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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All, I have FINALY finnished the aquarium controller. i would of hade it done ages ago, but lots of work needs to be done around my house.

Anyway, it has been woring nice for the last 2 weeks here at work, so i guess i can now share it with you.
One word of warning, please do not attempt to build this if you are not confident with a soldering iron, as it is quick complex. the final cost of the project is aboput $A200, bu that is with a nice aluminium case. Also, if you dont mind waiting abit longer, you can get all the microchip parts for free using the samples from microchip.

I guess I can also build them for you, if you are not confident to do it your sell. I will only charge a small amout for my time.

please see http://members.optusnet.com.au/markdem/ for more info.

Any questions, please ask me here and I will update the web page.

looking forward to hearing about how you go.

Have Fun

Mark Demczuk
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
epicfish, there is lots of other products, but they where all too expencive or they used X10 (like this one) which means i cant use it in australia because of the voltage diffrence. My controller does not care about the voltage on the relays, so you can use it anyware.

mark
 

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I wasn't trying to downplay your DIY...don't take it the wrong way. :)

I just mentioned other products for people like me who are liable to kill themselves while doing DIY with high voltages... :)

Glad to see that you got it working...and the enclosure looks great too.

How did you get the kH and CO2 readings? What sensors and/or probes did you use for that?
 

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Mark...

I have seen ALOT of DIY things for aquaria.

This is the damn most impressive thing I have ever seen.

A few questions:

1. could you give us some pics of the measuring equipment and the machine in action in the tank?

2. could you explain to us what the outputs/inputs are on the machine? it looks amazing.

3. Can it run controllers -> light, pH, water top up? or even fert dosing?

4. And can you build one for me :D

Cheers

Richard

edit:

I just want to mention again that this is seriously impressive... :proud: :proud: :proud: :eek: :eek: :bounce: :bounce:

things like this make me excited at the evolution of planted tank geeks.
 

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Mark...

I have seen ALOT of DIY things for aquaria.

This is the damn most impressive thing I have ever seen.

A few questions:

1. could you give us some pics of the measuring equipment and the machine in action in the tank?

2. could you explain to us what the outputs/inputs are on the machine? it looks amazing.

3. Can it run controllers -> light, pH, water top up? or even fert dosing?

4. And can you build one for me :D

Cheers

Richard

edit:

I just want to mention again that this is seriously impressive... :proud: :proud: :proud: :eek: :eek: :bounce: :bounce:

things like this make me excited at the evolution of planted tank geeks.
I've started playing with a microcontroller as well and yes, you can build it to automate your tank. My dream is to build an auto water changer. The controller can even control the amount of dechlorination in the new water too if you can build the hardware. It's pretty sweet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
hi All, i am glad so may people are intrested in this.

just to clear some things up.

1. The device is voltage free on the relays, so you can switch what every you want. eg 110 volts. The only thing you will need to change is the transformer for the 5 and 12 volt outputs.

2. The conntroller does the following;
It will controll upto 4 sets of lights, with diffrrent timer settings.

It checks water temp and turns the heaters on and off. This is much more controlled then the inbuilt settings in the heaters. It also checkes for water level in my DIY inline heaters, stopping the heaters form going on dry.

It checks for water level and will top up the tank. I cant see why you could not have a valve on your tank that you open once a week to let water out, then this would fill the tank you for you, making it auto water change.

It checks current PH, and will open a c02 valve when it is to high.

Checks the temp in your lighting hood, and will turn on a fan to cool it down when needed.

3. The device is setup using a computer app, then is free running. eg does not need the computer to be turned on to work.

4. I can build these for you, but i am still tring to work out what they would cost if i made 10 of them at the same time. I already have some guys at work that want one.

5. it is firmware upgradebale, and i still have some outputs left, so i cant see why i could not build a upgrade card for things like autodosing of ferts and such.

the price on the web site is australia dollers, and at lcost, so unless i can get some bulk discounts, i cat make the thing any cheaper.
I will take some more pictures later today, and post them on the web site. The tank that it is on now is at work, as i am still getting mine together.

One last thing. I have now started work on the Aquamaster2. it will check things like NH4, N02, N03, Iron, O, P, and redox. I might add some other stuff. but please dont wait for this one, it is along way away, and will be about $2000 when i have finnished.

i will try to get some more details on the web site tonight, as it is a bit crappy.


Have Fun

Mark
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hi epic fish, The ph is read from any non amped PH probe, much like the probles that you guys use on your co2 controllers. I got mine from ebay for $20. The controller has all the amps and logic to work out the PH.

The kh must be set manually, as i can work out how to measure it electronically. I will, then have a upgrade for the controller. It then can work out what the C02 content is, and displays it ont he screen.

i will try to get some bulk pricing on parts tomorrow, and post home much i can sell these for. I dont have a problem making 110vAC models.

Have Fun

mark
 

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Mark...

I have seen ALOT of DIY things for aquaria.

This is the damn most impressive thing I have ever seen.

A few questions:

1. could you give us some pics of the measuring equipment and the machine in action in the tank?

2. could you explain to us what the outputs/inputs are on the machine? it looks amazing.

3. Can it run controllers -> light, pH, water top up? or even fert dosing?

4. And can you build one for me :D

Cheers

Richard

edit:

I just want to mention again that this is seriously impressive... :proud: :proud: :proud: :eek: :eek: :bounce: :bounce:

things like this make me excited at the evolution of planted tank geeks.
I agree with nornicle, and he's and Aussie. We don't see too many things like that here.
 

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markdem, thanks for sharing. i have a similar project breadboarded up next to my computer and has been sitting there for months and months. i almost feel inspired to finish it up. heh. i can also appreciate the amount of time you've put into it. nice work.
-snafu
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Hi All, i have now got a price list with all the parts. It is more expencide then what i was thinking, but most of the cost is for the PCB, LCD case and IEC connectors.

For some resign, i can't post attachments, but the total cost is $AU365, which is not all that cheap, but i guess still less then half price then any otehr product i have seen.

If anyone is still intrested, please give me a PM, and we can get somthing together.

Have Fun

Mark
 

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Very interesting project. A few years ago I debated doing something similar but have given up. I was going to use a controller I built in school to control every aspect of a tank but I never really got started on it and now I've forgotten most of all the assembly language. I built an Intel 80188 microcontroller in college, and we did all of our programming in assembly. It was a pain. Too bad I never learned how to use a pic. Good luck to you.
 

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most likely, all you'll need is c proficiency unless you're a masochist. the microchip pic is nice because there are tons of users and lots of code fragments and support online. the best part is the wealth of peripherals (e.g., ADCs, serial I/O) and timers, which reduce part counts and make it perfect for a project like this.
-snafu
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
most likely, all you'll need is c proficiency unless you're a masochist. the microchip pic is nice because there are tons of users and lots of code fragments and support online. the best part is the wealth of peripherals (e.g., ADCs, serial I/O) and timers, which reduce part counts and make it perfect for a project like this.
-snafu
that is correct, just have a look at http://www.ccsinfo.com/forum. It is full of example code and drivers for al sorts of devices. It is alot of fun building things like this, and very easy. i would love to see what other peaple would come up with, and we could even build a "super controller" that can do everything that every one wants. (feeding, water change, fert dosing etc)
I have started looking itto the next controller, which i want to be able to test colour so i can test of thinks like NO2, NO3, I, NH4 so on, but that is still a bit off.

Have Fun

Mark
 
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