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Wood Tobe-Coburn School ​well hello again Mission Control continuing our system overview series and today we're gonna talk about Arduinos and the sensors that we have in the system let's get started i'm standing in front of lane two it's the most complete lane right now that we have in the building as i continue to learn the sensors that we want that we need and experiment with different ways of factoring everything so when i kind of quickly go over what we got happening here inside the facility so we have two boxes we have a low voltage and a high voltage so this is 120 volt this is 12 volt over here inside of our 12 volt system we have a wireless control unit i call the master and a slave unit that's not wireless but it's connected via i2c which is a network protocol over to the master unit and the master unit is responsible for all the thinking it figures out what the sensors say it talks to the server it gets the information it gets its instructions and it figures out what to do and when to do it and then it sends those commands over to the slave unit which has all the inputs and outputs that we need to control everything in the system this is a hundred twenty volt to twelve volt power converter which then bucks down to 5 volt converter as well that goes to a custom distribution board which is essentially just five volt bar and a ground bar and then we have five volt servos here that are all running 12 volts through them meaning it takes 5 volts to turn them on and off that's why we need a buck converter but we're actually pumping out 12 volts from the 12 volt power supply that goes to all of these Lane valves that turn the valves on and off on each of the grow beds for this entire length so then we connect via ethernet cable CJ or rj45 and we come over into the 120 volt box now in this box we have a 16 channel relay I don't need 16 channels but I got this one because allows for lots of a room for expansion and then we have 120 volt neutral bus bar and 100 around busbar that we can connect everything in we need this for all the lights and everything that we're going to be plugging in to the system so this this pretty big deal here having all this stuff hooked up we wanted to have I learned the hard way you want to have the high voltage stuff away from the low voltage stuff and have some smoke if you don't follow what I mean now it bounced over to lane three just to give you a different shot here we have the master control unit the 12-volt boxing but I don't have the hundred twenty volt in and what I got here is I actually have this is the sensor suite and what we have is we have temperature and humidity dissolved oxygen photosynthetically absorbable radiation or a par pH the fishtank temperature and the grow bed temperature and we have a space for ammonia and nitrites in the future but I don't have those sensors chosen yet inside we actually have another wireless command unit and it actually sits on top of it is a custom circuit board now you can go back to my previous videos and see me build all these I'm not going to go over that all here but we built a custom circuit board so we can connect everything into essentially it's an interface board that just allows all these different types of sensors that have different inputs different requirements different capacitor or resistor requirements to build the circuits for them that interface board just allows us to bring that all together and then get it into the wireless control unit I'm back over to Lane 2 again this is the most complete one and now we're down to floor and we have here is the power monitoring system and I got to install this on each of the lanes so we know how much power is being consumed on each lane right now this Lane is pulling in three amps it's at 120 volts or actually 115 point three is what's going through at point two and now it's three point zero two amps so each of the lanes we monitor a voltage amperage and total power consumption on it as well as eventually this little guy here which will probably get consumed into the master lane unit that's up above this is an earlier per type but the water so this is our hose that we use to fill up the fish tanks which we haven't had to do in over 4 months now but in the summertime when it gets warmer in here you have more evaporation and you do need to put some water in from time to time so what I want to do is put a control valve on this and have it controlled by the system as well with a float of probably float sensor that knows the the height of the water in there and then it can just turn it on and turn it off now more importantly the reason I want that is because I have accidentally left as water on and I ran out here one day and the water was almost at the very top of this fish tank and if it would have done that we could have lost the entire lane all the footings would it gave out everything it would have been horrible so I'd like to put some automation in to make sure that doesn't happen essentially I want it to look at my smart phone and know that I'm not in the building and if I'm not in the building then it needs to be turned off so or maybe motion sensors or something so it knows if someone's out here whatever it is I never want that to happen again so we have power control here eventually we'll have fish tank watering control here as well all right so now I want to talk to you about the sensors that we have right now we have this is lane 2 and lane 2 and 3 have these sensors this is a temperature sensor probe this is a pH sensor probe and this is a dissolved oxygen sensor probe now out of all these this one


works consistently it works very very well very reliable very happy with it it's also the most simplest one and the most inexpensive one like 3 bucks easy very tough ok these two are made by a company called vernier and they do a lot of school college university high school type of sensors so they're very affordable compared to other options that are out there the pH sensors they don't work all that well not for this actually no both of them just don't work all that well for this setting it and they told me that one when I got them but this one here is like a hundred bucks 79 bucks I think and this one's like 200 some odd bucks and these are the the best ones I could find for the price that I was willing to pay it time so I talked to them first I explained what I was doing and they clearly told me so I'm not I'm not sliding vernier at all here that I want to make that very clear for what they are they were working really really well when I first put him in but they're not industrial they're not meant for continuous usage they're meant to be on a high school lab bench somewhere cleaned and sterilized after every use not in a fish tank floating on a foam foam board here so essentially about three months after I started using them they stopped working so I would love to find new sensors and we still have more sensors to go we need to get ammonia and nitrates nitrites all figured out I think if you can record nitrites in ammonia then you can calculate the number of nitrates so I don't think you need all three sensors that's good because they expensive and I haven't found one yet that's really gonna work in a continuous monitoring system so we might have to come up with some different solutions there but we'll talk about some more challenges and some of those in a future video but we got these two sensors plus the temperature sensor going right now I do need to put that one back down there because that is live want to know what's happening down that fish tank there we go okay that could lane two again so a lot of people gave me some grief when I first got started and a lot of people just had a good honest question why don't I choose to go with the arduino platform when I first started honestly it's because just what I learned on there's another one out there called Raspberry Pi and what these are these are small computers like a laptop only a lot smaller less capable but the same idea they're just small computers this little guy right here small computer a small computer there and this one in particular it's called the we most d1 r2 is the model number and I really like it it's really easy to interface with it seems to be very robust I've put him through hell and they do a pretty good job so pretty happy with that fairly easy to program it's a sea-based language if you're familiar with that so pretty simple lots of examples out there you can just lift other people's code reuse it and it makes makes initial integration very easy now Raspberry Pi again I was just unfamiliar with it I've done already window stuff before so I went with what I knew but if you're into Raspberry Pi you could use that the same way if you're going to learn one or the other if you're brand-new never coded before or do we know if you have coated and you want power Raspberry Pi but even these boards right here they're even more capable than what I really need in this system so in the future I'd like to take the designs that I have and create a custom circuit board custom computer that has everything on it that I need kind of take all of this stuff here and put it onto one now the power supply might be kind of hard the rest of it I think we can do so that's why I chose Arduino I just knew it it was easy easy to put together and the code it works rich pretty well so you might think that putting all these electronics together and everything it's kind of hard stuff well I'll be honest it's not it's not that complicated I think really anyone can do it you just got to kind of sit down and trudge through some data and put it all together and and once you understand the basics of the physics moving electricity around you're good you know positive ground circuit closed type of you know what they taught us in middle school the horror hardest hardest part of all this is building all these cables oh my goodness it takes forever to build cables and there are so many small pieces connectors different types of connectors crimpers that you need to have special tools that you need to have to build these cables and all the little pins and everything that go into it you know here's a good example right here let me show you so this is a standard rj45 cable cat6 cable with a rj45 connector on excuse me and I had to build this so although all the wires are inside of there but the connector you have to put that on and then these connectors that go into the board you have to build all those as well you have to put them all together so you need a special tool that crimps everything just right and then you have to buy all these little connectors that's what was a kill so it took a heck of a long time to build all the cables here all these cables coming in you know length is just length that's no problem but all the special connections that you have to have for the sensor box everything just you have to go from what they did into what you're doing you have to convert things those cables really were quite a pain so yeah lots of work went into the automation and I'm not done yet I still have Lane 1 and Lane 4 and lane 3 so power boxes to put it in 120 volt pack boxes to put in lots of cables to build sensors I still need to get done I'm hoping to get that all done before spring gets here so we'll see how that goes why Automation why you even care Jeff you're making it too complicated well I'm not I'm not I totally absolutely 100 percent 100 thousand percent emphatically disagree with that Automation is here to help us and computers used for the right reasons can actually be helpful I mean who doesn't like a calculator who hasn't enjoyed their smartphone all those smart phones starting to become like an addiction and it's messing with people's brains so I'm hoping someday I'll probably eject my smartphone but I'm trying to put this whole


thing on a smart phone anyway not the point I digress the point is automation computers using the right sense can actually be very very helpful to humans and in fact have allowed us to do quite a bit of things that we couldn't do day to day so why is that important here well there's a lot of stuff out here that has to be taken care of lots of things that need to be monitored water for example has to be continuously tested you know once a week to see how how is it doing well what happens if you go on vacation want to take the family on that road trip you've been dreaming of you sit there for two weeks on the road while your system fails you come home no food I think I don't work you need to you forgot you got to get your daughter to soccer practice and you're running late you're out here working left the water on come home green house is flooded everything is destroyed spend all your time that you don't have cleaning up after yourself because you forgot to turn a valve off that's not going to work I mean there's so many things that people need to do every day in their lives that if you have to be out here every day checking on the system and all the different parts and checking for airflow and temperature and turning fans on and off and doing all that stuff that's just a waste of your god-given talents what we need is to have a computer do those really dull and dirty projects for us things that really aren't a good use of our mental capacity so the automation is here to actually get it to where we can separate ourselves from the system still essentially run a normal family of four life take your wife out on a date take the kids to band practice go to soccer camp go to church on Sundays do whatever you need to do whatever it is you want to be able to go do those things and kind of live that normal type of life and not be stuck in here working all the time like what mrs. Martian and I are doing right now I'm really excited about getting this automation put in because it is it will allow me to separate from the system some I can stop being out here all the time checking everything this is Martian we can have things in place that watch everything for her it really reduces the time that you need to spend out here and make sure makes your quality of life go up so that's why we need automation if you're on Mars the same type of idea right you got a lot of things you needed up do up there and constantly worrying about your food is not one of the things that I personally I don't want to be worried about my food I want to have nothing but confidence that my food is always available always being watched always being monitored and when I'm hungry I go in there I grab the Apple off the treat and I'm good to go right I don't want to sit and have to monitor everything with my own eyes I want to trust in a system that does that for me so I can go to use this thing and this thing for a higher-level purpose than just sitting and watching moss grow on a rock so that's why automation is important you can tell I'm kind of passionate about it so there you have it that's the automation that's where we're currently at and the things that we need to do next time we get together we're going to be talking about pumps and valves and things that flow and go bump in the night like this one right here right now that's draining in there on the fish tank and into the fish tank and filling right here so I'm going to talk about all that next time hope you enjoyed this video I hope it gave you some insights and maybe you got some ideas from it help you avoid some of my pitfalls mistakes if you did enjoy please be sure to give us a thumbs up and hit subscribe hit that little bell to get notified when new videos come out and you can also follow us on Facebook Twitter and on patreon in the meantime everyone this is a real Martian Wow you Webb Institute, f/k/a Webb Institute of Naval Architecture.

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