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1  Community / Gigs and Collaborations / Re: Intel's Perceptual Computing Lab is hiring 3 positions on: February 11, 2013, 01:33:22 am
If you'd said the job entailed AlterEdit/Aedit (yes, believe it or not, I still use it), PL/M, RMX and Bubble-Memory, I'd be all over it!!  wow, now I really am showing my age lol !
I spent a while at Intel in Swindon, UK working with some of the finest and craziest engineers I've ever had the pleasure to deal with.
Any of Intel's Skunkworks would definitely be a place I'd enjoy working at, pity I don't have a 3D rendering background.

2  Using Arduino / Project Guidance / Re: // reeftank controller guidance plz on: February 04, 2013, 01:18:19 pm
Get yourself registered on ReefCentral.com lots of good resources on there for configuring / information on saltwater automation.
Remember that once you've disabled the siphon by blowing air, your return pump better not be pumping any more water from sump into main tank until the siphon is re-primed or a couple of things might happen...
1.  Sump is going to run dry on you and you'll need a new sump pump
2.  You might overflow your display tank

Talking about RODI etc - If there's a local reef-club, get yourself logged in, see if anyone is getting out of the hobby. First rule of reefing - BUY USED if you can

We can trade tank design scenario's etc on ReefCentral (I'm "BigFloppy" over there).

Lets keep this thread on track with your arduino buildout.  The people in this forum can and will help guide you through the programming mire.
3  Using Arduino / Project Guidance / Re: // reeftank controller guidance plz on: February 04, 2013, 12:20:47 pm
OBVIOUSLY, as you've summized, a ReefKeeper or Apex would get your automation up and running faster, there's nothing wrong with that, it's what I did initially
The Apex actually has a better programming interface than the ReefKeeper in my mind but I still bought the ReefKeeper!

For basic control while you're building your own controller, you'll be able to save a whole lot of money by going with the RK-Lite packages (do you really need internet availability.. can be somewhat painful to implement)

An additional thing I did (My whole system was battery backed) - I put a 120V relay onto a separate plug outlet and fed the "Normally Open" contacts into a switch input... when house power was lost, an alarm condition was triggered, I turned off everything that was non-essential (lights / skimmer / return / excessive fans / dosing pumps) keeping flow running in the tank until power got restored.

If you post on any of the reef forums asking what is best, you're likely to get slammed with this is right, this is wrong - everyone has their own way of implementing their setup so take my input with a big grain of salt  smiley-grin

Additional:  If you do go ReefKeeper route, make sure you put the power bars and controller interfaces somewhere that doesn't get too much salt laden humidity.. those 6 way network type connectors they use are cheap and are susceptible to corrosion.  It's easy enough to swap them out if they do corrode, forewarned is forearmed!   I have no idea how susceptible the Apex etc is to corrosion as I don't own one
4  Using Arduino / Project Guidance / Re: // reeftank controller guidance plz on: February 04, 2013, 10:36:21 am
The DFRbot display is a direct drop in and works flawlessly with the Mega 2560 - their sample code should get you giong easily ... look in the "LCD Keypad Library" for how to drive the dsplay, there's a good example in there http://www.dfrobot.com/index.php?route=product/product&path=53_130&product_id=51
The RTC - you show what it's supposed to physically look like but don't give interface specs or anything to it

Check out my "www.reeftopper.com" link below for more thoughts on aquarium lighting  smiley
5  Using Arduino / Project Guidance / Re: // reeftank controller guidance plz on: February 03, 2013, 06:55:37 pm
1.  "blink" your led
2.  decide on a clock and learn to drive it -> send to serial (blinking led as well)
3.  decide on a display + keypad and learn how to drive them (it)-> now to display (blinking led as well)
4.  debounce those keypresses AND keep things moving on the display (use rtc -> display -> blinking led as well)
5.  single I2C temperature reading-> display -> blinking led as well
6.  multiple I2C temperature reading -> display  -> blinking led as well
7.  Triggering of events for making something happen (clock time, temperature, keypad, state machine etc)  -> blinking led as well


You're going to have to figure physical drive for your led's - this is probably going to be your biggest issue!
Are you going to PWM drive your LED's to start them off dim so that they are effectively 0 at 7am and maybe 15 at 7:30 then start your 2nd column @ 0 ramping to 15 while your 1st row ramps from 15 to 30 etc etc? if so, sin(x); is your friend for this!

You might also want to think about full spectrum rather than just blue and white (red/green/uv/ir)

6  Using Arduino / General Electronics / Re: im, running out of pins on: January 24, 2013, 08:49:22 am
checkout the schematics for the button on that lcd... shows you how to run multiple buttons on a single Analog pin
also comes with sample code to drive it as well smiley
7  Using Arduino / General Electronics / Re: im, running out of pins on: January 24, 2013, 08:25:29 am
http://www.dfrobot.com/index.php?route=product/product&filter_name=lcd&product_id=51
8  Using Arduino / Project Guidance / Re: How do I connect a LCD, Potentiometer and a breadboard without solder? on: January 23, 2013, 12:51:04 pm
As Paul said.. glue  smiley-cool

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=230912309747
9  Using Arduino / LEDs and Multiplexing / Re: Lost with 50w LEDs + PWM on: January 23, 2013, 08:39:25 am

rather than modifying the reference resistor, why not go with these ..? http://dx.com/p/mr16-1-1w-320-350ma-constant-current-regulated-led-driver-8-40v-input-13553


Because I don't think that the forward current is 300mA, it's suppose to be a bit less than the double.

If you look at the picture, the 50w version es almost 2 of 30w in parallel.

30w  > 10leds in serie (300mA)
50w  > 16leds in 8s2p  (? mA)

16 + 16 + 16 = 48
10  Using Arduino / LEDs and Multiplexing / Re: Lost with 50w LEDs + PWM on: January 22, 2013, 11:37:30 pm
rather than modifying the reference resistor, why not go with these ..? http://dx.com/p/mr16-1-1w-320-350ma-constant-current-regulated-led-driver-8-40v-input-13553
11  Using Arduino / LEDs and Multiplexing / Re: Lost with 50w LEDs + PWM on: January 22, 2013, 01:59:30 pm
3. You shouldn't need heatsinks, because they are rated for 3A and you are only drawing 350mA from them.
He;s looking at putting the LED's in parallel and therefore drawing 2-2.5A
12  Using Arduino / Project Guidance / Re: How to get power supply from Car on: January 22, 2013, 08:26:15 am
or get one of these.. http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?partnumber=071-580
13  Using Arduino / LEDs and Multiplexing / Re: Is this a standard LED footprint, if so is there an Eagle library for it? on: January 21, 2013, 09:13:03 pm
looks like a lumiled / K2 package
14  Using Arduino / Project Guidance / Re: Arduino Control Buck Converter on: January 21, 2013, 01:46:20 pm
I've used (very effectively) this driver package http://www.ebay.com/itm/High-Power-3W-800mA-LED-DC-Driver-LED-/160912804722?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2577268b72

Reading the specs on the driver chip itself (MacroBloc MBI6651) - by changing external components tied to the chip, you can vary the output current

SO, you're going to need a multi-pole switch so you can bring in different resistor and inductor values based on what current you physically want to apply to the led

UNLESS you really just want to turn the current-flow (power) on and off to the led which is what most PWM inputs to buck drivers do anyways,
In essence, by turning power on and off at different intervals by using PWM input to your buck driver, when it is "averaged out" you would end op with lower current (PWM=1) to higher current (PWM=255) overall
15  Using Arduino / Project Guidance / Re: Arduino Control Buck Converter on: January 21, 2013, 12:59:30 pm
The voltage and current through the LED at any given time while energized will effectively be constant as current is forced out by the buck converter

The resaon why LED's seem dimmer is by virtue of the PWM factor and our eyes inability to discern the actual flash frequency
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