blueAcro Reef-Pi Pico Controller BETA PAGE

Thanks for expressing interest in early access! The Reef-Pi Pico is an all-in-one board designed for use with a Raspberry Pi and the Reef-Pi software for a truly open source aquarium controller solution.

The Reef-Pi Pico is a board designed for a Raspberry Pi Zero or Raspberry Pi Zero W Linux single board computers. The beta units do not come with a Raspberry Pi Zero, in conjunction with the Reef-Pi software and Raspbian Linux distribution. It offers a number of ports and built-in hardware to simplify building an aquarium controller using Reef-Pi.

Basic specifications:

  • Power input: 12V, 2A, from a standard barrel jack power adapter. Internal power supplies for all other components
  • Input / output functions:
    • Electrically isolated pH sensor (note: this sensor is not yet supported by released versions of the Reef-Pi code. Support is coming in Reef-Pi 3.0)
    • 8 pin pluggable Phoenix COMBICON terminal block with poke-in wire connectors and removable plugs
      • 2x 5V safe (internal pull-down) Schmitt-trigger inputs for float switches or other digital on/off sensors
      • 2x 5V output (16mA) digital outputs
      • 2x GND connectors
      • 2x 5V connectors (500mA limit)
    • 5V I2C (5V, SDA, SCL, GND)
      • buffered output for longer wire lengths
      • 4 pin pluggable Phoenix COMBICON terminal block with poke-in wire connectors and removable plugs
    • DB9: 8 open drain relay current sinks (1A, 12V clamped), 1 pin 12V power (from power adapter)
    • 2x 0-10V analog outputs
      • 3.5mm TRS (tip-ring-sleeve)/headphone connector using high quality Switchcraft connectors
      • using Raspberry Pi PWM support
    • Temperature using 1-wire sensors on TRS/headphone connector. ESD protected with with 3.3V supply
  • Battery backed real time clock: Includes a battery backed real-time clock to allow for the Raspberry Pi to keep time even if there is no internet connection to syncronize from
  • SMC: System management controller providing system reset and audible annunciator (beeper)

External Shopping List

The following products are recommended to make the most out of your Reef-Pi Pico

  • ADJ SC-8 Relay Pack - This outlet strip connects using a DB-9 cable to the Reef-Pi Pico directly and has 8 switchable outlets.
  • DB18B20 "Stainless" Steel Temperature Sensor - Use this for building a temperature sensor cable. You will also need a TRS connector and be comfortable soldering the sensor to the connector.
  • Raspberry Pi Zero W - If you are not comfortable soldering a header to the Raspberry Pi, you can buy a variant with a pre-soldered pin header. Note that you do not need a Micro-USB power adapter, but do need a microSD card.

Configuring Raspbian

The following settings for the Raspberry Pi Zero should be used in /boot/config.txt:

To fully utilize the Real-time clock, follow the instructions in this guide to remove the fake-hwclock package

Support and Warranty

Even though this is a BETA product and not all functions are guaranteed to work excactly as specified, we will happily accept returns for a full refund within a year. If your board fails or suffers a fault, and no more early access boards are available, we will upgrade you to whatever the current product revision is for no charge. For help, please e-mail