It’s been a while since the last update, but we’ve got good news! AquaShield is coming to Kickstarter till the end of this year with a brand new design, structure and more advanced functionality.
If you follow us on our journey ’Creating the most advanced aquaponics monitoring and controlling device’ yet you might now, that we are working like crazy on the V2.0 of AquaShield Control. We learnt a lot when we were working on the first version of AquaShield and based on this experience we decided to build a better, faster, more modular and much cheaper system.
So check out how far we got with the project!
First prototype of Sensor Module #1 with PH circuit
When we started to work with the V1.0 prototype we come to the conclusion that the design we created was too integrated and almost impossible to expand with new sensors or features. We realized that different applications would need different setups:
Eg. for aqauponics it is necessary to measure PH or dissolved oxygen in the fish tank or check the moisture of the growing media, but for hydroponics your essential data for maintaining a high performance is measure electrical conductivity (EC) and temperature of the circulated liquid.
For these reasons we decided to start a new, modular project. With this concept in mind we divided the device to 3 main module:
- Main control module
- Sensor module #1
- Sensor module #2
Concept of the new modular design
All modules are connected through CAN BUS communication, and you could add several same type module for your setup if needed (eg. a “Sensor module #1” could gather data from max. 4 sensors so if you would like to have 6 PH sensor you can add another “Sensor module #1” and connect the 2 remaining sensors there).
We decided to use DIN RAIL for mounting and connecting the modules and this proved to be the best solution for our modular design. In addition you would be able to add easily cheap power supplies, industrial relays or high voltage sockets.
MAIN CONTROL MODULE
This is the brain of the project. Actually it’s a container for the brain :D. This module holds the Raspberry Pi that runs the software for the AquaShield Control’s operation (we call this package AquaShield Connect because you will be able to reach your device – through internet – with this).
Also this module holds all the controllable relays for pumps, grow lights, air pumps, heaters, feeders or any type of device you would like to control via your AquaShield. This function will give you free hand to create your own cycle setups.
Eg. turn on the #1 cycle pump for 15 minutes at every hour, than wait 30 minutes and turn on #2 cycle pump for 15 minutes or turn on the grow lights for 18 hours at every morning but after 4 week (when germination stage is over) drop it to 12 hours per day.
In addition, this module will hold connectors to detect water level switch signs (so if your water level drops below minimum, you could receive a warning to your phone). With this feature you will be able to create rules, like turn off the water pumps when water in the fish tank drops below a dangerous level (so your fish will survive till you find the cause of the problem).
Main module circuit 3D plan (the Raspberry Pi will be added upside down for easy connect)
SENSOR MODULE #1
This module is in charge for checking all the vital parameters of the water you cycle in your system. The module could hold 4 sensors which could be:
- PH sensor
- EC sensor (electrical conductivity)
- DO sensor (dissolved oxygen)
- ORP sensor (oxidation reduction potential)
(If you don’t know why it is essential to check these parameters from time to time, check out our article here.)
This piece connects to the main module through CAN BUS and it is highly variable. It’s possible to set up the module with 4 different sensors, but you can choose to have only one sensor or even 4 sensor from the same type. It is possible, because the sensor controlling circuits are removable and changeable. Here you could see how it works:
First prototype of Sensor Module #1 with PH circuit
SENSOR MODULE #2
This module is responsible to check all environmental factors. It is able to receive data from 4 temperature, a light- and a humidity sensor. (We are planning to add a CO2 sensor unit as well). It connects to the other units through CAN BUS and you could also jumper the module (so you can link together even 16 Sensor module #2 – if you want to :D).
Sensor Module #1 and PH mini-circuit 3D plan
SOOO WHAT’S NEXT?
We think this will be far the best monitoring and controlling device for your hydroponics or aquaponics setup and also the best solution for your freshwater or salt-water aquarium. You will be able to check all the vital parameters of your fragile ecosystem in real time and control it through the internet from anywhere. You will also be able to create your own workflows and set up alerts for the most diverse emergency. Sounds like sci-fi? It isn’t. And it’s coming to Kickstarter soon!
If you don’t want to miss the launch (or the special pre-launch coupon) this is the perfect timing to subscribe our newsletter! Have thoughts about the subject? Drop us a few lines!