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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.

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Cilantro — aquaponics June 4, 2011

Posted by rik94566 in aquaponics, arduino, Cilantro, Crop, DIY aquaponics.
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I have read on a lot of blogs how hard cilantro is to grow when you start from seed.  So I thought I would give it a try.  I was planning to redesign my unit by mid summer so I only want a crop the would time out by then.  Cilantro was the perfect choice as when temperatures go over 70 degrees the plants will bolt (start to flower).  That is OK in my case as I wanted to see what the flowers look like and if the plants would generate seeds.  Cilantro seeds are called Coriander spice.  To get it all going I purchased a package of cilantro seed from Johnny Seeds.  All I did was open the package and spread out in the gravel bed and move the gravel around to cover up the seeds.  You  can see below my results.  I think Cilantro does well in the aquaponic environment.

Ciltantro 6 weeks growth from seed

Different view of 6 week growth

10 week growth from seed

Temp Probe – DS18B20 — 2 wire configuration and tested May 12, 2011

Posted by rik94566 in aquaponic automation, aquaponics, arduino, DIY aquaponics, DS18B20, indoor aquaponics, indoor gardens, sensor, Stainless Steel Temp Probe, Standards, Temperature Probe.
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In so many cases there is never just one solution to a situation.  So is the case here.  DS18B20 can be connected using only a two wire configuration.  If you want to cut down on wire or have only two wires to work with the mission can be accomplished

2-wire configuration

In the 2-wire configuration the resistor is connected to the signal (YELLOW)  lead from the probe and connected with the resistor in between the power (RED) side of the arduino.  The arduino signal wire  (YELLOW) connection is taken off the signal side of the resistor.

When the sketch test is run, results are generated as expected.

2-wire configuration - correct readings from sketch

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DS18B20 – Temp Probe — connections on wrong side of resistor May 10, 2011

Posted by rik94566 in aquaponic automation, aquaponics, arduino, DIY aquaponics, DS18B20, indoor aquaponics, indoor gardens, indoor growing, sensor, Stainless Steel Temp Probe, Standards, Temperature Probe.
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If your connections are wrong when working with the Stainless Steel Probe the  read out results will not make sense.  One possible mistake can be if you connect the signal wire (yellow wire) to the power side (red wire) of the resistor.

Signal connection on power side of resistor

This connection configuration will lead to the following results using the testing sketch in post on 5/8/2011.

Results from signal connection on power side of resistor

LED light order came March 11, 2011

Posted by rik94566 in Duckweed, indoor aquaponics, indoor duckweed growing, indoor gardens, indoor growing, LED growing, LED lights, sunshine systems.
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I have been looking for an LED light source to play around with.  It came today.  It has gotten good reviews and does not generate any heat while operating.  I was surprised how light in weight is was.  It is easy to connect and will be fun to work with on my new portable system that I have in my garage.  I will be blogging about that soon.  Good thing tomorrow is Friday, I will have the weekend to get it mounted and get started on my duckweed growing.