Sunday, April 25, 2010

Refarm the city continued

Making the best of this sunny sunday afternoon, I continued to work on my microcontroller driven garden project. My first gravity based water supply quickly revealed that the pressure is to low. I also wanted the Arduino to control the water flow, hence I had to order a magnet valve to stop and start the water hose. Additional pressure has to be generated using a water pump. I found a cheap one with Comet Pumpen.

In the pricture above you can see the new water distribution system. Unfortunately it does not work. I guess the parts which I got from a pet store are for air supply and they do not withstand the pressure generated by the pump.

A quick look (above) at the water pump (right), magnet valve (middle) and the "server box" to control the water flow.

Power is managed by a rechargeable lead battery and a prototype board for a relay switch which takes the 5V an Arduino can generate to trigger the relay switch so that the magnet valve and pump can start to operate. This is my first operational soldered PCB (even including a diode which kills the electric current generated by the collapsing magnet field inside the relay. I used a standard 1N4001). Sofar I just trigger the relay using a battery. This is agile hardware development at its best!

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