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This will form Part 1 of a series to achieve an automated indoor grow space.
What I'll cover in this instructable:
1) A Relay that switches a light on and off on a timer.
2) The use of a Light Dependent Resistor.
3) 3 x DS18B20 temperature sensors daisy-chained.
4) 2 x Moisture sensors.
5) The arduino sketch.
6) C# program, Serial interface, MySQL API.
Project Mission: Create a solution that will automate indoor plant growth, be safe and remotely manageable. Maybe include some external weather information. All aimed at learning new tools.
Project End Goals (What I ultimately want to achieve):
1) Measure temperature and light in the grow space, my room and outside, mostly because the data should be interesting and defines the environment in and around the grow space. Values to be saved in a database (MySQL in this case) and be graphed through MS Excel through an odbc connection. The light and temperature will also be used as control to ensure the light mentioned in point 2 below, does actually switch on.
2) Switch a 220volt light system on and off on a configurable timetable.
3) Measure soil moisture. I'm going to measure the moisture content in two pots and may even look into setting up checks for possible water overflow or leaks, as a control measure.
4) Switch a 220volt water pump on for a period of time to water the plants, when moisture levels drop below a certain threshold.
5) Control the temperature with the use of a fan/extractor fan.
6) Video Cam to remotely monitor. Website for remote access and control.
Warning: When working with water and electricity, place all plugs, connectors, relays, etc, higher than your plants and lights. Run cable's down. Insolate properly. Use common sense. Watch your humidity and condensation.