Garduino-Automated Gardening System using Arduino

Posted on Feb 5, 2014

This instructable is a guide for setting up an automated gardening system using an arduino and other cheap electronic parts. It allows sustainable gardeningby using sensors to determinesoil moisture, as well as a webscraper to determinefuture weather. It uses this information tosave water by only using the requisite amount. Requirements for this pr

Garduino-Automated Gardening System using Arduino
Click here to download the full size of the above Circuit.

oject include experience soldering, some basic programming experience, and much patience for debugging. The moisture sensors rely on the resistivity of water to determine themoisture level of the soil. The sensors measure the resistance between two separate nailsby sending a current through one of them and reading a corresponding voltage drop due to a known resistor value. The more water the lower the resistance, and using this we can determine threshold values for moisture content. While we will include a circuit board diagram, we recommend building the circuits on a breadboard first which will allow for both understanding and debugging. Each sensor uses two nails, a 100 ohm resistor, anda 100 K-ohm resistor. We built a casing for each sensor with acrylic tubes, however this is not necessary. The first step is to find two equal length nails of any type, although we found that longer and non-galvanized nails worked best (galvanized nails do not work at all). Next, a wire needs to be soldered to each nail. It is best to use weaved wire since it is flexible and less likely to break during use. The nails act as a heat sink, and to counteract this they must be heated before soldering. A hotplate was used to get the nails very hot. The next step is to wire the nails to the arduino. Use the circuit diagram provided. The sensor works by sending a fake AC current by alternating DC current between the two nails. Theanalog voltage is...

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