Reef Central Online Community
Neptune Systems

Home Forum Here you can view your subscribed threads, work with private messages and edit your profile and preferences View New Posts View Today's Posts

Find other members Frequently Asked Questions Search Reefkeeping ...an online magazine for marine aquarists Support our sponsors and mention Reef Central

Go Back   Reef Central Online Community > General Interest Forums > Do It Yourself
Register Blogs FAQ Calendar Mark Forums Read

Notices

Reply
Thread Tools
Old 01/02/2013, 10:02 AM   #1
iced98lx
.
 
iced98lx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: South Dakota
Posts: 2,224
My DIY Netduino Controller and Multi-channel Multi-chip LED Cannons

This started as just building some lights for my 180, but has now spiraled into an entire controller build so I'm going to move the information over here from a couple different threads.

Light wise this is going to work out to about $210 for the first light, and $120 per light after that for 2 additional lights. Over 3 requires another power supply, over 10 requires another run of boards.

(Per Light)
DriversPower Supply
Terminals
  • cheapy ebay screw terminals
    (enough for all of them)

Chip
  • Ebay "Dream Chip" knockoff
    (will take $90/shipped per chip)

Thermal Managment
  • 100w or better PSU cooler from a p4/athlon. I happen to have a bunch laying around, so $FREE

Controller:

Somewhere in the midst of going with a simple controller (google typhoon LED for one) I decided I wanted to be able to control all 15 channels independently. this requires 15 PWM outputs. I was going to do an arduino board and a shield, but I'm a C# developer by trade, so when I discovered netduino the route was obvious. Starting as a simple LED controller it became obvious that I should just build an entire controller. Tomorrow my Netduino plus 2 arrives, by friday I'll have a temp sensor, real time clock, relay setup to control pumps, and the PWM shield to control the lights.

The controller will log to another server via HTTP posts of various parameters, and will take http posts to control things remotely. Individually it's all been done on either netduino or arduino so it's just a matter of me pulling together the pieces into one project.

Things to log
Things to control
  • 15 PWM channels for dimming meanwell LDD-H drivers for LED's (https://www.adafruit.com/products/815 )
  • up to 8 120v Outlets. Ordered http://www.amazon.co.../ref=pd_sbs_t_1 for now, will package up neatly when I'm ready.
  • I'll need to do several things on a schedule, so I've also ordered an i2c Real time Clock.
  • EcoTech VorTech Pumps (RF) //eventually, I will likely use the RF module from Reef Angel for this

I will work this system out on my biocube while demo starts on the new office to build the stand and cut a hole for the big tank.

Cheers to my (almost) wife for supporting me on this one!



Last edited by iced98lx; 01/02/2013 at 10:15 AM.
iced98lx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01/02/2013, 10:04 AM   #2
iced98lx
.
 
iced98lx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: South Dakota
Posts: 2,224
Purchased so far:
  • Netduino Plus 2
  • Temp Probe
  • Real Time Clock
  • Relay Circut
  • PWM Controller

Should start arriving today.


iced98lx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01/02/2013, 10:48 AM   #3
O2Surplus
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: "The Land of Fruits & Nuts"
Posts: 879
Ooops- Double post


O2Surplus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01/02/2013, 10:51 AM   #4
O2Surplus
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: "The Land of Fruits & Nuts"
Posts: 879
Sweet!

I'm subscribed. Thanks for the link to the PWM expander! That's something that had me stumped until now. I hope you'll provide some insights into your control "sketch" and other hardware choices, as I'm good with electronics but completely suck at the software side of these projects LOL


O2Surplus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01/02/2013, 10:54 AM   #5
iced98lx
.
 
iced98lx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: South Dakota
Posts: 2,224
Quote:
Originally Posted by O2Surplus View Post
Sweet!

I'm subscribed. Thanks for the link to the PWM expander! That's something that had me stumped until now. I hope you'll provide some insights into your control "sketch" and other hardware choices, as I'm good with electronics but completely suck at the software side of these projects.
This build wouldn't have even started without your board layout, so thanks to you sir!

As for the software side / "Sketch" I opted for the netduino over an arduino based solution because the netduino is a .netMF device. That means it runs Microsoft's .net Micro Framework. Programming involves hooking the board up to your windows PC via USB, opening visual studio, and writing some C# or VB code. Check out the 'getting started' tutorials on it, it makes it much more approachable.

The trade off is the speed- similar code in C# vs the C based "Sketch" language will take longer to execute because of the overhead of the .net framework. Worth it for me, though as a C# dev who doesn't want to learn the C based sketch language for arduino.

Also as a bonus on netduino, tons of Arduino shields/boards etc have drivers/programming available for them (such as the Adafruit 16 channel PWM board I linked). Makes shopping for sensors etc easy and the Forum / Wiki are very helpful.


iced98lx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01/02/2013, 01:22 PM   #6
Skinnysloth
Registered Member
 
Skinnysloth's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: La Habra, CA
Posts: 254
Definitely an interesting build. I'm looking forward to seeing your progress.


Skinnysloth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01/03/2013, 12:09 AM   #7
nkd5024
Registered Member
 
nkd5024's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: SE Pennsylvania
Posts: 363
I am currently building a similar project but using the arduino. It will be interesting to see which way you go with hardware/software.

As was recommended to me, the etape liquid level sensor isn't the best thing to use for aquariums. I bought one and tested it out and quickly realized that it is quite sensitive to any movement or twisting/bending of the sensor. It was recommended I try out a pressure sensor. It only cost $14 and after some testing I've done it seems to be a lot more consistent in its readings. Heres a link if your interested. http://www.digikey.com/product-detai...GC7U-ND/951844


__________________
"The most incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it is comprehensible."
-Albert Einstein

Check out the Okeanos Reef Controllers Facebook Page at www.facebook.com/OkeanosReef

Current Tank Info: 75 Gallon Mixed Reef, and 6 Gallon JBJ Nano
nkd5024 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01/03/2013, 09:12 AM   #8
iced98lx
.
 
iced98lx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: South Dakota
Posts: 2,224
Quote:
Originally Posted by nkd5024 View Post
I am currently building a similar project but using the arduino. It will be interesting to see which way you go with hardware/software.

As was recommended to me, the etape liquid level sensor isn't the best thing to use for aquariums. I bought one and tested it out and quickly realized that it is quite sensitive to any movement or twisting/bending of the sensor. It was recommended I try out a pressure sensor. It only cost $14 and after some testing I've done it seems to be a lot more consistent in its readings. Heres a link if your interested. http://www.digikey.com/product-detai...GC7U-ND/951844
Thanks! I've looked over the pressure sensors and other means of measuring depth as well. I've discussed the use with the manufacturer and they agree that if you are able to mount the eTape in a situation where it's not on a flexible surface and not being moved it is ideal (and accurate) and easy to calibrate for this situation. If for some reason it doesn't work out I'll likely end up with the pressure sensor to measure depth. I don't want to end up with a series of floats, is my main requirement. I want to know how much water, not that it's deeper than X but shallower than X.

Appreciate the input!!


iced98lx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01/03/2013, 10:10 AM   #9
iced98lx
.
 
iced98lx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: South Dakota
Posts: 2,224
Netduino Plus 2 Arrived today, one day late (thanks Amazon) but here none the less:



Being my first micro-controller project, the head unit is much smaller than I expected.


iced98lx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01/03/2013, 11:39 AM   #10
iced98lx
.
 
iced98lx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: South Dakota
Posts: 2,224
On the N+2: Real time debugging + easy to understand tutorials make this a great thing. Only thing is with the N+2 being new I didn't see a lot about how to do networking etc. I haven't updated my firmware yet so I'm seeing an incorrect MAC address which led to some initial confusion (Is the networking working?!) but after I figured out that indeed, it is working... super cool!! I quickly cobbled together a couple lines of code to make a web request and tell me via LED if it was successful:
Code:
using System;
using System.Threading;
using System.Net;
using Microsoft.SPOT;
using Microsoft.SPOT.Hardware;
using SecretLabs.NETMF.Hardware;
using SecretLabs.NETMF.Hardware.Netduino;
 
namespace Hello_World
{
    public class Program
    {
        public static void Main()
        {
            // write your code here
            OutputPort led = new OutputPort(Pins.ONBOARD_LED, false);
            var myReq = (HttpWebRequest)WebRequest.Create("http://chrisuthe.com/robots.txt");
            var myResponse =(HttpWebResponse)myReq.GetResponse ();
            if(myResponse.StatusCode.ToString() == "200")
            {
                led.Write(true);
            }
            
        }
 
    }
}
SUCCESS!!


Now it's back to the 8-5'er for a bit, but I feel good knowing I can upgrade firmware later today and get started planning how the software end will function.


iced98lx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01/03/2013, 12:36 PM   #11
O2Surplus
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: "The Land of Fruits & Nuts"
Posts: 879
Looks cool! I've got no idea what any of that coding means, LOL, so I'll just continue sitting here with my head nodding in approval LOL.


O2Surplus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01/03/2013, 05:58 PM   #12
megadeth72
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 444
tagging along so I can see how you mount your light and enclose your controller


megadeth72 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01/04/2013, 10:30 AM   #13
iced98lx
.
 
iced98lx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: South Dakota
Posts: 2,224
Quote:
Originally Posted by megadeth72 View Post
tagging along so I can see how you mount your light and enclose your controller
I've got some ideas floating in the back of my head, but it might not be of much help to you as my tank is in wall so it won't be as pretty as it would be if I were building them to hang in an exposed room.


iced98lx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01/04/2013, 10:56 AM   #14
iced98lx
.
 
iced98lx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: South Dakota
Posts: 2,224
Todays Progress:

Ordered:
1 x LDD-350H
1 x SE-350-48
From Powergate Express LLC

Ordered:
4x LDD-700H
From Mouser (they are basically tripple price vs powergate but in stock)

Power gate won't have 700's in stock until late feb (the 22nd) so I went this route since they got the power supplies in today (Ship monday) and already had the 350's in. Powergate is obviously the price leader here, but they admitted they were having problems keeping the LDD's in stock but did say they had big orders coming in in feb, so I'll wait to buy the rest of my drivers from them.

PCB's Ordered from iMall iteadstudio.com (Thanks for the design 02surplus!!)

Should have everything to put together a light by the end of the month.


iced98lx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01/04/2013, 11:01 AM   #15
iced98lx
.
 
iced98lx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: South Dakota
Posts: 2,224
Currently haggling on EBay for the chip.


iced98lx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01/04/2013, 12:26 PM   #16
O2Surplus
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: "The Land of Fruits & Nuts"
Posts: 879
Sweet!

I hope enough people will order the 5up LDD-H PCB and choose the "open source" option with their order, so that Itead will add it to their site and make it available in smaller quantities- LOL.


O2Surplus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01/04/2013, 05:22 PM   #17
megadeth72
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 444
what did you search for on ebay to find the multichip?


megadeth72 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01/05/2013, 06:30 AM   #18
maR1o
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 52
im very interested in this, I hope to start building mine soon to.


maR1o is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01/05/2013, 12:54 PM   #19
iced98lx
.
 
iced98lx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: South Dakota
Posts: 2,224
Got the chip bought after some 'make an offer' haggling on ebay. Went with a bit faster shipping on everything coming from China, so hopefully the investment pays off. I'll do a total cost in a few days as things arrive. I spent a bit extra ordering parts from Mouser vs PowerGate since they were out of stock until late feb. I also spent extra to get faster shipping on the LED chip and the boards. Still under $250 for a pendant, I believe.


iced98lx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01/06/2013, 09:58 AM   #20
megadeth72
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 444
please post pictures of the chip once you get it, the one I found on ebay did not look very good


megadeth72 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01/06/2013, 04:49 PM   #21
iced98lx
.
 
iced98lx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: South Dakota
Posts: 2,224
Quote:
Originally Posted by megadeth72 View Post
please post pictures of the chip once you get it, the one I found on ebay did not look very good
If you're looking at the same ones as me, there doesn't seem to be a picture big enough to make anything out. I ordered 1 to check out the quality and color temps to see if I like it enough to do 3 of them. If not, I will likely keep it over a smaller tank and go another route for the big tank. The seller took my offer of $85, but I think they'd probably take less if ordering multiple items.

I really, really want to stick with 3 multichips over the tank, just to keep it simple but if these are junk and with my access to the original 'dream chip' none, I may have to go with groups of multi-chips in various wavelengths, but I really don't want to.


iced98lx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01/09/2013, 10:05 PM   #22
iced98lx
.
 
iced98lx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: South Dakota
Posts: 2,224









iced98lx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01/10/2013, 12:58 AM   #23
Gorgok
Registered Member
 
Gorgok's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Cypress, Texas
Posts: 1,789
Not to be too picky or anything, but you should not be using an acid based flux for wires or electronics in general.

What sensor is that? And did you assemble the probe end your self or get it ready made? I put some ds18b20 sensors on the ends of 3.5mm jack stereo cables, into 316 stainless caps (from home brewing supply places) and filled them up with epoxy. As a strain relief and a little extra water proofing i put glue coated shrink tubes over half the cap and onto the wire a good inch or so. Came out like this:




Gorgok is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01/10/2013, 09:19 AM   #24
iced98lx
.
 
iced98lx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: South Dakota
Posts: 2,224
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gorgok View Post
Not to be too picky or anything, but you should not be using an acid based flux for wires or electronics in general.

What sensor is that? And did you assemble the probe end your self or get it ready made? I put some ds18b20 sensors on the ends of 3.5mm jack stereo cables, into 316 stainless caps (from home brewing supply places) and filled them up with epoxy. As a strain relief and a little extra water proofing i put glue coated shrink tubes over half the cap and onto the wire a good inch or so. Came out like this:

First and foremost, yes, Acid based flux should not be used with any wires or electronics in general, it's sitting there because I emptied a basket of %#&*( onto my desk.

The sensor is a DS18B20 - I bought it with the probe end assembled from sparkfun. I spent a little more but I didn't mind the piece of mind knowing it's sealed by someone other than me.

The wiring end of things is obviously not done, as nothing could live in a marine environment as it sits. I'll be working out a 1 wire hub for the 3 or so temp probes I'll have total, and a use some sort of proper connector (3.5mm jacks have been strongly considered).

Thank you for your feedback, I appreciate it!


iced98lx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01/10/2013, 06:33 PM   #25
porksmash
Registered Member
 
porksmash's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 137
Your posts have turned me on to the netduino. I've been working on and off with an Arduino for a while now but have been frustrated with it as of late (mostly Ethernet shield woes). I have one request, though. Can you re-link the product on amazon you were going to use to control outlets? The links in your first post are all non-working.


porksmash is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:43 PM.


TapaTalk Enabled

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Powered by Searchlight © 2017 Axivo Inc.
Use of this web site is subject to the terms and conditions described in the user agreement.
Reef CentralTM Reef Central, LLC. Copyright 1999-2014