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    Application of Nano PLC In A Growroom

    First and foremost: There are many manufacturers of the product I will be referring to primarily. But I will be mainly referencing the Idec "Smart Relay" as this is what I have purchased therefore I hope this (hopefully) informative post isn't thought as spam.

    Now that that is out of the way, let's get to business: I'm sure some of you have purchased room controller type of equipment from a grow shop/supply. When I say controller, I mean Lighting/Fan/Ventilation/Temperature/CO2 monitors and controllers.

    These pieces of equipment run into the hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars. Now what if I could offer a 1 piece fits all solution for all of the above named pieces of equipment? All you need is a couple hundred dollars, wiring ability and the ability to program ( don't be put off by this, if you can walk through an I Pod, we can walk ya through this)

    Up until recently, we could have still accomplished what I am getting at by using a Programmable Logic Controller (P.L.C.) but at a cost that would be prohibitive compared to most commercially available Horticultural equipment. Now, I have found an acceptable substitute: the Nano PLC aka "Smart Relay"


    Basically, there is so much demand in industry for high levels of functionality in a small package that, in this case we can benefit from it. With the proper Input and Output components, we can make one of these function as A: CO2 Monitor/Controller, Lighting Controller/Flip-Flop (Bring room on in stages to avoid large current spikes etc), High Temperature Cutoff, Ventilation/Fan Controller, Nutrient PH/EC Monitor/Controller ETC.

    We could even combine several of these functions into ONE package IE: A Self Contained Growroom Controller All you need is the proper model relay for what you are looking to accomplish and the proper Input and Output components to perform the operations.
    “When all the trees have been cut down, when all the animals have been hunted, when all the waters are polluted, when all the air is unsafe to breathe, only then will you discover you cannot eat money.” Cree saying

    "I was asked – but there were no words: it was a straight mental instantaneous communication – ‘What had I done to benefit or advance the human race?" – The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying – Sogyal Rinpoche

    P.L.C. in the Grow Room; So Far: Flip Flop http://icmag.com/ic/showthread.php?t=99252



    #2
    D.I.Y. Ballast Flip-Flop Part 1 (Digital Ballast Too)

    OK, so our first project is going to be the Digital Ballast Flip-Flop. Basically what the flip-flop allows you to do is run 2(sets) of lamps of of 1(set) of ballasts.

    This can be very efficient for those looking to expand etc, but the problem I ran into is *most* commercially available flip-flops will not work properly with a digital ballast. This is due to the fact that for a digital ballast to be able to fire the bulb (soft start function), you MUST turn the power off for a little while between firings of the bulb. With a magnetic type ballast, you really don't have to cycle the power coming into the ballast to change bulbs, which is one of the reasons flip-flops for this purpose are difficult to locate from a reputable source.

    I came to the conclusion that I would rather build it myself. Now I could have hard wired a circuit using several electromechanical timers and relays to accomplish this task. But taking into consideration that: 1) I would have to do MUCH more physical wiring, And 2) The expandability/adaptability of the Nano PLC for future modifications to my setup; I decided to go with the Smart Relay

    To do this project we're going to need a materials list, taking into consideration that: My Flip-Flop is going to be operating 2 Ballasts which will be running 4 HPS bulbs/hoods in Two flowering tents. Now, I have to also add, with my wiring and program for the Smart Relay, you can still expand the controller to operate MORE THAN TWO ballasts using the SAME program I have written.

    We will also have 6 Unused Inputs and 2 Unused outputs for either: 1) adding the functions of: A) Utilizing Two Now Unused Inputs add High Temperature Shutdown(I will modify mine for this function in the near future and post the updated program and wiring); B) Utilizing the Unused Outputs To Bring A High Wattage Flowering Room Online In Two Stages; C) Any of the Other Previously Mentioned functions.
    Last edited by imnotcrazy; 09-14-2008, 05:49.
    “When all the trees have been cut down, when all the animals have been hunted, when all the waters are polluted, when all the air is unsafe to breathe, only then will you discover you cannot eat money.” Cree saying

    "I was asked – but there were no words: it was a straight mental instantaneous communication – ‘What had I done to benefit or advance the human race?" – The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying – Sogyal Rinpoche

    P.L.C. in the Grow Room; So Far: Flip Flop http://icmag.com/ic/showthread.php?t=99252


    Comment


      #3
      D.I.Y. Ballast Flip-Flop Part 2 ( Materials List)

      Ok, so I had mentioned a parts list, here it is:

      1) Idec "Smart Relay" (Idec Part#: FL1D-H12RCC; 100-240Vac 8 x AC/DC Input / 4 x 10Amp Output........ If you would like to add PH/EC, Temperature or CO2 monitoring/control, you need either a different Part# or you will need to add an Analog Input Module to this list) COST @ $150

      2)A Timer For carrying out the 12/12 timing of when to switch rooms COST: $15-50 (we can even control the panel with your existing timer if you would like)

      3)Relays for the ballast and lamp power: These will depend on several factors: 1) Type of relay needed relates to the Current/Voltage of Ballasts, And 2) The quantity needed relates to: A) Number of Ballasts/Hoods needed switched And if you want to bring room on in stages as mentioned you need double/triple/etc that number for each stage of lighting you add. COST: Varies Accordingly

      You can follow MY electrical design IF you are using 600W ballasts. Larger Ballasts May Require larger Relays/Contactors AND Wiring. I can advise you on any changes we would need to make.

      4) Wiring for control and power circuit sections: Again this depends on Ballast and Lamp Current/Voltage and I can help you out here too. COST: Varies Accordingly

      5) A suitable enclosure (box) to house/protect all of the components Cost: Varies According to Size of Completed System

      I know it all looks a bit Vague cost wise but my Parts investment was $3-400, yes a bit expensive for a flip-flop, but every future function we add to this makes it worth the investment that much more

      I already have a Program and have set-up and Proofed (tested) the control wiring and program for this project:


      Just have to pull it all apart for the actual Picture Taking and D.I.Y. Walk Through
      “When all the trees have been cut down, when all the animals have been hunted, when all the waters are polluted, when all the air is unsafe to breathe, only then will you discover you cannot eat money.” Cree saying

      "I was asked – but there were no words: it was a straight mental instantaneous communication – ‘What had I done to benefit or advance the human race?" – The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying – Sogyal Rinpoche

      P.L.C. in the Grow Room; So Far: Flip Flop http://icmag.com/ic/showthread.php?t=99252


      Comment


        #4
        nice INC........... i wish i had the cash to pick up a PLC..... nice work
        [00420]positive side
        [tokinsmokin] WOW how the hell do u know this
        [00420]
        [tokinsmokin]ur blowing my mind here dude this is some fuckin technical shit ur tellin me
        [00420] done?>
        [tokinsmokin]alright ur a genius
        [tokinsmokin]u kind of scare me here man, u answer pretty much every question i've had so far and not only answer it but answer it with the correct answer

        Comment


          #5
          Clean Set up, imc..... K++

          Comment


            #6
            You should not be using cube style relays for a flip. The voltage spike of 5000V and the operating voltage of between 300V to 500V will burn those relays out. You need to use the proper relays or all you're going to see is a fire inside that box. If you are only using 400W ballasts you may be okay, but 1000W HPS ballasts will not work on those relays. With a PLC no programming is necessary, all the timing cycles come preprogrammed with the PLC software. You can set time cycles with the buttons on the PLC, but it is a bit confusing if you're not familiar with PLCs. You can purchase a cable to run from your USB port on a computer to the PLC, but the cable costs about $100.

            Olyver
            Last edited by Olyver; 09-14-2008, 14:12.

            Comment


              #7
              Umm, actually it's only wired for 600W ballasts..... AND in the testing phase which is why I have those relays in place.... ALSO to add you CAN NOT just wire this thing and go....yes the basic block functions are there but YOU MUST WRITE A LADDER LOGIC PROGRAM.... I troubleshoot machines with THOUSANDS of PLC I/O and ANALOG I/O as well ON A DAILY BASIS so don't be a condescending dick DB2004. Sorry I'm showing people how to do what you OVERCHARGE for.....

              FURTHERMORE: This has been PROGRAMMED to NOT perform ANY switching with current flowing through the relay contacts = NO ARCING OF CONTACTS. Also my design will, AT A MINIMUM, meet the remote hood's wire rating of 600V 105C. Please explain how 600 Volt Rated components Will NOT work? Because if they did not, I think you'd hear of many more fires from ballasts and their wiring on these boards..........

              AND FINALLY: Digital Ballasts DO NOT fire an Ignitor Spike, they perform a "Soft Start" of the bulb by changing the output FREQUENCY or the Voltage and Current Waveforms. If you had read my Original "Project #1" Posting, you would (should) have realized this. But I know the problem, you saw some of you potential sales disappearing and had to come to make a post to lead people to believe I may not know what I am doing. If you remember, I told you I'd quell your spamming of the boards with your products eventually. I just finally got the time to get around to it
              Last edited by imnotcrazy; 09-14-2008, 14:47.
              “When all the trees have been cut down, when all the animals have been hunted, when all the waters are polluted, when all the air is unsafe to breathe, only then will you discover you cannot eat money.” Cree saying

              "I was asked – but there were no words: it was a straight mental instantaneous communication – ‘What had I done to benefit or advance the human race?" – The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying – Sogyal Rinpoche

              P.L.C. in the Grow Room; So Far: Flip Flop http://icmag.com/ic/showthread.php?t=99252


              Comment


                #8
                Show it my man!

                I was wondering, if you don't mind...

                I have always wanted to have my exhaust fan do timed air exchanges four or five times an hour, and also activate if the temperature goes too high. I would assume that, with this PLC, you would be using a relay to activate the exhaust.

                So, can this nano-PLC accept somewhat complex programming? For instance, if the temps are too high and the fan activates, and during that activation a standard timed exhaust cycle comes on, can the relay manage both these functions at once to control the one relay, "on time" so to speak? Or can it only do one function at a time? In other words, does this PLC accept multiple, conditional control flow statements?

                I'll be watching regardless, and thanks!

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Shlomo
                  Show it my man!

                  I was wondering, if you don't mind...

                  I have always wanted to have my exhaust fan do timed air exchanges four or five times an hour, and also activate if the temperature goes too high. I would assume that, with this PLC, you would be using a relay to activate the exhaust.

                  So, can this nano-PLC accept somewhat complex programming? For instance, if the temps are too high and the fan activates, and during that activation a standard timed exhaust cycle comes on, can the relay manage both these functions at once to control the one relay, "on time" so to speak? Or can it only do one function at a time? In other words, does this PLC accept multiple, conditional control flow statements?

                  I'll be watching regardless, and thanks!

                  YES, we may have to add the optional Memory Card/Chip so that we have the ability to store the extra lines of code, but it should be doable......EASILY

                  This particular model has the included, as mentioned by Olyver, Pre-Programmed Function BLOCKS. What we need to do is determine a suitable configuration of those blocks to perform this task.

                  The Pre-Programmed Function Blocks available on MY controller:

                  Basic Function Blocks:
                  OR, NOR, NAND, NAND (edge), AND, AND (edge), XOR and NOT

                  Special Function Blocks
                  ON Delay, OFF Delay, ON/OFF Delay, Retentive ON Delay, Interval Time-Delay Relay/Pulse Output, Current Impulse Relay, Edge-Triggered Interval Time-Delay Relay, Latching Relay, Seven-Day Time Switch, Tweleve Month Time Switch, Up/Down Counter, Analog Differential Trigger, Analog Value Monitoring, Operating Hours Counter, Asynchronous Pulse Generator, Random Generator, Frequency Trigger, Analog Trigger, Analog Comparator, Stairwell Light Switch, Dual Function Switch, Message Text, Softkey, Analog Amplifier, Shift Register, PI Controller, Analog Ramp Control and Analog Multiplexer
                  Last edited by imnotcrazy; 09-14-2008, 15:08.
                  “When all the trees have been cut down, when all the animals have been hunted, when all the waters are polluted, when all the air is unsafe to breathe, only then will you discover you cannot eat money.” Cree saying

                  "I was asked – but there were no words: it was a straight mental instantaneous communication – ‘What had I done to benefit or advance the human race?" – The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying – Sogyal Rinpoche

                  P.L.C. in the Grow Room; So Far: Flip Flop http://icmag.com/ic/showthread.php?t=99252


                  Comment


                    #10
                    Hmmm very interesting, Ive always wanted to play with PLC's(electronic background) but never had a good teacher!!lol.... SHOW ME, TEACH ME!!!! I was going to setup a micro processor based system, as i do have experiance with these, however PLC are much more simplistic and retain just as much functionality. Whenever you got the time, I'll be waiting to learn bro!
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                    Comment


                      #11
                      My oh my that's a lot of functions!

                      Do you, by any chance, have a list of byte values for the individual function blocks, as well as function descriptions, or a link to the same (manual)? I've been reading up on your PLC and, if I have it right, there are 2000 bytes to work with for the PLC alone (no expansions?).

                      Also, can you write your own functions, or is that locked? Though I'm probably getting ahead of myself here, it's probably all assembly mumbo jumbo. Besides, it looks like there's a lot to work with already...

                      edit: Oh, oh! Also, is there a syntax to use so you can hook up the aforementioned expensive USB cable and write a program and upload? Or would that require propietory software (is that included)? Would you otherwise just input on the LCD? I'm just wondering because a complex program would be easier to debug if you could see it all at once, maybe emulate, kind of thing...

                      OK OK I'll shut up for a second
                      Last edited by Shlomo; 09-14-2008, 15:24.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Nice work!
                        Well since you showed yourz.. I guess I'll show minez.


                        Whats in the box?....

                        This setup is intended for 400W or less. (nothing big)
                        Anyway This is my entry in this "nano class" at the county fair this year.

                        One question: Why did you select a controller WITHOUT Real time Clock inside it?

                        Comment


                          #13
                          imnotcrazy - aside from the other functionalities of the PLC, is the purpose of this flip-flop just to have the delay between stop and start? (Legit question. I'm trying to follow what you're doing here, but I have a simple mind.)

                          PC
                          Last edited by PharmaCan; 09-14-2008, 16:12.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by Shlomo
                            My oh my that's a lot of functions!

                            Do you, by any chance, have a list of byte values for the individual function blocks, as well as function descriptions, or a link to the same (manual)? I've been reading up on your PLC and, if I have it right, there are 2000 bytes to work with for the PLC alone (no expansions?).

                            Also, can you write your own functions, or is that locked? Though I'm probably getting ahead of myself here, it's probably all assembly mumbo jumbo. Besides, it looks like there's a lot to work with already...

                            edit: Oh, oh! Also, is there a syntax to use so you can hook up the aforementioned expensive USB cable and write a program and upload? Or would that require propietory software (is that included)? Would you otherwise just input on the LCD? I'm just wondering because a complex program would be easier to debug if you could see it all at once, maybe emulate, kind of thing...

                            OK OK I'll shut up for a second
                            Here's a link to the Product Sales Brochure, Packages Avaiable and the User Manual:
                            Smart Relay Documentation

                            The Cable I believe comes with the necessary H.M.I. software but I may be mistaken. I only purchased the LCD display and did not need to write a very complex program for my first project

                            Here's the link to the Software Product Sales Brochure and User Manual:
                            WindLGC Documentation

                            Hope this helps
                            “When all the trees have been cut down, when all the animals have been hunted, when all the waters are polluted, when all the air is unsafe to breathe, only then will you discover you cannot eat money.” Cree saying

                            "I was asked – but there were no words: it was a straight mental instantaneous communication – ‘What had I done to benefit or advance the human race?" – The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying – Sogyal Rinpoche

                            P.L.C. in the Grow Room; So Far: Flip Flop http://icmag.com/ic/showthread.php?t=99252


                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by Stay Puft
                              Nice work!
                              Well since you showed yourz.. I guess I'll show minez.


                              Whats in the box?....

                              This setup is intended for 400W or less. (nothing big)
                              Anyway This is my entry in this "nano class" at the county fair this year.

                              One question: Why did you select a controller WITHOUT Real time Clock inside it?
                              Stay Puft: Looks good and proves these setups are doable.. I had no Idea some others here had some D.I.Y. Systems already. This unit has a real-time clock I mentioned in the Available Function Blocks Post (probably while you were posting lol) BUT I had originally planned to use Hard wired Relay Logic to perform my Flip-Flop Task. Then, I took into consideration, the possibility of future expandability. I see you don't have an external clock so I can also post the programming changes to free up the 2 used inputs.. Although, I see no point for me to do this as there are only 2 free relay outs available.. 6 Inputs should be plenty...
                              “When all the trees have been cut down, when all the animals have been hunted, when all the waters are polluted, when all the air is unsafe to breathe, only then will you discover you cannot eat money.” Cree saying

                              "I was asked – but there were no words: it was a straight mental instantaneous communication – ‘What had I done to benefit or advance the human race?" – The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying – Sogyal Rinpoche

                              P.L.C. in the Grow Room; So Far: Flip Flop http://icmag.com/ic/showthread.php?t=99252


                              Comment

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