This board brings easy and secure remote connectivity with instrumentation and control capabilities at a lower cost than alternative networked devices. You can start measuring and building instruments and control experiments and processes using cheap, off the shelf, sensors immediately with no programming.
This project arose from a need. I build bare metal and Linux based embedded systems in my day job. The last thing I want when I get off work to do some experiments or do home automation is to have to mess with arduino code matching and compiling to get something done. I thought, what if there was a black box with everything built in that I could use to immediately for example measure temperature and a whole bunch of other things with no programming. And what if I build support for the exploding number of integrated sensor boards out in the market.
The result is the LD100 board.
There are many companies building board level products with sensors but integrating these require technical knowledge and time. There is no product that is plug and play.
Typically to be able to use a sensor or an actuator, the user is expected to add some code to an Arduino or RaspberryPi like device, compile and load code, deal with cabling, power supplies etc. and then develop a user interface.
There are products that plug into a USB port and do one thing but none that integrate multiple devices simultaneously. If you want to measure the temperature in your distillation still while controlling the heater and in the meanwhile monitor the VOC compounds in the air and do your monitoring remotely, you do not have an easy solution.
Similarly if you want to control your hydroponics system, measure pH, temperature and electrical conductivity in your nutrient solution, measure intensity and spectral distribution of light supplied by lamps and switch them on and off based on growth phase algorithms, you do not have an easy and cheap solution. More sophisticated growth environments require CO2 monitoring and control of CO2 generators. These can all be accomplished easily by the LD00 board and its software.
Building a flexible home automation system that does more than control a thermostat is not easy with available offerings. Even the simplest ones compromise your privacy. With the LD100, for example, you can build an irrigation system that can monitor the soil humidity and check the weather report to determine optimal watering. You can add a pressure monitor to your sprinkler water supply to determine the time for maximum city water pressure for best watering and also find leaks. Even start a booster pump if required. All this can be done with the LD100 board with complete remote control access, alarms sent to your remote devices and privacy. It’s disturbing to come home after a vacation and finding a sprinkler valve stuck open that has been running continuously for 2 weeks. It happened to me.
What does the LD100 Board do?
LD100 is a network connected instrumentation board. It has a multiple interfaces to connect to breakout boards and sensors.
My aim is to provide the software and hardware with support for hundreds of sensors and signal processing breakout boards available in the market. The list of sensors it supports is already substantial and I'm adding new devices on an ongoing basis.
For the basic user, no user programming is required. Just plug in and be operational in minutes. Supported sensor drivers are built into the user application which runs on a host such as a PC. Sensors that are plugged in are user selectable from the GUI and immediately usable.
Users can add their own sensors. Users also can write their control software in Python or other high level languages that read sensors and activates the actuators.
- Attach sensor with appropriate cable to LD100 board
- Connect LD100 to network cable or USB.
- Select sensor from user interface on PC.