Introduction: SerreMatic (An Automated Greenhouse)
Did you ever forget to give your plant some water or did you ever forget to put your plant somewhere else when it gets too hot at that place? Then the SerreMatic is what you need! SerreMatic is a greenhouse that automatically does everything you need to do to take care of your plants.
The SerreMatic has all kinds of sensors that are monitoring the weather, such as the temperature and light levels. There are also moisture sensors that are monitoring the humidity of the dirt and combined with an irrigation system it gives your plants water when they need it.
The Temperature sensors are monitoring the temperature of the inside and the outside of the greenhouse. When the temperature of the greenhouse gets too hot a fan activates and a hatch in the ceiling opens to lower the temperature to a reasonable temperature.
When it gets too dark outside a LED strip in the top of the roof activates. This gives you vision at night and gives the plants more light so they can grow faster.
With all this monitoring equipment the SerreMatic will makes growing your plants much easier and will provides you time to do something else.
In the next of this instructable I will guide you to make your own SerreMatic and show you how I made this automated greenhouse.
Step 1: BOM (bill of Material)
In this list, you can find everything I used to make this greenhouse. Most of the parts you can buy online (www.Banggood.com) and everything else you can find it in your local hardware store.
Step 2: Choosing Materials
If you buy a greenhouse at the store the materials mostly are plastic and some kind of translucent foil for the roof. These materials are often fragile. So, the materials that I've chosen to use are: plexiglass for the roof and sides, wood for the bottom and aluminum L plates to join the plexiglass and wood together.
I've chosen plexiglass because it’s an easy material to work with, it's translucent so the sun can shine right through the glass and it's also very firmly. One negative property is that the surface of the plexiglass scratches easily.
The L plates must keep everything together, therefore they must be very strong. That's why I've chosen aluminium. Aluminium is a very light metal and it's very sturdy. So it's perfect to connect everything together.
Step 3: Building the Outside Structure
Here are the steps I've taken to make the outside structure:
- First of all, I've chosen the dimensions of the contraption to make (this can be whatever you want). When I got the dimensions I started to cut out the wooden plank for the bottom.
- Then I used the bottom plank to cut out the side plexiglass panels.
- When the side panels were cut out I've chosen an angle for the roof and cut out the roof panels.
- When everything was ready I started to make the L plates to the correct length and then mount them to the corners to connect everything together.
- When everything was put together, the basic structure was built. It looked something like this (photo above).
Step 4: Installing Inside Sensors
To install the sensors you can follow the steps I've taken. Also you will need a drill for the fan port and holes and some screws and nuts.
- At all corners inside I installed cable ducts so all the cables can be covered and kept in place.
- Next I've cut out a hole in the side and placed a fan on top of the hole. For aesthetic and safety reasons I've placed a fan cover on top of the fan. The cover prevents large objects from touching the spinning blades.
- In the corner of the roof at the back side I attached one of the one wire temperature sensors with a plastic cable clamp and a cable tie.
- Next to the fan I've placed the humidity sensors with an extra bit of cable so they can reach the other side of the greenhouse.
- Also on the roof I've placed a LED strip with double-sided tape.
Step 5: Installing the Servo for Opening and Closing the Hatch
To install the servo for the roof I had to cut out a rectangle in the roof. On the edge of the rectangle I installed 2 hinges. When that was done I took the rectangle and I reattached it to the roof so that the hinges are facing to the top of the roof.
After that I took a sheet of aluminium and made a bracket to fit the servo sideways to the roof next to the hatch. I made sure that when the arm of the servo swings open it won't hit the edge of the roof but only the hatch. Now, when the servo moves up, the hatch opens and when the servo moves down the hatch closes. The cable of the servo is routed to one of the cable holders next to it.
Step 6: Installing the Irrigation System
To install the irrigation system I needed a pump and some tubes. I used a tube which is used for pneumatic machines and an aluminium tube because it's easy to use and easy to bend.
First I took a rectangular container to put the water in. In the side of the container I made a hole and I placed a fitting inside of it and then I connected a piece of tube to it. I connected the other end of the tube to the intake of the pump that's on the side of the pump.
When that was done I took the aluminium tube and bend it into the shape of the container where the plants are growing in. To bend the tube I used a piece of wire and stick it inside the tube. I did that to prevent it from deforming while bending. To sprinkle the water over the plant I drilled 20 holes with a diameter of 1.5mm in the bottom of the aluminium tube.
To connect the irrigation tube and the pump together I used another piece of tube and connected it to the top of the pump where the outtake is located. Then I connected the other side to the aluminium tube that I've attached to the side of the greenhouse with plastic cable holders and cable ties.
Step 7: Making Adapter Board for Controlling LED,Fan,Pump
The pump, fan and led are working on 12V DC but the raspberry Pi can only deliver 3,3V. In order to control those things I needed some kind of electronic switch to enable and disable the supply to those components.
First I wanted to use relays but I needed 5 relays and because they were expensive, big and bulky I decided to use mosfets. Mosfets are electronic switches. When a voltage is applied at the gate of the mosfet current can flow from the drain to the source.
Because the mosfets needs 12V DC on the gate to switch I used a transistor. The transistor is almost the same as the mosfet but you use current to control the transistor. The transistor is hooked up to one of the output pins of the raspberry pi.
So when an output is low the current can't flow to the transistor but only to the mosfet. This means that the fan, pump and LED will get 12V and will start to work. If the output of the raspberry pi is high current can flow to the transistor so the mosfet is disabled and the led, fan and pump won't work.
For security reasons I added another transistor. This transistor ensures that when the output of the raspberry pi is low the led, pump and fan won't work and when the output is high they will activate. So when the greenhouse is turned of nothing will work.
Step 8: Wiring Everything Together
First I've laid all of the components on a piece of paper to see how I wanted it to look like. When I was satisfied about the look and placement of every component I traced the outside on the paper and transferred it to a piece of plexiglass.
When the plexiglass was cut out I traced it again on another piece of plexiglass to make the top cover. Then I mounted all of the components to one of the plexiglass sheets with bolts and nuts. I secured the other sheet of plexiglass with standoffs to the bottom piece of glass. This protects the electronic components. After everything was secured I started to wire everything up. If all of the cabling was done I took the whole structure and mounted it to one of the sides of the greenhouse.
On top of it I placed a connector so it was easy to connect all of the sensors with the other electronic components. The connector makes it easy to troubleshoot any connection.
Step 9: Setting Up RaspberryPI
In order to work with the RaspberryPi we need a micro SD card with an OS. I chose RASPBIAN JESSIE WITH PIXEL as the OS.
When everything is setup you can connect the RaspberryPi to the internet and install mysql server and mysql client make a user and give it a password. (This is a good link to a tutorial to install mysql on the pi)
Step 10: Installing the Code
Download the code from GitHub and place it on the RaspberryPi with PyCharm when that is done you can run it and go to a computer at the same network and type the RaspberryPi IP adress in with :5000 at the end.
Step 11: Final
Step 12: How to Use
Now I'm going to explain to you how to startup the SerreMatic.
- You need to plug the two wires one from the power supply and one from the RaspberryPi into the wall socket.
- When you see on the front the IP-address and the port number the greenhouse is fully operational.
- Now you can go to a web-browser on the same network of the pi and type the IP-address and port number in. It will look something like this "192.168.1.40:5000" when you typed it in and pressed enter you will see the site of the SerreMatic.
On the "ABOUT" page of the website you can read how to use the website.
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