Irrighino, an Arduino based watering system
Are you trying to find a cheap way to take care of your garden and water your plants on a defined schedule? Maker Luca Dentella has created, with the help of low-cost hardware and off the shelf components, an affordable and simple solution for you.
Irrighino is a complete watering system based on the Arduino Yun, featuring a very user-friendly AJAX web interface, working on your Smartphone or PC while connected to your home’s Wi-Fi network. The drag and drop web interface, which looks like excel, is divided in 3 tabs: “runtime”, to manually control the system, “setup” to configure the scheduling, and “events” to view system logs. While configuring and controlling the Irrighino is similar to create appointments in your Outlook, it gives you the possibility to manually control the water solenoids as well.
The Arduino Yun is connected to a switch panel with 3 physical switches and a status LED’s indicator, a rain sensor and a relay shield which controls the solenoid valves. The 3 position switches allow the outputs to be switched on / off / or auto. On Luca Dentella’s tutorial, you can find out how to read the 3 switch positions when using a single PIN analog on Arduino.
If you want to have even more explanations you can read his other tutorial about the Yun USB Wi-Fi adapter. It will help you install the Yun inside an enclosure and add an USB Wi-Fi adapter with an external antenna outside of it to ameliorate the strength of the signal.
The watering system is divided into zones, each one connected to a solenoid valve. Moreover, a commercial rain sensor, which is no more than a switch controlled by a spongy material. When this material absorbs the rain, it begins to expand up and triggers the switch. The Arduino sees the sensor as a simple digital imput.
The software that runs irrighino is divided in 3 elements: the web interface (based on jQuery, jQuery DataTables and jQuery WeekCalendar), the backend subsystem (based on PHP and SQLite) and the sketch running on the ATMega. The code is fully customizable and open source, made available by the author on Github. Check out his project Irrighino and find out how to install, configure and customize it.
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