This tutorial shows you how to build a customized WiFi-connected self watering planter using an old garden planter, a trash can, some adhesive and an Self Watering Pot Subassembly Kit from Adosia.
- plastic trash can
- plastic planter
- Adosia kit: water pump with water level switch, soil moisture sensor, WiFi control board w/ power adapter, 3/8" outer diameter / 1/4" inner diameter tube, and 1/4" tube watering ring
Step 1: Prepping the Planter and Trash Can
The first thing we did was drill a 3/8" hole in the water reservoir (trash can). We drilled another 1/4" hole in the reservoir and placed a piece of velcro adhesive right above which is where we will mount our Adosia board. For the planter we drilled a single 3/8" hole along the top rim of our soil container.
Step 2: Prepping the Submersible Water Pump
Next we took the submersible water pump and used sandpaper to scuff the bottom of it. This will help the the pump bond well with the bottom of the trash can when we apply the 3M contact adhesive.
Step 3: Scuffing the Bottom of the Trash Can
We used the sandpaper again to scuff the bottom of the water reservoir where we will be bonding the submersible pump / water level sensor switch assembly.
Step 4: Connecting the Tubing to the Submersible Water Pump
Now we take the 3/8" outer diameter / 1/4" inner diameter tubing and connect it to the top of submersible water pump. We want to do this before gluing the pump to the bottom of the trash can.
Step 5: Gluing the Pump to the Trash Can
Spray the trash can in the area you scuffed with the adhesive spray, and at the same time, spray underneath the water pump as well. Wait about 30-45 seconds, then firmly press the water pump / level switch assembly onto the bottom of the reservoir, being careful to keep the wiring out of the contact adhesive. Hold the pump assembly down by hand for 20-40 seconds before releasing, or you can carefully place a weight on top of the pump assembly. Allow to dry for at least 20 minutes.
Step 6: Pulling the Wires Through the Holes
This is what the reservoir looks like with the water pump / level switch assembly attached to the bottom. Once everything is dried, pull the pump wiring and the level switch wiring through the 1/4" hole we drilled earlier.
Step 7: Pulling Through the 3/8" Tubing
After pulling the wires through the 1/4" hole, we will push the 3/8" outer diameter tubing out through the 3/8" hole in the reservoir we drilled earlier.
Step 8: Mounting the WiFi Control Board
Pull off the plastic protector from the other half of the velcro adhesive, and place it on the back of the enclosure unit for the WiFi control board.
Step 9: Connecting the Wires to the Board
We mount the board enclosure base to the velcro that was previously placed on the reservoir and start to connect the wires onto the board. Plug in the water level sensor switch (yellow wires) to the top left. Then plug in the submersible water pump into the left-center channel on the board. A second pump could be plugged into the right-center channel if we needed more water flow or pressure.
Step 10: Adding the Soil and Plant
This is the bottom of our planter container. We added a plastic screen to help filter out soil medium from draining back into the pot with the recycled water.
Step 11: Placing the Planter Onto the Reservoir
Now that we've got our soil and plant in our pot, you can place the planter onto the reservoir. The 3/8" hole drilled into the garden pot rim needs to be vertically aligned with the 3/8" hole drilled into the water reservoir so that the tubing can easily be attached and pulled through.
Step 12: How Far to Fill the Reservoir
You can seal the holes drilled in the reservoir if you want with some glue, but we chose not to since we simply plan to avoid filling the reservoir above where the holes are drilled.
Step 13: Guiding the 3/8" Tube Through the Hole
Now that the planter and trash can are together, guide the 3/8" tubing up and back through the 3/8" hole in the rim of the garden pot soil container as shown. Once that is done, we can now insert the soil moisture sensor into the soil.
Step 14: Connecting the Soil Moisture Sensor
Once the soil moisture sensor is inserted, guide it's connector wires back out through the 3/8" hole where the watering tube now resides. Now plug the soil moisture sensor into the Adosia WiFi control board. Make sure the blue wire is oriented downwards and the black wire towards the top of the board (as shown). This image shows the three things need to plug in - the level switch, the water pump and the moisture sensor.
Step 15: Connecting the Watering Ring
Now we can add the watering ring. This watering ring has tiny holes drilled around the bottom, so make sure the holes are pointing downwards. Once we placed it around the plant, we can now connect the watering ring to the 3/8" inner diameter tubing coming up from the pot reservoir. On a side note, you could also use a drip connection if you'd prefer.
Step 16: Powering the Planter Up
Now we're ready to power up the planter. Just simply plug in the power cord onto the Adosia board.
Step 17: How to Program You Board
Now we program it. The first image (left) we set the pump to run on a trigger (not yet specified), and to run for 20 seconds when it is triggered.
The second image (right) we set the water level sensor switch to protect the water pump. This will prevent the pump from ever running dry which would permanently damage the pump. We also set the water level sensor switch up to send alert notification when we need to add more water to the reservoir.
Watch the full video on YouTube to see how to setup the moisture sensor. That's what we'll use to actually trigger the pump into action.
Step 18: Testing the System
After our pot gets its new profile data, we will test it by pulling out the moisture sensor and drying it off to trick the pot into thinking the soil is really dry. If everything is working ok, this will force the pot to water, which it does. See right image for reference.
Step 19: The Finished Product
The first image is the finished self watering WiFi pot we just created. The second one is one we made and gave to mom.
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fedwester made it!