We are at the 3rd day of our Kickstarter campaign and the AquaShield project is 30% funded already! How cool is that? AquaShield is quite a complex project, so it is no surprise, that we received all kind of questions about the device and the software. But the most commonly asked question is that how could we fulfill all these orders till the end of March 2019?
We believe in transparency and open communication so we decided to break down the entire manufacturing and shipping process for you and we hope that we could dispel all your doubts and give you the confidence to back our project!
First thing first: HARDWARE
Our hardware have 4 main components: PCBs (printed circuit boards), cable harnesses, housing for all the components and the Raspberry Pi.
We already did all the preparation that could be done for production of larger PCB quantities. We have all the stencils for manufacturing the PCB boards and the machine routines for implanting the parts for creating the AquaShield modules.
Also we did a number of test runs in the factory, so we are sure, there will be no trouble ramping up the production. We have an agreement with the factory, so they will ship the parts exactly when we will need.
Cable harnesses are also manufactured locally. We have a long-standing relationship with this shop and already had a couple of joint project. We are sure, that they will deliver in time!
Most of the housing parts of the PCB-s are largely commercially available – and the other parts will be produced at small quantities with a reasonable price at a local injection molding shop. We also tested these parts for production time and quality as well. Actually these parts are so tough, you could jump on it (but please don’t do that :D).
The Raspberry Pi is the brain of the system, so it is one of the most important component:
Fortunatelly this is almost the easiest to get your hands on. We already stocked up 200 pieces with SD cards, so we don’t have to worry about this part.
We contracted all partners involved in manufacturing the AquaShield so there are no blind spots or unknown factors in the process.
Last but not least: SOFTWARE
AquaShield Connect, the software that runs the whole show is already in beta! We are working around the clock, to streamline and polish all the elements, so you could have the best user experience!
We created a bunch of demonstration videos for showing how the AquaShield Connect works so you could get a sense how close we are to finish the software.
Drumrolls, aaand let’s watch the videos:
TESTING THE RELAYS
In this video we wanted to demonstrate how you could control the 8 relays on the AquaShield main control module. In this test, we use the 1st and the 2nd relay output, which are connected to high voltage relays (you can use all kind of commercial or industrial relays as well) and electrical sockets. We connected a 600 W grow light and an air pump to the system as well.
We control the AquaShield through the AquaShield Connect webapp. At the app we switch to the Controllers tab to operate the relays. In default, all relays are set to AUTO status, so you could create programs for operating these (based on a sensor’s parameter or on a time schedule). For testing or manually operating a relay you can always use the MANUAL status.
For controlling the grow light and the air pump, first we switch the relays to MANUAL status, than switch on and later off the 2 relays. Check out how these cool relays work!
TESTING THE SENSOR PROBES AND THE WATER LEVEL SWITCH
In this video we wanted to demonstrate how you can receive data from your sensors. In default all the sensors are displayed at the main Dashboard tab in the AquaShield Connect webapp. You can check the following sensor’s values: PH, EC (electrical conductivity), ORP (oxidation reduction potential), DO (dissolved oxygen), temperature, humidity, light intensity and the status of the water level switches.
All the values are created as averages, so you will get more accurate results. The AquaShield Connect app is refreshed every 10 sec, but you can trigger the refresh manually as well (as you can see at the beginning of the video).
Also you can see, how the status of the water level switch changes, as we close and than reopen the level switch. By monitoring the status of the level switches you can easily create alerts, so you will be the first to know if there is not enough water in the tank, or overflow is going to happen. You can also create a workflow to start or stop a pump if such event happens. Smart, smart AquaShield.
CHECKING HISTORICAL DATA
Besides the real time sensor parameters, the AquaShield is capable of storing all the historical data gathered from the probes.
All historical data is accessible from the AquaShield Connect web app. At the app’s Dashboard you can check all the connected sensors’ real time values and also you can display the sensor’s stored data for the past 48 hours. With this feature you can easily detect PH or temperature swings or other suboptimal events.
In the video you can see how the EC and the temperature probe’s historical data is displayed in the app. Also you are able to display and analyze all stored data and even download it in XLS or CSV format. We are planning to create a public space where AquaShield users can share their historical data and other details about their hydroponic or aquaponic setup. Sharing is caring 🙂
ALERTS AND NOTIFICATIONS
We created alerts and notifications for AquaShield that you can receive to your phone or via email. Thanks to this you won’t miss any important event and you will have more time to act. You can create alerts and notifications at the Triggers tab in the AquaShield web app.
In this demonstration video you will see how you can set up a PH and a temperature alert.
For the PH sensor we set up the AquaShield to send an alert and a notification if the PH drops below 5,3 or exceeds 8,3.
We hope that we dispeled all your doubts (if you had any) and gave you the confidence to back our project! We still have a bunch of Early Bird discount, so if you want to grab an AquaShield with a significant dicount, head to our campaign and back our project now!
P.S. You are awesome!