Soil Sensor Recommendations?

Has anyone found a Zigbee compatible soil moisture sensor? Much like the one offered by Plantlink before they stopped trading

Cheers

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https://spruceirrigation.com/sensors/

Suggestions:

  1. Get some zigbee repeater so that the signal can reach.

  2. Don’t change the report rate to report to much. You don’t need it to report but about 10 times a day. Your grass or plants will not die if it has low moisture for 2.5 hours. If you report to much, you will just be running the battery dead really faster.

  3. Paint the top green so to hide it in your front yard. I had a neighborhood kid pull it up and break it on half.

Hope this helps.

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Thanks I will look into Spruce

Cheers

Daniel

60 bucks a sensor is really steep.

@dcwilsonuk, @Joshpan, @LadySapphy ,

My experience with Spruce:

I have Spruce’s controller (works awesome), and HAD several soil sensors. Every one of the sensors eventually died.

The first couple were their first gen models where they were not protected from moisture very well. Every one filled with water eventually. Spruce replaced those for me. The newer models have everything inside enclosed in epoxy, except the battery section; but they’re still collecting moisture. Due to that, my sensors eat through batteries like crazy now, and a couple just don’t work.

I’ve stopped using all but 2 sensors, and those I have connected to a USB adapter and plugged into a wall outlet. They’re inside a protected screened porch monitoring a couple large plants for us.

Hopefully others are having better luck with these than I am.

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agree -

They are fine until water gets in. You might be able to make it water resistant with silicone and WD40 or Corrosion-X.

Mine was fine until the battery died - I replaced the battery and re-paired with difficulty ONCE.
Then it died again (life not so good like 4-6 months) and can’t re-pair it for love nor money.

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Thanks everyone, I may ask the manufactures if they have improved the water resistance seeing as so many people are having issues with it

Cheers

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Wow, plantlink made some really good sensors… I bought mine back in 2015 and still use them. It’s going to be really hard to find a quality replacement once they die.

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This is where PlantLink ended up. If you were a PL user, they’re offering credit towards their new offerings. Haven’t ordered yet but their tech support said there’s no immediate plans for opening itself up to integrating to ST, Hubitat, etc.
https://www.mygro.com/

The reviews on amazon are manure. :joy:

Had a reply from Spruce

Sent:
I am hearing a lot in forums (Smartthings Community) about your sensors not remaining water tight for long. Is something that you have improved with recent models or would I need to add additional water proofing? In all cases I have read you have replaced faulty units however I don’t really wont to have to send back to the USA if I have similar problems

Reply: We will have some updates available very soon, addressing your questions. The controller is not changing, but we do have some updates for our US Spring release. So I would recommend waiting on any sensor purchases. I realize that is a vague answer, but we prefer to let everyone know about new information at once.

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I can always respect a company that offers somewhat vague, but at least honest, answers to not purchase its products.

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Purchased one of Spruce’s new v3 models in May right when they came out, and so far it’s been great. Connected easily to my hub (ST v2), and have been using it to get watering alerts on my phone. Eventually will hook up an auto-watering system to it, but for now this keeps my garden growing :slight_smile:

Actually, haven’t had to think about it at all since I dropped it in the ground, which is a pretty big deal for some ST devices.

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How’s battery life so far?

Just checked (not sure how reliable this actually is) and SmartThings is reporting 100% battery. Looking good so far!

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FWIW

All the comments on the Spruce sensors: the latest generation of these things are great. The range is longer, and they are definitely waterproof. I’ve change the battery once per season and I’m good. (protip: get a garden flag or other marker to flag its location. I’ve lost one back there somewhere because I took a photo of the location and thought I could remember.)

A note on Spruce itself: Spruce used to be called Eve and was one of the true 3rd party success stories to come out of SmartThings integration. The product was founded by a home hobbiest who specifically designed the first Gen product to only use ST as its front end. It originally was funded through a kickstarter campaign, and I believe started entirely through self-funding and didn’t take any venture funding.

After a few years, of course, they changed their name to Spruce and now works not only with Smartthings but it’s own app as well. Support is amazing, and you’ll probably get a response from the founder. I think it’s still a relatively small company.

I’ve had the kickstarter Eve, the mass market Eve and now the latest Gen of Spruce. It’s a remarkable product, wows all of the professional gardners I know, and the guy who started it is a great guy and probably still lurking on these forums somewhere.