Author Topic: Moteino Based Battery Operated Sprinkler Valve  (Read 12659 times)

EvanR

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Re: Moteino Based Battery Operated Sprinkler Valve
« Reply #30 on: August 02, 2018, 10:36:01 PM »
I think I would like the Kicad files.  This will give me a chance to study the design in hopes of learning something. 

I envision converting these to what ever format I can send to the Chinese folks who make PCB.   I've watch videos about this but didn't take notes so I'll go back and get the details.

Again, thanks for the help.

Evan R.

TomWS

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Re: Moteino Based Battery Operated Sprinkler Valve
« Reply #31 on: August 04, 2018, 04:52:40 PM »
Sorry for taking so long on this, I got distracted  ::)

I decided to include both Eagle (v7.7) and Kicad files as there maybe someone else interested these updated files.

Note that the circuit includes a Temperature Probe and Soil Moisture circuit.  You can leave these unpopulated if you don't want to use them.  The temperature probe would be a water tight DS18B20 One Wire probe and the most successful moisture sensor I've used is the Watermark sensor.  The temperature probe is mechanically coupled to the moisture sensor so that you can perform temperature compensation of the probe - necessary if you have widely varying temperatures.

I'll answer questions about the design, but this is made available on an as-is basis, without any implied support or warranty.  I will also not guarantee that it doesn't infringe on any patents - I'm not making a claim one way or another, but I wouldn't recommend copying this circuit for a commercial application.

Tom

EvanR

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Re: Moteino Based Battery Operated Sprinkler Valve
« Reply #32 on: August 05, 2018, 06:14:25 PM »
Thanks for the files, I'll take a look at this next weekend.  My week has shaped up to be a monster.  This is not for a commercial design. I have some property an 1 hour away from my home.  I need to water some trees I planted.  I have water but no electricity on the property.  This project looks like the right solution.

Evan R.


TomWS

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Re: Moteino Based Battery Operated Sprinkler Valve
« Reply #33 on: August 05, 2018, 06:53:14 PM »
Thanks for the files, I'll take a look at this next weekend.  My week has shaped up to be a monster.  This is not for a commercial design. I have some property an 1 hour away from my home.  I need to water some trees I planted.  I have water but no electricity on the property.  This project looks like the right solution.

Evan R.
Great!  How will you power your controller/gateway?  Solar?

BTW, I did not create Gerber files in the Kicad set - for two reasons.  One, it was yet another thing to do and more files, two, Oshpark has told me they're working on the direct interface to Kicad 5.  They have Kicad 4.07 support, but not quite there on the V5.  Since it was only released on July 22, I'll give them a bit of a leeway  ;)

Tom

ecliptic

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Re: Moteino Based Battery Operated Sprinkler Valve
« Reply #34 on: September 09, 2018, 05:21:28 PM »
Hi TomWS,

I saw this thread, and I've actually completed my own battery operated sprinkler valve.  I took a different approach though.  I used a voltage regulator with an ENABLE pin and a few other components (I'm a software engineer by trade, and I couldn't quite wrap my head around using "raw" components).  I used the same PGV Hunter valve as well, and I also had my own PCB printed; however, I am using BLE instead of the Moteino RF.

I like your enclosure, and I was wondering if maybe I could PM you to get some feedback on your enclosure.  Let me know if that's ok.

TomWS

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Re: Moteino Based Battery Operated Sprinkler Valve
« Reply #35 on: September 09, 2018, 05:39:08 PM »
I think the enclosure you're referencing is a Bud PN-1321-C, available from Mouser (and elsewhere) as: https://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/Bud-Industries/PN-1321-C

But I think the variation with the mounting flange is easier to mount: PN-1321-CMB

That enclosure is great.  I've never had a single one leak.  I recently made a mistake of using a cheaper 'equivalent' from China Inc and the gasket doesn't fit as tightly and there has been an accumulation of condensation inside the box.  Fortunately, I started using Corrosion X about a year ago and, even with the flood of condensation the circuit is still working fine (as he knocks on wood).  I'll replace that enclosure this fall when I have some down time.

Tom

ecliptic

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Re: Moteino Based Battery Operated Sprinkler Valve
« Reply #36 on: September 09, 2018, 06:38:13 PM »
Thanks for the link!  This will be my first attempt at weatherproofing an MCU (and my first board all together).  My questions are:

1) Do you use any coating (nail polish, etc.) on your Moteino?  Or is the Corrosion X the same thing?
2) Have you had any issues leaving the valve completely exposed to the elements?
3) It looks like you have a wrap around your wires going into the enclosure.  Do you mind going into detail on what you're using?  I've found some cable glands with a polycase + knockouts, but I can't quite tell what you're using.

Thanks TomWS!

TomWS

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Re: Moteino Based Battery Operated Sprinkler Valve
« Reply #37 on: September 09, 2018, 07:23:31 PM »
Thanks for the link!  This will be my first attempt at weatherproofing an MCU (and my first board all together).  My questions are:

1) Do you use any coating (nail polish, etc.) on your Moteino?  Or is the Corrosion X the same thing?
I've used spar varnish and a variety of other sealants to keep water out, but have never found anything as completely effective as Corrosion X.  It was highlighted in a link somewhere in this forum and I can attest, water does not go through anything coated with this messy stuff!  I just spray a small puddle into the corner of an enclosure and use a cheap brush to 'paint' the circuit board, battery terminals, and connectors of everything inside the enclosure before sealing it.  This stuff gives off an odor that effectively fills the void with this moisture barrier.  I've never seen anything like it.  It's very messy, but very worthwhile.
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2) Have you had any issues leaving the valve completely exposed to the elements?
I no longer do that, mostly because it's ugly.  I generally place a valve box over it.  This mostly keeps UV from crazing the plastic enclosure, but it also makes the spiders feel cozy inside the box.
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3) It looks like you have a wrap around your wires going into the enclosure.  Do you mind going into detail on what you're using?  I've found some cable glands with a polycase + knockouts, but I can't quite tell what you're using.
On some projects I use direct wire cables with cable glands (PG7 or PG9), but I think what you're seeing are some water proof connectors I got from a Marine supply house.  These are very good, with good seal and thick gold plating, IP68 rating, but they are expensive.  If you look around for IP68 Panel connectors, you'll find a world of choices.

Tom

ecliptic

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Re: Moteino Based Battery Operated Sprinkler Valve
« Reply #38 on: September 09, 2018, 09:58:46 PM »
Thanks for the great feedback!  I'll definitely try out Corrosion X!  One last question:

It looks like you have a hose connected directly to your valve.  What kind of hose are you running from your supply to the valve?  Or are you using piping now (since you mentioned valve cover)?

TomWS

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Re: Moteino Based Battery Operated Sprinkler Valve
« Reply #39 on: September 10, 2018, 08:34:32 AM »
It looks like you have a hose connected directly to your valve.  What kind of hose are you running from your supply to the valve?  Or are you using piping now (since you mentioned valve cover)?
I'm using standard (albeit good quality) garden hose for all the 'remote' Sprinkler Valves I have installed, so the fittings are either 1" MPT to 3/4" MPT PVC with 3/4" FPT to 3/4" MHT or 3/4" FHT Swivel depending on the end or, I have one valve box with a  four port 1" Manifold and that mates directly to the input side of the Valve bodies, with the same stackup on the outside.

It's important to use a female thread (3/4" FPT) on the Brass hose fitting when mating to a PVC fitting.  Brass Male to PVC female will split.

Last count I have a total of 8 valves installed around the property.  The home originally had standard in-ground plumbing for lawn irrigation (for the most part this is still operating) and the previous owners had invested a lot in Polyethylene Drip lines for the shrubs, etc.  The Moles and Squirrels really enjoyed that, they found it very tasty.  Fortunately they haven't bothered with the garden hose even though it's covered with Mulch.  It's also easy to drain when the weather turns cold.

Tom

DonpK

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Re: Moteino Based Battery Operated Sprinkler Valve
« Reply #40 on: September 10, 2018, 09:20:07 AM »
I'm not sure whether this is of any use. For an outdoor soil moisture sensor using a Moteino and a capacitive soil moisture probe, I used this Silicone Modified Conformal Coating designed for electronic circuit boards. The Moteino is enclosed in a waterproof project box and doesn't need the coating. However, the soil probe has a PCB on the top part and is directly exposed to moisture. After coating the circuit part of the probe, it still worked fine when submerged entirely in a cup of water.

ecliptic

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Re: Moteino Based Battery Operated Sprinkler Valve
« Reply #41 on: September 10, 2018, 10:41:53 AM »
Thanks for the feedback!  I was concerned about using a garden hose from the supply to the valve since they generally don't hold up well under constant pressure/extreme temperatures.  The last thing I want is a supply leak although I have also developed a battery operated water flow module as well :)

My current "standard" timer uses a steel braided water hose connector from the supply to the valve, but those can get a little pricey.  I may try one of those R/V hoses (I assume that's a good quality hose).

However, the soil probe has a PCB on the top part and is directly exposed to moisture.

Just curious, how long have you been running your PCB outdoors like that?




DonpK

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Re: Moteino Based Battery Operated Sprinkler Valve
« Reply #42 on: September 10, 2018, 10:50:24 AM »
I have been using the moisture probes with the coated circuit boards outside for several months this summer. Remember, the Moteino is inside a waterproof plastic project box and therefore shouldn't need any moisture protection. Only the moisture probe circuitry which is inserted in the soil has the coating.

ecliptic

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Re: Moteino Based Battery Operated Sprinkler Valve
« Reply #43 on: September 10, 2018, 10:56:38 AM »
Only the moisture probe circuitry which is inserted in the soil has the coating.

Ahh got it!  Thanks for the input!!

TomWS

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Re: Moteino Based Battery Operated Sprinkler Valve
« Reply #44 on: September 10, 2018, 11:12:14 AM »
the Moteino is inside a waterproof plastic project box and therefore shouldn't need any moisture protection.
Come back next year and give us an update.

I will mention that even my best waterproof enclosures did not prevent humid air from leaking in as temperature differentials created pressure differentials.  I've never had an enclosure that, by itself, prevented corrosion inside the box (excepting full epoxy potting, of course).   The beauty of the Corrosion X is that it forms a continuous microscopic seal to keep moisture off the metal surfaces and it does not dry, shrink, or separate from the coated components.

Oh, and to be clear, I have no business interests in this product.

Tom