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DIY Room Controller

Loansum

New Member
Hi 420 folks. Happy 420 btw. I have designed a very robust room controller using a readily available industrial control board. I originally set out to build a product that I could market as it was my goal to start a business in this industry.

I have never let a lack of education or capital stop me from dreaming big!

I did, through a bit of tinkering get this thing working quite well, although once I had my project completed , I came to the realization that it was a bit too much of a contraption to manufacture. I also ran into some programming hurdles that I couldn't get around.

I have been using one for over two years and the one I did sell is still in use as well in a limited capacity.

I would like to share my project with any interested do it yourselfers out there.

Here's what it has:

can control 8 outlets based on time, temp, humidity, or any one of 11 inputs.
Timer has 20 events for each output and can be momentary down to 1 second. Handles up to 8 temp sensors. Is programmed through a web interface, can be remotely managed and will send email alerts.

It is fairly easy to build and can be built for under 100.00. It does not require technical knowledge although it does require some electrical skills and a bit of common sense.

It's a bit quirky, the temps and humidity on mine are off by a few degrees. It can be a little tricky to program but it does sooooo much.

If there's some interest here, I will post a DIY and parts list.
 

Loansum

New Member
I'm slowly working on something similar, based off of Arduino boards. What controller board are you using?

Prairie

The board I was using was actually made as a server room control board. It has 8 5v relay outputs that can connect directly to a ssr. I connected it to an 8ch 15amp relay board. I have 4 light duty outlets that are switched by the 15amp board, and then 4 that are switching a 30 amp relay.

It also has 3 analog inpiuts with a/d, 8 ttl inputs, can accept 8 dallas 1wire temps and a honeywell rh. I was able to tie a co2 sensor to it and can get all of the specs via wifi on my iphone. I also make changes to the parameters with it or my laptop.

Cool thing about this board is I bought mine for 30.00.
 

OG13

New Member
Hey Prairie, any headway on the project? I've been working on something similar and just found this thread. Been playing arduino for a week or so, trying to get my logger working.
 

OG13

New Member
You too, Loansum, got a parts list yet, would be interested to see what you started with.
 

Dashiznet

New Member
If there's some interest here, I will post a DIY and parts list.

I would definitely be interested. The system(s) I'm looking at are going to be well over that $100 mark and DIY is just fun!
 

PrairiePoet

Active Member
Hey Prairie, any headway on the project? I've been working on something similar and just found this thread. Been playing arduino for a week or so, trying to get my logger working.

Which logger hardware are you using? I'd be happy to help if I can on that.

I haven't been getting very far because of health and surgery. When I get time, Ive been working on the radio's, and burned up one of my Nano MCU's. The master controller with the 3.2 LCD screen is mostly finished on the basic part. I can attach two Temp/Humidity sensors, one water proof temp sensor, and four 120V relays. With everything showing up on the web server. Nothing fancy or workable, just prototyping code and hardware.

I had hoped being off work for this long I would get more time to work on the Arduino's. But being on pain killers doesn't help me stay focused. Guess that's why I fried the Nano.
 

OG13

New Member
I'm using ladyada's logger, having a hard time getting the SD card to be identified--at this point I'm going to redo all the solder joints on the board, suspect I got a bad one somewhere. I got some DHT-22 sensors working and displaying on LCD now. Would like to do an internet based system, but don't have a server set up now.....
 

PrairiePoet

Active Member
I'm using ladyada's logger, having a hard time getting the SD card to be identified--at this point I'm going to redo all the solder joints on the board, suspect I got a bad one somewhere. I got some DHT-22 sensors working and displaying on LCD now. Would like to do an internet based system, but don't have a server set up now.....

My LCD screen also has a SD card on it, and I can not get it to work either. Not sure why, I've tried several libraries. Are you using an actual SD card, or an adapter for a microSD? I can't find a real SD card around here anymore, and I think that is what my problem is.

The Arduino Ethernet shield has a MicroSD card and works with no problems for me. I've got a web server running, but did have problems with the last update to the beta SNMP library I tried. Kind of was thinking of setting up SNMP, but don't need it right now.

What I'm trying to create is a multi unit approach. I have a Mega Arduino with a 3.2 LCD graphics screen. While this unit will be the main logging and outside connection (web, snmp....) it will have a few sensors and relay controls. It will also communicate to remote units (Arduino Nano's) that can have sensors and relay controllers.

Good luck and let's keep in touch on this.
 

OG13

New Member
Got it working. Reflowed all the solder joints and works fine now. I got a 2 pack of 2 GB SD at Walgreens on sale (SanDisk too). Did a format using the standalone formatter from SanDisk. Logger working now. I'm not ready for internet posts yet, but figure an UNO would do enough temp/hum sensors (i2c) to drive the necessary relays for ventilation and CO2 and may as well control lighting too. Figure 4 area sensors, 4 vent relays, CO2 relay and lighting relays plus arduino for about 200 bucks?
 

PrairiePoet

Active Member
Got it working. Reflowed all the solder joints and works fine now. I got a 2 pack of 2 GB SD at Walgreens on sale (SanDisk too). Did a format using the standalone formatter from SanDisk. Logger working now. I'm not ready for internet posts yet, but figure an UNO would do enough temp/hum sensors (i2c) to drive the necessary relays for ventilation and CO2 and may as well control lighting too. Figure 4 area sensors, 4 vent relays, CO2 relay and lighting relays plus arduino for about 200 bucks?

Great!! I have to go back sometimes on my soldering. These old eyes just don't work that well anymore.

An UNO should be plenty to work with. I started with a clone from China based on the ATmega168. But ran into memory problems for the web server. The Nano's are the same as the UNO, but much smaller in size. I'm hoping that using them I should be able to run them off a battery, as long as the radio isn't on too much.

Here is a pic of my Mega with Screen:
SANY00081.jpg


Here is the Nano with the prototype board and radio:
SANY0009.jpg

And the three pieces together:

SANY00101.jpg
 

OG13

New Member
What is your radio? Doesnt' look like an xbee....not too up on wireless yet, don't see the need for what I plan to do.
 

PrairiePoet

Active Member
What is your radio? Doesnt' look like an xbee....not too up on wireless yet, don't see the need for what I plan to do.

Not an XBee, those cost way too much for this project. They are 2.4G Wireless nRF24L01+ Module from iteadstudio.com. Cost was about US$5.00.
 

Loansum

New Member
This is the server board I used. I strapped it to an 8ch 15 amp relay board and then passed my 120v through the realys. some of those pull down the coils on larger relays.

KGrHqUOKogE6e3W3seHBOoGvvJ0Jw_60_57.JPG


Works great but I question the accuracy of the temp and humidity so I take an average of the 3 different devices I use to measure and compensate in the programming.

I have my 0-10V output of my telaire co2 monitor tied into one of the analog inputs.

A friend of mine got me involved with this . He was trying to develop a commercial unit to sell and was prototyping with this board. They have moved beyond it now and gave me permission to give out the details.
 
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PrairiePoet

Active Member
This is the server board I used. I strapped it to an 8ch 15 amp relay board and then passed my 120v through the realys. some of those pull down the coils on larger relays.

Very nice board. I would go along with the measuring multiple senors and averaging them out.

do you have any control over the web server, write it, or is this set?

Would love to see a parts list and anything else you would like to share.
 

dirtybud

New Member
Oh, wow. I have found you guys. I was skeptical that anyone in this field was using arduino. Does anyone have it nailed down to a plug and play system yet, to try out? Parts list with codes? I really just want it for alerts and information as to check conditions remotely. Temperatures, humidity, pH, ppm. All I can think of at the moment. Very excited!
 

jason9922

New Member
Is there anyway you could explain to me how to build a simple controller that has 4 220 outlets and 1 110 timer cord (can't remember name) but the regular cord that plugs into the timer. All the ones I find online have a bunch of extra stuff I have no idea about really. I have 30ft of 10/3, multiple 15 amp breakers openm and one two pole 30 amp 220 breaker open to start with.
 
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