Jump to content
RESET Forums (homeservershow.com)
  • So I must admit, Window Home Server is not my only obsession, I’m also a reef geek (salt water fish tank nerd). Anyways, I thought why not marry my two obsessions into one glorious hobby and put a web server in my reef tank! That way I could monitor the reef remotely and put my nerves to rest while I’m away (after all, I have a lot of money in that tank). Before you say I’m crazy, putting a reef tank on your network has been done many times before, however I have yet to find someone that has embedded the reef tank webserver into Windows Home Server. This is the first blog post on joining together my two favorite hobbies.

     

    So this is my reef tank…

     

    jvkreef1

     

    It’s not much, a 20 gallon reef with a 10 gallon sump (the filter component). I have had it up and running for about two years now and it has been moved twice. Now that I have bought a house and the tank has a permanent home, I decided that it was time to lay down some roots and hook it up to my network (and my home server). Un-fortunately I am still learning how to be a reef-keeper, and I’m afraid I’ll never stop learning, but that is what I like about the hobby, it is very challenging (and very expensive). Anyways, onto what everyone wants to see, the tech.

     

    So I mentioned that I would be putting a webserver into the tank, well here it is…

     

    jvkreef2

     

    It is about the size of a deck of cards and interfaces with the other modules in my controller system. Think of a controller as the brains behind the reef. It tells the lights when they should turn on, when the pumps should run, it maintains a constant water temperature by controlling fans and heaters, ect… You can pretty much get as complicated as you want with controllers and the system I use (which is manufactured by Digital Aquatics) is no exception. I like to “get my nerd on” and installing the webserver (net module) is how I think I can take it to the next level.

     

    Before hooking up the webserver to my system, I need to upgrade the firmware in my controller’s components. I have 4 components to upgrade and it is as easy as plugging my laptop into each component via a USB cable connected to a SID module (System Interface Device) and connecting the SID to each component with a cable that looks strangely similar to an old school telephone cable…

     

    jvkreef3

     

    Here is a look at all of the current components in my system… SL2 (System Lab 2 which measures PH, Salinity, and water temperature), NET (the web server), PC4 (the big black surge protector on the bottom which is basically a computer controlled relay box), and the RKL (Reef Keeper Lite head unit which is how I can interact with the system when not using my laptop).

     

    jvkreef4

     

    Ok, now that I have all the current firmware flashed onto the components, I can hook it all back up and plug it into the network. Here is a look at my windows home server (on the wall) and my tank in the background with a network cable connecting the two via my router…

     

    Reef-13-224x300.jpg

     

    So I get it hooked up and immediately my wife is asking why I have a cable strung out across the ground. Bummer, I’ll have to do something about that. Since my house is built on a slab foundation there is really no easy way to run a cable, so I bought and installed a Power Line Adapter Kit from NetGear. I think this will work since the webserver is not really a bandwidth hog and if it loses its connection every once in a while it is no big problem.

     

    Now that the webserver is on the network it’s time to hook it up to Window Home Server. I plan on putting links into the remote access website of Window Home Server to allow me to connect to the net module. To do this I logged into the WHS dashboard and clicked on Server Settings then on Remote Web Access , then on Customize and finally on the Home Page Links tab. Then all that needs to be done is add the links. In my case I have two, one for the Webserver’s home page and one for an RSS feed that gets generated by the webserver. (Currently I have the RSS Feed set to update every minute) Basically, I can broadcast up to 16 tank parameters at an interval as frequent as 1 minute. Currently I am broadcasting 6…the water temperature, the status of the daylights, the status of the actinic lights, the status of the moonlights, the status of the water cooling fan, and the number of amps of electricity being consumed by the system.

     

    jvkreef6

     

    But before I get too excited, the links above will only work when I am inside my home network. Originally I thought once I logged into the remote access page, I would be visible remotely thru the magic of Windows Home Server, but bummer, it’s not. Then after thinking about it for a while, I thought Windows Home Server updates my current IP address as part of the remote access website enabling process and then translates this into a website https://yourURLnameHere.homeserver.com. What if I put my reef tanks webserver’s port number that I assigned it after the Home Server URL, that should work right? Wrong, it appears that Windows Home Server does not like to play nice with other web sites out of the box. I got this nasty little runtime error…

     

    Description: An application error occurred on the server. The current custom error settings for this application prevent the details of the application error from being viewed remotely (for security reasons). It could, however, be viewed by browsers running on the local server machine.

    Details: To enable the details of this specific error message to be viewable on remote machines, please create a <customErrors> tag within a "web.config" configuration file located in the root directory of the current web application. This <customErrors> tag should then have its "mode" attribute set to "Off".

     

    jvkreef12

     

    The error message is generated by WHS, I know this because when I powered down the WHS box, the error message disappeared. I could probably do a little snooping around my WHS, and possibly create a new website on the box, but then I thought it will probably just break something else and what would happen when Microsoft rolls out an update?  The other option would be to use an external Domain Name Forwarding Service and create a second domain that is pointed at my current IP address, pass that thru the router and forward it to my Reef’s webserver. Sounds complicated huh, actually it’s was pretty simple thanks to some outstanding support forums on the Digital Aquatics website. One post in particular was really helpful, Port Forwarding and DDNS for Dummies. Ok now that we have the ports forwarded using a second domain and after placing the new links into WHS Remote access webpage, my remote access site looks like this…

     

    jvkreef7

     

    Clicking on the Reef Tank Home Page link that I set up opens up the tank’s Net Webserver 2.0 Homepage and it works outside the network, Sweet!!!!!!!!

     

     jvkreef8

     

    Here is a look at the dashboard…

     

    jvkreef9

     

    Here is another look at the RSS feed setup page…

     

    jvkreef10

     

     

     

    And here is a look at one of the flash graphs that is built into the homepage…

     

    jvkreef11

     

    So that is where the project stands right now. Ok, I know that I’m really not using the remote access website for anything other than staging the links, but I think it’s cool. So where do I go from here? Well I have an XML data feed from my tank that is visible to the internet, a background in database and dashboard development; why not make a real-time dashboard for my tank on my personal website? While we’re at it, why not put a live video feed below the dashboard? Am I setting the bar too high or will I be able to pull it off? Like I said, I like a great challenge and only time will tell, stay tuned….

     

    jvk

     

     Share


    User Feedback

    Recommended Comments

    Very nice. However, you lost me with the WHS on the wall... No longer am I thinking about fish tanks I'm thinking about that build! When does the article about it come out?
    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    you need some more color in that tank ;) maybe some frogspawn, trumpets, or an RBTA or something along those lines ;) If you can't tell I am also a reef tank nerd and also am big into Media Center and WHS. Great Writeup. -Josh
    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    This is excellent, nice project. We also have a small reef tank and a WHS. Off to look up digital aquatics right now. Thank you for sharing.
    Link to comment
    Share on other sites



    Create an account or sign in to comment

    You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

    Create an account

    Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

    Register a new account

    Sign in

    Already have an account? Sign in here.

    Sign In Now

  • Our picks

    • I throw this out every once in a while.  Is anyone interested in writing up "semi-formal" reviews here on the forums?  I say semi-formal because they don't have to be pro level, just a good attempt at telling the story about the gear.  Something you have purchased lately.  You don't have to go buy stuff, just incorporate what you have already have purchased.  Hit me up with any questions.  You never know where it will lead!
        • Like
      • 3 replies
    • D-Link has dropped a couple of new products and additions to their lineup of smart home gear.  Hold on because there is a lot of gear!
      Let's start with cameras.  D-Link has new Wi-Fi cameras, the Full HD Pan and Tilt Pro Wi-Fi Camera (DCS-8302LH) and Full HD Indoor and Outdoor Pro Wi-Fi Camera (DCS-8526LH).  These are not just new, and good looking cams, they can now perform people detection and glass break detection.  The new cameras also feature expanded ways for customers to save video, including ONVIF Profile S, which enables custom storage and streaming options to personal NAS devices, built-in storage microSD capacity up to 256 GB, as well as free and paid cloud storage options. 
       

       
      This year's camera models include both an indoor and an outdoor model. The outdoor model features a spotlight and siren that can be triggered when motion is detected, deterring potential intruders. The indoor model pans around to give a full 360-degree view of any room and tracks motion. Both include two-way audio. 
      Full HD Pan and Tilt Pro Wi-Fi Camera is the model (DCS-8302LH), available in Q2, 2020, and retail pricing will be $99.99.
      Full HD Indoor and Outdoor Pro Wi-Fi Camera is the model (DCS-8526LH), available in Q3, 2020, and retail pricing will be $119.99.
      One of my favorite products is Wi-Fi.  D-Link has a whole lot of new products coming including Wi-Fi 6, Mesh, Alexa and Google Assistant integration, IFTTT, Parental Controls, and more!
       

       
      There are so many new SKU's that I can't make heads or tails of them!  I'm going to be speaking with D-Link more this week and will sort all of these out. I do want you to see all they are offering and what the release date and projected retail pricing will be.

      AC1900 Scalable Mesh Wi-Fi Router (COVR-1900-US), Q1 2020, $119.99
      AC1750 Mesh Wi-Fi Router (DIR-1750-US), Q1 2020, $99.99
      AC1900 Mesh Wi-Fi Router (DIR-1950-US), Q1 2020, $119.99
      AC1750 Mesh Wi-Fi Range Extender (DAP-1755-US), Q1 2020, $99.99
      AC1950 Mesh Wi-Fi Range Extender (DAP-1955-US), Q1 2020, $109.99
      Smart AX1500 Mesh Wi-Fi 6 Router (DIR-X1560-US), Q1 2020, $119.99
      Smart AX1800 Mesh Wi-Fi 6 Router (DIR-X1870-US), Q2 2020, $139.99
      Smart AX2400 Mesh Wi-Fi 6 Router (DIR-X2460-US), Q3 2020, $159.99
      Smart AX5400 Mesh Wi-Fi 6 Router (DIR-X5460-US), Q1 2020, $279.99
      AX1800 Mesh Wi-Fi 6 Range Extender (DAP-X1870-US), Q2 2020, $129.99
      AX1800 Whole Home Mesh System (COVR-X1872-US), QX22020, $269.99
        • Like
      • 0 replies
    • RESET Merch Shop
      Get ya Merch here!  I've created a T-Shirt shop with the famous RESET paperclip. I've pasted that clip on just about everything so you can wear it around town!  Cable bags, Coffee Mugs, T-Shirts, and more. 
       
      https://reset.threadless.com/
       
      or you can get it it via
       
      https://reset.fm/store
       
      Here is the main design.
       

       
      Below is a part of the order that I put in!  
       
       

       
      The Heather Grey above is the Extra Soft version and it is awesome.  I highly recommend the softness!    The "Chili Red" is the Tri-Blend and probably my favorite feel and color.

       
      This is the Zip-Up Hoody, Heather Indigo, Sponge Fleece, Men's, Large.  In my podcast I couldn't remember what style it was but it is Sponge Fleece. It's REALLY soft on the inside. Soft outside as well. The only problem is with the zip up hoody the logo is on the back. Regular hoody, it will be on the front.
       
      https://reset.threadless.com/
       
      or you can get it it via
       
      https://reset.fm/store
       
      Thank you for supporting this community. Everything you purchase will help keep the lights on the hard drives spinning.
       
      • 0 replies
    • OneDrive Personal Vault and expandable storage
      Microsoft's OneDrive has a few new features and options worth pointing out.  Personal Vault and Expandable Storage.
       
      Personal Vault is a protected area in OneDrive that can only be accessed with a strong authentication method or a second step of identity verification, such as your fingerprint, face, PIN, or a code sent to you via email or SMS. 
       
      Personal Vault gives you an added layer of protection for your most important files, photos, and videos—for example, copies of documents such as your passport, driver’s license, or insurance information—should someone gain access to your account or device.
      Plus, this added security won’t slow you down. You can quickly access your important documents, photos, and files with confidence wherever you are, on your PC, OneDrive.com, or your mobile device.

       
      Beyond a second layer of identity verification, Personal Vault also includes the following security measures:
       
      Scan and shoot—Using the OneDrive app, you can scan documents or shoot photos directly into your Personal Vault, keeping them off less secure areas of your device, like your camera roll.
      Automatic locking—No need to worry about whether you left your Personal Vault or your files open—both will close and lock automatically after a period of inactivity.
      BitLocker encryption—On Windows 10 PCs, OneDrive automatically syncs your Personal Vault files to a BitLocker-encrypted area of your local hard drive.
      Restricted sharing—To prevent accidental sharing, files in Personal Vault and shared items moved into Personal Vault cannot be shared.
       
      Taken together, these security measures help ensure that Personal Vault files are not stored unprotected on your PC, and your files have additional protection, even if your Windows 10 PC or mobile device is lost, stolen, or someone gains access to it or to your account.
       
      Expandable Storage
       
      If you are and Office 365 Subscriber you get 1 TB of OneDrive storage space with all the other Office goodies like Word, Excel, etc.  I know personally that I have gone over the 1TB limit and have always wanted to be able to add additional storage to my account.  Now you can!

       
      Pick and option and keep on hoarding, errr, I mean saving! Cancel anytime, upgrade at any moment.
      • 1 reply
    • Ubiquiti adds new items to the Unifi Line including UAP Flex HD and the Unifi Dream machine
      Ubiquiti has been busy.  There area ton of new items to recently released and I'm going to share two of my favorites.
       
      The UAP Flex HD and the Unifi Dream machine. The Flex HD is a mouthful of descriptors like most of UI gear is.  It's a 2Ghz 2x2 MIMO, 5GHz 4x4 MU-MIMO, POE, Indoor/Outdoor, multi mount, mesh point that is no bigger than a can of Coke.

       
      You will still need the Unifi controller although you can configure it with basic functionality with the Unifi App.  I've always found it's best to configure with your controller and then use the app as an add-on.  There are several mounting options that include sitting it on a shelf! That is something that Unifi has not had before unless you count the ceiling AP I have awkwardly mounted placed on top of a few books.  It can be found on the Unifi store for $179.
       
      https://store.ui.com/collections/wireless/products/unifi-flexhd
       
      The Dream Machine is an altogether different beast that I hope lives up to its naming.  This is the gateway drug, for lack of a better term, to the Unifi world.  The starter kit.  It is an Access Point, Gigabit Switch, Security Gateway, and the Cloud Key all in one package.  The latter being the most significant as this is something that has deterred new users from getting started with Unifi.  Requiring new users to purchase a $100 item just to run the AP's has been somewhat of a roadblock in the past.  Granted, that is improving every year with the ability to run it in the cloud, on a NAS, a Pi, Docker, MacOS, and of course Windows, it is still a barricade to getting up and running when manufacturers such as Eero offer simplicity in an app.
       

       
      The switch includes 4 LAN Ports and 1 WAN port.  All of which are Gigabit and security services such as IPS are rated at Gigabit speed. It's $299 in the Unifi store but I'm unsure how nicely it will play with other Unifi gear.  This may be a nice "first AP" with its built in Cloud Key if you can add additional units or other Unifi access points.
       
      https://store.ui.com/collections/routing-switching/products/unifi-dream-machine
      • 4 replies
×
×
  • Create New...