Restructuring the forum


Hi all,
The forum has been very helpful to me as I know it is for others as well. I notice however that, due to the strong growth of our community it gets more difficult to find the information one is looking for and sometimes we ask questions that already are answered somewhere… Newcomers can be overwhelmed (and maybe taken aback) by this ‘wall of unstructured information’ and even for those who where there from the beginning it often is too cluttered.

I’ve been asked to think about a new structure of the forum. So I would like to make a proposal to improve this so our fine forum will become more efficient. Please review my proposal and let me know it this is the right way forward or other thoughts that you may have on this matter:

- Building instructions
- Arduino
- Sensors/Actuators
- Desktop
Growing kit
- News
- Diaries
- Contact requests
- Site feedback

Looking forward to all your comments !!


Perpetual AMA for Caleb

Hey Peperoni, I agree that the forum could use a bit of cleanup. The search function has been very helpful in finding the information I needed quickly. One suggestion I have is for the category “Growing Kit”. Should we focus it around something a bit more broad? Maybe call it just “Growing”, that way questions on things like the germination phase have a place to get answered.


How about adding 3 top levels - Food Computer, Food Server, & Food Datacenter - then use your new categories underneath each top level?


Perhaps this doesn’t really apply here and I’m just a new guy, but I would like to see a section on actually growing plants. Things like nutrient issues, plant growth rates, comparing lighting, growing medias, beneficial microbes, etc…


@ToeSmack @HomeHydro: I see your points. I first had they idea to combine "growing kit’ and ‘Recipes’ in a single topic ‘growing’ but I thought that eventually ‘Recipes’ will have to be the most important chapter of them all given the whole ‘open source’ concept. But it will probably take some time before we get there (when the PFC has become a ‘no brainer’ and sharing recipes will be our daily activity here on the forum). So I agree with and favor the ‘Growing’ category with sub categories “growing Kit’, ‘recipes’ and maybe 'germination”. I’ll put it in version 2… thanks!


@aeroponx: I agree that it would be a logical thing to do but in my humble opinion there are not that many builders that are actively building a Food Server of even a Food Datacenter. It would make the maintenance of the forum at least 3 times more complex for the benefit of just a few…
Unless… I am deeply mistaken and there are far more ‘larger scale’ builders than I think. Please let me know if you are there and if you agree with aeroponx.


Guess it’s the suggested categories for me even if there were more builders of larger systems the modular focus is scalable so the ’ core bits ’ should be the focus. Builders of larger systems can gradually evolve their own topic areas that are pertinent to them.

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Hi Peperoni/Ronald! I am completely new to the forum, the world of food computers, the whole enchilada! I really want to attempt to build one as a part of my thesis and I am so lost in the forum and in git hub that I want to cry!

Your above outline would be incredible if implemented (for people like myself)! that being said, where can I find just the BOM and hardware folder so I can start this thing slowly.

Also, considering this outline you have constructed IS so neat and organized i have another question, can one follow this order to slowly build a food computer too??

Thank you in advance!



BOM, guides, schematics can be found here,


@D-lo. Hi D-lo and welcome to the forum. Sorry for keeping you so long in distress, but I see that ToeSmack has already pointed you in the right direction.
Here is one more good lead: How to get started building a Food Computer 1.0 (at least my story of it)
I was new at this forum too a couple of months ago so I know how you feel…:wink: This is one of the reasons that I want to restructure the platform.
From my own experience I would say that the order of my proposal would be a good way to start. Look around at the forum and read as much as possible. If it doesn’t make sense immediately, it will as soon as you start building.
Don’t be afraid to ask !
Then start building the construction (where are you based ? some parts in the BOM are not available everywhere. I made a European version).


Hi ToeSmack, thank you so much for the link. I really appreciate it. Have an awesome day!!!



Hi! great thank you for the link! I am based in NYC, so hopefully I will be able to get this going.

Since you built this, I have a random question; how big does this food computer end up becoming?? can it be, size adjustable during construction???

Have a great day,


@D-lo. There is some flexibility possible in the size of the PFC. I adjusted mine because of the inch to metric conversion and because I needed mine to fit into my cabinet in my office.
However: the size of the 2 led panels will largely determine your minimum sizes as well as the reservoir (water) bin.
The grow chamber is based on a foot plate construction with a cover. In my case it would have been more convenient if I had build a complete structure including the cover and turned the front side into a door. That can be done as well. For that reason you need to image what it will look like in the end and determine if that suits you or not. There are many pictures and drawings that will help you to visualise it. Good luck !


@ Peperoni. Oh! Ok. I think I get it. Wow there is so much to consider even before building! thank you for the heads up.

Random, does the computer, once completed, such up a lot of electricity…was there a noticeable hike on your energy bill??? If so, are there options to build a a energy efficient food computer??


To be honest… I am just about to start germinating my first round of seeds. You see, I am not so much ahead of you :slight_smile: But my professional experience tells me that this device will cost me around 100 euro/year on electricity if I run it on full capacity.


Restrucuring the forum:
It appears that I do not have the priveleges to change or add categories in the forum. This needs to be resolved before I can actually do something.
Maybe someone else will pick this up (who does have these privileges) in the mean time ?


Hey folks, apologies for the delay here. It appears the forum software has some limit on number of moderators we can add? Anyway, I’ve added these categories, since they seem to have consensus.

For some categories, I’ve not added the sub-categories yet, under the theory that we can sub-categorize when we see lots of posts on that topic appearing. Feedback welcome!