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Updated reef-pi Controller Board
#1
Hi, I've made some changes to the reef-pi compatible controller hardware. Overall this is a polish and more plug and play friendly. Physically its the same size so it will look similar. I'll have a 3D view of it soon and expect to have stock in early July.

These are the changes that were made, if you have any suggestions let me know.

1. Removed the 3x4 set of headers for the DS18B20 sensors as that was just crazy. They all connect to the same pin so easier to add extra sensors to the screw terminal connector, dohhh...

2. Removed the 2 header connectors for DC port 8 & 9, those ports no longer exist. Now there are 7 heavy duty DC ports and 1 low power DC port for feeder like the current board. So overall DC ports are a loss.

3. Replaced the 4 pin header for I2C devices to a 4 pin pluggable screw terminal connector, not sure why I didn't do that to begin with. The controller has no header pins now for anything.

4. Integrated pH circuit.

5. Repurposed DC port 8 pin to another DS18B20 one wire bus. This pin is connected to a DS18B20 on controller board so internal case temp can be monitored and added the line to the shielding of the DB9 as I wasn't using this. I'll also be adding a DS18B20 on the power bar so it can be monitored as well. I put these on a separate bus so cable length doesn't become a problem on the other ports. This does require the config.txt file on Pi to be modified. I've tested with 3 buses and it works fine.

6. Repurposed DC port 9 pin to another sensor port giving 6 in total.

7. Added backup float ports to the 7 DC ports, this is what DC port 3 has but these will only work with float switches. These are optional, if it isn't needed a jumper is put in the connector.

8. And finally I think this is the biggest change, I've always struggled with sensor ports because everything wants a different resistor and you have to mess with changing connector and extending cables. I'm liking the optical extension so I went with a system like that for each port.

I removed the header jumpers used to set up the 3 sensor ports on controller and replaced the 3 pin connectors and USB extension port with six 5 pin mini B sockets, one for each sensor. Then I made up some sensor adapters, these are about the size of a stamp, one for each sensor type, it has the matching socket for the sensor and a USB-A socket. Now a person can use any length USB-A male to 5 pin mini B to connect the sensor adapter and the sensor will plug right in. I also made a universal adapter that has the 3 pin connector and works the same as the ports do now but solder jumpers.

https://www.primecables.ca/p-314296-cab-3896-all-usb-20-a-male-to-mini-b-5pin-2828awg-cable-black-primecables#sku314298

On the current board each sensor port has a voltage divider so 5v sensors can be used, I moved that to the adapter so now the sensor ports can be used for extra DS18B20 one wire buses so cable length should never be an issue and if I come across other sensors I have a better chance of adding them via an adapter and would be backwards compatible.

That's it, the board is physically the same size but the Pi is on the long edge of the board.

This is the what comes out the top of controller, the mini USB come out the top instead of side.

[Image: bottom.jpg]


This is what you would see looking in the case.

[Image: top.jpg]


This is the optical adapter, it's 22x29mm. There will also be one for non-contact and DS18B20s and hopefully I find more to add later, let me know if you see anything, needs to be digital or analog though.

[Image: optical_adapter.jpg]


This is the universal adapter, same size but has the 3 pin pluggable screw terminal connector so it's how the ports are on the current board. It's good for float switches or other sensors that have no wires. You can connect optical and non-contact to this but you have to replace the connector on the sensor.

[Image: universal_adapter.jpg]
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Current time: 07-14-2020, 05:21 AM