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OfflineSN122A
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Advanced climate control systems
    #11237684 - 10/13/09 05:06 AM (8 years, 8 days ago)

Hello all and thanks to all the contributions I have read on here so far!

I have been into this as a hobby for a while now and only recently registered on here so this is my first post...

I would like to open this topic to anyone who had had experience with the design and constructed of small scaled and tightly controlled climate systems for mycology :smile:

My current home project and background is that I’m an electrical engineering student (about to start last year!) and looking at building a small automated cultivation chamber, the difference is I am aiming to implement ‘grow profiling’.

For example using a peltier/compressor for cooling, lighting, humidification (either evap / ultrasonic) along with sensors all linked into a microcontroller/PLC.   

SO.... in a nutshell I could say create a profile for species A with “X days, Y temp, Z Humidity – colonisation” then different specs for next phase to induce pinning, another for fruiting etc...

Now initial with one ‘box’ and then it can be duplicated in a modular fashion and scaled....


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OfflineMigraine
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Re: Advanced climate control systems [Re: SN122A]
    #11238073 - 10/13/09 09:21 AM (8 years, 8 days ago)

Here is my fruiting chamber before automation.



I grow mostly edibles.

Do not expect to do the colonization process AND fruiting in the same room or you will get into contam issues.

Humidity and fresh air controlled by unit on lower left.  It contains ultrasonic elements to atomize water and a 171 cfm fan with speed control. Both ultrasonics and fan controlled by different timers.

Chamber is air tight with two 4in exhaust ports, lower right, routed to a window panel.

I use the humidity and temp sensor, shown, for calibrating the my design.

I used a Freescale MC9S12XDP512 microcontroller, a FT232R USB UART IC for USB capability, and XBee™ ZNet 2.5/XBee-PRO™ for wireless communication.

You will use lots of independently controlled timers for relays (control resolution at the second level with extended times into hours):

#1. Fresh air fan.
#2. Humidification (I used ultrasonic elements)
#3. Lighting (I use 4 - 4ft T5 5000k florescent)

Control AC (120v) relays (I control a water valve used in washing machines to fill my humidifier tank).

Control DC motors (I control open/shut vanes on the two exhaust ports - without them outside temperatures can backfeed into the chamber)

I use a pressure sensor to measure the water level in the humidifier tank.

I use a SHT75, by Sensirion, for measuring Relative humidity - you have to take precautions to prevent spores from sealing off the sensor's port)

I measure light intensity with the chamber.

I can use different sensors for measuring temperature (diode junction, thermistor, etc).  I measure chamber temp and internal substrate temp (as the substrate block colonizes the inner temperate rises.  It peaks when fulling colonized and then starts a relative rapid temp drop which is the best time to induce fruiting - This measurement is NOT done in the chamber).

I made a single board that contains the cpu, USB and XBee devices with inter-board connecting pins.  Make unique design boards, based of required functionality, that plugs into the main cpu board.

The XBee device (the Pro is $51) then allows you to communicate with your various remote units.  I have a XBee/USB device attached to my main computer several bedrooms away.  It captures and records the data I want or sends control commands to the various units.

It's important to design a "Boot Loader" into your cpu boards so that the embedded code can uploaded easily (I use the XBee or the USB port on the cpu board for that).

The best way to learn your trade is to design, test, and implement.

Have fun and good luck in school.


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OfflineSN122A
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Re: Advanced climate control systems [Re: Migraine]
    #11238186 - 10/13/09 10:17 AM (8 years, 8 days ago)

Looking Awesome man!

Thanks for the post mate, it's pretty much exactly the type of thing I envisaged.  You have a couple of really good ideas in there I think I can swipe-now, credit you for later :smile:

Big difference in mine, I guess, compared to what others would require is it's going to be chilling most of the time not warming like many people will need in Europe/North US/UK...  For that I'm planning a fluid-based heat exchange and probably start with a horrible cheap Peltier and work up to compressor lol

I figure the interesting twist will be the climate profile for example looking at the troubles people seem to have on the forum with something temperamental like Azurescens (excluding the microorganisms  issue) it would be nice to pump data like the following into it...



The above pic is a calculated air and dew-point temps & humidity at Astroria sampled hourly and averaged over 10 years worth of readings.  As far as resolution Im thinking hourly changes would be fine as a starting point.

I'm hoping to write some form of test processing scripts to tidy the meteorological data and tie the control system in into some form of active page interface for a GUI. 

Trying to build up to the point where I can feed in meteorological data for a specific region and set the 'time period' and emulate natural conditions/seasons would be final destination...


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Offlinemudge
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Re: Advanced climate control systems [Re: Migraine]
    #11238187 - 10/13/09 10:17 AM (8 years, 8 days ago)

Wow, that is some serious grow power!  Good job


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Invisibleratdog
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Registered: 08/16/09
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Re: Advanced climate control systems [Re: mudge]
    #11238571 - 10/13/09 12:13 PM (8 years, 8 days ago)

please try to keep costs low in your project. as you might gather most here do not even have the funds to buy the basics needed to grow.

as i suspect you will complete your project and hope to market it. if so then reliability needs to be put in the result.

if you can cover the proposed parameters and keep cost under oh lets say 200$ then please by all means pm me i want one.

good luck and if you can incorporate a wet dry bulb RH% calculator into the system combining temp and rh control then i think you will lower its cost. fae might be an issue if you are setting up to cool. it will be much easier to heat than cool might need 2 models?

if you do incorporate the incubation-fruit all in one chamber its size will not be too big as most people doing this find that the area needed grows exponentially with the mycelium. so this if i get you idea will be for small self contained grows. cool! as the volume will be much easier to go by in calculations.

as the size might be smaller in scale compared to a greenhouse i think the calculation for air exchange might allow for an timed fan instead of CO2 monitors again lowering cost.

all this leads me to ask what is you idea for the chamber?

i in-vision a box no taller than a tray and mushroom oh 12"

and this Leeds to the material reflective or not.............

i digress as you have only stated the build is for the environment not the actual chamber. so i ask will it be a self contained attachment to a chamber or several components attached to any chamber intern attached to a box and then computer. ............wireless would be nice too but thats a cost increase.

to me a box with 2 digital line voltage timers with 100's of on of setting capabilities and a thermostat on the same line voltage  and a duel external temp probe would be great. it would control rh record temp and rh control fae and light. it could be done cheep too if you use a cheep processor for the timers. if you made it modular then addition of timers and thermostats would be plug and play.


good luck and sorry for the rant. too much coffee.


oooooopss!

LOL


--------------------
some people just don't get it:spank:
http://www.shroomery.org/forums/showflat.php/Number/11241796
so here is a video or two or three for you guys:rolleyes:


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OfflineRogerRabbitM
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Re: Advanced climate control systems [Re: SN122A] * 1
    #11238632 - 10/13/09 12:30 PM (8 years, 8 days ago)

Quote:

SN122A said:
My current home project and background is that I�m an electrical engineering student (about to start last year!)




The field has treated me well.  I got my electrical engineering degree in 1975, followed by a mechanical engineering degree a few years later.  They allowed me to 'retire' to my cabin in the mountains at a bit past age 50.  The last twenty years of my career was centered around computer controlled automation and robotics.

That said, after many years of attempting to automate the best growing environment, I've gone back to low-tech.  It just seems to work better, and all the fancy automation isn't needed to maintain correct temperature and humidity with lots of fresh air and light.  Sometimes, simple is better.  I applaud all who would work towards gaining the perfect environment, but understand there's a lot more to the hobby than just the environment, and there's plenty of fudge room when it comes to parameters.

The main skill to learn is sterile work, cultures, how to expand mycelium, and how to sterilize or pasteurize large volumes of substrate at a time.  Good luck and welcome to the group.
RR


--------------------
Download Let's Grow Mushrooms



semper in excretia sumus solim profundum variat

"I've never had a failed experiment.  I've only discovered 10,000 methods which do not work."
Thomas Edison


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Invisibleratdog
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Re: Advanced climate control systems [Re: RogerRabbit]
    #11239423 - 10/13/09 03:04 PM (8 years, 8 days ago)

Quote:

RogerRabbit said:

after many years of attempting to automate the best growing environment, I've gone back to low-tech.  It just seems to work better

The main skill to learn is sterile work, cultures, how to expand mycelium, and how to sterilize or pasteurize large volumes of substrate at a time.  Good luck and welcome to the group.
RR




and ah a quot of me
Quote:

to me a box with 2 digital line voltage timers with 100's of on of setting capabilities and a thermostat on the same line voltage  and a duel external temp probe would be great. it would control rh record temp and rh control fae and light. it could be done cheep too if you use a cheep processor for the timers. if you made it modular then addition of timers and thermostats would be plug and play.






i agree with rr but low tech automation combined will make the grow portion easy. and as fare as the rest of the undertaking i think only large scale production will and does benefit from some automation. for us small scale production will remain an intensive hands on thing made essayer only by carefully stacking the domino's.


--------------------
some people just don't get it:spank:
http://www.shroomery.org/forums/showflat.php/Number/11241796
so here is a video or two or three for you guys:rolleyes:


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OfflineSN122A
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Registered: 10/09/09
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Re: Advanced climate control systems [Re: ratdog]
    #11239982 - 10/13/09 04:45 PM (8 years, 8 days ago)

Wow thanks for the feedback guys:smile:

Yeh I come from a computer systems engineering background (9yrs now) and about to get another double degree B.E. (electrical)/B.I.T.(software engineering).  I was hoping to also pursue interests in robotics, automation and advanced control systems so it sounds like im following your footsteps a little when looking into masters and a mechanical engineering RR hahaha.    I will have to PM you about it when you have some time to chat one day its always good to grab a few pointers from the experts when you are starting out.

So back on topic...
Quote:

after many years of attempting to automate the best growing environment, I've gone back to low-tech.  It just seems to work better, and all the fancy automation isn't needed to maintain correct temperature and humidity with lots of fresh air and light




  I must admit I do find this wringing true on most things in some of the worst projects I have worked on in the past problems often stem from over-engineering and what i like to call the ‘super project’. 
Most overly complicated and over-engineered projects have a way of never seeing implementation in my experiences lol  guess most of the time costs exploded with no hope of a return

I very much appreciated the idea of simplicity working consistently and reliable with minimal expenses and effort.  I 'perfect' solution is one that does what you need the most efficiently in my eyes.

Quote:

if you do incorporate the incubation-fruit all in one chamber its size will not be too big as most people doing this find that the area needed grows exponentially with the mycelium. so this if i get you idea will be for small self contained grows. cool! as the volume will be much easier to go by in calculations.





I have been trailing growing some edibles in small totes where all I do is line the bottom with cardboard then straw etc is packed into about the bottom 1/3 of the container for colonisation via grain spawn.  Its sealed with another piece of cardboard on top of the straw and the lid on top of the tote.  Similar fashion to RR’s video where he sandwiches and weighs down the substrate in outdoor baskets. 

So far its able to colonise well (I find the cardboard absorbs excess moister and keep humidity perfect) without premature pinning etc and still have a good 250mm height for fruiting so in the case of the project im looking at something like that where i just pull the top layer of card and lid off providing a stimulating ‘scratch’ for some species and the, essential for all, more air and light for pinning.

Quote:

please try to keep costs low in your project. as you might gather most here do not even have the funds to buy the basics needed to grow.



 

Also one thing I have learned is it with a little ingenuity it surprising how cheap you can build extremely effective yet complex equipment from salvaged parts and the like.

I personally know one friend of the family my father grew up with is always hunting around the landfill whenever he drops off garden wastes etc and all I can say is if you seen the stuff he build for nothing but time and some cheap consumables its amazing!  I’m talking everything from jet engines to compound fractioning distillers, the works.... (yes he is hobby mad like myself lol)

I mean do you need the abitray control of an advanced automated brewery to brew/store a beer at home? No.  A coldy in the fridge is fine by me however if you were to say make a home microbrewery and want a cold-weather European yeast to work well, and produce flavour true to beer from europe in say a country like Equador well thats a bit different.

I guess in this project I was aiming for something like a control system I designed in the past for a tropical aquarium (also a long-standing hobby) using a cheap microcontroller to track PH, Hardness, NO etc and regulate it via heaters, CO2 injection, evap cooling etc...  It was also something that allowed the specific profile of natural ecosystems to be mimicked and hence induce spawning of the fish reasonably successfully.


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Invisibleratdog
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Re: Advanced climate control systems [Re: SN122A]
    #11241510 - 10/13/09 08:50 PM (8 years, 7 days ago)

well whatever you do please take a look at the wet bulb idea as i just finished hooking up the one from granger and well RH ain't changing at all. an i bet i have to refill the ultrasonic less too.....? maybe?

thanks for listening

edit____ i just posted this

http://www.shroomery.org/forums/showflat.php/Number/11241796

check it out


--------------------
some people just don't get it:spank:
http://www.shroomery.org/forums/showflat.php/Number/11241796
so here is a video or two or three for you guys:rolleyes:


Edited by ratdog (10/13/09 09:33 PM)


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