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Old 09-16-2020, 02:11 AM
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Default Dynamic Weather Control Application

Hi everyone,
Iíve been working on this software over the past year and I wanted to start to show some user interface demos to get some feedback. This video is the application running in windows but it runs on raspberry pi, controls lighting in several channels, creates sunrises/sunsets, cloud cover dimming, lightning during intense thunderstorms etc.
Rather than set specific times for misting, the user creates an overview of a climate with however many season, the average rain days, and other specifics, and the software generates a random forecast based on those seasons.

Hereís a quick demo of the user interface in the YouTube link below. Iíll cover hardware and the prototype vivarium itís controlling in a future post as thatís an entirely different subject. Let me know what you think!







https://youtu.be/WNw1KYq4y_4

Collin


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Last edited by Cawdeen; 09-16-2020 at 02:44 AM.
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Old 09-16-2020, 03:48 AM
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I'm definitely following this. I was working on a controller myself with a Raspberry Pi, but this might have everything I was after.
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Old 09-16-2020, 10:51 AM
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Default Re: Dynamic Weather Control Application

This is pretty spiffy stuff! I will definitely be following though I honestly would be more interested in manual control over much of what you list.
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Old 09-16-2020, 04:44 PM
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Default Re: Dynamic Weather Control Application

Thanks. Yeah i figured this wouldn't be for everybody. I really wanted to create something that felt like a living breathing environment with a life of its own rather than something rigid predictable. Its been running in my vivarium for about two months now. This is pretty good currently but I am constantly tweaking. It currently rains more often than I think is necessary so I'd like to back that off a bit.
The algorithm first determines if there is rain at all that day based on the rain chance (calculated from average rain days in a month that season that the user enters), then there is some chance of how many rain spurts happen (could be a single storm, could be two or more that day), then it generates the daily forecast placing the storms in appropriate places.

Right now the afternoon gets the bulk of the rain chance with some chance of them happening in the morning or evening. The smallest chance of rain happens at night.

Forecast conditions can change either in short 5 minute increments, 15 minutes, 30 minutes, or 1 hour. This is set up by the user. Also, if its raining for a half hour, it doesn't rain that entire half hour. Basically the user can specify how long the mister is on and off, and it will act like a few short passing thunderstorms over the period of that half hour rather than 1 long downpour. But this is entirely up to the user.

I'm also experimenting with sound effects. The idea is a small computer speaker (ideally with a volume control knob) could be plugged into the Raspberry pi and faint birds, crickets, thunder could be heard if it was wanted. A user could also skip the speaker entirely.

The LED channels are adjustable so the light temperature can be tweaked to get the desired look. To make this easier there is a configuration mode that allows you to preview several different conditions. For example if you wanted to see what rainy conditions during a sunset looked like you could just temporarily select those settings in config mode and adjust the lights to the correct level then turn off config mode.
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Old 09-16-2020, 06:49 PM
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Default Re: Dynamic Weather Control Application

I will be following it to see how it evolves. This is a great personal project. Please allow me to give my opinion on such projects. In no way am I trying to demotivate you. What I am referring to, applies to commercialization or when such projects try to broaden their horizons.

I have seen many such controllers being built in the last 8 years- both in Vivarium and Aquarium hobby.
Most of the hobbyists who start such projects have a very narrow set of requirements which basically cater to themselves only. For example- the kin dof lights they will be using.
Not every light out there can take PWM signals or not every light has a USB input for you to control it.

For the hobbyists making or building it, it brings a lot of joy along with great experience and learnings. But as a consumer, it does nothing more than control the color and intensity of a very specific type of light fixture.
Most other equipment such as heater, mister, RO top off in mister container etc. are binary - there isn't much a controller can do other than turn on and off.
Well, most of those tasks can be done by using simple eifi switches. If someone is little more ambitious, they involve IFTT.

In other words, the scope of such projects is very limited UNLESS, a whole ecosystem is provided for the hobbyist. Control the barometric pressure along with rain type simulation and lower temperatures in a specially desgned enclsure that can take these changes. That's what will simulate the actual natural response from the animals and would allure the mainstream hobbyists to get interested in such technlogy.

Again, in no way am I trying to question your attempt at it. I have done it in the past and it was a great learning experience. The more you can make your controller do, the better it'd be


Quote:
Originally Posted by Cawdeen View Post
Thanks. Yeah i figured this wouldn't be for everybody. I really wanted to create something that felt like a living breathing environment with a life of its own rather than something rigid predictable. Its been running in my vivarium for about two months now. This is pretty good currently but I am constantly tweaking. It currently rains more often than I think is necessary so I'd like to back that off a bit.
The algorithm first determines if there is rain at all that day based on the rain chance (calculated from average rain days in a month that season that the user enters), then there is some chance of how many rain spurts happen (could be a single storm, could be two or more that day), then it generates the daily forecast placing the storms in appropriate places.

Right now the afternoon gets the bulk of the rain chance with some chance of them happening in the morning or evening. The smallest chance of rain happens at night.

Forecast conditions can change either in short 5 minute increments, 15 minutes, 30 minutes, or 1 hour. This is set up by the user. Also, if its raining for a half hour, it doesn't rain that entire half hour. Basically the user can specify how long the mister is on and off, and it will act like a few short passing thunderstorms over the period of that half hour rather than 1 long downpour. But this is entirely up to the user.

I'm also experimenting with sound effects. The idea is a small computer speaker (ideally with a volume control knob) could be plugged into the Raspberry pi and faint birds, crickets, thunder could be heard if it was wanted. A user could also skip the speaker entirely.

The LED channels are adjustable so the light temperature can be tweaked to get the desired look. To make this easier there is a configuration mode that allows you to preview several different conditions. For example if you wanted to see what rainy conditions during a sunset looked like you could just temporarily select those settings in config mode and adjust the lights to the correct level then turn off config mode.
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Old 09-16-2020, 08:16 PM
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Default Re: Dynamic Weather Control Application

Yeah for sure. Hardware is an entirely different subject and I have no plans to try to cater to everybody.

This is likely most useful for some diy folks to download and try out, who might not have the skills to create an application that can handle all of this, but still want to build their own setups. Iíve got a few things I need to fix before I make the github available though.


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Old 09-16-2020, 09:08 PM
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Default Re: Dynamic Weather Control Application

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cawdeen View Post
Yeah for sure. Hardware is an entirely different subject and I have no plans to try to cater to everybody.

This is likely most useful for some diy folks to download and try out, who might not have the skills to create an application that can handle all of this, but still want to build their own setups. I’ve got a few things I need to fix before I make the github available though.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Awhile back I was tempted to try and do something like this, but I have no clue where to even start with Raspberry Pi and I had heard all the humidity probes were prone to failure over time so I just dropped it. Itll be very interesting to see how this comes along over time.

I wish you the best of luck on this
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Old 09-16-2020, 09:52 PM
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Default Re: Dynamic Weather Control Application

Nice! I've often thought about coding something like this, but your GUI is pretty slick!

So, is the software essentially controlling circuit relays?

Do you have a way to input hysteresis values around your set-points for temp and humidity?
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Old 09-16-2020, 09:56 PM
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Default Re: Dynamic Weather Control Application

You guys that are aware of how these fancy electronics work - is there any such thing as a humidity probe that can be kept in the tank full time and doesn't suffer from the saturation weakness that I have heard all probes fall victim to? I was curious if this was just true of cheaper ones or if a good one can be had at a higher price. If there is no such thing, maybe one of you needs to invent a sweet little retractor doohickey that puts the probe in every 10 minutes and pulls it right back out. I am counting on you guys.

Mark
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Old 09-17-2020, 04:48 PM
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Default Re: Dynamic Weather Control Application

This app looks really cool! Obviously you'd have to have compatible hardware to set it up with. What would someone need in order to use it? How does the controller talk to the lights, etc?
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Old 09-17-2020, 11:59 PM
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Default Re: Dynamic Weather Control Application

Quote:
Originally Posted by Encyclia View Post
You guys that are aware of how these fancy electronics work - is there any such thing as a humidity probe that can be kept in the tank full time and doesn't suffer from the saturation weakness that I have heard all probes fall victim to? I was curious if this was just true of cheaper ones or if a good one can be had at a higher price. If there is no such thing, maybe one of you needs to invent a sweet little retractor doohickey that puts the probe in every 10 minutes and pulls it right back out. I am counting on you guys.

Mark
I have seen a few options, the problem with any humidity sensor is that they cannot get fully soaked while misting or you will get the obvious 100% humidity while the sensor is dripping wet. One way around this that I ran on some emersed grow out systems I had running was to have a fan pull air from the enclosure, through the sensor, and then dump the air either back into the enclosure or just vent it back to atmosphere (the room.) Issue with that is finding the right spot for the exhaust fan to do this. At the time I wasn't misting my systems because they were 15% full of water and were heated with the water in the systems having a small pump to keep everything circulating. I was able to mount a 1" PC style fan to a drilled glass lid with silicon and then to a 3D printed mount I designed for the sensor being mounted to the output of the fan.
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Old 09-18-2020, 12:04 AM
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Default Re: Dynamic Weather Control Application

Quote:
Originally Posted by dwllama View Post
This app looks really cool! Obviously you'd have to have compatible hardware to set it up with. What would someone need in order to use it? How does the controller talk to the lights, etc?
From the OP it looks like the custom software can run on any PC, be it Windows, Single Board Computer (SBC) like a Raspberry Pi or even a Linux machine since it can run on an SBC. The issue is that you'll need an interface to control, so an SBC would be ideal since you can tie the software to control power to the General Purpose Input/Output (GPIO.) The software seems to control the lights through pulse width modulation which increases/decreases the power to the light channels as the program specifies, so this may require a custom module per your light or if you're lucky and have a light with a IR controller you can just have the code mimic what the controller sends to the control board on the light system. I've seen some people make IR sending units for a slew of lights for aquariums; Finnex, Current USA, and EcoXotic to name a few.
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Old 09-18-2020, 02:18 AM
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Default Re: Dynamic Weather Control Application

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tihsho View Post
From the OP it looks like the custom software can run on any PC, be it Windows, Single Board Computer (SBC) like a Raspberry Pi or even a Linux machine since it can run on an SBC. The issue is that you'll need an interface to control, so an SBC would be ideal since you can tie the software to control power to the General Purpose Input/Output (GPIO.) The software seems to control the lights through pulse width modulation which increases/decreases the power to the light channels as the program specifies, so this may require a custom module per your light or if you're lucky and have a light with a IR controller you can just have the code mimic what the controller sends to the control board on the light system. I've seen some people make IR sending units for a slew of lights for aquariums; Finnex, Current USA, and EcoXotic to name a few.
Thanks for the input. That at least gives me a solid place to start looking if I get enthusiastic enough to try something like this. Never programmed hardware like that but I'm sure there are tutorials and instructions out there.
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Old 09-18-2020, 01:23 PM
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Default Re: Dynamic Weather Control Application

Amazing work must say. Please help people out with the source codes that you used to train your aurdino or rasbery pi. That will be helpful for everyone.
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