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Greetings from the PNW!

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(@dastardlydoug)
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Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 68
Topic starter  

Hello.

I am a 62 y/o noob to Arduino, trying to automate my 6x8 greenhouse.

Bought both an UNO and a Mega. Not sure which I will be using.

I also bout a few ESP32's and an eight channel 5v relay.

Any tips or advice is welcome.

 

Cheers!

 

Doug~


   
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Ron
 Ron
(@zander)
Father of a miniature Wookie
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 7195
 
Posted by: @dastardlydoug

Hello.

I am a 62 y/o noob to Arduino, trying to automate my 6x8 greenhouse.

Bought both an UNO and a Mega. Not sure which I will be using.

I also bout a few ESP32's and an eight channel 5v relay.

Any tips or advice is welcome.

 

Cheers!

 

Doug~

@dastardlydoug Welcome to the forum Doug.

Well besides the obvious (google) check the Arduino Project Hub to see if anyone has done this. First flesh out your project requirements, what are you going to measure, inside/outside temp, humidity, sun/artificial light, etc. Then what 'things' do you want to control, water, lights, heat food. Relays will work, but MOSFETs are a solid state way to do it for DC devices. I am a 60+ yr computer guy, with some experience in arduino's, raspi, apple, wintel (not for the last 5 yrs) and I used to have a 20 x 10 greenhouse. Nothing was automated as that was before my arduino days. Lot's of folks here to help and google is your best friend. Good luck.

First computer 1959. Retired from my own computer company 2004.
Hardware - Expert in 1401, and 360, fairly knowledge in PC plus numerous MPU's and MCU's
Major Languages - Machine language, 360 Macro Assembler, Intel Assembler, PL/I and PL1, Pascal, Basic, C plus numerous job control and scripting languages.
My personal scorecard is now 1 PC hardware fix (circa 1982), 1 open source fix (at age 82), and 2 zero day bugs in a major OS.


   
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Ron
 Ron
(@zander)
Father of a miniature Wookie
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 7195
 

@dastardlydoug I forgot to mention that a member here @Inq has a ready to go outside weather station based on the ESP8266. I am assuming you want to measure outdoor weather so that might be a start and IIRC it can be easily modified. He also has a portal that might give you some ideas.

Best

First computer 1959. Retired from my own computer company 2004.
Hardware - Expert in 1401, and 360, fairly knowledge in PC plus numerous MPU's and MCU's
Major Languages - Machine language, 360 Macro Assembler, Intel Assembler, PL/I and PL1, Pascal, Basic, C plus numerous job control and scripting languages.
My personal scorecard is now 1 PC hardware fix (circa 1982), 1 open source fix (at age 82), and 2 zero day bugs in a major OS.


   
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(@dastardlydoug)
Member
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 68
Topic starter  

I'm more interested in keeping my soil at a certain moisture, exhaust fans turning on when too hot and keeping the humidity at a certain level.

That, and accessing the info via wifi.

 

Thanks~


   
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Ron
 Ron
(@zander)
Father of a miniature Wookie
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 7195
 

@dastardlydoug When you reply, click the reply link at the bottom of the box (inserts the other persons id preceded by a @ ). That way the other person gets notified. I hope you clicked the subscribe box at the bottom as well so you get notified.

Soil moisture has been discussed here several times. It is complicated and many sensors don't work well. Google a LOT on that one. Depending on how many years of coding and web development experience you have the accessing via wifi is not too hard, but if a noob there then lot's to learn.

First computer 1959. Retired from my own computer company 2004.
Hardware - Expert in 1401, and 360, fairly knowledge in PC plus numerous MPU's and MCU's
Major Languages - Machine language, 360 Macro Assembler, Intel Assembler, PL/I and PL1, Pascal, Basic, C plus numerous job control and scripting languages.
My personal scorecard is now 1 PC hardware fix (circa 1982), 1 open source fix (at age 82), and 2 zero day bugs in a major OS.


   
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(@dastardlydoug)
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Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 68
Topic starter  

@zander 

Sorry about that. I had clicked on reply before... But wasn't logged in. "DOH!"

I've been hammering on computers since the PC 1st came out. A noob to Arduino, just not the other stuff. 😉 

Going with some capacitive indicators, with some of my own modifications. Been doing networking almost 10 years. Hope that gives me a leg up too. 😎 

As far as the programming stuff, kinda new to Python. But I'll most likely bastardize someone else's code for my needs 🤣 


   
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Ron
 Ron
(@zander)
Father of a miniature Wookie
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 7195
 

@dastardlydoug Not such a noob after all. When I worked at IBM I beta tested the great great  grandfather to the PC about 1976. It was a luggable for sure, APL and Basic.

IIRC there are two kinds of sensors, each with pros and cons. I would try both to see the differences.

 

First computer 1959. Retired from my own computer company 2004.
Hardware - Expert in 1401, and 360, fairly knowledge in PC plus numerous MPU's and MCU's
Major Languages - Machine language, 360 Macro Assembler, Intel Assembler, PL/I and PL1, Pascal, Basic, C plus numerous job control and scripting languages.
My personal scorecard is now 1 PC hardware fix (circa 1982), 1 open source fix (at age 82), and 2 zero day bugs in a major OS.


   
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(@dastardlydoug)
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Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 68
Topic starter  

@zander 

There's no way I'd use resistive sensors, as the open solder literally decomposes in the soil. Leaving who knows what into the root system. It might be better to use gold for the resistance material, IDK.

 


   
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Ron
 Ron
(@zander)
Father of a miniature Wookie
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 7195
 

@dastardlydoug I haven't used one of those in decades, all I remember is tossing them after a while, just too finicky. 

First computer 1959. Retired from my own computer company 2004.
Hardware - Expert in 1401, and 360, fairly knowledge in PC plus numerous MPU's and MCU's
Major Languages - Machine language, 360 Macro Assembler, Intel Assembler, PL/I and PL1, Pascal, Basic, C plus numerous job control and scripting languages.
My personal scorecard is now 1 PC hardware fix (circa 1982), 1 open source fix (at age 82), and 2 zero day bugs in a major OS.


   
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Inq
 Inq
(@inq)
Member
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 1900
 
Posted by: @dastardlydoug

I'm more interested in keeping my soil at a certain moisture, exhaust fans turning on when too hot and keeping the humidity at a certain level.

That, and accessing the info via wifi.

 

Thanks~

Welcome to the forum.  My ears were burning in the other room.  Thanks @zander 😉

As Ron said I have a web server library that would allow you to monitor your greenhouse with relatively little code.  Here is the thread on this forum that gives a pretty quick overview of the whole project.  https://forum.dronebotworkshop.com/show-tell/inqweather-forecasting-weather-station/   It also gives you a counterpoint so you have full disclosure before making a decision.  I'll give you the negative cliff notes here... the positives are all over multiple threads on this forum or on my website. 

  1. It only works on ESP8266.  It does not work on an ESP32.  I would recommend either a WeMos D1 Mini or NodeMCU.
  2. It is not opens source.  I do not provide my source code.  The flip-side to that... I have made every attempt to make it a professional quality product. There is an extensive website for on-line documentation, tutorials.  I also provide free technical support here.  The binaries are free and once you have them... they don't go bad.  
  3. You mention Python - To use my library, you must use the Arduino IDE and plain Arduino INO programming.  (Which is basically C++/C under the covers)

The Weather station Ron mentioned uses the NodeMCU.  It also uses an AHT10 humidity/temperature sensor that could handle the atmospheric duties you described.  It also mentions other common sensors that I don't recommend. 

I don't have any experience with soil sensors, but would gladly look it up if you provide a model or link of some model.  Although my wife is an avid gardener, she doesn't consider my electronic habit to be complementary to her getting her hands dirty.  I always imagined doing a greenhouse system to control fans, vents and watering with such sensors.  Helping you out with one might give me in-roads to  her kingdom. 😋 

VBR,

Inq

3 lines of code = InqPortal = Complete IoT, App, Web Server w/ GUI Admin Client, WiFi Manager, Drag & Drop File Manager, OTA, Performance Metrics, Web Socket Comms, Easy App API, All running on ESP8266...
Even usable on ESP-01S - Quickest Start Guide


   
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(@dastardlydoug)
Member
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 68
Topic starter  

@inq 

Thanks for your reply 👍 

Unfortunately, I'm pretty set on using the ESP32 for security reasons, etc...

I'm not interested in what's going on outdoors. I just need my plants to water UN-attended as I will soon be getting surgery to remove a carcinoma (and the top of my right lung), and hope that my plants don't perish.

I do however besides the auto-watering, need to make sure my water holding tank has the correct pH.

Thanks again! I will peruse your link and see if there is anything useful for my build, and get back to you if I can utilize something.

As far as your wife not being interested in automation... Perhaps she just needs some alone time! HAHA! 🤣 


   
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ron bentley
(@ronbentley1)
Member
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 385
 
Posted by: @dastardlydoug

Hello.

I am a 62 y/o noob to Arduino, trying to automate my 6x8 greenhouse.

Bought both an UNO and a Mega. Not sure which I will be using.

I also bout a few ESP32's and an eight channel 5v relay.

Any tips or advice is welcome.

 

Cheers!

 

Doug~

Hi, and welcome. As you have already seen there are many members here to help and guide.

As already mentioned, do try the Arduino Project Hub as it holds a whealth of projects many of which will, I'm sure, fit some or all of your profile needs.

The Mega will eat any sensing/controlling requirement you may have, even, perhaps the UNO.  Similarly the ESP32 would be a good fit, so you are off to a good start.

If you want to control many digital outputs with just a few microcontroller digital pins then look at and research shift registers, eg the 74HC595 IC.

Best wishes

Ron B

Ron Bentley
Creativity is an input to innovation and change is the output from innovation. Braden Kelley
A computer is a machine for constructing mappings from input to output. Michael Kirby
Through great input you get great output. RZA
Gauss is great but Euler rocks!!


   
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Inq
 Inq
(@inq)
Member
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 1900
 
Posted by: @ronbentley1

If you want to control many digital outputs with just a few microcontroller digital pins then look at and research shift registers, eg the 74HC595 IC.

 👍 Thanks. 

3 lines of code = InqPortal = Complete IoT, App, Web Server w/ GUI Admin Client, WiFi Manager, Drag & Drop File Manager, OTA, Performance Metrics, Web Socket Comms, Easy App API, All running on ESP8266...
Even usable on ESP-01S - Quickest Start Guide


   
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