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1  Using Arduino / Sensors / Moisture sensor - Why it needs a transistor/capacitor? on: June 24, 2012, 12:34:51 pm
Hi,
I am just beginning with Arduino and simple electronics. I am looking into ideas for moisture sensor. Here are two schematics but i have some elementary queries:

-http://www.botanicalls.com/archived_kits/twitter/
How does the transistor help in this circuit and why is it used here?

-http://gardenbot.org/howTo/soilMoisture/
Why is a capacitor (noise filter) used here and what would it accomplish here?

I was thinking of simply using the one at http://www.arduino.cc/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1255471714/


2  Using Arduino / Project Guidance / Re: Watering 8-10 pots intelligently. Where to begin? on: June 23, 2012, 12:24:37 pm
Hmm this pump also looks interesting, but if my link is a similar one, then ill prefer that due to ease of availability.

So, people, any recommendation for the board apart from the Uno? Is there any board which already has some parts on it, which I need for this project? Maybe like relay, wifi etc.
3  Using Arduino / Project Guidance / Re: Watering 8-10 pots intelligently. Where to begin? on: June 23, 2012, 10:22:57 am
I was wondering if I can use this pump - http://www.ebay.in/itm/BEST-Water-Pump-Desert-Air-Cooler-warranty-Lowest-Price-/150806978642?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_203&hash=item231ccbe052#ht_1497wt_905
4  Using Arduino / Project Guidance / Watering 8-10 pots intelligently. Where to begin? on: June 23, 2012, 12:51:38 am
Hello,
I have been a mute follower of Arduino since long, and there is a (possibly very common) wish project which I wish to endeavor using it. This is going to be my first attempt at Arduino, and though I am a software engineer, but am not in touch with electronics much. With that as a disclaimer, please hear me out and suggest the best course to for me to begin.

I live in an apartment, and need to save my plans in the balcony from drying up every time I go on a vacation. I have the following things in mind:
I need to water about 8 pots .Some need more water, some need less water. Some may need water twice a day, some may need water just once in 2 days. I would want my project to water the plants on schedule, but be also able to report statistics, and I may monitor using web interface and force water the plants too from there.

I am thinking of a setup where maybe ill group my plants into 2 or 3 sets depending on water requirement. So there will be 2-3 water tubes with T joins in them going to each pot. A very rough diagram is attached to give an idea of my thought plan.



Project would need to keep track of date and time to be able to schedule etc.
Monitor soil moisture level (ideally atleast 2 distinct sensors for large and small pot)
As per time or sensor, turn on/off relay, which can turn on/off an aquarium submersible pump /some way to turn on off water supply
connect via wifi and use maybe something like json to report sensor readings
using above wifi, also accept commands via json etc. to force the relay on/off
I am also hoping I can have some stepper motor or something to be turned on to be able to aim the water pipe in the correct piping system.
Support sleeping/watchdog so that I can save power if running off battery

Questions:
Which is the least expensive arduino board I should go to be able to achieve this? I am on a tight budget so do not want to buy a board which has more feature than I would need.
I am fine if maybe by paying $5-10 more, if I get a board which has in built in support for wifi etc. to be able to save my first time hassels of having to plug in multiple shields.
I am not sure where to begin and what all parts I need in the most cost effective way
Any suggestions for a better/simpler design?
Possible issue is that I may not find the parts for the tubing/valve/pump etc. easily here as I am not from US
5  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Interfacing / Re: how to make bulb talk to mothership? on: September 15, 2008, 06:49:04 am
So the xbee can generate a digital output which can be used by the relay attached locally to it?
6  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Interfacing / Re: how to make bulb talk to mothership? on: September 15, 2008, 03:54:26 am
I am aware of x10 solutions, but aren't x10 device open to interference? That's why I wanted to try and use the newer zigbee/xbee protocol. I would not want my automated house to unlock front door or turn on lights if my neighbor uses his microwave, cordless phone or wifi smiley
7  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Interfacing / how to make bulb talk to mothership? on: September 12, 2008, 08:34:33 am
Hi,
Sorry but I am quite new to Arduino and to electronics, but very much interested to learn.

Now I need to somehow create someway for a light bulb(operating at 220V AC), to communicate back to an Arduino board by a xbee/zigbee chip.

Aim is to have two xbee chips, one on the bulb and one on Arduino so that I can programitically turn on and off the bulb wirelessly. I am not sure about what circuit to use to build the bulb + relay + xbee part smiley-sad Any help pls?
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