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Make Magazine – digital release of vol 47 — September 22, 2015

Posted by rik94566 in DIY aquaponics, internet of farming, rik kretzinger, rik94566.
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I learned that Make Magazine vol 47 is now on-line.

So here is the link for review:

MAKEZINE – vol 47

make 47

It is my understanding that the Projects pages link has not been activated as yet.  This is where details of the build can be found.

Arduino Sketches are found there as well.

But understand it is only starting code that will be added to and developed as time goes on.  Right now the UNO sketches only handles a timer functionality.  As people build the Gardens and report back their code updates I will be posting them here for all of us to learn from.

There is also a IoT Sketch using the code generated by Temboo that sends a SMS message system that again is starting code.

I have to point out that I DO NOT support the sketches from a technical perspective they are purely for reference and a starting point for people to use and develop on there own.  As I build out the interface on the project I will be posting code and sketches that work and would be of interest to the readers of this BLOG.

Also I have released some Instructables that support the article from a build perspective.  More are to come as they are developed or change made in the design of the Balcony Garden.

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BALCONY GARDEN – diy aquaponic system — Published in MAKE MAGAZINE this issue September 21, 2015

Posted by rik94566 in auqaponics automation, Balcony Garden, DIY aquaponics, internet of farming, rik94566.
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First article published in Make Magazine vol. 47
DIY aquaponic Balcony Garden — my copy came today!

Make sure and read it!

make article

Temboo — aquaponic “HELLO WORLD” equivalent June 1, 2015

Posted by rik94566 in agponics.com, aquaponic automation, aquaponics, aquaponics electronics, Balcony aquaponics, internet of farming, Internet-of-Farming, rik94566.
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With the help of Temboo – my aquaponic Balcony Unit generated its first TEXT Message:

SMS

MESSAGE IS:

aquaponic Balcony Unit grow bed now filling.

Technology is complicated — May 8, 2015

Posted by rik94566 in Controlled Environment Agriculture, DIY aquaponics, Electronic Componets, indoor aquaponics, IoT aquaponics, Temperature Probe.
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I say this because I will be displaying my aquaponic – IoT – Balcony Unit  at Maker Faire next week in San Mateo.  To accomplish the IoT part of the build I have to use technology that allows for internet communication thus IoT!  Well there are many options available to accomplish this task – some not so easy and others not enough features to be effective for this project.

So my choice in this case is the Arduino YUN —

arduino yun

I made this choice because I had one (but had not used it as yet) and the fact that documentation on it is easy to find.  The other fact is that Temboo www.temboo.com uses the YUN as one of its options for their solution to the Internet of Things and I am working with them on this open source project so many others will be able to get up and running in short order and have simpler options to add additional capability based on the persons needs and I will not have to supply the customer support for any aspect of the code other than give everyone a stating point.
WELL –  that is where things got interesting.

Had to work through getting the YUN on the network of choice.  Not a big deal but it took some time and many attempts to get it dialed in because the Arduino instructions tell you to go to arduino.local to find the individual unit.  Well this only works about 60% of the time.  So the solution is to use the IP address of 192.168.24.1 now I could configure the thing to my liking.  Once configured it would not show up in the Arduino IDE at all.  Major issue for me as I had no idea if the unit configured or not.  I finally when on to my wireless router to see if the board was being recognized.  Had to dig out all the USER ID and PASSWORD info and then work through all the menus to determine what in fact was connected to the router.  There is was — YEA

Now I had to research out why it was not listed as a port option in my Arduino IDE.  Well after some time and deep research I found that Arduino IDE only works some times for the YUN on wireless.  So the uploading from Arudino IDE to the board is not an option as most of the YouTube videos demonstrate quite well.  This becomes an issue because I found out that as configured the YUN does not have enough on board memory, so a SD card is needed.

Using an SD card with the YUN requires that the card be format using the YUN.  To do that you need to know that the YUN is connected to the internet and working properly which is very hard to know if it is or not.

So once you know the YUN is connected and you have it connected through cable to your computer you need a file called ” YunDiskSpaceExpander” found on the Arduino site.  Once uploaded you access it through the Serial Monitor of the Arduino IDE.  If all goes well you answer a bunch of cryptic questions and bingo the thing kicks off.  Once do you have a formated YUN SD enabled board.

Now I am ready for the real fun stuff to generate code to be used through Temboo so I will have “Streaming Data” and text messaging in short order – lets hope!

The good news in all of this is that I will be documenting all of this for the instructions to the Balcony unit for all to use and save anyone interested in building one or gets a kit from me that will be up and running in short order.

See you all at Maker Faire next Saturday if you make it there!

aquaponic- IoT device — Balcony Garden March 10, 2015

Posted by rik94566 in aquaponic automation, aquaponics, Balcony aquaponics, Controlled Environment Agriculture, DS18B20.
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system view -1

aquaponic-IoT device — Balcony Garden

BALCONY AQUAPONIC GARDEN – IoT READY- DIY  or purchase materials locally and build —  by rik kretzinger

With all the interest around the world in aquaponics there are a number of creative units being developed for small spaces.  Many if not most of these solution do not address a number of issues that cause these units to end up on Craig’s List or in the trash at the end of the day. None of these solutions even address the automation aspect of aquaponics to take the stress out of operating a small unit effectively at an affordable price point and can be assembled safely by anyone interested in aquaponics.
 
AUTOMATION COMPONENTS:
1 – DHT-22 – Humidity and Temperature
2 – DS18B20 – 1 wire Temperature probes  (grow-bed and fish tank)
1 – Analog Float Switch in Fish Tank for water level tracking
1 – Analog Water Sensing Probe in grow bed for tracking water level and timing of cycles
4 – Relay Controlled outlets
1 – Master System Kill Relay – should anything go wrong with the unit
1 – Stainless Steel gravity feed Valve N/O – allows for precise control of cycle times and water level control in grow bed,
 
BALCONY GARDEN KIT FEATURE SET:
27 gallon fish tank
27 gallon grow bed – this allows for the aquaponic standard of 1:1 ratio of water to grow bed volumes be maintained for a healthy system
DIY Solids Filtration unit – allows for solid wast capture or removal and reuse in system
DIY Bio-Filter reactor – converts toxic fish waste to non-toxic plant fertilizer using moving bed media (big system component not found in any small systems)
Overflow Preventer – will not let any water to escape from your grow bed should you encounter a system problem
Root Clogging Preventer Mechanism  –  this is the problem no one talks about in aquaponics – roots clog everything – unless you plan for the problem
System power down – should a power failure occur
Air supply back-up for fish tank – should power failure occur
Plug-N-Play construction of kit
Once assembled and cycled easy to maintain.
Starter water – bacteria rich and ready to jump-start your system provided with the kit
Small footprint – big results
High percentage of materials can be locally sourced at a big box store and rest at Amazon if you want to do-it-yourself (DIY)
System allows for a high degree of control of the flood and drain cycles depending on what you are growing and environmental demands
Allows for expansion of sensor set and moving to solar back-up option in the future
Unit can be converted to off-grid applications easily – will require a different power configuration of components and equipment
Starting code for system on which ever micro-controller platform a person would like to use
system view -2
system view - 3

TOWER SYSTEM – set-up at Maker Faire 2014 May 22, 2014

Posted by rik94566 in adafruit, agponics.com, arduino, DIY aquaponics, DS18B20, Electronic Componets, indoor aquaponics, indoor gardens, indoor growing, Internet-of-Farming, IoT aquaponics, One-wire, Raspberry PI, Tower System, Tower Tubes.
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Maker Faire - 2014

EDITOR’S CHOICE – not once – but 3 times @ Maker Faire – WOW May 21, 2014

Posted by rik94566 in agponics.com, aquaponic automation, aquaponics, aquaponics electronics, arduino, DIY aquaponics, indoor aquaponics, indoor gardens, indoor growing, Internet-of-Farming, IoT aquaponics, Raspberry PI, sensor, Tower System.
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Very few displays achieve 3 EDITOR CHOICE AWARDS —

MAKER FAIRE - AWARD

Media Question – asked on youtube video comment section March 1, 2014

Posted by rik94566 in agponics.com, aquaponic automation, aquaponics, DIY aquaponics, Internet-of-Farming, IoT aquaponics.
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Here is a question that was asked:

media

media - 2

Pass through PORT – on agponic-MD February 3, 2014

Posted by rik94566 in agponic MD, agponicMD, agponics.com, aquaponic automation, aquaponics, aquaponics electronics, DIY aquaponics, indoor aquaponics, Internet-of-Farming, IoT aquaponics, Rj45 connector.
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One design feature on the agponicMD unit is the “pass through port”.

This is a tube that runs from the top of the grow bed and in front of the RJ-45 top junction connection box and then down into water tank or fish tank.

cap on

This ‘Pass through port” actually has 3 functions:

First Function —    is to allow the unit water tank or fish tank (if you have fish in it) to be filled with having to open the unit up.

Second Function  —   allow for your fish to be feed if you chose to add fish to the unit.  I like Cory cats myself in it Green Emerald’s add a nice color contrast .

Third Function  —  Really the main reason I needed one.  Being that these containers are sealed when fully locked down air cannot get into the bottom tank.  This causes a problem with the drain valve.  Water tank container will not allow draining from the grow bed container as a air is source needed to unlock the inside pressure of the closed container.

I did a youtube video on the subject.   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=odFwA7KqAJ0

cap off

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