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    Mixing Electronics & Water

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    Congratulations to sjmill01 for  Long Shower = Candle Powerurkraft  for (Semi)Automated Plant Irrigation System ,  and mbozdal  for Social Plant Survival Kit .

     

    You are the winners of the Mixing Electronics & Water  project competition from  Project14!

     

    The Mixing Electronics & Water Competition gave you a chance to look for ways to use electronics to do projects that involved water conservation and preventing water contamination. Water shapes life as we know it and it has several properties that are as mysterious as the nature of existence itself. Water covers 70% of the Earth's surface and composes 2/3 of the human body, so its literally everywhere.

     

    Everyone is familiar with H20, even if they don't know exactly what it means.  There is a lot of mystery and unusual properties that make water the strangest chemical in the universe.  Its only with water do you see a solid state floating on a liquid state, such as a glass of water with ice floating on top.

     

    All life rose from the ocean and all life depends on water to survive. Scientists and astronomers know that where there is water, there could be life.  Despite the abundance of water, two of the biggest global challenges we face are water scarcity and preventing water contamination.  While its beyond the scope of this competition to solve these problems, this competition provided a good opportunity to think seriously about water, and how technology can be used to preserve and conserve this most precious resource.

     

    Here are your winners for the Mixing Electronics & Water Competition:

     

    The Winners

     

    Long Shower = Candle Power by sjmill01

     

    Long Shower = Candle Power

     

     

    "Why isn't he trying out for Ben Heck's replacement" - Community Member Judge

     

    "A very documented and  entertaining look at a simple approach to saving water by limiting  shower time." - Community Member Judge

     

     

    "Was a unique approach and would have been cool to have it regulate a switch on the shower to turn it off I thought it certainly was one of the more unique ideas in the group.  Was well scripted video and well presented with great explanations." - Community Member Judge

     

    This project is a good example of how you can use electronics to promote water conservation.  If you're like to take long showers and find that you can easily lose track of time when you're taking one then you'll appreciate this project. It's a shower timing device that uses bathroom lights to signal to you when you've been in it too long.  If you don't get out of the shower, the lights turn off, and stay off.  This project was done with an ESP8266 microcontroller, perfboard, a water temperature probe, 4.7 K resistor to pull the probe chip data line high, two tactile switches, a 3.3V power source, the Arduino IDE with ESP8266, 3.3V FTDI cable, and a smart light switch or bulb.

     

    The two sensors are connected to inputs of the feather, and the water pump is controlled by an output signal from the feather. There are two built in LED’s on the feather:

    • Red: used to indicate that the soil is dry enough to warrant watering
    • Blue: Used to indicate that the bucket is empty (requires a refill of water)

     

    There are three criteria which all have to be met in order to turn on the pump (and water the plant):

    1. There must be water in the bucket
    2. The lack of moisture in the soil must be greater than a specified threshold value
    3. A specified minimum amount of time must have elapsed since the pump was last turned off while watering.

     

    Any one of the following criteria will cause the pump to be turned off:

    • No water left in the bucket
    • The moisture level of the soil is higher than a specified threshold value (this criteria also triggers starting of the timer which keeps track of the amount of time that has elapsed since the pump was turned off).

     

    (Semi) Automated Plant Irrigation System by urkraft

     

    (Semi)Automated Plant Irrigation System

     

     

    "Well documented, clearly explained and with a good video showing both the making-of and the real-world application (very nice I should say)." - Community Member Judge

     

     

     

    "A well executed build that included great features" - Community Member Judge

     

    "Interesting project designed to keep an Olive tree alive and happy." - Community Member Judge

     

    This extremely popular project, is an automated system for watering urkraft 's olive tree.  The main components for this are a soil moisture sensor, a 10 gallon bucket of water with a water level sensor, an Adafruit Feather HUZZAH ESP8266 microcontroller, and a peristalic water pump.

     

     

    The two sensors are connected to inputs of the feather, and the water pump is controlled by an output signal from the feather. There are two built in LED’s on the feather:

    • Red: used to indicate that the soil is dry enough to warrant watering
    • Blue: Used to indicate that the bucket is empty (requires a refill of water)

    There are three criteria which all have to be met in order to turn on the pump (and water the plant):

    1. There must be water in the bucket
    2. The lack of moisture in the soil must be greater than a specified threshold value
    3. A specified minimum amount of time must have elapsed since the pump was last turned off while watering.

    Any one of the following criteria will cause the pump to be turned off:

    • No water left in the bucket
    • The moisture level of the soil is higher than a specified threshold value (this criteria also triggers starting of the timer which keeps track of the amount of time that has elapsed since the pump was turned off).

     

    Social Plant Survival Kit by mbozdal

     

    Social Plant Survival Kit

     

     

    Despite the evidence of the reduced available resources, the author has created a good working system involving certain complexity. The proof video explains almost how well the project works and the running application. - Community Member Judge

     

     

    "Well document project  that uniquely handle keeping a house plant happy, with your help." - Community Member Judge

     

    "A very original approach" - Community Member Judge

     

    "Probably my favorite the post was full of information and code and loved seeing it in action this was the only project I felt would grab the regular person and have them want to experience making with the raspberry pi.  Which is awesome I know other used arduino's and so on but it was that presentation that anyone could make it that made it my favorite in this group. You could really see their love for making in this project which is a breath of fresh air.  - Community Member Judge

     

    mbozdal  has a plant in his room and like many plant owners he's not always able to look after it when he's away.  Plants need love and attention, as well as having their physical needs taken care of. No matter where he happens to be, it's important to him that his plant is watered properly, because without water or with excess water it could die. For this reason, he devised a watering system that will show him the plant status and water when he was absent. If given enough time, it will even send him photos or tweets.

     

    He's got the watering system working per his requirements, later he'll implement some other functions like social media interactions. He provided schematics of the current system.  The reason for using a Raspberry Pi is for the social media functionality, if you want to use his work only for watering than an Arduino would do the same job with less money and energy consumption. Later, he'll look for a correlation between the data and the ehalth of the plant and modify the watering or system itself so he can adopt the best watering time and amount with some learning skills.

     

    System Features:

    It measures the moisture level and warns user via led cloud and email when the water level is low.

    It waters the plant when it gets an email from the user

    It doesn't water more than once in a day to prevent over watering

    It records temperature data every 10 minutes

    It records when the watering warnings occurred and the system is watered

     

    The parts used:

    Raspberry Pi 3 - Arduino is the better use of resource if you don't do more actions. I will add a camera and use Twitter

    12V Water pump

    Relay

    12V to 5V regulator

    DS18B20 waterproof temperature sensor

    Moisture sensor

    LED Cloud

    Jumpers

     

    Honorable Mention

     

    Remote (Water) Temperature Monitoring by ntewinkel

     

    Remote (Water) Temperature Monitoring

     

     

     

     

     

     

    "Great build and steps. Excellent cross checking to verify results" - Community Member Judge

     

     

     

     

    ntewinkel  wanted to keep track of the water level in his pond so he could get a warning when it needed topping out but wound up making a hummingbird feeder instead.  Two things made him go a different route: 1, it's winter and the rain keeps the pond topped up continuously; and 2, I have a temperature sensor already hooked up and giving nice variable data for testing.  He’s got hummingbirds that overwinter here, so they depend on the feeders being available through the winter. The problem is that when the weather gets really cold the feeders can freeze up. One solution locals often use is to hang a light bulb underneath it.

     

    He started out with some very big and ugly tin cans with highish wattage light bulbs under them, but refined it to use a smaller neater setup later, with a smaller lightbulb like the ones used in salt lamps. Originally he had to use a Digispark Oak but after this did not work he used an ESP-01, one of the least expensive WiFi enabled Arduino boards available, instead. The trickiest part of programming the ESP-01 are the physical connections required to hook it up to the Arduino IDE.  After finding some useful diagrams and instructions with some trial and error to do some extra figuring, he found a way to connect and program his ESP-01 using a USB serial adapter set to 3.3v and a mess of wires. He was happily surprised at how well this project turned out for him, and how useful it actually ended up being. He’ll likely be doing more temperature logging of this sort for other purposes later - like keeping track of my holiday trailer interior temperatures (summer and winter both), maybe checking up on pond water conditions, and who knows what else. In addition to temperature logging, it would also not take a lot of changes to record anything else required.

     

     

    Hoppy - An Intelligent Raspberry Pi Irrigation System by 14rhb

     

    HOPPY - An intelligent Raspberry Pi Irrigation System

     

     

     

    "A clever approach using the Met data.  Adding a graphic user interface would be brilliant product." - Community Member Judge

     

     

     

    HOPPY is a very loose interpretation of the H20 Py.  For this project 14rhb , set out for something along the lines of watering plants using a smart system rather than a standard timer. Using a water barrel to irrigate crops would be annoying if it rained the next day. In these situations the water might be wasted instead of being held back for the days when it didn't rain. Watering at night time and directly into the roots would reduce the amount of water lost as run off/through or evaporation (that would be the simple timing part). Lastly, an override button would be good to give a timed burst should the farmer/gardener notice the plants have wilted.

     

     

    He signed up for and got a personal key that he could use to make data enquiries which are returned as either XML or JSON format.  Normally he'd use C or C++ for software dev, but whilst learning the API stuff he might as well also give Python a go.  This project requires a computer, internet access, real time clock and ability to drive at least a 12v solenoid liquid valve, and a few other indicators or moisture/temperature sensors to make the system even smarter. The Raspberry Pi 2 fit the bill really well and he downloaded PyCharm to see what libraries are available to make reading the XML or JSON a bit easier.

     

     

    Salt Water Cell by kk99

     

    Salt water cell

     

     

    "This was like reliving science class so I personally thought it was great bring the old back to the new... All and all I enjoyed the content for this project and thought it hit the target marks." - Community Member Judge

     

     

     

    kk99 shows you how to make a low power device with salt water as a power supply.  For this project he uses two glass containers, two copper electrodes, and two silver electrodes. Voltage generated by this two cell is around 1.5 V.

     

     

    Water Projects bring out some of the best projects on the community so this was competition produced some really amazing projects.  It was a joy to watch these projects come in and hopefully everyone had a fun time while exploring a serious topic of vital importance to everyone!

     

     

    Be sure to congratulate the winners in the comments below!