MSP430 Chili-Gation System

 So you might have seen a recent blog post about my Chili-Gation system?  I wanted to share a few more details about this project, so hopefully the attached files will let you see how the hardware fit's together (it's very simple really).  The attached .zip file includes the Energia file which runs on the MSP430FR5969 device.

Moving from England I really expected the chilies to thrive here in Dallas, but when they are planted in a pot on an apartment balcony they dry out during the day and although they don’t die in a day, the flowers fall off and that means no chilis!

The system uses an MSP430FR5969 Launchpad as the controller, I use the Sharp memory in Pixel display Booster Pack to show time and also enable setting of intervals and pump run times.

Programmed using Energia within CCS as I wanted to use the debug features. (I’m sure the code is bad, redundancy, bad practices, etc but this was a one off home project).

The little relay board was from Amazon, I used a dual as I had an idea to create a turntable to rotate the pot during the day (it’s on the “TO DO”  list)

The pump was from Amazon, easy to use, give it some volts and away it goes, no priming = no hassle.

I borrow the raw 5V from the USB wall power adapter to supply both the Launchpad and the relay board, everything else is wired with 0.1″ headers and screw terminals, the connection diagram is shown below.

The system is open loop, on/off control at present, the watering schedule wasn’t exactly calculated (remember ham-fisted hacker here) but it was put together more by trial and error, however I’m playing with a few soil moisture ideas and plan to add that at some point in the future, this is definitely the way to go. I should also mention that the pot is a self-watering pot, so really this system dispenses water into the self watering reservoir of the pot, the plants then take as much water as is required.

The whole thing was thrown together in a few hours, with a few more spent on the code, it ain’t pretty, but the 3 plants that I grew from seed last year are still alive and giving me more Habanero’s than I know what to do with :)