Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Project Tomato 4 review

Well, Project Tomato did not come to fruition this year. It was cool to see that some planning does get the ball rolling, but it boiled down to not having enough time to work on it in the correct environment (i.e. a lab).

I worked on the Zigbee aspect for a couple of days after work at my desk here at the apartment, and I just could not get it to work. In the end, I may have torched one of the Zigbee units.

I did get a moisture sensor made and soldered into a nice package. I got the code running on the Arduino, but I did not quantify what was wet, normal and dry. The other part was wiring up a FET circuit for the fan. That is about were the project died. I had the fan working, but it was not responding to changes in the temperature of the thermistor. It was my first time using the onboard PWM, so i probably will have to debug that part to understand what number I am putting in that function and how the PID algorithm is calculating it.

In the end, I started too late in the season to make the true project I wanted. Hopefully, next year I will have a house and a garden to mess around with.

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