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Luis Sanchez
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Closing the loop...
Luis Sanchez   8/21/2013 11:25:25 AM
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This is the second time in a few days that I see something about detecting water level in plants. 

But then, closing the control loop here would be to have these chirp signals as feedback to an automatic water dispenser or home made irrigating system right?  

I mean... maybe you'd like to save time instead of watering the plants yourself. 

But I've never seen information about electrical water valves or the like ... have you? please give us an URL link. 

David Ashton
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watering reminders
David Ashton   8/20/2013 7:41:39 PM
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These things have been around since time immemorial, usually variations on a 555 with the trigger pin held low by damp earth, when the earth dries out it starts oscillating.  Clever idea to use capacitive sensing so you don't get electrolysis though.  With a uC you can do all sorts of clever stuff like check for overwatering as well.  Re Battery life, being as this is a long-term monitor, you could shut the uC down and just check the dampness every 15 minutes or even every hour, and then only if there is light on it.You could probably monitor for frost as well (Geraniums don't like that...)

So kudos to the designers for coming up with a clever new take on an old idea.

Caleb Kraft
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Re: Not sure...
Caleb Kraft   8/20/2013 4:55:37 PM
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oooh, I think Karen and i need to integrate this into our calorie counting fridge idea!

kfield
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Re: What about overwatering?
kfield   8/20/2013 4:53:21 PM
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Seems like an essential feature for those of us who, uhm, sometimes don't water our xmas trees like we should!

Caleb Kraft
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Re: What about overwatering?
Caleb Kraft   8/20/2013 4:52:24 PM
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Not a bad idea! they would have to modify their design considerably though and battery life would most likely go down. Maybe two versions are in their future!

kfield
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What about overwatering?
kfield   8/20/2013 4:45:59 PM
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My husband and I were having a miserable experience this year with geraniums in our windowboxes, something that had always been reliably easy for us. We were wondering, "Is it too hot? Are they not blooming because we just bought weakling plants?" We were away for a couple of days and when we came back the geraniums were in beginning to bud. Apparently, my husband had been overwatering them. Seems that this device could be programmed to also check for waterlogged soil.

Max The Magnificent
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Re: Not sure...
Max The Magnificent   8/20/2013 12:00:43 PM
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@Susan: It's beginning to sound like that Star Trek episode...you know, the one where they're wearing those collars, and ....

I only hope my wife doesn't get to see that episode ... it might give her ideas...

Susan Rambo
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Re: Not sure...
Susan Rambo   8/20/2013 11:55:03 AM
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I think you've got something there, Janine. A chirp or an electric shock when reaching for cake. It's beginning to sound like that Star Trek episode...you know, the one where they're wearing those collars, and ....

JanineLove
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Not sure...
JanineLove   8/20/2013 10:03:28 AM
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Not sure how I feel abou this. On the one hand, I think it is really cool and it would help me prevent killing houseplants (I'm quite good at it). On the other hand, that chirping seems really annoying. Although, i guess if I JUST watered the plants.... OK, so this is good for behavior modification. Maybe i can also get something that shrieks when I cut a piece of cake...Or maybe my treadmill can holler out in pain when I haven't used it in days....

Caleb Kraft
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Blogger
Re:
Caleb Kraft   8/20/2013 9:22:41 AM
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Yes, and also by keeping the plant happy you save your battery too!

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