Sunday, May 22, 2011

Lofty Goals: Building an Arduino Based Aquarium Controller

While visiting a friend this week, who is quite an accomplished hardware hacker, I was inspired to learn about the Arduino controllers with the end-goal of creating a modular, internet-loving, fully-featured web controller (If you are going to dream, you might as well dream big). I have an extensive background in programming with a teeny-weeny, itsy-bitsy background in hardware engineering. This is going to be a challenging project, no doubt. Luckily, the hardware-hacking arduino community seems to be awesome.

I've listed a few links that I have found on arduino-based aquarium controllers in the right nav bar under Further Reading. I plan to stand on the shoulders of these giants to build a modular reef controller that loves, nay... requires a life giving connection to the internet, along with all of the freedom that implies.

On friday, I ordered an arduino kit from to start working through the tutorials found on On saturday, I just couldn't stand looking at incredible gadgets and set the goal of my first iteration of the project to:
  • Keep track of time
  • Monitor temperature
  • Output to display

So I picked up a few extra goodies:

On to the purpose of this blog: Document Everything.  I thought it would be extremely helpful to the community at large for me, as a complete beginner-level-hardware-hacker, to document each step I take to a hopefully functioning custom controller.  As I reach each milestone, I'll break blog posts that are associated into step-by-step pages, so the information will be easier to navigate.  The firmware will be open-source and hosted at github.

And finally, help! :)  Any comments, ideas, links, howto's, tutorials, etc. are all welcome.  Even jeers, rotten tomatoes and AEFW.  

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