ZigBee and Battery Arduino

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egjeg
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ZigBee and Battery Arduino

Post by egjeg » Thu Apr 06, 2017 11:09 am

Anyone have experience with ZigBee wireless or running an Arduino on battery for 1+ week?
Any tips?
I've got the parts and planning to build something for remotely monitoring soil moisture and watering plants. The plants are on a balcony without wired power.
Last edited by egjeg on Sat Jun 04, 2031 4:13 am, edited 5,730,142 time in total.

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CatScanMan
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Re: ZigBee and Battery Arduino

Post by CatScanMan » Fri Apr 28, 2017 11:42 am

No idea but good luck.

How are you getting the water into the plant pot?

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egjeg
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Re: ZigBee and Battery Arduino

Post by egjeg » Sat Apr 29, 2017 10:33 am

I'm thinking a big tank, gravity, some tubing, and a solenoid valve would be the least power intensive.
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CatScanMan
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Re: ZigBee and Battery Arduino

Post by CatScanMan » Sat Apr 29, 2017 10:39 am

egjeg wrote:I'm thinking a big tank, gravity, some tubing, and a solenoid valve would be the least power intensive.


So one tank many plant pots?

I think dripping the water rather than direct flow would be better. The solenoid could be used to control air pressure and not have it near water. Also feedback would be slower and more controllable.

Wouldn't a non-tech solution such as just a plastic bottle with a tiny hole in it shoved into the soil accomplish more or less the same thing? No computer, no sensor, no solenoids, zero cost, 2 minute job.
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CatScanMan
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Re: ZigBee and Battery Arduino

Post by CatScanMan » Sat Apr 29, 2017 10:43 am

I did a quick search and I can't believe there aren't inexpensive solutions to this already made but I couldn't find any that weren't less than £150.

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egjeg
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Re: ZigBee and Battery Arduino

Post by egjeg » Sat Apr 29, 2017 11:57 am

I've used watering spikes designed for this purpose, connected to a 1.5L bottle before. The water generally runs out before I get back from vacation. You're probably right that with a support stand and some tubing, I could fit something with more volume to the same spike, but where's the fun in that? My speciality is computers, not gardening or plumbing. Those are just excuses for the computer & electronics stuff. :wink:

Why recommend drip over direct flow? Less waste? Easier build? I wonder if I could have a drip system where I still control the rate. Is that what using the solenoid to control air pressure would accomplish, briefly opening the valve would immediately equalise the pressure, allowing the drip to flow until gravity can't overcome the air pressure and the valve needs to be opened again.
Sounds like an ingenious idea! Might make the build more sturdy than having the solenoid directly control water flow as I'd planned. Is a valve suitable for water at these pressures generally also suitable for air?

I'll probably start with one plant, or set of plants being watered at the same rate with a simple splitter, but eventually I'd like to have up to 8 independent sensors and actuators.
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CatScanMan
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Re: ZigBee and Battery Arduino

Post by CatScanMan » Sat Apr 29, 2017 12:02 pm

It's actually quite interesting... What's your use case?

Use 1 might be 1 x small plant for a short holiday.

Use 2 might be multiple plants including large ones for a long holiday.


Use 1 solution might be different too Use 2 but Use 2 solution would work for Use 1. Use 2 might be more expensive and more work but more useful and even potentially a product out of it. I can see much available on the UK that looks good value.

What sensors? Just humidity/dampness or also light, temperature and water remaining?

How come you want a battery? Why bother with that when can run of mains?

The code/logic would be easy. Difficult bit would be interfacing the sensors and solenoids and engineering everything.

I thing using gravity is much better than having a pump.

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CatScanMan
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Re: ZigBee and Battery Arduino

Post by CatScanMan » Sat Apr 29, 2017 12:03 pm

Oh sorry we were writing at the same time.

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egjeg
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Re: ZigBee and Battery Arduino

Post by egjeg » Sat Apr 29, 2017 12:17 pm

Can't run off mains because plants are on a balcony that isn't wired to mains. There's also no plumbing to the balcony, hence the need for a tank.
I'm not to worried about the circuitry or software side of things. Biggest challenge for me is the rigging and getting appropriate plumbing, since I have no prior experience on that side of things, as well as low power optimisations for microcontroller, radio, and valve/pump.

I'll probably start with just a moisture sensor and maybe a photo resistor too if I have enough I/O pins.
Last edited by egjeg on Sat Jun 04, 2031 4:13 am, edited 5,730,142 time in total.

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