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Farmer Collaboration

Topic Type: 

Would you be interested some remote collaboration on the Greenhouse Monitoring project? I have a small urban farm near Cleveland, OH: http://baybranchfarm.com with a small hoophouse.

I would be willing to purchase the components and build my own monitoring device. And then also assist with the design and programming. Once operational I could give farmer feedback on the use of the device.

I have limited electronics experience and no arduino experience, but I have wanted build an arduino project and this seems like a great one (and I have wanted to monitor the temperature in my hoophouse). I have a degree in Mechanical Engineer and have been an application developer for 15 years.

Good luck with the project.

Eric Stoffer

R.J. Steinert's picture

Hi Eric, Thanks for reaching out! We're definitely interested in some remote collaboration. I know that Louis is busy designing and building the first prototype so when he settles on the parts list and gets the code up on GitHub then we'll be working on the documentation for assembling Fido. That would be a great place for you to jump in and we can iterate from there. You can stay in the loop by subscribing to the forum and wiki for this tool. I'm looking forward to working with you!


estoffer's picture

I'm going to get an uno and start fooling around with it. This is the project that has finally got me off my duff. Looking forward to working with y'all.


Louis's picture

Hey Eric,

It's great to hear that this device interests you! I'm tweaking the code of our first prototype and we'll hopefully have some sort of walk through within the month. On the wiki, I've linked to to where you can get most the parts but you'll have no trouble finding an Uno!

I've never used them myself but I hear great things about Adafruit's Arduino tutorials. If those don't suit you, you'll easily others floating around online!

Gail's picture

I was wondering if this would work for a livestock watering system? I am using solar power to run a Grunphos pump. Battery backup is to expensive, so i have a generator i use on cloudy days. I want a way for the Water tank to signal when it is low(this would have to be lower than when it normally kicks on) and a way for the generator to turn itself on, fill the tank, and shut itself off.

Louis's picture

An Arduino could definitely be used to do something along these lines. The trick is figuring out how to sense the depth of your tank. Here's one of the first google results I came across which uses pressure sensors.

Then you have to find a way to get the 5V Arduino to actuate your pumps... Relays and such will probably be needed.

Sounds like you wouldn't require an SMS alarm system so you could make a cheaper and more simple system fairly easily. If you wanted to add an alarm though, following the Fido tutorial related to the phone may help.

If you don't know much about Arduinos or electronics, don't worry - it's easy to get started. Adafruit has a great learning system.

Gail's picture

Thanks, sorry it took so long to get back to you. I am in the middle of harvest and it has been a little hectic. This gets over my head pretty fast, but i have a friend who is wanting to do the same thing. He is an engineer so he is keeping up much better. I have looked into some of the different water switches, trying to figure out what will and won't work. If/when i get the system in place, i assume i could track it with my phone or computer? Or, have it send me a message when it comes on? Would make me feel better, i think, to know it was working.