BOXED PROJECTS List of all boxed projects published until now

Some years ago I had the opportunity to spend a whole month holiday in Portugal. I didn’t want to ask my friends, or neighbours, to water my plants everyday for me. I thought therefore to build a system for that purpose using the most common microcontroller PIC16F84A. I thought and tested lots of different solutions in order to find the best one. Reliability was the most important aspect to ensure: a fault could have killed my plants or, worse, flooded my neighbour’s house.



Some years ago, in order to make some experiment at home with the PIC16F84A microcontroller, I needed to build a programmer. Surfing on internet I found lots of solutions and I decided to realize one of the easiest ones: a JDM programmer.The cost of the project is probably a couple of Euros. In the PCB in figure 1, I used only components I had available at home and for that reason the DIP socket is 20 pin instead of 18.



What I’m getting ready to explain below, is an original solution I adopted to backlight the thermometer’s project SP0003. Thanks to this, I solved quite easily the main difficulty that consists in generating an even illuminated background to the LCD display using some common LEDs.



A bromograph (or UV Exposure Unit, or UV Screen Exposure System) is a fundamental instrument for making PCBs using the photo-etching method. Unfortunately its price is usually prohibitive for a normal DIY maker and the UV-neons are expensive anyway if you’re thinking of building one.



I want to clarify from the outset that this is an ambitious project. Making a watering system that interacts with the environment and autonomously decides if it will irrigate some plants and how long, is not a trivial matter. For this reason, even if the version 1.00 works quite well and it is already operative in my balcony, probably many others will follow soon.



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