Build diary of Jussi's Food Computer


I mean this :slight_smile: I ran them out directly not using S4 :slight_smile:
Blurred out the connection on the pic as they are WRONG…


Another day on the build. Well same build different day :smiley:
Today I tested the new hacked humidifier. Finished things in the grow side. setup the network to try out the UI and maybe set up things to start growing…

First the grow chamber.
The grow surface. Marked down and cut out the holes for plants. 21 altogether. 20mm x 20mm holes. I thought I bought the rockwool cubes that are 40mm x 40mm but no they are smaller. 20mm x 20mm ones and hence the smaller holes. Also a small snack on the end for cables and sensors.

I covered the motherboard walls grow chamber side with aluminium tape. Looks nicer and also reflects more light :slight_smile:

Drilled a vent hole into the shell. Right at the end of the grow chamber. Added the same vent cover as is in the vent that leads into the grow chamber.

Little tape for now until the glue hardens.

Now that humidifier hack…
I changed the bottle setup as it did not stick as I thought. Now I glued the pipe into the cork of the bottle and placed it upside down. Made a custom holder and attached that to the motherboard. Custom holder takes less space and allows to attach the rest of the electronics easierly… Thats not a word is it :slight_smile: ?

Not without a problem. The humidifier leaks from the head that is in the grow chamber. Full bottle will empty in a day with this drip. I tied a cord to the head and the other end to the nutrient solution so the drip goes into the grow solution and not everywhere else.

I set up a old router and cables to get the UI running and connected to the Raspberry Pi. Got the connection working and get all the sensor readings. Can’t change the recipe though…

Still need to solve the dripping of the humidifier.
Changing the recipe. need to look at logs and find out where the problem is. Also hope someone else has solved this :slight_smile:


Humidifier hack
So that hack did not work properly. It leaked like stated in the previous post. It leaked slowly so my last hope was that the humidifier hack would leak until some water was only left in the bottle. So that maybe there would be a level of water that would not leak. Well the thing leaked until it was bone dry. So dry in-fact that I think I might have invented a efficient dryer mechanism…

Simpler solutions needed. Well I went for the simplest. Small bottle and a humidifier upright in the grow chamber. Notice the hole left from the hack :smiley:

Like with all failures you should look back and see what happened and so on to learn. Don’t throw away a good failure :slight_smile: What did I learn from the hack.
Humidifier works only upright and with that foam bit controlling the amount of water touching the humidifier element.
I might have made it work by placing the foam in the tube and using zip-ties to seal it in so no water gets past it. Foam would have then controller the water flow to the element.
Testing a hack outside the final placement would be best. Creating a test rig would have been worth while.
Lessons learnt:

  • Build a test rig instead of integrating a not tested hack into your final build.
  • Find out more information on the parts you are not familiar with. In this case the humidifier element.
  • Never forget that water pressure is a mighty force that can fudge up all.
  • Water will ruin your electronics :slight_smile:


Today I changed the Raspberry Pi’s clock into correct time and correct timezone. Worked I can now change the Recipe. Uploaded one provided by @Rckco. Thanks for that. Filled in the reservoir to the brim, loaded the grow top with rock wool cubes and set a Romaine Lettuce seed in each. Also filled a bottle with water, sugar and yeast for the natural CO2 generator :slight_smile:

As you can see some cleanup needed. Motherboard side frame and cover. Also there is still that gap at the top of the motherboard wall that is not fitting well. So some fine tuning needed but I can do that whilst my lettuce grow :slight_smile:

Wanted to than every one in the forum for support I would not have been able to make this machine work with out your help :slight_smile:


Looks great! Congratulations.
I am almost ready for growing myself but I don’t get a grip on the software part yet…:sweat:
Hope you will get some great tasting lettuce!


You should get one of those in about 3 to 4 weeks ! Taste perfect, now to tomatoes…


Can’t wait :slight_smile:
I’ll copied the diary to my new site :slight_smile:

Never had a site before…


Looks great so far! I’m curious to what steps you took to get the brain software up and running. I have raspbian running with the Adafruit display working alright, and I ran the ‘docker’ scripts that were recently posted, but how will I get the entire program running?


Oh. So there is an image. I get it now.


@silversson I don’t know if this is the problem you had with the humidifier, but when mine is horizontal, it leaks from the top unless it’s positioned with the USB cable to the right. In the assembly guide it also asks us to use this position. Do you know in what position yours was when it was leaking?


Congratulation for your website, nice to see your job :slight_smile:


As a person who just finished soldering, just thought I’d let you know that it was extremely helpful!

I noticed in the Controller Module assembly section that it mentions a “Reed Relay”. Do you know where I might get one of these? I’m a bit confused as I don’t believe it was listed in the BOM. Thanks again for your diagram!


Hey James,

Sorry for the delayed response. The reed relay as I understand it, is used for one of the sensors. I actually did not purchase one because of all of the changes and limitations with the sensors used in the FC v1.0.

Hope this helps,


Thanks! I didn’t end up getting one either, and I was worried that I was the only one without one.


Hi Jussi, You’ve done a great job at constructing and explaining. I will be in Berlin 2-5 July and I’d love to meet you. Please respond to if you agree.


What type of LEDs did you use/ where did you find them? I am having trouble finding the correct ones. Thanks!