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Topic: Watering 8-10 pots intelligently. Where to begin? (Read 1 time) previous topic - next topic


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.


There are arduino relay boards on ebay. You might want to just gravity feed the plants from an elevated resevoir and use small servos as valve controls to pinch closed/open rubber/soft plastic tubing going to each plant. Use a float valve from a toilet to keep the resevoir full.
Consider the daffodil. And while you're doing that, I'll be over here, looking through your stuff.   8)


I would suggest that whatever you do, you also plan for "failure modes" - otherwise, you may end up coming back to a flooded apartment and a large bill from your landlord. To that end, I would advise against connection to the "public" water supply, and instead use multiple independent water tanks, one per plant, perhaps of a gallon or so of water each. That way, should one fail, you end up with a small mess and a dead plant, but nothing more serious.

For the water tanks, use something that can be closed (not left open to the air, except for perhaps a small hole for pressure equalization, and cover this hole with fine mesh to discourage any possible mosquito breeding). The tanks should ideally be supported at a higher level than the plants, and gravity feed the water to each plant. You could probably make the tanks out of pieces of PVC or ABS pipe. With appropriate fittings, you could use drip irrigation tubing or copper tubing. For valves, there is a wide variety, but I would go with a small ball valve, and actuate it in some fashion with a servo. Figuring out what kind (torque, size, etc) of servo you need will be the difficult part, mainly due to the amount of torque to open or close the valve being a virtual "unknown" (there are experimental ways to figure this out, though, using a small digital fish scale).

If you are instead able to find a small enough pump that has a high enough head to keep the tanks on the floor, that can work too - but in general, a small pump has a small head; ultimately what you want to avoid (besides dead plants) is coming home to a flooded apartment - think about how to create your system to mitigate or eliminate that possibility from a hardware perspective. The software will be simple comparatively...
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I've undertaken a similar project, while my watering needs are minimal, the info may help.  I am running two one gallon sized pots/plants, with drip irrigation, and I am using a pump intended for a coffee maker.  My pump is strong enough to run two bubblers(drip components), maybe four depending on how open the bubblers/drippers are set.  It runs on the same 6v 12ah battery that I am using to power the arduino.  I use a logic level mosfet to turn on and off the pump/water.  The pump sits in a reservoir, pumps water UP(2-3ish feet) to the drippers, then run off water returns to the reservoir via collection tray, and drainage hoses.

Currently, the system is wireless.  I manually run it from my usb and a serial monitor. I plan to adapt it to a timer library on the arduino, and have some overriding moisture/water level sensors(via analog values).  I can't see a reason why this couldn't be used with an ethernet shield for monitoring remotely, and controlled via a secure web interface to adjust input variables.

While I really enjoy doing this sort of work, and I like gardening, its easy to get crazy and spend money/time...  Its certainly cost/time inhibitive for a lot of people, versus a standard sprinkler timer watering a lot of plants with similar watering needs, but obviously the control over the system isn't quite the same either.

Really rough numbers for you...  I think my pump generates nearly 8-10psi, on normal 1/4" drip line and equipment, four plants/drippers would be the max per pump.

Please post updates of your progress/question, even small steps.... I'd like to follow what you are doing.


How about aquarium pumps, turn the power on/off to make them pump.
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