RoadTest: Omron Sensor Evaluation Board 2JCIE-EV
Evaluation Type: Development Boards & Tools
Did you receive all parts the manufacturer stated would be included in the package?: True
What other parts do you consider comparable to this product?: the BME sensor, the microbit, DHT11/14
What were the biggest problems encountered?: running the code in python
An Automatic Plant Watering System using the Omron Sensor Evaluation Board
The aim of this project is to be able to control the watering of different plants based on different reading of the sensor values. For example one plant needs water during sunrise and sundown, and another need it when a particular temperature range exists.
I have used the following additional parts not part of the review:
I am currently aiming for 2 plants. One dependant on the reading of particular sensors and the other plant's watering depends on the other sensor readings.
But before we dive into the project which is still a work in progress here is a step by step guide on how to go about using the sensor board.
STEP 1: Unboxing!
It's always such a thrill to receive such awesome things@
STEP 2: Soldering the Evaluation board to the connectors. This was a rather messy process for me but i managed it somehow.
STEP 3: Understanding the different sensors on board and the external connected sensor.
This board is a fantastic type of an environment board. It has sensors that are super useful independantly and complement each other pretty well too. So let's start by looking at its different ratings.
Now these rating are super helpful if you are trying to connect it to a board which it is not meant for, but since this has connectors built specifically for the Pi hence I went ahead and connected it to the board and powered it.
STEP 4: Getting the software ready
Omron developers have created a pretty nice set of codes to test the sensor board. So the first step towards it is cloning their repo to your machine and running the codes by simply compiling them and executing them. It makes the process of testing pretty easy.
STEP 5: Observing the sensors and comparing their performance.
I couldn't compare all the sensors, so I compared the ones that I had access to, which were microbit for the accelerometer, the DHT for the humidity and temperature. I didn't have a light sensor, so I just compared it to a an LDR for sensitivity.
Starting with the accelerometer, I have always had a great experience with the microbit accelerometer, especially with the app that matches the microbit's position. I ran the example from the omron repo, the readings seemed to suggest great sensitivity, I tried to send the readings using the BLE of raspberry pi, haven't been able to do it yet, but I will update as soon as it happens. So instead I got the readings of the microbit and compared it, the sensitivity seemed to match interms of the readings but I won''t give my final word until I get the BLE experiment running.
I found the temperature and humidity sensor a lot better than the DHT11. I was very happy with the sensitivity. Even though the DHT's sensitivity was enough for the project I was aiming for, I think I willl use the extra accuracy for adding some features to the project like season detection and controlling the water quantity based on that.
The light sensor reacted better to the light changes and I was pretty satisfied with the results.
STEP 6: Testing the Differential Pressure sensor
This is the first time I ever came across this sensor and had to look up the concept and the wiring. I had a lot of fun doing that. It is becuase of this sensor I got to look a little more into the MEMS technology and it was like a door opening to an entirely new world. So I got values on testing it with a cooler, and the numbers seemed close to what they were supposed to be according to what I understood. I am still in the process of understanding the sensor.
Here is the fascinating concept behind this sensor:
STEP 7: Getting Started with the Project
Now let's try to get on with our project. Let's start by collecting everything we need apart from the sensor board and the raspberry pi.
The wiring is pretty simple. It was a little difficult because of the soldering, so I just held it for the sake of testing. The L298N driver is connected to the DC motor, and the AC motor using a relay. I have attached the code to just running the L298N seperately.
I have been having trouble running all the sensors through the python script but I will update this as soon as I get it working, I am trying to go about by using the import os and os read function, if you have a better suggestion please do let me know.