Aquarium controller - Choosing hardware

Along those lines I wonder if a poultry nipple would work better. A poultry nipple is a little $2 valve that chickens peck at to get a drop of water (see youtube for examples). Obviously it would be much simpler pushing the nipple with a servo rather than turning a valve. It’s a lot more fun pushing nipples too.

I agree that pushing nipples could be more fun that turning valves :slight_smile: I did not know about those valves and I don’t have access to YouTube for the next 14 days or so, since I’m in the middle of the North Sea, on a medieval internet connection. From the pictures I see of them, they look a bit “flimsy”. Are they closed by the pressure of the water? Do they need to be installed vertically? No leaking?
Came up with another idea for operating the first mentioned valves. It will cut away the second stepper motor (or servo) and should work ok.

Ok, I think I have the layout fixed for this project, so back to the real reason for this tread. Choosing hardware: I will go with the Arduino Mega 2560 Rev3, with the discussed Stepper Motors, Servos, pH Probe, Temperature Sensor, Laser, Photocell, 8-Channel Relay Module, Color Sensor, Vibrating Motor, Ethernet Module, RTC Sheild and a handfull of 5 & 12 volt power adaptors. Screen will be the µLCD43PT or µLCD-32PT.

But that alone will not get me very far. So for some other stuff I will ask for yours help a bit more. Considering that I have nothing to start with, not even a soldering kit (could not be bothered to bring anything with me after my divorce, just wanted to escape as quickly as possible :P ), so I'm starting completely from scratch, and really don't have a clue about the scale of this project here...

So the stuff I think that I will need for this, and maybe some future projects. I have the ideas, just not the skills... Yet :) My shopping list of bits and bobs so far: (everything will be ordered from ElectroDragon, at the least the things they carry, hence the links) 2.8? LCD Digital Multimeter (Current, Voltage, Capacitance, Resistance) 3mm LED Pack (5 Kinds x 10PCS) Resistor Kit (30 Kinds x 20 PCs, 1/4W) Breadboard w/Side Power Channels Flexible Breadboard Solderless Jumper Wires Set Dupont Breadboard Jumper Cable Wire Kit (APPROX 65 pcs, Male to Male) 30PCs Soldering Wires (10 CM) Goot Super Soldering Flux (Need to do some stainless steel soldering) 220V – 45W Soldering Iron (Adjustable Temperature) Best Cheap Soldering Flux Resin/Colophony 5PCS 74HC Series [74HC595] F/M 40P Prototype Cable (Female & Male End) DC Power Module (Breadboard Friendly) Pototyping Bended Metal Jumper (for Breadboard or Soldering)

And I see some other exotic things like: Inductor Pack Kit (12 Kinds x 10PCS) Zener Diode Regulator 1/2W 0.5W 2.4V-8.2V (14Kinds * 10Pcs) General Diode Pack (8 Kinds,100 Pcs Totally) 50V Ceramic Capacitor Kit (30 Kinds x 10 PCs) 3296 Potentiometer / Adjustable Resistor (13Kinds * 1Pcs) I don't know what these things do for now, but is it something I should stock? They are cheap anyway, and will not blow my budget. It would be a bit sad too need something and have to wait for shipping and pay shipping cost again, if I can avoid it.

Really should get around and order the things so I can get my mind of this for a while. Have some exams in about 4 weeks, and should really have to study a bit. Building will start on my next trip at sea in about 6 weeks :)

Any ideas on what I should stock, is much welcome.

You will need the ceramic capacitors.

The 3296 potentiometers are multiturn potentiometers. It takes ~20 turns to get them from one end to the other; they are designed for fine tuning a resistance. For general purposes the 065 type are more practical.

That half-length breadboard won’t offer much space to work on; buy at least two or four. They link together and if nothing else the added mass is nice so it doesn’t slide around so much when you’re working on it :wink:

The resin/colophony flux (it’s pine resin) needs alcohol to dissolve. You’ll want a small glass bottle and syringe/brush for mixing/applying it.

Thank you guys for the advice I have been given so far. I went ahead and ordered a bunch of equipment including the Mega and a extra Uno, just in case.. Got the 3.2" from 4D Systems, hope it will be up for the job :-) But, all this stuff will not run without power. For now I will only run a couple of stepper motors, a few servos and a few relays, but eventually I want to be able to add some sort of high power LED lights (10 x 10 Watt or so...) and some more powerful stepper motors for another fun thing I thought about. So, How will I go on and power all this up? Will an ATX be a good solution, or should I go for something like this: 200W 40A Switching Power Supply For LED Strip light,200V~240V/100V~120V AC input,5V Output, or will that be a total overkill?

Make sure you can find LED drivers that are appropriate for the DC supply you choose, but also take into account that a 90V-220V AC supply might be a better option. With DC supplies you usually want higher voltage output so you can use drivers that allow you to string more LEDs in series.

For typical medium size or larger steppers you get more speed with a higher voltage supply. 24V to 40V is good. Depends if your project needs every little bit of speed or not.

Thanks for taking your time with me here. I think that you are right about the LED's. 220v REB strips with a Velleman k8064 might be a better solution. And with a dimmable ballast I can dim the T5 tubes also. Or just a relay to turn it on and off. I ordered a 8 channel relay anyway, just in case...

So about the steppers and power supply: Can I use this power supply: Wantai Single Output Power Supply 200W 24V S-200-24 together with these steppers: Nema 17 Stepper Motor 42BYGHW609 and this controller: L298N Dual H Bridge DC stepper Controller Motor Driver module Board ? I will probably never need to run more than 2 steppers at a time. And most of the time they will be idle, so there is power available for other stuff. So, if this is plausable, it brings me to the next question. Can I use a DC to DC Adjustable Step Down Module to provide power the other things, like TFT, servos, relays, small DC water pumps and smaller steppers ?