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Thread: Grow box with monitoring and remote control system

  1. #9
    Benurmanii's Avatar
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    Basically, I would pay lots of money if you could give me a large, tall box with lots of light that could be a fridge if and when I need to it be. I also really like the idea of gradually dimming/brightening lights to imitate sunrise and sunset. It is an idea I have thought about before, but do not have the smarts to create such a device.

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    vivi1316's Avatar
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    okay I see! You'd pay a lot for something super modular then?
    What do you mean by 'lots of money' btw? I'm quite curious about that amount :P
    I'd love to hear your precious opinions on my project Grow box with monitoring and remote control system

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    Vivi, it looks nice. It seems a bit too small to be cost effective; people may not want to pay that much to grow a couple plants.

    Some people pay quite a bit for something like this:
    PRICING

    It is almost the cost of the cheapest professional growth chamber (i.e., Percival).

    I think computer based control is easier than the control on the box. I'm guessing that R-pi is running a web server and interfacing through web browser? Just like OpenHAB home automation or something like that? The problem could be the long term support. If it is using some non-standard method (or non-open source software), people may not be able to control the box once your companies stop operating (or drop the support).

    Camera seems to be wasteful although I'm not sure what it does. You mentioned that the camera can be used for photosynthesis. It isn't measuring chlorophyll fluorescent (fluorometers), is it? If it were the camera which can measure the leaf temp, it might be interesting to control light/temp from the measurement. Public Lab: Near-Infrared Camera

    Anyway, it looks like an interesting product.
    Last edited by naoki; 01-27-2016 at 05:09 PM.

  4. #12
    vivi1316's Avatar
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    Thank you for sources Naoki!

    I'm amazed how expensive the growth chamber is. I think we might bring something better and less expensive than these. Are the settings of acmeorchidarium growth chamber is enough for carnivorious plants?

    You get it right for the computer control. Thanks for raising the concerns of the long term support. What would you suggest?

    Well, I think it'd be interesting to take a look at your plants (and its health) when I'm on vacations or out of town for a couple of days. (I'm a travel quite often). That's why I tink a camera is useful. Don't you think so?
    I'd love to hear your precious opinions on my project Grow box with monitoring and remote control system

  5. #13

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    Acme is targeted toward orchids, so the amount of light may not be sufficient for some CPs. I'm not sure if you want to reveal it or not, but which models of LEDs are you using (and driving current)?


    I don't have specific software in my mind, but something platform-neutral, open source software will be nice. My only experience with something similar is OpenHAB which I mentioned. I'm using ESP8266 (similar to arduino+wifi) with sensors (currently temp. humidity from DHT22 sensors) to monitor the grow tents. A bunch of ESP8266's reports to a R-pi (an OpenHAB server) via MQTT. I interact with OpenHAB via web page (you can interact with smart phones, too). Basically, I learned this from here:
    Meet the Arduino Killer: ESP8266
    Nothing fancy like yours yet, but I'm gradually learning about this, and eventually I want to control other aspects of grow tents from OpenHAB. I'm still learning, so I'm not sure if I can do everything I want to do with OpenHAB.

    I guess there are cheap web cams now, so it might be good for some people. The camera might be fun if there are critters in it, but plants don't move too much!
    Last edited by naoki; 01-29-2016 at 05:15 PM.

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    @naoki you may want to have a look at https://www.mysensors.org

    You can run it directly on ESP8266 modules, especially the node mcu 1.0 modules. Or you can use various arduino boards and a 2.4GHz radio module. It plays nice with OpenHab https://www.mysensors.org/controller/openhab or others (I use Domoticz on my side)

    I'm still setting up my own grow box, but so far I have temperature, humidity and light sensors and light control. For now the light control is only on/off with the sunrise/sunset and ambient light level detection that will switch artificial lights off when the box is under direct sun (window so limited amount of real sun, or cloudy day etc).
    I still have to add a fan that will be temperature controlled. And I also noticed that my actual artificial lights were really weak...

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    Thank you for the link emc2! I didn't know about it, so I'll read about it. I happen to use node mcu, too.

    Do you have a recommendation for a cheap AC relay (to control the light)? I thought that it is simply attaching a relay to arduino or ESP8266, but as I read more about it, there seems to be fair number of things to consider for the safety. I bought a cheap eBay Fostek solid state relay SSR-40 DA. It's supposed to be driven from 3V, so I'm assuming ESP8266 can drive it, but I'm still studying about this.

    It is cool that you use lux sensor and control the light. That's a good idea! In production greenhouses, I think there are some equipments similar to it. They monitor the sun light, and make sure that cumulative light of the day meets a certain minimum by turning on and off the artificial light (technically, it is called daily light integral, DLI).

    Sorry, vivi, it is a bit of side-track from your thread, but it is somewhat related to the grow box automation. Maybe the camera could be used for the sun light sensor?

  8. #16

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    I bought a 25A one a couple of days ago to try to control a new light. So I'm in the same boat as you so far. But yes it should work with ESP or arduino (see https://www.mysensors.org/build/relay )

    For now I'm cheating, my light is 5m of 5050 led strip with a 433MHz controller. So lights are turned on/off by sending the 433MHz code to act on the controller with a 433MHz Tx on the arduino, no DIY relay involved yet.

    Yes, technically it's a cheap home made DLI, if the sun is shining and I have >7500lux (climb up to 23000lux for now in full sun) I turn off the lights as they wont bring much more. If < 5000 lux light is turned back on (as soon as I'm no longer under the direct sun I go down to ~2000 lumens)

    Sorry for the side-track too, but it may give you some ideas on what people like and may consider as useful options on the control/monitoring side.

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