Background and Introductions
The thrust of the encase design challenge is subjecting your project to harsh environmental conditions like extreme temperatures, water exposure, debris like dust or dirt, and more.
I have a garden pond, its about 4m * 5m, 1m at its deepest point. Living on heavy clay soils, this took far too long to dig out and became a labour of love. Stocked with nothing more than plants, so we have lillies, grasses, reeds on one of the margins and then whatever wildlife decides to come and visit / reside.
I wanted the pond as a nature attractor in the garden and so far it has done well in attracting:
- The visiting heron (you know, just in case there are fish)
- Frogs which spawn late winter / eary spring (last year had an incredibly high turn out)
- Bird life, from the resident robin who has perfect the bathing on top of a lillie pad, to the occassionally wood pigeon for bathing, Crows, Magpies, Jackjaws (even the occassional Rook)
- Insect life (my favourite visitors being Hornets), Dragonflies, Damsonflies, Diving Beetles, Waterboatmen and many more.
An unexpected frequent visitor is my dog, eveythign written about the breed says not fond of water - she needs to read this!
After a particulary bad algae bloom one year I have taken a keen interest in whats happening with my pond. Part of this I think it the piece of me which misses keeping a salt water reef tank, an expensive, labour intensive, continous chemistry experiment. A floating pond thermometer doesnt quite cut it. I would like to be able to monitor the following:
- Water temp
- Water temp at its mid depth point
- Total Disolved Solids (TDS)
- Water level (previous incident involving dog chewing of pump hose saw a major water level drop incident)
- pH (if possible)
- Air temp, humidity
I need to have a sort through my parts box to see what other sensors I currently have in hand that could be used as part of the monitoring solution.
What makes my garden subject to harsh environmental conditions? Well with winter well on its way we shall soon be having hard frosts, overnight sub zero temps, all sensors will require some form of exposure in order to be able to measure. Ideal placement will be in a floating pontoon on the pond - the wildlife are expected to inspect / nuisance themselves, including the afforementioned dog who shouldnt love water.
Simply (heh) I envisage my solution to look like this:
Make safe and install power at the point - planned for this weekend (27/11) - next blog post to follow on step 1 and sketching out the shape and form of the solution.
Stay posted :) and thank you for reading.