January 23, 2015 AT 3:00 pm

Community Corner – January 23, 2015: The Featured Projects from this Week

Featured Adafruit Google+ Community Project

(Note: Google+ login required.)


Thanks to Mark Miller for sharing a detailed description of his Project P.L.A.N.T. (Programmable Light And Nutrient Terrafarmer). I love this idea! Especially as someone who manages to kill every house plant in my path.

Project P.L.A.N.T.(Programmable Light And Nutrient Terrafarmer) or grow cell for short. I used this last year to grow ornamental pepper plants and it worked very well. Normally my indoor plants die of neglect in very short order-I forget to water them, or put them back in the window sill for light.

I set out to make a system that would sense what the plants needed and furnish it without me remembering…I can remember 1000 data sheets full of info, but the plants die because I just never take the time to check on them. Not sure why I bother really. I do all my harvesting in the grocery store isles anyway….

The framework has a narrow footprint so it sits well on the window sill(despite the best efforts of the cats to play in them) and makes use of natural sunlight when available. A photosensor brick detects when the light is low or dark and tells the microprocessor to turn on the grow light under the top hood. Moisture sensor keeps track of soil hydration and signal for the solenoid valve to let water run down the sprinkler tube. A line laser located on the right side shines a beam across a row of vertical sensors on the left to detect grow progress. It comes on for ten seconds twice a day to secure this measurement. Everything from the start is controlled by microprocessor through firmware. Three firmware settings are used. The first is for initial planting. This just keeps the soil hydrated to get the plant out of the soil. The second firmware is switched in when the plants begin vertical growth. The third is a spare socket(eproms) in case I need an emergency program change for some reason(happens here and there the first cycle).(read more)

Featured Community Project from the Adafruit Blog

Thanks to Eric for sharing his great project on show and tell! Check out more videos from Eric here and his site here. (read more)

Check out previous Community Corner posts here!

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