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    Soil Moisture

    Is there a Soil Moisture sensors that work with z wave ?

    #2
    The ones that you will find most effective are the ones using basic RF as this technology is most battery efficient and range is excellent. I use the Ecowitt WH51 Amazon.com: ECOWITT WH51 Soil Moisture Sensor Soil Humidity Tester - Accessory Only, Can Not Be Used Alone : Health & Household. It can be interfaced with GW1100 or similar models Amazon.com: Ecowitt GW1100 Wi-Fi Weather Station Sensor Gateway with Temperature, Humidity and Atmospheric Pressure 3-in-1 Probe Sensor(1X GW1100 WiFi Gateway) : Patio, Lawn & Garden free mcsMQTT plugin directly supports it. AlexBK also supports it with his Weather plugin.

    It is also possible to interface capacitive type moisture sensors with an analog interface on a ESP8266, Arduino, RPi, etc. that could be good for indoor if you are monitoring something that has mains voltage nearby and not concerned with battery or waterproofing of the electronics. There are also indoor ones that use bluetooth. Their range is not nearly as good as the basic RF ones.

    There are other Watermark and Irrometer sensors that have more specialized interfaces that tend to be used in higher end applications. You can often find these associated with equipment such as Davis Vantage Pro weather stations.

    What you do not want are the very cheap ones that use metal contacts as electrolysis will destroy them quickly.

    Comment


      #3
      Other options compatible with McsMQTT

      RF:
      ​Standalone WH51(433 mhz) + RTL433

      https://www.ecowitt.com/shop/goodsDetail/19
      Receiver (only one needed for multiple sensors):
      ​​​​https://a.aliexpress.com/_ms7HtOG
      https://github.com/merbanan/rtl_433

      Bluetooth :
      MiFlora + Tasmota ESP32/BLE or OpenMQTTgateway (w/antenna)

      ​​​https://a.aliexpress.com/_mLua272
      Receiver (only one needed for multiple sensors):
      https://a.aliexpress.com/_mM8LqVm
      https://a.aliexpress.com/_mPQ6UoU
      https://tasmota.github.io/docs/Bluetooth_ESP32/

      I use both outdoors (receivers indoors) to trigger plant/lawn watering; good battery life and range.

      Comment


        #4
        Great Pointers, this is on my list for after my lighting and keypad conversions. I was wondering how to do both indoor (rather simple) and multiple outdoor sensors. Following this.

        Does anyone know if there are weather stations that support his protocol, etc.

        I've been looking at Ambient Weather and possibly AcuRite Iris. And hopefully no one will say La Crosse. I have some stories about them.

        Comment


          #5
          What do you mean by “his” protocol?

          I believe Ambient supports the Ecowitt sensors with same interface to mcsMQTT as gw1100. If you do some searching on this board in the mcsMQTT forum and others you will find further discussion. For mcsMQTT I implemented the code developed by jim@beersman.com. He has both weather stations that use the Ecowitt protocol.

          Comment


            #6
            If not already supported via a native HS plugin,
            ​​​​​RTL433 (w/ mcsMQTT) supports an impressive number of RF devices including most weather stations (Ambient weather, Acurite, etc.)
            ​​​​
            See this link under "Supported device protocols"

            https://github.com/merbanan/rtl_433

            And
            https://github.com/merbanan/rtl_433/...er/src/devices

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Michael McSharry View Post
              What do you mean by “his” protocol?
              .
              Sorry typo not caught by spell checker. Meant "this protocol". And that's coming from me not knowing a thing about how weather stations, outside temperature/humidity/light levels actually work on Wifi or other transport layer. I know that mcsMQTT is the glue layer that links HS to the underlying transport protocol. But is the protocol for weather stations WiFi, xxxmhz radio that needs a receiver, ZigBee?

              I assume it's something like Sensor -> WiFi/Zigbee -> mcsMQTT -> HS3 ?

              Am I close? Thanks in advance.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by 123qweasd View Post
                If not already supported via a native HS plugin,
                ​​​​​RTL433 (w/ mcsMQTT) supports an impressive number of RF devices including most weather stations (Ambient weather, Acurite, etc.)
                ​​​​
                See this link under "Supported device protocols"

                https://github.com/merbanan/rtl_433

                And
                https://github.com/merbanan/rtl_433/...er/src/devices
                Well, I looked a the GitHub documentation. Need to research just what hardware I would need to get and interfaces.

                Looks like most of it will compile and run/test under MAC/OS and I have the full version of Visual Studio so that shouldn't be a problem.
                I've got lots of reading to do. Great sleeping pill replacement! LOL

                Thanks for all the pointers. Now another toy that my wife will call a hit on me!
                But first I need to move from my ZWave project to my Insteon KeyLinc Keypad project and do away with all my X-10!

                Comment


                  #9
                  The RF waveform is modulated just like the waveforms of your local radio stations. Ecowitt sells sensors using the RF frequency approved for various regions. 433 MHz is for China and Australia. 868 for Europe. 915 for USA. The modulation is the same. Only the base band changes based upon location. The GW1000/GW1100 is a small RF receiver (radio) that understands the Ecowitt modulation and converts it to Ethernet. The general purpose Software Defined Radio (SDR) receiver also receives RF at the frequency that is defined by software and another piece of software rtl_433 understands many different modulations including the Ecowitt. It will send the decoded message via Ethernet using MQTT and other protocols. mcsMQTT understands the GW1000 Ethernet protocol and MQTT protocol.

                  I tried Ecowitt at 433 MHz with success using SDR. I also tried at 915 MHz and it was very spotty. The GW1000 and moisture sensor at 915 MHz has been very reliable. I suspect the same basic receiver hardware is used by Ambient as the GW1000/1100. I was not able to have Ecowitt send a 433 MHz sensor to USA. They would only send 915. I was able to get Ecowitt temperature sensor at 433 MHz from Amazon and this is what I interfaced with SDR. When I got the GW1000 it was $20 to $25 from Amazon. I see it has been replaced with GW1100 at $38. The lower price was likely due to inventory clearance.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Great thanks, now the EE in me is clued in! I do have Ethernet cables everywhere.

                    I ran over 7000 linear feet of just Cat-6 and almost the same amount of RG6 and RG6 quad shield, 3-wire shielded and also lots of alarm wire. Rich at Worthington Distribution laughed when he shipped me all of those spools. My builder gave up and gave me two weeks for no-work time for us to personally run all the low voltage wiring. When he saw the result he actually said, and I quote. "George, I have no idea what they are for but you'll have planes circling your house!" All together, something like 14.5K linear feet of low voltage wiring!

                    I even have Ethernet cables run up to the top of the roof gables in each house peak and also down the enclosed porch ceiling where I'm planning on putting up the weather station.

                    Yes, nuts..... You have to understand, we built this house in the late 80's/early 90's and WiFi was just not a thing back then. It was all wired Ethernet!

                    Comment


                      #11
                      But is the protocol for weather stations WiFi, xxxmhz radio that needs a receiver, ZigBee?
                      For the option I'm suggesting it's:

                      Sensor/RF -> RTL-SDR dongle -> MQTT/ mcsMQTT -> HS3

                      maybe you won't even need to buy a weather station...
                      ​​​​​​Here picking up data from about 10 neighbor's weather stations... 😁

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by 123qweasd View Post

                        For the option I'm suggesting it's:

                        Sensor/RF -> RTL-SDR dongle -> MQTT/ mcsMQTT -> HS3

                        maybe you won't even need to buy a weather station...
                        ​​​​​​Here picking up data from about 10 neighbor's weather stations... 😁
                        ​​​
                        Thanks,

                        Something like this:

                        https://www.amazon.com/s?k=RTL-SDR+d...f=nb_sb_noss_1

                        Or this?

                        https://www.rtl-sdr.com/buy-rtl-sdr-dvb-t-dongles/

                        Comment


                          #13
                          The one from rtl-sdr.com (your 2nd link) is a sure bet/better quality but a little more expensive.
                          here bought cheap ones from AliExpress and all is good.

                          As for the 433Mhz Ecowitt WH51,
                          Micheal couldn't get them delivered to the US from Ecowitt directly but it's probably worth emailing them, they agreed to ship the 433Mhz to Canada when I asked for it (17$/unit shipped).
                          https://www.ecowitt.com/shop/goodsDetail/19

                          Dear ,
                          Thanks for your reply.we will ship you the original order( 433MHZ)

                          Stay health .
                          Jennie

                          Ecowitt Weather
                          support@ecowitt.com

                          ----------
                          Me:

                          No please keep the 433Mhz frequency as it will be used with a 433Mhz gateway. Thank you!

                          Have a nice day,

                          -----
                          Dear Customer,


                          Thanks for your order.


                          We noticed that you have placed the 433MHz for WH51, but normally 915MHz is be used in your country.


                          Do you want us to change the frequency to 915MHz?


                          Waiting for your quick reply. Thanks.


                          Regards,
                          Jennie


                          Ecowitt Weather
                          support@ecowitt.com

                          Comment


                            #14
                            For comparison purposes:

                            Ecowitt WH51
                            reports moisture/battery status
                            uses AA battery, RF, more rugged
                            ​​​​​​
                            MiFlora (Xiaomi)
                            reports moisture/battery/temp/lux/fer
                            Uses CR2032 battery, bluetooth, smaller/somewhat cheaper construction.

                            MiFlora would seem more appropriate indoors but been using one outdoors for a few months and no issues so far.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Thanks all for all the great information. I've ordered a couple of the RTL-SDR Blog V3 RTL2832U 1PPM TCXO HF BiasT SMA Software Defined Radio's from eBay. One for production and one just to play with on my MAC. After reading, I can see hours of fun shortwave and ADSB (as you can guess, I'm a pilot as well) reception. I also ordered the ADSB LNA as they seemed to be in short supply. I have a couple of very high end shortwave and aviation grade antennas that I can easily run into my attic and have a raceway straight down to my basement. So for playing, I'm looking forward to it.

                              I'll have a bit of runway to do more research (sorry for the pun) as the SDR's and LNA's are both coming from China!

                              I'll look into the MiFlora above and see if it comes with a receiver/display that I can mount it and play with it until I get my SDR in.

                              Oh, joy, another toy to play with!

                              BTW, Anyone have any luck getting the SDR to run on a MAC? I hear it's possible and Linux (which the MAC is based on) is easier but I'm up for the challenge. Any recommendations on software? It seems the GNU(SNA) is the most popular but has issues in installing on the MAC because of the tight (stranglehold) of the MAC/OS root.

                              Comment

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