Thank you for taking the time to cast your eye over my project - I appreciate it.
Is there a reason you mentioned the super cap RTC rather than the battery backed up unit?
My thoughts were after a power failure and subsequent reboot on power re- establishment how would would the code have a time reference.
I wasn’t able to confirm how long the super cap RTC can hold enough charge and remain working?
The product page says the super capacitor keeps 2 weeks of power. I chose it partly because it’s all inclusive, you don’t need to add a battery, also it’s I2C and there’s a good guide on how to use it with the pico.
I used the Makerverse Super cap RTC in my Smart Watering System project and can confirm it will loose power after about 2 weeks. If you think the system may be without power for longer than 2 weeks then use a button cell RTC. All the projects I have used a button cell RTC maintain the time for months if not years when powered off. Really depends on how you want your project to work.
I2C is the way to go though, really easy to setup on the Pico in Micropython, and works nicely. Use as many I2C devices as you can in your project, uses only 2 GPIO pins of the Pico.
As watering system solenoids usually work off 24VAC the solid state relays I used in my project are ideal. They use about 10mA each to activate. Coil relays I looked at used about 75mA each.
Interesting, just came across this.
Re I2C, What distances did you run with that system or did you convert to something else for the longer runs. I was just interested as I understood I2C is only useable for short distances as in keep it inside the same box. Understandable really as it is unbalanced and uses a common ground so the risk of interference and other nasties is quite high. I think I did read your other posts re a watering system but I am not sure of the final outcome.
Which solenoids did you use?
Did you also monitor flow volume and or burst pipe?
Have you tried controlling your system from outside of your local network - I would like to be able to monitor mine while away from home.
I2C was all within the control box. So distances well within the specification. The longest run was to a 1M water proof Temperature Humidity sensor (SHT31) which would be mounted close to the box. What I built was something like you would buy off the shelf in Bunnings. It was an investigation into using a Radio TX/RX link rather than WiFi, use of Solid State Relays, larger size characters on display and what smarts I could install into a Pi Pico. It has been published by Core in the projects area
I2C link was Pico to Makerverse RTC to Piicodev OLED to Piicodev Touch Sensor to Temperature / Humidity Sensor.
The project was published by Core Electronics in the Projects area. It was fairly basic as far as controls and sensors went. It was investigation into concepts as I mentioned to Bob, it did not sense anything to do with water flow, although that would make an excellent upgrade. If any part is useful, you are welcome to use it.
I wanted to get away from using WiFi and the internet. Control was via a Radio Link. So no possibility of monitoring away from home. It was designed before I bought a Pico W; now my design might be much different.
Everything I have read on running cable to control devices and sensors suggests using 24VAC. The voltage drop on the line is not such an issue and AC is a better transmission media than DC for long cable runs.
Thanks for that. I thought that would be the case. I may have got confused with another watering system thread where the runs were implied to be much longer (I don’t think we ever did find out how long) and at the time there were a few discussions about using long runs. I had some input to these. I have very little experience with I2C but could liken it to the unbalanced RS232 systems with regard to the mechanics of transporting 2 digital signals over 2 wires (unbalanced). I did mention that longer RS232 runs could (and were) achieved by using different cable and wiring technique without having to convert to a balanced system. The cable used was 2 twisted pair polypropylene insulated low capacitance overall screened type made by Hartland Cables at the time.
I2C was not invented at that time so I have no idea what effect this cable and wiring technique would have on this system and unfortunately I no longer have access to the material to find out.
PS: Logic (data) signals were all 5V also which might make a difference.
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