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Topic: Billie's Hydroponic Controller (Read 94793 times) previous topic - next topic


Unfortunately I can't yet show you what I mean because I myself am not even 100% sure what I mean, let alone be able to point you in the direction of an image.  However, if you can imagine you PH shield for instance (or is it EC?), it has a single BNC connector for a single BNC probe on the other end.  I assume the chip/shield that the BNC connector is soldered to is capable of sending a voltage down to the probe, reading the condition of the returned voltage, then it sends a signal of sorts back up to the Arduino that performs a function, logs the data or populates that info onto the serial monitor.  Well if the BNC connector could be removed from that shield, and those empty solder points could be fixed with wires that could then be routed to a sensor shield to be divided out into slave channels.  Each of the channels would then be outfitted with BNC connectors, and as many slave slots that are on the sensor shield would then determine the number of PH (or EC?) sensors that can be connected, and only the original PH (EC?) shield would be tasked to take a reading from each of the slave positions of the sensor shield.

So as far as the Arduino is concerned, it only sees the single PH (EC) shield that is wired in/stacked and the Arduino controls it as normal, and as far as the arduino is concerned it takes a PH or EC reading every minute.  The values that return however are from each of the slaves and would be recorded separately in their own category of sensor readings.

It is definitely an incomplete concept in my head and I am still trying to learn what is possible and what is improbable.  From reading this entire thread twice, I know that Billie's controller is mostly geared for aquariums or greenhouse settings, but that is fine as the components included in his controller are the more difficult IMO leaving out only the simple on/off control of HID lighting and on/off fan times.  So for the most part, all the AC stuff is mostly on/off with the exception of fan speed control, but that's another topic for another thread and I am neck deep digging that one up as well.


As far as spark core, I am a little wary about using wifi in this application as wifi is susceptible to all kinds of interference as well as snoopers.  The snoopers I can deal with, but the noise in the b and g internet protocols sketched me out the most, that's why I committed (prior to knowing all the ins and outs) to the Ethernet Shield.  I was able to find a decent ethernet shield clone that came with a genuine Mega 2650 for about $30 total, just had to wait a month as they shipped from China.  Ethernet can do all the same things wifi can do, I just need to supply the cabling and power supply.  THESE little fellas from adafruit will enable me to use POE to my arduino, I just need to ensure all the routing is set up correctly in my router and switch, plus also I believe a static IP needs to be assigned, but I've done that for my PS3 and am confident I can do it for my arduino.


ok I see what you mean by the sensors now, I'm really uncertain of that as well. I could see the ability to splice of the signal to multiple sensors as possible but I don't know how well the arduino would be able to read each one individually, that would all be in the coding but maybe it's possible but I'm sure someone has wondered this before too so who knows.

For my lighting and fan controls and automatic watering ( everything that's scheduled for certain times of the day ) will be controlled by this for my setup: http://www.aquacave.com/digital-aquatics-reef-keeper-lite-system-level-1-basic.html

And I'm not sure what to do about my fan speed control yet either, I have this plugged inline with my ducted fan: http://www.ebay.com/itm/191063176059?_trksid=p2060778.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

so I want to figure a way out to control that from my arduino but I haven't started researching that yet. My setup is very small compared to yours so I don't know if controlling fan speed is as important for me, mine will be pretty self contained.

Yea I totally understand I don't thin there's anything wrong using the ethernet shield, I think that's better for your large setup now that I think about it


And I'm not sure what to do about my fan speed control yet either, I have this plugged inline with my ducted fan: http://www.ebay.com/itm/191063176059?_trksid=p2060778.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

to quote myself here :P after I said this it got me thinking and I just solved this problem for me though I still need to test it but I'm certain it will work. I just re wrote the code to instead of turning on a relay to control the fans when it reaches a certain temperature, a servo will manually turn the knob on my controller I linked above. When it reaches a certain temp the fans will turn up and once it gets down to the right temp it will turn the fan back down. Simple enough for my setup


Funny you said that as I started another thread asking for a way to remove the analog pot from my analog controller and someone replied with the same exact idea of using a servo.  Right now, my garden has so many wires and timers and plugs and cords everywhere it is such an eye sore.  I'd like to have everything with a cord just ran into something very clean and have the Arduino control all of it, but more important to me is the ability to access my garden wirelessly and have the ability to control or change any part of it from my smartphone.  When I get to where I'm going with this, I will share it on youTube with code, pinout schematics, the whole 9.  The tough part is getting to that point, but I don't have to tell you that, hehe.


Finally got my controller up and running. Thanks Billie, without your efforts this would've been mission impossible :)
Though it's not complete yet, I'm planning to add waterproof temperature sensor (DS18B20) but for now that will have to wait, need to take some time off from this :)

ard_mike: That remote monitoring system looks very intresting. Can you tell more about it?


I'm sorry but I'm very late, I've been to other forums and internet to learn a little before enbarcarme in this project, I'm learning every day more, I've been seeing billli elsewhere with almost complete system, you know when you apostear , intend,
well let the mess you soon :o  :o  :o  :o

you may be interested, I'm testing is similar, already tell me



Dec 09, 2014, 03:24 pm Last Edit: Dec 09, 2014, 03:35 pm by r-man
Hello Billie, I'm co inspired from this thread so I tried to build my own Arduino GrowRoom controller. My programming skills are below zero, so a friend programmed Arduino code and another one programmed JavaScript webpages. Take a look here, if You're interested http://growduino.cz/indexEU.htm .

There's no PH or EC probe, because I think theese are something if you set up properly at the beginning, it will not need any more measures during time. And also I don't have that really nice touch display, only classic 2x16 i2c. But I found it to be very usable to use internal webserver on Wiznet 5100 EthernetShield, so everything can be controlled via ethernet/internet/smartphone/tablet - everything with a internet browser. You can control your room/greenhouse from any place on Earth (well, if You're connected to internet and Growduino is also) and You don't need to install any application for it. And also alerts are implemented - Growduino will send You an email in case of bad situation.

What is measured:
Light outdoor
Light indoor (checking lamps)
Air temperature 2x
Air relative humidity
Water temperature
Distance (ultrasonic water level)

What is controlled:
Refiller (valve or pump for refilling tank)

What is "alerted"
Too hot air
Too cold air
Too hot water
Too cold water
Too much humidity
Too low humidity
Low water level
High water level
Lamp shines when should not
Lamp don't shine and it should
Power down

Check my webpage (it will be updated soon, maybe today).


Dec 10, 2014, 02:23 pm Last Edit: Dec 10, 2014, 02:26 pm by Lundin
That is a nice setup r-man, i thought about that case when i built my box but didn't think of these black sockets you installed so it wasn't practical at the time and i wen't for another similar setup.. but.. the formfactor on your housing is really nice..
Are you planning for a touch LCD /ordinary LCD in that housing? Do you have a video of your program in action?
Next thing in my project will be internet connectivity 4 sure.. Really nice to keep  track of what your plant's and tree's are doing while you are away so they don't tear your home apart.. :)

EDIT: Ah.. clever use of those cables / connectors at the bottom for all sensors.. why didn't i think of that.. thanks for the idéa.. im def going to convert to that now.


This is a cool project has anyone implemented the ethernet shield into this sketch and does anyone know where in this thread is the most complete or fully functional sketch.  Thank you everyone for working on such a cool project.


Jan 19, 2015, 10:12 pm Last Edit: Jan 19, 2015, 10:17 pm by acidu
take a look here to this ...more advanced GUI hydroponic controller


allso I have spent many hours finding the code, with libs included...below you have a download link... I do not have an arduino board so I can not test it.. ..please feel free to test and come back with results.



...and let`s make a working hydroponic controler and share it for free


Why not, here it is

I've made a Growduino :-)

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