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Old 04-15-2017, 09:20 PM
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Default High Tech Raspberry PI / tablet controlled terrarium

I have been a member of this board since 2012, when I first wanted to build a terrarium. I never did, because I simply couldnt find the time. Finally, this year I decided to just have one made instead. I contracted Dutch-Rana, a dutch builder, to build me a 48x24x42 (120x60x110) rectangular terrarium focussed on orchids. It will eventually house Panamanian dart frogs, since my wife grew up in Panama and would love some of those frogs in there.

I wanted to build a high-tech terrarium, so I opted to do most of the technical system myself with a lot of help from my brother, an electrician. Together we designed an industrial style electrical/computer setup that can run the terrarium in two different modes, either controlled by a Raspberry PI, or by a set of timers. Each device can individually switch mode.

A benefit of this setup is that it's very clean and compact. If I need to do any work on the Raspberry PI, I can easily switch everything to the timers and things will just continue running. The software I use to run the system and drive the tablet interface is Node-Red.

The terrarium has 4 T5 bulbs, 2 Solar Raptor HID lamps, a moon light led strip, 5 mist heads, several fans, an aquarium heater, a small aquarium pump for a little water stream, and an automated led strip inside the cabinet. All of these can be controlled using a tablet.

The cabinet was custom made out of oak by a separate company according to my specs.

Some pics of the system.




















Last edited by corbosman; 04-15-2017 at 09:29 PM.
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Old 04-15-2017, 09:28 PM
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Default Re: High Tech Raspberry PI / tablet controlled terrarium

I thought it would be nice to explain the different parts of the control system.



From top to bottom/left to right:

1. The driver for the cabinet leds. These are ikea cabinet leds that automatically turn on/off as the cabinet doors are opened.

2. These set of switches decide what controls each device. Up means Raspberry PI, down is one of the timers.

3. This is the Raspberry PI in a DIN-rail case.

4. Electrical relay switches. The Raspberry PI controls these to turn on/off each electrical component.

5. 5V power supply.

6. Industrial Timers.

7. Relay Timer. The regular timers can only switch per minute at the lowest. But for the misters I need seconds. This relay timer takes an input change from one of the regular timers, and after a set amount of seconds drops back to off regardless of the input voltage. It is used for both the timer and raspberry pi outputs to make sure the mister is never on for more than a set amount of seconds.

8. This is where the outside power comes in and is distributed.

9. 24V power supply for the mister pump.
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Last edited by corbosman; 04-15-2017 at 09:36 PM.
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Old 04-17-2017, 02:43 PM
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Wow This is one awesome setup! Wish I were smart enough to have it electronically setup like this too.
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Old 04-17-2017, 05:18 PM
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Default Re: High Tech Raspberry PI / tablet controlled terrarium

Very nice and clean!

I'm curious about the RPI controller, have you incorporated any sensory conditional controls? Like for temp/humidity etc. My head is full of early concept ideas but haven't yet realized any or written any code for them. So it would be nice to hear how you're controller is setup.

What I mean is, does it respond to what your sensors is returning? For example, If humidity is below XX --> mist for 10sec, if temp is above XX --> mist for 10 sec + put fans on high.
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Old 04-17-2017, 05:38 PM
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Love the well organization of components! So clean.
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Old 04-17-2017, 05:52 PM
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Default Re: High Tech Raspberry PI / tablet controlled terrarium

Wow, i mean really what else can you say but WOW.
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Old 04-17-2017, 05:59 PM
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Default Re: High Tech Raspberry PI / tablet controlled terrarium

Beautiful job. You've definitely set the bar pretty high for the rest of us. Any plans to add inhabitants?
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