Adding mobile control to your gardening

[The Cheap Vegetable Gardener] wanted to check in on his garden from the road so he wrote a control app for his WinPhone. The hardware work is already done; having been built and tested for quite some time.

The implementation comes in two parts, both shown in the chart above. The grow box is behind a firewall as you don’t want random folks turning on the water and grow lights on a whim. The first part of the interface takes care of this separation by providing a set of functions on the host machine. The second portion is the phone app itself which calls those functions and displays all the pertinent information from the status of the lights, heater, exhaust, and water pump, to the current temperature and humidity. He’s even used Google Charts to graph data over time. The app itself took about two hours to code with no prior experience, a testament to the level of approachability these tools are gaining.

Comments

  1. Eirinn says:

    Nice use of mobile communication – and for once actually useful.

  2. Mike says:

    Cue 10+ posts about this being used to grow certain restricted plants…

  3. strider_mt2k says:

    Wow!
    I bet people could use this for growing certain restricted plants!

    (just 9 more to go) ;)

    In all seriousness this guy has been posting some neat garden hackery to the site for a while now.
    Really neat stuff.

  4. monster says:

    set up a streaming webcam and youll know when your garden has been discovered by local authorities

  5. ARS says:

    And you posted @ 4:20 :)

    I have a lot of write ups and diagrams of my setup. Perhaps I will translate them over to digital copies or just scan them for the site. Can we search by what users have posted? I suppose I will find out shortly when I scroll up, lol.

    Cheers

  6. Trollicus says:

    I used to have a 300 gallon fishtank and several smaller (90 and 50 gallon) tanks. I liked growing aquatic plants and had some very beautiful planted tanks.

    Needless to say a large power bill(tank grow lights plus server and network) attracted some attention from the local authorities (helicopters over my house on several occasions!)
    One day, I spotted a guy trying to look in my basement window. I tapped him on the shoulder and he almost wet himself. Yes, he was law enforcement. To clear things up I invited him in and showed him my fishtanks. He looked very disappointed, evidently they had spent a lot of time and manpower on me and were preparing a search warrant.

    I was a little upset about my privacy being invaded, but I would have been more upset if they had raided my home at 3 am.

  7. fartface says:

    And all of it can be replaced with $60.00 in timers.

    Honestly, are all you people whacked out control freaks? I gotta be able to water my hydrangia while I am in Maui!

    The simplest and most automated solution is the best..

    Next up on HAD…. Flush your toilet from Twitter!

  8. MB says:

    @fartface some plants required special care and if you are not going to be around… that idea sounds good “Flush your toilet from twitter” you should do it and be next on HAD

  9. Pam says:

    This is just too cool. Water and grow your garden from afar. Thinking about getting a droid phone is mind boggling, makes you wonder what else you could do with these phones.

  10. @monster, well it does take a picture every minute that can be viewed from the mobile device. Though when they see my cayanne pepper and basil plant could be good to see their faces…

    @Trollicus, I am actually surprised I have not gotten reported by one of my neighbors…open garage they can see glowing from the grow box, with a herb dryer next to it and a bag of dried peppermint on top of it. Maybe it is because I use CFL and do not have the heat signature or power usage to be investigated

    @fartface, I completely agree (probably could be done with $15 worth of timers) though I am in the school “if it is worth doing, it is worth overdoing” One of the problems is watering at the right time, sure I can water every other day but depending on temp and humidity I shouldn’t water for over a week sometime and daily on others. Funny thing is I know a guy who had an internet flushable toliet, but he did have an legitimate reason to do so. He had a cabin in dry/windy Nebraska and the toliet water would slowly evaporate ending up making the cabin smell like a sewer when it dried completely up and letting all the nice gases come in. Sure a piece of Saran wrap would have done the job as well, but something about being able to flush the toliet from 800 miles away.

  11. dan fruzzetti says:

    All this so he can grow pot while away on business…

  12. dude says:

    imagine this hooked up to cages in a rat farm for feeding reptiles… or to relays that reset individuals computers in a data center… the garage door…

    he should put the camera on an arm and add pruning shears for remote harvesting/drying of said restricted …um…vegetables.

    sorry bout the post and… daves not here man

  13. Ethan says:

    usefull

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