Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Moisture Sensors Operational

The first six soil moisture sensors for the Technology garden are now operational. In order to get them operational we needed to create some electronics to convert the soil resistance between two metal probes, to a signal that can be read by the data acquisition device (DAQ). Marcel developed the circuit and soldered it together. (Thanks to the ACE Lab for the use of their oscilloscope!) There are some hobby shops that sell kits to do similar things, but they all came with extraneous features and we saved a lot of money by building our own. Bryant developed all the software to read the output from the DAQ. Pictured are six circuits on one breadboard, sitting on top of the USB DAQ that we purchased from LabJack.

After we receive our 2nd DAQ, we'll have the rest of our sensors working. Currently we're waiting on a bunch of materials in order to have everything ready for our pilot study which is tentatively scheduled to start on August 20.

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