Electronics for the hydroponics

It’s been quite a long summer, and I’ve being both doing and thinking. I’ll start writing the results down slowly. To begin with I’ll do a quick update on installing a short cycle timer to my ebb and flow hydroponic system and thus automating diy hydroponics.


automating diy hydroponics
First setup and wiring of the short cycle timer

The short cycle timer proved to be a great apparatus. The installation was simple with really good wiring diagrams. The interesting part was setting up the timer itself.

Timing setup

I initially started with 40 seconds on and 8 hours off. After few days, I shortened the the off time to 6 hours.

The hydroponic setup is located in my fully glass enclosed balcony, that gets very hot very quickly. The eight hours off was way too long. The six hours seemed much better.

A week or so forwards, I’ve shortened the off period to four hours. The more the water cycles, the higher the evaporation rate is, so I realized I had to fill the water reservoir at least once every two weeks. But that’s not bad.

Automating diy hydroponics
Final casing for the timer

The mistake I’ve made, is that I never checked the socket that I plugged the timer in. It is a “lighting” socket, meaning that every time I hit my master switch (home/away), it forcefully cuts the electricity from all lighting sockets. So after tweaking and optimizing my short cycle timer, it had no use, since I turned it off. Needless to say, that no plant survived a hot week without any water.

My final timing setup is 40s on and 3 hours off. The pump pumps about 10 liters of water during that time. Even though this is a simple trick, it has proven to be enough in automating diy hydroponics.

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