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    From now until Arduino Day we'll be going through the element14 community and doing roundup posts on Arduino.


    The first round up post is water and irrigation projects and we'll add some more posts such as from Design Challenges as we go along.  Many of the projects in this edition are from the recently completed Mixing Electronics & Water project competition from Project14 .


    (Semi)Automated Plant Irrigation System by urkraft


    If you're like me, the olive tree has always had a certain mystique attached to it.  Olive trees are known for their ability to survive in war, arid environments but they require specific care and water to survive. They require well-drained soil and a sunny position. Olive trees need six hours of direct sunlight with full sun being ideal. They require regular watering in order to thrive.  Although its amongst the most drought resistant trees in the world,it still requires regular watering in order to thrive.  Insufficient water will cause it to suffer, and it could die if left dry for too long. If growing in sandy soil than they will require more watering.



    urkraft made a (semi)automated irrigation to water his olive trees.  It included a soil moisture sensor, a 10 gallon bucket of water with a water sensor, an Adafruit Feather HUZZAH ESP8266 microcontroller, and a peristaltic water pump.  The bucket was used to turn the pump on or off.  For the water pump to turn on there needed to be water in the bucket, the lack of moisture in the soil needed to reach a certain threshold., and a minimum amount of time needed to pass since the pump was last turned off.  To turn the pump off there needed to be no water in the bucket and the moisture level in the soil needed to be greater than the specified threshold.





    Long Shower = Candle Power by sjmill01


    A problem many people face is that when they take a shower it can be hard to get out.  Aside from being late to wherever you need to go, it wastes a lot of water. To solve this problem sjmill01 created a shower timer that turns out the lights and keeps them off when its time to get out of the shower! He walks you through what he did to achieve this using 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.  Once again sjmill01  raises the bar for awesome with some really great videos!






    Remote (Water) Temperature Monitoring by ntewinkel


    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.



    IOT Irrigation valve by idanre1



    idanre1 worked on an IOT irrigation valve that was able to connect to the Internet in order to grab the weather forecast and close an irrigation valve on a rainy day and provide extra feed when it was hot in the summer. He comes from a farming community in a remote part of town where everyone around him is a farmer.  Because of this, getting electrical components wasn't as easy as going to the hardware store, it required having components shipped to him which could take more than a couple of months.  He shared Arduino code for turning the motor on and off via github:



    as well as the perl script that he used to grab the weather from the Internet and communicate with the Arduino:





    Flush-A-Vader by beagles


    beagles helped come up with the Mixing Electronics & Water theme that featured many of the projects on this page.  Flush-A-Vader is a device that reminds people not to flush anything but toilet paper once they've finished their business in the toilet.  As someone that works in the water industry she knew better than to be misled by soft wet wipe style tissues that were being advertised as flushable in the UK. For this project she used an Arduino Uno, an Arduino Adafruit Wave Shield, a Speaker, and a PIR Motion Sensor.  You can check out his project here:


    Project: Flush-A-Vader


    Playing around with the PIR Sensor for Flush-a-Vader


    Soldering and wave shield success!


    Flush-A-Vader Complete






    What round up posts do you want to see around Arduino?

    Let us know and suggest posts to feature in upcoming roundups in the comments below!