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Our Weekend Projects series currently boasts an astounding 60 beginner-friendly builds. There’s something for makers of all skill levels! Projects range from homemade instruments to motor controllers, from weekend-long undertakings that combine hardware & software to simple circuits you can prototype on a breadboard in a matter of minutes.

The two projects below are perfect examples.

Potted Plant Protector will have you conducting data analysis of your garden in no time. Everything you need to build it – save some nuts & bolts – is contained in the Make: Ultimate Microcontroller Pack with Arduino. Turn common components from the pack into soil moisture, temperature, and light sensors to better understand the conditions of your indoor houseplants. Analyze the data from the sensors on your computer screen or, better yet, get out your soldering gun and hookup the included 16×2 monochrome LCD screen for real-time viewing of data from your sensors. You won’t believe how easy this is to build.

View All Steps for Potted Plant Protector

 


 

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Sun Logger data

Sun Logger data

Those of you looking for more of a challenge should check out the Sun Logger. This discreet project box is capable of compiling extremely rich data on the movement and intensity of sunlight through your garden.

It does this with the use of a light dependent resistor (LDR) mounted to the top of the enclosure box. But that alone is not enough. This project will also challenge you to solder your own homemade shield for the Arduino UNO. The shield is fitted with a level shifter and SD card socket for writing data from the LDR to an SD card. The shield could easily be modified to also collect temperature, motion, or barometric pressure data. Watch how with this episode of Weekend Projects!

View All Steps for Sun Logger

 


More Weekend Projects ideas: Initially designed as an indoor pet water-bowl monitor, the Pet Water Warden could be weatherproofed and modified to regulate birdbath water outdoors. Prank meets garden, the Solar Cricket recharges itself with daylight and produces an electronic “cricket” noise after the sun sets. Do you suspect a neighborhood critter of tearing up your garden plots? Track them with the Crittergram Capture Cam!

Nick Normal

I’m an artist & maker. A lifelong biblioholic, and advocate for all-things geekathon. Home is Long Island City, Queens, which I consider the greatest place on Earth. 5-year former Resident of Flux Factory, co-organizer for World Maker Faire (NYC), and blogger all over the net. Howdy!


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