It's been quite a while since I came up with a new project, part of it is me being occupied with running tests and projects for my company and the rest is spent for leisure. This weekend, though, I decided that it was time for me to get back on track.

 

This week's project is a hydroponic plant maintenance system. It utilizes the Intel Edison and the Arduino IDE as a programming platform. Yes, they are compatible, in case you were wondering. The following materials were used in this project:

 

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  • Intel Edison
  • 12V power supply
  • Micro USB cable to program the Edison
  • Laptop with Intel's version of the Arduino IDE
  • Jumper wires
  • 10K Resistor
  • Breadboard
  • Soil hygro detection module
  • Peristaltic Liquid Pump
  • Bottle/Jar of water
  • Power tail switch/relay
  • Electrical tape
  • Breadboarding wires
  • 12V supply

 

Part I.

 

First off, we have to take note of the soil's hygro value that is ideal for the plant, meaning it has enough water to survive, but not too much that we waste this precious resource.

 

Use the Serial Monitor to make a note of the following values which will help you calibrate the sensor:

 

  1. Value of the sensor in a glass of water (in my case the values between 45 and 50) 
  2. Value when not in water, at this point you may want to adjust the values by turing the pot using a screw driver.(ideal value between 700 - 750)
  3. Value in the plant before it is water (value for the plant ) 
  4. Value of the plant once it is watered.

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(Testing sensor values in calibration mode)



Part II.


When all of the tasks have been accomplished, actual assembly can be done on the prototyping board. Pictured below is the exact circuit used. You may assemble it this way. (All Analog)


Temperature Sensor connected to A0 on the expansion board

Hygro Soil Sensor to A1

Photo Cell to A2



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.

Part III.


I used this sketch in order to get the API to work. If you want the raw source, feel free to send me a message.


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Part IV.


The hardware involves adding a pump.When the hygro detects a low soil moisture reading, the pump is automatically activated. See the photo below.


Before anything else, you will need a couple of trials and errors to decide on:

  • The ideal Hygro Soil value to start running the pump 
  • Decide the amount time required to water your plant.

 

Before you complete the circuit connect the power tail to the pump and then connect the it to the wall socket.

Now connect the Edison expansion board to the power supply. In order to determine the time taken to water the plant run a test as shown in the video by connect the red wire to the 5V edge of the breadboard and use the same cup that you used to water the plant before the circuit was build. Make a note of the time in seconds and then connect red wire coming from 1+in of the power tail switch to pin 13 of the expansion board.

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And that's how I built my hydroponic maintenance system! Very nifty, and can be applied to modern gardening setups. The practicality is questionable due to the electronic deficits, but it can most definitely be subsidized with other materials given the time and money to do so.

 

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