(noob) how easy is it to knockout sensors and actuators


#1

Hi guys!

I’m still on the process of studying all PFC2.1 material, planning to begin building in one month in a workshop I’ll be facilitating. My idea is to begin with the elementar sensors and actuators and therefore add all the other (so I get time for the sensors to arrive to Brazil while I begin the workshop by the basics).

My quick question is: how easy is it to config the software to work with fewer climatic variables (not all sensors nor actuators)? Is it possible from user frontend?

Thanks
cheers!


#2

Hi,

The PFC2.1 uses an Arduino Mega 2560 controller board to interface with the sensor and actuator control lines. The raspberry pi sends commands formatted as “0,x,y,z…” to the Arduino. This list of commands is interpreted by the Arduino as a list of actuator commands. For example x is the on/off bit for one of the nutrient pumps. In response the Arduino sends a list back to the pi formatted as “0,a,b,c…” where the a, b, c are sensor reading values.

So if you build everything and then leave some sensors or actuators off of your system then Raspberry pi or the Arduino may get confused. The solution to this is I think to be prepared to modify the Arduino code to “spoof” certain sensors or actuators until such time as you get them installed into your system.

If you are comfortable with writing Arduino code then you may be ok with this answer, otherwise I look to others to supply a better answer.

Joe


#3

Thanks! I’m comfortable with Arduino codes. I’ll analyse it and try some possibilities.