Over-designed salt water exchange system

Discussion in 'DIY' started by rygh, Mar 13, 2014.

  1. pixelpixi

    pixelpixi Guest

    Love it, @rygh! It's so fun for me to see someone else building an aquarium project with Modulo!
     
  2. Kensington Reefer

    Kensington Reefer Supporting Member

    Hey Mark and Erin
    maybe you come by here and "over" design some automation and monitoring
     
  3. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    That would be quite the project for your big sheds-of-tanks.
    :)
    But I seem to remember teasing you about a PH meter that said 6 or so,
    never having been calibrated. I bet it still hasn't.
     
  4. pixelpixi

    pixelpixi Guest

    Sounds fun! We can make a controller that keeps your tank pH at a solid 6. Just be sure to never calibrate that probe. :D:p
     
  5. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    Nah, targeting a real PH of 6 seems like more fun. Muriatic acid on dosing pump....
    Makes the fish all "tingly." What could be wrong with that.
     
    pixelpixi likes this.
  6. Kensington Reefer

    Kensington Reefer Supporting Member

    C'mon
    You guys know I don't test anything!
    Visual remote monitoring
    Automate and remote maintenance
     
    pixelpixi likes this.
  7. tygunn

    tygunn Webmaster

    Hey Muriatic acid on a dosing pump with a pH controller was how I cured the cement rocks I made years back. Lol. So there is merit to this.
     
  8. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    Well, hit another snag.
    I was using Grovestream to log data, since Xively(Pachube) went all corporate.
    It seemed great. You send little TCP packets from the photon, and you can look at nice
    graphs and a dashboard from the web.
    The free version was 5 MB per month. Should be plenty.
    Well ... that 5 MB includes the entire JSON packet you need to send, not just the 8 bytes I need to log.
    And that packet is pretty big. Probably over 100 bytes.
    Plus, that 5 MB includes looking at your logs on the web.
    ARGH
    The non free version is only 10 MB per month, so even paying does not help.
     
  9. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    Put a much simpler way without the technical jargon:

    My network provider screwed me with tricky pricing.
    :mad:

    Does that sound familiar....
     
  10. Flagg37

    Flagg37 Officer at large

    MB's... That's so 1990's. Lame.
     
    Enderturtle and rygh like this.
  11. naterock101

    naterock101 Guest

    @rygh why not just log the data using IFTTT and Particles webhook with it to a Google Spreadsheet? Then you can use a bunch of different services to export that data into a nice graph or write a simple script to do it for you :)
     
  12. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    Hmm, interesting idea.
    I already use IFTTT for sending emails.
    And it would be nice to only send to particle, not to multiple clients in the cloud.
    Especially since it hung last night also. That is yet another concern.
     
  13. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    Relay Board is back, assembled, and working.
    :)
    Hardly complicated, but glad I made a PCB.

    strip1.jpg
     
    pixelpixi likes this.
  14. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    Well, testing is not going so great.

    The Photon wifi disconnects quite a few times per day.
    Not bad in itself, but it then the Photon mostly locks up dealing with it.
    Not good if it is in the middle of refilling ATO. :mad:

    Still in debug mode, so not actually connected to real tank yet, just buckets.

    There are some workarounds, but nothing 100% yet.
    And in doing so I am poking around in the libraries, and there are some obvious issues where it simply expects to be cloud connected.

    I just don't know if I will trust this thing...
    Perhaps time to go back to the clunky old Arduino.
    My old DIY controller has been running solid for years now, despite being rather badly abused at times.
    And my new relay boards still apply.

    I would be annoyed, but to be honest, a big part of this was just to mess around with the new
    technologies out there.
     
  15. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    Note on above post:
    The problems are definitely in the Photon, not the Modulo part. That seems rock solid so far!
     
  16. Flagg37

    Flagg37 Officer at large

    I'm sure pixelpixie is glad to hear that.
     
  17. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    So finally some success!!
    :cool:

    I separated the critical code onto a separate timer thread, which seemed to do the trick.
    The photon runs a real RTOS, so the software timers are reliable, even
    when the main thread is stuck waiting for the cloud.
    Of course, multi-threaded sharing variables is always tricky, but pretty sure I covered
    all the scary cases.

    So far, no problems.
    I am now carefully tuning the water in / water out to match.
    Even with good peristaltic pumps, pressure differences affect the rate.
     
  18. Flagg37

    Flagg37 Officer at large

    Which pump are you using? I've heard for water changes the Liter Meter and Neptune DOS pumps are reliable enough. I don't know how they're actually different though.
     
  19. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    I am using the Liter Meter pumps. They have a version with simple 12VDC in.
    Being using the regular Liter Meter 3 for years for dosing, with great luck so far.
    Better than the BRS pumps I had before.
    The Neptune pumps look really sweet, since they are stepper motor based, and you can technically count revolutions.
    But I don't really know how I would interface to them.

    It does not have to be that exact. I monitor salinity, so if it drifts, it will warn me and I can re-calibrate.
     
  20. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    Had an interesting issue that Alkalinity cranked up quite a bit.
    From the normal 7-8 to about 11, so not a big deal.

    I use normal Instant Ocean, which tends to be a bit high in Alk.
    My tank usually runs a bit low on Alk.
    And I normally does quite a bit.

    So the combination of the new larger water changes + still old dosing levels
    caused the Alk increase.

    Ehh.. At least is shows the water-exchange is doing something.
     

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