The backbone of my aquaponics system electronics

So Summer is winding down.  The days of insufferable heat are drawing to a close.  The California drought is finally starting to take its toll on my garden.

I’ve been “locked out” of my woodshop by the high heat that makes it insufferable inside, even with fans, even during the late evening.  I’ve vowed that this is the last year that heat will keep me out of the garage.  Next month I will start building the wall in my garage, turning it from an open building to a closed building, cooled with a swamp cooler.

And I’m also planning on starting the build for the greenhouse and fish room.  Frankly, I’m not sure if I’ll have the money to finish both this winter after redoing the garage.  I guess we will see.

But even so, I DO have the money to start buying the electronics that will run my aquaponics setup.  You’ve already seen the Raspberry Pi that I purchased.  I have just added an Arduino to that.  I also purchased a Spartan 6 FPGA, but I don’t think that will be part of my setup just yet.  I got it because it was cheap, and because I’m refreshing my ability with Verilog and Xilinx tools.

I’m showing both the Arduino Mega 2560 and the MIMAS Spartan 6 FPGA here.

So here’s the plan.  The Arduino will be programmed to communicate with the Raspberry PI.  I’ll use the Arduino I/O to control a relay box that will control standard sprinkler system valves to fill and drain my aquaponics grow beds.

The Arduino (maybe a second Arduino) will also communicate with GROVE based sensors to detect water flow, fill and drain rates, water levels, and water quality.

All of this data will be fed to a simple database on the Raspberry Pi, which will then be available through a web page served by the Raspberry Pi.  Everything will be viewable on my wireless network, and maybe even on the Internet itself (I’m not sure about that yet).

My goal is to have all my data available to my iPad or smart phone, and to have the ability to “tweak” things remotely.

I also want the system to be able to send me system warnings via SMS text message.

Lots of work ahead of me.