May 05, 2014

Controlling aquarium lighting with Arduino

Aquarium enthusiasts and others who require timed control of some sort will find the following project of interest. After buying a new aquarium tank, Kalle Hyvönen created an automated system that can turn the lights on and off at the required intervals, and do so with a slowly-changing level of light to help simulate the natural sun rise and set that doesn't shock the fish. 

And doing so is easy with an Arduino, a real-time clock IC and basic code. Kalle has taken the development further and offers the design files so you can etch your own PCB or have one made, and also links to some interesting KiCAD tutorials. 

This type of project can be the framework for garden sprinkler automation, mood lights and more - so visit Kalle's website to get started

And for more, we're on facebookGoogle+, and twitter - so follow us for news and product updates as well.  The most important part of any clock project is the inclusion of an accurate real-time clock IC. Here at Freetronics we have the Maxim DS3232 real-time clock IC module:

Apart from keeping accurate time for years due to the temperature-controlled oscillator and having a tiny coin-cell for backup, it is very simple to connect to your Arduino project. A driver library allows your program to easily set or read the time and date. Perfect for clock projects, dataloggers or anything that needs to know the date and time. Furthermore it contains a digital thermometer and 236 bytes of non-volatile memory to store user settings and other data. For more information, check out the module page here

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