The Home Project

The Pepper Project is a fun new pet project located here in the Stanford Engineering office. The purpose of this project isn't just to grow tasty peppers. It's meant illustrate what Opto 22 controllers are capable of when coupled with off the shelf components and Internet of Things (IoT) technology. The project is intended to begin as a simple system, then grow over time to become more capable and complex. It incorporates repurposed parts as well as new, so you may see some entertaining ideas. Ideas and suggestions are welcome and can be sent to the owner by clicking here.

A thought during off hours work


As I was plugging away in my groov creating simulators in Node Red I decided to rename this project "The Home Project". I have more than enough materials here to place automation and sensors all over this place, so why not? Since I'm working on it in my spare time it will take time but I have ideas that go way beyond just growing peppers.  I even have some Arduino controllers I can put in place for tiny jobs in tiny places. Hmm...

groov is in the building!


I just love this time of year. Sitting on my front porch, waiting for those smiling folks to arrive. No, not trick-or-treaters, the package delivery folks. My brand new groov box has arrived and I'm so excited...well...I'm so excited I could just automate everything. But first I'll take the kids out for a good time and eat some candy. Tomorrow I start work on it.    

The parts are gathered


It's taken a week or so but I have finally gathered all of the parts for the hydroponic system. Construction will be fit into my spare time so it may be slow at times. The peppers will be grown from seed in the three cups in the middle. LED strips will be suspended from the underside of the shelf above to provide the plants with light as well as water delivery tubing. The tub they sit in will catch water and return it to the pump reservoir that will sit on a shelf below the plants. The entire process will be controlled by an Opto 22 PAC R model controller. For interface with the cloud, a local database and an HMI we will use a Raspberry Pi 3 B single board computer. 

We all know that PAC Display rocks for control system interface. But what if you need your HMI to look like a sci fi computer or something? To do so we need to move to a slightly different platform and build a custom interface to the controller. In this project I will write as much code as possible in c#. I'll likely tap into the REST API and if my future expansion ideas take off MQTT will be used as well. With time this project will really show how versatile Opto 22 systems are. I'm considering adding a groov box and making this system do a lot more than just grow peppers though.

(My later post from the following week was lost in cyberspace)