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Thread: Microclimate control

  1. Microclimate control

    Hey guys, I am not sure this should go under this section but there was a related thread that gave me the idea in here just recently. http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/showthread.php?t=3363.

    I have a close friend who wants to grow his own vegetables and herbs all year round indoors since we have a pretty short grow season out here in Colorado. He showed me this controller he was thinking of getting and after reading the thread above I thought why not build something similiar that will automate control but also datalog. I am a programmer by trade but have recently started building a rover as my first project so I have already purchased a seriallzer and a ssc-32 and yesterday ordered a a battleswitch and a phidget temp/humidity sensor to test with. Here is the links for reference.
    http://www.trossenrobotics.com/store...10A-relay.aspx
    http://www.trossenrobotics.com/store...re-Sensor.aspx

    Also I planned on testing over USB to start but will probably get this cool xeebee kit so I have more options where I put the serializer.
    http://www.trossenrobotics.com/p/Xbe...arter-Kit.aspx

    Anyways, I am a total newb at this stuff so I was really hoping you guys could answer some questions for me to get me started. Here goes...

    First is that battleswitch appopriate to use for such items as 1000w lights? I really like the idea of just being able to hook it right up to the serializer and add new switches when needed. Also Would this switch hook up to the serializer as a digital input or an analog? How do you determine this by reading the spec sheet? I know just from reading posts on here the phidgets sensor will hook up to the analog input but not sure how to determine this. Is the serialzer the right controller to use for this application?

    Also concerning powering the serialzer, I saw in the above post a 9v 2amp power supply was recommended for running the serializer stand alone but where do I find one? Do I just look online for any 9v 2amp power supply and also is there a kit for hooking this power supply up to serailizer?

    By the way, just in case you guys are worried I will burn this poor guys house down, we have a good friend in common who is an electrician who will do all the electrical stuff. I may be a newb but I'm not stupid!

    Thanks for your patience guys.
    Last edited by xero; 07-05-2009 at 11:34 AM.

  2. #2
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    Re: Microclimate control

    Welcome to the forum!

    Quote Originally Posted by xero View Post
    First is that battleswitch appopriate to use for such items as 1000w lights?
    volts * amps = watts. 120v * 12A = 1440w > 1000w = fine. Your electrician will be the final decider, but yes - you've left yourself some nice safety headroom for startup current and such.

    Also Would this switch hook up to the serializer as a digital input or an analog?
    Neither. It's an output device, not an input device. And it's PWM. Any time you see "radio controlled" is a good chance it's made to plug into a PWM receiver. The fortunate thing for you is that the Serializer's "Servo" ports are... PWM! You control the battle switch just like a servo.


    Is the serialzer the right controller to use for this application?
    The resolutions are pretty low - 8bit. But if you don't need super accuracy it will work fine for you.


    Also concerning powering the serialzer, I saw in the above post a 9v 2amp power supply was recommended for running the serializer stand alone but where do I find one? Do I just look online for any 9v 2amp power supply and also is there a kit for hooking this power supply up to serailizer?
    Here's a 9v 2.2A regulated for reasonable money: [ame="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0028T6APK/ref=olp_product_details?ie=UTF8&me=&seller="]Amazon.com: 9V AC power adapter for GPX PDL805 portable DVD player: Electronics[/ame]

    You can cut the end off, or be classy and use a flying-lead or pigtail connector like:

    http://emonitoringsolutions.com/shop...roducts_id=571 <--- Note!!! That's my site. Bad form, but I knew exactly where to find it. Feel free to find it somewhere else, no harm no foul.

    Keep us posted which way you go! I have a Serializer so can be of some assistance probably.
    I Void Warranties´┐Ż

  3. Re: Microclimate control

    Thanks Adrenalynn, I appreciate the prompt and thorough response.

    I will post a follow up once I put something together.

  4. Re: Microclimate control

    Adrenalynn, another quick question if you don't mind. Before I get the power supply in the mail can I power the temp/humidity sensor and the switch all from the power coming from the usb cable to the serializer? If not can I use a regular 9v battery for the serializer so I don't have to wait a week. Thanks

  5. #5
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    Re: Microclimate control

    Probably not from the USB. Maybe from a 9v, but not for very long - you'll be going through batteries pretty quick. Do you have an R/C battery laying around? A 9.6v R/C battery would be ideal.
    I Void Warranties´┐Ż

  6. Re: Microclimate control

    I don't have a rc battery. I will just wait then. Thanks!

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