I am slowly building a hydroponics garden controller project that will one day control a fairly large scale operation. With that said, I’ve found that it’s best to plumb everything so to have a system of hoses that feeds to each site, but also receives waste and directs that to the waste line. If you can imagine a room with 20 plant reservoirs, well my method is to plumb everything in such a way that it’s all connected together in series. Water/nutrients are directed to the desired output by means of turning a shutoff valve. I am wanting to build a controller that will use solenoid valves to control what is open, when, duration etc. The way I see it, each site will controlled by 4 solenoid valves. There will be roughly 48 sites so that’s a total of 196 solenoids that will be needing choreographing.
My project now consists of an EtherMega that has an RTC and a climate sensor built in. Based on time or climate, relays (8 chan SainSmart) are opened or closed which in turn represent AC devices. Here’s some pics of my project to date, and everything works great ATM. At some point I do want to get my project online, hence EtherMega, but finding an easy to follow example is proving rather difficult so I want to move on into other intended additions to this project while simultaneously still researching the networking of things. With that said, I have broken this project into manageable phases and will work on each new phase when I complete a previous one. I also wish to point out that I am very new to Arduino and coding. It is my project that has brought me here, and what I have been mostly using to learn with. I know some would have me devote years to mastering the example sketches and circuits before even attempting to begin building my project, but I have found that to be counter productive.
What I hope to accomplish in this thread is to generate some approach ideas of possible ways to accomplish use of so many solenoids. I’m guessing some kind of array may need to be used to identify all the valves, but am still wet behind the ears and need the feedback. If anyone can, suggestions to some decent quality solenoid valves would be great as well. Ultimately, the Arduino should be able to target a specific site and send water to that site, or have the water that is already in that site’s reservoir pumped into the waste line without pumping those spent nutrients to another site. I am now thinking I will need yet more valves as the sites can be subdivided by which row each happens to be in (headrows in a field). This should make specific identification easier IMO.
At any rate, thank you in advance for any/all feedback. My sketch is also attached
TIMEorCLIMATEswitching.ino (8.74 KB)