Wireless Gardening with Arduino + CC3000 WiFi Modules with Tutorial on our Adafruit Learning System. Created by Marc-Olivier Schwartz
In this guide, we are going to give a modern touch to gardening and connect some informations about your garden to the Internet. We are going to use a soil moisture & temperature sensor connected to an Arduino and a WiFi chip to automatically send measurements from your garden to the cloud.
We’ll use a service call Carriots to handle the data and display it nicely on a webpage. Then, an email or SMS alert can be send to you automatically if the moisture falls below a given threshold.
Don’t worry, you don’t actually need to have a garden or even plants (although we think plants are great to have) to use the content of this article: what you are going to learn can be used for any remote measurement projects. Let’s dive into the project!
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The new Uno is the latest version after the Duemilanove, with an improved USB interface chip. Like the Duemilanove, it not only has an expanded shield header with a 3.3V reference and a RESET pin (which solves the problem of how to get to the RESET pin in a shield) AND a 500mA fuse to protect your computer’s USB port, but ALSO an automatic circuit to select USB or DC power without a jumper! The Uno is pin and code-compatible with the Duemilanove, Diecimilla and older Arduinos so all your shields, libraries, code will still work. The new R3 (3rd revision) of the UNO has a few minor updates, with an upgrade to the USB interface chip and additional breakouts for the i2c pins and an IORef pin. For more information about the UNO, the R3 and what the updates mean, please check our UNO FAQ!
Take your gardening project to the next level with a SHT-10 based soil sensor. The sensor includes a temperature/humidity sensor module from Sensiron in a sinter metal mesh encasing. The casing is weatherproof and will keep water from seeping into the body of the sensor and damaging it, but allows air to pass through so that it can measure the humidity (moisture) of the soil. It is designed to be submersible in water, but it’s always best to avoid long-term (over 1 hour at a time) submersion, if you need something that can be submerged for over an hour you may want to find a different sensor. It can also be simply placed outside for exterior weather sensing.
Adafruit CC3000 WiFi Breakout with uFL Connector for Ext Antenna
The CC3000 hits that sweet spot of usability, price and capability. It uses SPI for communication (not UART!) so you can push data as fast as you want or as slow as you want. It has a proper interrupt system with IRQ pin so you can have asynchronous connections. It supports 802.11b/g, open/WEP/WPA/WPA2 security, TKIP & AES. A built in TCP/IP stack with a “BSD socket” interface. TCP and UDP in both client and server mode, up to 4 concurrent sockets. It does not support “AP” mode, it can connect to an access point but it cannot be an access point.
We wrapped this little silver module in a tidy breakout board. It has an onboard 3.3V regulator that can handle the 350mA peak current, and a level shifter to allow 3 or 5V logic level. This version of the CC3000 breakout does not have an onboard antenna – instead we placed a standard uFL connector so that an external 2.4GHz antenna can be used. You will need to purchase a uFL to RP-SMA adapter cable and a 2.4GHZ ‘WiFi’ antenna to use! See below for these items. This option can give you better range and makes it easier to enclose in a box. We use the same route and layout as TI’s eval board, however, this module is no longer automatically FCC certified when an external antenna is used.
March 29th is Arduino Day 2014! Arduino day is “a worldwide event bringing together Arduino people and projects. It’s 24 hours full of events – both official and independent, anywhere around the world – where people interested in Arduino can meet, share their experiences, and learn more.” Adafruit will be celebrating with 24 hours of Arduino posts on our blog as well as a special Saturday night LIVE show with Massimo Banzi, co-founder and CEO of Arduino. Join us Saturday, March 29th at 7 PM EST to celebrate Arduino Day 2014! Be sure to check out our extensive learning system tutorials on Arduino as well as our Arduino blog coverage and products.