Derek Callihan wrote:I haven't had a chance to listen to the podcast, so if this is already in the works, average minds sometimes have the same thoughts as great minds? Throwing an idea out for a stretch goal: Built-in instrumentation at multiple levels. Thermometers at each level (Roof, Beds, Trench, Bottom of Pipe (if you can manage it)), humidity gauges, light meters at multiple locations, etc., all tied into an automatic logging software that monitors things 24/7.
Combine this with things such as having multiple well casings and destratification pipes that you can open or close and you'd be able to get good, hard data on if and how much of an effect each has, ideally looking to find the point of diminishing returns for each, and how they interact with one another. Additionally, this experimentation could be extended to things such at the color of the back wall. Start with unfinished wood and get your baseline measurements. Then try painting it a bright, reflective white. Then maybe try a reflective metal foil cover. With the instrumentation in place, it makes quantifying any differences from these changes much easier to illustrate and allow you to more quickly spot any potential problems.
Jennifer Richardson wrote:The main barrier to us doing this kind of data collection is equipment availability and compatibility with our constraints. We have no wifi on the Lab, so anything that requires wifi is out; many/most weather stations that we are interested in have required a wifi gateway. We need the data collection to be somewhat automated (not something you have to go plus a USB drive into to get the data) and the data to be conveniently shareable, preferably with visualizations, in order for it to do much good. A bunch of text posts in a thread with me manually transcribing temperatures from a screen readout once a week is not going to be of much value. And we need the equipment to function to at least 20 below zero F for the outdoor stuff--which most tracking thermometers don't--and/or to be waterproof and tolerant of humidity depending on location. This kickstarter might open up new doors in terms of equipment, since it could expand our budget significantly compared to when I was looking for tracking thermometers for the Abbey last summer, but so far I haven't been having much luck. I am open to suggestions, however.
Ben Zumeta wrote:but will it provide enough light for optimal plant growth?
here we just want to figure out what the dream system would do. What data it would collect and how it would deliver it. Let's try to avoid the rabbit hole of which exact sensors and dongles and data plans and all that stuff for now.
Charli Wilson wrote:...at my allotment site...the data collection all runs off a raspberry pi- they're 5V and relatively low power. We have about 30 ds18b20 temperature sensors, as well as humidity sensors (htu21d, or hih3000s I think), light sensors (bh1750), and a few others (there's a barometric pressure sensor in there somewhere). These aren't high end calibrated sensors- they're a few dollars each though, so it depends on how much accuracy you want.
Charli Wilson wrote:We have the pi generate its own wifi, then wander up with a phone/laptop and download the data to peruse at our leisure...
Jesse Glessner wrote:
HI CHARLI: It sounds like you have an ideal setup. I'll keep an eye out for your forthcoming information on the system.
I have a RPi3 with a camera module but haven't used it for some time now. For a "monitor" I couldn't find anything small when I went shopping for one in BestBuy, but, they did have a small CHEAP television, very lightweight that I use for a monitor. It works great.
I haven't tried to download data into a spreadsheet, but I do want to use the camera module and download pics into my computer, or maybe another RPi with a huge amount of storage - as I want more of the camera modules around running on the RPi Zero WiFi units for data collection. In essence, a security system.