🍅 TomatoTent Community

The path to the perfect soil sensor

Hello,

as you know, Tomatotent is supposed to have a sensor that tells you when to water.

I have now several times told everyone that the sensors ship in a few days. And I’m starting to feel like a donkey. But every time, the sensors turn out to not work properly.

First, we wanted to use this super expensive soil sensor.

But it does not work at all. It only ever reports that the soil is wet. Until it is totally bone dry and too late.

Fine, we thought.

Instead, we use a so-called Capacitive Sensor:

This one works better. But it seems to have a bug because the values fluctuate at times.

We are very close to getting this sorted. Just for this week, I cannot ship the sensors again. Becasue I want to ship something that works.

That why I ask for a bit more patience.

If, in the meantime, you are unsure if your plants need water, please upload a photo. I can tell you if they are thirsty or not.

The final sensor:

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I just received the sensor in the first photo. What does this mean? Will it not work?

It will work, but you will find that the bar graph remains full most of the time.

So its not great. Sorry for sending this sensor, I thought we can fix this in software.

I will ship you another sensor when we have it done. :sweat:

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My advice is after you water lift the pot and feel how heavy it is, when it needs watering it will feel much much lighter. This is the tried and tested method.

That method works well.

Hello,

the soil sensor is now working and will ship to you in the week starting March 2.

We had to start from scratch to get a soil sensor that works great.

You will all be getting this sensor (rugged), made by a guy who spent at least 4 years to get it right.

We have looked at so many sensors, this is the world’s best one.

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Ok, first sensors have arrived and they are working brilliantly (thanks to @tmm1)

Now shipping them over the next week.

They have a temperature thingy on them, too. So you can see the temperature at soil-surface, too.

image

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Make sure you get that humidity up to 70 or up in my opinion

Volker, thank you for your persistence, cant wait to try it out!

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Dear Volker,
Any idea when are we going to receive the soil sensor ?

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Hi @R.baothman,

This week yours and many others will ship.

I did also send several last week.

Heres a photo of this week’s sensors, i am soldering the plug on them and ship them out asap.

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Hi Volker,

I sent an email to you regarding my sensor. It was sent to wrong address and the tracking number is not working, can you check it please? Thank you in advance.

Cheers,
Marcelo

Received my sensor today!

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Got my sensor today :blush:

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My sensor does not arrive yet :frowning: I can’t waiting for it.

Not 100% keen on this soil sensor. Water level’s were reading 58% when the plant was overdue for water (very light pot, plants looked droopy) The coco was moist but the plants needed something. Just finished watering (levels are at 98%) I’m using coco, would there be a difference between soil and coco?

Yes, there are differences in medium.

Different density will give different result.

Seems like on pure coco the watering point is 60%.

We need to do some learning and then fine tune it.

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All good, just thought I’d mention this in case people had similar questions. Loving learning how to grow this amazing plant.

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Hi,

many of you are using the soil sensors. Great!

We are collecting data from the soil sensors to learn from them.

The sensors work very well.

They have some challenges, for example, overtime, the soil compresses and the sensor reports different values.

And different media (like Coco, soil) report somewhat different, too.

While we learn from the data here we will adjust the sensor and make it better and better.

You may also notice a new value on your mobile dashboard:

Screen Shot 2020-03-17 at 4.53.56 pm

That is the ‘raw’ value as reported from the soil sensor. It’s somewhat ‘techy’, so please ignore if you’re confused. We just need it for a while to work with and to adjust the sensor.

Please keep commenting on your experiences with the sensor if you like.

This week I’m sending out more to those who haven’t received theirs yet. Some to Germany, Saudi Arabia for example.

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Do you read out the ssids of the users?