So summer is here and we all have a lot of things to do but not the time. Here are some hacks that will surely help you to take some time off your daily tasks, this projects will automatically take care of your plants for you.
This hack started as a project to teach a group of students about electronic waste and reusing technology. First thing they did was taking the CD drive out of a desktop computer. The idea was to control the amount of water by opening or closing the CD drive. They also recycled a plastic bottle to store the water and used a tube to irrigate the plant and a 12-16V power supply.
After that, they soldered the leads of the drive to a relay, and connected it to an Arduino Uno to be able to control it. They included a sensor to measure soil moisture with the Arduino board and, depending on this value, they used the CD drive to clamp the water of the bottle.
As you can see the components for this project are cheap and mostly reused and recycled, so it's easy to make one yourself!
Check our solutions for taking care of your plants here.
Shane built another system to water your plants. He used a car door actuator with a small DC motor to activate a water bottle pump. This up and down movement of the electronic actuator, which transforms a rotary motion into a linear motion, rises the pressure in the jug.
When the pressure is high enough, a servo, mounted on the same wooden structure, activates a lever that sprays the water through a hose. Watch it in the video below.
The servo activating the lever is connected to a dsPIC microcontroller, which also controls the door lock actuator with a DC motor driver. Just a few components and reused equipment!
Take a look at Open Garden Indoor, our alternative to remotely control your indoor plants.
OK, now we're getting serious. This project is a complete watering system for your garden. It is build around an Arduino Uno and a soil moisture detector. It is planned to use up to 8 electrovalves, but as he explains you can adapt it to your needs and use as many as you like.
The watering system is composed of flexible water pipe, connectors, splitters, electrovalves and a sprinkler. He is using an 8 relay shield (9V or 12V) to control the electrovalves and an AC adapter to power everything but the Arduino Board, which is connected to a USB power adapter.
The Arduino monitors the soil moisture with the sensor, and depending on this value it activates the relays and waters the garden. It is a simple way to automatically take care of your plants.
Check our kit for garden watering: Open Garden Outdoor.
Posted on Instructables.