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So, I have been thinking, and that hurt a little bit, my next uControl/CQC project...
#1
My 1st Hobby/PIC+CQC project went so amazingly well, I kind want to do another one...

so I was thinking...
CQC-FTM (Fish Tank Monitor)
  • 2 floats to measure level (high/low)
  • one fill solenoid
  • one drain solenoid
  • one temp sensor
  • wanted to do a nitrate monitor, but OMG the $$$
  • I also though a leak detector would be cool, but couldn't find anything good...
basically, CQC-FTM would monitor the level and temp in the fish tank, and top off as needed...
there would also be the option of doing an automated water change... but I don't think I will make this completely automatic... at least not yet... for now it will be supervised since things could go really badly... don't want to piss off the fish... they get a bit scary when they are pissed...

also, plan to make this PCB a bit more universal...
maybe also make a CQC-SPM (Sump Pump Monitor) it would just be a stripped down CQC-FTM without the relays or temp sense...

anyone have any feedback? or is this a horrible idea?
NOTE: As one wise professional something once stated, I am ignorant & childish, with a mindset comparable to 9/11 troofers and wackjob conspiracy theorists. so don't take anything I say as advice...
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#2
It sounds like to me that a small PLC could do this job just as well.

Take the Click PLC (a CQC driver exists for it) - Four Digital Inputs, Four Digital Outputs, two analog inputs and two analog outputs all for $139

So if you can do it much cheaper than that I would say go for it, but at that price its pretty compelling and so easy to custom program to do what you want.
Mykel Koblenz
Illawarra Smart Home
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#3
SomeWhatLost Wrote:My 1st Hobby/PIC+CQC project went so amazingly well, I kind want to do another one...

so I was thinking...
CQC-FTM (Fish Tank Monitor)
  • 2 floats to measure level (high/low)
  • one fill solenoid
  • one drain solenoid
  • one temp sensor
  • wanted to do a nitrate monitor, but OMG the $$$
  • I also though a leak detector would be cool, but couldn't find anything good...
basically, CQC-FTM would monitor the level and temp in the fish tank, and top off as needed...
there would also be the option of doing an automated water change... but I don't think I will make this completely automatic... at least not yet... for now it will be supervised since things could go really badly... don't want to piss off the fish... they get a bit scary when they are pissed...

also, plan to make this PCB a bit more universal...
maybe also make a CQC-SPM (Sump Pump Monitor) it would just be a stripped down CQC-FTM without the relays or temp sense...

anyone have any feedback? or is this a horrible idea?

Yep - doing all of the above now with a Carls' Electronics CK1610 Serial relay box and using CQC as the control system, monitor and timer. Works very well. I have a second one that is controlling my exterior pond. The only thing that I do not do with a computer is control my ATO. Computers fail and I like dry carpet. :cool Also, I do not like cooked coral as I have too much invested. All temperature control is not via computer.

I do the following;

Lights (2 relays)
Dosing Pumps (3 Relays)
Reef Sump Return Pump (1 Relay)
Skimmer Pump (1 Relay)
GFO Pump (1 Relay)

This PCB unit would work well!!
Thanks,
Dave Bruner
Cool
Reply
#4
SomeWhatLost Wrote:My 1st Hobby/PIC+CQC project went so amazingly well, I kind want to do another one...

so I was thinking...
CQC-FTM (Fish Tank Monitor)
  • 2 floats to measure level (high/low)
  • one fill solenoid
  • one drain solenoid
  • one temp sensor
  • wanted to do a nitrate monitor, but OMG the $$$
  • I also though a leak detector would be cool, but couldn't find anything good...
basically, CQC-FTM would monitor the level and temp in the fish tank, and top off as needed...
there would also be the option of doing an automated water change... but I don't think I will make this completely automatic... at least not yet... for now it will be supervised since things could go really badly... don't want to piss off the fish... they get a bit scary when they are pissed...

also, plan to make this PCB a bit more universal...
maybe also make a CQC-SPM (Sump Pump Monitor) it would just be a stripped down CQC-FTM without the relays or temp sense...

anyone have any feedback? or is this a horrible idea?

If it could be adapted to my outdoor pond, I would be interested.
Reply
#5
znelbok Wrote:It sounds like to me that a small PLC could do this job just as well.

Take the Click PLC (a CQC driver exists for it) - Four Digital Inputs, Four Digital Outputs, two analog inputs and two analog outputs all for $139

So if you can do it much cheaper than that I would say go for it, but at that price its pretty compelling and so easy to custom program to do what you want.
well, the uController I am planning on using is the PIC16F688, $1.51 at digikey in qty of 1...
the relays are probably going to be in the ~$3ea range (assuming I just use the 8A dudes from my CQC-MB1)
assorted other parts probably <$5 total...
only big $$$ item is PCB, and that will be in the $50ea range in small quantities... (they like their NRE fees)
so on a personal use point of view (ie not selling them for profit) I should easily be able to beat $139 (for profit, I have no clue... would really need to look at all the numbers, and time to assemble, I don't really like the assembly part...)
NOTE: As one wise professional something once stated, I am ignorant & childish, with a mindset comparable to 9/11 troofers and wackjob conspiracy theorists. so don't take anything I say as advice...
Reply
#6
DaveB Wrote:Yep - doing all of the above now with a Carls' Electronics CK1610 Serial relay box and using CQC as the control system, monitor and timer. Works very well. I have a second one that is controlling my exterior pond. The only thing that I do not do with a computer is control my ATO. Computers fail and I like dry carpet. :cool Also, I do not like cooked coral as I have too much invested. All temperature control is not via computer.

I do the following;

Lights (2 relays)
Dosing Pumps (3 Relays)
Reef Sump Return Pump (1 Relay)
Skimmer Pump (1 Relay)
GFO Pump (1 Relay)

This PCB unit would work well!!
well, 2 things,
1st I can beat the kit price (for myself...but as a marketed product Carls' is very competitive priced, be hard to beat)
2nd, I can tailor this to my individual needs...
3rd, you need a computer for your logic... my logic will be handled by the pic... PC crashing is no big deal... PIC will just report to CQC what is being done, and CQC can kick off an action... but PIC handles all overflow/safety functions... assuming my code is good, it will never crash...
(ok so that's 3, who is counting?)
I have heard cooked coral is quite tasty... not sure where I heard that... but I am reasonably sure I heard it...
NOTE: As one wise professional something once stated, I am ignorant & childish, with a mindset comparable to 9/11 troofers and wackjob conspiracy theorists. so don't take anything I say as advice...
Reply
#7
Make it as modular and as scalable as you can. Some will only two relays and some will need 12.

(My laptop keyboard is going bad and thespacekeydoesnotwork. What a annoying PIA!)

Anyway, As for my pond;

Lights (3 relays)
Fountain (1 Relay)
Water Feature (either fogger or pisser) (1 Relay)
Main Pump (1 Relay)
Auto Fill Relay (What the hell - if it overflows it just goes into the lawn) (1 Relay)
Air Pump (for winter months) (1 Relay)

...and I have 1 relay spare
Thanks,
Dave Bruner
Cool
Reply
#8
jkish Wrote:If it could be adapted to my outdoor pond, I would be interested.
well, since it is still in the very early concept stage, it can be adapted to just about anything...
what does an outdoor pond need?
# and kind of inputs?
# and kind of outputs ie volts / amps relays, and how configured? (SPDT,DPDT,N.O. contacts, N.C. Contacts,etc)
what kind of connectors? (does it matter?)

edit: oh and most important, what to call it? CQC-MPC (Magic Pond Controller?):-)
NOTE: As one wise professional something once stated, I am ignorant & childish, with a mindset comparable to 9/11 troofers and wackjob conspiracy theorists. so don't take anything I say as advice...
Reply
#9
DaveB Wrote:Make it as modular and as scalable as you can. Some will only two relays and some will need 12.
well that kind of defeats the whole purpose really, doable, maybe, but biggest cost is PCB, and PCB $$$ is mostly driven by square inches (or centimeters for those strange European dudes...)
and it would be a custom PIC program for each variation...
NOTE: As one wise professional something once stated, I am ignorant & childish, with a mindset comparable to 9/11 troofers and wackjob conspiracy theorists. so don't take anything I say as advice...
Reply
#10
SomeWhatLost Wrote:well, since it is still in the very early concept stage, it can be adapted to just about anything...
what does an outdoor pond need?
# and kind of inputs?
# and king of outputs ie volts / amps relays, and how configured? (SPDT,DPDT,N.O. contacts, N.C. Contacts,etc)
what kind of connectors? (does it matter?)

edit: oh and most important, what to call it? CQC-MPC (Magic Pond Controller?):-)

Ok;For the new CQC-MPC controller I offer the following;

My relays are all DPDT, so I can then select NO or NC at will

All of my relays that control 120 volt items actually control secondary relays for those items. I use a 12 volt transformer and 12 volt relay for those high voltage items

All of my LV items (Less than 6 amps) all are direct connected.

....and as a side note; all of my relay packs, whether connected to CQC or HAI are multi-relay packs. I very rarely (other than window blinds and such) need only one relay.
Thanks,
Dave Bruner
Cool
Reply


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