Smart Irrigation System

During the summer, gardens abound — so many people are keeping an eye out for their sun-ripened, home-grown tomatoes or for that lovely hydrangea that’s just the right shade of blue. But summers are also a very hectic time. So how do you maintain that garden and make sure it receives the care it needs? One of the projects created for the Digilent Design Contest 2015 is a smart irrigation system intended to work with an Android device to see to it your garden gets the moisture it craves.

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Shields vs Pmods: Good vs Better?

Today we’re going to compare two different ways of increasing the functionality of a system board: Pmods and shields. Those of you have that have been following the Digilent Blog know that Pmods are Digilent’s series of peripheral modules with 6-12 pins that can easily be connected to appropriate pins on a system board to provide extra functionality and include audio amplifiers, GPS receivers, USB to UART interface, seven-segment displays, accelerometers, H-bridges with input feedback, analog-to-digital converters, and much more. For the rest of you who have been in this sector of the electronics industry, you know that shields are a type of board that you can plug directly on top of your microcontroller in a nice pin-to-pin fashion for expanded functionality. Although you might suspect which of these two items I prefer, we’ll check out the advantages of both of them.

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