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Garden of Eden Watering Kit

Simple watering kit taking care of the herbs while I'm away from home.

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Every time I leave for the weekend during summer, my herbs die. This summer this happened already 3 times. As a result I decided to build some device that will hopefully prevent this kind of incidents in the future.

The goal of this project is to build a device that will watering of my plants while I am away.
Expected features:
- handle at least 3 pots (3 humidity sensors and 3 watering outputs),
- signal when the device runs out of water,
- take as little space as possible,
- be safe (won't flood my apartment or electrocute anyone),
- wireless connectivity.

If you have any plants at home, you know you must also have someone to take care of them while you're away. The only plants I keep at home are some herbs, mint and lemon balm for cold drinks, basil for cooking. This summer was really hard on my plants, I had to buy new ones a few times already, so I decided to throw some electronics at the problem.

The idea

This is what I drew 3 weeks ago:


Pump box - Pump Box Top.stl

Pump box - top plate holding 3 peristaltic pumps

Standard Tesselated Geometry - 320.69 kB - 08/28/2016 at 18:40

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Pump box - Pump Box.stl

Pump box - main body, attaches to electronics box.

Standard Tesselated Geometry - 296.18 kB - 08/28/2016 at 18:40

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  • 1 × Teensy LC
  • 1 × Small OLED display Adafruit Monochrome 0.96" 128x64 OLED graphic display
  • 3 × 12V peristaltic pump
  • 3 × Soil humidity sensor
  • 1 × RTC module

View all 6 components

  • Status before deadline

    atheros08/21/2016 at 21:23 0 comments

    I finally had time to push this project forward. Unfortunately not as much as I hoped.

    Hardware

    Here are some photos:

    Pump drivers

    Software

    I pushed the code on GitHub today.

    Other

    I've created an OnShape document for CAD models. For now there is only a 3d printable clip holding the hose attached to the pot.

    TODO

    I can't call it even a prototype yet.

    Missing electronics:

    • RTC
    • esp8266
    • input buttons
    • humidity sensor

    Missing software:

    • menu system
    • watering scheduler
    • power saving

    Other:

    • water tank level monitor
    • proper case

  • KiCad

    atheros08/15/2016 at 20:10 0 comments

    I didn't have much time this weekend, but I managed to draw some schematics. I only used Eagle CAD for my electronics projects before. This time however I decided to give KiCad a try. This is how it went:

    I didn't do as much progress as I hoped, but it is a start. The schematic is missing the humidity sensors as I didn't test it. This is probably the next thing I will try. As for the buttons, I don't know how many free pins will I have, so that has to wait too.

    This is all for this update, I hope by 22nd August I'll have a working prototype.

  • Pump test

    atheros08/13/2016 at 20:59 0 comments

    I managed to test the peristaltic pumps today. To perform the tests, I had to replace the hose, as the one shipped with the pump was way too short.

    The specs say the hose is 4.7mm in diameter, however when I measured it with calipers it was closer to 4mm, bellow 4.3mm, but I cannot be certain how accurate was that reading. I replaced the original hose with the 4mm one and the pump works. Comparing the new hose with the old one I didn't notice any difference in diameter.

    The flow I managed to get was about 60ml/min, that is about 60% of the performance advertised by banggood, but for now I'm assuming it's because of the "smaller" diameter hose I used. I believe the 60ml pumped in a minute is probably the correct dose for my purpose.

  • First entry

    atheros08/10/2016 at 18:43 0 comments

    If you have any plants at home, you know you must also have someone to take care of them while you're away. The only plants I keep at home are some herbs, mint and lemon balm for cold drinks, basil for cooking. This summer was really hard on my plants, I had to buy new ones a few times already, so I decided to throw some electronics at the problem.

    The idea

    This is what I drew 3 weeks ago:

    Originally I wanted to use a big 3d printed pump. I checked every pump on thingiverse, but I didn't find anything that would work for me. I even printed this huge pump http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:412150, but it is way too big. The valves turned out to be problematic too. 3d printed valves with RC servos don't look too reliable and solenoid values are quite expensive.

    Finally I found small cheap peristaltic pumps on banggood.com, with one specific model available in EU warehouse, so there were chances I'll get them before the end of the Hackaday Prize! I purchased 3 of them and yesterday they finally arrived, only 9 days after I purchased them:

    What's next?

    Pumps

    According to the specs, the pumps I got have the hose with 2.5mm internal and 4.7mm external diameter - kind of odd for me (it probably makes more sense in imperial units). I purchased 2/4mm and 3/5mm silicon hoses, I hope one of them will fit. I'm expecting them by the end of this week. Until then I won't test the pumps, the hoses are way too short.

    Sensors

    I have only one humidity sensor for now (I probably won't get more in time), I will try to test humidity levels with it and see what useful values will it return. I also have a bunch of different temperature and air humidity sensors, I'll play with them and see that will I be able to use.

    Other

    I need to migrate to a bigger protoboard, I have no room left for RTC, WiFi and the buttons. Maybe I'll be able to hook those up before the weekend.

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Discussions

burner wrote 08/13/2016 at 22:45 point

I make pump controller board for 8 pump & sensor with esp8266. If you want schematic I can send it to you. I I have not test that board yet because that software side had been more my wife project. But I have also sample pcb waiting that I solder components to it. 

  Are you sure? yes | no

atheros wrote 08/14/2016 at 11:43 point

Sure, I'd like to see it, I never worked with esp8266 before.

  Are you sure? yes | no

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