Introduction: Modular Hydroponics Homekit With PH Monitor

About: Mechatronics Engineer who loves to implement new ideas. Expertise in mechanical design, electronics, 3D printing, and robotics.

This is a quick prototype that I developed in Veggitech for an Agriculture exhibition show called Agrame. Concept of modular hydroponics home kit has become popular since it allows the small households to grow any plant without worrying about soil. Hydroponics technique helps in plant productivity but it requires more expertise and skill which can make it difficult for beginners to implement. Therefore, I attached a pH & Water Temperature sensor which displays the value on the LCD screen to make it easier. Due to time constraints, I didn't add EC sensors but this is enough for proof of concept.


Materials required:-

1) 1 inch PVC pipe and joint

2) 2 bucket of 75x35cm

3) Homelab pH sensor

4) Aerator

5) Arduino Uno

6) LCD 16x2

7) 5V 2A power supply

8) Acrylic sheet

9) socket plug

10) 5v Grow light

Step 1: Design & Construction

Above is the design for modular hydroponics system. Base and the top part is cut out from a bucket. The Center part is the support made out of pvc pipe. There are 3 cuts made at the bottom of the pipe to remove the sensor, aeration pipe and power supply. Fabrication of plant support and roof were outsourced and made from acrylic. Roof part is hollow and that's where all the electronics will fit in. You can find the drawings with exact dimensions in the pdf.

Step 2: Assembly

You can follow these steps for assembly:-

  1. First the bottom and pipe support were placed together, It is a tight fit and with gravity will be enough.
  2. Then I joined L bracket with silicon to the bottom bucket to create support for plant support. But I would recommend Epoxy since silicon was loosened due to water and broke off after the event.
  3. Put metal support on the pipe to not only hold grow lights but to attach the roof with pipe through nuts and bolt.
  4. Insert a rubber gasket on the edge of roof part and plant support for the aesthetics
  5. Attach the grow lights with cable tie on the metal part below the roof
  6. Use a grinder to make a square cut for LCD screen and now comes the circuit part.

Step 3: Circuit Diagram & Code

Above is a rough circuit diagram in fritzing. It not accurate since I didn't find exact parts in fritzing which I used in the project so I will explain here in detail.

  1. The main power supply is from the AC plug which goes in parallel with DC converter and AC pump
  2. DC supply converts AC to 5V DC and it runs parallel to Arduino, LCD, LED Grow light & pH module

pH module connection you can check on homelab website since it explains more in detail. We need the AC air pump to provide oxygen to the water for plants. Below is Arduino code, don't forget to first calibrate pH sensor by following homelab example code on their website. Unfortunately, I didn't had the correct calibrating solutions so I did use the full capability of sensor and just inserted 6.5 pH value as hardcoded on LCD. But you guys can do better.

Step 4: Conclusion

This is just the tip of the iceberg. There is the potential of hundreds of automation involved in creating a hydroponics system. This is something you can definitely try at home and live a healthy life.

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