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# Vertical Farming

51 Posts authored by: m.ratcliffe

# Blog:40.1 - Laser Cut Aquaponics Overview Infographics

Posted by m.ratcliffe Dec 1, 2016
Ive been working on some educational material for teaching, Here are the Results.   This is not one of my usual hacking Posts but I think it is a good example of how the hacking tool-set [rapid prototyping] can be used to bring better projects into the classroom. We use these info-graphics to teach about the mechanisms in aquaponics and bring the class into a FabLab to laser cut for themselves and add school Logo's etc. That has got to be more fun than a text book?     As alwa ...

# Automated Green House Blog:5.2 - Vision based feeding Explination

Posted by m.ratcliffe Feb 29, 2016
Today is a good day, The introduction of the 3rd Generation Pi is available! I cant wait to see what this does for the loop times of my vision based work on the pi.   See the main page for other information: Automated Green House Blog's Home Page   Intro Its a great reason to continue my work on the fish feeder. In summary the feeder is a relatively advanced demand based fish feeder prototype. [We will be refining this over the next few blogs] The Benefits of Demand based fish fee ...

# Automated Green House Blog:9.3 - Tip for trimming arduino If statement times

Posted by m.ratcliffe Feb 12, 2016
This will not be a very useful tip for 99% of your arduino projects, but if you are wanting to keep your code running as quick as possible without reverting to C its a handy tip to have.   Ive got a few arduino projects going now where I need to keep my main loops running fast, This is a test to verify that a multiple IF statement finished if the primary statement is false.   In example...  if(A= =false && B== true)  the arduino will move onto the next line of cod ...

# Automated Green House Blog:13.4 - PH Control: PH Probe LCD Readout + Gui + Probe Health Readout

Posted by m.ratcliffe Jan 8, 2016
A Updated PH Probe, Now gives A Readout For Probe Life and a time alarm for when to Calibrate.   DFRobot were nice enough to send me one of their pH pro MCU probes [Longer lasting] but this tutorial and code will work for any analog pH MCU meter [ebay special etc] these are coming down in price rapidly but I recommend calibrating often.   The Analog pH breakout boards often have a little pot for adjusting during calibration, this is a pain in the ass at calibration time. This new cod ...

# Automated Green  Blog:25.2 - One Month Grow Comparison

Posted by m.ratcliffe Jan 1, 2016
Here is a little Video comparing the growth of Hydroponics,Aquaponics and soil in low light conditions.   the Light intensity here in the north of the uk during winter is so low that the plants grow at a very slow pace, it is interesting to see that hydroponics offers very little gain in growth under low light conditions.         Main Blog home Page: Automated Green House Blog's Home Page ...

# Automated Green House Blog:13.9 - PH Probe Revival: Ultrasonic Cleaning

Posted by m.ratcliffe Dec 7, 2015
In Aquaponics systems pH probes fail quickly, it is my belief that this is due to the probe membrane becoming blocked [just my theory, no proof to back it up]. If this is indeed the problem it stands to reason that we could extend the probe life by cleaning the probe during the monthly calibration.   There are two main ways to clean the glass probe: >Mechanically >Chemically  [See link below for selecting the correct chemical for your probe use] http://reagecon.com/pdf/tech ...

# Automated Green House Blog: #Competition Summary - November 2015

Posted by m.ratcliffe Nov 30, 2015
Below is a breakdown and summary of the competition entry Adapted_Greenhouse.   So the competition is coming to an end, quite a sad day because this competition has become part of daily life. I would like to thank Element14, in particular Dave for his time and the time of any other un-named organisers, the sponsors [Silicone Labs and Wurth ElekTronik] for investing in this competition. Charles Gantt  also deserves a mention for his summary of the competition on a weekly basis, his sum ...

# Automated Green  Blog:30.3 - Collaboration: Vertical Farming Association

Posted by m.ratcliffe Nov 28, 2015
The Association of Vertical Farming [AVF]: Everyone in the competition has been lucky enough to receive some great products to get their grow under way will know a little bit about who the AVF are but for those of you on the blog but not in the competition, take a look at the website:   https://vertical-farming.net/   The AVF and Element14 have no doubt been working closely together,but the AVF have not been as active in the competition blogs/write-ups as I had been expecting.Howev ...

# Automated Green  Blog:30.1 - Colaboration: Aquaponics LAB

Posted by m.ratcliffe Nov 28, 2015
This competition has been mainly the bloging about systems I already had implemented after some fine tuning,  recently I found a relatively large group of collaborators around 30 miles from my home who have been working on open sourcing aquaponics control systems, small world! Between us we now have access to multiple test systems, high tech work shops and a wide range of skills. Hopefully this collaboration will lead to more efficient, easier to make automated aquaponics systems, cheap ope ...

# Automated Green  Blog:30.2 - Colaboration: Aquaponics LAB Time Lapse

Posted by m.ratcliffe Nov 28, 2015
One of the other collaborators from the aquaponics lab has recently started to build his own system, here is a time lapse of it under construction:     We have learned a lot from building the "FAO  recommended" aquaponics system and  plan on releasing a quicker easier method for those of you who want results fast. ...

# Automated Green  Blog:25.1 - Growing: Transplanting Seedlings

Posted by m.ratcliffe Nov 28, 2015
So the seedlings have grown to a stage that they are ready for transplanting from the propagator to the aquaponics, hydroponics and soil systems.     Germinated/planted :      20/10/2015 Transplanted:                 24/11/2015     They have grown slow [very slow], this is an expected problem in England during November where the light intensity has dropped consider ...

# Automated Green House Blog:13.3 - PH Control: PH Probe LCD Readout + Gui

Posted by m.ratcliffe Nov 24, 2015
DFRobot were nice enough to send me one of their pH pro MCU probes [Longer lasting] but this tutorial and code will work for any analog pH MCU meter [ebay special etc] these are coming down in price rapidly but I recommend calibrating often. I'm hoping the pro model can go longer between calibrations and still hold true. I put the probe in some pH4 buffer solution over night and the LCD printout gave a   min:3.92   max:4.02   this was probably caused by a temperatur ...

# Automated Green House Blog:18.4 - Combining ALL Three Logs

Posted by m.ratcliffe Nov 22, 2015
The Previose blogs  showed how to log data in seperate ways.   Blog:18.1 - On-line Data Logging [data.sparkfun]  Blog:18.2 - Data Logging: SD Card  Blog:18.3 - On line data Viewer [arduino, Ethernet]  It will be useful to have all three methods implemented on the same board, this is a bit tricky because we need to power up the sd card to load data, then configure the data.sparkfun push the data and leave the web_server script running until the next sd and sparkfun log. ...

# Automated Green House Blog:9.2 - Arduino EEPROM [Has it ever been written]

Posted by m.ratcliffe Nov 19, 2015
Sometimes we want to store data on the arduino that will survive a reset, calibration settings and set points are an example of this. EEPROM is a non volatile memory on the arduino that we can write values to and read in the setup loop to keep the values after a reset.   There are many blogs that will talk about, writing and reading EEPROM, but not many [if any] talk about checking if the memory slot has ever been written to in the past. We want to be able to use the value of a variable [i ...

# Automated Green House Blog:13.2 - PH Control: Measurement Portion

Posted by m.ratcliffe Nov 19, 2015
This Blog will cover how to measure pH in your aquaponics/hydroponics system, later we will be using this reading to control the pH.   Take a look at the blog below to see why PH is an important factor and why we need to be controlling it.   Blog:20.2 - Toying with Chemical Analysis - pH  The pH Probe DFRobot have been nice enough to send me one of their MCU pH sensors, it is the pro model with a longer life than the normal probes [hopefully I cant break this probe].   & ...

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