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Author Topic: Mushroom farm - monitoring system  (Read 2570 times)
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Lisboa, Portugal
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Hi guys!

So, I'm constructing a mushroom farm and need to be able to control temperature and humidity of the farm.

I'm thinking about using a misting/cooling system and 3 cooling fans.

The cooling fans will be just three 4-pins desktop cooling fans conected to a computer power supply.

The misting/cooling system will be controled by an aquarium water pump with 12W of power.

Can I also connect the water pump in the computer power supply?

If you guys can tell me what kind of board and sensors I need to control these two systems I will be very grateful.
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How big is the mushroom farm?
It sounds small if you're using pc fans.
What is the voltage of you water pump?

Are we talking button mushrooms here or large?
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Lisboa, Portugal
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The mushroom farm will be a 2X4 meters rectangle with 2 meters height.

I will be using this water pump: http://viewitem.eim.ebay.pt/200GPH-Aquarium-Air-Water-Pump-Fish-Tank-Submersible-Pond-Fountain-Powerhead-12WEU230V/310569179711/item?variant0=EU-230V&transId=337425859021   with the EU plug (230V)

I'm currently growing Pleorotus (in bags) and Shitakee (bags and logs)
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New Hampshire
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I don't think you'd be able to hook that pump into the computer power supply that easily (perhaps if you ripped it open you'd find it runs on a 12V motor or something, but it'd be a lot easier to just plug it in regularly).

And well I don't know much about mushroom farming so some of this might be a little off. But I'm guessing you're gonna need to test the air humidity. The moisture content of your soil, and the temp.
Then based off of those youll trigger the mister and the fans to keep the moisture and temp at the happy place correct?
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Lisboa, Portugal
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I also think it will be tricky to connect the pump to the computer power supply... If I connected it to a regular plug will I be able to control it?

I just need to control the temperature and the air humidity, ideally the CO2 levels too but not absolutely necessary.

The important is to keep relative humidity above 80% and temp below 21ºC.
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New Hampshire
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to control the pump, you could easily look for something like this
https://www.sparkfun.com/products/10747
Only in a 230V version. Basically its a switch that you control with a digital pin from your arduino (trigger it on whenever the humidity gets below like 70%,then after the airs back to 85% or whatever humidity you want, trigger it off to turn off the pump)

Something like that would be extremely easy to use, but after peeking around for a little (i see your from portugal) I'm not finding a control box as easy to use as the 120V one I linked above.

Your other way to control your pump could be to get a nice 230V relay off ebay something about this.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/1-New-25A-SSR-Solid-State-relay-DC-Control-AC-DC3-32V-to-AC24-480V-/120920218074?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item1c276819da

Those are fairly easy to use. Basically you take an extension chord. Cut 1 of the 2 conductors, attaching each end of the now cut conductor to 1 of the 2 "output" terminals on that relay (make sure to do a nice hook around the screw). Then plug the remaining end into the wall (probably have someone electrically inclined to check your cable for safety).

Then connect an arduino digital pin to the + on the control side. and connect the - to the arduinos ground. now when you trigger the arduino pin it'll turn the pump on or off (assumign the pump is plugged into this modified extension chord)

Thatll let you control the misting. then you just need a temp sensor and your humidity sensor
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Lisboa, Portugal
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I really like the relay ideia, it's seems cheap and efficient. smiley

I'm thinking about using 2 DS18b20 temperature sensors and 2 HS1101 humidity sensors.

Then I need to connect the sensors to 2 relays and one LCD to display the measurements.

What arduino board will I need to do this?
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New Hampshire
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that amount of stuff,a basic arduino could handle easy.

Best way to start out would probably be grab some LEDs, get them to trigger on and off (these will emulate the relays).
Then grab your sensors, get them to read data, and set up your humidity and temperature points so that when its too dry or whatever, itll turn on the LEDs.
Then grab the pumps and relays, and just replace the LEDs with the relays, and your on your way to a nice thick shiitake stew.

I noticed you mentioned 2 relays though and the LCD, do you need a LCD to be recommended, of have you picked out one you like (because they can become problematic sometimes).
Also whats the second relay for, to trigger the computer power supply off and on to run the fans? Or will there be 2 misting pumps?
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Lisboa, Portugal
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A basic arduino like this: http://viewitem.eim.ebay.pt/UNO-R3-ATMEGA328-ATMEGA16U2-Controller-Board-FOR-ARDUINOs-IDE-Compatible/290901496705/item ?  or there is a more basic one?

Concerning the sensors, could I connect them directly to the arlindo board or I need some kind of module?

I was thinking  about using this LCD: http://viewitem.eim.ebay.pt/1602-16x2-Character-LCD-Display-Module-HD44780-Controller-Blue-Blacklight-/170817946781/item

It's cheap but I don't know if gonna last...

The second relay will control the power supply, to run the fans.
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Dubuque, Iowa, USA
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You won't be able to mist with that pump. It states 1.5M head which is only a couple PSI. What you want is a "demand pump". 30 PSI is around the minimum you'll want; more would be better.
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Lisboa, Portugal
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I have a more powerful pump that pumps 6200 liters per hour and can raise water 5.5 meters. Should be enough right?
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New Jersey
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For safety reasons, it would be nice if you could avoid mains voltages. You could switch the 12V going to each of the fans via transistors, even use PWM if you need variable speed. Same thing with the pump, although you'll need to find one powerful enough at 12V and a more beefy transistor that the fans take. The pumps that spray water at your windscreen must be 12V - powerful enough?
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Dubuque, Iowa, USA
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I have a more powerful pump that pumps 6200 liters per hour and can raise water 5.5 meters. Should be enough right?

That's less than 8 PSI. It's 1.41 PSI per meter of head.

A windshield pump appears to be up to 40 PSI, but those get pretty hot if you run them too long.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2013, 03:45:06 pm by Chagrin » Logged

Lisboa, Portugal
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The pressure doesn't depend on the pipe that I use? I'll use a 6mm pipe ...
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New Hampshire
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pressure does depend on the pipe you use... yes, but it depends mostly on the pump that will be driving it. Basically, the smaller diameter pipe you have, the higher pressure water you need to move the same volume of water through (just like higher resistance wire takes a higher voltage to drive the same current). Your 6mm pipe, with a low pressure pump will just slowly trickle out water, not in any misting form.

If instead you want a fine spray, you'd need a high pressure pump running through that small pipe (and then through some kind of misting nozzle) Kinda liek a windex bottle, I rmeember readign that those produce a fairly high pressure when you squeeze the trigger.

I'll get back to you about the sensors and LCD screen though, gotta get to work.
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