Jumping in - or not


Ok. I’ll come clean. I’m an old school linux hack, 25+ years coding, 5+ years farming a real farm, and currently work full time as a paid coder. Spent 3 years trying to get a precision ag. device startup going (900MHz digimess rural telemetry) but failed (too slow to market).

Anyway, I’m setting up my first container farm, and will need automation. But there is no way I’m committing years of my life to a hacking project again - at least not until I have a working system up and running and making money.

So reading through the posts, am picking that openag_brain is just not mature or stable enough. And here’s the rub, being a software guy, I love the idea of getting in and tinkering, but at the same time, I know all to well about release management, version control, regression testing (or lack of ), cruddy/poorly supported open source code and so on …

Basically, life’s too short. So I’m looking for commercial hardware recommendations for kit that supports say industry leading sensors; open APIs to monitor and control things at the API level (i.e. CoAP, MQTT +, OPCUA etc.); nice enclosures with no soldering required; good technical support; growing customer base; and no lock in to bespoke cloud services.

Any takers?


For the reasons you described, this forum may be the wrong place to get information about the type of commercial systems you’re looking for. As I understand it, Caleb’s near term goals for this project are mostly about creating an Open Phenome dataset and facilitating STEM education involving hydroponics and controlled environment agriculture. The PFC designs aren’t intended for commercial growing. On the other hand, my impression is that a lot of the current plant farm tech is proprietary and internal to big farm companies or else intended for growing cannabis. Have you tried Upstart University? Their program is aimed at people who want to get started as commercial hydroponic growers, so maybe they can point you toward the best of what’s currently available.