General effects of this project on my wallet:
Finishing the project
Mundane detail: took me several nights and 4 coats of overly-expensive non-toxic waterproofing, but now Ike can (and I assure you, he will) be as stupidly messy and gross as he wants… and I can wash all the internals with dish soap and water, and not have to worry about staining the wood. But that is not the story you came here to read.
Prior to another trip to the Yale CEID…
… I spoke with Alex, the guy whose project was my inspiration to do my own with my additions and tweaking and the like (and my thanks to him for his help in thinking and talking through how I want to do the IkeHaus, and what worked with his setup), and he mentioned he uses a product called the Herpstat Pro to control his lights and fans… but that is $400, and takes the fun out of building the WHOLE project myself. So, I decided to stick with my initial inclination of doing the Raspberry Pi to network the controllers for the electronics. That said, many thanks to Alex for his great idea that inspired me, and his pointers on lighting and wattages!!
I also had a chance to catch up with Paul, the employee at Home Depot Hamden, who was instrumental in helping me realize I could make an effective notching system to hold the walls in place, instead of the pain of fastening the walls in multiple places. This system is what allows me to set up or take down the whole enclosure in something like 7 minutes or less. Paul and I, reveling in the victorious project:
The remainder of the physical construction centered around the roof alcove for wiring, and building a locking lid on hinges so 1) I can easily stow the cables in it during transportation, but moreso 2) to allow me to have access to all the wires without having to take the enclosure apart, if ever I needed to do so. I used half inch plywood, which was a bit small for the hinge screws… I realized, quite madly, as I split through the wood 😦 Even so, I think it turned out looking alright:
Even still, the wiring alcove looks nice, and is also framed into place by the nameplate. Many thanks to the CEID, and specifically Ellen (one of the student employees there, who put up with my lots last weekend and helped me use the laser cutter for this finishing touch), as the laser cutter allowed me to put a polished name and set of details onto the top of the enclosure. The laser cutter is yet another aspect of CEID which is like a science fiction movie in real life (alongside things like 3D printing), and one of the few areas of this project of mine which I didn’t already know how to do well or had at least some experience with; so I am very grateful for the help!
On either side of the nameplate, then, one will soon find two rather small (4 rows of 20 character lines) backlit LCD screens. These each need between 7 and 11 lines to control them, so that meant I need to use 2 Raspberry Pi computers (as each only has 17 lines, and I have many other things that need controlling!). The right side LCD is controlled by the RasPi which takes care of a certain set of controls (lower sensor, electricity usage monitor, the fluorescent fixtures, and the three halogens). The left side LCD is controlled by the RasPi in charge of the high-priority controls – the upper temperature sensor, the exhaust/intake fans, and the ceramic heat emitter (basically, the system for detecting too much heat and then dealing with it, by cycling the air, and if needed, turning off the VERY hot ceramic emitter). The data displayed on them switches every 20 seconds or so, meaning a person watching Ike will quickly be able to gain a sense of everything from the ambient temperature and relative humidity of the enclosure, to seeing how much longer the enclosure has to run to pay itself off via electricity savings (having gone from 700 watts to 235 watts for 14 hours per day, it is not going to be THAT long). This and more await you, so come visit Ike and I, and see for yourself. More on this in the next (and final) blog post for this project, hopefully coming soon!
Not like I planned and thought through this WAYYYYY too much or anything, right?? RIGHT???
Video of Ike enjoying his new digs
The last portion of this stage of the project, of course was moving Ike into his gorgeous new IkeHaus. Thusly, please enjoy this brief video showing Ike enjoying himself, the general layout of the land to scale with him, his refusing to move when the camera is on, and more:
Thusly we come to the photo gallery for this project: