ChiliBot v.1.0

About This Project

This project was created to have better control over my Chili plants that I’m keeping inside over winter to try to get an earlier and bigger harvest next year. It was overall easy to set up, with some minor hiccups on the way.One thing I realized was numbering the cables was helpful to keep them apart.

The end result looks something

Kind of hard to see the LED’s on the shelf, but they are placed like the location of each pot.

What’s Connected

Raspberry pi zero
9x Soil humidity sensors
PCA9685 PWM control
2x MCP3008
1x TMP36
9x R/G LED’s
18x 470 ohm resistors
Relay switch
2x breadboard
Way to many jumper wires
Aquarium water pump
Garden hose
Chili plants

Triggers & Alerts

YES! There’s 36 triggers to control the LED’s to use the soil moisture value to either make the LED to glow with red or green to indicate each plants need for water.


The lights and water are turned on by the scheduling feature The water pump goes on in the morning for 20 minutes and turn back on one more time in the afternoon.

Photos of the Project


I love this project! Triggers, scheduling, it has it all! Definitely a contender for the grand prize :slight_smile:


Yeah this one is excellent. I can see that you have some very hot chiles there (Naga Jolokia – ghost pepper right?). What do you generally cook with those?

@paul.hellfalk @rsiegel… Dare I say, don’t forget about Cayenne [pepper] :wink:



The Nagas (Ghost peppers yep) are perfect for hot chili stews and to ferment into chili sauce. It’s hot as hell, so small amounts at a time in cooking. I’ve eaten a couple of them raw to try them out with friends, some of them threw up and were knocked out for a while. Next year there will be Carolina reapers and the Trinidad scorpion added to the collection.

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@Bestes I promise there will be some Cayennes next year to :smiley:
I tried them this year, but the didn’t germinate sadly.

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@paul.hellfalk Congratulations! The Cayenne team voted on the Grand Prize winner and you were selected! I will reach out to you privately about interviewing you for an article we will be publishing regarding the contest. Your grand prize money will be sent shortly :slight_smile:

Again, on behalf of the entire Cayenne team, congratulations, and thank you for submitting your project to the contest.



Congrats Paul. You won over our hearts with chili peppers! :hot_pepper:


How to you make moisture sensors? One recommendation, water your chillys less.

I’m using Moisture sensor

Yeah now days they are not as wet, took some trimming the water system before it worked properly.

One obvious feature that I was surprised isn’t there is to automatically water the pots when the moisture level got too low. Is there a spray can of water you could somehow trigger ?

Tired and misread your post. Yep that would also work. I could have gone with that, but didn’t trust those sensors enough. So I chose the scheduling based on times when I go to work so I could see to it not flooding.

The Led’s to indicate the chili that needed more water and then I have tried to trim the system with a bigger hole in the hose and tied cable stripes to the ones that had a bit to much (using the graphs to estimate). I would agree that it would be preferable with moisture based watering, but not safe enough (have replaced some sensors already that failed) :slight_smile:

Almost time to move the babies out to the greenhouse now anyway so next winter there will be a new version (have gotten some new sensors that give both soil temp and moisture and seem more long lived. This years seeding has begun. There is 96 new chili plants sprouting and there is around 30 varieties of them. Cayenne is now also included with a variety that grows one foot long fruits…