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Robo-Tank ATO System - Standalone Product
#1
Hi, I'm happy to announce the new Robo-Tank ATO System which is a standalone product and has undergone a full makeover since I first announced the upcoming expansions. It now has 4 sensor ports, a heavy duty DC port with energy monitoring and many of the settings can be customized using 3 push buttons on the PCB and one can be accessed outside the case. You can get all the details by viewing the listing and checking out the user manual and an assembly manual for the DIY kit (the manuals could change

https://www.robo-tank.ca/en/Robo-Tank-Expansions/Robo-Tank-Automatic-Top-Off-ATO-Expansion-p192c84.html

https://www.robo-tank.ca/manuals/Robo-Ta...Manual.pdf

https://www.robo-tank.ca/manuals/Robo-Ta...Manual.pdf

I'm currently running a pre-sale for the ATO system, when you order in advance you can save a bit money and your support helps with development costs and stocking parts. Currently you can get a full DIY kit that you assemble from $102.65 - $123.65 or as low as $64.95 if you already have some parts. If you like what you see please share a link on your favorite social media or forum, it would be greatly appreciated.

As you can see from the image I physically have it ready to go and just finishing up the code and waiting for some sensors, I'll have a video of it running in a few days. I put a shipping date of October 25 because I don't have any sensors but the actual module will be ready in a week.


[Image: ATO2.jpg]

The ATO is packaged as a DIY kit that does require some soldering of the connectors, LED's, etc, no fine details though. When assembled it'll look like the image above and is available without the mounting tabs on the side. There is an option to have it come assembled for $25 extra but you will still need to attach the sensors to the connectors and extend the cable if you need to. Unfortunately the sensors come with short cables but not to hard to extend them. The kit also includes a strong 3D printed adjustable mounting bracket for the sensors even if you don't buy the sensors from me. On the listing page you can select the bracket for the sensors you plan to use. I'll have an image of a bracket for just float switches shortly as I have those and once I get the optical sensors I'll design the other brackets.

On the ATO module Sensor 1, Sensor 2 and Sensor 3 are compatible with different types of sensors. Optical sensors require a resistor that prevent other sensors from working so there are plugable jumpers on the board that can be easily set to match the sensor type being used on each port. The Backup port only works with a float switch as it bypasses all the electronics so it will still work if ATO froze. The DC Pump port can put out 3v - 24v as it's adjustable and can handle 3 Amps continuously or up to 5 Amps for short periods. It also monitors the power consumption which is used to alert if any issues are detected with the pump. Sensor 3 can be used with the ATO or as a low level warning for the reservoir.

The front LED comes on when the pump is running and the front side LED comes on if ATO is in test mode, maintenance mode and flashes if connected to the Robo-Tank controller. The button on the side is used to reset the alarm, set the ATO in test mode or maintenance mode. 

There's 8 additional settings that can be adjusted using the 3 push buttons on the circuit board and the RGB LED is used to navigate the menu. All the settings are saved so its basically set and forget and if you want to change something simply remove the lid.

[Image: ATO_Discription.jpg]


These are the sensors that are most suitable for ATO and are readily available but any 5v analog sensor should work, the jumpers just need to be set correct.

[Image: ATO-sensors.jpg]


If you have any comments or can think of something I might have missed let me know.
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#2
That looks awesome. Which of the water sensors are the most reliable over time. I have used a float switch before but a snail liked to use it too. The snail prevented the the float from rising and you can guess the rest.  I haven't purchased the complete system yet and this looks like an offer I can't refuse to get now.
thanks

Jerry
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#3
Thanks Jerry, yeah floats and snails don't mix to well, one thing you could do with floats is to cut a small plastic box with slits on the side and put the float inside it so snails can't get find there way to the float.

I like the Non-Contact sensor best but haven't really come up with a good way to secure the sensor. It needs something to keep it pressed against the glass. I like the idea water doesn't touch it and not sitting over the rising saltwater air.

As you know a lot of ATO's have an optical sensor, these are ok but do require cleaning often and the readily available ones aren't completely waterproof. They are only rated IP67 so protected for 30 minutes up to 1 meter water and after that anything can happen. With that said the area water can enter is where the cable goes into the sensor. The way I have them sitting in the sensor this doesn't see water so it's ok however if they get submersed for long periods of time its probably a good idea to replace it.
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#4
(10-11-2019, 08:19 PM)Rob F Wrote: Thanks Jerry, yeah floats and snails don't mix to well, one thing you could do with floats is to cut a small plastic box with slits on the side and put the float inside it so snails can't get find there way to the float.

I like the Non-Contact sensor best but haven't really come up with a good way to secure the sensor. It needs something to keep it pressed against the glass. I like the idea water doesn't touch it and not sitting over the rising saltwater air.

As you know a lot of ATO's have an optical sensor, these are ok but do require cleaning often and the readily available ones aren't completely waterproof. They are only rated IP67 so protected for 30 minutes up to 1 meter water and after that anything can happen. With that said the area water can enter is where the cable goes into the sensor. The way I have them sitting in the sensor this doesn't see water so it's ok however if they get submersed for long periods of time its probably a good idea to replace it.

I"m confused... you sell a Non-Contact sensor but have no way of useing it? The float sensor needs a cage to work reliably?
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#5
(10-11-2019, 10:21 PM)Jerry W Wrote: I"m confused... you sell a Non-Contact sensor but have no way of useing it? The float sensor needs a cage to work reliably?

In the past I never used the Non-Contact as I just recently discovered it but see it as a great sensor for the ATO if you can mount it. This is where more DIY is needed if you were to use it. Ideally I would like to have a bracket wrap around it with magnet sitting on top and magnet in sump to hold in place but that's easier typed than done because of cost. I've thought about buying magnets and placing them in a food safe 3D printed puck but not sure how acceptable that would be viewed, would you accept something like that?

Another method that would work is strong double sided tape and maybe something sitting behind so it can unstuck, or a dab of silicon/glue would work. I will update the listing explaining this better.

For the float switch needing a cage that would be deemed necessary if used as a main sensor as it'll be touching the water and snails could go on it. Its ok as is if tank has no snails. I think this is the main reason it's not used. The float being used as a backup won't be touch water in normal conditions so snails won't get to it.

The best is the optical but should be cleaned and not fully submersed.
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#6
Here's a possible solution for the non-contact sensor, aquarium waterproof magnets.

https://www.kjmagnetics.com/products.asp?cat=193

I can print a bracket that the sensor goes in and has a piece of metal at the top and then the magnet goes in the sump. Only thing in contact with water is the magnet.
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#7
And here's a nice chart they put together for required magnet size for glass thickness.

https://www.kjmagnetics.com/blog.asp?p=aquarium
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#8
I would go for the non contact magnet setup along with the cage for the float switch and one optical ( maintenence is what we do anyway).

Those seem to me to be the best options.

Jerry
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#9
That's a good combination. I got some mounting brackets made up and one for the non-contact sensors, seems to work well. It has 3 printed pieces and for testing I cut a piece of sheet metal that the magnets stick to.

I don't have a strong enough magnet to hang on my tank but I had some small magnets and this is it mounted on some frosted glass in a cabinet. The red dot is from the camera.

[Image: DSCN7754-Optimized.JPG]

[Image: DSCN7757-Optimized.JPG]

[Image: DSCN7759-Optimized.JPG]

[Image: DSCN7761-Optimized.JPG]

[Image: DSCN7783-Optimized.JPG]


This is the adjustable bracket for 4 float sensor, the bracket for optical sensors will look the same. I don't have any at the moment, once I get some I will take an image.

[Image: DSCN7765-Optimized.JPG]

You can see the screws that allow you to adjust the height of the bracket and how wide the top section is that hangs on the tank.


[Image: DSCN7768-Optimized.JPG]

[Image: DSCN7770-Optimized.JPG]

[Image: DSCN7774-Optimized.JPG]

[Image: DSCN7776-Optimized.JPG]
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#10
That looks very workable once you get a strong magnet. See if I have this correct. One bracket for the non contact sensor. The hang on bracket for the optical and float switch. I suggest that the float switch hang on bracket be adjustable to at least 18inches. My refugium is a 60 gallon glass tank that is 20 inches tall.
My concern now is do I buy the ATO stand alone now and wait on the brackets or ?
thanks for all the quick replies. K05178
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#11
Yeah you have it correct, 2 brackets would be needed. As it currently is the hang on bracket can extend to 225mm or about 8.8" and the width can be set a max 52mm or about 2". I do like the idea of having a longer option however due to size and cost I think I will add this an extra option for $5. As my printer can't print much longer pieces the extension would include 2 more of the longer extensions in the image above with some screws. These are 165mm so with 2 more inline you would get between 18" - 20".

The brackets are ready, I already know the size of the optical as I have a bracket from previous so I can print just can't take good images with sensors mounted. At this time I won't be ordering magnets.
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#12
This is the default bracket size for float switches and optical sensors. 

[Image: ATO_bracket_size.jpg]
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#13
for my refugium constant water level it would have to extend to 305mm. Is an addon bracket possilbe. As you probably noticed I put in my order just now.
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#14
Yes I did receive your order and thank-you so much!  K05164

With the extensions you'll reach 305mm easily.
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#15
Cool Cool Cool
(10-12-2019, 06:23 PM)Rob F Wrote: Yes I did receive your order and thank-you so much!  K05164

With the extensions you'll reach 305mm easily.

ok have a great evening. Where in Canada are you? East,west or central?
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#16
Thanks you as well. I'm in Edmonton, Alberta so west, almost straight north of you.
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