August 7

self-watering footy ground that also lights up when it gets dark

introduction 

today we started our free project. what I’m making is a self-watering footy ground the also lights up when it gets dark. these are the main parts I need to make the self watering part. I need a liquid pump and a soil moisture sensor. the primary parts are the resisters, the Mosfet’s, the bread board, jumper wires and a Arduino Uno board. today was about getting all the bits and making them do something so you know how they work. but I had a little bit of a head start because a made a word document on how to use all the parts.

 

 led strips

 today I tried to make the led strips light up. so I got a diagram of where to put all the wires and where to put the jumper wires on the leds we finally figured out how to put everything together. then I  tried to turn them on but they would not work. so I  checked everything was in the right place and they were than I ran over the diagram one last time and I realised that I needed to have a Mosfet. I think a Mosfet is a big resister or something like that but I am not to sure. maybe I will have to do some research.

 

the photo of the led circuit 

 

soil moisture sensor  

today I tried to get the soil moisture sensor to work. but because we had no pump we needed to use a led. the aim of the task was to make the led turn on if the soil is moist enough but if it is not the led is off. so I found the diagram of the task then I made the circuit. I was really happy with myself. then I found the program and put it in my sketch. {a sketch is where you put the program} then I tried to upload the program and it came up with an err message. so I tried to trouble shoot. my first idea was to change the cord. I did that and it did not work. then I decided to change the Arduino board. that did not work. then I changed the computer and it did not work. then the bell went and it was time to pack up.

 

Gardening

Today I started to make the footy field. The footy field is a tub with potting soil and grass seeds. This part of the project was really fun because I got to get my hands dirty. I did not really learn much when I did this part of the project because I have done the enviro year but it was still really fun. we soon realised that we needed to make holes in the bottom of the tub for drainage. so we got a drill and drilled 9 holes in the bottom of the tub. it was very satisfying. then we realised that we needed to elevate the tub so the water can come out of the holes. we did that and all we need to do now is wait for the grass to grow.

3D printing

After I did some gardening I did some 3D printing. 3D was fun because I got to design my own footy. In the program. I got to pick how big the footy was and how wide it was. George Cerni help me make the footy and I also looked up how to make the ball. We had a few struggles though. One of the struggles was that we could not get the ball to be round at the top because it kept being flat then we looked on YouTube on how to make it round. So I did that then emailed it to Mr Colbert to print overnight.

 

this is what I’m aiming for

 

Making the moisture sensor and pump circuit

Today I made the circuits. First, I made the soil moisture sensor and pump circuit. This circuit was simple because there were not many jumper wires. But the Mosfet’s and the pump still have not come so we had to leave some cords not connected to anything. The only problem I ran into was when I realised that the cords won’t be long enough to reach were I want the pump. Luckily, I saw Mitch with some jumper wires that have one end with a little slot that the end of a jumper wire fits in perfectly. So, I added the extension wires then I was done. All I must do now is add the Mosfet’s and the pump.

the diagram 

my circuit 

 

Making the led circuit

After I made the first circuit I made the led circuit. This circuit was much more complicated, it had wires everywhere. First, I put the extension wires tom the wires that needed to be extended. Secondly, I got all the wires that needed to be connected to the Arduino Uno board then I put them in their places. Thirdly, I put all the wires that are connected to the Uno board and put then in the bread board. Finally, I put all the cords that are only connected to the bread board in the bread board. I also put the resister in and the mini photocell. There were no difficulties even though the circuit was so complicated. All I need to do now is put the Mosfet’s on the bread board.

 

the diagram 

 

 adding the pump 

today my pup arrived in the mail. I was so excited. I put the pump straight into the circuit. the pump has two little tubes for the water to come in and out of. the pump is a twelve volt pump and it is really helpful because the little tubes are long and they fit perfectly into the ice-cream tub. it took a while to figure out witch little meatal conductor was positive or negative. but once we figured out what was what it was very easy to connect. all we had to do was use the alligator to connect the energy from the computer to the pump.

 

the circuit 

the pump 

 

the Mosfet’s finally arrived

yay the Mosfet’s finally arrived. so we put them straight onto the bread board. the MOSFET’S are a sort of resister. the MOSFET’S sort of clean the energy and make the energy flow better. so now all we have to do is program and decorate. 

 

LED circuit with MOSFET’S 

 

pump circuit with MOSFET

 

MOSFET’S

 

 

Summary of the process

A lot has worked for me in this project. there were not too many mistakes made while making the circuits. But there were some difficulties. The main challenge that presented it is self was when the MOSFET’S and the pump did not arrive on time. As a result, our project was stopped because without the MOSFET’S and the pump we could not program. Or proceed in the process. This was very annoying because we could not get much done for a couple of hours. A couple of things has changed over the process of the project. Like when I decided to use two bread boards and two Arduino Uno boards and use two computers to program. Also split the project into two stages. Stage one uses a water pump and a moisture sensor. When the soil is dry the moisture sensor sensors that the soil is to dry. Than the pump pumps water through the hose and into the sprinkler than the sprinkler waters the footy oval. The second stage uses four strips of weather proof leds and a light sensor. The light sensor sensors When it’s too dark and makes the leds light up just like in a real footy ground. Right now, I’m up to programing and I’m happy with myself because I have worked around all the challenges and still go things done. All I must do now is program and decorate the footy field.

 

Testing

Today I was up to testing my pump and the. We had to test the pump, so we could know it would work when we needed it to work. We started by putting the moisture sensor in the dirt, so the pump could start pumping when the moisture sensor said the dirt was to dry. I found the program and tried to upload it to the Arduino Uno board, but it gave us an error message I tried different program, but it always came up with an error message. So, I decided to just use a battery and two drink bottles filled with water, so the water will come out of one and into the other drink bottle. So, we set that up with alligator clips and it worked.

 

the video of the pump working 

 

Programming

After I played with the pump. We decided to try and program the moisture sensor and pump circuit again. I got all the programs from circuito.io. I got into the first program and copy and pasted it into the Arduino coding program. I did that for all seven of the programs. But they all came up the error message. I became very frustrated. Then I had the idea if I combined all the different programs. I had the idea when I saw some of the programs were very small. l so I combined all the programs and I did not work. I became very frustrated. Then the bell went, and we had to pack up for the day.

 

 

still programming 

today I tried again to program the moisture sensor and pump circuit. i was trying everything today to try and make the circuit work but it wouldn’t. I tried to find a program on the internet but nothing worked they all came up with an error message. then we tried changing our circuit but no program matched it. then I realised that Mr McKie and Mr Colbert will have the program because they did a self watering garden. Colbert got me a program but it did not work because he used leds in his self watering garden. it just came up with an error message.nothing went right today it was a pretty uneventful day because worked. Now with that program Mr Colbert gave us we should have the program soon and I will be happy again.

 

final plan

 

a movie of what I have done so far 

 

 

still programming 

we are still programming. today was very frustrating. we tried about 7 different codes but every time it would not even let me put into the coding program. Or they came up with an error message. I was trying to find a program for two hours.  but they all had something that my circuit dose not have. one of the programs I tried was very close to being perfect for my circuit but it came up with an error message. but I do not know why. Arduino is so hard to program because there are so many letters. it is nothing like humming bird, wedo or scratch. witch use block programs and they are very easy to use.

 

program 1 

 

program 2 

 

program 3 

 

 

 

testing the leds

after my heart was broken by the programs not working I decided to test the leds in case they were faulty. I did not take long for me to figure out that I needed to get a battery pack to get the leds to light up. this test was not hard at all because all I needed to do was put the right parts off the battery cords on the correct part of the led.

 

the video of the leds working 

 

still trying to program 

today I tried again to program to pump and moisture sensor program. again today was very frustrating. today no program would work. we tried two program from the internet we tried Mr Colbert’s program he used in his project and I tried a program I had on my preparation but nothing worked. once the first program did not work we changed the Arduino board then tried again but it did not work.I changed the Arduino Uno board because the error message I got said that that it could not connect with the Arduino Uno board. Then all the other codes I tried came up with an error message because the code did not match my circuit. Today was very annoying because no program worked for me.

 

 

Reflection

Which ideas are important?

Probably the most important idea I had was when I realised that the circuit with the pump, moisture sensor, light sensor and the led was way to complicated. So, I split the circuit in two different stages. stage One had the pump and the moisture sensor. Stage two had the light sensor and the leds.

before I changed the circuit 

 

after I changed the circuit 

 

What will happen if…?

I tried a lot of different programs and none of them worked. They either did not match my circuit, or just had something but most of the time the error message will be about the Arduino board. But if one of the programs did work the moisture sensor will sense that the soil is to dry then the pump will water the footy ground.

 

the pump pumping 

 

 

What else do I need to do?

I have done all the circuits and planted the seed and now there is grass. I have also done most of the documenting all I need to do now is the programming. It is very hard to find a program because every program on the internet had leds in it or something I don’t have.

 

some of  the programs I used 

 

an explanation of a small bit of a program 

 

 What could have I done better?

I probably could have got the list of things we needed in to Mr McKie quicker so that we would have them on time. Not getting all the materials on time because we could not star until they got to us.

 Did I solve a problem?

I think I did solve a problem. This problem was when the materials did not come on time so I could not start so I started other things like planting the seeds making, or making a clear path on what I was going to do.

Am I working well with others?

I think at the start we were bursting with ideas and working very well together, and we got a lot done. Then when no program worked and we all sort of got angry and started to talk more and not do as much work. Now we are back to the start we are all bursting with ideas of how to present our work.

 

Is my plan detailed enough to archive my goal?

I think my plan is very detailed this is because I made a word document about how to do our project and how everything works. Then again when the materials did not come on time I got I bit more time to make a detailed plan.

 

 What am I going to do next?

Next, I’m going to find a program that works and finish preparing for the exhibition. I will archive by looking on the internet for a program or even changing my circuit so it can work.

 

 

painting the grass

today to start off the day I decided to paint the footy ground. this task was very hard because the grass is in a rectangular tub. the tub is not that big so it is very hard to fit all the lines in. the only problem was when I could not do a centre square because there was no room. it was really fun painting the grass because it had tom be perfect and I like that.

 

the painted grass 

 

 

 

what I decided

today I decided that I should just focus on getting the lights to work because I could just call it a footy ground that lights up when it gets dark. I sort of gave up on making the self watering bit because none of the codes worked.

 

trying to program the leds 

I did not try to many codes because I did not have enough time. but this code had not the right leds in it so it did not upload. it was very frustrating. this code had leds that change colour but I have leds that only stay one colour.

 

preparing for the exhibition

today I prepared for the exhibition. to day I make two stands for our computers. the first computer has a power point on it the second computer has a movie on it. I also put some finishing touches on my poster. there were no difficulties today. there were some successes though like when got the idea to make stands for the computers. that idea helped us because it will look nice on our exhibition day. 

 

Trying to program the led circuit

Today I got in early to school so I could program the led circuit. This morning I tried everything. I changed my USB cord, I changed my Arduino board and I even tried a new board. This is all because the code would not be uploaded. But with the new board the code upload but nothing lit up. So, I checked all the connections, but it still uploaded, and nothing lit up. Today was very frustrating.

 

summery of the program 

this project was very frustrating. in this project I learnt to be resilient and patient. this project was frustrating because no program would work. I really enjoyed working as a group because I could rellie on the other team members. it was annoying because we tried so hard and did so much work to get the project to work but nothing did. this project had lots of ups and downs but looking back on it now I think it was fun. the programs we tried were all for different circuits so none of them worked if I could do this project again I would get the circuit off one site and the program from the same site. but this could not of been the only problem we had, the USB cords that we tried to use may have been faulty and the Arduino board that I used could have not been strong enough to fit all the program in it. a lot of things went wrong for me but the good thing is a learnt new things about Arduino and about being resilient and patient. at the end of the term I had enough of trying then failing. so I decided to go up to IT and see if they could help. I did this because I did not want all my hard work to go to wast. but not even the people at IT could get it to work. after that I had a chat with the teachers to see if I could stop the project because I could not get it work and they said I could stop. next free project I will not use Arduino because it is to hard to program and I will probably not use something that involves programming at all.

 

 

a movie that sum’s up the whole working experience 

 


Posted August 7, 2018 by Lucas Gray in category Uncategorized

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