TEASER: My AquaDroid Arduino Touchscreen Aquarium Controller - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-23-2014, 07:06 AM Thread Starter
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TEASER: My AquaDroid Arduino Touchscreen Aquarium Controller

I first want to thank AnotherHobby. I had been planning on this build for awhile, but it wasn't until I saw his impressive and clean looking design that I actually got off my butt and starting working on my own arduino based touchscreen GUI.

This isn't going to be my main thread about what I'm doing with my arduino, but until I have it finished, it will give an idea about what I'm doing with it.

Its an Arduino Due connected to a 4.3" touchscreen (480x277 pixels). I chose this size because it was the biggest size that the arduino would be able to draw without noticeable delays or lag.

I have some warm (3000K) LEDs, neutral (4300K) LEDs, and cool (6000K) LEDs that are individually controllable via separate power transistors being fed with the PWM output of the arduino. The idea is that it can emulate sunlight throughout the day, warm in the morning and cool at midday.

The main thing that I did differently that I haven't seen a lot in other LED setups is that I put large capacitors on the PWM output of the arduino which makes all the intensity changes really smooth instead of "steppy". Its pretty hard to control them this way, and I don't have them as smooth as I'd like, but the concept is there. You'll notice the current readings are really jumpy... this seems to be just kind of characteristic of the arduino DUE. When I used an UNO or MEGA they weren't so jumpy, so I'll have to modify my code to kind of smooth things out more.

The arduino will eventually control a bunch of other stuff like feeders, pumps, auto-topoff, sensor inputs, tank heater, etc., but I don't have any of that working quite yet.

Anywho, enough talk, here's a quick video. Don't mind the sad looking plants, I just now got my lights working properly.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VAi6...ature=youtu.be

BTW, here's my build journal for the tank for how I made the background and such:
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...d.php?t=747346
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-23-2014, 12:55 PM
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nice. There's an explosion of arduino controllers!
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-23-2014, 01:20 PM
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Very cool! That is some seriously smooth fading, and the interface is nice and snappy. That bigger screen is NICE too!

Interface speed was something I tested extensively with mine early on, and I decided for how I was going to use it that the colorful eye-candy interface was worth the trade off for me. It ended up being a lot of work though. In the end, I'm happy I went the way I did, but there are some big benefits to doing it this way instead.


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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-23-2014, 02:05 PM Thread Starter
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I have certainly learned that presentation is a large part of what makes a project "cool".

I will say that people these days are spoiled with how easy technology works. Making a GUI is really hard, and Arduino's are not really a good method of doing it. If I had more higher level programming knowledge I probably would have tried to make a GUI using Anrdoid or Linux or something.

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-23-2014, 10:17 PM
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What's the difference between what you guys are using and a touch screen plc? Sorry, I'm not tech savoy but have to use plc's at work to control machines.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-23-2014, 11:03 PM
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-24-2014, 01:04 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldpunk78 View Post
What's the difference between what you guys are using and a touch screen plc? Sorry, I'm not tech savoy but have to use plc's at work to control machines.
PLCs are not much different from an Arduino in principle. They both have pins (circuits) that turn on and off depending on what the software tells it to do. PLCs are more simplified and designed to perform a few different purposes, whereas Arduinos are much more complicated to program, and have more open ended capabilities.

In reality, PLCs are basically a microcontroller like an Arduino, that has software on it to enable the user to control its inputs and outputs. Arduinos are more of a blank slate, you have to program everything yourself by hand.

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-25-2014, 02:39 AM
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Thank you.
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