DIY Diaphragm DC ATO pump

Discussion in 'DIY' started by HiFidelity, Jul 16, 2014.

  1. HiFidelity

    HiFidelity Guest

    Due to popular demand I am posting this DIY recipe :D

    I pretty much found all the parts needed to make something very similar in concept to the AVAST Marine Works Diaphragm pump.

    So the AVAST pump is essentially a diaphragm pump inside of ABS plastic project box and an A/C adapter and judging by the price tag I highly doubt the parts inside surpass these in build quality (or origin of manufacture).

    You will first need the following ingredients;

    and this

    you'll also want this;

    and a 500ma 12vdc power supply (300 & 400ma will work too, the pump pulls a max of 300ma);

    This gives us a total of $19.64, that's 40% of the original product's price :D

    I personally would take the 4 screws out of the pump, mark their locations on the plastic box & drill screw holes there, then with a uni-bit I'd drill a big hole in the middle of them for the water outlet & inlet. Of course one hole to flush mount the female plug and BAM lol it would look super OEM and clean.

    For those of you who shy away from DIY projects or understandably if you don't have something called a "uni-bit" and if it's strictly for a BAR member and not going to be sold right after I give it to you, I would not mind building a few of these for you guys at no profit on my part though my recent semi-tank-crash has left me with half the coral population I had before tisk tisk ;)

    Alfred is going to be our Guinea Pig, I'm working with him on building one of these out of the best parts we can possibly source without spending more than half what it costs to buy the AVAST model, so far the pump is what we're looking further into. You must understand that this is a DIY and we are sourcing parts made by unknown manufacturers in China (most everything on the market is anyway, can ya say jebao?) so there is no warranty or liability on my part, but for $20-30 how can you go wrong :cool:
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2014
    rygh likes this.
  2. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    Do note that the Avast one claims to have a maximum lift of 130ft. where as the pump you mentioned it's a bit ambiguous, it says 1-25m (not sure if they mean 1 to 25 and if so why would you have 1 to somevalue as a MAXIMUM) also says maximum suction lift is 2m. So the Avast one you are getting a beefier pump.
  3. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    Note that the input voltage has a very wide range. 3V to 12V
    That is likely causing the range in lift.

    There is also no mention of duty cycle rating or membrane type, which is a bit of an issue.

    Still, seems good to me. Nice and simple.
  4. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    Oh yeah don't get me wrong... 130ft of head is over kill for ANYONE in the hobby, not even the 1%ers ... I was just noting that there was probably a different pump in there.

    Although it seems like you could replace the ABS hobby box with anything.. or nothing.
  5. HiFidelity

    HiFidelity Guest

    We were discussing that myself & Alfred and this is the reason why we're in search of a better pump than what we found, I initially picked that one because for both of us the ATO reservoir is practically sitting right next to the sump.

    For all practical uses I believe this might be the best candidate;

    The motor on this one is higher amperage (700ma) and they're claiming a max head of 3m (meter) which comes out to almost 10ft.

    Essentially I am finding that the sky is the limit, it just comes down to how big of a box do you want?

    for example;

    32 feet of head? not sure what I'd use this for other than water plants on the roof haha.

    In regards to internals, I am sure I will be ripping that thing apart as soon as I get my hands on it, with things like this I like to dig in & find out how it was built so I can perhaps find hidden cons/pros etc.

    as far as any additional specs, I can't find you the specifics of what the diaphragm is made of but given that it will pump pure H2O I'm not going to be too concerned with that aspect, specially since I'm going to be taking it all apart prior to use.

    I did find you some other specs after some digging;

    -Maximum continuous working time 120 hours.
    -Water temperature 5-45 C
    -Working water pressure 0.3Mpa
    -Duty / Cooling daily work time is less than 8 hours / natural cooling.
    -Electrical strength: power port and the casing can withstand 500V/50HZ/1min no flashover breakdown.

    Frankly for the purpose intended this is overkill, if the specs are at least 75% accurate.

    Alfred is going to be the one choosing our first pump, I decided I want submersible so the prototype is going to be configured to Alfred's needs.
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2014
  6. HiFidelity

    HiFidelity Guest

  7. HiFidelity

    HiFidelity Guest

  8. neuro

    neuro Webmaster

    Thanks Fidel, I've been searching today, and there is only really 2-3 different kinds of pumps, including the ones you have linked that will fit the bill and our needs.

    I don't have any channels to control the PWM one you just linked.
    Keeping it a simple diaphragm pump may be a good place to start =).

    Avast marine doesn't mention the size of their pump. If it's the same size as our pump, I highly doubt they could bulk source them and claim the same numbers while offering them for the price they're selling it at... but what the hell do I know.

    Anyways, I intend to pull the trigger on these parts soon.
  9. HiFidelity

    HiFidelity Guest

    woohooo I'm excited, want me to help build it?
  10. gaberosenfield

    gaberosenfield Juvenile Chromis over an Acro in the Red Sea

    This is interesting to me since I just purchased a bunch of stuff from Avast, including their diaphragm pump. I noticed the submersible pump you linked, Fidel, says "continuous working life of 500 hours". That seems low, but I guess that isn't so bad? I mean, at a gallon of evap per day, thats about 4 liters per day. So the pump would have to come on for about 1/20 of an hour per day at it's low setting (80 liters per hour), or about 3 minutes working per day. At that rate, the pump would last 10,000 days, or about 27 years! I'm sure it will break before then for some other reason (like dropping it or something). Had I known the components for these pumps were so cheap, I probably would've built one myself as well! I'm excited to see how this turns out.
    neuro likes this.
  11. Piper

    Piper Guppy

    though my recent semi-tank-crash has left me with half the coral population I had before tisk tisk ;)

    Fidel - I have frags if you want them. LPS, SPS, and Zoas. *Disclaimer - Tank has had red bugs within the last year. No sing of bugs since treating a few months ago (3+ I think.) PM if interested and I can send you some pics of what I have. Nothing spectacular but better than nothing.

    Pick up in Oakley or Martinez and I will be frag swap.

  12. neuro

    neuro Webmaster


    I went ahead and ordered the parts, the only thing different was that I had to order an AC adapter that has a better amperage rating since I ordered the pump with the .7 max amperage.

    Total cost was ~$23. We'll see how it goes! I don't know if I have a unibit, I think I do in my pile of tools
  13. DapG8Gt

    DapG8Gt Guest

    What a great DIY idea for a ato pump.. Has anyone heard these micro pumps run yet? I deal with diaphragm pumps at work and most if not all have a noticeable noise from the stroke of the pump. some a lot more than others. I doubt they will be to noisy given the size but just thought id mention it.
  14. neuro

    neuro Webmaster

    I have heard that the noise is noticeable, but on diaphragm pumps that run on 2 amps? I forget, but I do understand diaphragm pumps aren't necessarily quiet.

    For me, I would want to know when the pump is being activated.
  15. HiFidelity

    HiFidelity Guest

    there are also ways to silence the project box, materials necessary are available at HD :D
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2014
    neuro likes this.

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