jasemilly
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2012 12:21 pm

Re: Greenhouse Automation

Thu Mar 15, 2012 1:58 pm

I see a few enteries on here for home automation, my idea is simaliar. but for a greenhouse.

Opening windows, water and lights.

could anyone recomend a cheap usb I/O controller that would be suitable.

I have a very little linux experience and less c++,but have.  But have a bit home automation expierence in vb.

I would be learning everthing from the ground up, but think it would be fun and interesting project and interested how much it would cost by salvaging or butchering as many parts as possible.

any thoughts and ideas really welcome, it's the I/O part that puzzles me the most at this point.

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SN
Posts: 1012
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2012 8:06 pm
Location: Romiley, UK
Contact: Website

Re: Greenhouse Automation

Thu Mar 15, 2012 4:00 pm

I like this one.

You need to find a little board you can power/control servo stepper motors and read microswitch settings or similar - let me know when you find it because I'm interested too (not for a greenhouse but the principle still stands)

The answer may be a Gertboard plus a set of canned wiring designs/schematics
Steve N – binatone mk4->intellivision->zx81->spectrum->cbm64->cpc6128->520stfm->pc->raspi ?

Hairlocks
Posts: 38
Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2012 9:35 pm

Re: Greenhouse Automation

Thu Mar 15, 2012 5:27 pm

For this you don't need the CPU power of the Raspberry PI but you do need ADC and control the Raspberry PI does not give you.

I would recommend the arduino, there are people of have already done want you want to do, and there are lots of libaries so you don't need to reinvent the wheel. Like the 1-wire temperture sensors libaries, etc..

hzrnbgy
Posts: 106
Joined: Mon Dec 26, 2011 10:55 pm

Re: Greenhouse Automation

Fri Mar 16, 2012 9:27 am

I had been working on this kind of project for a while.  I already made some custom wireless boards and expansion board for the Pandaboard. It should be easy to port to the RPi as both talks via serial only, no fancy driver needed.

Here's a screenshot of the Pandaboard with the wireless expansion board I built



the green board is the custom wireless board I built. It has a cheap 2.4GHz wireless transceiver. The LCDs are for testing the firmware only



these are some wireless nodes you can deploy throughout





these wireless nodes has their own microcontroller and talk to the Pandaboard wirelessly. they have PWM out (for servos, dimmable lighting, etc), ADC input (temperature, humidity, etc), GPIO (relays, motion sensors) and standard MCU communication (SPI, UART, I2C) ports. In essence, you can add custom boards of your liking to the nodes since they have standard communication peripherals. Again, I had some LEDs in them for testing the wireless component.

The boards are still beta but they now work, I already had the firmware programmed in the MCU.

I had use wireless transceivers instead since I don't want to rework the house with new wiring for node communication. I didn't consider Wifi or Zigbee as the modules are very expensive ($18 for Zigbee and $30 for Wifi). The one Im using costs only $1.5 a pop (I ordered like 50 of them).

I had built some custom app for it in Android





Im pretty much done with hardware and software but the Pandaboard for such simple webserving is a little expensive. The pandaboard runs some apache/PHP to serve data to the android app I made.

Im looking forward for the RPi to lower the cost of the system. It should be very easy to port as the custom board uses serial only which the RPi supports natively

If you like soldering 0805 SMD components and 0.8mm pitch MCU, I could send you a couple of my extra boards for testing and developing you software

Let me know. Maybe we can start something good and revolutionary

jasemilly
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2012 12:21 pm

Re: Greenhouse Automation

Fri Mar 16, 2012 10:59 am

Thanks for the replies this has been a little project I have wanted to do for sometime.  I will do some more research and as I find things out I shall update this thread!!!

now for my other idea......

alcer123
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2012 5:39 am

Re: Greenhouse Automation

Wed Apr 25, 2012 6:37 pm

hzrnbgy, I would love to talk about your project. I have been working with some projects that can be exported to Mexico, and yours got my attention because I have a lot of friends that their business is green houses for growing flowers (big business close to Mexico City). I think we could come up with something useful. Let's talk about it. alcer123atgmaildotcom

I am a Linux fanatic and like doing everything on Linux, and my goal is build businesses around open source applications.

Thanks, form Oregon, USA

hzrnbgy
Posts: 106
Joined: Mon Dec 26, 2011 10:55 pm

Re: Greenhouse Automation

Thu Apr 26, 2012 4:19 am

Seems like a good idea to me. All I have to do pretty much is re-design the board to plug into the RPi but as far as software goes, it uses standard serial port. I'm pretty sure the RPi can run apache/mysql as that's what I have running to handle logging/control/user interface. The only thing I have problem is actually powering up the wireless modules. It's entirely application dependent so if you can give me an idea about how its going to be deployed, i can whip out a new prototype board for that and maybe tweak some software here and there.

I have built the project with cost in mind from the beginning. I could have gone for some standard wireless protocol (like zigbee or wifi) but the modules are really expensive compared to what I'm using right now ($1.50 a pop).

If anything, just hit me up here in the thread. I'm not really on the business side of things but I'm happy to share what I can do.

piface
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2012 3:03 pm

Re: Greenhouse Automation

Tue May 15, 2012 9:31 am

hzrnbgy, could you post more details about the wireless units? Sounds cheap and useful.

freekeys
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed May 09, 2012 2:38 pm

Re: Greenhouse Automation

Tue May 15, 2012 1:22 pm

hzrnbgy wrote: I have built the project with cost in mind from the beginning. I could have gone for some standard wireless protocol (like zigbee or wifi) but the modules are really expensive compared to what I'm using right now ($1.50 a pop).

If anything, just hit me up here in the thread. I'm not really on the business side of things but I'm happy to share what I can do.
Hi hzrnbgy,

I'd love to hear a bit more about these wireless modules, I too have been struggling planning a project around low cost whilst weighing up zigbee vs wifi, so any information on how I could drive these costs down would be fantastic!

Do these modules work with Arduino also?

Thanks :)

hzrnbgy
Posts: 106
Joined: Mon Dec 26, 2011 10:55 pm

Re: Greenhouse Automation

Tue May 15, 2012 8:21 pm

These wireless modules use SPI to communicate with an MCU so it will work with everything that supports SPI. Since I'm using xmega (arduino's bigger brother MCU), it should work perfectly with an arduino (except that most Arduino boards are 5V even though the AVR chip itself supports down to 2.7V). The module only works with 1.9V to 3.3V so you will need a level converter.

It does not support any wireless communication protocol though, that you would have to implement yourself. But the programming is fairly straight forward (once you read the datasheet).

I got it from these place
http://www.hoperf.com/

Bought bulk then (80 modules) since shipping is kinda expensive. I've already used up half of it for some various projects (with AVR, mbed, pandaboards, custom boards, etc).

I believe the ebay popular nFR240+ is using the same chip as these modules.

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patrikg
Posts: 168
Joined: Sun Mar 18, 2012 10:19 pm

Re: Greenhouse Automation

Tue May 15, 2012 8:56 pm

How about the swedish company telldus, and there tellstick ??
I am using a "tellstick duo", on "debian os" "guruplug arm" plug.

Working very well.

http://www.telldus.se

hc08jb8
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue May 15, 2012 3:07 pm

Re: Greenhouse Automation

Wed May 16, 2012 3:33 am

hzrnbgy wrote:
I got it from these place
http://www.hoperf.com/

Bought bulk then (80 modules) since shipping is kinda expensive. I've already used up half of it for some various projects (with AVR, mbed, pandaboards, custom boards, etc).
What is the part no? they seem to have a few types? Also any intention to host your project details somewhere? I am looking into home automation as well.

freekeys
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed May 09, 2012 2:38 pm

Re: Greenhouse Automation

Wed May 16, 2012 10:12 am

@hzrnbgy - Thanks, this looks pretty much ideal for me. I'm thinking of setting up multiple arduinos around the house (curtain open/close, LEDs, temp/humidity sensors etc.) feeding back into a RasPi via these modules. What is their range?

Also, +1 on @hc08jb8's comments on part number/more project details - both would be awesome

hzrnbgy
Posts: 106
Joined: Mon Dec 26, 2011 10:55 pm

Re: Greenhouse Automation

Wed May 16, 2012 8:03 pm

I have the RFM70. They're good to around 50 ft (maybe more for direct line of sight). I've somehow developed a very crude meshing protocol that lets a node pass message to the nodes around it. It is still very basic and requires an MCU with bigger SRAM (obviously to store routing data).

But I got it to work with an attiny2313 with 128 byte SRAM and a DS18B20 temperature sensor. Good enough for periodic measurement of temperature around the house.

I have a bunch of unused boards that can take the wireless module + an xmega16 or lpc1113 cortexM0 MCU. I have like 5 extra to spare If you like one of them. But you need an AVR Dragon to program the xmega or an LPCXpresso board for the cortexM0 version. If you want one, let me know. I can give it to you for very low price (1.50 for module, 2.0 for the MCU + shipping) but you would have to buy the programmers. It comes with 4 LEDs (for testing) too. I can provide you a working code that can talk to an arduino (sans the voltage translation) or anything that has 3.3V UART port (like the RPi).

https://www.box.com/s/134dcc45664574f97e35

As you can see in the picture, the board can take an xmega or cortexM0 because I designed it to be a prototype board to save money ($10 for 10 boards) and you have pins that can output PWM, serial, or I2C that can talk to any other MCU. I'm working on a different board now that can incorporate some other sensors and a character LCD.

stijn.ghesquiere
Posts: 27
Joined: Sat May 19, 2012 9:44 pm

Re: Greenhouse Automation

Sun May 20, 2012 8:10 pm

I'm testing my raspberry pi as greenhouse controller at the moment.
I first build an io-system around a PIC 18F452. I added a 4 channel I2C ad converter, and use power mosfets to drive stuff. I also added two solid state relais for controlling the heavy power stuff (heating).
I connected this PIC microcontroller board with the raspberry pi through an USB to serial connection.
Once that was up and running, I coded a network socket (TCP) based controller in Python and implemented a PID temperature algorithm. My program uses multiprocessing to enable spawning new sockets on request.
This configuration allows me to add all kind of programs that communicate with the main program through sockets to control lights, ventilation, dehumidifiers etc. This means that the programs that connect through the sockets can run on the pi itself, as well on other computers. Even more, I can program them in other languages as well, as long as they can open a network socket.
The socket approach is kind of fail safe as a subprocess controlling a socket can crash without disturbing the main program. Something I really wanted, as an out-of-control greenhouse automation is no fun.
I'm not sure if this is what you have in mind, but of so, I can send you my code. I do think there are many option in order to control sensors and relais. Perhaps something like the gertboard and likes can help you out.

gigiwwa
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Sep 30, 2012 11:20 pm

Re: Greenhouse Automation

Sun Sep 30, 2012 11:22 pm

Found this might be useful, ... :
http://www.zen35309.zen.co.uk/wx/tech.html

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