Plant Watering

Prevents plants death by controling water levels.

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Over the summer month I am usual not at home, I I have a plant, wich needs at least wawter every week so this project is to solve this. I am using an ESP8266 to open & close a valve and also messure the resistence of the soil to know when to water.

The main goals of this project are:

  • keep the plant alive
  • use as little power as possible
  • notify me via internet if power/water runs low
  • log temp, humidity, soil resistence
  • one charge should last atleast 28 days

Currently I use an ESP8266 and programm it with Arduino. The whole thing should run on battery power.

Maybe if everything works I will try to add a solar panerl for battery recharging.


The currently used circuit layout. It is very simple so I hope you will get the gist out of this handdrawing.

JPEG Image - 603.04 kB - 02/20/2019 at 10:45


  • 1 × ESP8266 Adadruit HUZZA Feather ESP8266
  • 1 × Step Motor daypower S-SPSM-5V
  • 1 × 1F Capacitor Goldcap, 1F, 5.5V, RM5

  • Power Management

    MCenderdragon02/12/2019 at 14:18 0 comments

    I have come to the point where the system failes due to power loss. THis happens approxiemntly once a week. It is also winter so it is also colder in the room decresing the battery output a little.

    That is why I hocked a Ampmeter between the battery and the ESP to test how much it realy needs. 6.4mA. According to alot of papers and websites deep sleep shoud need ~20µA so 0.02 mA. WHile testing it jumped around a little, so it neeeds about 20mA +/- 6mA for basic operation (reading the sensors) and 150mA when WIFI is active and its sending something. since sensor reading and wifi is only active of some seconds, the "off" power draw is may to high.

    I will dig into this, I am currently using a USB power bank as an energy source so maybe th 5V to 3.3V converter uses the 6mA. Also I have to unwire everything to check if any external circuit is causing this.

  • When the Steppers arent strong enough...

    MCenderdragon11/17/2018 at 17:19 0 comments

    The Steppers adn the valve I wanted to use arent working together nicely. It needs alot of strength to turn the valve, unfortunetly the steppers turn around themselves when they try to open/close the valve.

    For now I continued to improve the general sensor software, this resulted in a nice online graph of the temperature/humidity curve of my plant. The data is collected every 1h hour and gets send every 24h, in between the ESP enters deep sleep for long battery life. The system is not up long enough to say if its realy working or not (4 days by now)

    For now the webpage looks like this I use CHAP Links Library and it looks good, also it is very straight forward and simple, it is less then 10 JS lines and you get this result.

  • Basic Setup

    MCenderdragon09/19/2018 at 13:49 0 comments

    While testing around with ESP8266 I found some interesting things. Firat I am using the Arduino IDE amd I want this to me kind of outonomouse, maybe I will add a solar panel later, but my window is heading west so we will see.

    I use deepSleep to reduce power, but to wake up I need to reset the chip. THis can be done by connecting IO16 and RESET, but this will also cause the chip to not reset when you want to flash new software (since IO16 is held HIGH while running). I added a diode to block the HIGH to get to the RESET so it only can pull the RESET low and it works like a charm.

    Nest the stepper I dont know why but the STepper lib proived does not work by itself. If you make alot of steps it will fail due to a watchdog reset, I also noticed I need to switch the 2 middle pins in the software for the stepper motor to work correctly but this can be an issue with the daypower ones I use (they have 4 controls pins and instead of 1,2,3,4 I needed to use 1,3,2,4). Hence I wrote the code to roatet ste stepper myself and also implemented smooth movement (to achive this I had to #define private public, in order to acsess the delay & modify it)

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