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Connector Box on agponic-MD February 2, 2014

Posted by rik94566 in 1-wire, agponic MD, agponicMD, agponics.com, aquaponic automation, aquaponics, aquaponics electronics, arduino, DIY aquaponics, DS18B20, Float Sensor, Float Switch, indoor aquaponics, Internet-of-Farming, IoT aquaponics, One-wire, Rj45 connector, Slide Switch, Stainless Steel Temp Probe, SUGRU.
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A big part of the aquaponic simulator is the fact that it uses standard RJ-45 jacks to interface with Arduino’s or a Raspberry PI.  Having this type setup helps keep all the wires and connectors that are required for the unit to operate in a consistent manor safe and out of possible interaction with water elements.

Here is what is needed to construct this sub-assembly:

box MD

When all the above parts come together the finished product looks like this:

Plate - RJ45

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Re-Design of agponic-MD January 29, 2014

Posted by rik94566 in agponic MD, agponicMD, agponics.com, aquaponic automation, aquaponics, aquaponics electronics, DS18B20, Float Sensor, Float Switch, indoor aquaponics, IoT aquaponics, One-wire.
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agponicsMDAfter much thinking about how I could improve the desktop aquaponic automation simulator called agponic-MD (micro-device) I built a new one.  It helps to have people that wanted to purchase a few of them.  So I got busy and made it a bit  larger with expansion capability for future components like a 12V backup system  and additional sensors to learn how to automate.  Here is the feature set for the re-designed agponic-MD.

agponic MD
Fully valved for water movement and control
Large grow bed and  tank configuration
1 – water pump to drive unit

4 – water level control sensors
1 – RH and temp internal probe
3 – temp probes (grow bed / water tank / outside)
1 – water flow sensor
1 – pH probe and connectors
1 – DO or additional probe expansion options for future growth of unit
1 – controllable drain port
1 – grow bed media package to fit grow bed (comes from an established grow bed – so bacteria included)
1 – Container of starter water from an active system ( should you like to cycle the system)
1 – outside tank temp indicator
1 – Heater for tank water
1 – Air pump and stone

3 – Grow Pockets for holding plants
5 – Grow sponges for starting seeds and fit into grow pockets
3 – RJ-45 testing cable – for test jacks and sensor connectivity
Back-up air stone and supply option for expansion
Power cords to connect up valves and electrical items
Arduino or Raspberry Pi ready  — (can connect up to either one depending on situation)
Over flow configuration to prevent spillage in grow bed
RJ-45 control boxes that allows outside connection to micro-controller option using standard RJ-45 jacks
Switching External or micro-controller power configuration (depends on sensor power requirements)
EXPANSION CAPABILITY:
2 Additional RJ-45 jacks for sensor expansion
Connection port for DO Sensor to be added at future date (once developed)
e-Tape Sensor expansion
Capacity for adding fully functional 12V back-up system with TXT message notification via off-grid technology
======================================
With this new design it will allow me to have 3 different price points for the educational markets going forward.
Here is the difference in the lite version and the MD unit –  a pro version will also be available in the near future and I will post the feature set for it in a few days now that I have if finalized.
lite-MD visual

What is an aquaponic device for IoT-aquaponics June 11, 2013

Posted by rik94566 in agponics.com, aquaponic automation, DIY aquaponics, DS18B20, Float Switch, IoT aquaponics, One-wire.
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Aquaponic devices can come in many sizes and shapes.  There are simple and complex devices as with all technologies.

The most simple aquaponic device would be a temp probe connected up to an Arduino with the data generated being sent out to a Cloud service like Xively/Cosm/Pachube or ThingSpeak via ethernet or wireless connection.

I am working on a more complex aquaponic device right now that will contain the following sensor set:

pH sensor

3 – DS18B20 probes

1 – Flow meter

3 – media sensors

1 – Float Switch

1 – Humidity and Temp probe (DHT-22)

3 – gravity feed valves controlled by relays

1 – air pump controlled by relay (in N/O) configuration

1 – back-up air pump that turns on if electric goes out

1 – heater controlled by relays driven by temp reading being generated by the DS18B20 probes.

This device will be my proto-type to test sensor configurations and try new sensors out.  It will allow me to gain an understanding of how all this IoT technology comes together and can actually perform work with out me having to constantly watch my system.  I would like to be in Hawaii and just have my iPhone alert me when an event is out of range.  Then I could make the necessary adjustments over my Aquaponic API software and be done with it while at the beach.

10,000 views surpassed on Instructables June 11, 2011

Posted by rik94566 in aquaponic automation, aquaponics, arduino, CAT 5 Cable, Crop, DIY aquaponics, DS18B20, Float Sensor, Float Switch, general, Glow Panel 45, Gravity feed valves, Hacks, indoor aquaponics, indoor gardens, indoor growing, Instructables, LED growing, LED lights, plumbing, POW-Rduino, Rj45 connector, sensor, Sensor Hub, Stainless Steel Temp Probe, Standards, sunshine systems, Suppliers, Temperature Probe, Yield Results.
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I have written 3 instructables  over the last 2 years.  I have just gone over 10,000 views.  Never thought I would every have had that many views with only 3 instructions.  Always good to know people are interested in what I am interested in.

Passed 10,000 views

SUGRU – fills in the holes June 7, 2011

Posted by rik94566 in aquaponic automation, aquaponics, CAT 5 Cable, DIY aquaponics, DS18B20, Float Sensor, Float Switch, Hacks, Home Depot, indoor aquaponics, indoor gardens, indoor growing, Rj45 connector, sensor, Sensor Hub, Stainless Steel Temp Probe, Standards, SUGRU, Suppliers, Temperature Probe.
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Now that I have working Sensors on a standardized connection platform (CAT 5 & RJ45).  I need to figure out how to use off the shelf housings that will be plug-n-play for my aquaponic units.  The problem is that nothing is water resistant and they all have lots of openings.  That is because most if not all are for indoor use.  All the outdoor options are to large for my applications.  So I went with a standard indoor 2-Port QuickPort I purchased at Home Depot.

Leviton 2-Port Surface Mount Housing

With a little help from SUGRU I was able to fill in the holes and can now mount the completed unit on my aquatubes.  This will allow me to cover all my sensor connections and transition over to RJ45 connectors.

Here is what I started with:

Starting Housing

Here is what it looked like before assembly:

Openings filled before assembly - Inside look

Bottom View

Here is the completed assembly:

Back View of Completed Assembly

Front View of Completed Assembly

How the openings match-up:

Opening that match-up

Now I am ready to connect up the sensors and mount the completed assembly on the aquatubes hook-up my CAT 5 and I am ready to sense all inputs.  O yes, I need some White SUGRU to make it look better.  I am placing my order today!

RJ45 Sensor Hub June 7, 2011

Posted by rik94566 in aquaponic automation, aquaponics, arduino, CAT 5 Cable, DIY aquaponics, DS18B20, Float Switch, Hacks, indoor aquaponics, indoor gardens, indoor growing, sensor, Sensor Hub, Standards, Temperature Probe.
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Now that I have established my standard for sensor connections I will need build the hub to hook up the sensors.  So I build a 2 connector RJ45 jack hub to test the sensors that I build.  This hub will allow me to test different sensor configurations and arduino sketches for test sensors  as I develop them.

Here is what it looks like.

RJ45 Sensor Hub Connector

End view of terminals

I have marked the terminals on both ends so there can be no confusion as to what connections are being used.  Make sure you have test all the connections with your multimeter.  That way you know for sure everything is working before you start testing situations with sensors.

Float Switch — values returned August 24, 2010

Posted by rik94566 in aquaponics, arduino, Float Switch.
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Knowing the values returned from the switch makes it possible to write a Sketch using these values to accomplish the task of turning a pump on or off.  Being that this is a switch only two states occur.  ON or OFF.  We will now determine the values for the ON State and the OFF State.

Three things need to happen in order to generate values from the Float Switch.

1.  Arduino Sketch needs to be developed and load on to the arduino

2  Reading taken in the OFF state or bottom of the switch.

3. Reading taken in the ON state or top of the switch.

ARDUINO SKETCH DEVELOPED:

Sketch to test for values

// Sketch to determine values for FLOAT SWITCH

int FLOAT = 0;
int float_val;

void setup(){
Serial.begin(9600);    // open serial port

}

void loop() {
float_val = analogRead(FLOAT);   // read value from FLOAT switch
Serial.print(“Float Switch reads “);
Serial.println(float_val);
delay(5000);

}

Reading from the lowest level of the Float Switch:

Lowest leavel reading

Reading from the higest level of the Float Switch:

High level reading

We now know the values in the ON and OFF States of the Float Switch.

It is now possible to use this switch to control water levels and perform work functions.