TECH SECTION

The module that alerts of the blackout in aquarium at 9,49 euro


Modulo per essere avvisati del black out in acquario a soli 9,49 euro

We found out the existence of this module that warns you by email if there’s a black out in your aquarium. JoyReef wrote this small guide and made available its server for you.

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This article is available also in: italiano

The functioning is very simple, you buy this card, that actually costs 9,49 euro (but in some occasions it was available under 5 euro), you connect it your computer through USB, and then you connect it to the power. The wifi network is necessary. Very easy. But let’s see all the details with JoyReef.

Black Out in aquarium: alerts via email

All the aquarists live with the costant fear that in any moment can happen a blackout in their aquarium, both marine and fresh water. In order to minimize the damages it’s a good thing to have a UPS, that is an interruptible power supply, that will keep in function the return pump as long as it can in case of an aquarium with sump, or the movement pumps in aquariums without sump, both marine and fresh water. So it will avoid that the oxigen will decrease too much leading to the collapse of the aquarium in a few hours. We have written some articles about UPS in aquarium, so if you have never read anything I suggest you to start with this one: The importance of uninterruptible power supply in aquarium. But the UPS can only last a few hours, unless you purchase an expensive sample. These ones can be very bulky sometimes, even if you can delocate them easily.

It’s necessary to assist the UPS with any system that can aler us in case of blackout.

There are a lot of different products on the market but we chose to present you a very cheap way (about 10 euro) to realize a system that alerts us by email.

We’re going to use Nodemcu, a card similar to arduino that sends a report to JoyReef‘s server every 2 minutes. In case it doesn’t receive a report in 5 minutes the site itselff will send an email to alert us of the problem.

All this is extremely easy and FOR FREE.

You have to provide yourself with a Nodemcu purchasable on Amazon: AZDelivery NodeMCU esp8266 esp-12f WIFI Lolin Modulo V3 non dislocated version with CH340 for Arduino with eBook

Once you have received it you also need the dedicated software:

  • Download its firmware: firmware (the site refers to a dosing pump, don’t worry, if you download the latest version it is perfect, the firmware is also part of a project fot a dosing pump that we’ll see in the future).
  • Download the drivers (that not always need to be installed) of the Nodemcu: drivers
  • Download the flasher compatible with your operating system: flasher.

Now you have to connect the nodemcu to your computer with a microUSB cable, the same that need the 90% of the cellphones nowadays. After a few moments the computer should recognize the nodemcu and add it to the devices. You can check the status with the right mouse button in the lower corner on the left (the start button) and to the device management. You should find the new one under the “Port” section (COM and LPT) where the name has COMX and X is a number (es: COM3 COM12 etc). Write down this number, you will need it later. In case your computer doesn’t recognize the device you have to download and install the drivers at this address: drivers

Once your Nodemcu has been correctly recognized you have to open the Flasher and set it as you see in the image below:

Modulo per essere avvisati del black out in acquario a soli 9,49 euro

That is: in the first field you select the serial port of your Nodemcu, that one you wrote down before. In the following space, “nodemcu firmware”, click on browse and select the firmware.bin that you downloaded. Control that Baud Rate is 115200, Flash mode is seto on Dual and then click on Flash NodeMCU. After a few seconds it’s all done. Disconnect nodemcu and for now put it aside.

If you want that all works perfectly you have to register to JoyReef’s site, that will serve as an interface. The Nodemcu and this server will always be in contact. If, for any possible reason, the contact breaks, the server will send us a notification. For this reason don’t connect the Nodemcu to a plug supplied by UPS: it wouldn’t work!

Modulo per essere avvisati del black out in acquario a soli 9,49 euro

Connect to http://iot.joy-reef.com and register with your personal data. Remember your username and password.

Modulo per essere avvisati del black out in acquario a soli 9,49 euro

You will receive a confirmation email.

Now reconnect the Nodemcu. Then through the wifi networks available on your computer or smartphone you will find one named JoyReef. Connect to this network so it should automatically open this page:

Modulo per essere avvisati del black out in acquario a soli 9,49 euro

If anything happens, but you’re connected to the wifi JoyReef, go on your browser (Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Safari etc) and digit the address 192.168.4.1 in the address bar.

Click on Setup Wifi and you’ll have this window:

Modulo per essere avvisati del black out in acquario a soli 9,49 euro

File the requested data as you can see in the image. User and password have to be the same you used for your registration to the site.

Now you confirm pressing Apply, wait for the confirm, switch off and then on again Nodemcu. Wait for about a minute and Nodemcu should be operative.

To verify that everything’s alright, connect to the server, http://iot.joy-reef.com, click on the top right part of the screen, on your name, and click on test connection. Then click on test and control the answer. If it’s ok, you successfully connected Nodemcu to your account.

Now you can abilitate the alarm on black out which is default disabled. Click on your avatar on top right, clik on my account and then on alarm settings.

Modulo per essere avvisati del black out in acquario a soli 9,49 euro

If you are using your phone and you can’t find these settings refers to this image:

Modulo per essere avvisati del black out in acquario a soli 9,49 euro

Once you’ve set your alarm you’re done and you can enjoy your hobby without the fear of a sudden blackout.

Conclusions

What do you think? With only 10 euro you have a system that alerts you when there’s a blackout. Sure, a telephone dialer would be more immediate, but you’ll be alerted anyway, with a much lower price. Then you only have to set a ringtone on your phone that alerts you when you receive a message from JoyReef and that’s all.

Sure, there are some technical passages that some of you can find annoying, but the steps are clear and you only need some patience. In each case, for any problem, you can write us on our forum or comment here below and we will be happy to help.

Last but not least, here there’s also the website of JoyReef: JoyReef