The Wasser-Controller - Page 2 - The Planted Tank Forum

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post #16 of 143 (permalink) Old 05-22-2008, 03:11 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colinthebassist View Post
Looks totally awesome. I'm eventually going to get to using a Omron PLC for my tank this summer. Looking at your circuit diagram it appears you are switching the 120V nuetral. I am curious as to why you chose not to switch the 120V hot side, as this would eliminate the electrical potential on your equipment when its not running.
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Really? Seems as if the neutral runs from the line straight to the outlets... not switched.
In my diagram, I haven't really marked what is hot and what is neutral. But you can see the neutral (white wire) goes to the outlets, while the hot (black wire) connects to the relays and is therefore switched. So I agree with tropicalfish.
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post #17 of 143 (permalink) Old 05-25-2008, 03:38 PM
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Wasserpest, another amazing project and thanks for sharing this with the group. My question is a little more elementary, but I am not completely up to speed when it comes to electronics and wiring, so could you suggest any books or sites I should check out before tackling a project like this? Thanks for your time and tinkering!
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post #18 of 143 (permalink) Old 05-26-2008, 11:01 PM
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this is the sort of ingenuity i love to see

now run along and get a patent on that wasser controller before somebody else does!

great job!
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post #19 of 143 (permalink) Old 05-26-2008, 11:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Wasserpest View Post
In our age of cheap electronics, there should be affordable timers with multiple, independently controllable outlets. Yet, for some reason there is no such thing.
Here in Australia our local hardware store stocks $25.00 timer boards that have a digital timer on one end with 4 outlets that are independently controlled. You can set up to 4 on/off cycles for each outlet with 1min resolution.

On my tank I use one outlet for my CO2 solenoid and the other three run my halide lights and sunrise/sunset lights. All are on different programs to give a staggered lighting effect.

I'm surprised that you cant get something similar there. I wonder if it has something to do with the relays required for switching higher current in the US? Each outlet is rated for 240V @ 10A in AU vs the need for 110V @ 20A in the US.
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post #20 of 143 (permalink) Old 05-27-2008, 04:01 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by intermediate_noob View Post
Wasserpest, another amazing project and thanks for sharing this with the group. My question is a little more elementary, but I am not completely up to speed when it comes to electronics and wiring, so could you suggest any books or sites I should check out before tackling a project like this? Thanks for your time and tinkering!
Thanks for your kind words. To be honest, I don't know what to recommend. I learned the basics of electricity in school, and since early age, always had a soldering iron close by.

I am sure there are websites that teach some basic stuff. If you are the reading sort of person, check your library, I am certain there is a "Electronics for Dummies" or such which can explain some of the basics in an entertaining way (I haven't checked, so maybe there isn't).
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post #21 of 143 (permalink) Old 05-27-2008, 04:04 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by DiscusIt'sWhats4DinneR View Post
this is the sort of ingenuity i love to see

now run along and get a patent on that wasser controller before somebody else does!

great job!
Thanks! I am just here to share, unless I would want to produce something like this en mass (and I don't) there is no point paying money for a patent. Plus, it is just a bunch of available stuff thrown together, no real invention...
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post #22 of 143 (permalink) Old 05-27-2008, 04:12 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Grubs View Post
Here in Australia our local hardware store stocks $25.00 timer boards that have a digital timer on one end with 4 outlets that are independently controlled. You can set up to 4 on/off cycles for each outlet with 1min resolution.

On my tank I use one outlet for my CO2 solenoid and the other three run my halide lights and sunrise/sunset lights. All are on different programs to give a staggered lighting effect.

I'm surprised that you cant get something similar there. I wonder if it has something to do with the relays required for switching higher current in the US? Each outlet is rated for 240V @ 10A in AU vs the need for 110V @ 20A in the US.
I don't think it is the current. Some of the small relays can switch even 30A. Conversely, for most applications smaller ratings are alright. 200W of light will only draw about 2A at 110V...

Perhaps there IS something like that available, sounds like what you are describing is exactly what I thought should be available. I just haven't found anything like it yet.

BTW the controller is working flawlessly... No issues with anything so far. Remains to be seen for how long it will hold up.
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post #23 of 143 (permalink) Old 06-23-2008, 01:36 PM
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how we doing here?

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post #24 of 143 (permalink) Old 08-03-2008, 09:20 PM Thread Starter
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Sorry, I missed your request for an update... here it is:

This is one of the few DIY projects that worked out perfectly. Not sure for how long the little relays hold up, but so far, not a single problem at all.

Thanks to the battery backup it is holding time extremely well, not affected by power outages.

Thanks for asking... very recommended if you don't mind soldering a few wires. I had a few PM's asking for specifics... don't be shy and post your solution if you built one.
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post #25 of 143 (permalink) Old 08-04-2008, 08:13 PM
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Wasser-controller is not on your signature always look at your signature for great DIY project.

Join the Revolution! Sign up for Revolution MoneyExchange, a no-fee Paypal alternative here .
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post #26 of 143 (permalink) Old 08-04-2008, 09:10 PM
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Yep, totally agree. Should be in your sig. One of the better DIY I have seen.

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post #27 of 143 (permalink) Old 08-04-2008, 09:13 PM
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It is a great DIY. I bet even the reefers over at RC would be impressed

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post #28 of 143 (permalink) Old 08-04-2008, 09:34 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys, good idea... for easy reference I added it to my signature.
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post #29 of 143 (permalink) Old 08-04-2008, 10:25 PM
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Out of curiosity, (I am not that knowledable with this little electronic gizmo stuff), but is it necessary to have a 30 amp relay? To me it is just a "electric switch" so really the current is just being transfered when the relay trips right? So would a smaller amperage relay do just the same, depending on the output from the controller?

Forgive my ignorance...

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post #30 of 143 (permalink) Old 08-04-2008, 11:11 PM Thread Starter
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The amperage refers to the max that can be switched... has nothing to do with what the relay draws itself to switch its state.

If you use a relay to switch a higher current than what it is spec'd for it might burn up the contacts, burn up the whole relay, and/or stress whatever you have connected to it.

So if you know that your load current will not exceed 2A, then you would be fairly safe with a 2A relay. However, a 30A relay might work just as good. A possible downside of "bigger" relays is that their wiring might require more current as well, therefore wasting some energy when you have it in its powered state for extended times. The relays I am using use about one Watt each, so it isn't a big deal.

I was just looking for cheap 24V relays, and these were the ones I came across. Not necessarily the best choice, but they seem to do the trick for now.

(BTW - I am not an electrician or anything... just trying to answer questions as good as possible, but take my speculations with a few grains of salt or something ).
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