Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Smart Garden v1.0 Raspberry Pi

Some fellas at the office had a crazy idea to try and grow a garden in their cube at work. After several people tried to talk them out of it, they plowed ahead and started one anyway. So why not hook up some sensors and a web cam and call it a Smart Garden?

Sensors and such

Kuman Moisture Sensor Kit 5Pc: From the reviews these have a tendency to not last very long. They are cheap and this experiment may not last long so I went for them. If they start blowing up we may invest in a nice Sensor.

DHT22: Yes I know people say these are not accurate. Calm down folks we are not reporting data for the NOAA, we are just checking the temperature and the humidity in the office. We can live with the inaccuracy.

Cheap Webcam: Whatever you have laying around. As you can see the one I found is cheap and potato quality.

Raspberry PI: if you have one laying around you are a nerd.

Readings and Data

We are taking moisture readings from two sensors, temperature and humidity readings, and a picture on the web camera every 5 minutes. I wrote two web services that are used to store the data. A python script was created to read the sensors and take a picture, the script will then call the web services to send the data over to a database, and a FTP script is called to copy the image to the web server.

I had to use FTP because I didn't take the time to figure out how to post the actual image to a web service. I may work on that eventually.

Web Site

After the data was collected a website was built to allow folks to keep tabs on stuff. I downloaded some TimeLapse software and threw together some time lapses which have turned out really cool given the cheapness of the web cam.

The Chart.js library was used to make some charts to display the recent readings. Bootstrap was used to make it mobile friendly. The Charts look squished on mobile so that may be on the do list for the future.