Author Topic: Monitoring my hydroponics  (Read 489 times)

Mike

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Re: Monitoring my hydroponics
« Reply #15 on: June 08, 2020, 10:53:15 AM »
It is interesting what you learn when you start monitoring things.  So, the pH has been slowly and steadily falling for the last 5 days.  It might adjust up when I add water and nutrients but there is definitely a trend.  Well, reading up on it it sounds like I have too much nutrients in the water and the plants are taking up more water than nutrients so the concentration of nutrients (which are acidic) is increasing and driving the pH down.  Took my fancy new conductivity probe out there and sure enough it is too high.  So, this morning added just water.  Will be interesting to see what happens.

Mike

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Re: Monitoring my hydroponics
« Reply #16 on: June 10, 2020, 03:32:19 PM »
Caught a squirrel eating one of my unripe tomatoes.  None of them have ripened yet so he got it before I got any.

Cheeky bastard is lucky I like squirrels!

Mike

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Re: Monitoring my hydroponics
« Reply #17 on: June 17, 2020, 02:55:53 PM »
The first generation of the PCBs are here.  Got most of it set up.  Just need to disassemble the current setup and desolder it.  For the PCB I'm doing things are headers and connectors so hopefully no more desoldering.  Really glad I got 5 boards as the first one I fucked up by soldering the header on upside down (it is the only component with the solder side on the top).

More importantly, the first tomatoes are here!


Jake

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Re: Monitoring my hydroponics
« Reply #18 on: June 17, 2020, 03:57:35 PM »
The first generation of the PCBs are here.  Got most of it set up.  Just need to disassemble the current setup and desolder it.  For the PCB I'm doing things are headers and connectors so hopefully no more desoldering.  Really glad I got 5 boards as the first one I fucked up by soldering the header on upside down (it is the only component with the solder side on the top).

More importantly, the first tomatoes are here!



they look delicious - what variety is it?
Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.

Mike

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Re: Monitoring my hydroponics
« Reply #19 on: June 17, 2020, 04:19:28 PM »
Sweet 100

We also have some some Cherry Red Tomato just about ready (they are red but didn't want to come off the vine yet).

Mike

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Re: Monitoring my hydroponics
« Reply #20 on: June 18, 2020, 02:14:21 PM »
I'm really being drawn towards https://www.atlas-scientific.com/peristaltic/ezo-pmp/. Could (in theory at least) use it to pump water, nutrients, and even pH buffer in as needed.




KnuckleBuckett

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Re: Monitoring my hydroponics
« Reply #21 on: June 18, 2020, 09:29:03 PM »
Peristaltics are a pain in the ass to calibrate because as the tubing ages the calibration varies.  Until failure.  Though not used as calibrated devices I deal with quite a few of them.  We replace maybe 40 a year and retube 3x that.

Mike

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Re: Monitoring my hydroponics
« Reply #22 on: June 18, 2020, 11:23:07 PM »
What are you using them for?  At $80 a pop I would like them to last more than a year.

KnuckleBuckett

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Re: Monitoring my hydroponics
« Reply #23 on: June 19, 2020, 06:03:03 AM »
Water removal from drying systems.  Ours are $400 each. 

Mike

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Re: Monitoring my hydroponics
« Reply #24 on: June 19, 2020, 11:51:48 AM »
Hmmm, maybe I'll just get one to start with then.  I'm not too concerned with precise amounts every time.  Though, the nutrients are a two solution mix so it'd be nice of they both dispensed the same amount.

Mike

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Re: Monitoring my hydroponics
« Reply #25 on: June 19, 2020, 04:54:39 PM »
Here is this morning's haul with the second type of tomatoes


Mike

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Re: Monitoring my hydroponics
« Reply #26 on: June 21, 2020, 12:37:50 AM »
So, was all excited to convert the setup to the new PCB and connectors.  Pulled the old setup down, took everything part, unsoldered headers, resoldered new ones, converted direct soldered wires to crimped connectors, etc.  Get everything done, connect it to the Raspberry Pi 4 and the thing won't boot up.  Pull things off, and undo all the new stuff and no luck.  Going through the troubleshooting and it is pointing to the SD card being bad.  Which means I'm losing all the data I had (I hadn't gotten to remote backing it up :mad:)  And of course everything is closed.  So, ordering a new card for pickup tomorrow.  Hopefully it'll work.  Still hoping that I might be able to pull data off the old card but not in high hopes

Mike

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Re: Monitoring my hydroponics
« Reply #27 on: June 21, 2020, 02:00:27 PM »
Got a new card, put the OS on it, and the PI booted right up.  Which is good but probably does mean the old card is shot.  Might see if I can't mount it or use a repair utility.

Gonna set up a Windows share and have it dump the database to it as a backup.

Mike

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Re: Monitoring my hydroponics
« Reply #28 on: June 21, 2020, 03:50:22 PM »
Well, it looks like my soldering skills aren't that great.  The daughter board that I pulled the existing headers off of and put new headers are has a short between Vcc and ground.  Likely, I already had a replacement on its way.  But it won't be here until Friday.  So, probably just going to put it back together with the existing components and then next weekend add the new sensor.

Mike

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Re: Monitoring my hydroponics
« Reply #29 on: June 28, 2020, 10:04:54 AM »
Made an album of the change over work.  https://photos.app.goo.gl/NaPJyipcycshSo366

Some lessons so far:

  • I should have fucking used locking headers for the temperature probes!  The friction between the pin and the connector isn't always strong enough
  • I remember why I decided to focus on software rather than hardware
  • Needed to get measurements of the connectors so I could ensure enough spacing between sets of headers.  There is barely enough space and that is just luck
  • For my soldering skill level I should have given more space between the trace and the pads
  • I originally designed the board to be a HAT but as I dug into the spec and looked at my future goals I realized there was no good reason for that and it would be far more effort than it is worth.
  • I took long to do this and getting the probes into the right spot is damn near impossible at this stage.
  • The two coax probes aren't supported on the far end so it kind of flops around.  I think the future versions will use the newer version of the board which has mounting holes
At this stage my frustration level is at an all time high.  After adding the new isolation board all three of the temperature probes came loose and after getting them back on two are reporting max temperature.  Debating pulling everything out and just doing this next season in a new set up.  Thinking about a system where the maintenance area is set away from the main basin with something to keep the roots out.  Then having some probe areas there so they are clean and easy to access.