In this article we’re going to give you some tips and tricks on how to set up SmartBee irrigation control groups within your “Rooms Manger” to create different control scenarios. The SmartBee Control System can ultimately control your devices based on thresholds or in the case of irrigation your moisture content giving you the control you would expect from the systems performance. However, there are those instances where you need to have an option to control a certain strategy that is more conducive to your crops needs.
The Hive uses the concept of a “room” to group sensors, aggregate their data, and use that data to control appliances. The Hive uses the room’s control devices to control the room’s appliances in response to the room’s sensor data. Because a room simply groups a set of sensors, thresholds, and control devices, it doesn’t need to correspond to a defined physical space. That is, you can have multiple rooms in your system that correspond to the same physical space in your grow.
Lets take irrigation of different crop varieties for example. Not all strains drink the same and running different crop varieties on the same irrigation schedule is not optimal. Setting up zones of irrigation will allow you to water different rows of plants based on moisture content. In this example we will use one Water Content Sensor Module that has six probes attached to create two zones of irrigation control. Three of the devices water content sensor probes will be assigned to Zone 1 in one tray and the other three will be assigned to a Zone 2 for another tray of plants which are all in the same room but are controlled individually by different solenoids.
Make sure all your SmartBee Control devices are plugged in and have joined your network. Next we will create the Control Groups or “Rooms”.
To add a zone of irrigation:
On any page in the Swarm Control web app, select Settings > Room Manager.
Now add the zones by clicking on “Add Room”
Add Zone 1 and click “Save”
Add Zone 2 then click “Save”
It’s a good idea at this stage to go into each room on the “Dashboard” view and navigate to each “Irrigation Controls” page and turn the Irrigation Controls to the “Off” position.
Next we assign the Water Content Sensor Modules Probes to each of the zones that were created in the previous step. This is done in the “Device manager”.
On any page in the Swarm Control web app, select Settings > Device Manager.
Ideally, you would want the WCSM that is going to be used to be “Unassigned” and available to assign to each zone. A good standard practice is to individually name your probes according to location prior to placing them in a control group or zone. In the example below sensors have been labeled “RT” for Right Tray and will be assigned to Zone 1 and “LT” for Left Tray which will be assigned to Zone 2.
Now assign your probes to each zone by selecting the probe in the menu on the left. Repeat this step for the other two probes being assigned to Zone 1 labeled RT.
Once you have assigned all your probes you should have two Zones with three probes each assigned. See below.
Next we need to assign a solenoid to each control group to water based on the schedules and or moisture content of each room or zones we created. In this case Solenoids are plugged into Circuits 1 and Circuits 2 on a Smart Strip 4 to control the valves.
Now just assign the corresponding Circuits to each room or zone we created in the “Device Manager”. In this example we chose Circuits 1 and 2.
Next we will assign an “Appliance Type” as an “Irrigation Pump” in the “Device Manager” to each Zone. This is where you have the solenoid controlling the irrigation for Zone 1 plugged into the device.
Now simply set your desired moisture content threshold in each of the zones “Irrigation Controls” and you’re on your way to developing an SmartBee irrigation control strategy that works for you!
Minimum System Requirements:
- SmartBee Controllers Irrigation Base System (Hive Gateway, Smart Strip 4, Water Content Sensor Module, Five Pack of Probes)
- SmartBee WebApp
- Irrigation Solenoids for each Zone