Electronic Spaghetti

Far from the sleek, clean finished product we are used to seeing on store shelves or in advertisements, products in development are really messy. You want to get it done quickly and cheaply to see if the idea will even work, you’re going to want to make a bunch of changes and add a bunch of things along the way, and you always overlook the most obvious (in hindsight) things.

The result: Electronic Spaghetti.

A look only a hacker could love

To the untrained eye this looks like a mess. It is, however, a high tech piece of equipment, bringing together a bunch of operations under one hood.

The device involves Samsung’s new Artik 10 board, which is pretty much a Raspberry Pi merged with an Arduino, with every networking option you would need. This gives you the flexibility of working with a Linux-based processor combined with the reliability of an 8-bit microprocessor.

We’ve added an additional Arduino Uno with a sensor shield, added a relay breakout board, and build two arduino shields ourselves for this project.

This gives us 8 sensors, 4 relays, and a few other I/Os used for sensing things like temperature and water levels.

Soooo…What’s it do?

This device controls an aquaponic setup, taking care of feeding the fish, running pumps, and making sure the conditions are safe for the plants and fish.

It reports this information to a website, where the conditions can be read and operating parameters can be updated.