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Pete’s lawn sprinkler was covering too much unnecessary ground (pavement) so he designed a method for regulating the water supply based on the sprinkler’s position -

I’m using a similar setup to the rudder control on my model airplane. The cable gets pulled in and out as the sprinkler turns (kind of like a rudder). The cable then turns another servo horn attached to the potentiometer inside that black box. From my arduino board, I send the pot VCC/GND and a third conductor to sense the position of the pot. (three conductors total = why not use extra mic cable I had lying around my garage). After a little averaging on my ADC I was able to get a pretty smooth reading of the position. The servo horn and cable apparatus is a pain to setup, so I’m excited to just hot-glue a compass or gyro to the top of my sprinkler for the next setup!

[via Sparkfun]

Collin Cunningham

Born, drew a lot, made video, made music on 4-track, then computer, more songwriting, met future wife, went to art school for video major, made websites, toured in a band, worked as web media tech, discovered electronics, taught myself electronics, blogged about DIY electronics, made web videos about electronics and made music for them … and I still do!



  1. Zak says:

    Very cool setup. :-)

  2. Tom says:

    Just wondering – did you happen to have any issues with the servo power and the possible stiffness of a water valve? Thinking of similar projects, and wanting to try a similar setup as you have.

    1. Collin Cunningham says:

      In the comments on Vimeo Pete mentions he spent a good deal of time checking valve smoothness @ the store -