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A related area is the integration of temperature sensors into the above described systems. I certainly do not want to try to develop my own software. I want something easily programmable, no 'school' required. Any thing pop into anyone's mind?

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Mar 4th, 2012 at 03:59:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It doesn't exactly pop but of course all these systems are available to professionals, just too expensive and out of scale for small amateur greenhouses. But maybe you're planning something Really Big...
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Mar 5th, 2012 at 01:40:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes! I have been looking at some of the more professional systems. They look like $1,500 and up to do what I need. I am looking for some way to open and close vents at the base and ridge at predetermined intervals. I think I should be able to do that cheaper than what is commercially available. Oh, for easy access to some of the military surplus stores in LA just now. A timer, a reversible motor and some limit switches could get me started. A garage door opener is a whole lot cheaper than what they are asking.... Perhaps some stepper motors.

I have decided to start small with a hot box/germinator made of plywood and 2x2s on the bottom and back and corrugated translucent panels used for patio covers for the sloping front. If I make the back about four foot high it will work for all seedlings and can serve as a kitchen garden for lettuce, cilantro, green onions and herbs. I plan on using salvaged 2 liter soda bottles along the back wall to provide thermal mass to dampen temperature swings,  have a bunch saved up and get another about every other day. (Someone in the household has a soda habit.)

I have a south facing shop wall along which I can place it and have dropped off an irrigation stub and control wire at that location. A small, programmable drip irrigation system is well under $100 and I can get power from the shop panel. I just don't want to have to open and close the vents by hand every morning and night, depending on temperature and wind. Seems like that shouldn't cost ten times the cost of the rest of the hot box. Perhaps I can use motorized dampers from the HVAC industry, or just a fractional HP gear motor, a shaft and some pulleys. Definitely open to suggestions.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Mar 5th, 2012 at 02:21:08 AM EST
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