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 Post subject: Interesting new hardware
PostPosted: Sep 10th, '13, 16:15 
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I thought I'd start a thread called interesting new hardware.

That's it really.

To start things off I discovered this today....

http://electricimp.com/developers/devkits.php

It's called the electric imp, and as far as I can tell costs around $40 to get started.

It seems it's a WiFi connected thing the size of an SD card.

It's the kind of thing you might plug into a programmable chip based project to do some remote aquaponics monitoring.

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PostPosted: Sep 11th, '13, 00:52 
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That looks interesting.

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PostPosted: Oct 3rd, '13, 16:43 
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I invested in one of these (for the larger system) they have the 4X probes but I have planned on a few other things I want to monitor. :) http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/221287085662 ... 1439.l2649

I will let you know how it goes when I have got it and have a chance to play with it.


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PostPosted: Nov 5th, '13, 23:50 
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Hi Sleepe,

I will be interested to hear your experience with this device--Especially how you managed to integrate sensors with it.

When I started looking at all the different possibilities to monitor my aquaponics system, the potential metrics I initially wanted to measure included:

- temperatures (water, air inside GH and outside) - to determine the effectiveness of the GH
- relative humidity- To determine when to run the fan
- bell siphon cycles - To make sure that the pump did not break or something got clogged up.
- light - To determine if I need to install and turn on lights
- water pH
- Images of GB and FT - TO see that the plans and fish are happy.

This would allow me to watch over my system while away.

After many hours of google searches, it was clear that there are no products on the market today for this sort of monitoring for the hobbiest APer.

With this in mind, I started a quest to find the most integrated platform that would cost under $150 (USD) to build. The candidates included the various Arduino boards, the Raspberry Pi, and several wireless (Zigbee and Wifi) devices with IO ports that could be used for remote wireless sensors.

In the end, it seems that the Raspberry Pi platform has the most to offer at the moment IMO. To start, it has all the interfaces you would ever need to not only monitor sensors but also actuate devices. These interfaces include USB, i2c, SPI, and a serial UART. It also has a really rich software stack (Raspian Linux) that supports drivers for pretty much everything. Most importantly, you do not need to be an expert embedded systems programmer to get it all working.

When I started building my system (http://paago.org/aquaponics), I bought an Arduino board and two Digikey Zigbee modules. After spending about 30 days trying to get everything integrated with some basic analogue temp sensors and hundreds of lines of non-blocking Sketch code, I decided to invest $50 in a Raspberry Pi with a USB WiFi device. Within a week, I had the Raspberry Pi in the greenhouse measuring 6 metrics and sending hourly photos back to my website!

Check out the Xively feed at https://xively.com/feeds/1205695996. Of the 10 metrics, 6 are near-real time. The Chemistry is currently entered by hand weekly.

When I have some more time, the next step will be to add some relays to control the fan in addition to some power sensors to make sure that the aerator and water pumps are working.

With all that said, it would be interesting to investigate the use of Wifi or Zigbee for remote sensors. I could imagine this being used in larger systems where wired sensors within 2M of the Raspberry Pi are not possible.

Sorry for the rambling!

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PostPosted: Nov 6th, '13, 07:34 
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I ended up getting the 8 probe model. According to tracking its in Sydney.

I don't plan anything exotic, I will just have a laptop near the proposed larger system and cable all the probes to where I want them. I should be able to access the data through my wifi network.

The boroscope is still in transit, that will be used manually to check places I can't see easily. :)


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PostPosted: Nov 7th, '13, 10:17 
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dutchmark wrote:


Check out the Xively feed at https://xively.com/feeds/1205695996. Of the 10 metrics, 6 are near-real time. The Chemistry is currently entered by hand weekly.




What sensors are available? DO would be really nice, but my guess is that's not available.


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PostPosted: Nov 7th, '13, 14:39 
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here is a link to a sensor that can be hooked up to a arduino or raspberry pi for around $200. it uses a serial interface.

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PostPosted: Nov 7th, '13, 14:40 
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and the link: https://www.sparkfun.com/products/11194

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PostPosted: Aug 28th, '16, 15:29 
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The rest of the world probably already knows about this, but just in case...

There's a computer called "C.H.I.P" that was a kickstarter.

It runs any linux distro and costs only $9.

Built in is...

WiFi

1GHz Processor

4GB of High-speed Storage

512MB of RAM

Bluetooth 4.0

There are also two USB ports (one standard size, 1 micro)

for $69 you can buy a small device that's a touch screen and keyboard that C.H.I.P clips onto. This also has a 5 hour battery and a stack of input output pins (http://docs.getchip.com/chip.html#gpio) But you can access the input/output pins with just the $9 computer. It even comes with a standard sized pencil hexagon cut out through the case, so you can make an instant stand for it by poking a pencil through it.

Normal audio and video out built into the $9 computer is via old style video cables to plug into a TV or screen, but you can get a VGA ($10) or HDMI ($15) shield that plugs on to it

It runs on 3.7v, so you could power it with a single 18650 battery, or use their USB wall charger ($7). The $9 chip has onboard charge controlling for whatever battery you want to connect if you want a battery.

The system draws about 500mA peak (at boot time), runs on around 100mA, and rests with around 80mA with the processor totally unloaded

I dont have one and have never seen one, but it sounds awesome.

It seems 100,000 have already shipped, and I think the kickstarter part is over. I also read somewhere that the price might be $8 now.

It comes pre-installed with linux and stuff like MS compatible spread sheets and word processors, and of course a browser, but you can add whatever you want, or even reflash the operating system to change it to a different distro.


With a 18650 battery, a small solar panel, a 5v regulator, and 7 drops of conductive glue, you could have a solar server running linux with a webcam for less than $60.




https://nextthing.co/pages/chip

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PostPosted: Aug 28th, '16, 19:49 
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I funded Chip on Kickstarter. Had some vague idea about using it to remotely monitor my aquaponics. Didn't fully understand its capabilities but it was hard to argue with the price.

It's still in the box - have been waiting for a rainy day. But you've inspired me to give it a run.

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PostPosted: Aug 28th, '16, 20:35 
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Cool.

I cant wait to see what you come up with.

I think I might buy one and do nothing with it for a while as well :)

Like you said, at $9, it's difficult not to be tempted...

Unlike say... this pair of "distressed" sneakers I just saw that sell for just shy of $600 and feature a bit of duct tape...

http://www.barneys.com/product/golden-g ... 45269.html

which I find relatively untempting.

Stuff like that I've got already.

Anyone want to buy a "distressed" lounge, "distressed" lawnmower, and "distressed" straw hat collection?

$20k and it's yours.

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PostPosted: Aug 28th, '16, 22:57 
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Looking more I see this...

"How many accessible pins does CHIP have?
Eight digital GPIOs, one PWM pin, SPI, TWI (I2C), UART, USB, CSI, Parallel LCD output, touchpanel input, stereo audio out, mono audio in, composite video out, and a whole bunch of power rails in and out."


It's nice of them to include different voltage power rails. If I'm reading it correctly the power out pins are a few 5v, a 3.3v, and a 1.8v

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