Jecod CP-40 hacking and DIY controller reverse engeneering

I just picked up a Jacod CP-40 gyre but was disappointing to see that the jabeo > apex connector does not work with this unit.. In efforts to figure out a way to work the signal and make my own i decided to do a little reverse engendering and see how it worked.. No keep in mind i’m still learning to use my oscilloscope.. this may be a bit of a leap for me.. but hey its a good time to learn!

 

The connector wiring

connector

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Backside of controller

cp40-ccontroller

front side of controller

cp40-controller2

 

 

Oscilloscope testing
Yellow line is the yellow wire. Blue is brown wire.

Mode: H1 (constant speed)
Intensity: Lowest
CSV Filecp40-H1-lowspeed

Mode: H1 (constant speed)
Intensity: Full Speed
CSV File
cp40-h1-fullspeed

 

 

Mode: W1 (short pulse Wave mode)
Intensity: Low speed
CSV File

cp40-w1-low

 

Mode: W1 (short pulse Wave mode)
Intensity: Full Speed
CSV Filecp40-w1-fullspeed

 

Mode: W3 (fixed forumla wave)
Intensity: low
CSV Filecp40-w3-low

 

Mode: W3 (fixed forumla wave)
Intensity: full
CSV Filecp40-w3-fullspeed

DIY magnetic Kalk stirrer 

Magnetic stirrers are one of the simplest ways to build a DIY Kalk stirrer. I used an old reactor with a missing lid for the tube. You could also just use PVC or an acrylic tube.  For the used a hole saw and made a hole in the centre of a square of acrylic and bonded it to the tube. I sandwiches some rubber beteeeen a second price and drilled holes for nylon wing nuts   The rubber in the middle seals the lid
The base is a square of acrylic to hold a 120mm PC fan.  I did have to shave a few mm off the side of the fan to make it fit.  I glued a rare earth magnet to the centr of the fan and aligned it a few mm below the top of the frame to ensure it can spin freely

Inside the reactor be sure to put a piece of glass on the bottom to prevent the internal stir bar from wearing through the acrylic over time

   
    
   

DIY magnetic doser stand

Having a steel stand makes it a little hard to add on.. Well that is if you don’t use magnets!  I have been using strong magnets to mount all kinds of stuff inside my stand including my Jabeo doser 
I vent a price of acrylic by claiming it beteeeen 2 prices of wood and going over the edge with a heat Gun. I then used drywall plugs into the space between magnets in a magnetic strip bar and used screws to attach the two together 

The magnetic strip came from princess auto and was about $15. The acrylic I had laying around so all in all it was a pretty cheap project and looks great

 
 
   
    

How to clean dry or used sand for your reef

Dry sand can be full of dust and cloud your tank for days.  Used sand can be full of detritus and bad stuff that you probably don’t want to add into your tank. If you are using either of theses sands its best to give them a real good rinse prior to use. The easiest way is to pour your sand into a 5g bucket and push the garden hose all the way down to the bottom. Turn your hose on full and let the water work its way and and bring the little particles with it.  You can swish it around and mix it up or just let it run. I any take a good 20 minutes with the water running so you mind as well do it in the middle of your lawn so it gets a good watering! 

Once the water runs clear you will want to ensue the sand is fully dried prior to adding to your tank.  
Spread your sand out on a tarp and let it bask in the sun until dry and your good to go. 

$30 DIY Media Reactor

diy-reactor

For a couple hours and $30 you can build your self a custom GFO, carbon, or bio pellet reactor! After searching for reactors and being shocked how they can cost upwaords of 150-200$ for a tube i decided to try and build my own.. while in the dollar store i noticed a $3 glass pasta jar that was the perfect size for a reactor. The hardest part was finding the little bulkhead style pipe.. I found these lovely little bits at home hardware.  The circular mesh came from michales.  The red pvc i already had laying around.

One word of warning. The lids tend to be a bit thinner so be careful not to force and fittings as it may crack the lid.  I remedied this buy laying down a layer of epoxy (poly urathane) overtop of the lid to bond the cracsks and seal it all together.. If you drill it successffuly with out cracking it then i’m sure you can skip this step unless you want to strengthen the lid.  Either way its fairly low pressure inside and should not be an issue.

If using this as a diy carbon reactor I would use the sponges above and below to hold the carbon tightly and prevent tumbling.

If doing a DIY GFO reactor leave space above the gfo and adjust your flow so that the top just simmers.. you want some movement in the gfo doesnt bond together.
for DIY Bio pellet reactors just use the mesh screen and have high flow so the bio pellets are continuously churning in the chamber.

 

Parts List

1x Glass Pasta Jar with plastic lid ($3 at dollarrama)
2x 1/2″ Flexible Elbow Conduit ($4.99 Item #3622-681 at home hardware)
1x Water Filter Head Seal Gasket ($6.20 Item #3115-809 at home hardware) part may vary depending on jar
1x Schedule 40 1/2″ Slip PVC Cap (0.79 cents at home hardware Item #3262-631)
1x Schedule 40 1/2″ Slip x Female Imperial Pipe PVC Adapter ($0.99 at home hardware Item #3262-301)
1x pack of 4.5″ mesh circles ($2.99 at Michaels crafts)
1x length of PVC – size depends on your juar
1x can of krylon fusion in your color of choice to make it look pretty. ($6.99 at Canadian tire)
1x epoxy of choice… if you happen to crack the lid while drilling 😉   … Pro tip! make sure the hole is big enough (5/8″ i believe…) my step drill bit only wen to 1/2″ ish which was a tad small.. i tired to force screw it in which caused the thinner lid to crack.

Cleaning power heads and aquarium equipment 

Coralline algae looked awesome on rocks but can become an issue when it covers your aquarium equipment.

With enough buildup Power heads can slow down or even stop… This could lead to disaster if they are unable to turn on after a power outage and should be cleaned every few months.  Heaters and other equipment can also loose efficiently as they they get coated im coralline.
But don’t worry there is a very easy fix!  The secret to dissolving it is a very common household acid.. Vinegar!  Just soak your equipment in vinegar for a few hours and the coralline will dislike and turn to mush. A quick rinse/wipe and your equipment will look like new!

Before the soak


After a couple hours in a vinegar bath.. And it’s like new! 

DIY phytoplankton Culturing

I have been thinking of culturing my own phyto for a while now.. recently my local store stopped selling some fresh cultures so i decided to try out my own.

Ideally one would start with a specific strain however there was slim pickens where i live so i decided to go with the only live culture i could find. I found a nice big bottle of phytofeast to get started.
phytopheast
I mixed the salt water to around 1.019 – 1.020. For the fertalizer I decided to use miraclegrow for the first batch (and ordered some F2 for future cultures).

I mixed two different batches.  The 2L bottle was my first attempt with 5ml of miracle grow.  The second batch I added 1ml of miraclge grow to the 500ml bottle and  thew the bottle into the microwave for 2 min to sterilize it.. once it cooled i added some live phyto (mixed much darker than the first one) and added it to the shelf

The light is currently on a timer for to run at 16 hours per day…

Day1:  will see how it goes! 🙂
diy-phyto-culture

 

DIY Arduino Apex aquarium controller

currently i’m working on building a wifi controllable/programmable sprinkler controller… and started thinking why not turn this into a tank controller! Once this project is done ill likely start my own version of a  reef controller. I’m on the fence on using arduino or raspberryPi.. but im sure it will be one of the two..

Arduino is alot easier to interface with sensors .. and raspberryPi is easier to work with wifi/webpages to interface it.. so its a trade off. (or maybe use both?!)

Stay tuned for more awesome projects and check out the quick demo below.

 

 

Update dec 2 2015

So I found an excellent project based fully with arduino by doughboy. rather than reinventing the wheel i will be using his project as a bse to build off of.. the origional project can be found here.
I started building my arduino based controller from the same project.
So far it runs tiny web server for the web interface. Logs sensor data to an SD card

Controls an 8 channel relay board

Displays info on a LCD screen

Uses a SR04 sonar sensor for ATO water level.

Next will be adding. Temp sensor

 

 

Dec 2nd!  More progress

Today I hacked a cheap auto-feeder and integrated it with the Arduino… I now have own DIY Apex feeder for only $15 🙂

I also got the temperature sensors installed and logging! wooo 🙂

 

Diy drip acliminator

I was tired of using  binder clips and clamps to hold my airline in place and hope nothing slides out… I though to my self.. there must be a better way? Why yes there is! I made a rigid u shaped tube out of some left over acrylic pipe from mounting my DIY Osmolator sensors to securely hang over the edge of my tank.

I used a heat gun to heat up the acrylic pipe and simply bend at the warm/soft area to the desired shape. Be sure to do this very slowly so dont kink the inner tube. You will also want to keep moving the heat gun so you dont get bubbles in the rod from to much heat.

For the adjuster i razord the edge of a airline valve to a point (took off the excess bulk) heated up the end of the acrylic tube and worked it in.  I then superglued the fittings together to ensure there was no chance of a leak.

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Simply connect the airline from the bottom to your bucket and acclimate away!  no more clips to fiddle width, scratch your glass or slide out of place!  Simple and very effective.

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