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Lower cost sensor and pump alternatives?

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Joined: 1 week ago
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I'm curious if anyone here has recommendations for lower cost sensor and pumps? I, like many it seems, really want to emulate what Kyle was able to achieve with his NFT system, but I'm stunned at the cost of some of the Atlas parts (specifically the EC sensor - $250?!). While I search around for various alternate sensors and pumps, curious if there are some I should avoid or any lower cost alternatives someone might suggest? If my first experiment goes well, I plan on expanding it, so at that time I may invest in higher quality parts - but right now, for this experiment, I'd like to keep it lower cost!

Kyle Gabriel
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Joined: 6 years ago
Posts: 570

You can use any pump, really. There's a Generic Pump Output that powers a pump for a duration in order to move fluid, rather than supplying a volume to dispense. Furthermore, if you measure the dispense rate of your pump and set the Rate setting of the Output, you can supply a desired volume to be dispensed and the Output will calculate and power for the duration required to dispense that volume.

Check out this forum post from a user who sourced the same pumps Atlas Scientific uses, without the controller board: https://kylegabriel.com/forum/general-discussion/welco-pumps-on-ebay/

For the water sensors, there are a few users who have used cheaper alternatives, with varying success. Often you will have to work with an ADC or develop your own Input module. I haven't used any other pH or EC sensors, so I haven't made any alternate Input modules myself. Additionally, many of the cheaper probes are not lab grade and cannot reliably be left in solution for long durations like the Atlas Scientific/lab grade probes can. 

Mycodo Developer

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You can just use some cheaper probes than the atlas ones and use them only with the atlas ezo circuits for ph, ec... and voltage isolators for each circuit. Because every ezo circuit is suitable for any Probe Brand, according to the description on their Website.

So ph, temp, ec and orp probes (20-50€ each) with all required boards from atlas will cost about 300€. 

I will do so and let you know the result. 

Im expecting a short life span of the probes but i also dont have the money to go crazy. 

This post was modified 1 week ago by danton

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