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Author Topic: My Project... The computer Rules the Farm  (Read 2149 times)
joshuan
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Posts: 32



« on: August 08, 2003, 02:28:21 AM »

Late in the night i wake up... something is wrong...but what.. but what... well 10 hours later and two hundred quail chicks DEAD i figure it out...  the temperature of the farm goes down.. im my employee was.. you know.. sleeping

So ... i turn on my computer.. cry a lot and i star programing my control for all the lectrical periphals of the farm... temperature , lights, alarms, and proves...

i control all of it by the paralel port... well two module so far.. because a i still working. in the sofware and in the hardware..

The thing is this.. the computer take over 16 modules (so far) that do 3 or 4 thingi each one... some for lights, some for temperature testins and control realays...


any one have do ever try somethin similar....  al experienses will help!
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rom Lima, Peru!
Moneo
Na_th_an
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Posts: 1971


« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2003, 04:13:24 PM »

Joshuan,
Are you talking about a real "farm"? If so, you must realize that a farm is a very, very hostile environment  for computers and related electronic equipment. The hostile elements include heat, cold, dust, wind, rain and flooding, bird nesting and excrement, power failures, running on an auxilliary power plant, etc.

I wrote a system 5 years ago for a large dairy farm, and I had to take all these hostile elements into consideration. My contingency plan for the system was more complicated than the system itself. If you're interested in this subject, I would be glad to share some ideas with you.

Why don't you giv me a layout or a map of all the equipment on the farm that you are controlling. Is the computer near the equipment, in the same building, or is it in another building? Do you have more than one computer? If so, how are they connected?

On a farm, you have to keep computers, equipment, and connections as simple as possible, to reduce risks. For example, instead of connecting 2 computers in different buildings via a network, if the information does not need to be updated to the minute, consider a "sneaker net"; that is, transporting the common data from one computer to the other via diskettes or CD's. Not fancy, but you won't have any wiring or communications problems.
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joshuan
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Posts: 32



« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2003, 05:27:50 AM »

yes.. is a real farm with eggs and quails...

the idea is this


the computer control a realay boxes that turn on and off equipment like lights and heaters...

my idea is this

the parallel port has 8 bits to output, plus 4 more for control and 5 inputs...

the first 8 i will use to CALL a box... firs i wll use the first 4 ... (in other words, 15 boxes... 0000 is teh satnd by...)

the control outpust to make do something to the box..

the inputs, will get the respond of each box...

because the inputs cant tell who bos is talking, i will call one by one to say in what happend with each one...


i finished the bas program taht calls the boxes... now.. and doing the hardware (the boxes... with a lot of nand and or TTL...)

that in theory all the stuff.....

teh computer is very near to the boxes... the boxes has the long wire to connect things ( besause i prefer use the low voltage near dthe cpu, and the high voltages are those who has to do the travel)

there are 3 types of boxes..

1. the on off device...
2.. the temperature device ( termistor that i will connect to the joystick port to read them)
3.. the alarms.... the talks to the cpu a stress call that something go wrong.. (double checks important boxes)

thats it.. any comments
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rom Lima, Peru!
Moneo
Na_th_an
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Posts: 1971


« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2003, 02:09:10 PM »

Joshuan,
I assume that some of this wiring is going to be passing outside of the building. In that case you are going to need heavy-duty shielded cable. Use the best you can find and afford. If you cant find good shielded cable, use flexible galvanized tubing to run your cables or wires through. This might be the best anyway.

Also be careful that your signal wires/cables always are at least 1 meter away from any power line, otherwise you will get interference.

Periodically you will have to check your wiring to make sure birds, rats, etc. didn't have them for lunch.

Make sure that your central computer has a power outlet connected to an isolated ground (tierra física). Get an electrician to install this, it should not be expensive.

The correct sequence for plugging things into power is:
1) A spike suppressor bar (supresor de picos) is plugged into the grounded power outlet.
2) The voltage regulator is plugged into the spike suppressor. If you're  using an UPS (Uninterrupted Power Supply), since most UPS also perform voltage regulation functions, then just replace the voltage regulator witrh the UPS. Otherwise, plug the UPS into the voltage regulator.
3) The computer and monitor connect into the voltage regulator or UPS.
4) If you have some external backup device, like an Omega ZIP drive, also plug this into the voltage regulator or UPS.
4) Plug the printer and any other external devices into the spike suppressor.

If the farm has a power backup system for when there's a power failure, NEVER run the computer system on this backup power, since the power from these units is very "dirty".  If your computer application is critical, then get a small UPS system to give you enough time (10-15 minutes is fine) to do an orderly shutdown when the main power goes down. Don't connect the printer to the UPS, it draws too much power. You can always print reports later.

Don't put carpeting under the computer area nor where the chair is. This causes static which is bad for the equipment.

Don't install the computer equipment near a window. Rain or heat from the sun can cause damage.

Make sure that the area where the computer is is properly ventilated.

Heat and dust are the computer's worst enemies. Keep the computer area as clean as possible. Always cover all the equipment when not in use, plastic or a plain sheet are fine. There's always a dust problem on a farm.

I'll try to remember some other tips.

EDIT: NOTE: I have made some additions to the above recommendations.
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