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    TI Plant Booster Giveaway

    element14 Presents  | Project14  |  Solar Power Devices


    In the Comments Below:  Let us know how you would Inspire People's Interest in Energy Efficiency or Resource Conservation!



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    The Winner

    Congratulations to karthickiot !


    You are the Winner of the TI Plant Booster: Indoor Plant Light Compensator!

    Grand Prize Entry


    Plants feeder IoT device in horticulture

    Horticulture plant growth

    Sunlight is an essential source of energy to plants and crop to grow and to give good yields for agriculturists. Farmers grow crop in horticulture's to protect them from the damaging pests, safe from the small creatures and insects without using the harmful pesticides. But, the main problem is the source of light to the horticulture cultivation in an in-house environment. There, it needs a specific automated controller to control the environmental conditions, to keep the suitable and sustainable conditions for the plants and crop growth. I thank to the Ben Heck’s TI Launchpad Plant Booster 256 Episode showing the possible way to protect the plants and crops through his experiment in in-house conditions. I wonder, when I watched a situation in the movie “THE MARTIAN” how the astronaut grow potato crop on MARS planet soil. Now, I would like to execute the way in a different innovation method to provide the artificial light to plants in the horticulture colony.   

    I would like to design an innovative Plants feeder IoT device in horticulture and make use of the TI MSP430 WiFi/Bluetooth Launchpad and the Temperature sensor, Humidity sensor, Pressure sensor, CO2 sensor, soil moisture sensor, Ambient light sensor, Relays, Bi-color RB (Red-Blue) LEDs, Real-time clock, Solenoid valves, Buzzers/alarm, Hex Keypad, Battery management chip, Solar panels.

    TI MSP430 WiFi/Bluetooth Launchpad: The master controller which control the actuators like relays, valves, etc. and read the data from sensors like temperature, pressure, humidity, CO2, light, soil moisture sensor, etc. The necessary action can be taken to feed the food to plants in in-house horticulture. WiFi/Bluetooth on-board chip is used to send or receive the data from the Smartphone app to know the status of the environment whether the system is maintain suitable conditions or not can be monitor remotely.


    Temperature sensor: Temperature is the major factor which influences the plants growth so temperature measurement is an essential parameter to be known time to time. The temperature measurement can be done with the TI Digital sensor and can communicate to TI Launch pad with I2C mode.

    Humidity sensor: This is also another factor which helps for plant growth and the sensor is interfaced to the Launchpad to I2C pins.

    Pressure sensor: This environmental parameter is also one of the suitable parameter to be maintained in the in-house. The sensor is interfaced to the TI MSP430 to the GPIO pins in I2C mode.

    Soil moisture sensor: Soil moisture sensor is the important parameter to monitor the water content in the soil which will be used by the plants to prepare food and to sustain its life. This sensor is interface to the ADC port of the Launchpad to monitor the soil moisture.

    CO2 sensor: Plants need CO2 to prepare food so an amount of CO2 is to be maintained the quantity can be monitor with the sensor which is interface to the Launchpad.

    Ambient light sensor: Light is the necessary to prepare food and photosynthesis that to be happen in plants so an ambient light is to me maintained. A Digital ambient sensor can be connected to the GPIO pins of Launchpad.

    Relays: Bi-color RB LEDs Light Compensator ON/OFF, water Pump set ON/OFF, Solenoid Valve ON/OFF. The relays are controller from the GPIO pins used for lighting, watering and supplying the food to the crops in-time.

    Bi-color RB (Red-Blue) LEDs: Red & Blue color LEDs are used to prepare food for flowering, fruits and for vegetation growth. A common LED as Bi-color RB LED are available in market to make cost effective and low power consumption light compensator for plants.

    Real-time clock: The timing is set to control the light intensity, watering, food supplying, etc. A real-time clock gives an idea to supply all the needed food on-time

    Solenoid valves: While watering the plants this helps to control the flow rate not to over water the plants and not to under water. These valves can be control through relays by the MSP430 Launchpad.

    Buzzers/alarm: Alert the agriculturist when there is an error occurred in the process.

    Hex Keypad: Timing is set to water plants, set time for light supply, intensity to be selected, tart and stop process.

    Battery management chip: This can be used to draw power from solar panel and store in battery and can be utilized to power the plant feeder device in the horticulture. TI BOOSTER pack is available to plug-it to the MSP430 Launchpad.

    Solar panels: To draw power from the sun, this can be used to power the device and the LEDs. As sun gives the free renewable energy it can be utilized to power the LED light and the controlling device.

    The present innovative design idea is suitable for the crops being produced in protected growing environments, lights can be tailored to increase produce growth and crop flowering. Bi-color RB LEDs are more effective than white light in facilitating biomass growth in horticulture, helping growers produce larger plants. LEDs and growing indoors allow growers to minimize the distance between the farm and consumers. The system can also help with energy savings, "reducing electricity consumption compared to the previous high-pressure sodium lighting systems, while simultaneously enhancing crop taste and yield.

    In my opinion this project idea can be useful in the in-door gardens, nursery, horticulture, in restaurants, etc place where plants can be kept for showcase, distribution for farmers, growing the fruits and flowers. As an experience person in programming the hardware kits like MSP430 Launchpad, Arduino boards and designing the PCB layers for the hardware setup for the automatic controlling devices, the Plants feeder IoT device in horticulture can be easily designed with an advanced options to control and an Smartphone app created using Blynk app is used to monitor the horticulture environmental conditions remotely. It will be a good opportunity to me showcase my project idea like Ben Plant Booster Episode.


    As many of you know,  Ben Heck,  whose been around for about as long as the community has been around, retired last month. element14 presents will continue the tradition started with element14's The Ben Heck Show Friday releases with new Project Videos such as a Episode 349: Raspberry Pi Selfie Rocket by MAYER MAKES - Clem Mayer , Episode 356: Bank to the Future with Arduino & TI by Bald Engineer - James Lewis , Episode 352: Pripyat - DIY Geiger Counter by AirborneSurfer - Matt Eargle , Episode 353: Program Your Own FPGA Video Game by Andy West , and we've got more entertaining videos from project builders in the future.  The past year also saw the introduction of Wednesday releases with the  The Learning Circuit and sudo Sergeant where you can get your command line on with Felix, learn basics with makerkaren, and learn how to build more advanced STEM projects with daftmike .


    In the past,  we've given away builds from past episodes of the  element14's The Ben Heck Show .  We've got a closet full of old builds that Ben never got a chance to give away.    Rather than just let them sit there, we're going to honor the past, while welcoming the future, with the first giveaway for element14 presents. It's a TI Plant Booster as seen on Episode 256: Ben Heck’s TI Launchpad Plant Booster Episode.  Many of you showed a lot of interest in energy efficiency and resource conversation, picking Solar Power Devices in  Project14 | You Decide the Next Monthly Project Competition! Low on Energy, projects that are energy efficient.  We're going to play on these themes, giving you a chance to win a light compensator that provides light for indoor plants when the Sun is not able to!



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    Watch the Full Episode:






    The Heat Is On: Tell us how you would Inspire interest in others in energy efficient or resource conservation!


    To win tell us how you would inspire others interest in energy efficiency or resource conservation.  Inspiration can take many forms.  It could be a  Solar Power Devices project you are working on, it could be an energy efficiency project you've done such as Long Shower = Candle Power from sjmill01 to make sure you're not using too much water,  an idea you have to get people interested in being more energy efficient or conserving resources, or something you're doing to bring awareness to this important issue.


    Feel free to check out Project14 | The Heat Is On: Harvest the Energy of the Sun to Build Solar Devices! for a roundup of past projects for ideas and inspiration!


    Visit Project14 for a chance to win shopping cart dollars to any element14 store and the chance to win additional electronics for building projects!



    Step 1:  Log in or register on element14, it's easy and free.

    Step 2: Post in the comments section below and share your projects, ideas, or experience with Energy Efficiency or Resource Conservation. Videos, pictures and text are all welcomed forms of submission.

    Step 3:  Check out Solar Power Devices or the conservation projects for inspiration on things to discuss or projects to build!


    We will accept entries until 3:00pm CDT September 24th, 2018 and announce our winner October 3rd 2018.