Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Automatic Garden Waterer: Part 1

     A while ago I got my hands on a solenoid valve and wanted a project to use it in. If you followed my blog since the beginning, you would know that last summer my girlfriend and I started a garden at her house. She has a hose that is run to raised beds with a garden soaker hose to water the plants. Although it isn't difficult to turn a spigot to begin watering the plants, it is a problem remembering to turn the water off. From this idea, I finally knew what I was going to use that solenoid valve for. Read on for the details.

Front panel

Spoiler alert: I wrote this blog post before realizing that the solenoid valve was normally open, when I expected it to be normally closed. The electronics were made specifically for one function and I cannot use them with a normally open valve. I will make new (and better!) control circuitry and create a new post about it. This post goes through everything I worked on to get the original design to where it is now. Look forward to Part 2 for details on the final working product.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Father's Day Phones

     When my dad built the garage located on our property 30+ years ago, he ran a two conductor cable from the house so that he could install some phones in the garage. Needless to say, that never happened... until this past weekend. My parents recently found some corded phones at a yard sale and they rekindled my dad's interest in wiring the phones in the garage. Read on to see what I did.

It lives!