pretty darn flexible.

Oh yeah, and since this is an irrigation timer, turning the water change solenoid on and off shouldn't be much of an issue either.
Wasserpest is offline  
post #4 of 43 (permalink) Old 02-25-2008, 11:22 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
imeridian's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Hagerstown, MD
Posts: 2,847
Send a message via AIM to imeridian
Ohh, the ability to do two zones at once is really good. That single zone issue really put me off the idea.

75 Gallon Planted Tank Journal, Details | 5.5 Gallon Reef
imeridian is offline  
post #5 of 43 (permalink) Old 02-26-2008, 01:20 AM
Algae Grower
 
Fish'InMN's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: MN, USA
Posts: 88
Output: 24 VAC 0.83 mA, interesting. Wish I wasn't so busy right now.

Eheim Pimp Club Member #245
Even he, to whom most things that most people would think were pretty smart were pretty dumb, thought it was pretty smart. Douglas Adams
Fish'InMN is offline  
post #6 of 43 (permalink) Old 02-26-2008, 04:46 PM Thread Starter
Are these real?
 
Wasserpest's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Monterey, CA
Posts: 15,494
Hehe, I am busy too, but this is fascinating. It's like six digital timers in one box, with a huge array of options to fine-tune and adjust.

Looking for some inexpensive 24V relays right now... any idea? Combining this with relays adds another interesting tad, you can easily use one timer/zone to alternate things. Like mainlight/moonlight, or CO2/airpump etc.

How's that for a schedule?
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Schedule.GIF
Views:	203
Size:	10.2 KB
ID:	6256  

Wasserpest is offline  
post #7 of 43 (permalink) Old 02-26-2008, 05:26 PM
Planted Tank VIP
 
Gatekeeper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Earth
Posts: 6,626
How is this? Picture looks like crap, but its got a 120 VAC rating for the relay.

http://www.electronicpartsforless.co...mpid=36&dfid=1

Gatekeeper is offline  
post #8 of 43 (permalink) Old 02-26-2008, 05:33 PM
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
kornphlake's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Portland
Posts: 319
www.digikey.com has every relay known to man, if there's a cheap one out there they'd have it. I'm not seeing anything even close to the 0.83mA current though, are you sure that's correct?
kornphlake is offline  
post #9 of 43 (permalink) Old 02-26-2008, 05:52 PM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
swylie's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Frederick, MD
Posts: 664
Thats probably a typo. Right below it it says "# Outputs: 24 VAC, 0.27A # Maximum output: 0.83A," which makes a lot more sense. That's 6.5 and 20 watts, for what it's worth.
swylie is offline  
post #10 of 43 (permalink) Old 02-26-2008, 06:44 PM Thread Starter
Are these real?
 
Wasserpest's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Monterey, CA
Posts: 15,494
Thanks for the links... I must be spoiled, looking for something like this (price and feature-wise) but 24V instead of 110V.

The current is just the max that the transformer can deliver (to actuate the solenoids). For relays, much less is needed. Less is better, since it will use up less electricity.
Wasserpest is offline  
post #11 of 43 (permalink) Old 02-26-2008, 07:11 PM
Wannabe Guru
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Denville, NJ
Posts: 1,485
Quote:
Originally Posted by indiboi View Post
Ohh, the ability to do two zones at once is really good. That single zone issue really put me off the idea.
If you use good old "ice cube" relays, you can run up to 3 things off of each of the 6 outputs, depending on how many sets of contacts the relay has!! 6 if you use triple pole, dual throw relays and run half of the items in the "on" cycle and half in the "off" cycle.

I think I smell a control upgrade coming...

Tommy

><;;;"> <9))>>{

Eheim Pimp #204.
58 gal planted Oceanic
Red Turquiose Discus, Japonica shrimp, assorted Blue Eyed Rainbows, Tetras, Hatchets, Danios, Rasboras
10 gal low tech planted Celestial Pearl Danio (Celestichthys margaritatus) & Emerald Dwarf Rasbora (Microrasbora erythromicron)
LS6 Tommy is offline  
post #12 of 43 (permalink) Old 02-26-2008, 07:17 PM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
swylie's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Frederick, MD
Posts: 664
Quote:
Originally Posted by LS6 Tommy View Post
If you use good old "ice cube" relays, you can run up to 3 things off of each of the 6 outputs, depending on how many sets of contacts the relay has!! 6 if you use triple pole, dual throw relays and run half of the items in the "on" cycle and half in the "off" cycle.

I think I smell a control upgrade coming...

Tommy
Yeah, but you can't control those things independently, can you?
swylie is offline  
post #13 of 43 (permalink) Old 02-27-2008, 12:32 AM Thread Starter
Are these real?
 
Wasserpest's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Monterey, CA
Posts: 15,494
Quote:
Originally Posted by swylie View Post
Yeah, but you can't control those things independently, can you?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wasserpest View Post
Heh. Just spent $35 on this thing.

Couple of interesting points:

* Independent program for each valve
That's one weird/good thing about this particular timer that you can control the zones independently, rather than a one after another deal like other timers.

I really need to dig up a 9V battery and start to play around with it. But as far as I understand, you can set them up however you want it, as long there are no more than two overlapping at the same time.

The instructions are not really thorough so I just have to play around with it.
Wasserpest is offline  
post #14 of 43 (permalink) Old 02-27-2008, 12:37 AM
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: santa clara, CA
Posts: 371
how you are gonna hook up the electric wire to these irrigation timer.

I just gonna look up these term, and it mainly used to control water feeding in the crop. Basically, i still dont have a clear idea on how it works ? Maybe a little bit visual picture will help me.
stagius is offline  
post #15 of 43 (permalink) Old 02-27-2008, 12:43 AM Thread Starter
Are these real?
 
Wasserpest's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Monterey, CA
Posts: 15,494
Basically, the irrigation controller has a number of contacts that switch 24VAC. Normally, you would connect solenoid valves (sprinkler valves) to them. But, you could also connect say a 24VAC relay to them which in turn switches an electrical outlet which could be connected to your lights or dosing pumps.
Wasserpest is offline  
Closed Thread

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in









Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome