Author Topic: New Hydroponic garden project  (Read 2377 times)

skater1949

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New Hydroponic garden project
« on: August 27, 2015, 12:20:22 PM »
Good Afternoon all:
I have been reading this site for a few months, and have purchased a few (I think 7) Moteinos to test out on small projects. I am happily satisfied with the results so far. It’s now time for me to move on to the project that motivated me to test the Moteinos in the first place.
Everything I am about to describe has been done in one form or another using Raspberry Pi, Arduino Uno, and Arduino Nano, along with Ethernet, both wired and wireless. My project was previously all in one room in my house, so range was not an issue. That is about to change. The place where I work has offered to let me use some space in their warehouse for the project, and my office is at least 100 feet away from this spot. There is no internet available in this section of the warehouse.
There will be three growing trays set up, each one utilizing a different method of aquaculture. No, it is NOT Pot, its Lettuce. Tray “A” will be Aeroponic, tray “K” will be the Kratky method, and tray “D” will be drain and fill. Each grow area ( A, K, D) will be enclosed, and measures 2’ x 4’. Each grow area will require the following common items: Led grow light, heater, air temp and humidity sensor, H2O temp sensor, H2O level sensor, small led screen, light sensor, SD Card Holder, warning light, a Relay board, and  a battery backup. It would also be nice to have a PPM sensor, and PH sensor attached too, although this can be accomplished with a portable unit that I currently have. In addition, the “K” unit needs an Air Pump and Air Stone, and the “A” and “D” units each need a small H2O pump.
The LED Grow lights are controlled by a relay, based on 16 hours of light. The Heater is controlled by a relay, based on the air temp sensor. It heats the grow area only. Lettuce requires high temp to grow, and even a hour of cold will kill it. H2O temp and H2O level are reported, but the system does not act on the results. I am thinking about a warning light, and or email or SMS notification. H2O Pump is timed, and the cycles are 24/7. I am thinking about changing this, as water is not necessary during the DARK period. Led screens (20 x 4) just show sensor data with once per minute update. The PPM and PH sensors would only be used once or twice per 24 hours. The light sensor and battery condition are reported with all the other sensors to the led screen, website, and SD card data logger. SD card logs data once an hour.

Here are my questions for the group.
1)   Will the 3 Moteinos “nodes” be able to handle this with a Raspberry Pi Gateway?
2)   Would it be better to skip the “node” SD cards, and just use a Gateway SD card?
3)   I have been using connection shields with the nano and Arduino uno. Any ideas for connecting up the Moteino to everything , besides a breadboard?
4)   I am worried about the library’s all fitting on the Moteinos along with the code.
5)   I welcome any suggestion or criticism of the project. Once its up and working I plan to put it up on video feed through my dyndns account.
Thank you all for your inspiration over the last few months, and thank you to Felix for creating a great little device.

Don Medon


Felix

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Re: New Hydroponic garden project
« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2015, 02:42:31 PM »
Don, thanks for sharing your project with us!
Let me try to answe your questions:
Questions:
1)   Will the 3 Moteinos “nodes” be able to handle this with a Raspberry Pi Gateway?
2)   Would it be better to skip the “node” SD cards, and just use a Gateway SD card?
3)   I have been using connection shields with the nano and Arduino uno. Any ideas for connecting up the Moteino to everything , besides a breadboard?
4)   I am worried about the library’s all fitting on the Moteinos along with the code.
5)   I welcome any suggestion or criticism of the project. Once its up and working I plan to put it up on video feed through my dyndns account.

My Answers:
1) 3 end point Moteinos should be no problem for a gateway Moteino attached to a Pi
2) I would suggest doing all the logging at the gateway - see my gateway solution that logs data for you directly on the Pi file system and offers looking at log data with nice graphs
3) This can really depend,  you can go from breadboard to stripboard to custom PCBs. I suggest making a PCB to plug your sensors into, breadboards are no good way to go long term because contacts can corrode etc.
4) Good coding practices and keeping literal strings in FLASH and not RAM can significantly decrease a sketch size
5) I can't criticize without seeing a schematic or system design diagram but sounds like a great project, looking forward to more details!

TomWS

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Re: New Hydroponic garden project
« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2015, 06:39:01 PM »
I agree with everything Felix said except the comment about breadboard vs PCB.  Definitely breadboard first, shakedown your code and hardware, THEN go to PCB.  It's too easy to overlook something if you go right to PCB and breadboard contacts won't corrode that quickly.  Test for a month or so and then you'll know what you need in the PCB.  Who knows, you might need temp, humidity, RTC, etc...

Given how useful the Moteino board is in a breadboard, I'm surprised that Felix didn't suggest going that route!

Tom
PS: I also agree with Felix that it's an interesting and fun project.

Felix

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Re: New Hydroponic garden project
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2015, 08:23:33 AM »
My comments sometimes are confusing  ::)
Breadboarding is really useful and I always start there and test until I am sure I have everything in line for a PCB. Then a PCB revision might reveal new changes that were not obvious in the breadboard stage because well ... when you have the PCB in hand you start to figure out layout changes you'd like. So in general from my experience a good product that fits your requirements goes through at least 2 revisions. If you make it for the public then maybe more, based on feedback and those pesky little bugs that creep in sometimes.

I guess my main through was that I would not count on a breadboard reliability for the long run, say for managing my garage door or other things like that :)

WhiteHare

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Re: New Hydroponic garden project
« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2015, 11:56:14 AM »
Because you said aquaculture, you might be interested in one of these sensors too for tracking ammonia levels:  http://www.seneye.com/devices/compare



Not sure if there are good nitrate and/or nitrate sensors available, since in a perfect world you'd want to monitor those as well.

What kind of lettuce?
« Last Edit: August 28, 2015, 12:16:25 PM by WhiteHare »

TomWS

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Re: New Hydroponic garden project
« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2015, 05:36:02 PM »
What kind of lettuce?
I think Willie Nelson Long Leaf...  8)

skater1949

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Re: New Hydroponic garden project
« Reply #6 on: August 31, 2015, 12:56:47 PM »
Thanks to all who expressed interest in my project. My first stumbling block is that my Moteinos are using different library's. Some are RFM, and some are RH. So my first step is to re-write my code to use just the RFM library. I also noticed that I am using 2 different library's to run 2 temp sensors ( DT22, and DS1820). Unfortunately, I need the humidity sensor, and a need a waterproof sensor for the hydroponic tank, so if someone could suggest an alternative, I am all ears.
PS. It is NOT Willie Nelson lettuce. It's black seeded Simpson lettuce.  Don

TomWS

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Re: New Hydroponic garden project
« Reply #7 on: August 31, 2015, 05:34:28 PM »
There's nothing wrong with using different sensors for different applications.  The DS18B20s are good for underwater/underground applications, the DHT22 is not  :)  However, the DHT22 is cheap and easy to use and peacefully coexists with the One Wire sensors on separate pins. I use this combination in my Crawlspace Monitor, the DHT22 gives me TH of the Crawlspace and I have multiple DS18B20s hooked in parallel to monitor the temperature on various systems, including outdoor temperature.

The Si7021 sensor is accurate and very low power but its package is not conducive to using just anywhere.

Tom

Thanh Viet

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Re: New Hydroponic garden project
« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2015, 09:14:43 PM »
Hi Don,

What kind of probe for pH & EC are you planning to use ?

I got a NFT system with a sump/filter & secondary barrel for larger autonomy. So far, I didn't had time to code anything on the Moteino apart from the temperature & humidity (weather shield + DS18B20 for the water).