any one using there PC to control 110v devices???? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-01-2011, 03:41 PM Thread Starter
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any one using there PC to control 110v devices????

I would like to know if any one is using there home PC's parallel port to control their 110v devices ?

I found some solid state relays and a few programs with timers and was thinking about using it to run my lights,CO2 and other house hold things. You have 8 different outputs so am pretty sure I could find a lot of things to use it on.


If there is interest I can share what info I found , it seems pretty simple to setup as far as wiring and what parts to use. but I would really like some info on what programs people are using for control.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-01-2011, 05:00 PM
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Would be neat but what if you blue screen, what if your pc restarts from an update and doesn't login and start the software over again, etc. a $10 timer is more reliable. lol. I work on PC's and electronics and love DIY stuff but not sure I'd want my PC connected to something with water and potential short circuit risks.

Also, look at the X10 stuff. Its really cheap and already made for it and does it all.

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-01-2011, 06:07 PM
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ur talking about home innovation products for home automation i am guessing..

like lights and unlocking doors..

I was actually thinking about that... a Home Lighting system can control a lot of channels, can dim, and can also do a lot of stuff.

However they cost WAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY more then a simple PWM controller with a dimmable driver.. :P
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-02-2011, 09:54 PM
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Would there be any way to turn an old PC (like, a family freebie) into a wavemaker, at a reasonable cost? Something that would oscillate two different power strips in 15 second to 30 minute intervals?


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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-03-2011, 05:07 PM
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Quote:
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Would there be any way to turn an old PC (like, a family freebie) into a wavemaker, at a reasonable cost? Something that would oscillate two different power strips in 15 second to 30 minute intervals?
no not without a form of trigger.

we have controllers which can do that.. variable voltage on the channel.

However you need to either manually set them, or setup trigers..

meaning as temp reaches X -> ramp voltage in Y up.
OR as CPU load approaches X -> Scale voltage in Y up.

I am trying to see if we can get more features from a koolance controller, but its still in development.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-05-2011, 04:46 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Would there be any way to turn an old PC (like, a family freebie) into a wavemaker, at a reasonable cost? Something that would oscillate two different power strips in 15 second to 30 minute intervals?



Yes there is , you use the parallel port to trigger a solid state relay , the port has an output of 3v. The relay's can be found for about $5 each and the software to run it can be found online for free.


I found all the info needed in a few minutes on google
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-05-2011, 04:54 AM Thread Starter
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N SSR 25A Solid State Relay 3-32V DC 24-380V AC Control

this is the relay $4.99 shipped
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-05-2011, 02:43 PM
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Heres my plan:
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/di...ontroller.html


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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-05-2011, 04:26 PM
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relay requires a trigger.

you still need a timer to sync with the relay.

and how do you intend to connect it?
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-05-2011, 06:23 PM
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Naekuh- is your reply to me?

Matt


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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-05-2011, 08:20 PM Thread Starter
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-05-2011, 08:46 PM
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You'd have to leave your computer on 24/7 and what will happen when it crashes as computer will do. I'm not sure if that's best in terms of power usage and the best for the lifespan of your computer.

A microcontroller is the way to go, I think.


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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-05-2011, 09:33 PM
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Quote:
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Naekuh- is your reply to me?

Matt
no the guy below...

yeah that would work... however i dont think many computers use that interface anymore.. and you would probably need a serial to usb cable.
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-05-2011, 09:51 PM
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I would agree with everyone advising against using a PC to power an aquarium. Microcontrollers are must more stable for long term use, and can handle running 24 hours a day without frequent reboots. I'm telling you, wasser-controller and going with that open sprinkler timer in place of the irrigation timer would be and awesome and inexpensive automation


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