Skybound420
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Jul 14, 2017 12:50 pm

Can Pi 3 connect/control Zero W?

Mon Jul 17, 2017 1:07 am

Hi, I'm new to Pi, but have been learning with Arduino for about 3 years in hopes to one day build a hydroponics controller. I got pretty close with the Arduino, but it keeps crashing due to memory issues. Someone suggested I get a Pi and basically, here I am. I am now working my way through all the tutorials I can find, and slowly I am clearing up that which is still fuzzy regarding that, but for now, I am just seeking generalized direction as I'm not familiar what the possibilities are, at least not from the programming side.

Yesterday I received my Pi 3/mod2 and am running Windows 10 IoT Core on it. Today I also ordered a Zero W with the hopes I can get them communicating wirelessly or with BLE. Would a setup like this be possible, and if yes, can I add more Zero W's into the mix thus rendering them as slaves to the Pi 3? Not asking for specific instructions on this one, but I would greatly appreciate if someone can point me in the right direction and I will search out the info. I just want to know what to search for. Any replies, I will analyze for keywords and start searching which always returns more key words and so the process continues until the answers are found.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

W. H. Heydt
Posts: 7537
Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:36 pm
Location: Vallejo, CA (US)

Re: Can Pi 3 connect/control Zero W?

Mon Jul 17, 2017 4:50 am

A couple of different issues here. To build a hydroponics control, you might want to start with a web search to see how others have done that with a Pi. I'm not sure why you are intending to use Win10 IoT, as Raspbian would be a function OS for the job and there is far more support and a lot more peripherals available that Raspbian can handle.

As for the Pi0W...Yes. you can connect a Pi0W to a Pi3B. You can either run data comms over Ethernet (either wired or wireless) or over USB if you set up the Pi0W in "gadget mode".

Skybound420
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Jul 14, 2017 12:50 pm

Re: Can Pi 3 connect/control Zero W?

Mon Jul 17, 2017 6:09 am

@W. H. Heydt, thanks for your feedback. I will give Raspbian more consideration as you suggest. If not mistaken Pi0W runs on Raspbian, so it seems I need to dive into that pool anyways.

What my hydroponics controller is ATM, is a Freetronics Ethermega, a clock, 2 temp/humidity sensors, 8 relays and 8 dosing pumps. I can dose in 1-80ml of nutrient and pump water into reservoirs in 0.25-10.00 gallons. I utilize Blynk to handle most of the networking stuff and the pumps I just described actually relies on Blynk to pass on the dose amounts I select. If I were to say request doses from 2 or more dosing pumps while water is being pumped in all while the time based tasks and climate based tasks are being executed, the Ethermega will most likely lock up and freeze pin states to their current position at the time of crash, i.e. pumps stay on, lights stay on, other lights stay off. Assuming I can get the Pi3B communicating with Pi0W (et al), I am confident I can migrate my circuits over into a 3v3 environment with minimal changes. The code is my weak suit, but with Arduino, it was only one language for the most part. With Pi, it seems every single other language is, or can be used which puts me at a great disadvantage. I presume your suggestion of Raspbian would be adequate to create the kind of environment I seek from all my devices, Pi3B and 1 or more Pi0W's in particular. None the less, I will jump into Raspbian tomorrow and see what the WWW fortune cookie will reveal. Thanks again!

W. H. Heydt
Posts: 7537
Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:36 pm
Location: Vallejo, CA (US)

Re: Can Pi 3 connect/control Zero W?

Mon Jul 17, 2017 4:36 pm

Skybound420 wrote:@W. H. Heydt, thanks for your feedback. I will give Raspbian more consideration as you suggest. If not mistaken Pi0W runs on Raspbian, so it seems I need to dive into that pool anyways.
Raspbian runs on *every* model of Pi. Win10 IoT only runs on the Pi2Bv1.2 and Pi3B. So, yes, you need to get into that particular pool. More of an advantage, though, is that you don't need a second computer (much less a full PC running Win10) to develop your control programs. You can do it all directly on the Pi3B...or even the Pi0W.

If you look around, you will find people discussing any number of sensor and motor control systems to attach to a Pi with interfaces for programming languages that are on Pis. What you are trying to do is going to be a pretty big project, but well within the capabilities of a Pi with appropriate additional hardware.

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Gavinmc42
Posts: 1513
Joined: Wed Aug 28, 2013 3:31 am

Re: Can Pi 3 connect/control Zero W?

Tue Jul 18, 2017 2:05 am

USB booting the Zero.
https://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/view ... 4#p1187654

I use Ultibo to make apps that run on Pi's without the need of an OS.
Bit like Arduino on steroids for Pi's ;) Not exactly a beginners tool but much easier than Linux.

Been testing USB booting of Zero's, as Ultibo makes a kernel.bin this is very easy way to make an app that runs on the Zero that could be loaded by the Pi3.
https://ultibo.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=333

Using the Zero for realtime control may be possible?
I'm dancing on Rainbows.
Raspberries are not Apples or Oranges

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