The Virtual Crib - Home Automation Software Forum Index
RegisterSearchFAQMemberlistUsergroupsLog in
Hydroponics

 
Reply to topic    The Virtual Crib - Home Automation Software Forum Index » Virtual Crib general discussion View previous topic
View next topic
Hydroponics
Author Message
jewish_sausage



Joined: 04 Jun 2009
Posts: 13

Post Hydroponics Reply with quote
Hello,

As in my previous post, I am having problems starting this program; hopefully someone can assist me and have it quickly rectified.

My main purpose in using your program is to automate a mini hydrogarden I plan to start up in the next few months after some training I have to undergo: it will hopefully save me money in terms of food costs.

My hopes is that I first automate this, then move on to the rest of my living quarters later on.

I was viewing this website http://nft.ellams.com/blog/index.php in which he uses housebot as the controller program: I opted not to use it due to its cost. vCrib seems to offer much more potential functionality than housebot.

If you read his page, he makes a 3rd part program to talk to housebot and hardware that housebot can't read.

After setting up the basics where I will use standard equitment for lighting, timing and pump control: i hope to move on to more complex devices like reading the PH of the water and water speed (i.e. how much water is being emptied per litter into the drain bucket). All of this would insure that there is no backup in the water drain. Would I need to start learning a programming langague in order to intergrate unique sensors (PH sensor, water speed sensor ) to this program? If so, what programming language is a good start?

I graduated from college a few months ago and did take 1 required programming course. I learned to program in java; however, the class emphasized solving computer science, theory land problems (i.e. the fastest way to search a database of one million names, how to quickly index), not the practical things like making a program and GUI interface, having a program talk to seemingly unrelated programs, such as how to get the readings of a PH meter to display on program like housebot/vcrib with a GUI interface or as this individual did http://nft.ellams.com/blog/index.php, how to have his hardware normally not supported by housebot to display temp/humidity readings?
Thu Jun 04, 2009 8:01 pm View user's profile Send private message
hobbes487



Joined: 10 Oct 2007
Posts: 268
Location: Boston, MA

Post Reply with quote
Welcome to vCrib!

I think using vCrib to automate a hydrogarden would awesome. I don't think anyone here has done anything like that yet, but I am sure it can be done.

As far as adding support for new hardware, it is pretty simple. There is a vCrib API that can be used. Al you would need to do is write a program that communicates with your hardware and then the API will communicate with vCrib. To use the API you will need to choose a .NET language like C# or VB.net. I use C# for the apps I have created.

_________________
Brian
Thu Jun 04, 2009 8:58 pm View user's profile Send private message AIM Address Yahoo Messenger MSN Messenger
hobbes487



Joined: 10 Oct 2007
Posts: 268
Location: Boston, MA

Post Reply with quote
I looked at the website you linked to a little and it looks like he is using X10 and 1-wire devices. vCrib already supports X10 and 1-wire should be pretty simple to add. I am actually looking into adding support for it soon. I just need to get some hardware to test with.

_________________
Brian
Thu Jun 04, 2009 9:01 pm View user's profile Send private message AIM Address Yahoo Messenger MSN Messenger
jewish_sausage



Joined: 04 Jun 2009
Posts: 13

Post Reply with quote
I see.

I will be borrowing some books and browsing youtube for some video tutorials on how to program using C# and VB.

Yeah, since I will be extremely busy in the next couple months, automation will be key when i setup my indoor garden. As you said, the foundation layed by vCrib is quite versitile and will probably serve most of my needs without the need to get into the nidy gridy of programing. Things I will have problems are getting data from the sensor to display in vCrib (i.e. tempreture, water level and if I can get the proper sensor, PH level): currently, building that bridge via programing seems daunting.
Thu Jun 04, 2009 9:20 pm View user's profile Send private message
CribKeeper
Site Admin


Joined: 09 Aug 2007
Posts: 653
Location: Overland Park, KS

Post Reply with quote
If you use Phidgets, they have ph sensors, humidity, temperature, light, and others.

You shouldn't have to code anything. If you get any sensor that publishes an API or example source, we can usually integrate it without too much pain.


Vaughn

_________________
the Crib Keeper
www.vcrib.com
Thu Jun 04, 2009 11:48 pm View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
CribKeeper
Site Admin


Joined: 09 Aug 2007
Posts: 653
Location: Overland Park, KS

Post Reply with quote
Foxcom or something like that makes a replacement for the W800RF that does 1-wire too.

I should support those and I think they have api's out. I will look again sometime, I would love to have 1-wire temps around the house...

Vaughn

_________________
the Crib Keeper
www.vcrib.com
Thu Jun 04, 2009 11:50 pm View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Humanzee



Joined: 22 Aug 2007
Posts: 519
Location: Seattle, WA

Post Reply with quote
If you are looking into hydroponics you should definitely look into aquaponics too. Basically the mixing of aquaculture (fish farming) and hydroponics. You feed the fish, and through the nitrogen cycle they feed the plants and the plants clean the water for you.

I think you can get the first few versions of the ezine for free. Or at least you could, I think I downloaded them someplace. Really interesting stuff when you get into the automatic water cycling stuff, some completely mechanical.
http://www.backyardaquaponics.com/

_________________
vCrib Tester #1, Forum moderator, using INSTEON devices, X10 sensors and remotes via W800RF, All doors are wired with contact closures.
vCrib Wiki
Fri Jun 05, 2009 12:18 am View user's profile Send private message
jewish_sausage



Joined: 04 Jun 2009
Posts: 13

Post Reply with quote
Sorry for asking a dumb question, but just to confirm: API = Application programming interface?

Yeah I am def interested in Aquaponics. I myself am a aquatic hobbyist that enjoys raising fresh water shrimp and aquascaping. Ive thought of integrating fish (they produce waste) and produce: the problem, however, is that common aquatic fish do not produce enough waste to supply necessary nutrients. I would have to introduce nutrient mixtures that would kill off the fish.

Since I have 0 hardware right now for the exception of computer speakers and a mic (going to purchase some later after doing much more research), I will play with vcribs voice recognition and try to see if I can initialize a system where it can play music, give me the time and weather. Later, ill move onto automating the light timing of my fish tank and the fan that cools the CF light bulb. My hydroponic herb garden will be months away when I finally settle down in an apartment.
Fri Jun 05, 2009 1:41 am View user's profile Send private message
jewish_sausage



Joined: 04 Jun 2009
Posts: 13

Post Reply with quote
Keeper, thanks for that rec on that site!! Some extremely useful hardware there for my applications. Seeing all the pieces of hardware out there, I have nearly everything for hydrophonic automation: the only sensor I seem to need would be measuring water speed.

Waterspeed would be important in this application to insure that there are no backlogs in the system. If there was and the waterspeed deviates from specifications, using vcrib, my hope would that it would set off an alarm or e-mail that something is wrong.
Fri Jun 05, 2009 5:26 am View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:    
Reply to topic    The Virtual Crib - Home Automation Software Forum Index » Virtual Crib general discussion All times are GMT - 6 Hours
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to: 
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You can attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group
Design by Freestyle XL / Flowers Online.