“The Hydrosys4 is an open source project which aims to provide automation tools for gardeners and farmers. It is specifically designed for irrigation and greenhouse automation. The system is based on the very popular and inexpensive raspberry PI computer board, (PI4, Pi3 or Pi0W).
The project started as an irrigation system, then the it evolved to include many features relevant to automation and remote connection. Lately it has been optimized to automatically control mini-greenhouse environment, effectively becoming a quite complete control system for growers. Now the system is widely used with an active community and a forum: https://hydrosys4.wixsite.com/hydrosys4forum
Unlike several other systems based on micro-controllers, the Hydrosys4 does not require any programming skills to be implemented, it is designed with a nice web interface.
The system implements direct internet connection between you and the Raspberry PI, no external servers are involved which makes it different from almost all the other home automation systems. This is an important aspect in terms of security and data privacy.
The Project is implemented according to the following guidelines:
- Accessibility: The system should be easy to implement and setup (farmers are not requested to be programmers…), although this is quite difficult to achieve in a “Do it Yourself” system, several points have been accomplished: “zero programming”, “all web interface”, “easy hardware connection”, “documentation and tutorials”, “forum”.
- Affordability: The selection of hardware components is always made by controlling the price. The SW is open source (then free for everybody). For medium size applications, the system is definitely cheaper than commercial counterpart.
- Technology: An automation system should relieve people from tedious and repetitive jobs and increase productivity, but if it is not well implemented it may easily occur the opposite, this is the reason the system is designed with: A clear web interface where it is easy to understand and set the irrigation cycles, greenhouse temperature, grow lights cycles etc. The possibility to visualize the sensor data in a graph and see things using a webcam. The internet connection to control your system remotely even when you are not at home. The eMail with updates on the system status and notifications in case of anomalies are detected by sensors. Not last, it includes all the technologies to efficiently use and save water: Soil moister sensors, Weather forecast, Rain sensors.
Below a detailed list of the functions currently implemented:
- Precise irrigation timing (order of seconds), Monthly irrigation scheduling, conditional irrigation based on the temperature and humidity.
- Auto irrigation, the system automatically activates the valve/pump according to the Soil moisture sensor feedback.
- Weather adjustment, the irrigation duration is reduced or increased according to weather Forecast.
- Control up to 16 irrigation lines using the Raspberry GPIO, it can be expanded to more than 70 lines using the MCP23017 chip expansion.
- Possibility to schedule liquid fertilizer cycles.
- Sensor data collection:
- Air Temperature
- Air Humidity
- Atmospheric pressure
- Light intensity
- Soil moisture
- Analog sensors (using MCP3008)
- Remote access to the system via WiFi or ethernet connection.
- Email notifications and alerts.
- Connection to webcams (USB camera or Raspberry camera) to remotely check your plants, schedule of daily photos.
- Support for servo motor to be used together with webcam to control the webcam/raspicam direction.
- Control DC motors using Relays in Hbridge configuration to open/close windows.
- Control of up to 2 stepper motors (by connecting the Arduino motor Hat) to open/close windows.
- Relay activation according to Sensor Conditions (Temperature, Humidity, light etc..).
- Relay activation periodically during a daily time interval (i.e. for ventilation purposes).
- Send mail according to sensors conditions.
- Take photo according to sensors conditions.
- Support DC motor for mechanical actuators.
- Steaming video (experimental).
- MQTT support for remote sensors/actuators
The System is based on the capabilities of the raspberry PI plus additional hardware as explained in the hardware section of this site https://hydrosysblog.wordpress.com/hardware/.”