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Author Topic: Soil Moisture Detection  (Read 3963 times)

Offline clippermiami

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Soil Moisture Detection
« on: January 12, 2017, 01:58:01 pm »
I'm looking for a existing ZWave Soil Moisture solution to control my drip irrigation for the plantings in front of the house. My drip system has a ZWave Aeon Labs On/Off Relay to control a solenoid that opens the drip feed on a scheduled basis but I'd like to have a way to run it only if there is no enough moisture.

There doesn't appear to be an off-the-shelf ZWave device so I was thinking about a flood/moisture sensor. I have an Everspring Flood Sensor in the Air Conditioner drain line to detect if it gets clogged and the condensation runoff backs up. But i don't know if these devices will work with less than truly wet conditions, ie. moist soil. And is there a way to adjust them up/down or are the simply all-or-nothing devices.

Has anyone tried this and can offer some advice. At present I'm thinking about cobbling together an Arduino solution but i'd rather have a straight ZWave solution.
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Offline rafale77

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Re: Soil Moisture Detection
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2017, 09:58:16 pm »
I started a couple of years ago with plantlink. There is an app for it on the vera for the hub itself but is a zigbee device. The device type is a bit complicated to link the sensors to the vera plus directly since there is no support/device type so the app works quite well.
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Offline futanare

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Re: Soil Moisture Detection
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2017, 11:56:46 am »
Hi clippermiami,

I also have requirements where having varying types of moisture sensors tied into Vera would be really helpful. My biggest use case is to detect low/high soil moisture thresholds and then trigger the irrigation system if needed.

At a quick glance, there appear to be some arduino-based options. I've never really built one though, but am considering taking on a mini project to cobble together sensor, arduino, and z-wave (if that is possible), then write a plugin for Vera.

Any further ideas / thoughts since your original post in Jan 2017 ?

Offline akbooer

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Re: Soil Moisture Detection
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2017, 12:18:01 pm »

Very sadly, you will not get a reply to this post from the OP.  This will explain...
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Offline rlmalisz

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Re: Soil Moisture Detection
« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2017, 08:08:57 pm »
So we're playing some with the Xiaomi "Flower Care" sensors.  They're BLE, so Vera-integration will likely be tough.  They have a (pretty bad) iOS app, and may have Android as well.  But there's a community that has reverse-engineered the protocol using the GATT stack for Linux.

We've gone a different route: I've written a Pythonista (iOS) script that, when running, discovers the sensors that are in range, gets and displays readings, and ships them off to a local mySQL database.  So we can launch the script, wander through the yard until we've picked up all the readings, and have the data saved for analysis later, if need be.  We have a water-crazy neighbor next door (and uphill), and are trying to come to grips with where we need to improve our drainage to cope with their runoff.


Offline mvader

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Re: Soil Moisture Detection
« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2017, 11:40:40 pm »
can you can try the my sensors route.. and use an arduino with a moisture sensor. that would likely work fine

Offline PoltoS

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Re: Soil Moisture Detection
« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2017, 07:40:46 am »
You can build a Z-Wave moisture sensor based on Z-Uno. Should be similiar to http://z-uno.z-wave.me/examples/waterlevel/ but with something like this https://www.sparkfun.com/products/13322 connected.

Offline kwieto

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Re: Soil Moisture Detection
« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2017, 05:01:56 am »
I think the most integrated way, using already available components is to use Fibaro RGBW-441 switch.
You can configure inputs of this device as ON/OFF switches or as analog inputs, working in the range 0-10V.

The main problem is to find reasonably priced moisture sensor with output range 0-10V. Most of such devices are extremely pricey, taking into consideration the whole setup (i.e. c.a. 200 USD or more) Cheap ones, like Arduino sensors, give signal 0-5V. I planned to see if it will work (if yes, I will probably get reading of 50% when real humidity is 100% - manageable enough), still waiting for the sensor to try.
Another possible solution is to use digital output of the sensor and set the desired moisture level by potentiometer located in the sensor itself - then you probably should define input as a momentary switch.
I tried the second solution by putting naked wires into the water tank (since my irrigation system uses the pump and water tank, not the running water, I wanted to put irrigation on hold if tank is empty), but they corroded very fast and the "sensor" stopped working.