Garden / Aquarium Controller

Hey Guys,

I've not built anything with Arduino yet, or electronics platforms in general, and this is a big of a lofty goal but... I'm plotting a Garden / Aquarium Controller for my first Arduino project, so far from what I've read I'd like to make it modular and separate things such as the 'controller' from say the plug that controls the solenoid and use Zigbee for communication between modules. At some point I'd like it to have a restful web service via ethernet/wifi, LCD's for monitoring, etc... So where's the right place to start, and what sorts of things I should be looking at...?

The sorts of stuff I'm thinking I'll want to do :

  • LCD Interface with navigation via joystick, and basic control of functions from interface
  • Probe interface for PH, or Temp, etc...
  • Ethernet web service (REST)
  • Relays for control of power circuits and float switches
  • Wireless connectivity between 'modules'
  • Alarms, timing, etc...

Ideas? Comments? lol... hopefully no flames... :smiley:

Start with the pieces - pick something small, make it work then add to it.
For example, I made an RF remote control. First I got 2 arduinos talking to each other using standard playground code, then I changed it to send the characters I wanted, then I added reading in the button presses from a keypad using the keypad tutorial and changing it from 12 button to 16, then I added going to sleep and waking from an interrupt created by any keypress using ideas from other posters, then changed to a lower voltage arduino and had it run from a Li battery, next I am adding a battery charger circuit (waiting to figure out some resister needs for another project and will order panel mount power jacks for the remote at the same time - seems like UPS manages to make a buck no matter what!). Somewhere in there I made it fit into a clear plastic case that turned out to be pretty crappy, the hinges gave out, and I rebuilt it into a sturdier box.

So start small, build up. Submit your code and schematics when you ask for help.

Wow! Thanks for the quick and long response! You’re right, starting with a smaller building block would certainly be easier, I suppose the piece that interests me most is the connection between two disparate modules; with 2 way connectivity. I’m thinking my first order should be a pair of MEGA’s and some connectivity shields… Oh and an LCD! thanks again, and wish me luck!

Good luck!

MO-RX3400, WRL-08950 RX


These 2 from sparkfun seem to talk well with virtual wire

Maybe set yourself up with one sending a message, the other sending back an acknowledge so the first knows it was received. I don't think you want both transmitting together.