I am just starting to look at data logging/data collection for my system. What are some of the options?
I have a PC that will be about 10' from the end of my system in an enclosed shed. I have used this setup to monitor chickens so I believe the PC side is ready to go. I used a basic stamp microcontroller and relayed the data to the PC. So I have a little experience there, but I am not married to that plan.
The things I am interested in to start is water temp and PH. What toher sensors can be had for relativily cheap?
I would also like to add a camera though a plexiglass window. That would be extra and is not high on the needed list, but is #1 on the cool list.
Any suggestions and or experinces would be appreciated.
Lots of good info and links in the automation group here : http://aquaponicscommunity.com/group/automation
Camera, temp and light meters are likely the only practical ones you will want to tackle with light experience with electronics. In theory a ph meter is doable and there are plans on the web to build one but they still require regular calibration. If your system is healthy, regular chemical tests should be fine and likely more reliable.
http://www.seneye.com/ is a commercial all-in-one device for this but ammonia/ph tests require regular cartridge refills which cost $$
Float switches if you wanted to remotely monitor your water levels or verify beds are flooding/draining properly would be a cool idea.