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Solar Powered Automatic Garden Watering Idea

One PCB many uses:

Starting from Solar powered "green thumb" monitors plant water level. Can we place a larger load on the "dry" LED output so that a significant increase in current is required when it flashes, thereby dropping the supply voltage and signaling the condition of the soil back to a master unit which is supplying power and ground on a two lead cable? The power supply would run through a resistor so that the voltage would drop as the load increased. The master unit would need a resistor divider and would then use the A2D to monitor the relative voltage supplied, or a circuit that triggers an input when the supply drops below a preset voltage could be used. Ala: aout

Add a sprinkler controller solenoid driver chip, and a jacks to use other units as moisture sensors.

Needs a good relay driver to operate a sprinkler valve. Orbit Model 57460 ($10.46 from Home Depot) which is rated 24VAC requires 5.2VDC (166mA) to pull in and holds to 0.5VDC (20mA). At 3V, 100mA. 32 Ohm Coil. A standard Lawn Genie 54000 valve pulls 0.4A at 24VAC to open and 0.2A to hold.

Solar Panels: Must have battery to manage high current requirements for sprinkler valve. Will charge keep up with use? Need a large panel...

Use servo (with power cut via FET when not moving) to open / close a valve instead. Could leave /partially/ open and just adjust slightly more or less open.

See also:

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