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Hydroponic systems benefit greatly from gathering more information as this gives the grower the ability to better diagnose problems and better understand the evolution of their hydroponic crops. Usually growers limit the information they gather to single sensor measurements carried out either at different points during the day or even only when nutrient solutions need to be changed. These measurements are often not recorded and are difficult to analyse in a wider context. Today I am going to talk about the automation of sensors in a hydroponic crop and the benefits this can yield you in the longer term.  Below you can see a picture of the output of my home hydroponic setup monitoring pH, EC, ORP, humidity, ambient and solution temperatures.
Automating sensors is not only having sensors that can take readings at predefined intervals but also making sure that the reading from these sensors are stored so that they can be used for analysis and diagnosis later on. If you want to perform automated monitoring then you would definitely want to buy pH, EC, ambient temperature, solution temperature, humidity and carbon dioxide sensors. If you have more money or want to have more data then I would also advice getting a dissolved oxygen sensor and an ORP sensor. If you have a large grow room then you might want to place several CO2 and temperature sensors to properly monitor the entire crop.
It is also important to know that the sensors should be industrial quality sensors designed to be kept submerged all the time.  It is worth noting that all sensors can lose their calibration so you want to calibrate your pH/EC sensors at least once every month within this setup. Also when taking sensor measurements you will want to take the median of a large number of measurements (>100) in order to ensure better stability.
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