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Beehive or Mushroom Grow chamber

Dear Community, I just purchased a starter kit. I would like to use this set up to track the climate in my beehive, I built one from the OS beehives. And when I get a hold on with the data vis and stuff, I would like to try an IFTT set up for mushroom growth. Does anybody have experience with microclimate sensing with this kit? Cheers from Graz, Asya

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Hmmm not sure what you mean by IFTT; google tells me several possibilities none of which fit the context, unless you mean “If This Then That” which might be an allusion to AI presumably related to automated environment control for your bees and/or mushrooms. That would be a fun project.
But Perhaps you meant FFT in your post, which I know a number of people are into, and makes more sense. Fast Fourier transform would tell you a lot about what the bees are buzzing to each other, and some frequency type analysis might yield some useful data. You might be able to detect intruders like wasps using sound analysis.

The most relevant readings available from the kit for growing bees would be temperature and relative humidity, Sound levels in the hive might also prove to be interesting to monitor.
It is possible to also add other sensors. :

You could add wind speed and direction plus rain; which is what I am working on. Thus far the anemometer and rain gauge sensors have been selected but no coding work has been done. They will connect to the main SCK by way of an add-on PM board used in Smart Citizen Station. The sensors both have a serial interface, and the PM board provides the extra connections needed. The Pm board has its own SAMD21 MCU that is used to read and decode the two serial lines, convert the signals and send the readings to the data board using I2C aux connection.
It will be several months before this is ready for prime time but if you are interested I can keep you in the loop.

GPS might be useful if you intend move your hives around between different locations. Gps is already supported by way of the Aux connection; but you need to get one of two specific alternative sensor boards (see documentation).

A soil moisture sensor might be another sensor useful in context of your mushrooms; and the light sensor on the urban board too.
I am aware that there is a soil moisture sensor described in the docs section somewhere. :wink:

Just note however that you may need to add the Smart citizen Station PM board if you need extra connections especially serial lines. It has its own SAMD21 MCU that can be used to manage/decode extra sensors and share the load with the main Data board.

Oscar is the expert, I am just helping out. He is away at moment, if you are in no hurry and can wait on his return, he is the best to help you with specifics. But there is lots more info in the docs if you have a mind to go through it. It’s best to read it all thoroughly before engaging him, because he is an extraordinarily busy guy.


Hello! Thank you for the quick reply.

  1. I actually meant IFTT, if this then that, not to automate some actuator functions (in the mushroom case it could be the PC fan for air circulation) but to receive text messages on a mobile device. It could give messages like “Hello! Now you can turn on the ventilator for 5 minutes!” This kind of interface is mostly used in smart solar energy consumption cases. But maybe this is already in the smart citizen system. I am an architect, doing my Ph.D. in a research group focusing on developing technology for honeybee health, and I work on 3d printing and biomaterial approach. hiveopolis. eu

  2. I will check the FFT, but currently, it seems like a further-reaching goal for me.

  3. I already work with temp, RH sensors including CO2 sensor from Sensirion but my main problem is the have one coherent system including a visualization interface. I hope the smart citizen kit is made also for a little dummy people like me :slight_smile:

  4. Soil moisture is really interesting I will check it out after I am fully confident with the basic setup.

  5. My main method of evaluating my materials is the air quality and the design/materials’ effects on the gas particles. For this reason, this kit seems to very suitable. All the use cases seem to be positioned in an open urban context, I hope it works in micro climate sensing as well.

  6. I recieve my kit tomorrow and will go through your documentation in the weekend, probably I will reach out again! Thanks a bunch! __
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Hi Asya,
Ok there are a number of things at different levels I should address to help you as best I can.

  1. The CCS811 Device installed on each SCK measures Volatile Organic Compounds directly, and it gives the results in units of equivalent CO2 concentration. That would be the concentration of CO2 created if the VOC was oxidised or burned. I do not think it directly measures CO2 itself. The world average of CO2 level is around 403 parts per million (and rising, slowly).
    A high level of co2 (10-20000ppm) is needed for mushroom growth.
    I am no expert on growing of mushrooms but I know that commercially they are grown in soil that is very rich in organic compounds (animal manure, rotted wood etc). Such soil would give off VOC gases and have a certain odour with it. VOC pollution might also have negative effects on mushroom growth. The VOC emitted by warm, moist soil may reflect the nutrient level in the soil.
    Thus Both VOC and CO2 may be relevant to growth levels of mushrooms.
    So, it may be useful to measure local levels of CO2 as well as VOC.

So, to suit your mushrooms, you need an extra device to measure CO2 directly. Luckily, it is possible to add a CO2 Sensor to smart citizen station that does that. It is called NDIR (non dispersive Infrared) CO2 sensor. It is manufactured by Alphasense; and you can look it up via Google. SC can help you when it comes to purchase of Alohasense gas sensors.

  1. Sending of text messages
    Seems to me that generally speaking you need to be able to look at your readings, make programmed decisions and take actions. There are several approaches to achieve this goal.
    Baseline start:
    Currently SCK sends its results to Smartcitizen website and it connects to Wifi to communicate.
    Change to:
    Method 1. The sensor data to which calibration has been applied can be relayed to another site you choose.
    Configuration changes to SCK platform are needed in this case, SCK staff can help.
    Method 2. Add a 3G/4G modem directly to SCK and modify firmware to have it send SMS messages directly. A secondary processor added (borrowed from SCS) does the IFTT processing. The results still get sent to SmartCitizen for display. But the cost is that significant changes to SCK are needed to support 4G connection.

Each of these methods carries different levels of complexity and risk so selection of the method depends on your risk appetite and aptitude for the highly detailed technical tasks involved.

I cannot assess those 2 factors from what you have said so far, so please tell us about you some more. If you are PHD candidate perhaps you are not really a dummy but maybe this (complex electronic systems) isn’t your specialty. That is perfectly fine. This stuff is not so hard, if I can do it then anyone can.

In terms of above 2 methods, my own preference is method 2, because it is self-contained (but) I am a retired systems analyst so the complexity and coding do not frighten me.
But I recognise that other people might favour a more modular and flexible approach. They would likely look at options available down the Raspberry Pie pathway.

The SC team currently do not support 3G/4G comms within SCK as a priority, but for my own project it is indispensable, so I will be working on it myself a bit later this year. Of course I can make the design available to others. There are very nice 4G low power modems coming onto the market including one from SEEED Studios that I am looking into. This is how SCK can grow beyond the resources available to the team in Barcelona.

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If you’re familiar with programming in any common language, you could probably start an MQTT broker on your computer, write a program to subscribe to the SCK’s topic, parse the data, and then POST it to IFTT. The newest firmware allows you to specify a custom MQTT broker address, so this would bypass the smart citizen site. I’m doing this with mine because I wanted to write some code for it for fun :slight_smile:

I can’t dedicate much time to helping but I can provide more detail on how that would work if you’d like.

AS a Note: For my own needs; I adopted an external Wifi to 4G gateway device (D-Link DWR933) as the solution. This requires no programming of SC kit at all; just configure the kit Wifi to point to it.