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Topic: Firsttimer trying plantmonitoring shortterm & home automation in the longrun (Read 403 times) previous topic - next topic

zanerelice

Again, I am a complete newbee regarding iot stuff. Sorry for all the dumb questions and thanks for all your contributions in this topic to help me get started.

Before I came to this forum, someone on another website suggested to go for a nodecmu esp8266 wifi-module to monitor each tomatoplant i.c.w. an arduino at the time. You guys also dropped an argument for the esp8266 modules in discussing the Raspberry Pi as an alternative hub, which you suggested as better suited for homeautomation and datalogging. Seeing the concensus about the esp8266 no matter which platform-hub, is it safe to assume that going for an nodecmu esp8266 module to monitor 3 parameters regarding a tomatoplant is a good way to approach tomatoplant-challenge?
Then atleast I will have chosen a communicationprotocol and a component for both wireless monitoring-devices. I could start with engineering a fully functioning monitoringdevice for 3 parameters before making it even more complicated then it allready is.

The cost of these components seems really low and it is not even blackfriday yet! 8)

€ 15,00 esp8266 module + starterkit with cables+breadboard etcetc
€ 01,00 two soilmoisture probes
€ 02,50 a second esp8266 module

Hopefully a nodecmu esp8266 has enough i/o's for 3 measurements no matter which version, they probably do right?

I have not found a ph probe in a store yet, but I can make one myself according to youtube. Maybe when I understand the basic technological stuff behind IOT home automation, I could retrofit a standard soilmoisture/ph meter to IOT. Those measuring probes look nicer then a pcb with some copper on it and it can also measure ph.

When the time comes that I finished 2 fully functioning monitoring devices, I probably will have a better understanding about iot/arduino/raspberrypi and other alternatives. Is this a good approach to go about?

marine_hm

My 1st Raspberry Pi Was the Zero W.  I configured it as an access point and MQTT server.  Still working strong at almost a year in service 24-7. Total of about $25. Wemos D-1 Minis are about $4.00 each.  Then when you want to grow up.  Get the Raspberry Pi3 B for $35.  Now you have a milestone that can handle all your automations, sensing and whatever else you may want to do with it.  You won't regret it.

I think you can get 1 Wemos to collect readings from 8 sensors then Publish that data via MQTT.  You can save the data to a SD card.  Set up Home Assistant to water the plants when the soil sensor meets a certain range or just send you a text that the plants need watering.

It's still LOW COST.  And there's tons of help out there to get you going.  You can do this!!!

wildbill

I'd suggest you get started with your proposed hardware. The plan will change as you experiment, learn and probably destroy components. No need to over think it at this stage.

xl97

I'd suggest you get started with your proposed hardware. The plan will change as you experiment, learn and probably destroy components. No need to over think it at this stage.
^ ditto.
its good to have the knowledge and understanding of how to expand (with less headache over-all)..  but for now.. your current small term project is fine with a couple $2.00 ESP modules..

zanerelice

I will start with making a wireless monitoring station for 3 paramaters with an ESP8266 module. I'll eventually even try that MQTT stuff what marine_hm suggested. Wemos D-1 Mini is still being sold, so I will even get the same component and be sure "it could work" prehand.

Thx guys! You helped me alot.

Have a nice day.

zanerelice

I found some nice interesting websites and youtube video's. MQTT on a esp8266+sdcard does not look that hard anymore. It is doable, i got this!

This is what i found for connecting an SC-card and getting data logged on that sdcard (iirc it had a local MQTT server).



And I found a project with 3 sensors connected to an esp8266.



I only have to combine 3 projects to get it up and running. I am hopefull.

zanerelice

One last question for atleast 1 month timespan. Below you can see my shoppinglist for plantmonitoring with an esp8266.



Typed out: 3x lightsensor-modules, 3x soil-moisturesensor-modules, 3x sdcard-modules, 3x ESP8266 ch340 wifi modules, 1x set of cables, 1x breadboard & 1x 3.3V/5V MB102 powersupply-module. I bought every component 3 times so that I can ruin 1 of each and still end up with 2 plantmonitoring-stations.

Did I forget anything vital or made a mistake in my shoppinglist or am I good to go?

E_rik

On ebay they sell cheap weight sensors...you can put the plant in a pot and let arduino weigh it all the time and send the signal to you by wifi. So you can make charts for temperature and how much the plants drink/grow.

zanerelice

On ebay they sell cheap weight sensors...you can put the plant in a pot and let arduino weigh it all the time and send the signal to you by wifi. So you can make charts for temperature and how much the plants drink/grow.
That is a nice idea, but i decided beforehand that i would only monitor parameters that I could alter. That basically means watering, ph value (nurishment) and the amount of light because my tomatoplants are all in pots so I could move them around.
All the other stuff is neat and cool, but it does not let influence the tomatoproduction without extra cost. So i really try to minize technology where the benefits are minor in relation to how I manage my tomatogarden.
When the time comes that I have a raspberryhub running, then it could be cool tho because I would have an interface in the room and a nice layout with some extra info. But till that time, I will minize sensors where I can.

To add/edit: Just bought all the stuff above and 1 extra package of resistors/potentiometers/leds and some buttons for €2,--, it takes about 30 days to arrive according to aliexpress so i have time enough to read up.

dave-in-nj

I find that no matter what I expect, something will be different before the end.

I would offer that your parts list would get you a good go at results.
make it work, get the results and if you want to alter things, by all means you will have some knowledge and background.

IMHO, the soil moisture sensor is a disposable device, one growing season only.
the CHIRP is capacitance and less than $20.00, you will get years out of it.
get the cheap one,  $5 for $5 and you have 5 seasons, ready to go.


E_rik

That is a nice idea, but i decided beforehand that i would only monitor parameters that I could alter. That basically means watering, ph value (nurishment) and the amount of light because my tomatoplants are all in pots so I could move them around.
All the other stuff is neat and cool, but it does not let influence the tomatoproduction without extra cost. So i really try to minize technology where the benefits are minor in relation to how I manage my tomatogarden.
When the time comes that I have a raspberryhub running, then it could be cool tho because I would have an interface in the room and a nice layout with some extra info. But till that time, I will minize sensors where I can.

To add/edit: Just bought all the stuff above and 1 extra package of resistors/potentiometers/leds and some buttons for €2,--, it takes about 30 days to arrive according to aliexpress so i have time enough to read up.
Yes the costs can add-up fast. You could even build the pot on motorised wheels so they drive themselves to a place with the right amount of light/temperature in the garden.

Controlling ph is a hard one to tackle. Best is to mix good soil in advance.

And tomato's like potassium, potassiumsulfate is a very good fertilizer for them.

I have a potplantmeter here (cheap one) but that doens't measure ph properly, a good one costs 100 us$ or more. Even moisture it doesn't measure well that's why i was thinking about the weightsensors. With those you can see how much water evaporates every hour and compare it to temp and sunlight.

I grow many fruittree's in large pots (rare tropical ones) but watering  is done by sprinklercomputer from Gardena. You can build one of those easy with a solenoid watervalve connected to the tap and arduino controlling the valve. Best results you'll get by a drippingsystem, arduino can fillup a watertank which drips slowly on the pots.






zanerelice

Yes the costs can add-up fast. You could even build the pot on motorised wheels so they drive themselves to a place with the right amount of light/temperature in the garden.
Funny yes and I actually could! :D

Controlling ph is a hard one to tackle. Best is to mix good soil in advance. And tomato's like potassium, potassiumsulfate is a very good fertilizer for them.

I have a potplantmeter here (cheap one) but that doens't measure ph properly, a good one costs 100 us$ or more. Even moisture it doesn't measure well that's why i was thinking about the weightsensors. With those you can see how much water evaporates every hour and compare it to temp and sunlight.
I saw a ph meter for 10 euro on ali-express but thought it was too expensive seeing the price I paid for all the other parts (I bought for 20 times less). So I will make a ph indicator myself and fiddle around with it, the goal is not a precise measurement but an indication, so it does not have to be that accurate. Thx for the tip about the potassium!

I grow many fruittree's in large pots (rare tropical ones) but watering  is done by sprinklercomputer from Gardena. You can build one of those easy with a solenoid watervalve connected to the tap and arduino controlling the valve. Best results you'll get by a drippingsystem, arduino can fillup a watertank which drips slowly on the pots.
That is a nice idea. I live in the Netherlands, we have rain frequently. So I was thinking about using a barrel as a reservoir at 1m height above the ground. Then use the force of gravity for watering the plants. 2 measdurements means to wateringgroups, it seems viable I think. There will not be alot of pressure in the wateringsystem itself so it will take longer, but that is fine. But I do not mind watering plants by hand, so for now these luxurious watering systems will just have to wait. 1 milestone at a time!

zanerelice

My chinashop-order came in the mailbox today: 18 euro in total and it was delivered in 10 days.



I guess I can slowly start being a nerd again. 8)  :smiley-lol:


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