Hydroponics (Aeroponic) Arduino Timer

Been reading about Hydroponics and Aeroponik system for a while and I figure that it can be my new hobby that I can implement on my home backyard and since I also been tinkering with Arduino for a while (mostly basic stuff) I figure to combine these into automated one.

The Tower Setup

It’s actually variant of Hydroponics (Aeroponic) since the water is sprayed on the root on some specific intervals. My father and brother build a vertical one using PVC pipe. The schema of the tower is basically based on this guide

The ingredients are:

  • PVC pipe
  • Portable Stove (for heating PVC pipe)
  • Old paint bucket for the reservoir and base
  • Old mineral water plastic cups
  • Drill
  • Pipe
  • Pump

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They basically drill the appropriate hole size. heat the pipe using portable stove and bent the hole so it shaped like the picture above.

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We use old paint bucket as the water reservoir and base. Put one flexible hose inside the pipe for the pump to deliver the water to the top of the tower and let it drip trough the provided holes on top of the tower.

The Timer Setup

Most tutorial will recommend timer to turn on for 10 minutes and turned off for 10 minutes – the point is do not let roots of the plant not watered for more than 25 minutes. For my setup I program the timer to be 10 minutes on and 15 minutes off.

The ingredients:

  • Arduino (Buy 10 of them from AliExpress here)
  • Relay Board (make sure to look for 5v. I buy it from Tokopedia here)
  • A cheap lock n lock compatible container for water proofing
  • Some jumper wires
  • A cheap 5v charger (use old Nokia charger)
  • A breadboard
  • Double tape
  • Epoxy or Silicon Glue Sealing

First prepare the container. I hacksaw the breadboard for it to be fit inside the small container

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There’s a lot of tutorial out there about Arduino + Relay schematics. I use this one on Instructables as a reference

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Don’t forget to recheck the wiring since it will involve mains. (Mains can kill you!!)

To power the Arduino, I rip open cheap ass and old Nokia charger.

I put the Nokia charger on the top lid and stick it with glue so it will get separated with the arduino board. Make sure there’s no contact between both boards since this charger board is mostly run in mains.

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Make sure the relay have output wires for connection with pumps

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Seal holes with epoxy or silicon glue to make sure it’s tight and ready for outdoor usage.

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I program the Arduino timer using slightly modified `blink` code. As you can see it’s just simple delay and everything is hard coded in it 🙂

/*
* This code is for aerophonic timer
*/

unsigned long OFF_TIME = 15;
unsigned long ON_TIME = 10;

void setup() {
// init D13 and D10 pin
pinMode(11, OUTPUT);
pinMode(10, OUTPUT);

// turn on for ON_TIME
digitalWrite(11, LOW);
digitalWrite(10, LOW);
}

void delayMinute(unsigned long delayInMinutes) {
delay(delayInMinutes * 60 * 1000);
}

void loop() {
// turn on for ON_TIME
digitalWrite(11, LOW);
digitalWrite(10, LOW);
delayMinute(ON_TIME);

// turn off for OFF_TIME
digitalWrite(11, HIGH);
digitalWrite(10, HIGH);
delayMinute(OFF_TIME);
}

And here’s it in action next to the tower.

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