This Arduino Hookup is Perfect for Microgrowery

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All it takes is one little seed. One tiny little seed, that when planted into the ground and nourished correctly, can flourish into a healthy and happy plant. But there are some challenges involved. For example, maintaining a steady temperature and keeping moisture at an optimum level can be difficult at times, especially when just starting out.

This Arduino grow-op monitoring solution helps to solve those problems. It was built by [growershower] as a fun side project to monitor the vital signs of 3 marijuana plants. The board is an Uno and has an SD card shield with a DHT22 temperature sensor plus a soil moisture sensor. A photo diode is also used to measure light.

The graph produced from the data is a weed grower’s wet dream:

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Humidity, temperature, moisture, and light can all be regularly logged into the system. This empirical data gathering is key for keeping track of how the plants are doing, giving the grower the option to make educated changes.

Obviously these sensors and the attached cables are not waterproof, so they need to be removed when watering, which is very inconvenient. However, this system will be refined over time as more people contribute to the design. [growershower] plans to seal the electronics with some sort of resin for the next grow. In addition, the use of a Raspberry Pi instead of an Arduino will allow [growershower] to check the data in real time remotely through a web browser.

The next steps after all that will be to run the lights and ventilation. Watering schedules could be included as well. Just be careful when adding H2O into the equation, especially when dealing with the high voltages associated with grow lights. You don’t want to accidentally zap yourself into oblivion! Safety first. Safety first.


EDITORIAL NOTE: The editorial staff chose to publish this post after considering the following items: First, the gathering and graphing of data by this project is both interesting and useful in other applications. Second, the cultivation of marijuana is legal in some jurisdictions.

 

Comments

  1. Indyaner says:
  2. ColdTurkey says:

    Never needed an editor’s note for posting contraversial stuff like theis before! Why now?

  3. chuck stephens says:

    This is an awesome project that has applications outside the realm of growing weed. With a set up like this and a few tweaks you could even grow poppies or fungi.

  4. Mambuza Bongo Player says:

    See that space between the SD Card and breadboard shields? You can put your weed in there!

  5. Adobe/Flash hater says:

    Yeah, based on prior examples around here I can see why the urge to
    now create a bit of boilerplate text for some things.
    With that said….. I love a mix of peppers but the insects and four legged raiders have just made it absolutely impossible to try growing them here for a combo of cost ( deer ,squirrel, raccoon etc fencing?), toxicity (insecticides) and sheer logistical impracticability reasons.
    The idea of successful indoor growing of some cayenne, habanero
    and bell peppers etc is sort of gaining interest to me.
    There’s nothing like just walking out and grabbing a few fresh peppers of the bushes and dicing them into a pan of browning sausage for a plate of spaghetti
    Sigh…on top of any utility spikes, I’m guessing that nowdays ordering a LED growlight would be a trigger for assumed illegal activity and being investigation.

    • chuck stephens says:

      Bingo. The DEA has used mailing lists and credit card records from retailers to go on ‘fishing trips’. This makes folks nervous. Even if you have a state issued prescription or ‘green card’, that doesn’t apply to the feds. DIY options become a necessity even for patients. I learned a lot of DIY and ‘state-of-the-shelf’ solutions working in the medical marijuana scene. Those guys are hackers by necessity.
      Meanwhile if you tell the doctor you’re drowsy he’ll prescribe a compound formulation of methamphetamine.

  6. Is the moisture sensor not waterproof? It seems like if that was waterproof none of the other electronics are near the powered components. Obviously though HV circuits should be treated with caution and correctly isolated from the control circuits. I used to run a christmass lights display that was timed to music, and the entire thing was opto-isolated to prevent an accidental bridge between the multiple phases of power that were running everything.

  7. Harlon says:

    What a mess, please make it safe..

  8. Bill says:

    For a safer, professional implementation check out digitalgrower.com. 100% Mega 2560 powered!

  9. aegjio says:

    Expensive computer with UNIX on board for something that can be done with a $0.50 8-bit microcontroller.

  10. Lord Nothing says:

    yay another weed hack.

  11. Tad says:

    This is the project that really got me started with electronics. Coming from an admin background, I started out with the Pi running a LAMP stack, and am now using Arduinos with ethernet shields to run the sensors and send the data back to the Pi so I can see it from my web server. (my garden is a wee bit bigger than the OP’s, so one Arduino or Pi wasn’t enough pins) My partner and I are slated to start a project building similar systems next month for the Growing Warriors project (shameless plug for an awesome project: http://growingwarriors.org/ ) so they can remotely monitor farms and gardens and better assist in the long term. It’s just too bad I suck at the aesthetics and some maths, like the front end and graphs, of which I have neither. :-P

  12. Perry Harrington says:

    I’ve got 2 acres of weeds and I did nothing to produce them, why would I need an Arduino to help me do that?

    Kids these days! GOML!

  13. Ross Barnes says:

    I’m with you HAD, the device has a broad application and room for expansion regardless of the demonstration crop. Egg incubation and fish breeding (commercial or exotic) come to mind as well herbage cultivation. For me, I’m lucky, silly is a constant state without the need for chemical intervention.

  14. Jim says:

    Is anyone else thinking that a system like this should be hooked to a shared database on a centralized server? Probably not when you crop is pot but if you are growing food each data set could let us perfect the indoor greenhouse.

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