Irrighino, An Arduino Yun Based Watering System

There are many different ways to keep your plants watered on a schedule. [Luca Dentella] just created a new one by building the irrighino watering system. He used standard off the shelf, hardware to keep it simple. Irrighino is a complete watering system based on the Arduino Yun, featuring a user friendly AJAX interface. This allows scheduling in a manner similar to creating appointments in Outlook. It’s also possible to manually control the various water solenoids. The code is fully customizable and open source, with code available from [Luca’s] github repository. The web interface is divided in to three tabs – “runtime” for manual control, “setup” to configure the scheduling, and “events” to view system logs.

The Arduino Yun activates solenoid valves via a relay shield. A switch panel has indicator Status LED’s and three position switches. These allow the outputs to be switched off or on manually, or controlled via the Yun when in auto mode. [Luca] describes how to read three states of the switch (On-Off-On) when connected to a single analog input of the Arduino. He’s also got another tutorial describing how to connect a USB WiFi adapter to the Yun. This is handy since the Yun is mounted inside an enclosure where the signal strength is very weak. While the Yun has on-board WiFi, there is no possibility to attach an external antenna directly to the test SMA socket.

One interesting part is the commercial rain sensor. It’s a switch surrounded by a spongy material. When this material absorbs rain water, it begins to expand and triggers the switch. The Arduino sees the sensor as a simple digital input.

Check a short demo of his system in the video after the break.

10 thoughts on “Irrighino, An Arduino Yun Based Watering System

    1. Am building an autotunnelhouse at the moment. Havent decided on moisture sensors, other than they will be DIY. AM veering towards stainless skewers in gypsum with AC to measure resistance. Its a shame you cant bury DHT11s….Can I ask what you have used? Thanks.

  1. I really like Arduino… But the Yún… What a kludge. The serial bridge stuff blows. Adding packages to the linux distro (that is not already precompiled, which most aren’t) is a pain. It is underpowered and overpriced. Yuck.
    This is not to say this isn’t a nice project :) And since I unfortunately alreade have bought a Yún, kind of makes me wish I lived somewhere where I needed irrigation, so I could get some use of it.

  2. One wonders if the Yun is past it’s sell by date. The EPS is so cheap and offers wifi to any Arduino clone. If you really want Linux then the new Beaglebone green is more powerful and about the same price or cheaper once you add a USB wifi adaptor. Even an eps8266 using spi or I2c might handle this task.

    1. I believe the Yun is serving up the web interface. Generally, stuff like the ESP8266 and Arduinos can only server up some basic pages.

      I have seen a lot of projects using Arduino for sensors and a Raspberry Pi or a PC as the Gateway, similar to Open Hab. Most of these projects should be able to extend to irrigation. In fact, I see that one of the projects I have been following ( is starting to get into irrigation systems. That project is kinda neat because it mixes stand-alone ESP8266 sensors in with Arduino+NRF24L01 sensor setups (based on the MySensors library) with a Raspberry Pi based gateway.

      1. The BeagleBone Green is going to cost around $50 or less. The beaglebone black is $45 at Sparkfun. The cheapest YUN is around $70 on ebay. Even a beaglebone black should handle this with ease. It is at least as powerful and the YUN. The other option would have been a Pi That is why I feel the YUN is without a market.
        If you need a simple system an ESP8266 will do the job. More complex the Pi and beaglebones are cheaper solutions. I just do not see a place for the YUN.

  3. Cool…I do the same with a Raspi and a similar relay board. Also have it interfaced to control my pool pump. Got as far as getting the hardware side working, but haven’t got past cron for the timer side, plus some http commands to manually control things. I’d like to say it’s a work in progress, but it’s been running as is for a couple of years now.

    I appreciate the finishing powers displayed in this project.

    1. If you want to stretch it out more why not try and make it a smart system. Have it use a moisture sensor and weather reports to decide when to water and not to water. Maybe a rain detector to not water while it is raining?

  4. I wonder how this compares to OpenSprinkler. I have been wanting to build a sprinkler controller but I am just getting started in Arduino and this might be a little over ambitious.

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