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temperature/humidity/light controller

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u4gubbins

New Member
I am building a temperature/humidity/light controller for a terrarium and then another one for a incubator/hatchery/brooder for quail. hopfuly they can be the same basic design. the more precise this is the more things it can be used for. withing moderately insane limits.
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please note: my choice of parts is due to the fact that I was ordering from jameco anyway.
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at the moment I have an LM56 dual output low power thermostat from national semiconductor, an HS1101 humidity sensor from Humirel and a 16F84A PIC.
I don't know what I will do for a heater. I do have a small thermoelectric plate from one of those heater/cooler things you are supposed to put in your car. it is not very powerful though. I was thinking maybe a fish tank heater in a tube of water would provide a stable temperature. I would not have to worry to much about the built in thermostat as my device will have tighter tolerances. for humidity I have an ultrasonic vaporizer from one of those fog fountains.
I think one of those IR emitter/sensor kit things from radio shack and a short piece of black shrink tube (or a piece of a drinking straw colored black) will work for an optical relay. I will use the out1 pin on the LM56 so I think programing the PIC to turn on an LED when the input goes high will be easy enough. the light level sensor should be no problem. just a photo resistor, a diode a variable resistor and a transistor. the temperature, light and humidity will all be set with variable resistors.

I am still trying to figure out how to use the hs1101. it says it can output frequency or voltage. But I have never used a PIC to measure frequency before and I don't get how you make this thing put out a voltage. it looks like it is a variable capacitor.
I would appreciate any help with the HS1101 and any ideas or opinions.
 

7star

New Member
U can also use LM35DZ temperature sensor.It is a popular voltage output analog IC by National Semiconductor .this is a 3 pin analog output sensor which provides a linear output voltage of 10mv/Celsius.temperature range is 0 degree to 100 degree with an accuracy of 1.5 degree
 

Vizier87

Active Member
I don't know what I will do for a heater. I do have a small thermoelectric plate from one of those heater/cooler things you are supposed to put in your car. it is not very powerful though. I was thinking maybe a fish tank heater in a tube of water would provide a stable temperature.
At what temperature do you want it to be regulated? Even small light bulbs can be used to heat surroundings.

I think one of those IR emitter/sensor kit things from radio shack and a short piece of black shrink tube (or a piece of a drinking straw colored black) will work for an optical relay. I will use the out1 pin on the LM56 so I think programing the PIC to turn on an LED when the input goes high will be easy enough. the light level sensor should be no problem. just a photo resistor, a diode a variable resistor and a transistor. the temperature, light and humidity will all be set with variable resistors.
Well, try it first, then tell us if you have any problems.
I am still trying to figure out how to use the hs1101. it says it can output frequency or voltage. But I have never used a PIC to measure frequency before and I don't get how you make this thing put out a voltage. it looks like it is a variable capacitor.
I would appreciate any help with the HS1101 and any ideas or opinions.
From datasheet:
http://www.humirel.com/product/fichier/HS1101-HS1100.pdf

There is way to read the capacitance with relative to frequency with this circuit attached. If you don't want to use PIC or any uC, then how do you plan to use these devices? Learn to use it. Google: Nigel's PIC tutorials.

PS Arrange and organize your questions properly, like numbering them. People don't take sloppiness too kindly here. I feel exhausted reading your post, you know.
 

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ghostman11

Well-Known Member
we have built many incubators here on the farm for hatching ducks geese chickens turkeys qail and various others. if its a smallish incubator then light bulbs can work well...............however i would recomend 2 small in place of 1 small as bulbs can blow in the middle of the night normally :D so with 2 at least you have a back up :D
 

Vizier87

Active Member
Nice to see you jumpin' around, ghostman.. :D did your kids help you completing your incubator? :p

Tungsten light bulbs are efficient in producing heat, not light, so it is a very good candidate as a heater.
 

ghostman11

Well-Known Member
the kids always get involved! lol :D most of our early incubators were heated with light bulbs and they work well but i have had more than a few bulbs blow on me so now i would always use two instead of one, the next lot of incubators i am going to build will probally use nichrome wire like the heaters in a toaster i guess its a question of scale, the biggest light bulb heated incubator we have holds about 400 hens eggs it uses 6 100W bulbs but i wouldnt want to power a much bigger incubator than that with bulbs.
i saw the thread and thought i would jump in and try and offer advice instead of always being the one taking from here is kind of nice when u can give back a little:D
 

ghostman11

Well-Known Member
u4gubbins do you have much experiance breeding quail?? hatching them is the easy part getting them to 6 weeks is a nightmare :D if you dont have alot of experiance give me a shout i have been breeding birds for over 30 years so i can give you some tips if needed
 

u4gubbins

New Member
After rereading my pic data sheet I think I can figure out how to read the frequency of the humidity sensor. the sensor is, circuit wise, a variable capacitor.
 

u4gubbins

New Member
u4gubbins do you have much experiance breeding quail?? hatching them is the easy part getting them to 6 weeks is a nightmare :D if you dont have alot of experiance give me a shout i have been breeding birds for over 30 years so i can give you some tips if needed

I first got into raising quail when I found some adults for sale at $2 each. I don't know what kind they are, but they look like a small variety of coturnix. They layed 24, eggs out of which only one hatched.
The hatchling is now an adult.

At one time I had 14 quail. All of them have either escaped or been eaten by cats, except the one I hatched.
I solved the cat and escape problems by using 1/2 inch hardware wire.

I have also attempted to raise California valley quail. These quail all died, along with my bantam chicks, because of carbon monoxide.
The weather had cooled down so I put them in our basement to keep them warm. Unfortunately the basement is right next to a driveway. Enough said?

I have hatched bantam eggs before. however, the hatch rate has always been low and the number of cripples per hatch has always been high.
The biggest problem is the fact that our average summer humidity is 13% in the hatch room. Even soaked sponges have a hard time keeping the humidity up inside the incubators. Also, the temperature varies quite drastically in spring and early summer.
this is why I am building an incubator with an ultrasonic humidifier.

The sensors that are going into this circuit are far more accurate than you would expect in an incubator. This is a good thing.
By using a PIC I can set it at the temperature and humidity I want and the outside environment should have little effect. if this does fail I will use a full size desktop computer to control the blasted thing. I can set up a program that compensates for any changes in the outside environment. Any additional sensors or relays can be run by way of the printer port (Linux will let you do that) or USB. One advantage a PC has over the PIC is the size of the program it can run. I could set it up to keep the temp/ humidity at whatever level for whatever amount of time and it can change as often as the eggs need it to. I don't remember the numbers but the temperature and humidity change for the last few days of incubation. So the goal here is to provide the ideal environment at all times, even when the ideal changes.
 
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