Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Reef-pi Hardware Now Available
#1
Hi, so you've probably noticed the website filled with board that are compatible with the open-source Reef-pi aquarium controller software. Here's a link to explaining how this came about.

https://www.robo-tank.ca/forum/Thread-Wh...-Robo-Tank

I'll be offering these today and deciding where I go from here. I'm working on some setup / user manuals and will have them ready soon.

https://www.robo-tank.ca

If you have any questions feel free to post them here or send me a message.
Reply to top
#2
Dear Rob ,
I am happy you don't give up.
I am also sad because i feel betrayed.I bought the robotank as a fully working controller with many features,but even now, after many versions i cant use all the options i firstly paid for.
So the question i have is........why i shall trust you again and give you my money in advance for an other controller?
Make the robotank work properly with a stable and fully working without bugs version and then i buy the pi for my other tanks
Reply to top
#3
Hi John, I'm sorry to betray you, I never meant for that to happen. Unfortunately I took some wrong paths on this journey and here I am. To get on the right path it will take a lot of time which I don't have anymore and in the end hardware upgrades would be required. A big flaw is the internet running on the Arduino and external I2C which is a major cause for reliability. Also some of the options such as power heads and other equipment I could never do due to funds. I'm always working on a shoestring budget which can make it difficult. I've decided of offer hardware for Reef-pi as an effort to stay in business and hopefully work towards a better system or help improve upon Reef-pi.

I'm very sorry to let you down.
Reply to top
#4
Is the reefpi capable of using a touchscreen?

If I’m not got the specs correct I can still use the old relay bars with this controller? And also my SSR when I finally finish them?
How many dosing pumps can a reefpi handle?
Reply to top
#5
As someone who's developed software for nearly 25 years, I think you're moving in the right direction. The world of open source, with contributions from developers all over the world, is going to be near impossible to compete with. There's more and more solutions out there now, so the collective effort of the community is going to be needed: apex of course, and now this year Leviathan. There's a lot of Pros to the approach you're taking.  Personally, I think where your expertise will shine is in providing easy to use functionality and board additions for open source. Not everyone has the time or inclination to wire breadboards and the like and do it from scratch.

That being said, I think to keep the trust of those of us that have invested in the development and progress of above expertise, I would suggest offering a discount to existing owners over new customers, and creating some very clear upgrade cost paths for the different versions and functionality tables. What I think all of us want to know in detail, is how we achieve the existing functionality that we already have hardware wise, and how much it will cost.

I'd suggest making a Migration page on the main site, and a Migration forum section.  Make pages on the main site with tables showing the migration path and links to forum posts about each item that is not a straightforward "out of the box" migration.  Add forum posts with tables that have the previous classic deluxe and basic, and the new Pi deluxe and basic

Example:  Version Comparison with links to migration posts and associated costs on how to make the conversion for each section

[Image: VBMVIGHA5eQ9QfEJxjI8ASgt45rxm0MUrU-Ur2uy...60-h301-no]

Example:  Feature Comparison with links to migration posts and associated costs on how to make the conversion for each section

[Image: O5RRwoWSIoO-cDb_2HoUFvoNn-mrVO4ob_Y6ZaMW...52-h382-no]
Reply to top
#6
(02-12-2020, 02:20 AM)fietsenrex Wrote: Is the reefpi capable of using a touchscreen?

If I’m not got the specs correct I can still use the old relay bars with this controller? And also my SSR when I finally finish them?
How many dosing pumps can a reefpi handle?

I think so but don't have a definite answer yet. You can access using a phone which is touchscreen so I don't see why it wouldn't. Once I have a definite answer I'll let you know.

You can use the old relay boards and SSRs, it uses the same type of I/O as Robo-Tank, there's also a setting so you can reverse the logic like Robo-Tank. 

There's basically no limit on dosing pumps, outlets, LED channels and sensors, additional PCA9685's can be added which can be built on to do other things. At some point I'll have some expansions or you can add extra things yourself.

The deluxe board is similar to Robo-Tank board, Robo-Tank could do 4 DC, 4 Dosing + 1 Feeder, the Reef-pi deluxe board can do 10 total but in any combination as the ports are the same. This was a setting I was planning to add to Robo-Tank. The standard board has the circuits to do 5 DC devices. 

Reef-pi is flexible, in the software you assign a pin to something so you can assign all pins as dosing pumps as long as the pin has a MOSFET or relay attached to control the pump. It's the same idea as an Arduino, just the code is different but you have the same type of pins to work with.

(02-12-2020, 08:27 AM)midwestE Wrote: As someone who's developed software for nearly 25 years, I think you're moving in the right direction. The world of open source, with contributions from developers all over the world, is going to be near impossible to compete with. There's more and more solutions out there now, so the collective effort of the community is going to be needed: apex of course, and now this year Leviathan. There's a lot of Pros to the approach you're taking.  Personally, I think where your expertise will shine is in providing easy to use functionality and board additions for open source. Not everyone has the time or inclination to wire breadboards and the like and do it from scratch.

That being said, I think to keep the trust of those of us that have invested in the development and progress of above expertise, I would suggest offering a discount to existing owners over new customers, and creating some very clear upgrade cost paths for the different versions and functionality tables. What I think all of us want to know in detail, is how we achieve the existing functionality that we already have hardware wise, and how much it will cost.

I'd suggest making a Migration page on the main site, and a Migration forum section.  Make pages on the main site with tables showing the migration path and links to forum posts about each item that is not a straightforward "out of the box" migration.  Add forum posts with tables that have the previous classic deluxe and basic, and the new Pi deluxe and basic

Example:  Version Comparison with links to migration posts and associated costs on how to make the conversion for each section


Example:  Feature Comparison with links to migration posts and associated costs on how to make the conversion for each section

Thanks for the ideas and examples midwestE, it's a good idea. Leviathan is the reason I'm attempting this again, I still had plans but was pretty close to shutting everything down as the momentum was long gone and question if I'll ever get it back but after 10s of thousands of hours what's another 1,000 lol. Website is like a ghost town so it'll be hard but it's worth a shot.  

When the Kickstarter launched a couple people sent me the link and I was shocked to see Leviathan was only boards for Reef-pi, I didn't think a person could do that. Over the years I've been asked several times if my hardware works with Reef-pi but I would always say I can't do that. Once I saw this I looked into it more and seemed legit. So I got a Pi, loaded up Reef-pi and was impressed. I thought maybe I should offer some hardware and try and contribute to it instead of reinventing the wheel. Ultimately I would love to create a fixed interface for Reef-pi similar to mine.

It's a little funny, while researching what boards I could make I hit the pH wall again, looked like I had to push Atlas circuits again, there good but so expensive. I just made my own and I can't even use it. Then someone pointed me to an open-source pH / ORP circuit that was designed for Reef-pi. I didn't feel comfortable copying it and selling so I looked through the contributors on the GitHub to see if I could contact someone.

The main developer didn't have a contact but another contributor Ranjib Dey did. So I contacted him and said I was going to make some boards for Reef-pi and was wondering if I was allowed to manufacture and sell the pH circuit. Well his response was more than I expected and he wished all the best for my business, I didn't mention Robo-Tank though, just my name. Then a few days later I'm playing in Reef-pi and go to the about tab and wow I see Ranjib Dey as the developer, what... Now that I have things on the website I'm going to email him again with a link and see what he thinks about me trying to add another UI template and doing what I'm doing. I was always planning this but didn't know who the main developer was.
Reply to top
#7
I think the biggest gap between something like APEX and Reef-pi is the actual hardware. That's something that you have experience and expertise with. 95% of people just want to take a box and plug their existing equipment and start configuring and concentrate on the reef aspect. I think you can do very well filling that gap between the software and just plugging in the hardware.

I would suggest looking at making cable dongles for the most common reef equipment, even if the dongles themselves are not that profitable. Something that for instance you can plug your store bought equipment into, and then plug directly into the robo-fi. The broader market isn't comfortable identifying positive and negative, voltages etc, but everyone is comfortable plugging one type of cable into it's female counterpart and connecting things together. This can help you sell the boards themselves.

The open source community is very supportive and are also into preventing one point of failure. Even if Leviathan makes boards, in terms the of the open source community, we always want another option, ALWAYS. Redundancy is key. Your value add to the community will come from making it easy for non hardware geeks to be able to plug in what they need and to get back to their hobby. Most reefers and aquarists have enough to do with their tank without learning a completely new hobby like Pi, breadboards and the like.
Reply to top
#8
Yeah a lot of people do want plug and play, that's what actually put me off track. I started focusing on hardware to much and less on the software, needed a web app but I was busy making energy bars and the like as I do enjoy that more. I've always wanted to make patch cables and circuit boards for specific equipment but typically you need to buy the equipment to test and I never could, plus time was always limited with so much going on, there was never nothing to do that's for sure.

Speaking of connectors I've kind of brought that idea to the ATO setup on the deluxe controller. Like you say most people just want to plug things in, the optical sensors we buy have the short cable with XH connector. So you have to cut, extend, add connectors etc. What I did was add a USB port on controller (yes not best choice because Pi has USB) and created a small circuit board that has a USB so it connects easy to controller at any length. The small extender board has two XH sockets and a pluggable screw terminal for backup float so things plug in without thinking and easy to replace a sensor. Without getting custom sensors I think this will work well.

So yeah I would love to focus on plug and play compatibility and going this route I may be able to do that. Also service, I enjoy helping people so that's something I can bring to the table for some. I'll give it a good try and see what happens.
Reply to top
#9
(02-12-2020, 02:20 AM)fietsenrex Wrote: Is the reefpi capable of using a touchscreen?

Found this, Pi 4 should be fine as well.

https://reef-pi.github.io/build-guides/display/
Reply to top
#10
That is good to know, maybe in the future I’ll make the transition if my equipment starts acting up.
I like the touchscreen and like to keep it that way since I don’t want to have to fiddle with my phone to look up some data or settings
Reply to top
#11
Hopefully it doesn't come to that. I'm the same, prefer a touchscreen. One of these days I'll get one and post how it works.
Reply to top
#12
Hope the equipment can run for 8 more years or so..
Anyhow a pi4, your hardware and a touchscreen is about €100-€150 so it isn’t all that bad.

I have an old pi-B laying around which should be able to run the software, maybe if I have some spare time I’ll give it a go
Reply to top
#13
I think any Pi will work and there's a lot of displays available too so it's great. I like this one because its enclosed and looks like you can adjust brightness and contrast with the buttons.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B073GYBS93/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=robotank08-20&creative=9325&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B073GYBS93&linkId=683baa8087f63077f194aef1af591754
Reply to top
#14
Will there ever be a robotank with new features? I was very angry when I bought a robotank and I was told that its production was definitely going to end andI was very disappointed to find that it was over, and after a few days a new version appeared he would rather wait for the new version
Reply to top
#15
(02-16-2020, 01:43 AM)loksik.lubos Wrote: Will there ever be a  robotank with new features? I was very angry when I bought a robotank and I was told that its production was definitely going to end andI was very disappointed to find that it was over, and after a few days a new version appeared he would rather wait for the new version

Hi Loksik, before you bought the controller I told you I stopped selling it and there wouldn't be upgrades going forward, you said you understood and asked me to sell you the last controller so I gave you the special price. I'm sorry but I did tell you it was all over. Once I get things running if you want to change I'm sure we can work something out.
Reply to top


Possibly Related Threads…
Thread Author Replies Views Last Post
  Robo-Tank Hardware Expansions Coming Soon Rob F 13 791 11-10-2019, 01:36 PM
Last Post: Rob F
  Robo-Tank 3rd Generation Hardware Rob F 42 7,172 06-24-2018, 07:14 PM
Last Post: Rob F
  Gen 2 Hardware Mod Required Rob F 1 2,618 12-19-2016, 04:10 AM
Last Post: Rob F
  Planning Final Hardware Phase Rob F 27 8,924 12-05-2015, 06:22 PM
Last Post: Rob F

Forum Jump:

Current time: 02-22-2020, 10:30 PM