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Thread: DIY PAR meter, Yeah you heard me Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
Today 09:14 PM
Quizcat Oh, thanks, maybe I missed it in the lengthy thread, but I had no idea you had a forum page with everything boiled down to the bottom line. I just reviewed it very quickly, and that looks like something I can deal with.

I will check out the Arduino Inventor's Kit...I always wanted to learn Arduino, and just never took the plunge. Thanks very much!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mistergreen View Post
I've moved on to an arduino web controller.
Today 03:48 PM
mistergreen
Quote:
Originally Posted by Okedokey View Post
Reconsider?? Lol
I've moved on to an arduino web controller.
Today 03:25 PM
mistergreen Arduino is c++ but doesn't include a lot of the functions because it takes up too much memory for a little micro controller so C code is used to compensate. So it's a blend of both.

If you can a very basic tutorial on programming check out this article in my little forum.
http://aquatictechtank.net/viewtopic.php?f=37&t=8

That PAR meter would be a perfect project to jump into because it's very simple. On my forum, I keep a more condense step by step so it's easier to follow.
http://aquatictechtank.net/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=150

ps. Sparkfun is having a 30% off sale on Arduino products starting tonight at midnight. You can also get a cheap Chinese clone of the arduino too. They work pretty well.
Today 03:16 PM
mattinmd There's a dozen different "starter kits", and technically I believe sparkfun calls theirs an "inventors kit".

I don't have that particular kit, so I don't really know how easy their guidebook is to work with... I have the Sunfounder kit, but it just comes as a box of parts and assumes you know what you are doing (fine for me).
Today 02:47 PM
Quizcat "C" is the third letter of the aphabet Well, I am relatively knowledgeable with respect to computers, but not when you get into the actual written code aspects...

The article you linked to says "One excellent way to get started with Arduino is the Arduino starter kit from Sparkfun..."

Do you recommend the Sparkfun starter kit to possibly give me the base knowledge to move forward with Arduino programming for the PAR meter project, or should I plunge right in, and get the Arduino for the PAR meter project instead, using it's manual, and/or along with an open source "C" tutorial for a generic Arduino, and apply that knowledge to experiment with programming the specific Arduino for the PAR meter project?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mattinmd View Post
Do you have any experience in C (or C++) programming? If you do, the arduino tutorials provided by arduinio.cc with the IDE should be sufficient.

Something a little more step-by step would be something like this:

http://www.linuxjournal.com/content/...rogram-arduino

But that still assumes you know C.

Technically Arduino is in C++, but there's not a lot of advanced object-oriented C++ going on that you need to deal with. Most of the libraries are done as C++ classes, but if you know C, you could get away with thinking of classes as structs that also contain functions and have some self-initializing capabilities. Instantiating a class object can take parameters that get passed to the self-initializer (constructor in C++ parlance), so from a C world that looks really strange.

So don't balk when you see things that look like this:

someClassType foo(6);

instead of:

someStructType foo;

The C++ version is just creating an instance named foo, same as the struct, and passing 6 to the constructor for initialization.
Today 02:16 PM
mattinmd
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quizcat View Post
I just read through the thread from beginning to end, and I concur that seeing this project through from beginning to end is a monumental achievement indeed!

I would love to build one of these for my tanks as well. Where I become confused is over the Arduino, especially how to program the Arduino. I have never worked with Arduinos before, and not sure what that entails. I have the electronics experience to deal with building the project, soldering, etc...just never played with Arduino before.

Does anybody know of a good, concise tutorial on how to program the Arduino for newbies, more specifically, this project's recommended Arduino?
Do you have any experience in C (or C++) programming? If you do, the arduino tutorials provided by arduinio.cc with the IDE should be sufficient.

Something a little more step-by step would be something like this:

http://www.linuxjournal.com/content/...rogram-arduino

But that still assumes you know C.

Technically Arduino is in C++, but there's not a lot of advanced object-oriented C++ going on that you need to deal with. Most of the libraries are done as C++ classes, but if you know C, you could get away with thinking of classes as structs that also contain functions and have some self-initializing capabilities. Instantiating a class object can take parameters that get passed to the self-initializer (constructor in C++ parlance), so from a C world that looks really strange.

So don't balk when you see things that look like this:

someClassType foo(6);

instead of:

someStructType foo;

The C++ version is just creating an instance named foo, same as the struct, and passing 6 to the constructor for initialization.
Today 02:01 PM
Okedokey
Quote:
Originally Posted by mistergreen View Post
Ok, I've sold off the last meter. I won't make anymore new ones.
Reconsider?? Lol
Today 01:51 PM
Quizcat
PAR Meter for Dummies Tutorial Needed...

I just read through the thread from beginning to end, and I concur that seeing this project through from beginning to end is a monumental achievement indeed!

I would love to build one of these for my tanks as well. Where I become confused is over the Arduino, especially how to program the Arduino. I have never worked with Arduinos before, and not sure what that entails. I have the electronics experience to deal with building the project...just never played with Arduino before. Does anybody know of a good, concise tutorial on how to program the Arduino, something for newbies, and even more specifically, how to program this project's recommended Arduino?

I realize that publishing a step by step tutorial on how to build one of these, after the design has been finalized, would probably be a monumental task, especially after having seen this project through to this stage of development. But, that sure would help those of us who are not as competent as those of you that participated in the development process with respect to the technicalities, and what they all mean.

This project has had such a lengthy development process, that it's kind of difficult to know what was settled on in the end, and ALL the parts we should purchase to build one, such as where to get the small jar that's sealed for immersion in the tank, the cord, the plug(s), etc...Some of the links within the thread that recommend certain parts are no longer functioning, and it would be nice to actually have the technical specs of all the components, once the protype had been finalized, so that the links that no longer work within the thread don't limit our ability to find the parts elsewhere.

If we had the technical specs of each of the components, then we could possibly find them from other sources when the links go bad. There is a parts list, and good documentation for connecting the Arduino, which was updated in the very first post after the main parts for the finished project had been settled on, so you don't have to search through the whole thread to know some of the main parts to obtain. But, not every detail or part that was settled on is included in the first post. In order to determine ALL of the other parts that were settled on, it seems you have to read through the entire thread to find that information. And, then, because the thread is so long, you're never quite sure that what was finally settled on with respect to a particular part, is what the designers intended in the final prototype... in other words, due to the length of the thread, it's easy to miss something.

Too much to ask? Yeah, probably...But, I would love to see a concise tutorial all in one place none the less. I would love to build it, drop the sensor in the water, read off the numbers on the display, and know that what I am reading is the PAR value at the sensor, in that position within the tank, or at least be able to interpret data displayed on the LCD to be converted to PAR if conversion of a number on the display was determined in the end to be necessary. Knowing the technicalities is interesting, and the knowledge, expertise, and dedication of those that participated in the development is astounding. But, some of us still need a "Build a PAR Meter for Dummies" kind of tutorial so that the wonderful contributions to this project can be usable by the "masses."
12-19-2014 05:44 AM
RootedMind I just read this entire thing and am amazed at the dedication and cooperation, polite constructive criticism given and received. Awesome work.
11-20-2014 02:54 PM
mistergreen Well, it was kind of fun. I think the last iteration with the light filters researched by hoppy is the best. It also has readings for sun light base on apogee's known 10% discrepancy.

So, I'm out of O2surplus' atmega boards and calling it a day
11-19-2014 09:05 PM
O2surplus
Quote:
Originally Posted by mistergreen View Post
Ok, I've sold off the last meter. I won't make anymore new ones.

Wow- Talk about "having the patience of Job"! It's been 4 years since you started this thread! Consign this project to the history books!
11-19-2014 04:04 PM
mistergreen Ok, I've sold off the last meter. I won't make anymore new ones.
07-02-2014 08:49 PM
thor79
Quote:
Originally Posted by ucrdave View Post
This sounds like a great idea. I would hope you start this soon. He does sell the PAR meters, just contact him directly on his page or email.
Yep, that's what I did. One of the meters should be on the way to me soon. That will help quite a bit to finishing off my Netduino-based Meter. It's close, but there are some details I need to work out.

I will start working on the guide after I get my meter working and calibrated.
07-02-2014 07:25 PM
ucrdave
Quote:
Originally Posted by thor79 View Post
Mistergreen...I may be interested in picking up one of those meters you still have to sell.

The thread turned from a pure DIY project to a bit more of a community developed full blown product. Because of that, it seems the DIY-ness of the thread went by the way side, and there are some details lacking from the original post. It's a little difficult to pick up on all the details in a thread 39 pages long. I still want to build my own just to do it (and possibly add some features)....as I already have most of the parts for it, but I figure picking up one of your prepared meters to calibrate against would be good to get a Netduino based version going.

After developing that I think I may put together a more comprehensive guide on building this from scratch (crediting you completely for all the work involved developing the fantastic meter built from this thread, of course)...for the true DIYer's out there.
This sounds like a great idea. I would hope you start this soon. He does sell the PAR meters, just contact him directly on his page or email.
06-27-2014 07:56 PM
thor79 Mistergreen...I may be interested in picking up one of those meters you still have to sell.

The thread turned from a pure DIY project to a bit more of a community developed full blown product. Because of that, it seems the DIY-ness of the thread went by the way side, and there are some details lacking from the original post. It's a little difficult to pick up on all the details in a thread 39 pages long. I still want to build my own just to do it (and possibly add some features)....as I already have most of the parts for it, but I figure picking up one of your prepared meters to calibrate against would be good to get a Netduino based version going.

After developing that I think I may put together a more comprehensive guide on building this from scratch (crediting you completely for all the work involved developing the fantastic meter built from this thread, of course)...for the true DIYer's out there.
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