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PostPosted: Jan 6th, '13, 06:32 
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Well done mate. Great build ! Do you have a min cuttoff for the batts ?

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PostPosted: Jan 6th, '13, 07:41 
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No low voltage cutoff right now, but am considering adding it, as well as a function to run a pump continuously if the tank temperature gets above a threshold (to try to keep the oxygen levels up on those hot days).

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PostPosted: Jan 11th, '13, 13:26 
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Fish were fine (ravenous in fact) in the heatwave so I guess I don't need an overtemperature function.

However I just ordered a wifi board so when it arrives I will attempt to make it web-enabled :)

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PostPosted: Jan 11th, '13, 22:06 
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so the fish can facebook ?

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PostPosted: Jan 11th, '13, 22:17 
Why not... most of the other limp wet creatures are there... :lol:


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PostPosted: Jan 12th, '13, 13:03 
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All the cool kids are doing it, wouldn't want my fish to miss out :)

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PostPosted: Jan 16th, '13, 19:02 
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How is your controller going nebbian? Still running sweet?

I cant remember if you said or not, but did your setup have temperature compensation for your battery?

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PostPosted: Jan 16th, '13, 19:58 
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Heya rsevs,

Yep running like a dream. I can't tell you how good it felt to coil up the extension cord and not have any wires going from the house to the system :)

I don't think it's temperature compensated, although the controller is MPPT so I think it can sense what the best voltage for the battery is, without a temperature probe. However reading up on some other MPPT controllers it seems that a remote regulator with temperature sensor would be better.

Regardless it got up to 14.17 (max) volts today, it usually hovers around 13.9 - 14.1 when charging. In the morning when I go out to check on it the voltage is usually 12.6 (before dawn).

The temperature readout is fantastic, the only problem is that the minimum temperature sometimes gets set to 0 degrees for some reason. I'll have to do a bit more error checking on that front.

Haven't really had many cloudy days, so I guess winter will be a good test of the system. But so far so good :)

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PostPosted: Jan 16th, '13, 20:10 
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Great to hear mate.

I went to look at deep discharge batteries the other day and i could not believe the price of them. For the price i could buy 2 lead acid batteries and have the same capacity, with the longevity of lead acid!

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PostPosted: Jan 16th, '13, 20:23 
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Yeah I just went down to battery world and got a 60 Ah deep cycle lead acid for around $180 I think. Good luck with your build, I don't think you're going to pick up a battery for the price you got your solar panel for!

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PostPosted: Jan 16th, '13, 20:25 
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HAHA just before i read your comment i was wondering how i could get one for the same price!

I guess thats the universe telling me not to be a tight arse!

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PostPosted: Jan 17th, '13, 05:09 
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Check out batteryvalue.com.au
Good prices for batts and regulators and the guy knows what he is talking about.

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PostPosted: Jan 19th, '13, 08:32 
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Great thread, Neb! I haven't made it around to solar yet, but that day will come.

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PostPosted: Jan 19th, '13, 17:13 
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Thanks Jimbo, much appreciated :)

Had an interesting issue yesterday, came home to find the pumps running and the controller locked up solid.

Went to take it out this morning and heard the pump stopping and starting intermittently... Thought it was a bad joint inside the pump but it turned out to be the 3A circuit breaker tripping and then resetting constantly. I think that this electrical noise might be what made the micro lock up.

Also some things had bothered me in the couple of weeks it was in operation: the temperature min/max wasn't reliable, you couldn't set the current time within the cycle, it wasn't possible to reset the min/max without resetting the whole thing and then having to run the pumps for an extra 15 minutes, and the temperature sensor only worked with old crappy telephone cable, not the nice stuff I bought specially for the project.

So today I did the following:

* Upgraded temperature sensor library to be more reliable, now it works with both cables
* Implemented CRC checking on the temperature value
* Added a new setup screen to allow setting the current time within the cycle.
* Upgraded the 3A circuit breakers to 5A breakers
* Tweaked the report screen to allow resetting of just the min/max, not the whole program
* Turned on the watchdog timer so that if it locks up then it will automatically reset itself.

Pretty happy with it now :)

In fact I can use exactly the same box to control the automatic door on the chook shed I'm about to build.

Reusing code is good :-)

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PostPosted: Jan 19th, '13, 17:31 
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It's a good idea to set up your connectors so that you can plug your pumps directly into the battery. I found this handy today when the control board was at the doctors surgery.

Attachment:
ImageUploadedByTapatalk1358587579.735508.jpg
ImageUploadedByTapatalk1358587579.735508.jpg [ 71.52 KiB | Viewed 3005 times ]


The new screen that allows setting the current 'time'. This is very useful so you can easily set it up to run the pumps at 0 minutes past the hour. I was having to try to temember to reset it when the clock struck, which was annoying.

Attachment:
ImageUploadedByTapatalk1358587901.768356.jpg
ImageUploadedByTapatalk1358587901.768356.jpg [ 75.51 KiB | Viewed 3005 times ]

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