DiffEQ Has Returned

Week 3, 1/23/2019

This week, we have started applying differential equations in our Signals class. We are learning about a different approach to solving differential equations in the context of engineering that will involve breaking the solutions into two, more easily calculatable parts: an equation describing the system's response when it only has energy we put into it, and a second part describing the system's response with no external sources of energy. Together, these two equations will represent a system's total response to energy.

My roommates and I have continued to make progress with the plants in our room. My friend Jake has started microgreens (radishes), which are stated to have a turnaround of 14 days. We also have started the parsley, oregano, and kale in our original aquaponics setup. Usually, we start seeds like this in a damp paper towel before transferring them to the growing medium. This time, however, we decided to be experimental and place the damp paper towels directly on top of the growing medium (river rock). After only two days, the kale seeds are already beginning to take (the small white bits on the seeds are the starts of the roots):

Awaiting seeds to sprout Kale seeds beginning to show life

We also just had the new grow lights and pump delivered from Amazon, and figured out how we'll be arranging the power strips and control boxes to make the wiring as easy as possible:

Wiring plan

The next step will be purchasing parts for and then assembling the control boxes, which are PVC enclosures with electromagnetic relays that control the outlets on the outside. They are what will allow us to turn the lights, pumps, etc. on and off from the Arduino Mega. We already have a single-plug box for controlling the one set of lights, but will be assembling larger, four-plug boxes for the aquaponics systems. This will allow us to eliminate all Christmas light timers, and control everything throught the Arduino (using a GUI on the touchscreen laptop).

Check back soon for more updates!

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