While I wait for V2.0, here is my take... :)


#1

Hi there,

A friend of mine sent me a link to your homepage which inspired me to start building my own food-computer. As the current hardware setup requires a lot of parts, I wanted to wait for V2.0. Meanwhile I built a very basic fogponic grow system :smile: My setup consists of the following parts:
1x large storage box => two holes for 2x netpots for my peppers
1x Ultrasonic fogger
1x Particle Photon (WiFi enabled micro-controller)
1x MOSFET-board => controlling a tiny fan
1x tiny fan
1x 433[MHz] transmitter module
2x LED lamps
1x Temperature/Humidity sensor (DTH22)
2x RC-Power sockets

To reduce the amount of wiring (relais) I decided to go for the RC-power sockets (for the lamps and fogger). They are cheap and can be easily controlled using the 433[MHz] transmitter (and you can easily add more later).

Now as a dashboard/controller I’m using an app/cloud-service called Blynk. You can easily create your own dashboard, get push notifications (if you wish) and assign functions to buttons/sliders etc.
Here a few screenshots of my dashboard.
Dashboard:


Configuration Tab:

Cheers

MrGadget


MVP - Product Design
#2

Nice choice with the Particle Photon! :seedling::satellite:


#3

So I figured I will post a few pictures of my setup and explain my thoughts…

Setup
Translucent plastic storage box (chose translucend to have better control over fogging cycles)
filled with 25l (6.6gal) of RO water
initial nutrient mix 30ml on 25l (Ferro NFT/Aero, Growth)
3-disk ultrasonic fogger
Temperature probe (not yet connected to the micro-controller)
2x RO-Water jugs => As small greenhouses and lamp “mounts”

And of corse the components described in my initial post.

Full Setup:

Without “Greenhouse”:

Side view (micro-fan to disperse the generated fog evenly and supply oxygen):

Cheers

MrGadget


#4

In my reading of hydroponics, a dark tub is preferred to reduce the potential for algae. Have you noticed that as a problem?


#5

Dear Josh
Yes I heard that too. I wanted to start with a translucent box, so I can have a better look at the fog distribution within the root chamber. until now I don’t notice any problems, but I suspect it is only a matter of time.
Hygiene is key. So every component/part that comes in contact with the nutrient solution gets washed and cleaned as good as possible.
I plan to switch to a darker setup, as soon as I’m sure i got all my parameters right (fogging/pause durations, solution temperature, root chamber temperature, etc.).


Climate & Nutrient solution controller
#6

Hi guys, sorry for the long silence!
I decided, that it was time for an upgrade :slight_smile:

Lessons learned from old setup:

  • As the nutrient container was translucent, at some point I ran into an algae problem
  • Container was way to big, especially the dead air space between solution and plants was too much and the fogger had to run longer to fill the whole chamber with fog. This in return heated up my solution.
  • Cleaning and moving the container wasn’t very comfortable
  • Container rested on the ground, not optimal due to the fact that we have floor heating :stuck_out_tongue:

So last weekend I finally found some time to work on my setup. Went to “the Maker’s Candy-land” (Hardware store) and assembled the parts I needed.

I wanted the new system to fulfil the following points:

  • Modular design => scalable
  • Inexpensive parts
  • Easy to clean
  • Easy to replicate by others
  • Food-safe
  • Better handling

Assembly took me half a day and here the result:

Left side new setup (banana for scale) and on the right the old system.
At the time, I only drilled holes for two small netpots (there is an area that should not be populated by plants, as the ultrasonic mister would a) get clogged by roots b) would harm the plants roots)
The containers I used are very durable and can be securely stacked. This means, if I would want to grow the plants within a closed camber, I could just buy another box, cut out the buttom and mount the lights, vents, and so on.

New Setup overview:

Base

Solid frame on wheels, so the system can be moved easily

Bottom Left Box

Mainly storage for Mister converter, mounted a connector strip to power everything (note the wireless powersocket used to turn on/off the mister)

Bottom Right Box

Nutrient container (hold about 20l), with fogger, bubble stone, PH-Meter, and small vent for air circulation.

Top Left Box

Contoller box with a Wifi-connected Particle Photon inside. Reads all sensors, controlls mister cycle, ventilation, etc.
Added an external antenna to improve the WiFi signal.

Now I’m going to test it (first without plants) to get the fogging cycle right and then add some plants.