The Orange pi that I built and installed in the chicken coop to control the light is having some problems. Now why do you need to have the light in the hen house computer controlled Mike, isn’t that overkill? First off, let me have my fun. Second off, chickens need three things to generate an egg, food, clean water and light. Third, see my fist point. Now to the issues that the Orange pi is having. It really isn’t designed to operate basically outdoors, they are fragile little computers that are not really suited for the wild temperature swings and humidity changes. Plus they run from a microSD memory card and those things are notoriously flaky at the best of times. So I got it into my head to just use an arduino to control the light, but then I wanted to be able to have it on the farm computer network. Enter the nodemcu. it has built in WiFi and is basically arduino compatible. So I set about bread boarding up a prototype until with two temperature and humidity sensors as well as a barometric sensor and of course a relay to do the original intended purpose of controlling the light in the hen house.
With all that horribleness done I was able to set to writing the code. Why two temperature and humidity sensors you ask? I will have one inside the hen house just so I can monitor what the environment is inside the coop. The second one will be mounted in a protective pipe and attached to the side of the coop along with the barometric pressure sensor to log the outside weather. With that data I hope to write a program that can forecast the weather here on the farm.
Then I had to sit down in front of KiCad and design the layout for the printed circuit board I need to etch and mount the components to.
I am sure that this layout will change several times before I am finished. I have plans to build several of these modules to do various tasks on the farm. I want to make a simpler one that just does temperature, humidity and a relay for the light for the second coop. I would also like to make one that would replace the arduino I built up 5 or so years ago to control the heat lamp, and light for my chicken brooder. I am also thinking of one that would regulate the temperature and humidity in the green house that that I have yet to build. Oh and don’t forget about the monitor I would like for the hay loft to warn me of potential loft fires. Yeah I can see lots of uses for these little things. I am actually wondering if there is a market for such a modular IoT system like this. Hmmm things to think about.