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2013 in review December 31, 2013

Posted by rik94566 in agponics.com, aquaponic automation, aquaponics, aquaponics electronics, arduino, CEA, DIY aquaponics, Electronic Componets.
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2013 annual report for aquaponic DIY Automation blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 35,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 13 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.


agponic Tower — interface plates — 3 different templates needed November 12, 2013

Posted by rik94566 in agponics.com, aquaponic automation, aquaponics, aquaponics electronics, arduino, DIY aquaponics, Interface Plate, Internet-of-Farming, IoT aquaponics, sensor, Tower System.
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To build the tower base with all the sensors a interface plate is needed to prevent water from reaching the inter core of the tower base.  As it turns out 3 different templates are needed to accomplish the  task.


Here is what one looks like once it is completed  and ready to be installed into a tower base:


BEST COMMENT OF THE YEAR — from “Internet of Farming” September 16, 2013

Posted by rik94566 in agponics.com, aquaponic automation, aquaponics, aquaponics electronics, arduino, CEA, Controlled Environment Agriculture, Internet-of-Farming, IoT aquaponics.
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alexandre freire

alexandre freire 11 hours ago

I am a aquatic live system specialist, built systems around the world all sizes and types!

and I just want to say that you did impress me a lot!

you are a genius! this whole entire thing is wow!


Major Accomplishments Achieved August 6, 2013

Posted by rik94566 in 1-wire, agponics.com, arduino, Internet-of-Farming, IoT aquaponics.
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Well it has been a while since my last post.  For good reason.  I wanted to hold off posting for some big accomplishments to talk about and set up the direction I will be going with this blog into the future.


This will be my 100th post.  When I started this blog it was more an effort to explore ideas and concepts related to one small aspect of aquaponics and has now grown into a world wide effort from a number of neat people.


Have had my highest ever number of views on the blog and daily traffic has hit all time highs.

blog stats-rik


Will go over 50K view of the Internet-of-Farming this week!


IoT- Farming stat


Finishing of my    agponicMD (micro device).  I now have a fully functional aquaponic device that will allow me to test any and all scenarios that I want to.  This is a major big deal for me.   This allows me to actually achieve IoT on a personal level and be one of the first to reach a practical application that will help interest others in this area of farming and agriculture.  Without this blog and the comments from all you I would not have been able to get this far or learned so much.

Front view of the IoT micro device – shows pump / air stones / pH probe / heater /temp probes / media probes / float switch

md - twist

md-back side2


Internet-of-Farming July 5, 2013

Posted by rik94566 in agponics.com, aquaponic automation, aquaponics electronics, arduino, Cilantro, DIY aquaponics, IoT aquaponics.
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Just got featured on an international blog showing my aquaponic system and work I have been doing with aquaponic automation in ag related technologies. Getting close to 10,000 views on YouTube.

www.faircompanies.com source

system overview

Slide Switch – making it work for my need April 7, 2013

Posted by rik94566 in agponics.com, aquaponic automation, aquaponics, aquaponics electronics, arduino, DIY aquaponics, Uncategorized.
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First question is what is a “SLIDE SWITCH”?  Well they are very common.  Never thought I would need to know how they worked and how I was going to connected them up.  As it turns out I have two projects now that require them.  So now is the time to work out how to connect them up.

Here is what one looks like.  They are found in many electronic devices.

Slide Switch - blog2

Yet again in electronics you need to know what it is that you want.  There is not just on size fits all when it comes to “SLIDE SWITCHES”.  I thought this was going to be easy to get connected up.

Here are just a few of the options I had and decisions I had to make on such a small part.

SPDT – Single pole double throw

DPDT – Double pole double throw

SPST – Single pole single throw

SPDT Sub-mini

Heavy Duty Slide Switch

DPDT Right-Angle PCB Mount

These are just the options at Radio Shack.  Do an internet search and the options are endless (seems like).

To solve my problem I made a trip to Radio Shack and made a purchase to get started.

6-pack slide switch

Once I got them home I had to deal with picking between the option of 2-3-4-6 prongs to work with.  To solve this issue pulled out my multimeter and tested my options.

The end result I was after is to be able to  switch between external power and arduino power (parasite power) for my sensors.  The reason for this is some times I want to run external power, but when I am only testing a few sensors I just want to keep things simple and run off  arduino power.

The end result was use a DPDT Slide Switch. This required to use the 6 prong switch.

RELAY ORDER CAME — March 2, 2013

Posted by rik94566 in agponics.com, aquaponic automation, aquaponics, arduino, sensor, Yourduino.
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I reviewed my options on larger relay sets and picked the following ones from Yourduino site.

8 - relay board-2

4-relay board

I went with the Opto-Isolated units as they are much safer when using around water and 120 volt systems.  My plan is to build a 12 outlet controller portable unit. Don’t know what it will look as yet because the plan is still in mind I know I will have 8 relays configured to be in the closed mode and the other 4 relays will be in the open mode.  This I think will give me the most flexibility with all the items I want to control with this unit.

PRINTED — 3D part now printed and ready to use February 21, 2013

Posted by rik94566 in aquaponics, arduino, Rj45 connector, Sketch-UP.
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Well it has been a journey to print my first 3D item.  Here it is.

Front View of RJ-45 Socket

Front View of RJ-45 Socket

Here is a view of printed socket with parts that will actually be use in the final product and compared to my proto-type.

Printed part next to proto-type

Printed part next to prototype

Here is the actual cost break-down on the printing:

Printing costs

Printing costs

Now for the killer:  SHIPPING —-

The item was shipped from Oakland, CA to where I live only about 35 miles and went out UPS.  The thing weighs less than an oz or two!

ponoko shipping

Total came to $20.45.  At this rate the cost of a 3D printer is well within reach in the near future.  With all the things I want to create and print I can keep a 3D printer busy most of every day.

RJ-45 Jack insert development using Sketch-Up January 12, 2013

Posted by rik94566 in aquaponic automation, aquaponics, arduino, DIY aquaponics, Rj45 connector.
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Being that I have gone with RJ-45 jacks as a standard for all my aquaponics systems I need a way to connect everything together.  The problem I was having is that all the jack insert plates are standard switch plate or phone jack block mounting units and hard to fit into some automation designs.  So I built a prototype of what I wanted out of materials I had laying around my shop.  It is very rough and not the finished product I was looking for.

RJ-45 Jack head on arduino case

RJ-45 Jack head on arduino case

This prototype gave me a good idea of what I needed to make this work and is a good starting platform for future cases to work with my systems that I have on the drawing board.  I had been looking for a project to help me learn Sketch-Up.  Sketch-up is a 3-D drawing program to do design work with and allows models developed to be printed on 3-D printers.  So here I go to make this happen.  I am not going to go into all the steps needed on how to install or use Sketch-Up here (you will need to figure this out on your own).

So the most basic element of the project is the individual RJ-45 insert jack.  Next step was to get a visual of what this would look like in the real world.  I need to visualize my projects before I can build them.  The first step was to figure out how I could get a handle on a working model.  I started with a single RJ-45 switch plate and moved forward from there.  All of this I purchased at Home Depot.

Starting Point for visual model

A Starting Point for visual model

This now gave me a working model that I could pull measurements from.  This proved to be harder than I thought and has taken me well over 6 months to get working.  I have had many starts and stops when I have hit learning curve deficits.   In other words me lacking the Sketch-Up skills to pull this project off.  I have done a lot of work with VISIO in the past.  But, when you jump from a 2-D drawing tools to 3-D drawing programs the learning curve is steep and well worth the effort as you will see in future posts.   At least I think so.

Cut away view of the jack insert socket

Cut away view of the jack insert socket

Visual of the size I am working with for this model

Visual of the size I am working with for this model

VACATION OVER — time to get back to work August 2, 2012

Posted by rik94566 in aquaponics, arduino, DIY aquaponics.
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Well I have had a break.  Now I have a list of things to blog about and get ready for the World Wide Aquaponics Conference.  This will keep me busy well into the winter to get it all done in advance of next years growing season.  In California that’s never to far off.