on mini vacations board

mini vacations board

yesterday martin hug just send us this


it’s our new mini vacations board V3. the mini is meant to control the UFRRJ watering system, collect/store data and has an optional wireless data socket to upload data or change configurations.

contents: ATMEGA328, EEPROM serial 256K, usb port, FTDI, wifly, 3V rele, Li-Ion battery.

we’ll are making 10 of them and we need 10 developers that are willing to take one and start debugging :) we will realease them free you just have to tell us why you want it and figure out a transportation solution from barcelona to you :p




The Internet of Vegs (IoV)

At this point, we’ve already worked for a couple of weeks on this new board and things start coming up together. From a communications perspective, I’m really interesting in designing how this new brand boards will communicate with users in a very easy and bidirectional way. I mean, I don’t only want to know what’s going on with my farm, but I also want to tell my boards what I need them to do at my place. Obviously, for doing so, I first need tehm to tell me if everything is ok and, more important, alert me if things are getting bad.

Miguel, Svetlana and Hernani at Hangar, designing the new board

Miguel, Svetlana and Hernani at Hangar, designing the new board

Together with Miguel, we are right now at this stage, asking our boards what is happening in their world, the vegs world. The first parameter we are testing is their battery level and they are doing good. They can keep us posted, wherever they are, and even ask our server to send us an email if they are about to die. That’s something.

mini vacations board


I’ve team up with andreudani aguilar, miguel heras and svetlana. we are developing the new mini vacations board on hangar.org interaction labs. the idea is to review our main board to a SMD version that would be cheaper and include new functionalities. an on board battery that would allow memory backup, a new energy management, wifi connection, ambient light, temperature and humidity, support for various sensors, new satellite boards that will expand funcionalities: solar panel, extra humidity sensors, 12v and 220v relays, air gases detection and a web camera.

after the first prototype is ready andreu will start to manage the data that uploads to the servers and dani will work on the mobile app that visualize and monitors the data of each board. it’s a huge project and we will be posting here the developments. tks everyone for team up with me, it will be a pleasure to work with you guys ;)

and for you, you know, you can always come on board if you are a developer or just simple interested about our work ;)

stay tuned, the next 2 months here in barcelona will be intense heheh

new ultra low budget re:farm board (aka mini-vacations)

we have been working on this our A3 re:farm. everything fits on a A3 envelop ;)



we need to change our strategy over the electronics. the arduino platform is to expensive and truth to be said is like that guy that as a big car to drive on the island. we really don’t this that much electronics or processing capability of the ATMEGA.. so let’s shrink the design of the board and reduce the bill :)

A3 refarm electronics

garden and electronics

As you know re:farm has its own electronic hardware.  A  selfdesigned electronic card that is a all in one solution for the electronic enthusiastic farmer. A full functional adruino on board, humidity sensor,  light sensor etc etc. // detailed information on the wiki ->re:farm on vacation board
I haven’t paid for it till now, so i dont know the price for it. Just to mention that. It comes naked with all the parts that you can than later sold onto it by yourself. Quite a funny task. I had hardly ever solded electronics chips, something that is quite small and fine to work with.  Generall i  had a littlepit of respect for that small electronic parts, at least for the digital parts. They break easily, or at least you think, but this is something that changes when you get used too working with them. It changes from esoteric to something quite physical, which i think is a good step ahead. The solding is quite simple. I followed the manual made by hernani. Now with the wiki it is way more easy i think. I just solded one part wrong. The electronic parts look quite the same and the diagram hernani made was usefull but strange but true – one photo says more than a diagram:).

Solding the card is quite an easy task and you can make it all in one day easily whitout any previous knowledge. The testing is a bit more complicated. I have a basic knowlede of adruino and electricity, but something simple how do i plug this thing in needs his own tutorial, but with the help of hernani we made the first testing with my waterpump and my re:farm on vacations board is ready to let it rain.
The foto shows hernani, with my card hooked up to the powersupply of an old computer and the waterpump from my car that found his final rest in a car cementary here in Barcelona.  Rest in peace Astrobotnia , at least some of your parts get reincarneted in an urban garden. That is quite a good afterlive.

disulfuro dipropilo en el taller

Y llegó el momento de construir mi placa para disfulfuro dipropilo. El huerto de cebollas.

El momento esperado, el momento de introducirme a la electrónica. Un gran mundo de millones de herramientas con nombres aún desconocidos para mi. Soldador, alambre de estaño y miles de pequeñas piececitas que todas juntas dirías que son como pequeños insectos hermosos.

Hace ya días Hernani me entregó un sobrecito de color marrón que contiene todo lo que necesito para soldar mi placa. Dentro, todas las piezas que he de ir soldando una a una para hacer funcionar la placa que alimentará y cuidará a mi huerto cuando yo no esté.

El proceso está siendo muy lindo.

Ahora puedo soldar, ser una chica de taller, tener una placa de re:farm y saber de lo que se habla en estos talleres de electrónica.

¡Ahora sé que estoy preparada para lo que sea! :)

Y acabada la placa llegó el momento de probarla, ver si funciona, comprobar que cada pieza soldada está correcta, comprobar que la bomba de agua se puede controlar. ¡Y todo funciona!

Os dejo con algunas fotos del proceso “taller”.

refarm @ cceba BA final report

uau done, the last days have been busy.. but we are very happy with the results and with the collaboration of gobi :) this look of clean, big horizontal lines, the electronics location and the 30º angles of the wires are all gobi’s responsibility:p a great work here!!

but as every work-in-progress we faced some problems and best of all we faced some new problems:
-the watering system is complex with many moving parts.
-the connections of the bottles were hard to find a perfect solution. it can’t drop a single drop of water. but is a tremendous tool of data visualization. at a glance you can see how many 1L bottles of water your farm is consuming
-the water pumps demand to much water from the first bottle. we had to place a new one between the first and the second bottle.
-we have notice a watering difference between the first hole and the last one.. this farm has 4 meters long. we added more holes to the ending and made different sized holes but we should understand better what happens here.
-uploading the code to the boards stop to be problematic after we made a cables that shortcuts the radios sockets.
-data upload is working but is so juvenile:) we must work on the alert systems, the architecture of the data flow and the data visualization tool

this refarm is working but we assume that it will take a serious maintenance.
we hope that our recently born “refarmBA group” with the help of cceba can use this new tool has part of their medialab. you guys have a new toy in town :) we hope that you have fun and talk to everyone about it ehehhe

see you soon buenos aires and thanks again judith, all the cceba crew, agus clan, rocio, pablo, oscar, gabi, cyntia, galeria appetite, the ice cream makers:) and all the participants of the refarm workshops.

best to you all,

october progress

what a mess this blog:) during the next month we will try to upgrade this domain with new tools (a wiki) and divide what is refarm and his process. but this post was to update info.

Screen shot 2009-11-12 at 12.49.07

on 26.out I’ve presented refarm the city on global eco forum during the pecha kucha event. 600 eyes and ears!! check the video here. we have also some news on the electronics field. we have a new board:)

refarm on mini vacations

is called “refarm on mini vacations” and is a compressed and enhanced version of the “refarm on vacations” board.

this baby has:

1 temperature sensor

1 light sensor

4 humidity sensors

3 water pumps or electric valves

1 arduino

and radio communications

we are making the last tests and soon we’ll send then to produce on a environmentally friend factory.. does any one knows any?


we (me, barbara, maki, miguel, david and ruben) had another day trying to make one board.. at the end we’ve two: one has some tracks missing


and the other the 2 faces don’t match very well..


they could be better but now we have something that we can work on :D we’ll do the soldering and the electrical tests tomorrow. despise the board problems the day was a full day: the press came visit us and our refarm; I’ve present refarm on the streaming live channel that we have in LABoral from here to the www; we’ve planned with ruben the guerrilla action for tomorow in xixón; and I’ve made a public presentation about refarm, the development process and the final goals of this project. now, 22:32 is time to have a nice dinner and some glasses of sidra;) cu

wireless farm


eureka!! now we have wireless communication between our farm and our computer:) as you see in the picture it all looks a bit messy but the hardware is all there and it’s working. so what do we have here? a old computer power supply, one arduino, one xbee, one lillypad xbee board, one refarm board, one old car water pump and two gold water sensors. yep, that’s right we have real gold!! on our sensors (here goes all the lowbudget talk:) but we let the sensors for another post..

sensors reading