Plant monitoring with time-lapse videos

Discussion in 'Do It Yourself' started by WeedCam, Nov 16, 2011.

  1. I have been working on this project for the past week or so now but it's nowhere near ready yet.

    The basic idea is to monitor your plant's environment by measuring some variables. At this point I'm only recording temperature and humidity but it should be quite easy to include PH and EC as well. These measurements are then linked to photos taken with a cheap web cam. The end result is a time-lapse video that can be generated for any interval together with measurement chart. The script also recognizes if the image was taken while the lamps were off so there is an option to exclude these images from the time-lapse.

    So let's say you want a time-lapse video for the past month. After setting the range the PHP script generates the video together with the measurement charts. Now you find out that something interesting happened somewhere during this time period, e.g. some plant problem, and you can specify a new period, a week or a day for example. Now you get a more accurate video from that time period as well as measurements with shorter intervals. So in a way you can zoom in and out in time and possibly track the cause of the problem.

    The gear used in this example setup can be bought for less than 30$ and the script should be working on any basic web space with MySql and PHP. I have used a basic webcam with gray filter and usb dongle called TEMPer Hum. On windows environment neither of these require any drives. I haven't calibrated the humidity reading, but it's really easy to calibrate the measurements. The video is actually not a real video but sequence of JPG images. This makes it possible to generate the video dynamically for the given timeframe.

    I have attached a screenshot and a a link to some sample .html files that you can download to see how it looks like in action. Just download the .zip file and extract it and open the .html files with a browser. You can't change the time interval because it's not connected to any database. The first example shows you a period of 4 days night time images excluded and the second one is there to show you what happens when you turn of your lights and fan at the same time: the temperature drops as expected while the humidity gets higher for a while because cold air can't hold as much water as warm does.

    The next step would include PH and EC values to the measurements. It also shouldn't be too hard to automagically adjust the nutrient and acidity levels with dosage pumps.

    Ideas and feedback are really welcome. I'm planning to release this for free when it's little bit further in development.


    Attached Files:

  2. Looks sweet, if you can make a program that is easy to use, you could make millions!

    I would definitely buy and install it if the price was around 15$
  3. Add in some sort of alert if certain levels fall out of range. For example, your pH falls below like... 6 for soil it will ding you in some way in case you haven't noticed. But make the variable adjustable or fixed with an option based on medium(hydro or soil). And then same for temperature etc.

    But I guess that is part of your idea by controlling the input as well so that the conditions do not get out of whack but ya never know! Sweet project, release it as open source and just an exe?
  4. Very very cool

    ...and I want some too!

  5. I was thinking of building something along these lines, too. I was going to use a netduino as the "brain." I gave up at the PH monitoring portion. I think it'd be easiest to leverage an existing PH controller, and tap into the LED readouts for it, as any PH probes you can find that have an API for programming/sensing will cost more than an existing hobby level PH monitor.

    Anyways, I think it would be cool to save the data, too. So you can do some analysis/trending on yield/quality.

    Keep us updated on your progress!
  6. I have been planning to use this for ph and ec monitoring:
    USB DrDAQ 2011 pH Measuring Kit
    EC would need a AC signal generator @ +1kHz but that should be too hard to implement.
  7. Cool. I like that it can scrub. What did you use to keep the lights from washing out the picture?

    I would be interested in seeing the PHP end of the code, if you are willing to post it.
  8. Very nice! I have been working on an android app that does live monitoring, only video, temp, co2 ppm, and water level though. Maybe we should collaborate, I think that grow automation and remote growing is under-used, especially in an industry where our profits should justify the investment.

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