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Smarter Life

10 Posts authored by: wireb
After fighting with the SD card code for two weeks (when they say it only works with <2GB they mean the card type on the partition size. Only had a 4GB card so formatted it to a 1Gb partition and still did not work. Turns out the way the guts of the SD card work changes over 2GB) I finally have a setup that takes readings every 15 minutes and logs them to a SD card. Also added a small chunk of code to cycle the RGB led to the next of 7 colors on every reading as a status indicator. Right now ...
Well spent most of last Friday evening and this evening working on the firmware for the moisture sensor. By the end of Friday night (around 3am) was ready to pull all my hair out. Was seeing what I thought was my code getting stuck in some sort of reset loop. During the Google hangout session today I found out that others where seeing similar issues with the serial port. During the call I had the issue recreate again. So while I had them on the spot I did some quick debugging. What I found was ...
Finally got all packed from Thanksgiving and having a good leg day so decided to get down to the shop and work on building up the sensor boards.   Here are the boards as they arrived from OSH park. Went with the minimum order of 3 for now until I am sure no other changes are needed on the boards.   Manually applied the solder paste (direct from the syringe) and placed the first part (LED1).   Boards all placed and ready for the reflow oven.   Boards loaded in ...
Well the Thanksgiving plan was a bust. Parts arrived as I was packing up the car to leave so did not get the cards built and running before I left. Back now and have all the parts and raw cards so should be able to build them up this week. Got a bonus present from cypress of some PsoC 4 and 5s in the mail today. Unfortunately they are lead-less quad flats with a thermal pad so not the most user friendly package.   Spent 3 hours beating my head against why my simple "hello world" uart code ...
Well finally sat down and cracked open the PSoC4 box and decided to start on the software side of the project.   After a little searching around I finally found the down load on Cypress website. (After the fact I found the direct link on the 100 projects page.) Installation was strait forward and went about as expected. Grabbed one of the demo projects, loaded up the project, plugged the PSoC4 into my PC, and programmed it. And just like that I had a blinking LED.   Next tried t ...
Got some work done on the sensor boards today. Here is the logic diagram: As you can see the Moisture sensor end of the design is very simple. Just a CMOS 555 timer set up in astable mode. Resistor values of R1 and R2 were chosen experimentally in my last post to result in a 10kHz to 20kHz output from a 5" probe. Other than that just a LED power indicator and some decoupling caps. I am intentionally trying to make the probe as small and cheap as possible. This will be in direct / indirect c ...
wireb

Moisture sensor testing

Posted by wireb Nov 10, 2013
Sorry for the lack of updates still dealing with leg issues and unfortunately lately the pain has been winning .   I was able to get some time in my shop today and did some more testing with my prototype sensor.   Using a 8" sensor probe with ~1 twist per inch I got the following results Media location 1 location 2 location 3 Free air 17.15kHz 17.15kHz 17.15kHz Dry dirt 16.75kHz 16.80kHz 16.70kHz Nominal dirt 11.5kHz 10.76kHz 10.15kHz Wet dirt 9.13kHz 9.42kHz 9.14kHz Glass of wate ...
wireb

Sample prep

Posted by wireb Nov 4, 2013
Well still dealing with some leg issues and was stranded in bed most of the weekend. But I did make a little progress on the watering system.   First thing I mixed up a batch of potting soil. I used a 2.5:1 topsoil to vermiculite. Decided to go down this path when reading how most sensors are sensitive to mineral content. Most of my plants are planted in a similar mix so this should be a good representation of the final application. From there I created 3 containers of dirt and weighed the ...
wireb

Delivery and some links

Posted by wireb Oct 30, 2013
Look what came in the mail today:   And here are the poor neglected plants   And found a few good links on the various types of soil moisture sensors I though I would share. http://test.gardenology.org/wiki/Measure_Soil_Moisture#Soil_Electrolyte_Meters and http://micah.waldste.in/blog/2010/09/grow_with_arduino_far_too_much_on_moisture_sensing/   Next up need to experiment with some soil and probes.  ...
New to this whole blog thing so please excuse any spelling / grammar issues.   My smarter life project idea is an intelligent house plant watering system. Initial goal is to build a system that can monitor soil moisture of my small collection of house plants and dispense water as needed. Currently that typically only gets done when I think of it which is usually after there is major wilting. The system will need to be self sufficient or at the very least be able to alert me when maintenan ...