greenhouse The Ghost Pepper Store's automated hydroponics greenhouse project

I'm not necessarily interested in even making it self watering but if I could check my pH and temp and ppm of my hydro resovoirs from my phone, it would make things a lot more convenient


I think that's even more difficult than self-watering but that is still possible.

You'll need similar sensors as Brian. So a pH probe with bnc connector, ds18b20 temperature sensor, ec probe, some connection kits for Arduino, ethernet shield or wifi shield.

If you are interested in building that system, please ask when you're facing some difficulties!
 
illWill said:
I'm not necessarily interested in even making it self watering but if I could check my pH and temp and ppm of my hydro resovoirs from my phone, it would make things a lot more convenient
 
Yes, this would be quite a good thing for any hydro grower to have. There may actually be easier ways to do it though. You could actually just buy one of these:
http://www.hydrogalaxy.com/meters-testing-ph/combination-meters/continuous-ph-tds-temp-monitor/?gclid=CMW_va7M57sCFYlaMgodw2sAbA
 
Then buy a decent WiFi enabled webcam, set it up next to the meter, and browse to your webcam via your smartphone. $300 and a few hours of work would probably be much easier than trying to learn to code from scratch, however you can't put a price on learning!
 
 
For a small update on what I have been doing. I experienced some trouble with the cheap Chinese-made Arduinos and their 3.3V power. After a few days of trial and error I managed to work around the problem. I was able to use the Uno board as the communications hub and a Mega board as the sensor node.
 
I just started setting up the Raspberry Pi. My first goal is to try and get the NRF24L01 card to play nicely with the Pi and use it as the communications hub. I have been looking at several different implementations out on the interwebs and nothing is striking me as a great solution. I plan on spending a week trying to get it working, if I can't figure it out, then I am going to go back to an Uno for the hub and just get a serial connection from it to the Pi so that the Pi can analyze the sensor data.
 
Have you considered doing this with just the GPIOs on the rpi (instead of needing the Arduino)? Ladyada has some code for bit-banging the DHT11, if nothing else.

Know of any cheap CO2 sensors?
 
reverser said:
Have you considered doing this with just the GPIOs on the rpi (instead of needing the Arduino)? Ladyada has some code for bit-banging the DHT11, if nothing else.

Know of any cheap CO2 sensors?
 
I did consider just using the RPi GPIO, however, I have some sensors that are analog and some that are digital. I don't really want to go the logic converter route if I don't have to. Plus, the RPi and LCD need to be on one end of the greenhouse and the hydro reservoirs are on the other. I could run lots of wiring for all of the sensors, but I thought it would be a cleaner system if I just have remote, wireless, sensor nodes and kept wiring down to a minimum.
 
I haven't seen any cheap CO2 sensors on the market. All of them are around $50 with the sensor circuit.
 
 
 
****UPDATE****
 
I did manage to beat my self-imposed deadline to get the Arduino and RPi talking over the NRF24 cards. Late on Friday I finally managed to send sensor data from the Arduino to the Pi. Now I just need to work on getting the two way communication going so that I can send a time-stamp back as an acknowledgement. The timestamp will also keep the RTC on the Arduino in sync.
 
okay so im trying to understand this but im stupid when it comes to all this computer tech stuff so would it possible to translate?

whatever is happening it sounds like progress so good job
 
Nightshade said:
okay so im trying to understand this but im stupid when it comes to all this computer tech stuff so would it possible to translate?

whatever is happening it sounds like progress so good job
 
Sure thing!
 
RPi = Raspberry Pi, which you can think of as a ultra small computer running Linux (as opposed to Windows)
 
Arduino = an even smaller computer with no real operating system but can control just about anything electrical
 
NRF24 = think of it as a WiFi card for your laptop, except it isn't programmed to do anything, it has to be told exactly how to talk to anything you want it to talk to.
 
RTC = Real Time Clock, almost all computers have these, this is how your PC/Laptop knows what day/time it is even when you shut it off for a year.
 
 
So the Raspberry Pi will act as the human interface into the system, displaying the sensor data in a way that anyone can understand. The big hurdle that I just cleared was getting the Arduino (Sensor device) to communicate with the Rasperry Pi. This was only a challenge because of the wireless cards I am using. I could have used fully fledged wireless cards (like you would see in a laptop/tablet/smartphone) which would have made things very easy since they have standard communication protocols, but they also would add a huge amount of cost to the system.
 
At this point, I am sending data from the sensor to the server (Raspberry) but not sending any information from the server to the sensor. Eventually I want to send the time from the Raspberry to the sensor, so that things that are automated by time stay in sync.
 
I hope that is a little more clear. I still have a LONG way to go before I call it "progress".
 
theghostpepperstore said:
I did consider just using the RPi GPIO, however, I have some sensors that are analog and some that are digital. I don't really want to go the logic converter route if I don't have to. Plus, the RPi and LCD need to be on one end of the greenhouse and the hydro reservoirs are on the other. I could run lots of wiring for all of the sensors, but I thought it would be a cleaner system if I just have remote, wireless, sensor nodes and kept wiring down to a minimum.
Fair enough. I didn't think about the analog sensor aspect; I also missed the part about the LCD and didn't realize you were connecting the two boards wirelessly. (It's a bad day for reading comprehension, apparently.)

I'm just sick of reading Instructables where they connect an Arduino to the RPI just to do digital I/O, but it sounds like you've done a good job planning this out. I look forward to seeing your progress, and would be happy to help if you need any PCB design/manufacturing done once you have the code written and working.
 
queequeg152 said:
 
I actually looked at that auction yesterday. I think for the time being, I am going to go with some cheap aquarium ph sensors. Until I know I have all the circuitry and programming in place, I don't want to get invested in several hundred dollars worth of sensors. Honestly, if I was building a big system, on the scale of 1000s of NFT spots I wouldn't hesitate to spend the big money on high quality process immersion sensors, but of course at that point I would probably be buying a high dollar controller instead of a DIY solution.
 
theghostpepperstore said:
 
I actually looked at that auction yesterday. I think for the time being, I am going to go with some cheap aquarium ph sensors. Until I know I have all the circuitry and programming in place, I don't want to get invested in several hundred dollars worth of sensors. Honestly, if I was building a big system, on the scale of 1000s of NFT spots I wouldn't hesitate to spend the big money on high quality process immersion sensors, but of course at that point I would probably be buying a high dollar controller instead of a DIY solution.
 
seems like me and u went back and forth on something similar recently?
yea the cheap sensors will defiantly work, im just not confident they will last real long. if on the other hand they do... last long enough for your tastes, they would be the best solution probably. a cheap sensor is only like 30 bucks. 
 
i can vouch for the cheap gelly oaktons. i get like... 9 months out of them with very occasional use however. i store them in storage solution solution fwiw.
 
you could use a heyco weather tight cord grip to mount them also. 
 
 
oh yea, are you still looking for a pump for acid/ferts?
 
look for bellows pumps, i have a bunch of 2 channel gorman rupp pumps, they are excellent for dosing A+B ferts in the proper ratios. i think each stroke is like... 5ml.  unless your res is less then 5 gallons they will work fine.
 
edit:
 
heres a single
http://www.ebay.com/itm/NORITSU-BELLOWS-PUMP-KBX-3X-I013133-00-/111256332914?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item19e764ea72
 
heres a dual
 
http://www.ebay.com/itm/110V-Gorman-Rupp-Dual-Bellows-Metering-Pump-with-Connectorized-Wire-Leads-/221093290007?pt=BI_Pumps&hash=item337a2fe017
 
 
 
you can even add limit switches to count each stroke if you are interested in logging usage.
 
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