As I get closer to actually filling the paludarium with water, plants and eventually animals, I need to put a lot of focus on the electronics. The lighting armature on top, or as I like to call it, the Canopy is fully electronic. Without electronics the lights won’t even go on… High time to put some work into the Canopy to upgrade this piece of hardware to version 2.0.
First things first: Getting the code compiling again
Inside the Canopy I have 12 Atmel AVR controllers (ATtiny2013′s). These tiny controllers have been programmed in three flavors: LED, HALOGEN and FAN units. You guessed it, each type of controller has its own code. Luckily I programmed a single code, and when compiling this code I can tell the code which type it is supposed to compile. These little AVR controllers are programmed in C:
#include “timer.h” Read more
Posted in Automation, lighting, Paludarium
Tagged Atmel, Atmel AVR, Atmel Programmer, ATtiny2313, AVR, AVR Programmer, parallel port, parallel port programmer, PonyProg
Today I finally ordered most of the hardware I’ll require for the further construction of the paludarium. Not computer chips this time, but pumps, filters, pipes, heaters and other cool stuff. In this blog post I’ll highlight some of the components that I’ve selected.
Originally I used an Eheim 2222 external filter for Paludarium 1.0. However, this filter was already too small, so for the new Paludarium 2.0 it would definitely be too small, so I was in need of an upgrade. The price of the larger Eheim filters scared me a bit – So I decided to go for another vendor, JBL. They have a much cheaper filter line, the greenline filters:
The JBL Greenline 1501e external filter
I bought their 1501e version, which outputs an impressive 1400 litres per hour and Read more
Posted in Automation, Paludarium, Rain and Mist, Water physics
Tagged external filter, external heater, filter, hardware, heater, magnetic valve, pump, rain, valve
In version 1.0 of the paludarium, I had fetched an entire year of data, and I put that into the controlling software. That software in turn simulated that year of weather over and over again. But wouldn’t it be the coolest thing if I managed to pull the meteorologic data live from the web? With the Raspberry Pi I figured it should be possible. Todays goal was to fetch live meteorologic data from the La Selva biological station in Costa Rica. After some fighting with basic Python, I managed to get it going!
Where the data is
The data is actually freely available here: http://www.ots.ac.cr/meteoro/default.php?pestacion=2.
La Selva Biological Station in Costa Rica – Home of the meteo station who’s data I’ll be using!
I found out you can build a URL that will fetch half-hour data for one entire day. As an example: Read more
Today, the glass divider was replaced for free by Ruud from terrariumhuis.nl. Here’s how it was done.
Placing the new glass divider
First thing to do was to make sure all silicon glue was properly removed that was still there from the old cracked divider. Then a new piece of glass was cut to size. At each side it was kept around 1,5mm too short, to allow for the silicon glue to sit between walls and divider to prevent it from cracking again.
Then silicon glue was applied to the base of the divider, and the divider was placed inside. Next, the sides where glued and the divider was fixed with a piece of tape to dry.
The new glass divider is glued in place and looking good (and no cracks this time )
Within a few days I’ll start to fill the paluarium with water for the first time, to make sure all is water tight before I start glueing in other stuff.
Unbelievable what can be accomplished in only two hours. Today I finally unpacked my Raspberry Pi and started to play with it. Pretty soon I had it up and running… This is going to work out just fine
Getting the Raspberry Pi to boot
The Raspberry Pi. This will be the new brains behind the Paludarium v2.0!
I just typed up the downloads page at raspberry.org, found the tool to Read more
After I applied the fix to the cracked glass divider inside the paludarium, I noticed… Another crack in the same divider, but now on the other side. I had had enough. More drastic measures were needed… But how to go about that? Luckily, the supplier that built the glass paludarium stepped up and offered to help!
How to fix this issue for good
I figured it would be virtually impossible to remove the glass divider and glue in a new one. I needed more knowledgeable advice. So I contacted the supplier of the paludarium that originally built it for me, Terrariumhuis in Rotterdam. They gave me some good advice on how to apply a fix, but even better: They offered me to replace the glass divider free of charge! Read more
After the cracked glass of the paludarium was fixed, I could continue to mount the feed-throughs. This is a vital part to build before any water can be put into the paludarium, as right now there are some huge holes drilled in the glass bottom :O
Different types of Feed-through
There are several types of feed-throughs planned for the paludarium:
- Feed-throughs feeding through the back that will run into the waterfall (3x);
- Feed-through feeding through the back for cabling;
- Feed-through in the bottom where the filter will draw dirty water from;
- Feed-through in the bottom where waist water will stream from into the sewer.
All the feed-throughs have rubber rings in order to make them watertight. I applied some vaseline to the rubber rings which will help to make them waterproof. Read more
In a previous post I showed the crack in the glass that had appeared spontaneously. In time the crack has extended fully upward to the top of the glass separator. Today I decided it was time to fix the issue!
Why the glass cracked
As the glass cracked through fully to the top of the separator, it became clear Read more
After going to a local store, I found an aquatic background I immediately fell in love with. It had to be ordered in the right size, and the delivery of the background has been delayed then more delayed. Today, finally… It arrived!
This is the new background for the aquatic part:
Artificial aquatic background for the paludarium
This background is manufactured by akwaline. I looked at all the available types they had. Knowing what river sides in the Amazon look like (thanks to our great trip to the Guyana jungle in 2006) I selected the closest match… Surprise surprise… It was the “Amazon” type. Obviously they did their homework
After working on the paludarium, all of a sudden I discovered a big crack in the inner glass separator. It is a little hard to see, but the crack is around 15 centimeters long:
Minor Disaster – Huge crack in the inner separator!
At first I kind of panicked… If this glass can crack just like that, the same thing might happen to one of the external glass right?? After looking closer, there has propably been some tension in the glass combined with a bad cut on the edge of this particular piece.
More work… There is no way I can replace the glass separator. Because it is 48cm high, and it sits only 10 cm in from of the rear glass, I can never ever replace the entire separator without taking the whole thing apart… I decided I will glue a piece of glass over the crack and hope for the best. There is no real force from the water on this piece, as both sides of the separator will have 40-48cm of water.