02/28/2021 at 01:19 •
I have updated the instructions and the materials list. I know it needs a lot of work, and probably next weekend I'll add more detailed instructions and photos.
02/28/2021 at 00:23 •
So the project has changed significantly since I last updated this page. I'll list the major news below:
- The wooden box is no longer being used and instead, a waterproof junction box is being used. In particular, this one from Amazon is being used: https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B075DJQJVY/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1. I made this change since the wooden box was never really a good option, and it fried the Arduino I had inside.
- The project is no using the Arduino cloud to monitor the grain and that code can be seen here: https://github.com/PhysicsUofRAUI/binTempSensor/tree/master/code/ArduinoCloud. I will be adding more code there and eventually will be adding a webhook so that an alert is sent if the grain starts heating
- A different sensor might be used. The DS18B20 is the sensor that might be used instead and that is because it is waterproof, cheaper, and all three can be wired on one wire. Given that it has not been tested yet I may only deploy it in a few of the bins.
- It is up and running and has been for several months now so that is great!
09/28/2020 at 17:36 •
The set up is currently collecting data from within a bin filled with canola. It is operating as expected, and I will continue to monitor the temperature variations so that I can best decide when a text alert should be sent out.
For the most part the project is done and working!
Later, could be awhile, I will give a more descriptive update and more in depth instructions of how to build.
11/20/2019 at 01:30 •
So I put the current build outside to see how long it would run for in the cold weather.
I did not do good. It sent me the first message but then six hours later (what I had set it to send the temperature at) there was silence.
I think it is a combination of the battery not being charged very much before and that the battery does not like the cold weather.
The next update will be switching gears a bit. I will be constructing a 40 foot usb cable to power the arduino off of (this will replace the solar panel and the battery), and then I will put it and the sensors into operation in an empty bin. This will be the first iteration of tests that will be done on a wired version.
The wired version is being further pursued at this point because it will be cheaper and will operate at the low temperatures better.
A bit off topic, but a contest where a friend and mine were going to present this project has been postponed till March or April.
11/11/2019 at 02:13 •
I have made an enclosure for the Arduino. Before this enclosure I just left the Arduino in a BBQ to see how long it would work on the solar panel. I also am using a more powerful solar panel. Right now I am mostly testing whether or not the poor battery will freeze in the cold even though it is inside an enclosure (does the Arduino dissipate enough power to keep it warm). My guess is it will freeze.
09/01/2019 at 02:58 •
I have the BinTempSensor inside the BBQ at home right now attached to a solar panel. Attaching a solar panel is an important step because it is needed to keep the project off the grid and able to be used in any bin.
It has been running for almost 3 days now and when it was running only on battery it only lasted two days at most. I have been checking it during the day and it seems to get fully charged (the battery) around noon each day. I would consider it a success.
The next steps are:
- Make an enclosure for the Arduino: made of wood at first, but likely will be a 3D printable enclosure in the end
- Move the temperature sensors off of the breadboard onto wires and eventually those wires will be wrapped around a rope or cable that will be dropped into the bin.
- The final step for this version will be adding a heating mechanism inside the enclosure (I'm from Canada and it gets cold here). Right now it is planned to be a separate circuit that will be switched on and off by the Arduino.
I am hoping to list step by step instructions to build the device to the point it is within the next week, but harvest and the new semester are starting so it may not be for a bit longer. For now the instructable I wrote a while back has the set up with the battery and I'll give a bit of a blurb below of how to extend it.
Next steps are:
- Buy the needed supplies: solar panel charging kit, the solar panel, DC jack adapter, and an extra battery is also needed
- Cut the wires off the extra battery (we need them)
- Now solder the wires from the extra battery to the wires from the charging kit
- Plug the battery into the charging port of the solar panel charger
- Take one end of the wires that were soldered together and plug it into the load end of the solar panel charger
- Plug the other end of the soldered wires into the Arduino
- Plug the solar panel into the DC jack of the solar panel charger
Remember that the set up should be placed in a rain proof, but not water proof, enclosure to ensure that water does not mess things up.
Sorry for such a brief description I promise that within a month I will have better instructions (hopefully within a week!), but I thought it be good to give an update of where things are at.
Thanks for reading!