Smart Garden with Mobile App

After 2 years, I have finally completed the Greenclay LoRaWAN Smart Garden project! I am now able to monitor and manage my outdoor garden using LoRaWAN. I have developed a complete package which includes a dev kit, garden controller, and mobile app. Here are some technical details on the hardware:

  • Power consumptions is around 1.6uA in deep sleep
  • Powered by a single AA LiFePO4 battery with solar replenishment
  • No regulator needed since the LiFePO4 provides a nominal voltage of 3.2V
  • Arduino compatible for the nRF52840 which comes with integrated BLE
  • 10 GPIO pins and all standard Arduino outputs
  • 5V regulator with SHDN for interfacing with 5V devices
  • Vertical USB for easier debugging and field servicing
  • Fits perfectly in the WP-28F outdoor enclosure from Polycase with room for external connections and daughter boards

The dev kit is essentially designed to run outdoors where low power is needed. I've been running it the backyard for several months and it has been running great!
What you see in the backyard picture are 5 of my kits integrated with my Garden Controller daughter board. The Garden Controller does the following:

  • Monitors soil moisture and soil temperature
  • Accurately measures water flow and consumption via pulse input from a water meter
  • Controls a latching solenoid water valve

Data updates are currently set at 20 minutes and the batteries are still at 100% for the last 5 months. I expect several years of battery life from the project. I also have a mobile app, but I figured the forum would be more interested in the hardware :slight_smile:

I developed and designed the entire system myself in spare time, so I had a lot to learn. Thanks for looking and feedback welcome!

Congrats !

Greate work! Highly advanced to save power like that.

“After several iterations, lots of learning, learning how to SMD solder (thanks to this forum), and consulting various other forums... I finally landed on the final product you see today.”

Hummmm, sounds like the Donald ;).
“The best thing (or the worst), I developed and designed the entire solution myself”

Hi,
Great work.

This needs to be posted in "Exhibition/Gallery" section of the forum.

Tom.... :slight_smile:

Greate work! Highly advanced to save power like that.

Thanks! Just putting the nRF52840 into deep sleep with RTC wakeup. The core board consumes ~1.6uA in deep sleep. It comes with the following:

  • No 3V regulator. The LiFePO4 has a nominal voltage of 3.2V which runs 3.3 devices just fine.
  • 5V regulator with SHDN for interfacing with 5V
  • RFM95. Currently using the LMIC Arduino library with LoRaWAN
  • Solar charging module designed for single cell LiFePO4 batteries
  • AA battery holder
  • PCF8523 for RTC wakeup
  • Battery voltage input pin
  • Breaks out 10 GPIO (5 analog, 5 digital), I2C and Serial, 3V, GND, and 5V rail, and 1 level shifted pin
  • Designed to fit this outdoor enclosure

The daughter board I'm using for sensors and controlling the valve does the following:

  • Soil moisture via Vegetronix VH400
  • Soil temperature via DSB8120
  • Valve control via 12V CDU (2 4700uF caps and h-bridge)
  • Reads pulse outputs for water flow input via WM-PD

It's currently configured to read and transmit data over LoRaWAN every 20m. I've been using it for several months opening/closing the 12V valves and the battery is at pretty much 100%.

The core board is basically an "advanced" Arduino which uses Adafruit's bootloader and board files for the nRF52840. I say advanced since it is optimized and designed for outdoor use on battery :slight_smile:

Hummmm, sounds like the Donald

Hopefully, that’s a good thing :slight_smile: For SMD I took the advice on here and used a hot plate, a visor, hot air, and a steady hand. It’s worked so far even on QFN packages.

Thread moved as requested.

Updated pictures with higher quality and shortened the entire post.