Full Members
  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Everything posted by Vince81

  1. Hey there, I thought it was time for me to introduce in this thread my new terrarium. It will be more 'techy' than 'planty', so if you are expecting mainly pictures of plants here, well, you'll be pretty disappointed. I started over 6 months ago with this new project, as I had to stop growing carnivorous plants and put away my former terrarium. I hope it will meet the same success as its elder brother. The previous one was already running with a RPi, but its use wasn't maxed out. Here we go, the result as it was a few weeks ago: Basically, it's a small terrarium (65x55x65) dedicated to grow highland carnivorous plants, but also, to answer my needs as a grower: autonomous, tailored set up with remote monitoring. Handy, transportable by one person, and good-looking (enough). Almost bearable in a living room, i.e, not giving away too quickly a vibe of 'eccentricity'. But behind the scene, it's a different kettle of fish. I bought the glass panes, and started to drill them. The holes will be used for aquarium tubing: Practising: Then starting with actual panes: Watering the area of interest: Then: The silicone used to joint the terrarium together: A bit messy: Top pane set up. I stuck the first rail for sliding panes. Wait of 24h. Then final jointing and installation of the through-tank connectors. 48h wait, and leak test : I built a small tank made of 2 cm styrofoam to contribute to insulate the cooled water from the outside of the terrarium. The aim was to prevent cold losses and reduce outside condensation on the window: Second profile rail drying: As a side note, the bottom profile rail is smaller than the top one, allowing easy removal of the sliding panes : Slicing off a gutter, so to make support for gratings : To water the plant wall, I set up a pierce hose on top of it: Stuck hose: Cheeky bubble: Same goes with the tree fern panels: I made a tank for the fogging system, as well as two shelves (one for the tank, one for the watercooling radiator): The shelves: Final test: Now, about the lighting system. In short, I wanted LEDs, as they have more opportunities for playing around. They can be dimmed and can have precise wavelengths. So it's possible to roughly mimic sunrise/sunset. I used several small ones instead of few big ones because I wanted passive cooling (silent installation), and not being forced to have fans running on top of big LEDs to have them cooled down. I bought MK-R LEDs and no-name ones (blue: 440-445, 430-435nm and red: 660nm), all powered around 4W. The MK-R as I received them: The first step is to mount the MK-R on their individual PCB: I spread solder paste on the PCB: I did reflow soldering, by making solder paste melt between the PCB and the LED. Information about the specifications on how to carry out this process can be found on the MK-R datasheet: Useful thermometer (there wasn't any LED on the pan at the time I took this picture): Then, I drilled and mounted some heatsinks together: I added some tin to make the connecting easy: Thermal paste and other tools: The beginning: (there was actually a mistake in this wiring at the time of the picture) Finally: White: Yellow: Red: Blue: Warm effect (morning): Winter-is-coming effect: A bit of an overkill, but in case, some fans to help the heatsinks dissipate the heat: How the lighting system is fixed. Inspired from aquarium hobby: Funny trick - how to adjust the height of the lighting system: The fusebox, when I was still tinkering with the RPi: The cooling system (below 13°C at night and no higher than 25°C during the day): The cooling unit: The connectors: The watercooling radiator: The heating system is based on a heating pad and a fan (that I also use for the fogging system, and all day long to promote air circulation): The fogging system, with classic mist makers: The watering system is composed of 4 nozzles: And a pump: And for the geeky part, the Raspberry Pi to rule them all. This is the micro-controller (small computer) which manages all the devices related to the terrarium. Good news, you can do almost everything you want. Bad news, the RPi won't program itself: I connected several sensors and other hardware resources to it. To have something neat, I designed a printed circuit board (PCB). Yep, the schematic is quite messy: Rendering this after milling (a friend of mine milled it for me): I soaked it into liquid tin: Then, components' supports: Tropicoat coating: In the end, more or less: A webcam on top of the terrarium: Which gives this kind of snapshot (I consider doing time-lapse, as soon as I don't have plastic bags on top of some plants. I removed them for the sake of the pictures): How to command the devices ? Using relays. I had some that I very recently replaced with wireless (radio/433 Mhz) ones. The emitter: The relay: A receiver (to copy radio signals, or for instance, coupled with a remote controller to switch off the terrarium): Family picture: And not-so-useful remote controllers, as everything is managed by the RPi. They bypass the RPi (as they send the same signals as the RPi do), so, I can turn on/off a device without having to use the RPi, and without tampering with the rules I set up. I just have to ensure that I put the device back in its original state after I'm done operating it. About coding, I had a first version which was working but far from being optimised. The crucial upgrade was made possible thanks to Clément Lefranc, who gave me his entire code. He is the one who takes the credit. Thanks to his gesture, I could start from a working base that I adapted to my own needs. As you might be assuming, I have developed a website to better introduce the terrarium. Almost finished with it, just left with a few things to correct. It will be more convenient to look up for any information related to the terrarium, as I'm afraid there are too many pictures on this topic. But in case of major update, I'll make sure to put the info into this topic as well, so that the gist is always presented here. That was all for the initial investment. Then, what is interesting is to watch how the plants will react to all this attention. Especially in the long run, as, when it comes to growing, that is the only thing which matters in my opinion. And the more it is complex, the more it's likely to break down somewhere. But I'll keep you updated. At least, the start is successfully completed: believe me, it could have not been so. I hope it might give ideas to some of you. Vince P.S: I still can't get my hand on the 'preview button'. Has it totally disappeared? Is there any way to have it back?
  2. Unfortunately not. Not a professional at all! Hey Mike, it's been a while since I last watered my plants using the automatic pump system as I've avoided to spray my P. elongata, and it wasn't necessary to water the others that often. Otherwise, I usually leave the watering system on for 30-60 minutes, or more. The pump can easily bear it (not a coffee machine pump), and when I use that system, I just make sure everything is fully watered. So sometimes it's even half a day :). It's not a fog, something like a mist/fine spray. About ~50 microns droplets ( It does wet your hand/plants unlike foggers/ultrasonic mist makers. Good luck with setting up your terrarium. Keep us posted!
  3. I've been quite away from the internet community lastly, but I've just stumbled upon that information:`heliamphora_macdonaldae' How sexy is that for a Heliamphora lover! Hope we'll finally see it in many collections, and can't wait to see the hybrids people will make with that species. Hopefully, Gert will manage to propagate and sell it in 2018 as claimed. I didn't see it anywhere on the forum, my bad if I'm wrong:
  4. Vince81

    Heliamphora macdonaldae at

    Well, just coming across the news about the cpuk data loss, what a shame :/. I was wondering where the unboxing of macdonaldae was. Here is a quick pic of today, I repotted it one month ago. Hope it will go fine:
  5. Hey Baboonum, thanks for your interest. It's the second time I use an aquarium chiller, and I must say that I'm still very pleased with such a system. So far, the best one in my experience and use. I think mine has a 5°C minimum too, but I haven't set the embedded thermostat for a while. What you should also keep in mind is the volume of water you intend to cool (besides room temperature, insulation and aimed temperatures). Here is a graph which shows the temperatures last summer at one of the warmest times: Devices' actions and temp records are every 5 minutes, thus all those peaks. I believe you can easily see the temp min/max set at that time :).
  6. Vince81

    new Calendar of the GFP for 2018

    Well received, many thanks. I love that new format with all the pics.
  7. Vince81

    The owner's nickname is Miso on the forum. I ordered from him a couple of months ago, and it went just fine, I was happy with the Drosera and Pinguicula received. Good communication too. I would recommend him based on this experience.
  8. Vince81

    Pinguicula neo-volcanica

    I've tried to self-pollinate a P. hemiepiphytica in late September to investigate a bit this matter. The 8th of October, it looked like it worked as the fruit began to form and swell. The flower stalk also straightened: I checked up on it today, and here is the result: I'll sow the seeds and see whether they are fertile. A friend of mine told me that your plant might be a sterile hybrid. Alternatively there is this hypothesis that pollen needs to ripe in a dry environment, and that air humidity in a greenhouse or a terrarium could prevent this maturation process. In my case though, it didn't seem to have been a problem.
  9. Vince81


    Jeez, you gotta to like them red! Awesome gallery!
  10. Not increasing, just making sure there are enough: better having slightly more than slightly less light in my view. Red and blue LEDs are not essential, as white LEDs already have those wavelengths. It's just a matter of optimising energy, targeting usefulness, having or not pink colour, etc.
  11. Vince81

    Ptaah's Heliamphora collection

    I feel I'm like some kind of groupie, but I love them all ! Except for the last hybrid, so called Heliamphora sp. "Tramen", sometimes labelled H. elongata '60s, or whatever. I've come across it too many times under different names. That put me off! As for the H. uncinata, they are very well grown. The first one is quite stocky and I got those details from MS about the second one: "near the cliff face! Falling down! The smaller gracile form". If that can be of any interest to you :). Congratulations, those vivid colours are always a great view.
  12. Remember when talking about LEDs, that wavelengths are important, as well as the yield of the LEDs/driver. 100W of cool white won't produce the same effect as 100W of only red/blue LEDs, as well as having your LEDs focused in a spotlight or all along the length of your terrarium (e.g, 100x1W LED). In short, just keep in mind that talking only about watts is not an absolute way to quantify light efficiency when growing plants. That being so, I think I would have settled for something around 100W. I'm using 2X55 PL above a 60x45x65 terrarium, without mentioning my highland terrarium where I might have slightly overdone it. So, I believe your plants won't suffer from a lack of light if you put together the 20+20+4+4 LEDs you mentioned earlier. Also, once finished, you can always adjust the height of your light fixture, or dimmed your LEDs if possible. But if you are not giving them enough light, in the first place, you'll be bound to change it all. Or to regret it :).
  13. Vince81

    No more PM notifications?

    Working for me too now, happy it has been fixed. Thanks Richard!
  14. I have yet to see plants which can be grown solely under LEDs or T5 :). HPS are still a solid value when it comes to growing indoor plants for instance. I used to grow my Heliamphora under the same kind of spotlight as Harro. If you plan to learn and make your own setup, maybe that thread of Naoki could be helpful :
  15. Vince81

    Pinguicula neo-volcanica

    Nice tray ! Have you ever tried to pollinate them ? I know they wouldn't pollinate themselves, however, I can't recall Pinguicula being allogamous, but I don't have anything to support that claim.
  16. Vince81

    PICS 2017

    I would second that: those plants are definitely eye candies !
  17. Vince81

    Why is the silica sand green??

    Looks like algae development. Water + light + nutrients = algae... quite hard to avoid that equation. You can consider using pure water to reduce the likelihood of algae growing on top of your pot. As for harming the seeds, if the seeds are big enough, I don't believe it's a matter of concern. It can be more troublesome when dealing with minute seeds like Drosera seeds.
  18. So far so good, I have yet to bring a few stuff to an end and take some pictures, but I'm happy with the results, especially on the tree fern panels: Utricularia jamesoniana: Ageing flower of Pinguicula hemiepiphytica (three at the moment on the plant): And low down : Drosera roraimae:
  19. Vince81

    My heliamphoras

    That's a unique genus indeed, and you sure convey it with your pictures. Love those bushy clumps.
  20. Vince81

    Ptaah's Heliamphora collection

    Splendid Heliamphora, with no exception! The colour of that Heliamphora "Tequila" is simply stunning ! One may like it green. I hell like it red :). Thanks for sharing !
  21. Vince81

    My heliamphoras

    Amazing setups! Love the natural vibe it gives.
  22. Indeed, 15°C is not that odd. Perhaps, you can take several readings and get rid of the extreme values. Or, unless you can induce a severe temperature drop, say by watering, you can also have something which could take into account the previous value, a bit as you've just implied. About making an average, this is a piece of code that I have for my RH sensor: def mcp3008Inputs(channel, probe): [...] Readout_sum = 0 for i in range(1,1001,1): Readout = readadc(channel) Readout_sum = Readout_sum + Readout Readout_avg = Readout_sum / 1000.000 As for the temperature (code freely adapted from Clément Lefranc's one): def RoomTemp(): RoomTemperature = W1ThermSensor(W1ThermSensor.THERM_SENSOR_DS18B20, "00000561f4f8") RoomTempValue = float(round(RoomTemperature.get_temperature(), 1)) if RoomTempValue > 45 or RoomTempValue < -10 : return RoomTemp() print("Room Temperature: " + str(RoomTempValue ) + "C") return RoomTempValue Maybe the simplest way would be getting the median of a list of readings.. Up to you, too many choices :).
  23. 35/40°C seems quite excessive to me. I hope your plants are coping well with this heat. Well, I'm no coder, so I can't really advise on a legitimate basis. But I can let you know how I did my own thing. It was easy to do with existing tools in Python. See here. import email import smtplib msg = email.message_from_string('warning') msg['From'] = "[email protected]" msg['To'] = "[email protected]" msg['Subject'] = "helOoooOo" s = smtplib.SMTP("",587) s.ehlo() # Hostname to send for this command defaults to the fully qualified domain name of the local host. s.starttls() #Puts connection to SMTP server in TLS mode s.ehlo() s.login('[email protected]', 'pass') s.sendmail("[email protected]", "[email protected]", msg.as_string()) s.quit() I created an email account just for the RPi, which sends two emails per day + any set up alerts (temperatures, lights, open door, etc.). You just need to replace the '[email protected]' (sender's address), '[email protected]' (recipient's address), 'pass', and '' with the adequate email addresses, the password of the sender's address and the smtp mail server of the sender's address (easy to find on Google). As for the erroneous sensor readings, you might consider saving the data only if it is a plausible one. For instance, an expected terrarium temperature could be comprised between 5°C and 50°C, so any data out of the range should be read again. Then, you could also take 10 readings, and make an average out of them to smooth the curve.
  24. That's quite the exhaustive topic you made here. Its looks very clean, especially the LED setup with the black wiring. Not to mention the light shield ;). Congratulations on your first adult Heliamphora pitcher too. I look forward to hearing more from your terrarium, especially from those lovely colourful Cephalotus.
  25. Apologies for the delay Stu, I was hopping to get back to you only when able to introduce the website. Well, I believe it will take one more week or so. Thanks for the pointer: I thought I knew what 'mister' means, but I guess it's always time for a reality check! Hey Tom, thanks for the nice feedback. I have yet to read your website, but it seems to be a great tutorial! I wish I had something like that when I first started to delve into this kind of endeavour. I'm sure it will be a great help for many growers. Congratulations on presenting your work in a didactic manner. Just skimming through, it looks very neat. I'm glad you found 'plenty of ideas' for your next setup. I do love how working with a RPi gives you the possibility to explore a prospect and actually make it happen. I can't wait to see your next upgrade or even your new project then. I'll make sure to post some regular updates (at least one for the website very soon), although I hope the next time will be for pictures of plants ;).