Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Paging @pwood25 Phillip woody

Golden hour goodness. Italian #skyporn lite

Some huge microwave dishes on that tower.

Chinese cartoons (in Chinese, no engrish subtitles) > CNN in English

State of the garden experiment 8/18/2013

This is the best way I could think of to update this.

I started photos with the middle grow bed because Chris wanted to see the tomato plants.
This is the grow bed closest to the sump.
This is the grow bed closest to the street.  The light green thing in the left foreground is a celery stalk that I am replanting as an experiment, because I read that celery will re-grow if you plant it and the last one that I tried was just the end of the stalk with no leaves.

Thursday I had 6 dead fish so I called in a hippie strike.  I spoke to Aaron from the Druids Grove (the guys at yellow/green farmers market that we met) but he is in South Carolina right now and he was not able to come see what is up with the garden.  I discussed it with him for a while and he said that initially it sounds like our grow beds are basically full of solids from not having had any filtration - there is a point where the grow beds will not effectively be able to keep up with the solids from the fish tank.  Apparently, we have reached that point.  I bought an in-line filter at home depot because it was better than nothing, and an extra cartridge for it.  I have been cleaning it at least twice daily because it will get so gunked up that it doesn't allow the water to flow through it.  I don't think this is going to be a permanent solution but maybe we should leave it in after any new filter just to catch anything else.
new filter 
Extra cartridge

I added a power outlet with GFCI because the power cord from the new pump was too short to reach the original outlet in the box.  As the 'intelligence' of the controller progresses, I will probably re-wire this to allow individual control of the pumps to keep them from burning up if one sump or the other runs dry.  I'll leave the power in a NC connection, so even if everything dies the pump will have power but I will be able to turn pumps off as needed to allow water levels to balance out. 
new power outlet 
I cleaned up the wiring and added flow sensors to each grow bed even though they are not yet active because I have to figure out the programming to read them.  I would like to find a 90 degree fitting to take the power connection to the new outlet along a different route - the one on it is just what came with it.

Here is the biggest change - I swapped the beaglebone that had been doing the control of the fish feeder and the arduino that had been controlling the valve with the beaglebone black and added connections for the grow bed sensors.

notes describing what each section is
power supply notes 
The control buttons are working, but the problem I have run into and don't have a solid solution for yet is that the programs that are associated with the individual buttons are stepping on each other right now.  There are individual programs to do each of those things, except the filler, and the individual programs are working fine.  The buttons connect to the controller and it sees when a button is pushed and then turns on a relay or runs one of the individual programs as needed.  I did it this way so that the individual programs could take care of the 'day to day' operation, but if one wanted to make sure that the feeder or water valve was working, they could have an easy way to do that without having to get a computer out.  

The current problem is that right this moment, I have a program that is 'waiting' for someone to push one of the buttons (or else they don't work) and the way it functions is tying up the relay that controls the feeder.  It is not affecting the relay that controls the valve.  The email messages regarding the fish feeding are currently coming from the 'old' beaglebone that I have left connected in the computer room so I can continue developing the software.  I will be stopping all the programs except the feeder one so at least the fish can get fed while I sort out the rest of the software.

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