Instructables

Step 30: Turn it on

Picture of Turn it on
30B.jpg
Flick the switch to turn it on.

You should never have to water your plant again.

Now you just need to remember to refill the water reservoir.
sakko3031 year ago
I love this project, thanks! I see much nerd-dom in planning improvements, so allow me to add my idea. How about a piezo chirp (these always drive everyone nuts :/ ) on 2 possible conditions on your guys added ideas...

#1 - piezo chirp on plant is too dry (in case the device is activating but no water is present, the plant could get too dry, you would be notified)
-or-
#2 - piezo chirp on reservoir is empty.

Like I said, chirping devices usually drive people nuts, so feel free to replace piezo chirp with "twitter", "smack me in the head with a hammer", or "email my gardener, I don't have time for this ****".
mrdudej1 year ago
What was the total cost of this project with the arduino?

randofo (author)  mrdudej1 year ago
I don't remember.
Raveler11 year ago
(I am unable to post this as a reply to the comment on setting the dry value, so please forgive this post's location.)

A simple correction to the code would set the dry value whenever the device is turned on. Then, if you want to reset the dry value, simply turn off the device, wait for the dryness that you prefer, then turn it on. It would set to your plant's particular needs.

Thus in the code:
...
int dryValue = 700;
...

Delete the "=700", but be sure to leave the semicolon

Then in the setup section, below the serial communication section but before the closing } add:
...
// Set the "dry" value of soil on turning on the device. If you want to keep your plant more
// watered, set the soil to the minimum dampness before turning on your auto watering device
dryValue = analogRead(analogInPin);

//print the dry value to the serial monitor
Serial.print("dry value = " );
Serial.println(dryValue);
diy_bloke2 years ago
interesting.
Just a few remarks. I understand that the 'dryvalue' is hardcoded in the software. However, it will depend on the type of soil and the distance of the probes what the proper value is. Also, with time, corrosion will build up on the probes, altering the resistance. Might therefore be wiser to use an analogue port to read a 'dry value' that can be set manually.
randofo (author)  diy_bloke2 years ago
That would be a good addition.
I really want to build a system like this because I'm actually crazy about plants and when i get out of town few days or a week, the plants are getting dry and it's not a good thing. I just love your design, but as other mates said before there is place for improvements.
I suggest to use as water level sensor, a potentiometer with some sort of floating device connected to the shaft - same like fuel level sensor on cars! :D
Another thing that I want to try for myself and everyone should try for themselves is using an air-pump instead of water-pump. I think it's much safer because you can prevent water leakages and also short-circuits. The main problem in using an air-pump is you have to use a perfectly sealed water tank because the air pressure should push the water inside the tubes to the plant pot.Two one-way valves are required!
And my last idea about sensing the surrounding factors is combining a temperature sensor with a light sensor. This is vital because watering some plants when outside are 35 degrees C it's not ok! Even my grandparents in the countryside are watering the garden only early in the morning and late in the evening when the temperatures are low.
Sorry for my writing mistakes :D Greetings from Romania :) Good luck!
TechKid672 years ago
This is great! However, quick question, does the pump continue to run after all the water is gone and the does the pump use all the water in a single activation? More to the point, do the probes turn the pump off once they sense moisture?
Basically the arduino runs the pump (without checking if there is water left in the tank) for 10 seconds, it stops the pump, waits a bit and then checks the moisture. If it is back to normal value does not start the pump and keeps checking periodically.

IMHO I would suggest
delay(100);
to be increased to something like 5-10 minutes. I am not an arduino expert at all but I assume it would increase its battery life time if its sleeping more than comparing values and reading inputs.

For people to take it even further (and already discussed above) they can:
- Add sensor for empty tank (or get a bigger tank :) )
- Add a AC/DC converter to forget about checking the battery if you have mains close to your plants without risking an electric shock :)
- Add logic to actually water only in the evening hours. For hot countries like Greece, watering at noon is a waste of water compared to watering at 8PM
- If mains is used a series of LEDs (red, orange, yellow, green) can be turned on according to the value the probes read to show the state of the plant :) The value "sensorValue" holds the up-to-date moisture so why not show it to the user. This can even help you adjust the sleep period mentioned before (to even a day?)

Do the probes need to be stainless to save them from corosion? Im only concerned about the affected readings a rusty probe can give compared to a new one. That would affect the watering period

Great work by the way... Im planning a hydroponic system and you just gave me some more options (and a few extra hours of research :P)

very weel done!!!
jim_lewis12 years ago
I like the idea of automating plant watering. however, I'm a bit uncomfortable with line level AC voltages being present on a bare PCB, in the UK this would be a very bad idea, (240V).

Instead I would suggest using 12v pumps and including a power transformer in the project.

As I'm sure I'd forget to fill the reservoir I'd also look at using a solenoid valve giving control over mains water. Although I'd want to trial the setup first to avoid flooding!
lumi30052 years ago
Nice project for your lucky plant :-)
However, i would be a bit worried about the 110/220V inside the box containing the pump, the relay board with live 110/220V and the Aruino. The plastic tube is not secured with a clamp and in case it's popping off the water will flood the box and get all around electrified.

I would either separate the high voltage parts and the pump or put a earth leakage circuit breaker in.
randofo (author)  lumi30052 years ago
The valve for the tube is outside of the box.
I know, but i mean this part:http://www.instructables.com/id/Self-Watering-Plant/step26/Tubing/ where the tube is attached to the pump. I would be concerned that they could pop off...
AchillesPDX2 years ago
Anyone know how long an Arduino will run off a 9V battery? Seems to me you could throw an AC>DC adapter in the box too and power the Arduino off of it so you have one less thing to forget :)
9V batteries are not that long lasting. I would go with 6x AA or AAA NiMH batteries plus a solar charger on top ;-)
soares.ja2 years ago
You could automate much and protect the pump using a different set of probes to identify if there is still water in the container. While there is water in the container it can enable the pump.