January 18, 2021

Milling Aluminum Enclosure Lids, Pt2

First prototype of a work holding tool, in this case the base plate, for milling a set of off the shelf cases from Hammond Mfg (1455 series). This is done on a scrap of 1/4" 6061, about 8x6" (its an off cut scrap). The intent is to use a piece of MIC6 tooling cast aluminum. The bulk of the work was done with a 1/4" 3-flute 38 degree aluminum end mill. Read more

January 17, 2021

TopOff Minder

A quick little project as a spin-off of a larger common shared design for an aquarium controller, I’ve knocked together a small inlet sensor and 12V driver with 4 channels, allowing you to hookup a float switch or attach a DC pump across all four channels. Programming is handled by USB, or a CAN bus attachment. It shares a common CPU design and firmware build with my upcoming Reef-Pi controller and power bar, just dramatically simplified and providing a simple, safe DC output option. Read more

January 16, 2021

Freshwater LED, Pt1

Small design vignette for an LED driver design for freshwater LED lighting. In this example I’m using a 28 Yuji 5038 LEDs at 6500k and 98+ CRI. Since they are all in series, it offers about 100Vf, which is out of range for most of my LED drivers. However, it only needs 150mA maximum current, so becomes a tractable problem. Fitting in a 50x80mm space small case, this LED driver + controller uses some totally over-kill CPU (ATSAME51J20) featuring CAN, USB and dimming control, with a battery for RTC backup. Read more

January 16, 2021

Milling Aluminum Enclosure Lids

Just a small vignette on the milling of a Hammond Aluminum Extrusion case cap. All I have is a CNC6040 based machine with a 2.2kW spindle, but it would probably serve the purposes fine as we’re not chewing through a lot of metal.

April 8, 2020

theatrus' Perfect Temperature Controller - Temperature Sensors

Let’s talk temperature sensors, at least let’s talk about the guts of a temperature sensor and less about the housing, cables, etc. There are three main varieties you’ll find in your typical “probe” style sensor, and a fourth I’ll mention because its common for integrated circuits. I’m considering “relevant reefing temperatures” to be about 75F to 83F - sorry, I haven’t switched to metric on temperature just yet, even though I reference them below. Read more

April 8, 2020

theatrus' Perfect Temperature Controller - The Overview

I’ve been keeping aquariums of all flavors for a very long time, and have seen and first hand experienced what happens when our lovable basic heaters (and chillers) run amok and fail to do their jobs correctly. Even worse, we often decide to go whole hog into the aquarium controller systems, which promise us web graphs and e-mails, while also being in charge of critical functions such as temperature and top-off, mixing software and control domains that should never be mixed (e. Read more

© 2020 Yann Ramin