Build diary of Jussi's Food Computer


IT IS ALIVE :smiley:

Next up is attaching sensors and fans and what ever attaches to the Arduino bundle. Also I seem to have no space for the gigantic bottle cap humidifier. It was a lot bigger then I thought it to be so need to hack it :slight_smile:

Started by removing the vaporising element from it.

Used two round pieces of acrylic I attached the element between. Idea is to run a pipe from a water bottle that I can place in any orientation above the element to the element. That horizontal design that FC 1.0 has did not appeal to me :slight_smile:


Last connections to the to the censors and fans. I should have bought and installed that wire management box. I was thinking that naah I don’t need one. I’ll just use zip-ties…

Also made due with just one led strip. After cutting it I pealed the connectors open and soldered new wires on it. Finished it with some heat shrink. and it worked nicely.

Well I guess when I get everything working I will try to figure a way to make the wires tied nicely.
At the end of the instruction set there is a chapter on testing. I connected Arduino to my laptops USB and fired up the serial monitor.

“SWPH 1”:7.7,
“SWEC 1”:0.0,
“SWTM 1”:0.0,
“SLIN 1”:690,
“SLPA 1”:15.23,
“SATM 1”:23.8,
“SAHU 1”:56.8,
“SACO 1”:580,
“SATM 2”:0.0,
“SAHU 2”:0.0,
“SGSO 1”:0,
“SGWO 1”:0,
“AAHE 1”:0,
“AAHU 1”:0,
“AAVE 1”:1,
“AACR 1”:1,
“ALPN 1”:0,
“ALPN 2”:0,
“ALMI 1”:1,

From this log I could deduct that EC sensor and the Water temperature sensor are not giving a measurement.
Other then that all sensors work. Wonder whats going on with the EC sensor?

Next up the actuators. Nothing worked. Damn I was hoping all would go like in the movies and I could just turn my FC on and start growing.
While troubleshooting I noticed that Protoshield was wired totaly wrong for the Fan/Led actuators. No wonder it did not work. My wiring made no sense. Fixed that and tried again. Now I can turn the fans and leds on and off.

Grow lights, humidifier and heater still do not work. Can’t turn them on or off. I figured that the relay board must be busted.
Lights on it turn on and off when I command in the serial monitor but the relays do not click.

I think I also might have a connection issue. I connected each of the sockets to a relay port. It might be that the grow light sockets are controlled by one relay. That is an easy fix but still the relay board does not work so ordered a new one.

The humidifier hack continues.
I added the pipe to the humidifier element. Lots of sealant and let it dry. After this I tested it but the bloody thing keeps leaking. It is the rubber seal around the small element. Need to figure out a way to seal that. I think I read somewhere that one of you good builders have it working upside down. Need to check out that and see how that does not leak.

Up next is to make the humidifier work and try out if replacing the relay board solves my problem :slight_smile: Not to forget the EC and water temp sensors…
The end is in sight. Soon I will be growing salads :slight_smile:


Wow nice idea but how much cost when it introduce into market ? is it available all ready in market?


I do not think there is a productised version yet of the Food computer but I seen @Rckco post something to the nature of productising this. Might be wrong though.

I’m building this as a research project and cos I want to have fresh greens growing in my Kitchen :slight_smile:


Hi Jussi. Sorry to bother you again but I notice you have the same Arduino Proto shield as I have and today I (finally) received my Grove connectors for it. I noticed however that the pins on the Grove connectors have a different ‘grid’ than the holes in the Arduino shield. I need to bend the pins in order to make them fit in the holes. Did you have that same problem or did I order the wrong Grove connectors (receptacles actually) ?


I had that, you might need to push it in a bit…


Thanks… that was what I did it the end…:+1:
Plus that I found out, after reading more carefully that Jussi actually mentioned it…my bad.


No problem :slight_smile:
Use the force @Peperoni… Use the force…


Build continues

Problem number one. Broken relay board.
Yesterday got new ones in mail. Thanks Amazon Prime for fast two week delivery… Next day my ***.
Replaced it and all works. There is a odd thing with the Grow lights. Instruction set says to connect one plug to one relay. Each plug in this way will work individually. I noticed that the Arduino when turning on the grow lamps with “ALPN 1 1” turns on the relay number 2. Not 2 and 3 for example. Looking at the electrics schematic it says that the grow lamps both go into plug number 2. Well I used a Wago connectors to connect the plugs 2 and 3 into the relay number 2. Now the relay number 3 is not used. 1 and 4 are used for the humidifier and heater.

Problem number two. Humidifier.
I been working on the humidifier so that it would not have to go in horizontally. First I though that it would be great if the bottle was upside down and the humidifier would be horizontal. I started to work by taking the humidifier into pieces and using elastic glue, two pieces of acrylic and some PVC tube.
While waiting for the glue to set (takes a day minimum) I started to wonder if this will work at all. Backup plan needs to be conceived. In the hardware store I saw all sorts of pipe they have for sale and an idea occurred to me . Using the bottle upright and just attaching a low bend that would move the humidifier spray to the grow chamber.

You see… It kind of works. Had it running for an hour or so just to see what problems it might have. Well there is quite a lot of condensation inside the pipe. At some point it will flood the humidifier and it will stop working. Solution would be some sort of drain back to the bottle.
This way the humidity transferred to the grow chamber is less then then horizontal solution but still… Might be enough.

While working on the backup plan the original plans glue had cured. Put some water into the pipe. No leaks. Plugged the USB and it works. YEY \o/
Sorry for the blurry picture. I think the focus of the camera was on the things on the table :slight_smile:

More glue and a hole in the motherboard wall and Problem number two is closed to being solved.
I placed the head of it right above the air fan inside the grow space. I hope to take advantage of the air going around and spreading the humidity :slight_smile:

With this I created problem number 4. Need to find a new place on the motherboard for sensors, arduino and the Pi.

Problem number 3. No measurements from EC and water temperature sensor.
This will need to wait for the next time :slight_smile:


@silversson: Jussi, is the image that you put up here with the proto shield wiring the wiring BEFORE or AFTER you found out that it was all wrong ? I was evaluating my own schedule with yours and there are some differences… that’s why I ask.


Hi @Peperoni.
Its the incorrect one. Good example on how not to wire them :smiley:


I started to make it easier by connecting dots in @adrianlu’s diagram… I think I might have made it worse…


@silversson: Pffeew… I was so impressed by your images and neat soldering that I was ready to copy your work 1:1, but then I hesitated for a moment to check (and double-check). Glad I asked.
I am extremely happy now as I am testing, as we speak, and so for NO issues… Jippyjaahee ! I will start to update my dairy soon now.


Hi silversson! Thanks for sharing all the information! Where did you get the European AC socket? Do you have a type number, brand name or link? Thanks!


AC sockets.
I bought mine out of the German Amazon. Took a while to find them but with some work and google translate :smiley:
You can also find them in most hardware stores. For wiring them just google some info as they are different to connect then the US ones.äuse/dp/B000ONWAME?ie=UTF8&dpID=31c6XY%2B653L&dpSrc=sims&preST=AC_UL160_SR160%2C160&refRID=1BCPYHWHY7PMZP54RJJJ&ref_=pd_sim_60_1


Nice! Glad to see the wiring diagram put to use. How was it using the diagram?


This is shipping in case anyone wants to make their build easier :slight_smile:

OpenAg Helper PCB
Kiwi Food Computer Build Diary

And little more today…

No problem solving. Humidifying setup. Glue had hardened so I cut the pipe and made a hole in the bottom of the bottle. As good fit as I could get. Attached an old bike water bottle holder to the side of the motherboard to keep the bottle in.

Used my trusty elastic glue to seal the bottle and the pipe. I truly hope that it will not leak water. If it does I’m going to swear a bit and add more glue. Going to find some nice glue that I’ll fill the bottom of the bottle with.
Here is the final setup.

Damn it is ugly solution. For the next one I will need to look into nicer ways to run pipes and cables through the motherboard and some sort of fitting that allows me to remove the pipe from the bottle without it leaking. I seen some of these type of things in the computer water cooling world.


@adrianlu it is a good diagram. Took some trial and error to understand it. I don’t have experience with this kinds of diagrams. The S4 that has the input power 12V I did not use. It was a bit much to have so many cables attached to it so I ran the 12V out as a bundle from the board :slight_smile:

Have to say that could not have made it work without your diagram.


Thanks. Glad I could help :slight_smile:

How do you mean, “ran the 12V out as a bundle from the board”?