I finished my 4 wheel drive project with great success to my standards. Next, I want to create a system that uses 1 pump but waters multiple plants with multiple sensors. Does anyone know of similar projects that can be of good guidance?
My recommendation would be to use time rather than sensor input.
By this I mean if you are have a pump that can deliver a 1/2 liter of water in 6 seconds as an example, and you would normally provide the plant about a liter a week, program 12 seconds of pumping once a week and be done with it.
Yes, it makes the system not "smart" because it isn't adapting and responding to soil conditions and varying water usage and temperature and whatever.
Everything I've seen says reading soil moisture meters effectively isn't real successful (corrosion, inaccuracies, calibration, lack of soil contact).
For the big plant pots on my deck as an example, I know about how much a day I am going to put on them. If I wanted to automate that, I would would just pump that much and not worry about much else. A proper light soil mix means sufficient drainage such that over watering isn't really going to be a problem. And you could just tweak the programmed time if needed anyway.
My two cents- simplify things and skip the sensors. Then it is turning on a pump and opening and closing a few solenoids on a timed schedule using a real time clock module.
Great advice as I haven't seen this design anywhere. Should I delay the program for 6.048e+8 s in order to accomplish the once per week? or is there a more efficient approach. This seems like overkill, but that's the point of the project haha.
Should I delay the program for 6.048e+8 s in order to accomplish the once per week? or is there a more efficient approach.
I would want to let a real time clock module do the time keeping rather than count millis or set delay(gazillion) on the Arduino.
Make turn on the pump, open a solenoid, read the clock, and check the time value into functions.
Then I think your program conceptually is a "loop, read clock, check the time, if it's time turn on solenoid(s), turn on pump, turn off pump after a bit, turn off solenoids, end loop" kind of thing.
Besides, an RTC module gives you something else to screw around with.