Thursday, August 13, 2015

19: Solenoid Water Valves

My new mistakes:

1. The image above shows 2 seemingly identical .5 inch plastic valves. But the one on the right has tapered threads (about $10 from Adafruit). The left (cheaper) one did not. To get the brass fittings screwed on I had to carefully file down the end threads so I could get the adapters screwed on without butchering the plastic. Very time-consuming -- and irritating.

2. Also, why did I go cheap? For about $25 I could have a brass valve to go with the pair of $15 fittings. And the whole thing would likely have been more reliable.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

18: Photon vs. Core

As advertised, the Particle Photon seems to play nicer with wifi. It connects quicker when plugged in and stays connected (my Core occasionally lost wifi and had to go through the startup mode again). My software development problems (clunkly build works, Particle Dev doesn't) haven't been fixed, at least for the Mac app.

BTW: I've gotten interested in Particle's cloud-provided Time functions. It's not like Raspberry Pi's crontab scheduling but you can program things to occur at particular times. There's Time.hour() for the current 24-hour clock hour, for instance. Easy access is available to day-of-week (e.g.) and all of the usual Unix/Linux functions -- accuracy refreshed from the cloud. Makes a Photon much more than a "smart controller."

A Particle advantage I hadn't thought of: I'm about to install a Photon system in a farm hoop house 100 miles away. If the running program needs modification I can do it from here!