Communicating vessels for flow is risky

Blogged by Twan as Aeroponics,Daily life,Growing Chili pepper,Hydroponics — Twan Sat 16 Aug 2014 10:17 am

Oops, when I came home after work this week my chili plant looked half dead. The container for the plant was completely empty. Somehow the tube moved and resulted in emptying the plant container in the main container.

I need to find a better solution for this..

Experiment: large reservoir + water flow by communicating vessels

Blogged by Twan as Aeroponics,Daily life,Growing Chili pepper,Hydroponics — Twan Wed 6 Aug 2014 3:50 pm

Until recently, my aeroponic/hydroponic setups were made according to a simple system. Namely, the water container is also the container where the plant is growing in/on and where the pump to spray/wet the roots and aerate the water is in.

Over time I realized 3 things about this setup.
– You need a pump per plant, meaning adding plants equals adding pumps. This uses more energy and is noisier.
– Roots tend to clog the pump after a while.
– From the outside of the container, you can’t see what the water level is and you need to work with the sound that the pump is making ( unreliable ).

My idea was to experiment with a ‘shared’ reservoir. In this main reservoir I would pump the water to a separate container within this reservoir which would then overflow back into the main reservoir. The plant pots are connected by a small tube ( communicating vessels ) with the main reservoir and because the level in the main reservoir changes by pumping the water into a separate container, I would generate a flow of water and therefore transfer the aerated water to the plant pots.

– Flow is dependent on functioning communicating vessels. This is also not so reliable.
– Transparent hose got algae grow (eating up my nutrients)

Operation chili transplantation

Blogged by Twan as Daily life,Growing Chili pepper — Twan Sun 16 Feb 2014 4:52 pm

About 1.5 years ago I made an aeroponic setup for 2 7pod chili plants. I grew them from seed in this system. I wanted to find out if I could grow chilis in such an aeroponic setup and I think I can say: yes, it works! So now it’s time to improve. Version 2 is focused on the looks. Version one was just a big storage box with a lid. We tried to cover the ugliness of this box by hiding it behind a piece of fabric. Still not the typical thing you would normally want to have standing around in your living room so we did some shopping:


I first glued the hooks in but that was not such a success. They didn’t hold that good so went for a screw approach later on.

Cutting out what looks like a toilet seat, but should be a cover for the egg shaped pot.



And the pump in action. I had to cover the hole to not spill the water.



Trying to take out the plant. Roots everywhere!





And the wood chips to cover the top.

Some more roots (also from the second plant)


And final destination. Next to the little hydro/aero coffee plant.

Have you tried turning it off and on again?

Blogged by Twan as Growing Chili pepper,Home automation — Twan Sat 9 Nov 2013 10:26 am

The days are getting shorter and the temperatures are falling. For me this means more nerd time (playing around with electronics, node.js, home automation). Last year I have been trying to make some wireless (xbee) temperature sensors and although they are still far from perfect, I want to try something else.

Controlling the pump of my aeroponic system
Last year I bought a couple of relays that are able to switch the 230v mains that we have here in Switzerland. I wanted to use them for turning the pump of my aeroponic chili system on and off. However it is not the 20 milliamps and the max 12volts that we are playing with here, this is serious stuff and I decided to not make this myself.

I actually wanted to stick to xbee/zigbee however it is quite difficult to find zigbee power switches and therefore reverted to 433mhz modules which you can find in almost all diy stores. The good thing about these switches is that there are already loads of people that figured out the signal to send to these switches so all I needed was a little 433mhz transmitter and google guided me to some scripts which with small adjustments gave me what I wanted.

I connected the transmitter to the GPIO pins from my Raspberry Pi and used the 433send script from jer00n to send the on and off signal to the switches. Works like a charm.. (almost).

After moving the switches around in the apartment I realized that the walls made the signal not reliable anymore. Sometimes the switch would respond, sometimes not. Not really an option for the watering system in an aeroponic setup. I found the solution in adding a 17cm piece of wire (antenna) to the transmitter board and now I could even operate switches in the kitchen (highest amount of obstruction between transmitter and switch in my apartment). Sweet!

So I’m now working on writing some scheduler functionality in node.js and a web interface so I can operate the different switches and adjust the schedule.

7pod chilli vodka

Blogged by Twan as Daily life,Growing Chili pepper,Photo — Twan Sun 25 Nov 2012 2:30 pm

There, I’ve done it (again). On Friday I squeezed one of my 7pods in a bottle of Vodka. Today, a perfect day (gray outside) to do a still life picture. Next week, it will be time for a shot. Any volunteers?

From my snapshot gallery:

20121125-img_1577-2-border 20121125-img_1578-2-border 20121125-img_1587-2-border 20121125-img_1621-2-border
20121125-img_1626-2-border 20121125-img_1631-2-border 20121125-img_1632-2-border 20121125-img_1633-2-border

Mr Peter Penis Pepper Photoshoot

Blogged by Twan as Daily life,Growing Chili pepper — Twan Fri 13 Mar 2009 2:16 pm

Today I took the nice and ripe penis pepper off the plant and did a photo shoot. I think this is the winner:

Peter penis pepper LED grown

Ripe led grown peter penis chili pepper

Blogged by Twan as Daily life,Growing Chili pepper — Twan Thu 12 Mar 2009 1:11 pm

And I proudly present to you, my first ripe completely LED grown chili! The peter penis shape is not as I hoped for but nevertheless I think this is a cool one.

ripe peter penis chili led grown

Chilli Doctor!? My peter penis pepper starts to get red, what does that mean?

Blogged by Twan as Daily life,Growing Chili pepper — Twan Fri 6 Mar 2009 11:25 am

Doctor: Well, that means that it is possible to grow chilli under LED light my son!

LED grown chilli peter penis pepper

Doctor: Although, I have to say, this is one strange looking penis pepper you’ve got there 😛

Second real LED grown chili pepper (update)

Blogged by Twan as Daily life,Growing Chili pepper — Twan Sat 14 Feb 2009 11:28 am

I guess these peter penis peppers really like my leds, the first one didn’t grow that much in length anymore but got a bit thicker, and the small second one you saw on earlier pics, well, look for yourself!

led grown chilli penis pepper

led grown chilli penis pepper 1

led grown chilli penis pepper 2

The ajoema plant is also going pretty good. It started making flower buds a while back but none got a real flower. I guess it’s not ready yet. But, I’m not in a hurry and just let it do its thing!

First real LED grown chili pepper (update)

Blogged by Twan as Daily life,Growing Chili pepper — Twan Wed 4 Feb 2009 10:09 am

So look at that, about a week further and it is starting to look like a chili!

Led grown chilli

And some others are starting to grow as well.

Led grown chilli peter penis pepper

Flower of led grown chilli peter penis pepper

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© 2009 Twan Sevriens