New DIY Controller

Discussion in 'DIY' started by pixelpixi, Jan 6, 2016.

  1. pixelpixi

    pixelpixi Guest

    I designed and sell a modular DIY electronics platform called Modulo. Recently I built a new aquarium controller using it, and just today I finished a write-up about that project. Please take a look if you're interested.

    I swear I'm not trying to sell anything here. I just thought some of you might find the project interesting!
    tygunn, wpeterson and Vhuang168 like this.
  2. Enderturtle

    Enderturtle Volunteer

    Cool! Amazing I could never make something like this!
  3. Vhuang168

    Vhuang168 Supporting Member

    Very cool!

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  4. jonmos75

    jonmos75 Supporting Member

    Interesting, cool and congratulation....
  5. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    Wow, great!! :cool:

    And timely also.
    I have been redesigning my old Arduino based DIY mess.
    The plan was a trusty Apex for monitoring, and Raspberry-Pi based DIY for control.
    But the Raspi is becoming a giant hassle for low level control.
    Little things, like oops, the kernel toggles that gpio during boot for no reason. GRRR.

    I will definitely look into your project!

    Software stack in particular. That can make or break products so fast.
    Looks like you may have a nice simple solution for that.
  6. Flagg37

    Flagg37 Officer at large

    You make it sound easy to set up. Is it really that easy? It is quite a bit cheaper than even the base apex system.
  7. pixelpixi

    pixelpixi Guest

    Thanks everybody! Glad you like it.

    @Flagg37: I think it's a lot easier than building a comparable system with individual components, but it's still DIY so programming, debugging and a bit of soldering are required. For me that makes it more fun but it's not everyone's cup of tea. It's also not nearly as polished as something like an Apex. No enclosure, no easy to use software, etc. It's really an example project not a commercial aquarium controller.

    @rygh: The last version of my controller was raspi based too. (I think there's even a thread on here about it). I used it until just recently but I always had issues with it. The first is that I designed it to ONLY have a web interface, which meant that if wifi went down (which seemed to happen frequently with the Pi) then I couldn't even turn on the sump light. Second, it was a fair bit more general and more complex than I really needed it to be. For instance, I thought it would be neat to have a general purpose web dashboard but really I just needed to push a button to turn something on or off. Finally there's the fact that's a whole computer running linux, so it boots slowly, needs software updates, etc. If you do take a look at Modulo let me know if I can help with anything!
  8. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    I ordered a Photon. If it proves interesting, next step is a Modulo

    You could use some product summaries and data sheets ... :rolleyes:
    As an engineer, marketing is the last thing I usually want to work on, but a necessary evil.
  9. pixelpixi

    pixelpixi Guest

    @rygh: cool! I hope you have fun with it.

    I'd love to hear more about what you'd like to see in terms of product summaries and data sheets. There's a description of each product on the store and full API docs at I've been had my head it in so long it's kind of hard for me to tell what info is needed for someone who is new to it! (other than the Blank Slate pinout which we discussed on the modulo community site.) I definitely welcome any specific suggestions though!
  10. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    Ok Modulo looks fantabulous! I did solderless LEDs because I didn't want to bother with all the pain and trouble of prepping and soldering tons of tiny joints that as I get older are harder and harder to see, plug and play like this is super cool!

    Oh yeah, neat aquarium controller too ;)
  11. pixelpixi

    pixelpixi Guest

    Thanks, Mike! :D
  12. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    Looking forward to poking around a bit.

    As far as docs, a good place to start is the competition.
    More details on mechanicals. What each connector does. Power supply requirements/issues.Performance.

    Since you provide schematics and board layout, I can certainly figure out most of that myself.
    But if you like I can pester you a lot more on the blank slate and photon base on the community site.
    Up to you. I don't want to come across as being negative.
  13. pixelpixi

    pixelpixi Guest

    The particle docs are great, but for Modulo we have higher level docs on purpose since it's a higher level product. For most Modulos you shouldn't need to look at the schematic to use it. (The Blank Slate is perhaps an exception where a schematic might be nice).

    I definitely appreciate the feedback though. I don't want to spam people with Modulo stuff here too much, but I'm happy to discuss more on the modulo site or via PM!
  14. Flagg37

    Flagg37 Officer at large

    I'm interested, and I think anyone else that is still reading the thread probably is too.

    It's good that you're sensitive to the fact that it's your product and this isn't your site but I think the discussion is beneficial to the community.
    pixelpixi likes this.
  15. JAR

    JAR Supporting Member

    well done :)
  16. pixelpixi

    pixelpixi Guest

  17. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    Poked around with the Photon, seems like interesting hardware.
    Tool flow is a bit sketchy.

    Ordered a Modulo set. Should be fun.
  18. pixelpixi

    pixelpixi Guest

    Thanks for your order, Mark! It's already shipped. Hope you enjoy it. :)
  19. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    So far so good! mod.JPG
    denzil and Cymen like this.
  20. pixelpixi

    pixelpixi Guest

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