Hi everybody!! Long time hydroponics enthusiast, I’ve been tinkering with NFT and DWC setups for the better part of a decade now. I found my passion for high tech gardening in high school and got my degree in Controlled Environment Horticulture from CSU.
A year ago I was hired at a Denver based startup where they were prototyping an off grid self sustaining hydroponic greenhouse for food production. We failed to raise money and they shut down a few month ago.
Not ready to work for someone else again, I’m going to try it out all on my own!
Now, down to the stuff you are interested in.
Frame is made out of basic wood, woodworking skills are getting better with each unit! There is a 1x4 plastic grow tray to contain the water for each level and laser cut HDPE algae resistant lids with 20 holes each, so water is never near the wooden frame. Each site has a 3D printed locking mechanism so mature and heavy plants don’t tip over.
This is all controlled by a ras pi 4operating Mycodo. 48v quantum LED strips ordered directly from Shenzhen, driven by 1000ma dc-dc Meanwell drivers. 60 available watts to each 40" strip. A level on full output can hit 800+ ppfd at 8".
All sensors are from Atlas Scientific, as well as the 4 peristaltic pumps.
I’ve got a relay controlling a 120v submersible pond pump and a UV light, both located in the bottom reservoir box.
Mycodo has been a wonderful beginners journey into the world of IoT hardware devices. Kyle’s detailed guides helped me along the whole way, and to him, I/we owe a great deal of gratitude.
I have goals on building about a dozen of these systems over the next year, units headed to local businesses, such as a craft pizza shop here in Denver, and units headed to friends and family. I have plans on making non automated versions, and non hydroponic versions intended for the outdoors.
I still have ambitions for updating the Mycodo end of this project. For instance, if I wanted to change the lighting schedule, lighting intensity, or nutrient profile, I would have to get onto my Mycodo page and head to edit my functions. Totally fine for me, but I intend to give these to friends and family, specifically my mom. I need a way for her to interact with these basic parameters in a non “under the hood” way. I’m not experienced in this type of UI request, but would really like to find someone to help me get to my goal of “plug and play” for good ole moms sake.
First post ever, so I’m hoping I included the picture correctly!
If you would like to follow along we are @customcultivations on instagram.