Irrigation Controller ... how to achieve controll from smartphone?

  • I saw this project: , for an irrigation controller I want to build.
    Lets say I have the basic knowledge of electronics, arduino, etc. How is possible for this arduino irigation controller to be controlled from the phone? Which android app is using? Is there anything else involved in this process? Is there something I need to have? A vera controller? well... I have a linux/windows server. Can I host a controller on the server, so I don't need to buy other controllers or so? In the video is not mentioned all the detailes. I spend some time to find answers for this questions ...without success. I even downloaded mysensors library.. I did upload a gateway serial controller to a uno using w1500... but I reached a dead end. What am I missing?
    I need to find basics of what I've need to accomplish this.
    Thank you!

  • Hardware Contributor

    Welcome to MySensors.
    There are multiple ways to achieve that.
    Here there is a list of available controllers for MySensors:

  • For the best use of the project you have been looking at, and if you are considering building a controller, surely the vera is the right choice.
    There are some limitations with other controllers, but if you read that topic you know that issues already 🙂

  • Plugin Developer

    In really rough steps:

    • Get a raspberry Pi (e.g. the Zero WH)
      • install Raspbian (Lite) on it (burn to an SD card)
      • Install Domoticz onto that (see explanation of 'easy way' on the Domoticiz website)
      • Install the MySensors Raspberry Pi gateway (instructions on this site for installing software and connecting the radio to the Pi's pins)
      • In Domoticz, enable MySensors.
    • Create the sensor (connect hardware incuding the radio module, upload arduino code)
      • When powered on, it should appear in Domoticz (under 'devices').
    • Install the Domoticz app. for mobile control.

    That control will be limited to where you have wifi connection. If you want to control it from outside your home, then you may have to take some more steps.

  • Thank you for your answers.
    Well, for now I don't want to invest money in a raspberry pi...
    I have and I am working only with arduino. If it is possible only with arduino is ok, if not, this is it 🙂 So, Vera from what I've read it's commercial, but I find some opensource project, like openHAB2.
    Yesterday, late at night, I installed openHAB2 on my server, all up and running, with MySensor binding installed.

    What do you think about openHAB2? It is worth loosing time with it?

    I don't understand the behaviour of all this ...and I want to clarify several things in my head now.
    Everywhere I look they talk about Wifi. Why is it necessary wifi ....If I have Ethernet shield W5100, on every arduino that I will want to put in openHAB2?

    How is this working? What a gateway does? As I sayd before, I have openhab2 installed and running. What's next? I must use only the examples from mysensors?... if I have my own sketch, it will not work with my code?

    I need to know the principles of running this whole system, so I can move on to step2...
    Thank you!

  • Plugin Developer

    The Raspberry Pi was just meant as the server that runs the controller software. You would only need one ($15). In home automation you'll find everybody uses it for that.

    But since you already have a server, you won't need it.

    Openhab 2 is totally fine as a controller. Good choice.

    The gateway is the 'manager' in between your controller software and the MySensors network. It can be an arduino that the controller talks to via serial. Or, if you use a Raspberry Pi, it can be a second piece of software on your server. In this case you connect the radio module directly to your Raspberry Pi's GPIO pins. This saves you an Arduino, and makes your controller hardware smaller.

    Wifi is what a lot of smart home devices communicate with. The Nest thermostat, etc. Personally, I think that's a bad idea, since most of these 'smart' devices have poor security. So you don't want the smart devices to be on your home network (or at least not without some security barrier).

    That's why using MySensors is a good idea. Very hack-proof.

    Your other questions: if you start at the front page of the MySensors website and click through the explanations then you will learn a lot. The website is relatively good at explaining things for beginners.

  • @adiculiniute
    Of course commercial controllers from Rain Bird, Orbit, and others are only $90-150 that will do exactly what you are asking about. A dedicated device will always have fewer points of failure. You can build this as others are suggesting but it will take an investment of time and money, not the easiest solution.

    I love building projects but usually stick to those that have functional benefits I can’t get with inexpensive commercial products. Your priorities may be different of course.


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