Hi, I grow mushrooms and at the moment I use a Inkbird humidity controller. Humidity is set on the unit which turns either the fan on to extract the air when too humid or the ultrasonic humidifier when the air is not humid enough. The Inkbird has two powerpoints for this with simple plug in from the fan and humidifier. The sensor is not the best and would like to upgrade. I found you guys looking for a particular brand humidity probe online which I dont think you stock Basically I am looking for a better probe maybe a pid controller to sort it out. Let me know your thoughts. Thanks in advance!
Hi Andrew, Welcome to the forum
Were you looking to do away with your Inkbird controller altogether and build a new system from scratch or were you trying to modify it?
If you wanted to use the existing system in any way, please link any relevant datasheets or specs you have on it so we can have a look through them and see how it works and if we can interface with it.
If you were going to build a new system, can you give us some requirements for how you want it to perform?
Id like to build a new one. The room can have humidity up to 100%. Mushrooms grow at different levels of humidity. Basically I just want to control the humidity at what ever percent I require working exactly the same way as the Inkbird. If you google Inkbird you will see the system, very basic and easy but the probe and unit is not accurate.
This narrows down the selections quite a lot, some popular sensors won’t measure above 80% humidity and any sensor that is mounted to a PCB won’t like being damp long term.
I’d probably opt for something weatherproof and ideally with an I2C interface so it is easy to talk to with just about any microcontroller like some of these:
- SHT31 Weather-proof Temperature & Humidity Sensor Australia
- SHT-30 Mesh-protected Weather-proof Temperature/Humidity Sensor - 1M Cable Australia
- SHT20 I2C Temperature & Humidity Sensor (Waterproof Probe) Australia
We also have a couple of options that are enclosed but not waterproof, though they do come with a mounting bracket:
- AM2315 - Encased I2C Temperature/Humidity Sensor Australia
Pretty well any microcontroller should be able to run a decent PID control loop when combined with one of those sensors.
I think that the Inkbird fails as the sensor connection and parts start to corrode over time. Your options are good, the most accurate sensor would be the best. Could you supply me the rest of the kit to make this all work. The fan and the humidifier just have a normal plugin powerpoint lead. Thanks
We love being able to hear about projects and share advice to help people get their ideas realised and built, but nobody will know the needs of your mushroom humidity controller better than you.
What experience do you have with programming microcontrollers, do you have a favourite you have used before that you had in mind to control your humidifier?
We don’t have anything that will switch or control mains electricity on our site deliberately, wiring mains devices is dangerous and can only be done legally by someone with an appropriate license.
Do you have a photo you can post of how the existing system controlled the fan and humidifier?
I have zero experience with controllers and dont know anything about them. Here is a link to the inkbird. You set the parameters, plug in your devices and thats it. Heres the link for one on ebay.
I cant imagine there is much that will be plug and play for something like this. I’d say you’ll have to learn a bit of programming to get it moving, Micropython is easy as!
A PID is just the math that takes some input and give you an output (some amount of values in, one value out; to get both of them working you could use an if statement for if its negative and two P controllers to adjust how powerful the fan and humidifier are), there is a lot of fine tuning you can do to the 3 gain values to make it work for your system.
The easiest way to make something that will cover all of your bases would be to use a Raspberry Pi Pico, one of the sensors Trent linked above and a fan that doesnt run off mains voltage (its deadly and you cant control the AC motor’s speed as easily as a DC motor)
Breaking down your project into its main ingredients would be the first step, then sizing the parts and getting them working in isolation. If you have any questions along the way, pop them up here!
Thanks for sending that link through so we know exactly what product you have and don’t need to guess between a few similar ones.
We don’t have any controllers like the Inkbird that will control mains-powered devices for you, we provide parts and advice so people can build their own devices which means we deliberately steer clear of anything with dangerous voltage levels.
Perhaps you can find some sort of “smart” powerboard elsewhere and build a device to send commands to it, but we won’t have anything that replaces the Inkbird right out of the box and doesn’t require some tinkering and programming to build.