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Thread: Centralized climate control/monitoring

  1. #1

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    I have a dream of monitoring all the temperature/humidity stats of my various grow setups from my computer, recording it for records, better analysis of optimal conditions, etc. I already control all my lights, humidifiers and vent fans from the computer, so combined with data collection it would be a pretty sweet setup.

    I imagine this kind of thing exists for greenhouses, etc. High priced, specialized modules, etc. I have seen some gadgets to wirelessly report back such data- but they sell for many hundreds of dollars each.

    So, i'm trying to find out two things:
    1- What is the state-of-the art for those lucky few who have both professional greenhouse setups and lots of cash, and want to monitor things. I realize that may not cover anyone here..
    2- Is there any option that i've missed (besides DIY) that will do this at less ridiculous prices

    Any input, ideas would be appreciated. Someday i will have a setup like this, so i figure i might as well start now rather than spend the money on separate combo thermometers/hygrometers.
    There's no 'a' in perlite.

    My Growlist
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  2. #2

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    Have you considered a weather station with PC interface? Although they obviously record more than you need; I think most let you buy additional temp/hygro sensors for relatively cheap (like $30). I would assume that the additional sensor data can also be sent to the PC (and many will let you write the data to a webpage or text file); but you should e-mail them before buying.

    Here's two lists of products I found on a brief search:

    Oregon Scientific weather stations

    La Crosse Tech

    You can often find much better prices on eBay or www.froogle.com; although the basic setups tend to be a minimum of $200 purchase.

    Cool idea, by the way.

    -Ben

  3. #3
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    Question

    That sounds like somthing I would like to do. What kinds of programs do you use to turn the switches.

  4. #4

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    You could use X10 modules to control stuff. A command-line program for X10 modules can be downloaded from here; and you can then use batch files, Windows scheduling, or scripts to control equipment based on the output from sensors or on time of day.

    -Ben

  5. #5

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    Yup, i use X10 modules. Please don't buy them from the company X-10 (not to be confused with the open X10 protocol- the company has a bad habit of poor quality merchandise and obnoxious advertising. You can get the modules at Radio Shack (They have their own name for it - Power House, or something like that). The modules from different companies are all compatible, but not all are made equal.

    There is a free program called Mister House and there're also the nice HAL products from automatedliving.com. I have been using HAL Advanced so far, but i'm trying to set up my Linux dual-boot to handle the control, because HAL seems to destabilize my system, and has to run as a user program. The advantage of the HAL programs is you get voice recognition and voice synthesis. You can even get a module that lets you call in (or pick up your house phone) and give commands to turn things off/on.

    In order to control X10 modules from a computer, you need a powerline interface module. One comes with all the HAL packages, or you can get one of your own. Some of them allow analog or digital inputs, and could perhaps be used to collect some data.

    I have seen some of the various weather station systems with wireless detectors, and they do seem to be the only affordable approach, but as you point out, they're not exactly tailored for this use. The remote modules seems to be larger and more expensive than ideal.

    Well, if i find a better alternative, i'll let you know.
    There's no 'a' in perlite.

    My Growlist
    NECPS.org - New England CP growers unite!

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