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Miniature Test Leads – which ones work best for my projects July 20, 2019

Posted by rik94566 in adafruit, agponics.com, aquaponic automation, aquaponic systems, DIY aquaponics, indoor aquaponics, Instructables, internet of farming, Internet-of-Farming, IoT aquaponics, rik kretzinger, rik.diy.IOT, rik94566.
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I wanted to move away from alligator clips because they were much large when working with small gauge wire.  They did not work for me in very small areas.  So was looking for a better solution.  Found this miniature test leads at Jameco Electronics when I was picking up an order, they were a good solution for me.

TEST LEADS - JAMECO

When first using these miniature test leads they worked very well.  But after a little time using these leads and problems surfaced.  The problem was that they were cheaply made.  The connection of the wire and the metal insert probe would break off without much stress placed on them.  One or two is understandable, but 5 out of 10 was not the experience I was looking for.

When doing a search for a new product on the Adafruit site I found these test leads

Test Leads – Adafruit

TEST LEADS - adafruit

These leads are a little larger than the Jameco test leads, but still were small enough for my use.  Construction and connections were of high quality and work perfectly and held up with repeated use.  So these are my new go to test leads for my development efforts.  They will be seen in a number of up coming Instructables that I am working on and all my testing of sensors and connectors.

 

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WATER LEVEL INDICATOR – AQUAPONICS quest for a useful one September 13, 2018

Posted by rik94566 in adafruit, aquaponic automation, aquaponics, Balcony Garden, DIY aquaponics, Instructables, internet of farming, IoT aquaponics, rik kretzinger, rik94566, sensor, Uncategorized.
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THE PROBLEM IN AQUAPONICS  for me —

Up to this point I have wanted to have a simple, but effective water level indicator sensor for the water level in the Balcony Garden fish tank component of the build – that works!

Aquaponic Sensor Set for Balcony Garden  — see section on ultrasonic sensor

I spent a lot of time working with and trying to stabilize a ultrasonic solution.

First off these sensors are not waterproof ( the waterproof version is around $85.00 US  Waterproof version).  The non-waterproof versions run around $5.00 US.  So this would seem the best way to go and work to make it work by using some waterproofing strategies.  Hard to do when working in an aquaponic environment.

Ultrasonic Sensor – Amazon

Next they are very hard to mount in a way that they can be useful to determining water level in a tank.  There are a lot of instructables talking about this aspect for these sensors and even more youtube articles, but most if not all are just demos and breadboard applications.  No real useful solutions that really can be implemented in a scalable way.

Final issue is that I have yet to be able to stabilize these sensors and have wasted a lot of time trying to get them to be reliable in a usable way.

SOLUTION – find a better method or be able to purchase one that actually gets the job done in a simple and affordable and scalable way.

 

Ultra-sonic sensor - instructable

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.

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