Introduction: Butch - Remote Soil Monitor Watchdog

Picture of Butch - Remote Soil Monitor Watchdog

Butch was designed to monitor the moisture in soil from a distance. I created this so I can check the moisture level on nearby plants without going outside.

This model version does not continually monitor the soil, but only reads when I remotely send a signal to the IR receiver to monitor the soil.

Step 1: Put It Together

Picture of Put It Together

You will need the following equipment

- 2 Arduino UNO boards - The micro arduino boards can also be used but I could not get mine to configure.

Wires for connections

RF receiver and transmitter and compatible remote

LED - Red, Yellow, Green

Galvanized nails and Styrofoam

9v battery and connections

The diagrams and picture give a full description of how to set this device up. Make sure the galvanized nails can conduct a current from one end to the next by checking the resistance with an Ohm meter. If no reading, then scrape off the outer coating of the nail at the tip and also where you will solder the connections.

I added a one foot wire to the RF transmitter to extend its range. I had to do a check to make sure the spot where I wanted to place the transmitter was a good spot so I check the signal before final setup.

Step 2: Final Setup

Picture of Final Setup

I used Styrofoam cups with soil and water to calibrate the settings. You can also used the soil sensor other than nails is you want. I had dry soil and added water to the desired amount and noted the readings to get a range. You can also customize the message being sent to the receiving device. This setup monitor 2 different plants but I plan on adding more sensors. The Receiver is connected to may connected to my computer if I want to see how each plant is doing. I sealed all he circuitry in a padded bag to protect it but I I exposed the IR and RF transmitter. I taped the antennae to the pole for a better signal.

A new version will be coming soon where I will send and receive signal to my smart phone.