Friday, September 24, 2010

Leopard Frog

This large leopard frog has been hanging out in the greenhouse for a couple of months. At first he would jump into the sump pump area whenever I would go in, but now I can walk right up to him and he doesn’t even care. Luckily, he’s too large to get sucked into the impellers of the pump!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Problem Solved

I was able to build a new wireless bridge. I was given a Linksys WRT54G2 router that "didn't work". These don't have a setting to run in bridged mode, but the firmware can be replaced with the open source firmware from (This firmware has far more features than the one that Cisco provides!)

Next I removed it from its shell and placed it in a surplus NEMA box. The antennas were simply hot-glued on to the circuit board. Working great!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Problems in the greenhouse

Anyone that has watched my greenhouse videos (Click for video) has seen I have it fully automated - I LOVE automation! The best part is I can spend very little time in there dealing with the vents, checking water levels, or even feeding the fish. I can easily disappear for several days and not worry about the system. Well, not really, I always worry about it. I just have to trust it keeps working!

The other day, my web site that collects the data stopped receiving information. I use a Wi-Fi access point (AKA Wi-Fi bridge) that transmits the data to our house - then to the Internet site. Upon closer inspection, the bridge wasn't powered up. I checked the power supply and it was good, then decided to pull apart the bridge. This bridge is designed to be used in the comfort of your home, not the harsh conditions of a greenhouse. It's easy to understand why industrial controllers can get quite expensive. Next time around, I'll probably get the same cheap bridge, then throw it in a NEMA (waterproof) box and try to figure out how to get the antenna through the case....