UPDATE 02/13/11 : Voting has started for the Sparkfun Microcontroller Contest. Please VOTE for me!
UPDATE 02/26/11 : I won a second prize!! Huzzah! Thanks for all the votes guys!
UPDATE 03/17/11: I would love to win a Laser cutter in the Epilog challenge as it would help the small DIY community in Calcutta, which just started a few months back to cut all their materials using a CNC instead of using their saws etc.
Irrigating crops with the exactly right amount of water is a tedious task, especially when you have to walk a long distance to the irrigation pump in the middle of the night to check whether any problem (fish getting stuck in the intake and as a result the irrigation motor burning or jamming!) has occured. As I saw my uncles tired of doing the same, I felt there had to be some remote controlled solution to their problems.
I started to think about a system, which would:
1. Detect jamming of the motor and immediately shut it down.
2. Be cost effective.(Less than $150)
3. Remotely turn on and off the irrigation motor.
4. Send back a message to the operator, if an error occured.
And thus came the brainstorm to build the "SMS controlled Wireless Irrigation System" . I also wanted to submit this to the Sparkfun Microcontroller Contest , so it was all the more reason for me to go straight to building the prototype.
The prototype could do the following:
1. Be remotely controlled via SMSs through a cellular GSM network.
2. Send back ERROR messages to the operator, if the Miniature Circuit Breaker (MCB) was tripped due to electrical faults or motor jamming.
3. Control loads of up to 15 amps.
The fruits of my work is detailed in this ible.
P.S I suggest that you read through the entire Instructable before starting.
Step 1: Getting the Materials
1. 1x cheap/old/used GSM mobile phone with SMS feature(with charger)
2. 1x Activated GSM SIM/micro-SIM card of your preffered provider
3. 1x Miniature Circuit Breakers
4. 1x 120v/240v(choose for your country) 30 Amp Relays
5. 1x Atmega 168/328p or an Arduino (OR any other micro with which you are friendly)
6. 1x 9v Power Supply for the Arduino/Atmega etc.
7. 1x Universal charger if you don't have a phone charger
8. 1x High-Gain external antenna(optional)
9. Wires (240v/120v FIRE-PROOF wires) and some scraps for the circuit-board
10. 2x 240v terminal blocks
11. 4x spade connectors(for the relays)
12. 3x terminal blocks
13. A enclosure(to encase the electronics) like http://www.pactecenclosures.com/product-detail.php?classid=35&seriesid=38&productid=231
1. 10x 1N4001 diodes
2. 4x 2n2222 transistors
3. 2x TIP31 transistors
4. 3x TIP102 transistors
5. 10x 1K resistors
6. 2x Miniature Push Switches
6. 1x Perfboard (not if you make a PCB)
7. 1x Pack of Misc. LEDs(small size)
8. 5x relays with 5v coil
Drill (with drill bits)
Sander ;) see (http://www.instructables.com/id/Recycled-HDD-Rotary-Sander-for-5/)