ArduinoTutorials

Weather Monitoring & Smart gardening.

weather monitoring and smart gardening

In a previous post I gave a sneak peek of a project I was working on. In this tutorial I will be showing you just that. Today I will be sharing a pretty cool project which will help you monitor elements like Temperature, Humidity, Soil Moisture, water pH and more.

With the help of this project you can create a smart gardening system which will monitor plants and keep you updated through internet. You can also automate things like light, water pump, fan, etc. based on the data collected.

First we need some components, Below I have listed all that is required.

Requirements:

Hardware:

Software:

Along with the components mentioned above, you might also need a few of the following tools:

Tools:

Now let’s see how to connect these components together.

Connections:

To make it simple I will divide the connections into 2 parts: Power supply and Logic.

Power Supply:

A proper power supply is very important of project, especially here as we want two different voltage levels for different components.
First the Arduino which requires 7.4V – 9V through VIN and then the ESP-01 which needs 3.3V stable. Anything above that will fry the board and anything below 3.3 will cause failure.

LM317 voltage regulator

Here you can see a LM317 voltage regulator is used to convert 9V to 3.3V. The positive terminal of battery will be directly connected to VIN pin of Arduino Nano.

Logic:

Weather monitoring and smart gardening using arduino nano

The connections here goes as:

  • A4 = SDA (RTC)
  • A5 = SCL (RTC)
  • D2 = SQW (RTC)
  • D3 = RX (ESP)
  • D4 = TX (ESP)
  • D12 = Signal (DHT)

The RTC and DHT11 modules are powered by +5V of Nano. And nano will be powered via battery through VIN pin. ESP-01 will get 3.3V from the voltage redulator.

NOTE: The RX pin of ESP must have a voltage divider as the Arduino works on 5V logic and it can damage the ESP board. Another thing to keep in mind is the GND. All the GND connections must be connected together or else the circuit will NOT work.

Now it’s time to prepare the software that will help us collect data.

Setting up Thingspeak:

Before writing code we need to set up the Thingspeak server. To do that, first head over to ThingSpeak.com and create an account. After successfully creating an account you will have to create a channel.

  • To create a channel click on “New Channels”
things speak new channel
  • In the new channel first give a name to your channel. As in this project I am going to collect readings from DHT11, I have named the channel “Temperature & Humidity”
  • In the next box you can give a description of what this channel is about. This step is optional so I kept it blank.
  • Bellow the description there are Fields. Each field holds one type of data i.e Temperature/Humidity/Soil Moisture etc. Here as I am collecting two sets of data, I named the fields accordingly.
thingspeak new channel
  • After naming the fields, scroll down and click on “Save”. Now goto Channels >> API keys and copy the “Write API key” it should be a string of random alphabets.
thingspeak API key

We will use this key in our code. It will help our board to write the data to correct channel.

Programming:

Now I will not bore you will all the little details, instead I will comment all the parts in code so you understand it, still if you find something confusing, feel free to leave a comment.

First things first, you need to install some libraries without which the code will not work. Below I have listed the libraries:

  • SoftwareSerial
  • DS3232RTC
  • DHT

To install these libraries open Arduino IDE and click on “Tools” >> “Manage Libraries” from the window that pops up, search for each library individually.

After the libraries are installed successfully now we can move on to coding.

Configuring RTC:

First you need to set current time in RTC. To do that use: RTC_Config

In this code you will need to make the following changes:

  • Scroll down to setup where you will find the following lines. Just add the Time and date here.
    tm.Hour = 21; //hour (24 hrs clock)              
    tm.Minute =30; //minute 
    tm.Second = 00; //second
   
    tm.Day = 03; //day
    tm.Month = 8; //month
    tm.Year = 2020 - 1970; //do not change "1970"
  • After editing this part, upload the code onto arduino. It will not only set the time but also check if your RTC is working.

Main Code:

  • Now we need to upload the main code. Download code from here: Weather monitoring Code.
  • Open it with arduino IDE and edit the following part:
String AP = "SSID";//Enter WiFi Name      
String PASS = "PASSWORD"; //Enter WiFi Password
String API = "ABCDEFG123456";//Enter Thingspeak API    
  • First enter the WiFi name you with to connect to.
  • Then enter it’s password.
  • Finally enter the Thinkspeak’s API key we generated in the previous step. This is important, without it our data will not be sent to the server.
  • Next scroll down and you should find /***RTC***/ here you’ll find the following code:
/**RTC**/
#define ledPin 13
#define wakePin 2
const int time_interval = 2; //Time arduino will be in sleep (min)
  • Here as you can see the time_interval is set to 2 minutes which means the arduino will wake up every two minutes. You can add any time you want in minutes.
  • Time interval ensures the arduino remains in sleep for the defined time and send periodic data. This also saves battery.
  • Now you can upload the code on arduino.

Testing the project:

Now that the circuit is made and code is uploaded the project is ready to work. Power the circuit with external 7.4V to 12V power. I recommend using 18650 battery pack as they are rechargeable and have a higher capacity.

NOTE: Make sure you unplug the arduino board from computer before adding the batteries or the microcontroller will get damaged.

After powering everything, you should see lights turn on top of Arduino, ESP and RTC module. Indicating all the components are powered on.

weather monitoring and smart gardening using arduino nano

An LED will start blinking on ESP-01. It will continue to blink until WiFi connection is established. After the WiFi is connected the LED will turn off.

Now head to thinkspeak and open the channel you created. Here you should see a graph depicting the data collected via DHT11 sensor.

thingspeak temperature and humidity

This data can be used for creating a database, making charts and training ML projects.

Making PCB:

Now that our circuit work, we can make it into a more professional looking board. I designed this circuit on EasyEDA and then turned it into a PCB. If you don’t know how to do that, then you mu can check out “How to design a PCB“.

After designing the PCB in EasyEDA, I exported the Gerber files and placed order to get the PCB manufactured.

Talking about PCB manufacturers, Let me tell you about PCBWay.
PCBWay is a leading PCB manufacturer from china who also provided the PCBs for this project.

pcbway add gerber

I uploaded the Gerber files on PCBWay after which I proceeded to pay for the board. After about 10-15 days I received the boards.

pcbway pcb for weather monitoring and smart gardening

I must say the board quality was amazing. The traces were pretty good concerning I used track width of 0.25mm. Solder mask layer was evenly spread and there was no exposing copper, I did check with a magnifying glass. Well overall I really liked the service by PCBway.

After completely assembly the board looks something like this:

weather monitoring and smart gardening

Download the Gerber from: AgroPro.Zip

Final Note:

Along with temperature and humidity you can add a range of senors to this board and get the data online.

Hope you like this tutorial and learnt something new. If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comment section.

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