In the realm of horticulture, technology continues to play an increasingly significant role. The latest innovation to hit the market is the Enviro Grow (Pico W Aboard), a wireless self watering plant monitor board designed to improve the way we care for plants. This system, equipped with a built-in Raspberry Pi Pico W, offers a plethora of benefits, including a fast dual-core ARM processor, a growing ecosystem, and a variety of programming methods.
The Enviro Grow enables Pico/RP2040 devices to communicate with each other and the internet, creating a seamless network of information exchange. This feature is particularly beneficial for those who manage multiple plants or gardens, as it allows for efficient monitoring and control.
One of the standout features of the Enviro Grow is that it includes three capacitive moisture sensors that can monitor up to three pots or trays of seeds separately. It also includes a buzzer to signal attention when needed. These onboard sensors can measure temperature, humidity, pressure, and light, providing a comprehensive understanding of the growing conditions for plants.
The back of the Enviro Grow is equipped with three connectors that control low-current 5v devices such as pumps, motors, valves, solenoids, or lights. This feature allows for the automation of various processes, including watering, thereby reducing manual labor and increasing efficiency.
“The kit includes the main Enviro Grow board with the Raspberry Pi Pico on the back. The board also includes an on-board BME280 temperature, pressure, humidity sensor, a Piezo buzzer, and a light and proximity sensor. And that’s just the beginning of what’s included in the kit – you also get three moisture sensors, three mini submersible pumps, a battery pack, batteries, and a bunch of other parts to get a fully automatic watering system up and running. It’s a great kit for a great price. ” – explains Marc de Vinck.
Raspberry Pi plant growing monitor
The Enviro (Pico W Aboard) range is designed with environmental monitoring/logging in mind. It can integrate with other systems to post data into databases, home automation systems, or online citizen science efforts. This integration capability makes the Enviro boards a versatile tool for various applications.
Other articles you may find of interest on the subject of the Raspberry Pi and specifically RP2040 :
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- Raspberry Pi RP2040 home automation project
- Raspberry Silicon and the design process of RP2040
- StackyPi a RP2040 Raspberry Pi based microcontroller
- EsPiFF dev board with ESP32 & RP2040
- Learn more about the Raspberry Pi Pico and RP2040 from Eben
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One of the key design features of the Enviro boards is their ability to work well off battery power. They come with an onboard RTC (Real Time Clock) that periodically wakes up from deep sleep, takes a reading, connects to wifi, and then goes back to sleep. This feature ensures efficient power usage and longevity.
To enhance the user experience, accessory kits are available for the Enviro boards. These kits include an appropriately sized AA or AAA battery pack, a USB cable, and other essentials. The Enviro boards are also equipped with a dual Arm Cortex M0+ running at up to 133Mhz with 264kB of SRAM, 2MB of QSPI flash supporting XiP, powered and programmable by USB micro-B, 2.4GHz wireless, deep sleep/wake function using RTC, and more.
The Enviro Grow feature also includes 3 x JST SH 3P connectors for capacitive moisture sensors, 3 x Picoblade 2P-compatible connectors with MOSFETs for turning low current 5v devices on and off, a Piezo buzzer, BME280 temperature, pressure, humidity sensor, and LTR-559 light and proximity sensor.
The Enviro boards ship with provisioning software for easy setup and connection. The Qw/ST connectors on Enviro boards make it easy to connect up I2C Qwiic or STEMMA QT breakouts. The boards can enter a deep sleep mode where the Pico W, onboard sensors, and sensors connected via Qw/ST are completely powered down, with only the RTC running to wake up the board again at a set date and time or on a timer.
The RTC can also be used to keep track of the time and date, and the Warn LED is connected to the RTC to notify of problems. The Enviro Grow can be powered by a 2 x AAA battery pack or any battery pack that can supply between 2V and 5.5V.
The Enviro Grow represent a significant leap forward in plant care technology. With its advanced features and capabilities, it offers a comprehensive solution for monitoring and managing plant growth, making it an invaluable tool for both hobbyist gardeners and professional horticulturists.