So my Biolapse Control Module has a relay that is starting to flake out. This is the 2nd time this has happened, but to be fair that relay has probably turned off 10-12k times in the past 2 years.
It is going to be a PITA to swap out. For the most part the BCM has run flawless, but there are some nitpicks I have about it. Heck I basically hacked a chronoshield and cut some traces and added new ones to get a lot of the circuit work done. Most of it works, but this Biolapse project is here to stay for the foreseeable future, and I would like to build something a bit more flexible.
Last night i started sketching out the concept behind the BCM2. How could I build upon the original, how can I improve. I had thought about doing this a little while back but I got distracted with Otto.
Better control interface, larger screen for more data
Dual power rails, one protect, one non.
8 assignable outlets, 3 protect, 5 non
Grow light control
Fill light control
Temp control (high/low mark)
Humidity control (high/low mark)
Pump control for watering cycles
Adjustable pre/post shot buffers for grow lights and fill lights
Easy to replace relays, plug n play as much as possible.
Input trigger for external timer
2 -3 triggers for camera or external moco
Better chassis, better build.
I will build myself 2 for sure. I like having a backup. If there is interest I might actually make a small limited run of these, 7-8 total and put some of them up for sale. Considering how much work is involved in building/coding these things, they would not be cheap, but at least obtainable. Depending on the difficulty, maybe a grand. May sound like a lot for a glorified set of relays, but it will be a very small run of hand made systems. Very time consuming for a single father with a full time career and a could side businesses.
Something like this is hardly needed for flower blooms as those are usually done in a few days and you can just keep a light on the whole time, but any sort of seed-adult type work, or anything that may take a few weeks the plants start to suffer as fill lights dont hit the spectrums they need very well, and the lack of day/night cycles can stunt growth or even kill the plants. So this really is a specialty system. But i might as well make a couple extra.
Ill be sure to blog about the status and how things are going.