In this tutorial we will demonstrate how to setup a custom indoor/outdoor plant feeder system that automatically waters plants and can be monitored remotely using the Adosia platform.
- WiFi controller
- dual water level sensor switches
- a submersible water pump
Step 1: Choose Your Plant
For this project we chose six Japanese Maples, but this feeder system is perfect for whatever you want to grow. We weren't sure how many planters the watering pump would be able to handle, so we decided to start with six.
Step 2: How to Use the Landscaping Tubing
We took the 1/4" outer diameter landscaping tubing we had and ran it from our reservoir pump to each of the plants, with a drip nozzle set up to each plant. You can set your water delivery up however you'd like (drip, spray nozzle, ring, etc).
Step 3: Closing Off the Tubing
To close off the end of the watering line, just add a stopper to the end of the landscaping tube. This end piece simply screws on to the tubing
Step 4: How the Smart Reservoir Works
This is our reservoir we made using a 5 gallon bucket, an Adosia automatic feeder reservoir kit and some 3M 90 contact adhesive to glue the pump to the bottom of the bucket.
We drilled a 1/2" hole about halfway up from the bottom for our warning (horizontal) water level sensor switch. We plan to attach an alert to this level switch so we know when the water is getting low.
We also drilled a 3/8" and 1/4" holes near the top of the bucket so the pump and lower water level sensor switch wires and tube can exit the container. The lower (vertical) water level sensor switch sits on top of the pump (built that way), and we use this switch to let us know when the water is empty and to protect the pump from running dry.
Step 5: Attaching the Enclosure to the Bucket
To attach the enclosure to the bucket, we use some 2-sided adhesive velcro. This enclosure is where we will mount the Adosia WiFi controller. We also added a 2-sided adhesive velcro inside the enclosure for the board to attach to. Just peel the adhesive from the topmost piece and stick the board on.
Step 6: Attaching the Board
Mount the WiFi control board into the enclosure by pressing it agains the adhesive.
Step 7: Measuring the Landscaping Tube
To measure the landscaping tubing, first determine where you want your plants will be, then run the length to where you want your reservoir to be stored. There are two things to keep in mind when doing this step.
One, the longer the landscaping tubing, the harder the pump has to work to get the water to flow to each drip nozzle. Two, make sure the reservoir is stored in a way so that the 3/8" clear tubing is away from sunlight to prevent algae from growing inside the tubes.
Once your location and tube length is determined, just cut the excess landscaping hose with some scissors.
Step 8: Connecting the Clear 3/8" Hose and the 1/4" Landscaping Tubing
Now insert the 1/4" outer diameter black landscaping hose into the 1/4" inner diameter clear tubing (3/8" outer diameter tube). This clear tube needs to be kept out of the light - it's worth considering using a black tube for any tubing that will be exposed to the light (to limit algae growth).
Step 9: Attaching the Wires to the Board
Pictured above shows where each wiring needs to be connected to the WiFi board. The top left (yellow wires) is the lower (vertical) water level sensor switch. The one just to the right is the warning (horizontal) water level sensor switch. The one in the center-left (red/black wires) is the water pump, and the one towards the right of the board is the analog soil moisture sensor.
Step 10: Inserting the Soil Moisture Sensor
Insert the soil moisture sensor into the last pot, this will insure that the water pressure is reaching each planter, including the last pot. We will now check it on the Adosia platform to make sure it works properly.
Step 11: Checking the Adosia Platform to Make Sure the Moisture Sensor Is Working
The system says we missed our target watering level (tried to water 3 times and didn't reach a target moisture level), so we need to calibrate our soil moisture sensor. This will specify the minimum and maximum operating ranges for our moisture sensor.
Step 12: Calibrating the Soil Moisture Sensor
To calibrate the soil sensor, first get it into some dry medium for a few minutes. This will give us our absolute dry readings, and is more accurate than dry air. Let it sit for 1-2 minutes.
Then get the sensor back into the last pot, and drench it with water. This will give us our absolute moist readings in soil, and is more accurate than a full water reading. Again, let it sit for 1-2 minutes.
Step 13: Checking the Calibration
After our device checks in, we have updated 7-day high and low values, so let's enter those to calibrate the minimum and maximum operating ranges for our moisture sensor.
Step 14: Reading the Profile
Now let's double check the profile. This is the water pump setup. We originally had our pump setup to trigger for 300 seconds (5 minutes) so we could adjust our drip nozzles to achieve desired water flow. Now we reduce our trigger runtime for the pump to occur for only 2 minutes for each trigger.
Step 15: Reading the Profile Continued
Here's the setup for the vertical water level sensor switch that protects the pump and represents water empty. We will add an alert when this sensor triggers and set it up to protect our pump.
Step 16: Reading the Profile Continued
Here's the setup for the horizontal water level sensor switch we will use to warn us water is getting low. We just add an alert here and nothing more.
Step 17: Reading the Profile Continued
Here's the setup for the soil moisture sensor. Here we set it to water when the moisture level drops to 7. We will attempt to water so we reach at least level 9 when watering, and will trigger the pump to water up to 3 times when trying to reach that target moisture level.
Step 18: Making Sure the Profile Works
As you can see Boo Boo (the device we are calibrating) is now all green instead of yellow, with no errors, which means everything is now working as it is suppose to.
Step 19: Adding Water to the Reservoir
Now we add some water and some nutrients.
Step 20: Sealing the Reservoir
We seal up the lid and rotate the reservoir so that the clear tubing faces the back (and now out of the light).
Step 21: Testing the Reservoir
As the WiFi board starts to water on soil moisture we can see that each drip nozzle does in fact get the accurate amount of water to each plant. Which means the personal cultivation setup works.
fedwester made it!