Reef pi

X3NiTH

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Every time I think about this I always end up with the same conclusion, ‘when you absolutely need 100% uptime 0% downtime with a one system unit then PLC is really the only choice. If you want the same reliability out of Pi or Arduino etc you will need to build in redundancy with extra hardware for failover’.
 

noodlesuk

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Every time I think about this I always end up with the same conclusion, ‘when you absolutely need 100% uptime 0% downtime with a one system unit then PLC is really the only choice. If you want the same reliability out of Pi or Arduino etc you will need to build in redundancy with extra hardware for failover’.

I see what you mean, PLC will always be more reliable. I always see the PLC as a bit overkill, and not that accessible to the hobbyist, from my experience with them at work. If you have life critical systems (heaters or chillers) you might want to go PLC and/or ensure you have redundancy and fail safe modes in the system. At home you still have the issue of power outages, unless you have some sort of UPS. In my scenario, for temp monitoring (no control), low voltage light control and dosing (likely failure mode would be no dose), I'm gonna give the RPi a go as risk is low.


I ran reef pi as a lighting controller for about a year. Never had any issues with it, and the only reason I'm not using it now is because my new light came with a controller. I'd happily use it again if I wanted more automation.

That's good to hear, it seems to have lots of potential and already comes with a pretty nice web interface. I've installed it on a pi zero with a temp sensor, will look at the lighting next and maybe dosing.
 

dino21

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We were given a Pi3 to play with last year as the young ones got themselves the lastest Pi4, though never did much with it then.

Will be interesting to follow your project should you publish your developments here, don't think we could afford a PLC for our nano tank .
 

Niton

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I ran reefpi for about 18 months. Really easy to get setup and was very reliable.

Primarily it was a smart timer for my lights and co2.
I did setup temperature logging and alerting as well.

I enjoyed learning a little bit about electronics although the 5v to 240v relay gave me a couple of zaps:eek:

I think the most useful aspect of it is the ability to set macros up. For example, I had a macro setup for feeding which turned off the filter and turned it back on after 5 minutes.

I'm not running it anymore as and think for automation in the future I'd look at smart sockets as they seem to offer the same core functionality I liked.
 

noodlesuk

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Hi

I thought I'd keep updating this thread, just in case people were interested. I've designed up the housing. I've left it quite large for future expansion and decided to keep the peristaltic pump heads external, in another (to be designed) housing. I have limited space around the tank and no cupboard underneath that I can use. So this will be a modular system, I can hide behind the tank. 5 sockets will be used to connect up the other components to thr controller.

Currently I have a pi zero, light controller board (bit of a hacked vero board design!) and DC motor controller board. The pi only has 2 hardware PWM, so am using those for the pumps, via the DC controller and the Pi GPIO to control my LED sunrise/sunset board.

Luckily I have access to a laser cutter, so this will be used to create the housing. Makes it easier to plan and keeps all the holes in the right places!
 

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noodlesuk

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Just a quick progress update. I managed to fit the two dosing heads within the custom enclosure and it all should just fit by the side of my tank. Although a separate pump head enclosure might have been nice and modular, makes wiring and cable management a pain. Next job is to neatly wire it all up inside!
 

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noodlesuk

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I finally got around to wiring it all up.and calibrating the dosing pumps. Found them to be fairly reliable in dosing 1ml, used a 3ml syringe for measurement which worked well.

I tried several times to get Reef Pi to operate the dosing pumps, it appeared that the PWM signal was not being activated on the GPIO. With there being lots of features in Reef Pi that I will.never use, I decided to make my own cut down web interface. Aquasac-Pi ;) This currently allows for debugging Lights and Dosing Pumps. The scheduling is handled by cron jobs.

It's a project I may develop further, using the web gui for scheduling maybe having some integration with fertiliser calcs could be useful.
 

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dino21

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I finally got around to wiring it all up.and calibrating the dosing pumps. Found them to be fairly reliable in dosing 1ml, used a 3ml syringe for measurement which worked well.

I tried several times to get Reef Pi to operate the dosing pumps, it appeared that the PWM signal was not being activated on the GPIO. With there being lots of features in Reef Pi that I will.never use, I decided to make my own cut down web interface. Aquasac-Pi ;) This currently allows for debugging Lights and Dosing Pumps. The scheduling is handled by cron jobs.

It's a project I may develop further, using the web gui for scheduling maybe having some integration with fertiliser calcs could be useful.

Looks good, :D but totally lost when it come to web interfaces and coding 😧
 
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