Computer controlled Nano - Electronics (3/14/10) - The Planted Tank Forum
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 87 (permalink) Old 01-31-2010, 03:39 AM Thread Starter
Planted Member
 
Robotguy's Avatar
 
PTrader: (4/100%)
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 250
Computer controlled Nano - Electronics (3/14/10)

So I decided I really wanted a nano tank for my desk at work, and I figured I might as well make it computer controlled. Here's the list of features:

Definite:
  • 3G Mr. Aqua rimless bowfront (don't have that yet)
  • TEC cooler/heater
  • water temperature sensor
  • DIY filter/pump
  • ambient temperature sensor
  • dimmable LED lighting w/color control
Maybe:
  • wireless
  • LED UV sterilization
  • after-heater temp sensing
  • turbidity measurement

Here's some of the materials I'll be starting with (Click for bigger pics)


The pump, scavenged from a cheapo desktop fountain. It's about 1" diameter.


Some acrylic, HDPE and aluminum for the filter case.


The peltier cooler (TEC). I picked this up from an electronics surplus place years ago because it looked cool. Finally a use for it...



The heatsink. When using the TEC as a cooler, you really need a good heatsink for the warm side of the cooler. .


So far I've managed to mill the case out of plastic (3.5" x 3.5" x 1"). The pump will fit inside and there will be an acrylic lid on one side to see what's going on, and the other side will be aluminum, heated/cooled by the TEC.

Last edited by Robotguy; 03-15-2010 at 04:35 AM.
Robotguy is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 87 (permalink) Old 01-31-2010, 05:35 AM Thread Starter
Planted Member
 
Robotguy's Avatar
 
PTrader: (4/100%)
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 250
A little more progress.


The aluminum cover. I think I'm going to cover the outside of this with a sheet of styrene to insulate it. Hard to get a sense of scale, but the screws are all 1" apart. The rest of the pics aren't this out of focus...


The acrylic cover.



With the heatsink mounted on the aluminum cover.
Robotguy is offline  
post #3 of 87 (permalink) Old 01-31-2010, 06:03 AM
Algae Grower
 
SamH's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 90
Wow! That's an awesome idea. Will be keeping an eye out for this thread. Good luck!

The man who smiles when things go wrong has thought of someone to blame it on. - Robert Bloch
SamH is offline  
 
post #4 of 87 (permalink) Old 01-31-2010, 06:03 AM
Planted Member
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Bloomfield New Jersey
Posts: 206
Nice, what's going to be controlled via computer?
BMueller777 is offline  
post #5 of 87 (permalink) Old 01-31-2010, 06:25 AM Thread Starter
Planted Member
 
Robotguy's Avatar
 
PTrader: (4/100%)
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 250
A microprocessor will control the following: pump speed, temperature, lighting, low water alarm, and UV sterilization as well as logging ambient temp and turbidity. Connecting to a PC will allow me to read the sensors and logs and adjust setpoints for the controls. I plan to have 24 hourly settings for everything so that I can have, for instance, orangish light in the morning, brighter bluish light mid-day with a slightly higher temp, and blue light with a lower temp and UV sterilization at night. I don't know if I'll need all of that flexibility, but it's the gadgets that make it fun for me.
Robotguy is offline  
post #6 of 87 (permalink) Old 01-31-2010, 06:43 AM
Planted Tank Guru
 
OverStocked's Avatar
 
PTrader: (76/94%)
Join Date: May 2007
Location: SoDak
Posts: 10,732
subscribed. This is going to be really cool to see come together.
OverStocked is offline  
post #7 of 87 (permalink) Old 01-31-2010, 02:58 PM
Children Boogie
 
mistergreen's Avatar
 
PTrader: (13/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Cincinnati
Posts: 16,743
throw in a ph sensor. I'm thinking about doing it to my 10G.
Which microprocessor are you using? the aduino is pretty cheap and powerful.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
mistergreen is offline  
post #8 of 87 (permalink) Old 01-31-2010, 05:32 PM Thread Starter
Planted Member
 
Robotguy's Avatar
 
PTrader: (4/100%)
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 250
Quote:
Originally Posted by mistergreen View Post
throw in a ph sensor. I'm thinking about doing it to my 10G.
Which microprocessor are you using? the aduino is pretty cheap and powerful.
I'd love to put in a ph sensor, but I have yet to find a decent diy probe and the commercial probes are too big and outside the budget. If you know of any way to build a small, cheap sensor I'd be happy to hear about it.

I will probably be using an ATMega128. I have one of the USB AVR modules (a Bumble-B) but I haven't learned the USB api or programming toolchain yet. It would be easier to stick with what I know.
Robotguy is offline  
post #9 of 87 (permalink) Old 01-31-2010, 07:41 PM
Children Boogie
 
mistergreen's Avatar
 
PTrader: (13/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Cincinnati
Posts: 16,743
here are some cheap thermo sensors
http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/categories.php?c=82

I love sparkfun.
There are some radiation sensors, just in case.

no cheap pH sensors though.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
mistergreen is offline  
post #10 of 87 (permalink) Old 02-01-2010, 01:21 AM Thread Starter
Planted Member
 
Robotguy's Avatar
 
PTrader: (4/100%)
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 250
More progress:


The styrene "sweater" on the outside of the aluminum cover with a hole cut for the TEC. This should insulate the heat/cold from the air a bit. The black fittings along the top used to be an air line tee, that I sliced into thirds and glued into tight-fitting holes. I hope to use air line for the intake and exhaust.


The pump mounted in the frame. The white tube in the upper left is to direct the incoming water towards the aluminum for more efficient heat transfer. The intake for the pump is on the right end, just below the exhaust tube. I plan to put something inside to use as filter material, possibly the plastic-based pillow stuffing? I am assuming I want to stay away from anything organic, like wool.

My next action will be to close everything up and see what kind of GPH I can get from this thing. Is there a ratio I should be looking for, like the pump should turn over the entire tank 3 a minimum of 3 times every hour?

On a side note; I'm way too impatient to be using cheapo aquarium-safe silicone (I found Loctite brand at the Lowes down the street). Is there anything that cures faster?
Robotguy is offline  
post #11 of 87 (permalink) Old 02-01-2010, 03:38 AM Thread Starter
Planted Member
 
Robotguy's Avatar
 
PTrader: (4/100%)
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 250
Since I'm not using the silicone for any mechanical , I just waited a couple hours and started testing. No leaks yet.

3.3V - 4.6 GPH
5V - 7.4 GPH

Is 7.4 GPH OK for a 3 gallon tank?

Last edited by Robotguy; 02-01-2010 at 03:38 AM. Reason: typo
Robotguy is offline  
post #12 of 87 (permalink) Old 02-01-2010, 03:45 AM
Planted Tank Guru
 
OverStocked's Avatar
 
PTrader: (76/94%)
Join Date: May 2007
Location: SoDak
Posts: 10,732
That isn't much. Give it a try, but I think you'll find you want somewhere around 15gph.
OverStocked is offline  
post #13 of 87 (permalink) Old 02-01-2010, 05:12 AM Thread Starter
Planted Member
 
Robotguy's Avatar
 
PTrader: (4/100%)
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 250
So plan for 5X turnover? Does that mean maybe this would be better for a 1.5G tank? I was thinking the 3G might be a bit too large anyway.
Robotguy is offline  
post #14 of 87 (permalink) Old 02-03-2010, 08:23 PM Thread Starter
Planted Member
 
Robotguy's Avatar
 
PTrader: (4/100%)
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 250
Quote:
Originally Posted by mistergreen View Post
here are some cheap thermo sensors
http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/categories.php?c=82

I love sparkfun.
There are some radiation sensors, just in case.

no cheap pH sensors though.
Yes, I'm an avid fan and customer of Sparkfun also. Hmmm, I bet I could point this color sensor at a DIY drop checker and control some CO2...

On the build side, I did some testing and found I could heat 400mL from 62 F to 78 F in 20 minutes, but 20 minutes of cooling only got me from 78 F down to 74 F. Not good enough. Prototype 1 down. Ah, well, the pump was too noisy anyway, so I am designing a new pump from scratch, probably based on a brushless DC control scheme. More info after the weekend maybe...
Robotguy is offline  
post #15 of 87 (permalink) Old 02-04-2010, 01:15 AM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
PTrader: (8/100%)
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Medford, MA
Posts: 683
I wonder if you could gut one of those tiny powerheads Hagen elite. May still be too big for what you are trying to do.

Eheim Pimp #363 - 2213, 2217

Tank journals:
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
,
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Regloh is offline  
Reply

Tags
None

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










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