kijani seedlings spring integrated program

this spring break, we are opening our doors to 10 people – high schoolers or college students to spent a week geeking out with us at our offices and workshop at american steel studios. we will spent the week exploring some potential solutions to basic human needs such as hunger – handson, through the integration of  gardening, sciences, robotics, software and the internet to bring the power of data into urban farming. notably biomimicry and modeling nature to design gardens using software tools fabricating the gardens using laser cutters and/or cnc routers technologies establish the chemistry and biological environments required […]

monitoring water quality using a smart v2 controller

my favorite  xmas presents included  the tentacle shield, water quality kit probes and electronics i received  from atlas-scientific as well as whitebox labs.  i have used atlas devices for a while and even tried to create my own interface boards like the one shown below i had numerous production challenges with this original setup but that which bothered me the most was the electrical noise on the sensors due to lack of  galvanic isolation. the ph sensor measures electrical currents whereas the ec probe produces electricity. this galvanic dance is shown below. even though the ph sensor is in the […]


a close-up of my garden showing springtails below wikipedia says they are the largest of modern hexapods that are not considered insects because they have internal mouthparts  they are called springtails because they have an spring loaded appendage folded underneath them for jumping  when threatened. that is the long part shown extended in the picture below. i can appreciate these kind of conversations  in some biology class or scary movie called ‘return of the modern internally mouthed hexapods’. but waah in my garden as i watch them watch me, nah not for long. in all honesty, it is a recurring […]

winter solstice – starting data collection

i spent a lot time about 2 degrees south of the equator where the days and nights are about the same length. the seasonal variations in  the length of day light in the northern hemisphere has always thrown off my internal clock. the darkness in the day still confuse me but I noticed something over the years – the dark days suddenly start getting brighter. i now know this  period is the winter solstice when the sun seems to stand still before starting to move in the opposite direction. it also means that the longest night and the shortest day […]

v2 tutorial – visualizing analogue, digital and streaming (eg 1-wire) sensors types

Part 1 Sensor Testing Hello World Arduino Side 1. Power Board 2. Press on Power Button 3. Plug in micro USB 4. Open Arduino IDE 5. In the IDE go to Tools  Board and select “Arduino Mega Arduino Mega2560” 6. Go to Tools  Port  and select  “usbserial-XXXXXXX” where “XXXXXXX” is the serial number of the board   7. Switch Programming Switch to the Arduino side 8. Open Example  Basics  Blink 9. Press the Upload Button to load the program 10. LED20 should start blinking Analogue Sensors – Photocell light Sensor Test 11. Insert Light into GND […]

measuring pH, EC, or even DO,OPR using a v2 controller

i enjoy looking at things i cannot see – such as concentrations of soluble solids in water. in such instances i really appreciate the power of visualization even more. we use atlas-scientific sensors often and the following tutorial is on how to use atlas-scientifics pH and EC sensors using a v2 controller. easy stuff … really the instructions for this tutorial can be found by clicking here a typical interactive icon output display screen is shown below:

temperature comprison

and san mateo was the clear winner in a couple of gardens i help manage remotely. here in is san mateo oakland, chicago, milwaukee

using 1-wire temperature sensors with the v2 controller

i have always enjoyed using 1-wire devices because i like that i can use multiple digital sensors from the same data pin. this was another fun document to write. here are further instructions on how to use a 1-wire temperature sensors with the v2 controller. the v2 controller has inbuild interface circuitry for adapting 1-wire sensors as shown below. this makes it easy to use 1-wire sensors as there are 6 pins D26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31 on the v2 controller dedicated (have switchable parasitic resistors) for this purpose