Sensors in Aquaponic Systems

  • July 24, 2014 · 5:30 PM
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Discussions about data and what to do with it are everywhere. Big Data is a Big Deal, and in applications like aquaponics, cheap effective sensors and computing are making serious inroads in terms of enhancing productivity and peace of mind.

Let's get together and talk about sensor technology in aquaculture. Several members of the group are working on sensing and automation projects, and there's active areas of interest in terms of enabling stronger automation and notification systems for our gardens.

Interested in giving a show and tell? Have a need that isn't currently met by affordable technology? Let us know in the comments.

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  • James N.

    On the Reagent Robot, here is the parts list I've developed so far for general parts. I'll add another post for the reagent injector part. I've started a design for the reaction chamber which I will post in the pictures.


    Water valve
    http://www.adafruit.com/products/997 Flow rate sensor
    http://www.adafruit.com/products/828 small stepper motor, may need larger.
    http://www.adafruit.com/products/324 Stepper motor driver
    http://www.linistepper.com (provided by James Newton)

    8mm rod
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/1-PCS-STAINLESS-STEEL-ROUND-ROD-302-5-16-315-8MM-X-12-LONG-/161359473218?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2591c62a42

    July 25

    • James N.

      Sid, Wednesday is going to be impossible for me.
      Henry, can we reschedule? Tuesday evening at 7pm would be better for me. Or doodle poll?

      August 4

    • Henry

      Ya, let's doodle it. Can you set that up? I'm free almost nearly any day that week, and I'm open to either weekdays or weeknights.

      August 4

  • Michelle

    We got some excellent feedback and critique from a commercial aquaponist. I'm asking if I can include it in the document the minutes are "growing" into.

    1 · August 4

  • Leo H.

    I am so bummed that I missed the first meeting but glad im on the thread. I will do my best to get to the next meeting!!

    2 · August 4

    • Henry

      Always happy to have you.

      August 4

  • Henry

    Holy moly, you guys are a talented bunch! First, I'd like to recognize James for the gargantuan effort in research, designing, and identifying parts lists for a potential implementation on the reagent robot. Way to go man!

    Also, I'd like to thank Michelle for her hard work prepping, doing research, and getting quotes to inform our conversation day of, plus the great notes she took and organized for us afterwards.

    I've organized all of the information we've shared in a Google Drive, along with my response to James and his design. Overall, I think we have made significant strides on this project and propose one more dedicated reagent robot brainstorm meeting before I put in the parts order. Then comes the fun part of actually building the thing ...

    If you want access to the Google Drive, send me your email and I'll grant access.

    August 1

    • Michelle

      Very glad to see the test bot proposal get some traction. Keep in mind the variant we talked about a while back - the test strip autoreader robot - as a fallback.

      1 · August 1

  • Henry

    Great conversation and some actionable next steps

    1 · July 25

    • Henry

      Sent

      August 1

    • Michelle

      Adding the ISE and big data discussions to the minutes next, optimistically by Monday.

      August 1

  • Michelle

    Will start working on the minutes from the meeting on Monday (at Comic Con through Sunday).

    July 26

  • Travis G.

    Just what I was hoping for, a mashup of open source competence with a problem needing to be solved. Better still, enough properly-skilled people were interested in moving forward that a project has emerged. Perfect!

    1 · July 25

  • James N.

    Excellent meetup! Really enjoyed being around people with an interest in this and I'm looking forward to making progress on a project.

    July 25

  • Sid M.

    great topic!
    I really enjoyed hearing the different solutions and directions. Much more to ponder now

    2 · July 24

  • Henry

    Hey everyone, I'm really interested in hearing what folks are interested in tracking in their systems. I'm hoping this system will be an opportunity for us to discuss the needs and identify potential solutions that I can then go out and try to build and open source.

    2 · July 8

    • Henry

      Travis, thanks for the thoughts! Water level, pH, and water temp are definitely important and we will be certain to keep those high up on the list.

      2 · July 17

    • Seemanta D.

      This is sooooo damn interesting, I can't wait, Henry!

      July 23

  • Seemanta D.

    Hi all,
    I have a setup which uses an Arduino Yun and a HC-SR04 ultrasonic sensor to measure and report the distance in an email if the distance is found to be higher than a critical value (think of it as an easly warning system for the fish tank).

    This is just an initial proof of concept that I created for Henry's system. It will be nice to meet all of you and exchange ideas about creating a sensing platform for Aquaponics enthusiasts. I can have a short demo during the presentation.

    Love some of the ideas mentioned here and can't wait to join the meetup.

    2 · July 23

  • Henry

    Hey everyone,

    Just a quick heads up that I changed the meeting venue to my office because I think folks will be a lot more comfortable there. It's only 1 block from my home, and there is a small parking lot, so I hope it doesn't change anyone's plans ...

    July 23

  • Sid M.

    I work for a local Calibration lab and might be able to shed light on temperature. LOVE to learn more about
    consumer grade automation.

    2 · July 20

    • Henry

      Hey Sid, that's awesome! Your expertise would be greatly appreciated and we are definitely shooting for consumer-grade in the long run. Hope to see you there this Thursday!

      1 · July 21

    • Sid M.

      I am no public speaker, but I will do my best. I'll see if I can bring samples of current sensors, for fun, and handout. It's the least I can do after everything Michelle's given us

      2 · July 21

  • Michelle

    I have a short presentation on Big Data and why Aquaponics enthusiasts should care, and a slide or two on the current state of the art on gel-based sensors, and the potential alternatives.

    2 · July 19

    • Henry

      Are you sure? Are you bringing your own or is it not a Powerpoint?

      July 21

    • Michelle

      Yes, and thanks so much for asking! I don't need Powerpoint for this presentation.

      July 21

  • victor k.

    Any dependable continuous nitrate monitors available to hold calibration and don't cost a fortune?

    July 20

    • Michelle

      Define fortune.

      1 · July 20

    • Henry

      Great question Victor. Would love to see you there this Thursday to hear what you had in mind and how, if it doesn't exist yet, we can build it!

      July 21

  • Henry

    Does anyone out there have experience with the hardware side of these sensors? I've done some research and it looks like the sensor pieces (at least to plug into an arduino) are pretty expensive and require frequent replacement.

    I wonder if there are more creative ways we can come up with to test for certain variables ...

    1 · July 17

    • James N.

      I'll be late, but hope to make it by 6:30 or so.

      July 20

    • Henry

      Awesome!

      July 21

  • James N.

    Really want to attend this, but I will be late coming from the STEM Playday event in Balboa. Hope to get there by 6:30. Save me a spot on the floor? ,o)

    July 10

    • James N.

      I'll bring my solar powered moisture sensor, which I use with plants in traditional media. Might be interesting for some.

      July 10

    • Henry

      Awesome, sounds great!

      1 · July 10

  • Michelle

    Cross-listed with Hardware Innovators of San Diego.

    http://www.meetup.com/Hardware-Innovators-of-San-Diego/events/194016722/

    2 · July 9

  • Jeff R.

    Hi all. Just joined the group. Sounds super interesting and informative, but I'll be in Houston for an earth science conference. I'm looking to develop a large, outdoor aquaponics system at the school I teach at next year, so if anyone is interested in assisting, please feel free to contact me!

    July 8

    • Henry

      Hey Jeff, I'm totally down to help you plan out and build your aquaponics setup. Let's connect when you get back from Houston

      July 9

    • Jeff R.

      Much appreciated!! Definitely will do!

      1 · July 9

  • Michelle

    Taking Henry up on his offer to host it at his location. Thank you Henry! Anything we can bring to make the event even more successful? :)

    July 9

    • Henry

      Maybe snacks and/or drinks? Otherwise I'll bring a whiteboard and pen/paper for folks to sketch notes or ideas

      July 9

  • Leo H.

    I would like to go, but I get out of work at 6 so depending where it will be held will determine how late I am.

    July 8

    • Michelle

      Sounds like a great idea! Thank you Henry. We'll follow up with more sensor meetings around the county, too - there's some East county people that have mentioned this as a specific area of interest. I'll keep it on the front burner.

      1 · July 9

    • Henry

      Awesome!

      July 9

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