C++ & Automating Hydroponic Farming

For the past year, I’ve tried to really broaden my horizons in terms of what languages I can read and write. So I figured it was time I stopped putting of the enviable and really dig down and learned the almighty C++. So like all my new endeavors, I needed a good project to keep me motivated and interested in learning more than the average hello world tutorial on every C++ site.

After much self deliberation I finally got really interested in vertical farming / deep water culture or rather hydroponics. After spending a number of weeks studying and building my own hydroponic setup, I got to a spot where I could see a need for C++ and automation.

So after a number of months quantifying down all the processes one has to maintain by hand during a hydroponic crop life cycle, I was finally able to write out my own C++ OS and document the building of a fully automated hydroponic cabinet.

My OS is Arduino based and allows farmers to fully automate:

  • pH drift correction
  • eC drift correction
  • Nutrient dosing over life of crop
  • Irrigation (both draining and topping off)
  • Timers (for lighting and exhaust systems)

I call my build / OS the DRO-Matic and has been open sourced and video documented here:

Devin R. Olsen

Devin R. Olsen

Devin R. Olsen

Located in Portland Oregon. I like to teach, share and dabble deep into the digital dark arts of web and game development.

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2 Responses to “C++ & Automating Hydroponic Farming”

  1. Devin R. Olsen Savvas Lergos says:

    Dear Denin.
    My name is Savvas, i live in Rhodes, Greece. I have study agricultural science and I’m also a hobbyist on DIY automation. I own a 4000 sq.m greenhouse. At the moment everything in the greenhouse run in soil culture, but because of some soil born disease, i need to jump on a hydroponic system. I cant find anything on the market that fit on my needs so i decided to build my own hydroponic automation. yesterday i find your videos on YouTube and I’m really impressed of all that work you have done !. At the moment i work too on an arduino mega based hydroponic automation, but i need to jump on beaglebone wifi to add some IoT and remote access to my system.
    I have some improvement proposals on your work so you can make it even better.
    1) Never box the controller and the pumps on the same box… a tube fail on the peristaltic pump would mess all of your nice work. In my system the controller is in a separate box and the peristaltic pumps are each in a separate boxes, placed on the 200 lit concentrated fertilizes containers. ( 11 containers for macro and micro nutrients and one container for acid to lower the PH)
    2) Add spacers on your electronic devices, mostly on relay board, so the air can run around it and cool it down… I’m sure that you have notice that the relay board really gets hot when it run 24/7.
    3) My system runs entirely on 12v. This is safer by far, it can run on batteries and solar panels for off greed locations. is easy to find 12v pumps that gives enough flow for the mix and irrigation . I got some from Shureflo.
    4)Atlas scientific is really on top of the line on circuits, sensors and service, but they are also more expensive by far. on a research i made, DFrobot also have PH, EC, and DO sensors with Analog Signal Isolator on 1/4 of atlas scientific price.
    now i will study your code and maybe i can grab some of your ideas on it if you don’t mind.
    keep going on the nice work you do.
    Savvas Lergos.

  2. Devin R. Olsen Devin R. Olsen says:

    I always enjoy feedback!

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