Monday, August 03, 2009

Germination Station 2.0 Timeline

After being somewhat disorganized with Germination Station 1.0, I am making a better attempt to plan out future steps to address the problems that I ran into the first time around.

Step 1:
Currently, I am working on a pyQT Gui so that I can communicate and view the sensor data better.  It took a while to figure out how to communicate asynchronously with the Arduino.  I found an example of  an asynchronous I/O program, and I added a pyserial read.  Right now, I am reading the serial data and displaying it in a text box.  I am messing around with graphing the data, but that is proving to be more difficult.

Step 2:
The next stage will be to develop a serial protocol on the Arduino that I can use to read all the sensors and change parameters.

Step 3: 
Test new relay board circuit.  Spin PCB design and order prototypes.  It would be great to turn this into a little kit.  I am going to look into the cost of the BOM and what kind of markup is feasible.

Step 4:
I want to get one variable working from top(gui) to bottom(sensor and variable control).
I plan on growing some blueberries, and I might create a little sub-project that will just water the plants in pots on the deck.  That would just deal with moisture and pump control. (I would need to look into some cheap pumps/values.)

Step 5:
Integrate Fire, Wind, and Earth variables one at a time.

Optional:
I  am looking at a hard plastic for the roof so that I can fix some of the water run off issues, but the current quote that I have is pretty steep ($109 for a 4'x8'x 0.125" lexan.).  I might try to put that off for as long as possible, but I think that having a hard roof is going to be a necessity.

I have not decided if I am going to implement Xbee on this version.  Just the Xbee units would be about $40, and it could cost more if I decide not to use the Xbee arduino adapter boards that I already have.  They might have been the reason that the last Xbee units got toasted.

1 comment:

brendon5564 said...

I know you posted this a while ago, but I just ordered an arduino...my first real project, after learning the basics, is to build a basic system to control my cold frames...opening/closing the lid initially, later watering, humidity, maybe lights, etc, and eventually trying to relay data to a server...I'm interested how your plan is coming...it sounds like a nice idea...a little beyond my knowledge, but I'm interested