Today my focus is on adding the Controller “stuff” to turn the water on and off.  

The additional “stuff” I need includes:

  • a four way valve splitter.
I added one to our back yard spigot last year:
 
NewImage   NewImage
The valve on the far right goes to a hose.  The other three are feed water through the three irrigation lines to either Strawberry Swirl, Upper Deck, or Lower Deck.
  • hardware to turn the solenoid on/off.
I went off on a bit of a learning tangent exploring the difference between a solenoid and a relay.  I liked ScienceOnline’s video “Solenoids & Relays.
 
Each solenoid will use the following circuit to open/close the valve:
A diode, TIP 120 transistor, and a resistor.
 
I have both through hole and SMD versions of these chips.  Here’s my through hole collection:
NewImage 
I could make a Feather PCB and send this off to OSH Park.  First I want to see how well using Adafruit’s FeatherWing Proto – Prototyping Add-on.  I plan to solder on the through hole parts to create the circuits for the solenoids.

Setup

It’s time for me to evolve the enclosure for the Controller.  I plan to mount the controller along this wall:

NewImage

It’s close to a wall socket as well as to the three irrigation pipes where I can insert the solenoids.  See that peanut shell?  There are these two squirrels that constantly dash around.  We find peanut shells all over the place.  I find it pretty hilarious – it is like an ongoing Easter Egg hunt.  Those squirrels better keep running…I’m just saying….

Enclosure

I will evolve the Adafruit’s Fusion 360 Feather Enclosure.  Right now I’m printing out the bottom.  It’s pretty much what was designed by Adafruit…but…Ugh. So far I’m starting over for the 3rd time. The layer of plastic slips.  I’m tweaking variables discussed in previous 3d printing posts as well as slowing down printing.

Shopping List

 

Post Data Analysis

I was thinking about data collection and analysis.  One thing I want to log is hourly temperature reports.  I could set up a outdoor temperature sensor and take readings.  I’m thinking of exploring the AccuWeather API to add current weather with moisture readings, watering times, and amount.  I’m not ready to jump into this right now.

Appendix – First Readings

How exciting! The Moisture Puck stopped sending Moisture Info after 44 hours.  Good to know.  I’ll be excited to learn the difference when power management code has been added to the Moisture Puck firmware.  Charging the battery every 2 days is not something I want to do.

***Garden Controller***

RFM69 radio init OK!
RFM69 radio @915 MHz
…got reply from node 2 | RSSI: -91
—> Moisture Info <—
Moisture Reading: 366| Battery level: 4.22| Radio Temperature: 93
…got reply from node 2 | RSSI: -80
—> Moisture Info <—
Moisture Reading: 385| Battery level: 4.20| Radio Temperature: 104
…got reply from node 2 | RSSI: -84
—> Moisture Info <—
Moisture Reading: 394| Battery level: 4.17| Radio Temperature: 107
…got reply from node 2 | RSSI: -81
—> Moisture Info <—
Moisture Reading: 394| Battery level: 4.15| Radio Temperature: 107
…got reply from node 2 | RSSI: -84
—> Moisture Info <—
Moisture Reading: 391| Battery level: 4.13| Radio Temperature: 104
…got reply from node 2 | RSSI: -84
—> Moisture Info <—
Moisture Reading: 385| Battery level: 4.11| Radio Temperature: 98
…got reply from node 2 | RSSI: -85
—> Moisture Info <—
Moisture Reading: 373| Battery level: 4.09| Radio Temperature: 89
…got reply from node 2 | RSSI: -87
—> Moisture Info <—
Moisture Reading: 360| Battery level: 4.07| Radio Temperature: 84
…got reply from node 2 | RSSI: -87
—> Moisture Info <—
Moisture Reading: 348| Battery level: 4.04| Radio Temperature: 80
…got reply from node 2 | RSSI: -84
—> Moisture Info <—
Moisture Reading: 341| Battery level: 4.03| Radio Temperature: 77
…got reply from node 2 | RSSI: -83
—> Moisture Info <—
Moisture Reading: 334| Battery level: 4.02| Radio Temperature: 77
…got reply from node 2 | RSSI: -83
—> Moisture Info <—
Moisture Reading: 328| Battery level: 4.00| Radio Temperature: 75
…got reply from node 2 | RSSI: -85
—> Moisture Info <—
Moisture Reading: 320| Battery level: 3.98| Radio Temperature: 73
…got reply from node 2 | RSSI: -85
—> Moisture Info <—
Moisture Reading: 308| Battery level: 3.96| Radio Temperature: 71
…got reply from node 2 | RSSI: -85
—> Moisture Info <—
Moisture Reading: 304| Battery level: 3.94| Radio Temperature: 69
…got reply from node 2 | RSSI: -76
—> Moisture Info <—
Moisture Reading: 298| Battery level: 3.94| Radio Temperature: 69
…got reply from node 2 | RSSI: -66
—> Moisture Info <—
Moisture Reading: 298| Battery level: 3.93| Radio Temperature: 69
…got reply from node 2 | RSSI: -71
—> Moisture Info <—
Moisture Reading: 293| Battery level: 3.91| Radio Temperature: 69
…got reply from node 2 | RSSI: -76
—> Moisture Info <—
Moisture Reading: 382| Battery level: 3.89| Radio Temperature: 69
…got reply from node 2 | RSSI: -73
—> Moisture Info <—
Moisture Reading: 371| Battery level: 3.88| Radio Temperature: 69
…got reply from node 2 | RSSI: -76
—> Moisture Info <—
Moisture Reading: 361| Battery level: 3.86| Radio Temperature: 71
…got reply from node 2 | RSSI: -74
—> Moisture Info <—
Moisture Reading: 356| Battery level: 3.86| Radio Temperature: 73
…got reply from node 2 | RSSI: -76
—> Moisture Info <—
Moisture Reading: 346| Battery level: 3.85| Radio Temperature: 71
…got reply from node 2 | RSSI: -79
—> Moisture Info <—
Moisture Reading: 371| Battery level: 3.85| Radio Temperature: 100
…got reply from node 2 | RSSI: -78
—> Moisture Info <—
Moisture Reading: 391| Battery level: 3.85| Radio Temperature: 104
…got reply from node 2 | RSSI: -78
—> Moisture Info <—
Moisture Reading: 389| Battery level: 3.84| Radio Temperature: 107
…got reply from node 2 | RSSI: -78
—> Moisture Info <—
Moisture Reading: 382| Battery level: 3.83| Radio Temperature: 107
…got reply from node 2 | RSSI: -75
—> Moisture Info <—
Moisture Reading: 372| Battery level: 3.83| Radio Temperature: 102
…got reply from node 2 | RSSI: -75
—> Moisture Info <—
Moisture Reading: 362| Battery level: 3.82| Radio Temperature: 100
…got reply from node 2 | RSSI: -75
—> Moisture Info <—
Moisture Reading: 352| Battery level: 3.82| Radio Temperature: 95
…got reply from node 2 | RSSI: -75
—> Moisture Info <—
Moisture Reading: 337| Battery level: 3.82| Radio Temperature: 84
…got reply from node 2 | RSSI: -75
—> Moisture Info <—
Moisture Reading: 326| Battery level: 3.80| Radio Temperature: 78
…got reply from node 2 | RSSI: -75
—> Moisture Info <—
Moisture Reading: 317| Battery level: 3.79| Radio Temperature: 77
…got reply from node 2 | RSSI: -76
—> Moisture Info <—
Moisture Reading: 311| Battery level: 3.79| Radio Temperature: 73
…got reply from node 2 | RSSI: -76
—> Moisture Info <—
Moisture Reading: 305| Battery level: 3.78| Radio Temperature: 71
…got reply from node 2 | RSSI: -76
—> Moisture Info <—
Moisture Reading: 301| Battery level: 3.78| Radio Temperature: 69
…got reply from node 2 | RSSI: -76
—> Moisture Info <—
Moisture Reading: 298| Battery level: 3.76| Radio Temperature: 69
…got reply from node 2 | RSSI: -74
—> Moisture Info <—
Moisture Reading: 295| Battery level: 3.75| Radio Temperature: 68
…got reply from node 2 | RSSI: -73
—> Moisture Info <—
Moisture Reading: 293| Battery level: 3.73| Radio Temperature: 68
…got reply from node 2 | RSSI: -73
—> Moisture Info <—
Moisture Reading: 290| Battery level: 3.72| Radio Temperature: 68
…got reply from node 2 | RSSI: -73
—> Moisture Info <—
Moisture Reading: 289| Battery level: 3.71| Radio Temperature: 68
…got reply from node 2 | RSSI: -72
—> Moisture Info <—
Moisture Reading: 287| Battery level: 3.69| Radio Temperature: 68
…got reply from node 2 | RSSI: -72
—> Moisture Info <—
Moisture Reading: 287| Battery level: 3.66| Radio Temperature: 68
…got reply from node 2 | RSSI: -81
—> Moisture Info <—
Moisture Reading: 287| Battery level: 3.56| Radio Temperature: 68
…got reply from node 2 | RSSI: -86
—> Moisture Info <—
Moisture Reading: 278| Battery level: 3.56| Radio Temperature: 68
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