C.H.I.P. is a $9 personal computer

You think a kickstarter vendor is going to put actually effective pressure on a large Chinese chip manufacturer with their tiny kickstarter? Really?

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A small hope is still a hope. Weirder things happened.

…that said, we need some tools for easier visualising of such blobs for the purpose of reverse engineering…

Yes, but only the backer that pledges the most gets the time machine, it’s limited to one backer, and he happens to be the one who built the first 100 prototypes.

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But if you get the text alert then you got it from a thermostat. Since you’re installing a new temperature sensor anyway, why not bypass the processor and just let it turn on the heat? That way you don’t have to get out of bed. More complex isn’t always better.

Who says I can’t have it both ways? But programming relays for 110 heaters and sourcing relays for 220 is different.

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smacks head

Why am I explaining that cheaper, fun to build, and easy to troubleshoot sensors are a thing people may want? Why don’t I buy all bread at Walmart? Why do I drive places instead of teleporters?

Why do I mow my own lawn?

Quality of product and quality of experience.

The weights you give to both, and the weights you give to subcomponents of each may vary.

I don’t let the thermostat kick in at certain temps cause my orchids are my babes. And in commercial greenhouses people monitor the vitals hours of the day.

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Because if you have a failure-prone system with high stakes, e.g. said orchids, you don’t want to rely on a single sensor to not cook them. (Which could be worked around by several sensors and voting logic, and smaller heaters where if one fails open or closed it would not throw the whole system catastrophically off-balance - with an indication of something going wrong, e.g. by comparing the actual heater system current/power consumption (wattmeter pulse count, for example) with the expected value. Satellite systems and nuclear weapons are built along the same principles.)

True that, however there are counterexamples. You can save a lot of energy by letting the temperature drop a centigrade lower when the forecast said it will be a hot morning, you can save water when the same forecast tells the sprinklers that there is rain on the way and they don’t have to bother about the soil moisture sensor values. You can take peak/off-peak power pricing into account of when to switch the heaters. And I could continue until next Christmas.

That said, commercial systems often have similar logic, but they hide it in a black box that is unmodifiable and often relies on a single website; if that goes down, you’re out of luck, if the format changes and the manufacturer does not issue updates for your version you’re out of luck again. You want the access to the scripts driving the logic; that is an unconditional requirement.
And, worse, some systems don’t have such logic at all, and it could be easily added. So you want access to the inside of the system so you can add the logic yourself.

Even if you yourself cannot write a hello world, you still can hire a neighbor kid to do it for you, or download a canned solution from somebody else. Or you can learn.


Precisely. I learned this lesson in a low stakes way, proofing bread in a low temp oven. Turns out the thermometer was +/- 30 degrees. Fried my yeast.


Thought. What about using pairs of different sensors that age in the opposite ways (one drifting low, one drifting high)? Then use the measurement difference to track the sensor assembly health over time.

With low-cost sensors, such assembly would have the cost advantage in long run in avoiding unscheduled downtimes and predicting most aging-related failures.


re: which piano keyboard is that: looks like it’s this MIDI controller: http://www.arturia.com/products/hybrid-synths/minilab/overview

No shipping till December? But I want it NOW.

Hmmm, I guess what I got out of @Boundegar’s comment wasn’t that you shouldn’t build things yourself, but that sending you a text-alert at 3AM seemed pretty inefficient, if the main thing you were going to do was go in the room, say “yerp, the thermometer is reading 48º” and turn on a heater.

If your human brain is going to going to be making a lot more decision-making at 3AM, then it’s worth getting the brain in the loop, but if the human brain is mostly going to be relying on the one or two high-quality temperature sensors in the room, then you could just program the heat to turn on.

In case it’s not clear, I’m arguing for build-it over buy it, of course. How else could you expand it to take into account three different sensors, and the time of night, etc etc.?


Unless they recently changed it, it says 512 MB of RAM… That was @pandas’s joke.

…but I had to double-check, since I figured that would be a pretty mean trick of them.


So, I have a little hands on experience with this :smile:
If heat is crashing hard and fast, a 110 heater might not cut it. You may (and I have ) wrap your greenhouse in temporary insulation. Which blocks light, so it has to be temporary.

I am all for multiple layers of exception handling–kick off heater, kick off bigger heater, text me when the trend is still downward, and sound a klaxon when the dedicated environment controls go down.

sending you a text-alert at 3AM seemed pretty inefficient…

Exxactically. Although I must admit it’s pretty cool when the monkey climbs up and drops the coconut on the sliding board, which conks the goat on the head, making him angry, and…

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