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Hi there! My friend and I made a cool window farm that waters itself based on the moisture values that the moisture sensors pick up. In order to make this window farm, you’ll need to have access to a 3d printer and a laser cutter to make the neccesary frames.

Step 1: Making the Frames:

We made small rings of 3mm triplex wood for the Windowfarm. We used a lasercutter to cut out the wooden from the triplex wood. We used the wooden rings to hold the plants inside the Windowfarm. You need 2 wooden rings to make our Windowfarm.

Notice: The wooden hammocks are only used to hold a certain type op flower pot in place and to prevent it from falling further inside the Coke bottle. Whether or not you’ll need to use the wooden hammock depends on the size of your flower pot. There’s a possibility that you won’t need them at all.

We also made 3D printed bottle hammocks. We used these hammocks to hold the Windowfarm together. We downloaded the file from Thingiverse(URL at the bottom) and printed the hammocks with MakerBot. You need 4 hammocks to make the our Windowfarm.

Step 2: Cutting the Bottles & Applying Frames:

For the next part you’ll need 3 empty bottles of Coke. The first thing that we’re going to do is cut the empty Coke bottles so that the flower pots and water reservoir can be hold inside the bottles as you can see in the picture.

Attention: We recommend that you use a box cutter because thats the easiest way to make holes in the bottles.

Each bottle needs to be cut in a different way. The first bottle needs to be cut directly in half as you can see in the picture below. This way you can insert the first flower pot on top of the empty Coke bottle.

The second bottle needs a hole in the middle so you can insert the second flower pot.

The last is bottle will be serving as the water reservoir so it’ll need two holes. One hole for filling the reservoir and the other one for the wires to run through, but we’ll come back to that later.

After you’ve cut all the holes in the bottles we can now begin to attach the frames to the bottles. The easiest way to do this is by using hot glue. Each bottle needs a 3D printed frame attached to the neck of the bottle as you can see below.

After all the frames are attached we can begin with merging the bottles together.
We drilled a hole in the bottom of the bottle so we could attach one bottle unto the other. The result should be something like this.

When you’ve done all this your Window Farm should look something like this, but without all the wires and plants ofcourse. :)

Step 3: Adding Wires to the Construct

Before we can hang the window farm we’ll need to attach some copper wires that will hold all the bottles together and keep them in balance. The plastic frames that you’ve printed with the 3D printer has some premade holes in them which you can use to hold the copper wire in place.

If you paid close attention, you’ll notice that we still have one plastic hammock left. We’ll use this last frame to attach both the ends of the copper wire. In case there is any confusion about where the last hammock should be, it needs to be above the upper bottle because we’ll be using this hammock to hang the entire window farm. Simply attach a rope or any material you’d like to be able to hang it on a nail on the wall or window.

Once thats done, you’ll have the basis of your window farm and we’ll continue with the next part.

Step 4: Arduino Code & Sensor:

We used a moisture sensor for this project. In order to protect the sensor for water splashes we coated it in hot glue.

We used this code for the moisture sensor which can be used to detect the moisture of the soil.

int sensorPin1 = A0;
int sensorPin2 = A2;

int sensorValue1 = 0;
int sensorValue2 = 0;

void setup() {
Serial.begin(9600);
}

void loop() {
sensorValue1 = analogRead(sensorPin1);
delay(1000);
Serial.print("sensor 1 = " );
Serial.println(sensorValue1);

sensorValue2 = analogRead(sensorPin2);
delay(1000);
Serial.print("sensor 2 = " );
Serial.println(sensorValue2);

}

We used two moisture sensors. One pin goes into ground, one pin goes into 5v. You can insert the other two pins in the ANALOG IN (from A0 to A5).

Step 5: The Air Pump

We used an aquarium air pump to get the water from the bottom of the Windowfarm to the top.

You need a long plastic tube and a ball pump needle. The air flows from the airpump into the water reservoir of the Window Farm. The air goes through the ball pump needle into another plastic tube inside the waterreservoir. This second tube has some holes so it allows for water to get inside it. The tube will push the air along with some water to the top of the Window Farm.

Whenever you get a low value from the moisture sensor, you can send a signal from your Arduino to a smart switch. Whenever the value from the moisture sensor gets to low, the switch will activate and whenever the value gets to high, the switch will deactivate the pump.

Step 6: Adding Flowers:

The base of the Window Farm is complete and now its time to add the flowers. If you made the holes big enough, you should be able to put the flower pots inside the bottles with relative ease.

Notice: The wooden hammocks are only used to hold a certain type op flower pot in place and to prevent it from falling further inside the Coke bottle. Whether or not you’ll need to use the wooden hammock depends on the size of your flower pot. There’s a possibility that you won’t need them at all.

This is an example for the middle bottle on how the wooden hammocks will prevent the flower pot from falling in. We removed one the circle sticking out from the frame because it had no function in the middle bottle. The other circle needs to stick out of the Coke bottle, and you’ll need to cut a hole in the bottle in order to stick it through. So that we can use the circle for the airs pump’s tube later on.

The upper plant is a little easier to place in in the Window Farm. Simply put the flower pot inside the wooden hammock (in case needed) and then place it in the upper Coke bottle so that the two rings sticking out are preventing the plant from falling inside the bottle.

Step 7: Adding Arduino Wires & Installing Pump:

Now that we’ve made the pumping mechanism and configured the moisture sensors, its time to install them. The easiest part is running the arduino wires across the copper wire ,that holds the entire base together (and in balance), all the way to the top hammock. (The one that holds the rope on which you hang the entire Window Farm). In order to keep the copper wire and the arduino wires tightly together, we used some cable ties. When you make it to the second bottle, you need to put the moisture sensor inside the soil and attach the corresponding wires to eachother. After that you continue with the arduino wires to the last bottle and repeat the same process untill you have both moisture sensors installed.

The next part will be installing the tube of the air pump. Your water pump construction must be put inside the water reservoir and then stick it out the hole in the back you made earlier. After that its the same process as you’ve done with the copper wires. You will use the premade holes in both the plastic and wooden hammocks to keep the tube in place and guide it to the top of the window farm and point it to the soil. You should get something like this.

Step 8: Done:

You now have your very own window farm. Unfortunately we can’t explain you how we handled the sensor data because its part of a very complex domotics system and this Instructable would become 10 times longer. Luckily there are a lot of ways to make this window farm more self sustainable through other methods. Hopefully you are eager enough to further improve this window farm to give it your own personal spin. We hope that you are satisfied with the base of the window farm.

Step 9: Files We Used:

<p>If your air pump is located below the water during a power failure it can create a vacuum. This will draw water into the electrical pump. That can create a shock hazard and possibly a fire. You need to include a &quot;drip loop&quot; in your air hose so the water can drop off some place safe(r)</p>
<p>Great detailed project. Thank you for sharing!</p>

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