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  • Results 1 to 9 of 9

    Thread: Basic pond control panel

    1. #1
      simplechamp is online now Junior Member
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      Basic pond control panel

      Hi all. First post here, wanted to share the little control panel I made for our pond.

      The project started out as me needing to replace the old sketchy GFCI outlet. But as I was working on that I realized even with the outlet fixed the setup left a lot to be desired. When it's feeding time I would unplug the pump so food didn't go right into the skimmer. On more than one occasion I almost forgot to plug it back in. That was the main problem I wanted to fix with the control panel. But also in general the wiring was messy with the lighting transformer sitting out and needing a separate photocell/timer unit.

      By trade I work with industrial instrumentation and controls so I enjoy geeking out on this kind of stuff. This is what I came up with. The lights can be on, off, or automatic from the photocell. The pump can be on or off, but I also added a button to pause the pump for 15min to feed. Last thing was adding a temperature display. It has a selector to choose between ambient air or pond water temperature.

      I'm very pleased with how it turned out. Definitely cleans everything up. And I don't have to worry about forgetting to turn the pump on after feeding.






    2. #2
      icu2's Avatar
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    3. #3
      souvikch is online now Junior Member
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      Hi - thanks for the nice writeup and pictures. Do you mind please sharing more details on how you built capability for ambient air or pond water temperature measure?

      Thanks!

      Sent from my Pixel 6 Pro using Tapatalk

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      simplechamp is online now Junior Member
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      Quote Originally Posted by souvikch View Post
      Hi - thanks for the nice writeup and pictures. Do you mind please sharing more details on how you built capability for ambient air or pond water temperature measure?

      Thanks!

      Sent from my Pixel 6 Pro using Tapatalk
      Sure thing.

      The temperature display is a Lascar EMT 1900. It has an internal temp sensor built in, and then an input for external temp sensor (uses commonly available 10kohm NTC sensor). The orange wire goes to a switch which functions as temperature selection. If the switch is open it displays the internal sensor, if the switch is closed it displays external sensor. See below for wiring diagram, I'll also put the full datasheet/manual in the attachments in case you are interested.

      I'm most likely going to change how I have it setup though. The water sensor is right on, but the internal sensor is being affected by the enclosure temp which tends to run warmer than true ambient. Morning and evening it's pretty accurate but midday if the sun has been shining on the enclosure it will be quite a bit warmer than outside. The better solution would be to have it always displaying the external sensor, have 2 external sensors (one for air, one for water), and use the selector switch to determine which sensor is actually connected. I have extra sensors already but will need to get a different switch to do it that way.

      Attached Images Attached Images

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      Thanks a lot - very helpful and clear. Was wondering if you have though about how to have a remote sensor - as in the digital display can be indoor and sensor can be in the pond at different levels - allowing temperature to watched without having to go out in the cold in winter .

      Thanks!

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      coolwon is offline Senior Member
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      Would you mind opening the door for a look.
      Find more about Weather in Durban, ZA

    7. #7
      simplechamp is online now Junior Member
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      Quote Originally Posted by souvikch View Post
      Thanks a lot - very helpful and clear. Was wondering if you have though about how to have a remote sensor - as in the digital display can be indoor and sensor can be in the pond at different levels - allowing temperature to watched without having to go out in the cold in winter .

      Thanks!
      Would probably go for something like this. It's a direct RF signal between the sensor and base station. I use a similar thing for my ball python enclosure from same company Ambient Weather. The base station I have can connect and display several (up to 8 I believe) remote temp/humidity sensors. Since it had extra channels I put sensors in my firearm safe and cigar humidor too.

      https://www.amazon.com/Ambient-Weath...%2C138&sr=8-18

      https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00EY...G9uZV9kZXRhaWw

      Otherwise you can also get stuff that uses WiFi depending on if you have signal in the area of your pond. Then you can look at it from your smartphone or computer.

      Quote Originally Posted by coolwon View Post
      Would you mind opening the door for a look.
      Sure thing, will take a pic when I get home this evening.
      Last edited by simplechamp; 1 Day Ago at 12:20 PM.

    8. #8
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      Here's the guts of the panel. The electricians at work would razz me for my wiring job (and rightly so) but it's good enough for my purposes. On the DIN rail is a circuit breaker, multifunction timer relay (used for pump feeding pause), and terminal strips for 120VAC hot, neutral, and ground. I've really been liking the lever-style terminal blocks, makes landing the wires super quick and easy. The small white/gray unit below the timer relay is a 120VAC to 12VDC power supply for powering the temperature display circuit. The bigger black unit next to it is the 120VAC to 12VAC transformer for lighting. The backplane that came with the enclosure made it easy to mount everything, no need to drill any holes.

      So far I have 3 changes I want to make. First being the temperature sensor setup as discussed earlier. Second I want to add another timer relay to work in tandem with the photocell for lighting. Right now if I select the photocell it's a straight on at dusk, off at dawn function. But after doing more reading on this that's probably not the best. Some people were saying having lights on all night invites more predators. At the very least it's not natural, I feel like they should have some darkness at night. If nothing else there's no reason to have them on all night when we won't be out there. By adding another timer relay I'll be able to do on at dusk but only stay on for X hours. Lastly need to add a USB charging port to power the wifi camera I installed.


    9. #9
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      Quote Originally Posted by souvikch View Post
      Thanks a lot - very helpful and clear. Was wondering if you have though about how to have a remote sensor - as in the digital display can be indoor and sensor can be in the pond at different levels - allowing temperature to watched without having to go out in the cold in winter .

      Thanks!
      Check this post I made awhile back (2020). This has been working flawlessly since and provides inside house measurements and the 2 remotes I have measure inside filter pit temperature and RDF water (pond) temperature.

      >>> https://www.koiphen.com/forums/showt...t=#post2767580
      Last edited by rayjay; 11 Hours Ago at 12:17 AM. Reason: Provide link to refernced post
      ....."Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.".....Mark Twain

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