At 2:15 AM on Saturday morning, I finally had it working well enough that I decided to go to bed. The trending chart would need some more work, but it would be addressed another day. Besides, I needed to get up early on Saturday to work on shelves for the shed.
Anyway, here are some pics of the actual components being used, as well as screenshots of the software used to create the various buttons, numerical displays, and different screens for the operator interface panel (touchscreen).
Photo below - Here's the main screen of the OIP itself. It will display the temperature value of 4 different places (inside the propagation chamber, the 2-shelf propagation system when enclosed with 6 mil plastic, the interior of the 4x4 greenhouse, and of course the outside temperature.)
Since I only have one channel wired for now (chamber), it's the only one displaying a value (66.5 degrees fahrenheit). The accuracy and sensitivity of it is absolutely mind-blowing, and just to let you know - this was the actual temperature in the upstairs portion of our house. Yeah.....the digital thermostat for the hvac showed 69 - but I promise you that this 66.5 reading is what it actually was at the time. With 12 bit resolution and the entire span of the signal being displayed as only one of 4,095 increments measured at any given time - this system is dead-on. As you might guess, I bumped the upstairs thermostat up by a couple of degrees. That just goes to show that most digital thermostats available to homeowners read pretty close, but not perfect.
And here's a screenshot of the same thing as created with the software. This is the same way touchscreens are created for various restaurants, kiosks at the airports, etc. It's really not that difficult to do, but takes alot of concentration and time. Each "part" is placed in the area of choice on the grid, and addressed with reference to the plc variable memory locations. All kinds of internal parameters must be set to the desired values, too - but that's as easy as adjusting fonts, text to be written on the part, and stuff like that. Communication protocol between the OIP and plc can be tricky at times, but the RS-232 link I use is not too difficult. The main thing is to make the baud rates match between the two.Touching the "To Manual Control Screen" area in the picture above with your finger will open up a brand new screen, as shown below. The memory capacity of this particular panel will allow a person to program up to 999 different screens to use, but who in their right mind could navigate thru that many different screens? Not me! This project only has four, but I may add more functionality later.
Today will be spent on finishing the shelves on one wall of the new shed, which should only take about 2 hours to complete. Some of the many items that are tucked away in various outbuildings will be organized when placed on them (also today) - as I know that my family is getting tired of looking at my big mess always laying around. It's pretty ridiculous, I have to admit...Ha!
Later in the day, my time will be spent on stirring up all 5 of the compost piles a little bit. Notice I said "stirring", not "turning". I don't mind a little hard work, but i'm not that crazy!
Take care, and happy gardening!