A few updates….


I’m starting to use the Ladybug Plant Food Adjuster on a lettuce setup.  I’ll post more details on the setup in another post.

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I’m excited to say the system is working well.  There are bugs particularly in the iOS app.  For example, the iOS app writes each reading to a CSV file.  When the app runs in the background, data collection stops.  I updated the app to support BLE background reading (and while at this updated to support state preservation and restoration in the case iOS needs to terminate the Ladybug app due to low memory…hard for me to believe the grower is running more important apps 🙂 – yah right!).

Change to Ladybug Shield

A change I made to the Ladybug shield was shrinking it’s size.

Size comparison of Ladybug Shield between beta 3 and beta 4

The smaller size was $9 less when ordering the 3 boards from OSH Park.  My original plan was to not force the Ladybug Shield to be the top shield by sticking out the BNC connectors.  As I was using the board, I found shields come in all shapes and sizes.  It seemed no matter how long I made the shield, there is another shield that didn’t sit well when the Ladybug shield was below.  In particular, currently I am using the Red Bear BLE shield.  This shield is a tad too long for the BNC placement.  So I shrunk the board mostly because of what I consider a significant cost savings.  I did not see a use case compelling enough to (most likely) expand the board to justify the additional cost of PCB fabrication.

Although in the process I could have handled the artwork better:

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oops! trace goes over OSHW logo

I’ll fix this on the next rev of the board…. 

Change to Cabling Between Enclosures

I haven’t spent much time on enclosures and cabling.  I want to focus on starting to use the plant automator and then evolve the different parts of the experience.  Initially, I had strung together some wire between the two enclosures so that the shield could send pump on/off signals to the pump box.  Moving both units around is difficult so I am trying a Molex (5.25 Male) / Molex(2X 5.25 Female) Power Splitter from monoprice.  

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So far so good on the connectors.  I hope to find them for less from a distributor that just sells the connectors.  I went this route because I am more familiar with the wiring in PCs.  I knew if I tried these the right fittings would be there.