Opened the box and now what?

New members questions

Posts: 24
Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2011 7:18 pm
PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2012 12:17 am
Disclaimer: This is my assessment of how it should be done from my one experience setting this up. I did not start from scratch with a different PC and make sure this advice is spot on. The rest of the forums are your best source of answers and are by far more complete than what I am writing here. Additionally I am very new at the whole RA Controller and may have some facts wrong, but I thought this was worth sharing here. Please correct any statements I have made if they are incorrect... I wrote this now, while I am still a newb to ensure I have the right perspective. I am trying to bring together in one spot what I found through out the forums during my indoctrination. The work that has been done on the tutorials and user manuals is excellent, but in some cases outdated or overlook what is obvious to the experienced, but critical to the newb. Which is why I wrote this...

Here are my suggestions for starting with an RA Controller.

Book mark these two pages

Don't preload any software. The controller needs to talk to it when the software is installing.

Things to know:

No brackets come with the PH Probe, Temp Sensor or ATO switches. You will need to make them out of something. I used wire ties with my various pump mounting attachments (which we all have in that special aquarium box ) for both the PH Probe and Temp sensor. The ATO will have to wait for my next DIY project....

You will need PH7 and PH10 calibration fluid.

The controller does not have mounting slots or ummm, well any real way to mount it. I have seen pictures of ABS "cell phone" style holders. I am using velcro :idea:

The system fresh out of the box, w/o a WIFI module.

Here is what the controller will do.
You do not need to connect the software or do anything other than use the controller directly. You will have to hook up the communicaitons cable between the controller and the relay box ( doo-hicky with the outlets). A PH probe comes with it and you will need to calibrate it using the controller and your own PH7 and PH10 calibration solution.

Be aware that there are 2 generations of the relay box and the numbering of the outlets is reversed from Gen 1 to Gen2. (more on this later). The link above describes a Gen 2 relay box so you will be fine.

You are good to go and enjoy the controller. When you want to add stuff move on to the WIFI module first.

The system fresh out of the box, with a WIFI module.

Don't hook up anything to the relay box yet. Connect the VGA cable to the controller and plug the AC in the wall. Be close to the PC. You will have to plug the USB into the PC and the TTL cable into the controller.

Be in the Admin profile on your PC.

Plug your USB to TTL cable in to the PC, but don't plug it into the controller yet. A driver will install for the USB to TTL cable. you will see that window in the lower right corner tell you when the device is ready. Now go to Device Manager, open your Com/LPT ports and note the SERIAL port number, not the COM port number(s). The serial port is the one the RAaGen application will use to communicate to the controller with.

Start downloading software here...

This is the Reef Angel Installer software. It has everything you need to connect and program your controller. During this process you will have to connect the TTL end to the control. Be sure the blue wire is towards the inside of the controller and the connector is installed all the way to the right. You should see 2 pins on the left when the TTL connector is in. There is a picture of this in the user manual.

Now lets update it. Download this... and run it. Hit the update to Development Libraries button.

Open RAGen and make sure the paths are right....go to menu Edit->Settings
Set the path of the folders to the following:
sketch: C:\Users\[use name]\Documents\Arduino
Libraries: C:\Users\[user name]\Documents\Arduino\libraries
Arduino folder: C:\Program Files\Reef Angel Controller

Now install the WIFI utility.
Go through the settings using the setup procedure #3.
When you get to the part that says....
Click "Save Settings"
After a brief moment, you will see the output window will show several lines of commands that were sent to the wifi attachment.
If you entered the correct information, you should see you wifi attachement with a slow green led blink and no blue led blink.
Look for an IP address in the lower box... it will be something like ... Where the xxx is the variable on your system. (Actually the whole thing is, but if it is very different than this you already knew that.) You need to know this address. Copy it down somewhere.

Now hook up the TTL back to the controller and start your first programming. The first tab of the RAGen is the features you want to use. Be sure to pick WIFI here.

The second tab (PDE) is how you want to program the relays to respond to which feature (ATO, heater, wavemaker, etc...). Assign the ports (Outlets) as you wish.

Controller> WebBanner is where you assign the labels to the ports.

Don't program a WIFI password. It will stop the Client Suite from working. (We haven't downloaded that yet.)

Now go to the Controller menu and choose Internal Memory. this is where you set the parameters of the features. IE what time you wnat hte lights to come on. When you are done with your settings, click the generate button. This creates the first file that you will send to the controller. Close that window and go back to the PDE tab. Click the Generate in the lower left corner. Save the file and the yes to open Arduino.

Open file and choose the memory file saved earlier (should be in theonly folder labeled "Memory" (and some numbers). This will open an new Arduino window with that file in it. On that window hit the upload button which is an arrow pointing to the right. When complete close that window. Now do the same on the first Arduino window that opened, which has your PDE file.

The controller will reboot. You should hear relays clicking on in the relay box as outlets are activated. Disconnec the USB/TTL cable and connect your WIFI mdoule to the controller with the cable it came with.

You should now be able to go to your WIFI address (copied down earlier) in your Internet Explorer window and see a Reef Angel playstation controller looking graphic which will have your tank's status and temp and PH. Real values and states come when you install everything of course.

Now install the Reef Angel Client Suite. This software is mostly a viewer of the data. You will interface with this most of the time using the Reef Angel. At least I do. You will be fluent enough at this point to do the settings.

I hope this helps someone get through the setup without frustration.

Posts: 20
Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2016 8:57 am
PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2016 9:24 am
i keep getting " Directory Listing Denied" when i try to go to your links

Posts: 20
Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2016 8:57 am
PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2016 9:06 pm
also I am stuck at your "enable port forwarding" You dont say to have it plugged in but how else will it comminucate?

Posts: 20
Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2016 8:57 am
PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2016 9:37 pm
is there anyone around that i can email, call, text about these issues i have in order to get it going?
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Location: Oklahoma City
PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2016 4:05 am
This post is 4 years old and most of it doesn't apply anymore. The best thing to do is start with the installer and follow the directions there. This is assuming you are using a RA+ unit. Be sure to read the instruction manual as well.

Don't bother with the pre-loaded code, use the software to generate your own. It's in the Wizard, under tools in the software.

You can email or post questions to the forum.


Posts: 20
Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2016 8:57 am
PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2016 4:18 am
yea i have a RA+
everything so far here has worked though looks a little different. The problem im having is that it doesnt say when i should have the wifi box plugged in or when i should have the control box plugged in.. second to that everything seems to be working except setting it up so i can access it from anywhere in the world. it says "that should do it automatically" but its not and i dont know what they are saying should do what automatically.
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Posts: 1424
Joined: Fri Mar 29, 2013 3:51 pm
Location: Oklahoma City
PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2016 4:22 am
It's been a very long time since I've set up a WiFi attachment. :( Did you check the Wifi attachment instructions? Looks like you connect it to your computer using the USB cable then run the software to set it up.

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Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2011 6:47 pm
PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2016 9:01 am
where do you see it "should do it automatically"?

Posts: 11969
Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2011 6:47 pm
PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2016 9:06 am
Also, the wifi utility will only enable port forwarding on routers that allow and have the uPnP capability turned on.
If your router doesn't allow or uPnP is turned off, the wifi utility has no way of overriding your own router.
Try contacting your router manufacturer for that.
Although, setting port forwarding manually will give you better results.
uPnP is a one time thing only and doesn't get saved anywhere. Your router is programmed in factory to not save any uPnP settings anywhere. So, if your router ever gets rebooted or you have a power loss, those settings just disappear.
If you manually set up the port forwarding, those settings will never go away. It's going to persist even in case of power outage.
You can inquire more about this with your router manufacturer too if they have any other alternative. I don't know of any uPnP settings that persists.

Posts: 20
Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2016 8:57 am
PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2016 6:59 pm
i got the wifi box working and couldnt get the bit where i connect from it from the intertnet.. but now the box wont connect
to the comp the blue light keeps flashing. im about done and wanting to sell it.

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