Recommendations for computer-controlled garden drip line

So, I’m considering installing a robot in my back yard - specifically, I want to automate the watering of my garden.

To do this, I figure I need, mainly, two things:

  1. A servo-controlled valve that can interface with ordinary garden-hose connections
  2. A weatherproof enclosure for a microprocessor (RPi? Arduino?) to control the thing

Does anyone have any recommendations for either of these?

1 Like

Any reason you don’t want to use an existing irrigation system?

1 Like

I would suggest looking at COTS setups for sprinkler/dripline control. There’s quite a few out there, ranging from an on-hose timer to full sprinkler setups, and they aren’t terribly difficult to set up.

Fun and profit?

Edit: To be more specific - I like small projects like this, because they’re fun and because they sharpen my skills. Also, I don’t have infinite money and it’s usually cheaper to roll things yourself.

a cheapo generic solenoid valve might be a solid way to start. There’s some more “professional” options but if it’s not getting buried underground and with a light duty cycle, not sure it’s worth the cost.

A flow meter might also be nifty for metrics or feedback or functionality confirmation.

For something like this, I’d go Pi over Arduino, simply for the network connectivity. Would be nice if you want a phone app or something to control it, or simply if you just want to hard-code a schedule (but still need NTP or something like that to get time of day).

For waterproofing I’d just look for any project enclosure that has some form of IP rating or at least a rubber gasket. Something like this. if it’s just gotta keep out the rain, shouldn’t be too hard.

Cable glands are my favorite way to get wires into and out of a box while retaining most of the waterproofness.

1 Like

Starting point question: what does the current setup look like (if any); specifically asking about any sort of automatic sprinkler valves that may or may not be around?

There is no current setup; I just built the planter that I want a drip line on. There’s an ordinary hose spigot out of the side of the house.

Home Depot or Lowes or even Ace Hardware sell lawn irrigation components, such as inexpensive low-voltage water valves. A simple relay lets a Pi or Duino control it. This can be interfaced to a hose.

You might also consider sensors, for soil moisture (can’t control what isn’t measured), light, or flow.

Sealed boxes such as a plastic “ammo” box are watertight. And cheap.

The controller need not be out in the weather though. It is ok to run ling wires to a valve.

1 Like