Basic System Up and Running

A project log for Responsive Planter

Creating monitoring systems, so even the least green of thumbs can know the joys of indoor gardening.

Jordan PolesJordan Poles 05/09/2015 at 02:070 Comments

I have set up a basic circuit on a breadboard, and everything seems to be running smoothly. An Arduino Nano is currently running a short sketch, which periodically tests soil moisture and records the results on an OLED for display to the user, along with the maximum and minimum moisture values detected since the device's last reset.

The OLED also displays the moisture warning level, the maximum moisture reading allowable before the device will alert the user to water the plant (currently using a pair of red/green LEDs, but in the future I would like to use a tricolor LED strip wrapped around the planter). Currently, this setting is manually inputted by the user with a potentiometer, but I would like to design a smoother user interface. Perhaps in the future, I may setup a system providing preset warning levels based upon the input of soil type and plant water usage.

As of now, I am using a cheap YL-38 moisture sensor bought off of ebay, however in a previous prototype of this project I had continuous power running through my moisture probe (the probe that came with the sensor) rather than only running the sensor board when I needed a reading, which resulted in serious corrosion of the probe over the course of a month or two. Now, the board is powered over digital briefly, only when taking a reading. In the interest of saving some cash, I have created a new, albeit less precise, probe using cardboard to maintain a constant spacing between the two wire probes.