Introducing the soil moisture sensor project

Introducing the soil moisture sensor project

Soil Moisture Sensor Project

Introducing the soil moisture sensor project

Welcome to the first of many posts about the process I went through to develop a soil moisture sensor.

I came up a list of requirements for the system before starting to design it.

Requirements for the soil moisture sensor:

When drawing up a list of requirements I had a couple too many coffees and came up with the following list:

  1. I want to be able to water each tree only when it needs water. My thinking is that it is more efficient to only water a fruit tree when that tree needs the water instead of watering several trees all at once, whether they need it or not. This means that I will need at least a dozen soil moisture sensors to measure soil moisture in different parts of the garden.
    • If there is a readily available sensor, I’ll use it. If not, I’ll have to design my own.
  2. Each sensor will control water flow to individual plants. This mechanism must close off the flow of water if there is a power failure.
    • Solenoids that are normally closed until you run electricity through them will cut off water flow if there is a power failure.
  3. The system will be powered from solar charged batteries. Perhaps in the future, each sensor will have an individual battery and solar panel.
  4. The sensors and control mechanisms should be able to be monitored and controlled wirelessly.
    • There are very cheap wireless options for DIY projects (e.g. ESP8266)
  5.  I want to record how much water is used. I don’t really know why I would want to do this, other than “geek cred”. But maybe there reasons I’ll find out about in the future…

Why am I writing this?

I wrote this guide just in case I come back a few years later wondering: “Why did I do that?” – and just in case you want to do the same thing. When I get around to it, I’ll work out how I can make the schematics and parts lists publicly available.

Where to next?

The first thing I did after setting out my requirements was to see what sensors are already out there in the wild.

To go back to the main page: Main Page.

 

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