tobacco kiln

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dec0y7
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tobacco kiln

Postby dec0y7 » Mon Nov 12, 2012 8:43 pm

Ok so I smoke :( one habit I wouldn't wish on anyone, its not big, hard or clever so don't start or quick while you can.

So I'm growing my own tobacco, which in the uk is easy if you have the space, no problems with that part, what's hard is when its ready I need to cure it which involves getting the leafs to a certain temp and humidity while having a small breeze.

My idea it to try and automate it all with a pi.

Basically I'm asking if its possible to run:-
+ heating pad with a thermal cut off
+ humidifier
+ small fan
+ thermometer
+ webcam
+ LED's

In my head I know it can but I've never used a anything like this.

It needs to read the temp and cut the heating pad off/on when needed if poss the same with the humidifier.
Webcam and LED's just so I can check on them from home (will be at the bottom of my garden) so needs also to be wireless.
The inside will be about 1m cube.

This will be an on going thing so any help/ideas welcome
tis Better to have tried and failed than never to have tried at all

I blame spelling errors and my writing skills or lack of...... On fred!!!!!! My blood clot (yes I really did name it lol)

Deary65
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Re: tobacco kiln

Postby Deary65 » Mon Nov 12, 2012 10:19 pm

I am also interested in building a small drier, would be good for drying bioplastic out!
Can't help you, but am certainly interested as to how it turns out!
Image

dec0y7
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Re: tobacco kiln

Postby dec0y7 » Mon Nov 12, 2012 10:32 pm

I know it can be done........ Well I can't think of a reason why it can't lol hoping to run it all of a pc power pack.

When curing tobacco, it take 4 week :( because it kind of ferment's
tis Better to have tried and failed than never to have tried at all

I blame spelling errors and my writing skills or lack of...... On fred!!!!!! My blood clot (yes I really did name it lol)

vimes79
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Re: tobacco kiln

Postby vimes79 » Tue Nov 13, 2012 9:34 am

Are you sure its Tobacco your growing...?? :D

I know someone that used to grow tobacco (yes really tobacco) in his green house and then cure it and it looks mangy as heck when its curing... all mouldy and nasty, but as you said, its the tobacco fermenting and doing what it needs to, to produce the nicotine and give it its taste etc...

Good luck to you, it looks like it could be done and could certainly be controlled and monitored with a R.Pi and a set of relays and sensors etc to monitor and react to the environmental changes. I would most likely use either a Gertboard or a Wyolum AlaMode (as shown in the Phenoptix blog post introducing Wyolum as one of the Phenoptix suppliers http://www.phenoptix.com/blogs/news/6861870-supplier-profile-wyolum-worldwide-brain-trust 2nd to last photo) as both of these add Arduino level control with on-board ATMega328P's and accessory potential along with keeping the Pi in the same place to make use of its networking systems, full OS and USB for webcams, wifi dongles and such...

I hate to say it, but a good place to look is over in the Weed growing forums dotted around as they must use and post details of homemade automated systems similar to what your thinking of for looking after their expensive crops which require alot of attention.

***EDIT*** Thinking about it some more and In fact if you break it down and look at each section as a single project, it becomes 4 or 5 simple tasks that you need to set up to run together and again using the Pi and an extra I/O board and it is very do-able with a fairly low cost and a pretty quick and simple build using readily available low price parts.

+-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+

I quit cigarettes early this year and have been using re-chargeable e-cigs since then and am currently working on a more efficient system to recharge the batteries and modify to use much longer life and longer lasting charge LiPol battery's that will fit in the 8mm wide tube and am currently playing with an idea for having an extra 2 pin plug on the side of the charger where you can plug one of the fantastic Seeed solar panels into if you want to charge in your car or even just on your window sill without using the car's 12v supply with the engine off or your mains supply or if you are working and have no where else to plug in. I did some testing of power with the smallish £3.69 model and was amazed by how much juice it belts out on a avg Autumn/Early winter day! (Around 6v at 150mA+ under load) Ordering one of the 0.5A ones later in the week.
Supporter of Official Arduinos - BeagleBone - RasPi + EVE
-PROUD OWNER OF RepRap PRO MENDEL 3D PRINTER-
Current Projects : + Twitter Bug RGB + RoboBrrd UK #004 (Wireless IoT Brrd) + "Imp Print" +


Twitter Feed : Raw_Gaming

dec0y7
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Re: tobacco kiln

Postby dec0y7 » Tue Nov 13, 2012 9:55 am

ok so after looking im starting a list of the things i will need
so far i need

Raspberry Pi
DHT22 temperature-humidity sensor
XBee Module - Series 1
a webcam that works with pi
Heat tray
humidifier
some LED's
some way to power them all
automate them all and control them all from home
tis Better to have tried and failed than never to have tried at all

I blame spelling errors and my writing skills or lack of...... On fred!!!!!! My blood clot (yes I really did name it lol)

dec0y7
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Re: tobacco kiln

Postby dec0y7 » Tue Nov 13, 2012 10:01 am

vimes79 wroteColonAre you sure its Tobacco your growing...?? :D

I know someone that used to grow tobacco (yes really tobacco) in his green house and then cure it and it looks mangy as heck when its curing... all mouldy and nasty, but as you said, its the tobacco fermenting and doing what it needs to, to produce the nicotine and give it its taste etc...

Good luck to you, it looks like it could be done and could certainly be controlled and monitored with a R.Pi and a set of relays and sensors etc to monitor and react to the environmental changes. I would most likely use either a Gertboard or a Wyolum AlaMode (as shown in the Phenoptix blog post introducing Wyolum as one of the Phenoptix suppliers http://www.phenoptix.com/blogs/news/6861870-supplier-profile-wyolum-worldwide-brain-trust 2nd to last photo) as both of these add Arduino level control with on-board ATMega328P's and accessory potential along with keeping the Pi in the same place to make use of its networking systems, full OS and USB for webcams, wifi dongles and such...

I hate to say it, but a good place to look is over in the Weed growing forums dotted around as they must use and post details of homemade automated systems similar to what your thinking of for looking after their expensive crops which require alot of attention.

***EDIT*** Thinking about it some more and In fact if you break it down and look at each section as a single project, it becomes 4 or 5 simple tasks that you need to set up to run together and again using the Pi and an extra I/O board and it is very do-able with a fairly low cost and a pretty quick and simple build using readily available low price parts.

+-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+

I quit cigarettes early this year and have been using re-chargeable e-cigs since then and am currently working on a more efficient system to recharge the batteries and modify to use much longer life and longer lasting charge LiPol battery's that will fit in the 8mm wide tube and am currently playing with an idea for having an extra 2 pin plug on the side of the charger where you can plug one of the fantastic Seeed solar panels into if you want to charge in your car or even just on your window sill without using the car's 12v supply with the engine off or your mains supply or if you are working and have no where else to plug in. I did some testing of power with the smallish £3.69 model and was amazed by how much juice it belts out on a avg Autumn/Early winter day! (Around 6v at 150mA+ under load) Ordering one of the 0.5A ones later in the week.




ive been looking at the tobacco home growers sites and loads of them have done it but not with a pi. some have even got solar panels and wind turbines to power it all, dont think i will go that far
tis Better to have tried and failed than never to have tried at all

I blame spelling errors and my writing skills or lack of...... On fred!!!!!! My blood clot (yes I really did name it lol)

xanthic
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Re: tobacco kiln

Postby xanthic » Tue Nov 13, 2012 2:00 pm

You should be able run your lights with scripts run from cron. The temperature should be controllable with if/elif statements and a loop.

Have a look at the "motion" package to run your webcam. Look at the Edimax nano dongle for wifi, much simpler than XBee.

Don't bypass the regulator chip in the LiPo charger. Lithium batteries don't take too well to overcharging!

dec0y7
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Re: tobacco kiln

Postby dec0y7 » Tue Nov 13, 2012 3:08 pm

xanthic wroteColonYou should be able run your lights with scripts run from cron. The temperature should be controllable with if/elif statements and a loop.

Have a look at the "motion" package to run your webcam. Look at the Edimax nano dongle for wifi, much simpler than XBee.

Don't bypass the regulator chip in the LiPo charger. Lithium batteries don't take too well to overcharging!


Thanks for the advice I will look into them all
tis Better to have tried and failed than never to have tried at all

I blame spelling errors and my writing skills or lack of...... On fred!!!!!! My blood clot (yes I really did name it lol)

vimes79
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Re: tobacco kiln

Postby vimes79 » Tue Nov 13, 2012 11:59 pm

xanthic wroteColonYou should be able run your lights with scripts run from cron. The temperature should be controllable with if/elif statements and a loop.

Have a look at the "motion" package to run your webcam. Look at the Edimax nano dongle for wifi, much simpler than XBee.


What he said :D

It is not a massive job if you break it down like that.
Totally agree about using a nano wifi dongle and not XBee, it does simplify things with the Pi.

xanthic wroteColonDon't bypass the regulator chip in the LiPo charger. Lithium batteries don't take too well to overcharging!


Absolutely... and If you are reading this and don't know why or don't know the consequences of getting it wrong and are playing with LiPo batteries and chargers without really understanding them then STOP and go and have a look on YouTube at videos showing the potential of cocking it up!!!

With regards to solar and wind power... I have never played with wind turbines so cant really comment, but the solar panels that are available these days are great and it would not be a difficult job to set some up so during the day the system utilises the solar panels while they also charge the batteries that run it at night, or you could set it up on timers so during the day the solar power is used then late afternoon it switches to an alternative supply. You could even get clever and start monitoring the power and have it automatically switch sources when the solar power drops too low.
Im getting quite interested in these solar panels and like I said im going to order one of the largest ones that are stocked here at Phenoptix and prob a couple of the one I already have and have a play and see just how capable they are. One thing is for sure and that's that they are alot better then 5 or so years ago when I last had some solar power kit to play with, these ones from Seeed actually produce enough power to use for a decent number of applications and not just lighting an LED (barely) in the middle of the day at peak level.
Supporter of Official Arduinos - BeagleBone - RasPi + EVE
-PROUD OWNER OF RepRap PRO MENDEL 3D PRINTER-
Current Projects : + Twitter Bug RGB + RoboBrrd UK #004 (Wireless IoT Brrd) + "Imp Print" +


Twitter Feed : Raw_Gaming

dec0y7
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Re: tobacco kiln

Postby dec0y7 » Wed Nov 14, 2012 2:49 pm

nano wifi dongle it is then.

and as everyone is saying its just a case of getting 5-6 small things running so not a massive job really.

Don't think I will be doing the solar/turbine as much as I would love too.

Thanks for the advice
tis Better to have tried and failed than never to have tried at all

I blame spelling errors and my writing skills or lack of...... On fred!!!!!! My blood clot (yes I really did name it lol)


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