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Tinkering; Like Guntering for the Connected Generation.

  • 25-04-2020 7:35am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 5,167 ✭✭✭ emaherx


    Thats very interesting. Any chance of you doing a thread on autonomous items around the farm?. A bit like the gunthering thread without the sledge hammers

    As suggested by theemigrant, here is a thread for all of those DIY automations we may have implemented around the farm.

    So please share anything you may have implemented like:
    Lighting
    Electric Fencing
    Milk tank temperature monitoring
    irrigation
    calf feeding, milk mixing heating etc.
    gate openers
    door automations
    etc.

    These don't need to be full DIY devices with lines of code (although thats welcome too), off the shelf WiFi and GSM switches / sensors etc being used in weird and wonderful ways that are specific to farming or horticulture etc is what I'd like to see.

    I have a few bits that I'm going to share over the next while too.

    49805035073_cecb7061a8_z.jpgScreenshot_20200422-142938 by Emaherx, on Flickr
    Part of my home automation setup that is dedicated to just the farm yard. Built with https://www.home-assistant.io/
    Home assistant is an Automation server which I have Running on a Raspberry Pi in my house which runs my Heating System as well as anything else I can integrate with it. There are more picks from my whole home Automation on Flickr https://flic.kr/s/aHsmMKqE5D and I will add more so feel free to look at them.


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,167 ✭✭✭ emaherx


    I've a Glideroll Door with GDR+ motor retrofitted.
    In the GDR+ Manual there is instructions for installing a wall mounted single push button switch, which makes integrating with a Smart Relay switch easy as long as it supports "inching" (Basically on for 1s then off)

    49815864618_f9998a2291_z.jpgswitch by Emaherx, on Flickr

    Here is an example of a Wifi smart switch.
    https://ewelink.coolkit.cc/?p=143

    Self-lockIing-Inching-Mode-Wireless-Switch-5V12V-1.jpg

    These smart switches have their own apps for easy setup. They can also be integrated with Home Assistant (or other Automation server software) for centrlizing control of multiple devices regardless of brands and different native apps. The ITead/Ewelink Sonoff devices are also popular with a lot of DIYers as they can be flashed with custom firmware.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,167 ✭✭✭ emaherx


    I Use this 4ch Sonoff relay to control lighting and electric fence unit
    https://www.itead.cc/sonoff-4ch-pro.html

    Sonoff_4CH_Pro_01.jpg

    I'm currently moving the consumer unit and generally tidying up some of the wiring in the yard and will take some pictures as I put it back together.
    The plan here is to integrate the lighting controls into Home Assistant with a view containg CCTV so I will be able to turn on/off the lights when I click on the CCTV Camera that I want to view.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,167 ✭✭✭ emaherx


    I'm going to add in a bit from my heating system as it might interest someone who wants to monitor a Milk tank or Calf Milk Heater etc.

    49816058203_c4eef095f1_z.jpgHW Temp by Emaherx, on Flickr
    This is my Hot Water Control including Imersion and HW zone valve Thermostats and solar Hot tank Temperatures.

    49816901107_cf9c7c54ef_z.jpgHeating Graph by Emaherx, on Flickr
    Graphs are useful part of monitoring too.

    49816922217_4bf46e0256_z.jpgIMG_20200425_105226 by Emaherx, on Flickr
    Temperature sensors provided by PiHome, the advert is a room sensor, but its the same device only with internal sensor, chat with PiHome before ordering
    to make sure you get tank probes.
    https://www.adverts.ie/16402420
    needs a gateway to connect to network
    https://www.adverts.ie/16402355

    The sesnsors and gateway are provided by PiHome for their Smart Heating System, I know nothing about their software but they use open source hardware based on Arduino and ESP8266 devices. You can build your own if you feel adventurous as they are based on the MySensors.org. but piHome has created a nice PCB package for a reasonable price.

    49816078988_d0b732763c_z.jpgIMG_20200425_105427 by Emaherx, on Flickr
    inside the sensor.

    49816921987_485ac4bc4c_z.jpgIMG_20200425_105437 by Emaherx, on Flickr

    49816611491_138667dd0c_z.jpgIMG_20200425_105302 by Emaherx, on Flickr


  • Registered Users Posts: 570 ✭✭✭ ZETOR_IS_BETTER


    Very interesting thread emaherx! Great to see.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,471 ✭✭✭ mayota


    Great stuff emaherx.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 7,067 ✭✭✭ 893bet


    This is some of the automation I am trying to install.

    These are gate hangers. Means a gate can be opened and closed with ease with out dragging it on the ground or it falling over from been tied with twine at the top.

    BE7157-A6-783-A-4-C8-B-8-B5-D-98-BA0-E4-C7-B02.jpgcomplete image upload

    Below is a chain in clip. Real labour saver. Open a gate in 5 seconds verse 5 minutes trying to untie baling twine then cutting it and retying 5 times a day.

    image.jpgclosest bank to my location

    Old lad ain’t convinced of this automation. Keeps on tying things.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,167 ✭✭✭ emaherx


    893bet wrote: »
    This is some of the automation I am trying to install.

    These are gate hangers. Means a gate can be opened and closed with ease with out dragging it on the ground or it falling over from been tied with twine at the top.

    Below is a chain in clip. Real labour saver. Open a gate in 5 seconds verse 5 minutes trying to untie baling twine then cutting it and retying 5 times a day.

    Old lad ain’t convinced of this automation. Keeps on tying things.

    I'm fond of improving the yard by hanging gates correctly and replacing twine with chain myself but there is already a thread for that :D

    https://touch.boards.ie/thread/post/113265468


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,067 ✭✭✭ 893bet


    emaherx wrote: »
    I'm fond of improving the yard by hanging gates correctly and replacing twine with chain myself but there is already a thread for that :D

    https://touch.boards.ie/thread/post/113265468

    I know! I was joking. Hanging gates ain’t guntering! Closer to automation!


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,167 ✭✭✭ emaherx


    893bet wrote: »
    I know! I was joking. Hanging gates ain’t guntering! Closer to automation!

    I got that but.....

    It is guntering if it's on 2 sections of RSJ welded together to make one gate post ;) also labour saving (people seem to miss the labour saving part of that thread)


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,167 ✭✭✭ emaherx


    Came across this while browsing earlier.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 14,147 ✭✭✭✭ Donald Trump


    emaherx wrote: »
    Came across this while browsing earlier.





    Looks grand but I'd say it would be lifted quicker than any battery fencer.






    A different type of tinkering sez you! (Maybe I'm not allowed to make that joke)


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,167 ✭✭✭ emaherx


    Looks grand but I'd say it would be lifted quicker than any battery fencer.




    A different type of tinkering sez you! (Maybe I'm not allowed to make that joke)

    True, but it's the type of thing you could setup just for the days where you needed to cross in and out of a paddock. Also I find some fields are more likely for things to go missing than others.

    I've farmed land where fencers were never touched and land where they wouldn't last a day and even land where you wouldn't hang a good gate for fear of it walking off.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,469 ✭✭✭ SouthWesterly


    893bet wrote: »
    This is some of the automation I am trying to install.

    These are gate hangers. Means a gate can be opened and closed with ease with out dragging it on the ground or it falling over from been tied with twine at the top.

    BE7157-A6-783-A-4-C8-B-8-B5-D-98-BA0-E4-C7-B02.jpgcomplete image upload

    Below is a chain in clip. Real labour saver. Open a gate in 5 seconds verse 5 minutes trying to untie baling twine then cutting it and retying 5 times a day.

    image.jpgclosest bank to my location

    Old lad ain’t convinced of this automation. Keeps on tying things.

    Im sorry, I spit out my tea reading this :D
    Thanks for the laugh;)

    Edit: I have the same gate hangers.


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,386 ✭✭✭✭ Timmaay


    Great thread, I have alot of interest in this whole area. I frustrating haven't managed to bring enough ideas to fruition, but do have afew sonoffs around the place, one on the milk tank, electric fencer and one measuring mains voltage (which regularly drops here). Biggest complaint about the sonoffs is the rubbish ewelink software. I've been meaning to start flashing them with tasmota but just haven't got around to it yet. I've also looked at shelly, which seem to be sonoffs main competition, I need to order afew of them to play around with them, they seem to be getting better reviews than the sonoffs.

    I only recently got looking alot more seriously at sigfox however, it has a hell of alot of potential also, low cost, very low energy use, and no need for wifi. I can certainly see a future where you have dozens of sigfox devices all around the farm measuring various parameters and either letting you monitor the data or just setup to sent you alerts if necessary.


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,386 ✭✭✭✭ Timmaay


    emaherx wrote: »
    Came across this while browsing earlier.


    Roughly 250e+vat (from Argentina) hmmm. I think the likes of this link would be alot cheaper and more KISS 2bh, I'm not too sure on the price of a proper kit but I keep meaning to make up afew for the main farm gates around here using just plumbing pipe and electric fence tape. It would serve the dual purpose of keeping tourist out also who keep mistaking the farm gate for the beach lane gate lol.

    https://am.gallagher.com/global/support/videos/drive-through-electric-gate-kit


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,260 ✭✭✭✭ Thargor


    emaherx wrote: »
    Came across this while browsing earlier.

    How many times could you drive a tractor over anything like that before its destroyed? :confused:


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,167 ✭✭✭ emaherx


    Timmaay wrote: »
    Roughly 250e+vat (from Argentina) hmmm. I think the likes of this link would be alot cheaper and more KISS 2bh, I'm not too sure on the price of a proper kit but I keep meaning to make up afew for the main farm gates around here using just plumbing pipe and electric fence tape. It would serve the dual purpose of keeping tourist out also who keep mistaking the farm gate for the beach lane gate lol.

    https://am.gallagher.com/global/support/videos/drive-through-electric-gate-kit

    Yes, it's a bit on the pricey side, could make something very similar for a lot less though. It was just something that popped up on my Facebook Feed thought I'd share. Of course the common low tech solution is probably much more reliable.

    Edit:
    KISS maybe, but not cheap either.
    https://www.agridirect.ie/product/electro-drive-through-electric-fence-gate#


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,167 ✭✭✭ emaherx


    Timmaay wrote: »
    Great thread, I have alot of interest in this whole area. I frustrating haven't managed to bring enough ideas to fruition, but do have afew sonoffs around the place, one on the milk tank, electric fencer and one measuring mains voltage (which regularly drops here). Biggest complaint about the sonoffs is the rubbish ewelink software. I've been meaning to start flashing them with tasmota but just haven't got around to it yet. I've also looked at shelly, which seem to be sonoffs main competition, I need to order afew of them to play around with them, they seem to be getting better reviews than the sonoffs.

    I only recently got looking alot more seriously at sigfox however, it has a hell of alot of potential also, low cost, very low energy use, and no need for wifi. I can certainly see a future where you have dozens of sigfox devices all around the farm measuring various parameters and either letting you monitor the data or just setup to sent you alerts if necessary.

    The Shelly Devices look interesting and they are opensource and have an API available for developers which is useful. Last time I looked at them they only had a simple switch, but they have a decent selection now.

    Yes, the Ewelink APP is rubbish and I don't use it anymore. One issue I had with the Sonoffs is they were very slow to respond sometimes, but newer firmware seems to have fixed this and also introduced a "LAN mode" which is useful for integrating with Home Assistant without the need for flashing tasmota or relying on an internet connection to their servers to work.

    I've a mix of devices here Sonoff and Tuya Based as well as custom made based on Arduino. I'm trying to reduce my dependance on switches and devices which require access to their own cloud servers to work, I don't want to Automate everything then suddenly realise nothing works because my internet connection is down or the cloud servers are down. The Sonoff and Tuya devices can both be flashed with Tasmota, but Sonoffs new LAN mode reduces the need.

    Here is some of PiHome's Arduino based switches. They consist of a board made by them which connects an Arduino pro Mini and a WiFi module via sockets and the second board is an off the shelf relay module. I find they make a nice package and can easily be reprogramed if nessacery, they have 6 GPIO pins exposed with pin headers. I've got a few extra Arduino Pro's so I can pop them out and for tinkering without interfearing with the original functionality.

    49819748608_0d4a167d36_z.jpgIMG_20200426_072014 by Emaherx, on Flickr

    49820293156_612e224199_z.jpgIMG_20200426_072008 by Emaherx, on Flickr


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,386 ✭✭✭✭ Timmaay


    emaherx wrote: »
    Yes, it's a bit on the pricey side, could make something very similar for a lot less though. It was just something that popped up on my Facebook Feed thought I'd share. Of course the common low tech solution is probably much more reliable.

    Edit:
    KISS maybe, but not cheap either.
    https://www.agridirect.ie/product/electro-drive-through-electric-fence-gate#

    As Elon Musk says, the best part is no part, and the best process is no process lol, it's certainly been my mantra as the dairyfarm here has evolved from ayr to as simple and lazy a spring calving system as possible ha.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,167 ✭✭✭ emaherx


    Timmaay wrote: »
    As Elon Musk says, the best part is no part, and the best process is no process lol, it's certainly been my mantra as the dairyfarm here has evolved from ayr to as simple and lazy a spring calving system as possible ha.

    Said by the man who launched a car into space for fun!


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  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 12,027 Mod ✭✭✭✭ blue5000


    I think this thread has sorted out the engineers from the gunterers.

    511051.JPG

    No cigarette lighter on the 5000, so just cut the plug off the end of the €15.99 didilaldi compressor and wrapped the wires around the battery terminals, took 15 mins to pump though.

    The + is the one that used to have the fuse going through it, now has gaffer tape with +ive on it written with sharpie marker. One thing I learnt in a lab was 'label as you go'.

    If the seat's wet, sit on yer hat, a cool head is better than a wet ar5e.



  • Registered Users Posts: 3,298 ✭✭✭ endainoz


    emaherx wrote: »
    As suggested by theemigrant, here is a thread for all of those DIY automations we may have implemented around the farm.

    So please share anything you may have implemented like:
    Lighting
    Electric Fencing
    Milk tank temperature monitoring
    irrigation
    calf feeding, milk mixing heating etc.
    gate openers
    door automations
    etc.

    These don't need to be full DIY devices with lines of code (although thats welcome too), off the shelf WiFi and GSM switches / sensors etc being used in weird and wonderful ways that are specific to farming or horticulture etc is what I'd like to see.

    I have a few bits that I'm going to share over the next while too.

    49805035073_cecb7061a8_z.jpgScreenshot_20200422-142938 by Emaherx, on Flickr
    Part of my home automation setup that is dedicated to just the farm yard. Built with https://www.home-assistant.io/
    Home assistant is an Automation server which I have Running on a Raspberry Pi in my house which runs my Heating System as well as anything else I can integrate with it. There are more picks from my whole home Automation on Flickr https://flic.kr/s/aHsmMKqE5D and I will add more so feel free to look at them.

    I have a similar system myself in the shed. (But not anywhere near as sophisticated as yours!)

    The home house is about 300 metres from the slatted house so last year I ran a network cable from the router in the house into the shed. Connected that to an older router in the slatted shed to get WiFi. I have two foscam cameras working off it for calving season. They are fantastic quality and a fraction of the cost than giving some lad over a grand to install it for you.

    I also connected a sonoff smart switch to the lights in the shed. Put the smart switch into a weather proof box for safety. I also have the mains fencer in the slatted house for connected that to a TP link smart plug. I can work all of these from my phone which is really convenient. Especially the fence one, no more having to ring the mother to go out to the shed to turn off the fence.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,167 ✭✭✭ emaherx


    endainoz wrote: »
    I have a similar system myself in the shed. (But not anywhere near as sophisticated as yours!)

    The home house is about 300 metres from the slatted house so last year I ran a network cable from the router in the house into the shed. Connected that to an older router in the slatted shed to get WiFi. I have two foscam cameras working off it for calving season. They are fantastic quality and a fraction of the cost than giving some lad over a grand to install it for you.

    I also connected a sonoff smart switch to the lights in the shed. Put the smart switch into a weather proof box for safety. I also have the mains fencer in the slatted house for connected that to a TP link smart plug. I can work all of these from my phone which is really convenient. Especially the fence one, no more having to ring the mother to go out to the shed to turn off the fence.

    Sounds every bit as sophisticated as mine from a wiring perspective. My yard setup is basically the same as yours the only difference is I use Home Assistant to manage the devices. The setup in my house however is a bit more sophisticated and constantly evolving, my wife worries that she won't be able to work the house if something happens to me. (Although I have left all manual controls in place too just in case)

    My yard setup started much like yours, I setup a load of cheap cameras but found the night vision was less than I would have liked (particularly red cows on fresh straw are invisible), smart switches added to the lights solved any issue there, and I'm glad it did too because I found the night vision is slowly fading over the past year, I think the LED IR bulbs are dying.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,167 ✭✭✭ emaherx


    blue5000 wrote: »
    I think this thread has sorted out the engineers from the gunterers.

    511051.JPG

    No cigarette lighter on the 5000, so just cut the plug off the end of the €15.99 didilaldi compressor and wrapped the wires around the battery terminals, took 15 mins to pump though.

    The + is the one that used to have the fuse going through it, now has gaffer tape with +ive on it written with sharpie marker. One thing I learnt in a lab was 'label as you go'.

    Labeling is always very important. Did similar before and reversed the polarity, compressor ran backwards with a loud pop followed by smoke. Funny enough it worked fine after connecting the right way which is unusual, normally I find once the smoke escapes you are goosed. I now have a power outlet on the back of all tractors for the baler / wrapper and beacons etc. that is handy for such things.

    Edit: I like the chain and grease gun storage. Can't help but think you have a shovel (or possibly gun rack) on one of the mud guards.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,167 ✭✭✭ emaherx


    A little rainy day project, Liquid level monitor for Diesel, Kerosene, water etc.
    It uses a Nodemcu Esp32 and a distance sensor like youd find in a car reversing sensor. integrated into Home Assistant using ESPHome.

    49908757658_f588ce494d_z.jpgIMG_20200518_155721 by Emaherx, on Flickr

    49909298631_c36ddb24c7_z.jpgScreenshot_20200518-161838 by Emaherx, on Flickr


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,298 ✭✭✭ endainoz


    emaherx wrote: »
    A little rainy day project, Liquid level monitor for Diesel, Kerosene, water etc.
    It uses a Nodemcu Esp32 and a distance sensor like youd find in a car reversing sensor. integrated into Home Assistant using ESPHome.

    49908757658_f588ce494d_z.jpgIMG_20200518_155721 by Emaherx, on Flickr

    49909298631_c36ddb24c7_z.jpgScreenshot_20200518-161838 by Emaherx, on Flickr

    Excellent, I must do something similar.


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,386 ✭✭✭✭ Timmaay


    How does the nodemcu talk to the reversing sensor, does it have its own library? And how was the coding? Also any idea what the distance accuracy is like, I assume its fairly decent, them reversing sensors are defo alot better than ultrasound seniors etc that you commonly get with arduinos.

    Finally any rough pricing on the parts?

    But yeh I've been tempted to make something similar for the meal bin, my only fear would be dust covering the sensor.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,167 ✭✭✭ emaherx


    Sensor £10:99.
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07V5H344W/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    ESP NodeMCU £24:99 for 3 of them.
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B074RGW2VQ/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1


    The Sensor I got came with a little interface board which connects to 2 GPIO pins on the NodeMCU it is compatible with the same libaries as the usual Arduino type sensors. There are many options for programing the device, it is compatible with the Arduino IDE, it can also be flashed with Tasmota like the Sonoff devices, there are loads of other options also, but the simplest option if using Home Assistant is ESPHome as it uses YAML configuration similar to Home Assistant itself and has support for many sensor types.

    According to the specs on the Sellers page it is accurate to 1CM but I think it will be less accurate inside the tank due to noise in the enclosed space. I've only bench tested so far.

    There are loads of examples online of similar projects such as this one:
    https://www.rogerfrost.com/oil-tank-level-sensor-also-water-softener-salt-level/


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,386 ✭✭✭✭ Timmaay


    Hmm in fairness it took me 2 mins get working an arduino ultrasound senior here that I bought as part of a senior kit a month ago and hadn't got around to looking at it yet. To solve the dust issue I could always made up some sort of box and put a small window operated by a servo, that only opens the once a day just before it measures a reading and sends it back. That uno I have obviously doesn't have WiFi or anything either, I've actually spent the last week trying to flash sonoffs with tasmoto to try use them as a cheap programmer/wifi monitor (some have temperature sensors so easy enough to provide an input), however I don't know if that all worth the effort yet, I really should just go with the likes of the nodemcu or a similar arduino with wifi onboard, or maybe an rpi zero w.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,167 ✭✭✭ emaherx


    What do you plan on using to monitor your sensor? if it is Home Assistant or OpenHab then ESPHome is still an option as you could use it to re-flash a Sonoff.

    Although the NodeMCU's are so cheap, and have easy access to all of the GPIO Pins. The ESP8266 are even cheaper the the ESP32.

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0754LZ73Z/ref=sspa_dk_detail_0?psc=1&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUEySDRMV0E5TUsxV09LJmVuY3J5cHRlZElkPUEwMTkwNTU5MklYVk1XRjBPWFI3ViZlbmNyeXB0ZWRBZElkPUEwMDkyODcxMlU0UllCM1c0MUkzViZ3aWRnZXROYW1lPXNwX2RldGFpbDImYWN0aW9uPWNsaWNrUmVkaXJlY3QmZG9Ob3RMb2dDbGljaz10cnVl


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