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Advanced Indoor Climate Control Systems - Share Your System

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#1 Guest_deetooarruk_*

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Posted 17 September 2011 - 12:34 AM

Hi all, Hope you are ok!

I wanted to start a topic on Advanced Indoor Climate Control Systems because I am intrested in how other tortoise keepers control the lighting, heating, humidity, and/or ventilation in their indoor enclosures.

I mean, it's nice to have a 24hr timer to switch on and off your lights. But it's better if you can get a light-level sensor to simulate true daylight time?
Like those digital thermometers. They record minimum and maximum temperatures - but at what time or day did it peak or fall?
Again, those cheap heater controllers - if I set it at 30C, at what temperature does it turn on the heater and then turn it off when it achieves its setpoint? Because my digital thermometer is telling me different!

WARNING: This topic could contain massive amounts of technical mumbo-jumbo and I (and hopefully others) will try to clean up the technical talk and put it in plain, understandable, English.

I'll start.

I have a stanalone Facility Management Computer connected to an 16-channel Input and 8 Relay Output expansion board. It has 6x temperature monitoring points (2x embedded in table, 2x ambient air, 1x heater temp, 1x light temp), 3 switched Outputs (1x Light, 1x Heater, 1x Fans), and a Dew Point sensor (Humidistat). The Light is a Time Schedule (On-Off at certain times), the Heater is switched on at 27.4C and off at 27.7C maintaining a 32-34C basking spot, dependent on ambient room temp. The Heater cannot run when the Light is off. It will only run if the Hot zone table temperature drops below 14C (not possible with room temp, but failsafe none the less). The Fans are switched on when the cool end reaches 22C, and switches off at 21.9C. Over-temperature failsafe systems shut down Heater/Lights in the event of overheating malfunction. If the controller fails, the system will automatically switch into manual mode. Average Temperature and Temperature Delta calculated on unit, calculating a cool end average/TD, hot end average/TD, hot/cool ambient average/TD, and hot/cool table average/TD. Central Feeding/Bathing zone temperatures calculated, with a hot/cool zone temperature delta for maintaining a temperature gradient. All Inputs, Outputs and Calculated Averages/TD's logged and available for graphing.

60-day on-board graphing facility with a resolution of 15sec intervals. Custom graphical user interface and unlimited-time graphing facility using PC software.

Massively scaleable and easy to expand, can control multiple tables/zones or optional equipment.

Future expansion includes light level sensor to immitate natural daylight patterns, ambient room temp sensor to calculate basking spot temperature more accurately, humidity control system, and possibly a hibernation fridge.

A pic of the newer version of the customised user interface for the PC is attached. Enjoy!

PS: This is not a sales pitch, I'm not a salesman, I'm an Engineer who loves my Tortoise.
Jay :)

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#2 Guest_PennyTort_*

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Posted 17 September 2011 - 08:41 AM

Wow :blink:

I hope your torts appreciate what is happening behind the scenes to keep them comfy! :D

This looks really impressive, I think you could have found a gap in the market....... Even though its not a sales pitch

Pennytort :)

#3 Guest_Hettie_*

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Posted 17 September 2011 - 08:08 PM

Yep, I agree WOW! :D
It sounds ideal, I would be worried about controlling all of those things if anything failed!! I can just about sort out the time clock that switches on the lights and basking spot!
In my shed I have tubular heaters set at different settings for day time/night time temps.
I have a reptiglo 2 daytime strip bulb, comes on half an hour before and half an hour after the reptiglo 10 UV strip bulb in the daytime.
I have a ceramic heatbulb on a thermostat for basking.
Oh and a fan to blow in air from outside if it gets too hot. Luckily (I think) our climate means this air is usually cool enough!

Paula x

#4 Guest_deetooarruk_*

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Posted 06 December 2011 - 09:20 PM

Hi all,

I've recently added the Light Level sensor for Speedy - Not quite set up yet as I am watching the lux readings and they don't seem to match real-world lux reference measurements.

I've aquired a Light Level sensor that's not quite for my system, so a little calibration and a hand held lux meter are in order soon... Or a certified Light Level sensor for my setup that's designed to be compatible.


Jay :)

#5 Guest_Ozric_*

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Posted 11 December 2011 - 09:37 PM

Jay that sounds very sophisticated indeed!

What are your plans regarding humidity management? Many of us have struggled to raise humidity safely and reliably in an indoor set-up. There are misting systems available but these might not be a good fit with hot lamps in use.

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