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JeeNode in Greenhouse Growing.

Added by Benoitm234 about 7 years ago

Hello people of JeeNode!

I’ve found my way to this website and forum through the Arduino mIRC channel on freenode.net!

I’ve been trying to sift through the multitude of information on this website and I have to admit I’m getting fire hosed right now. I’m a bit pie eyed. Perhaps I could let you all know what I’m about and what I’m interested in doing and somebody could point me in the right direction?

Firstly, I’m a hydroponic greenhouse grower. (I know what your first thoughts are). I grow tomatoes, lettuce, and cucumbers!

My goal has been to create an automation project. This is how I stumbled across Arduino for the first time. This automation project was designed in an effort to remain profitable in the face of rising energy and labor costs. All the while, closing the competitive gap between large and small sized growing operations. This shall be achieved through the implementation, utilization, and proliferation of open-source technology.

My goal is to limit labor to very laborious tasks that would not permit automation until larger economies of scale can be capture through reinvestment and growth. These specific activities will consist of: lowering and leaning, pollination, sucker and leaf pruning, composting biomass, harvesting, packaging, transportation, and integrated pest management treatments.

Automation in the greenhouse will comprise many of the environmental factors that need to be manipulated in order to steer crop production towards specific goals. Irrigation strategies will depend heavily on weather and moisture content of slab as well as monitored EC and pH levels (all of which require sensors to monitor and communicate to a central logger/program that is specifically tailored to react to my VERY specific instructions on when to irrigation and under what conditions.

Light logging is also big. Knowing how many photons of useful light the plants are capturing will signal me when to kick on my supplemental lights. For some crops that can essentially be blasted with light as much as possible (cucumber and lettuce) it will allow me to utilize algorithms based on electricity prices.

Does any of this sound like something JeeNode can assist me with?

Regards,

Mark


Replies (23)

RE: JeeNode in Greenhouse Growing. - Added by dabbishaw about 7 years ago

The short answer to your question is “Yes” - the Jeenode will pretty much do anything that the Arduino Uno will do, and do it with a lot less power, meaning many months running on batteries is possible.

I’m using a number of sensors to monitor air/water temperature, humidity, pressure and light most of which are the staples of what you need to do.

I’d recommend the following sensors, for reliability and for the sample code you’ll find to drive them (most of it here.)

ds18b20 - Great temperature sensor, can be used for air, strapped to pipes for pipe temperatures, or if carefully constructed sealed in heat shrink to be immersed in a fluid - for example, I have one inside a wine bottle in the wine rack. You can use the room plug and rather than solder the

dht22 for combined temperature and humidity. Although the room plug can do the same, this can easily be placed on the end of a cable for easier placement.

bmp085 - for pressure reading, with pressure and temperature you can predict the weather to the same degree as using an barometer.

Over 1022 hPa
Rising or steady - Continued fair
Slowing falling - Fair
Rapidly falling - Cloudy, Warmer

1009 to 1022 hPa
Rising or steady - Same as present
Slowing falling - Little change
Rapidly falling - Precipitation likely

Under 1009 hPa
Rising or steady - Clearing, cooler
Slowing falling - Precipitation
Rapid falling - Storm

LUX Plug - Don’t use the LDR for light it doesn’t have the precision I think you need, instead use a LUX sensor, like the jeelab lux plug, if you want to measure really bright light you may need to add a filter. You can pick up cheap 1/4/6/etc stop filters on ebay for a couple of pounds. There’s also a forum post about this.

There’s some one here in the forum that’s measure outside ponds and using a level sensor ( I think this one https://www.sparkfun.com/products/10221 to trigger pumps) - Might be worth searching his posts out.

Relay Switching, once you’ve collected all this data and have written some logic against it, you’re probably going to want to turn things on and off. There’s a good post on driving relays here http://jeelabs.org/2013/03/19/direct-relay-switching-final/

I’d recommend that you have a read of Dive into Jeenode - http://jeelabs.org/2013/02/02/dijn-01-introduction/ it covers the basics of setting up a Jeenode and collecting the data at a central node. Personally I’m not fan of using a raspberry Pi - I was, but I found mine doesn’t have the reliability that I require. Of course mine could just be the odd one out.

For other ideas about the types of sensors available there was a similar post at adafruit - http://forums.adafruit.com/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=31649

I’d also recommend that if you go this route that you set-up a simple test with a Jeenode sending out a count so that you can work out if you need to change the radio settings for extra range, that way you can position your testing node at places that you think you’d want to run sensors and see if the data gets back. Do this first because if you find out after deploying 10 nodes you have to go back and re flash all the nodes with updated settings (everything needs the same radio parameters.) It may not be a problem, it all depends on how big a site you have.

RE: JeeNode in Greenhouse Growing. - Added by dabbishaw about 7 years ago

Oh and one other sensor I forgot to mention, for soil moisture levels I didn’t have a lot of luck with the types that measure conductivity/resistance of the soil although I’m sure that if you get a good quality one they do work. instead I opted to go this route - http://www.swelluk.com/garden-watering/water-timers-1039/water-timers-1040/hozelock-remote-rain-sensor-40838.html the sensor has little donuts inside that swell up when rained upon, which causes a micro switch to be pressed. This only really tells me if the soil is saturated from rain or not. It does have little adjustment to help dry it out quicker or slower that you can fiddle with.

RE: JeeNode in Greenhouse Growing. - Added by damonb about 7 years ago

Another useful sensor for soil moisture (probably work in non-soil media as well) can be found at http://www.vegetronix.com/
It puts out an analogue voltage proportional to soil moisture, independent of salinity / electrolyte levels and temperature. This can be read directly using the analogue pins on a jeeNode. I have a bunch of them spread around my garden driving my irrigation system. For low-power running on batteries I use a digital pin to switch the sensor power on and off via a NPN/PNP transistor pair.

Incidentally, vegetronix also seems to have done a bit of R&D on LED lighting for plant growth… you might be interested.

RE: JeeNode in Greenhouse Growing. - Added by dabbishaw about 7 years ago

damonb - that sensor looks great. But importing into the UK makes it an expensive sensor.

$37.95 (sensor cost) + $42 shipping

$79.95 (USD) = £52.64 (GBP from xe)

£52.64 * 1.2 (add UK VAT) = £63.16

Plus Royal Mail handling £63.16 + £8 = £71.16

Don’t suppose you know of a UK seller? Google failed me on that.

RE: JeeNode in Greenhouse Growing. - Added by Benoitm234 about 7 years ago

That moisture sensor is pretty neat looking. However, I’m concerned that it’s not wireless? If it’s wired, that’s going to have to travel a long way. The greenhouse is 96’ long. I need to place three 9 sensors and have them wireless report moisture levels to a central node. The cost seems a little high. Now that it’s wired, I have to run conduit to accompany the wire (Code purposes). So, the real price is actually very high.

Is it possible to incorporate this into a JeeNode? Unless I’m missing the point entirely (which is always the case with MCs)

RE: JeeNode in Greenhouse Growing. - Added by dabbishaw about 7 years ago

Cost aside, you would just deploy a Jeenode with a battery and the sensor wherever you wanted to measure the soil and it would wirelessly send that data back to your central node to be logged or processed. You would only have a short cable between the little box with the Jeenode in and sensor.

RE: JeeNode in Greenhouse Growing. - Added by Benoitm234 about 7 years ago

That makes way more sense. I’m interested in making my own sensors though to lower costs as much as possible. Greenhouses are so highly capital intensive. Every little bit I can save counts. HOWEVER, since I will require around 9 of these I’d be willing to purchase my first one just to see if I can get the rudimentary system functioning.

RE: JeeNode in Greenhouse Growing. - Added by padvinder95 about 7 years ago

I would advise you to buy a JeeLink (or JeeNode USB) as base station, one or two regular JeeNodes as remote node, with a battery pack or the AA power option. Maybe just go with the Wireless Starter Pack that sets you up for some experimenting.

Try to get a sensor network running: remote nodes measuring temperature or light levels and sending that back to the JeeLink i.e. a computer to log and/or process. If you have this up and running, you can start thinking about adding automation (of e.g. light, irrigation)—whether by clicking a button in your computer or algorithms doesn’t really matter for the hardware side.

Remember that the JeeNode is just an Arduino-compatiblle microcontroller with a radio on board and some software structure (call if firmware if you want) to use the radio and some sensors: it’s all DIY, so it might take some time to get to work, and while there is an active forum with people ready to assist, there’s no guarantee there’ll be an answer for everything. :)

RE: JeeNode in Greenhouse Growing. - Added by dabbishaw about 7 years ago

There is a lovely example here (http://jeelabs.org/2010/07/13/what-a-year-its-been/) of how someone has packaged a wireless temperature sensor.

When I started down the Jeenode path, I bought a Jeelink and a Jeenode and built a simple radio counter, that way I could get a feel for radio coverage, the basics of sending and receiving the data etc. The Dive into Jeenode series is a really good starting point (link above)

I then built a temperature sender and scaled out from there.

Out of interest where about in the world are you?

RE: JeeNode in Greenhouse Growing. - Added by JohnO about 7 years ago

The JeeNode USB gives more flexibility than the JeeLink - unless you need the onboard flash storage.

RE: JeeNode in Greenhouse Growing. - Added by dabbishaw about 7 years ago

That’s very true, the Jeenode USB would give you the option to add a proper antenna to increase the range.

Looking on eBay there’s a soil sensor that for £2 gives what looks like a high or low pin when soil is wet, and a trimming pot to control the sensitivity.

I have no experience with these but for £2 might be worth experimenting with.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Soil-Hygrometer-Detection-Module-Soil-Moisture-Sensor-For-arduino-Smart-car-/230947908317?pt=UK\_BOI\_Electrical\_Components\_Supplies\_ET&hash=item35c5916add

RE: JeeNode in Greenhouse Growing. - Added by Benoitm234 about 7 years ago

I’m located in the United States (Upstate New York.) So, these prices in pounds and the shipping are going to kill me. I’m going to be checking out ebay to see if there is anyone locally selling their JeeNodes. I have until May 10th to get this system operational for testing purposes in our greenhouse range.

RE: JeeNode in Greenhouse Growing. - Added by dabbishaw about 7 years ago

Jeenodes are available from a US partner - http://shop.moderndevice.com/search?q=jeenode they use a different radio frequency then we use here.

RE: JeeNode in Greenhouse Growing. - Added by Benoitm234 about 7 years ago

Beginner JeeNode Project:
Task

To do this, I’m going to purchase:

1 Jeelink: http://shop.moderndevice.com/products/jeelink-module-fully-assembled

1 JeeNode v6: http://shop.moderndevice.com/products/jeenode-kit

1 dht22 Temp/Jumidity Sensor https://www.sparkfun.com/products/10167

1 Moisture Sensor http://www.uctronics.com/dfrobot-arduino-moisture-sensor-soil-moisture-sensor-p-1254.html

Temp, Humidity, Moisture.

Can anybody think of anything else I would need?

RE: JeeNode in Greenhouse Growing. - Added by dabbishaw about 7 years ago

I’d be tempted to start a little simpler - Just go for the jeelink and jeenode and the DHT22 to start with.

Other things you might need -

  • USB BUB to program the Jeenode (If you don’t already have one or an FTDI)
  • Battery holder
  • Some headers - http://jeelabs.com/products/plug-headers - These give you a nice connection between battery holder (if you dont want to solder directly) and perhaps a cable between jeenode and sensor (DHT22).

I assume you’ve got tools and general supplies (solder iron/solder/clippers/wire etc)

I’d also get some heat shrink tubing to make nice clean connections that can’t be shorted etc. I use it alot like this - http://www.crystalfontz.com/backlight/633\_temperature/about\_to\_heatshrink\_green\_on\_processor.jpg

Oh and have a watch of the assembly video - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fVPGXtVykt0

RE: JeeNode in Greenhouse Growing. - Added by damonb about 7 years ago

dabbishaw wrote:
> damonb - that sensor looks great. But importing into the UK makes it an expensive sensor.

Yes - I agree they’re not cheap, and certainly not if you’re shipping one at a time!
Also, I am in Australia where we don’t add VAT/GST to imported goods under \$1000, or pay our mail system an additional fee for the local leg of the shipping.
But the vegetronix devices work. I have been running 5 for about 6 months now. I have spent about AUD\$600 on sensors and Jee-stuff, but have saved that amount on water bills this summer alone. So for me the cost is justified.
I have seen DIY designs for capacitive soil moisture measurements, but quite frankly I don’t have the time to do the R&D. It takes enough time to do the rest of the sensor network and computer interfacing software, without designing the sensors as well!

RE: JeeNode in Greenhouse Growing. - Added by Benoitm234 about 7 years ago

So here is the final parts list:

From Modern Device:

USB BUB II - BUB II Board with 1’ USB A-mini cable \$16.50 - If you’re looking for the BUB 1 it’s here USB to T…

TOTAL: \$16.50 excluding tax & shipping

4 AA Battery Holder w Switch & 2.1mm Barrel Plug - 1x \$4.00 - This is a 4 AA (6 volt) battery holder that include…

TOTAL: \$4.00 excluding tax & shipping

JeeNode v6 Kit - 1x / 434 MHz \$22.50 - JeeNodes are a collaboration between Modern Device …

TOTAL: \$22.50 excluding tax & shipping

JeeLink Module (assembled) - 434 Mhz \$36.50 - The JeeLink is a fully assembled and ready-to-use U…

TOTAL: \$36.50 excluding tax & shipping

TOTAL: \$79.50 USD
93.26 USD with shipping.

Humidity and Temperature Sensor - RHT03 - 13.64

Are these the correct plug headers you’re talking about? The ones you linked are JeeLabs. I did a search on MD and came up with this.

I’m on Digikey right now looking for heat shrink tubing and wow… I don’t even know what to begin to select.

http://www.digikey.com/product-search/en/cables-wires-management/heat-shrink-tubing/1704112

RE: JeeNode in Greenhouse Growing. - Added by dabbishaw about 7 years ago

For heatshrink you should be able to find an assortment box cheaply at an autospares shop, or something like this off ebay -

http://www.ebay.com/itm/1-5mm-2mm-3mm-4mm-5mm-HEAT-SHRINK-TUBING-Wire-Wrap-Assortment-black-6FT-each-/151015988008?pt=LH\_DefaultDomain\_0&hash=item2329411b28

or

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Heat-Shrink-Tubing-Kit-black-Colors-Transparent-plastic-box-shrinkable-6-size-/160950161992?pt=LH\_DefaultDomain\_0&hash=item2579609248

Assuming that the RH03 is truly the same as the DHT22 - then here’s a sample how to read temperature and humidity from it.

https://github.com/jcw/jeelib/blob/master/examples/Ports/dht\_demo/dht\_demo.ino

For the headers - I think this is the page - http://shop.moderndevice.com/products/headers _ the long strips 1 x 40 can be snapped to the length required.

RE: JeeNode in Greenhouse Growing. - Added by Benoitm234 about 7 years ago

Thanks for the heatshrink links!

Everything arrived today. I’ll be doing my damnedest to put this together, get it up and running in the greenhouse with pictures and possibly video for you all.

RE: JeeNode in Greenhouse Growing. - Added by Benoitm234 about 7 years ago

Hey guys,

Ok. My first time soldering. I used 63/37 Rosin-Core Solder. It’s all they had available near me. I was going good until I hit the antenna portion. When I installed the green radio chip I accidentally put too much solder on and it got through the A and G holes. I have a solder sucker but it seems it isnt able to bring it all up. I’m guessing because of the delicate nature of soldering this is going to be an issue. My question is if it IS an issue, how do I resolve if (if even possible?)

Anyways, here are the pictures of my first JeeNode and my horrible solder job! Please post any constructive criticism you think will benefit me. I’m busy trying to figure out my next step. I have a battery pack though, I’m unsure how to attach it to the actual JeeNode so far.

RE: JeeNode in Greenhouse Growing. - Added by JohnO about 7 years ago

I’ve seen worse soldering.

RE: JeeNode in Greenhouse Growing. - Added by dabbishaw about 7 years ago

The soldering isn’t too bad. Just a little too much solder. You can clean the iron and turn it upside and drag the extra solder down the pins before you cut them.

What’s good is there’s no burning or blackness visible that you often see with first timers.

You can solder the battery leads to the battery connections which are at the opposite end to the rfm12. Or if you have the headers you can solder the leads to a header and plug it in.

RE: JeeNode in Greenhouse Growing. - Added by Benoitm234 about 7 years ago

You mean connect it here? or at the + and - signs. Also, I bought a pack of headers but I’m not actually sure how to use them. Also, I forgot to throw on this connector so I could connect it to the USB BUB and upload my programs. Here are some up to date pictures. Don’t worry, I didn’t solder the battery pack yet!

    (1-23/23)