Any interest in a DIY friendly wireless sensor module.

Discussion in 'Equipment: Setup and Discussion' started by cypho, Mar 12, 2019.

  1. cypho

    cypho I contributed!
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    I am quite excited about how V3 of my DIY controller is coming out and am seriously considering turning it into a commercial product. I'm curious if you think there would be a market for it, or if you think I am the only one unhappy with the current aquarium controller options.

    My vision:

    The sensor module would be a small plastic box (around 1.5" x 1" x 2.5" ) with some plugs on one end that you could connect sensors to. It would connect to your wifi and the sensor readings would be accessible to any device with an internet connection from anywhere in the world. (password protected of course to keep the bad guys out)

    My goal would be to support as many types sensors as possible out of the box, but if the stock software does not support your needs, you would be able to upload your own custom software via wifi (or by plugging the power cable into your computer's USB port). Obviously you would need to be somewhat tech-savvy write your own custom software. But if you were happy sticking to what the stock stock software was capable of, it would be easy for a non-technical person to use/configure.

    There would around 3-8 sensor input plugs on each module (the number deliberately small to keep the device small and to avoid a big tangled mess of wires), but total number of modules you could use would only be limited the number of clients your wifi router can keep track of.

    The modules would be able to talk to each other wirelessly and the input plugs would also be capable of functioning outputs, so you would be able to trigger relays or adjust controllable leds/pumps based on sensor readings pulled from any of modules.

    Based on the cost of assembling my prototypes, I think that the retail price would be around $75 for a model that could handle sensors that send a digital signal or sensors that able to be directly connected to the module's analog input pins. Or $150 for a module that did more advanced things like pH, salinity, or ORP. With enough volume I suspect the price could be much lower, but right now I am assuming relatively low production numbers.
     
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  2. NotJacques

    NotJacques Senior Member
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    Is this a crowdfunding deal - where do I click to contribute? Sounds fantastic at first glance. That price point!

    Looking forward to hearing thoughts from some of the people who work in tech though...
     
  3. RSnodgrass

    RSnodgrass TCMAS President
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    Following, I'm intrigued.
     
  4. warnerto

    warnerto Senior Member
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  5. OP
    cypho

    cypho I contributed!
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    If I decide to proceed, I will probably do a crowdfunding campaign, but It still needs some more polish before I start raising funds. For now I am just trying gauge interest before I sink more time into it. I don't want to waste time developing features I personally don't need if I am just going to be building these for my own tank.

    As far as the technical feasibility, I am not too worried about anything. The only concern I have is that since water blocks wifi signals, the wifi signal may not be that great inside of an aquarium stand. Everything else is based on the parts I have been using on my DIY controller for the last few years. So it is mostly just a matter of polishing things up for a more professional look and then figuring out how to get it produced in bulk.

    I'm very glad to hear that the price sounds almost too good to be true. I was quite worried when I started doing the math that it was going to be too expensive. The prices I mentioned is based on a 50% markup over what it cost me to build the prototypes. I assume a mass produced product should cost less than the prototype, so that should leave room for a reasonably profit. But if there is room to raise the price, that would be great in case production costs more than I anticipate. But realistically as long as I don't lose too much money on the first production run I would view it as a huge success.
     
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