When I go on vacation, I’m always worried about my plants.

Some of them dried out when I came back from my last trip to Singapore, so I thought of ways to water them automatically or at least remotely.

 

I found some information on the internet where people using an Arduino and relais, which I wanna try in future, but for now I was looking for something more simple.

I had home control switches at home, which I control with a normal remote control. Since these use 433MHZ network, you can control them using a 433Mhz sender.

 

So here is my simple plan:

 

As you can see it’s pretty simple. with this setup you can only water 1 plant with 1 pump. Since these pumps are pretty cheap , you could also get more and operate them with an usb charger.

 

Here is what you need:

raspberry remote control power socket_2

Hardware Recommendation
Raspberry Pi 3 US UK CN
High quality power supply (5V, 2,5A) US UK CN
Micro SD Card (8GB at least) US UK CN
Wifi dongle or network cable US UK CN
 Wireless Remote Control Electrical Outlet Switch US UK CN
 4x6mm Silicone Hose US UK CN
6x9mm Silicone Hose US UK CN
USB Water Pump US UK CN
IR Receiver and Sender US UK CN
[Optional] any Raspberry case Goto Article

Also, you’ll need an USB keyboard and mouse for the initial install + setup.

 

 

1. Download Raspbian

Here you can find the newest version of Raspbian.

After download, unzip the file somewhere on your disk. You’ll find an .img file in the zip archive.

 

2. Download Disk Image Tool and write image to SD card

This little tool will be used to write the Raspbian image to your SD-card.

It automatically creates 2 partitions on the SD-card – no formatting or preparation is required.

Download and install the tool:

Download: Win32 Disk Imager

 

3. Write Raspbian image on Micro-SD card

Start the program, choose the location of your Raspbian image-file, set the device letter of your SD-card and press “Write”. Click “Yes”, and wait for the copying to be done.

 

 

4. Connect 433Mhz receiver and sniff the signal codes

At first you need to connect the 433Mhz receiver to your raspberry. It’s required temporary to learn the signal codes from your remote.

Do the cabling as shown:

Doesn’t have to be fancy, you’ll only need it for a moment:

 

Now start your raspberry and connect it to a monitor using the hdmi connector. The system should boot into a graphical interface:

 

Once it’s started, you can enable SSH :

Once this setting is enabled, you can use the tool Putty to connect to your raspberry. I would recommend to do so, because it’s easier to paste required commands.

Default login is

User: pi

PW: raspberry

At first you’ll need the package called wiringPi.

# git clone git://git.drogon.net/wiringPi

# cd wiringPi

# ./build

 

Now you go back into previous folder and install 433 Utils:

cd ..

# git clone –recursive https://github.com/ninjablocks/433Utils.git

# cd 433Utils/RPi_utils

# make all

Now you can start to read the  Signal codes of your remote control:

# sudo ./RFSniffer

At this point you need to push buttons on your remote control and check the codes

As you can see I got different Signals. I expected just two different ones, one for ON and one for OFF.

So I just picked 5510417 for ON and 5510420 for OFF.

Just note these down, you will need them to send codes from your Raspberry.

 

5. Sending codes from the Raspberry

Now remove the receiver and connect your sender to your Raspberry like this:

 

So now you could try to send the codes like that:

# sudo ~/433Utils/RPi_utils/codesend 5510417

# sudo ~/433Utils/RPi_utils/codesend 5510420

 

So now you’r eall set to build the watering system itself. Here is rough plan:

 

Here is how I build the test setup:

As you can see, it works like a charm. I can turn the power control on and off easily now.

From now on it’s pretty easy.

 

6. Controlling the Raspberry Pi remotely

Since I want to keep it as easy as possible, I used the online service remot3.it

First, create an account on the homepage of remot3.it .

Once this is done, continue to install the software on your raspberry:

sudo wget https://github.com/weaved/installer/raw/master/Raspbian%20deb/1.3-07/weavedconnectd_1.3-07v_armhf.deb

# sudo dpkg -i weavedconnectd_1.3-07v_armhf.deb

Start the configuration with:

# sudo weavedinstaller

 

Once this is done, you can just connect to the console using the page:

 

You’ll get an address and a port, which you can enter into putty:

 

Using this service you can send commands remotely from everywhere in the world, raspberry just needs to have an active internet connection.

 

In my following articles I will show you how to send the commands within a simple http page and how to improve the watering system itself.

 

Til then, have fun building your own watering system.

🙂