Junk and stuff 🔧

I think about setting up a tiny indoor grow space for maybe chili, herbs and other things. :innocent: Think no-thrills, cheapo, recycling style. I’m currently checking old computer junk for things to reuse. So far I found

  • 12V fan from ancient graphics card, working
  • 12V 1A power supply I could use to run fans, working
  • 12V 1.5A power supply, untested
  • 12V 5A power supply I might use for COBs, untested
  • 24V ultrasonic mist maker, broken
  • 12V 0.08A CPU fan, untested
  • 12V ?A fan, untested
  • PC PSU (specs unknown), untested
  • Small water pump 2.5W, working
  • time switch, working

I will probably pay a few bucks for

  • Sonoff TH16 (I’ll flash ESPEasy, not a fan of cloud bullshit)
  • China COBs
  • RF LED dimmer with remote control

We’ll see what else I can find. I’m not in a hurry, China stuff would need several weeks to arrive, doesn’t matter.

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Looking forward to seeing what you put together

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Ditto! I’m planning to implement a feedback loop on one as a standalone humidity controller.

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I did some research and thinking. I’ll start with the 12V 5A power supply connected to an RF (433MHz) LED dimmer connected to two cheap 70W COBs. I plan to control the dimmer via Raspberry Pi. I’ll have to sniff the codes of the remote control though, or find them online.

I think I’d like to do artificial sunrise/ sunset dimming. Each COB can get max 30W from the power supply. I should get away without using heatsinks.

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COB 9€ each

Dimmer 3€
On/off being the same code might be a problem. With 433MHz I usually send codes more than once for redundancy. We’ll see.

https://forum.mysensors.org/topic/2286/experimenting-with-cheap-433mhz-gadgets

Already had the power supply. So I need a few adapters and the basic light part is done for about 25€. I found heatsinks in a good size, but they were more expensive than the COBs, so I’ll try it without them. Things should be here in 3 to 6 weeks.

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Are they here yet? OMG I hate waiting. lol

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they are good cobs mate mine saved my gro

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you wont need heatsinks till mid veg mate just run all four at low amps to start they run very cool with the standard heatsink the cob is pre-made on which is very good at dissipating the heat

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Looks like this is going to take even longer. Some parts were lost on the way, discussing replacement or refund. sigh. Good thing I started this during outdoor season. :sunglasses:

Mostly busy with work stuff, have not had much time to think this further. Found a spare 18W 6500K FL I could also use for this project.

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Spent ages trying to get an ESP8266 with a DHT22 to do deep sleep and upload temp/humidity to my server. Basically I forgot I had to connect RST and GPIO16 for it to work, has been a while since I used it. Then wired it up wrong and almost threw it at the wall. :unamused:

Now to debug the actual problem I had last time: measurements were wrong when running on batteries. Made me over-dry my harvest last time. :disappointed:

And by “now” I mean I’m gonna smoke and go to bed and do it some other time. :rage:

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Gave it a try and it’s the batteries. Apparently 2x 1.5V is not enough for the sensor to work correctly with my NodeMCU board. I tried a longer wait after wakeup, multiple readings, running the sensor before wifi, didn’t help. I tried 3x 1.5V, but it’s not enough for the 5+V input and I’d rather not try it at 3.3V.

I should have a ESP-12E somewhere, I’ll see if it works with that.

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Got the TH16 and Si7021. Both are somehow bigger than I expected, not that it matters. Had a really annoying day, I don’t think I should flash ESPEasy on the TH16 today. I’ll save that as an adventure for tomorrow.

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Found another 12V power supply and another fan. Tested time switch and water pump. Bought reflective foil.

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Looks like I can’t edit the first post any longer. :confused: China stuff started coming in. But the lights have not arrived. The package got stopped or lost or something and communication with the seller is not working at all. That’s what you get for buying cheap stuff from the other end of the world I guess. I’ll give it a few more days and order from somewhere else if nothing arrives.

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I finally took care of the TH16. Downloaded firmware from the ESPEasy Github repository, used esptool on Linux to flash the firmware.

My TTL USB cable is 5V so I used an Arduino for 3,3V power and the TTL USB cable for data transmission (not in pic). I couldn’t be bothered soldering a pin header to the TH16 and just loosely attached everything. Don’t try this at home, loosing the connection while flashing could probably brick the device.

Edit: It’s probably good to mention that you do not flash the device with AC power plugged in or you may possibly die!!!

Flashing worked ok.

$ esptool -cp /dev/ttyUSB1 -cf ESP_Easy_mega-20190511_normal_ESP8266_1M.bin
Uploading 810272 bytes from ESP_Easy_mega-20190511_normal_ESP8266_1M.bin to flash at 0x00000000
........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................

After reboot a wifi network ESP_EASY_0 appeared, connecting and opening 192.168.4.1 brought up the initial wifi setup to connect the TH16 to my own network. Another reboot and ESP Easy was ready. In the Devices tab I added the Si7021 sensor.

Hint: for the external Si7021 device as seen in the picture choose Environment - DHT11/12/22 SONOFF2301/7021, not Environment - SI7021/HTU21D. I did not see the first one and it took me a while to find my error.

Now it’s working alright.

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While I was at it I used the Arduino and a 433MHz receiver to sniff the remote control codes for the LED controller so I can automate it later.

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I think I will also throw in DIY stuff related to my grows in general under this topic from time to time. Not worth opening a new thread for single posts.

I revisited the problem I had with measuring humidity in curing containers with an ESP8266. I had prototyped a small (well, not really for the prototype) battery run humidity sensor to seal in with the buds in the curing container.

I used a NodeMCU board (rather big but easier for prototyping) and a DHT22 sensor. The ESP8266 has a deep sleep mode that increases battery life drastically. I set it to wake up every hour, read temperature and humidity and send it to my server, then go back to sleep.

Everything was fine as long as I used a 5V power supply. I figured it works, replaced power supply with two AA batteries (3V) and it worked on batteries too. So I put the whole thing inside the curing container.

But.

I discovered (too late) that the humidity measurements on battery were way off, about 20% more than actual. Over-dried my buds quite a bit :cry:

ESP8266 uses 3,3V. It ran on 3V the batteries provided, so did the DHT22. But it could not provide correct measurements on 3V.

Now I took the time to redo the experiment with a bare 12E board instead of the NodeMCU to see if I get the same problem, and I did.

Next I’ll try it with a 12E and different batteries. I’m leaning towards a rechargeable button cell to keep it small but still doing some research. And I’m considering a BME280 instead of the DHT22, the latter seems to have problems with deep sleep mode from what I read.

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I had some time to look at ESP Easy now and you should be able to do that without any problems. You set up the sensor, activate rules in the advanced settings and then just need a rule to activate the relay under certain conditions, like turn on a fan if humidity is higher than x. I have no real setup to test it yet, but I’ll do a dry run soon.

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That’s all way too technical for me :drooling_face: but maybe you could rig a few jars with wired sensors (hole in lid for wire sealed with silicone or something), then transfer the nugs to regular ‘analog’ jars for long term storage once you’ve hit your sweet spot.

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So are you making an automated curing container too? I’m interested in that as well.
Here’s the one I put together last year with a Arduino mini and a PC fan with a carbon filter. I was glad I made an external humidity adjustment and some different colored led indicator lights to easily tune it in. It just mounts to any cardboard box for the chamber and a weighted trap door to shut down the airflow when the fan is off.

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