Truckload of Iowa mail destroyed, damaged in I-35 fire

We've learned that a USPS truck carrying First-Class and Priority Mail was destroyed on I-35 yesterday evening.

"Customers expecting mail or packages from the Nevada, Ames, ...areas, who think their mail may have been affected, should call the Postal Service Call Center ..."  We are checking an all orders that could have been affected and if any are found replacements will be shipped out right away and we will email you an update.

I am happy to report the driver was not hurt.

Arduino Aquaponics: Rotary Encoders

Rotary encoders are interesting little devices.  At Iowa Aquaponics, we typically pair them with LCDs and create menus for controllers.  Rotary encoders can be thought of as a potentiometer and push button in one, but the rotary encoder does not have a limit to its rotation like a potentiometer does.  In other words, it can be rotated more than 360 degrees which allows you to create complex menus you can navigate with a single rotary encoder.

Rotary encoder

Arduino Aquaponics: LCDs


It's pretty obvious what LCDs do - they display information, but more importantly, they are the first step in creating interfaces that allows you to update operational parameters like pump run times and calibrate a pH probe without having to plug it back into a computer.  These LCDs are great to add to an Arduino because there is a built-in library for interfacing with them, taking a huge burden off of the developer.  This quick tutorial shows you how to wire up a basic 16 x 2 character LCD to an Arduino Uno and then display millis.

16 x 2 Character LCD


Iowa Aquaponics Updates

This year is flying by so I thought I'd take a moment and share what's going on at Iowa Aquaponics.  First, you've seen us testing part of the new pH circuits.  They are the first of six Arduino compatibles we've developed for controlling and/or monitoring your aquaponics system.

A new design for Tracker has been developed and is being split tested across the community.  The Material Design of the webapp matches the Material Design of the upcoming Android app we are finishing up, creating a unified experience from mobile to web.  This experience has been designed all the way down to the lowest widgets by integrating Polymer into Tracker.

App-like feel.

Aquaponics Community

Community posts can now combine photos, links and YouTube videos in a single post.

Aquaponics Tracker Datastream

The new Datastream dashboard is far more intuitive than previous versions and allows customization of each Arduino controller's settings individually versus setting global parameter preferences.

The new gauges are a better fit with the design aesthetic and other visualizations than the previous ones, but are just as responsive for real-time updates.

So there are just a few of the updates.  Tell me what you think in the comments below.