Arduino Seeder Monitor

Hi, im working on my spare time on planter monitor, i have the basic code and functions already working, scalable to any amount of rows, the idea is to acomplish something like what AOG did for us,

  • It has to be cheap hardware wise (a 16 row should cost less than $50 to build).
  • im planing to have a basic monitor that shows problem alerts inside the cab to keep it cheap and an andoid app (or maybe web based?) that shows amount of doubles / skips, sedds per square meter, seeds per linear meter, averages, soil moisture ,temp, and maybe some other stuff
  • wireless conenction between cab module/ phone / planter module

It might seem a dumb project for some of the people here that already has a monitor in the planter (i also have a Dickey John in mine), but there are a lot of farmers here in latin america and all around the world that could benefit from something like this and cant afford a $ 1000, anyway ill keep you posted!


How do you detect seed ?

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I tryed with several kinds of sensores, i settled with a cheap ir obstacle sensor and a non reflective sirface inside de seed tuve, i madre a jig to test them and it gave me nearly identical results than the Dickey john’s i used the last few years, ill make a larger post when i hace the github up and include all details forma assembly


Ok here is a very interesting project, I can’t wait to test it!
Do you have a link for this cheap IR?

I second that. I’ve been hoping for a planter/seeder monitor as well that can be moved from planter to drill.

You’re likely already aware of this, but a farmer/engineer in Iowa, USA has done this sort of thing already and at the very least you might find some inspiration.

In his case, he’s using off the shelf planter IR receivers and harness and just focusing on the software to do the monitoring/calculations. In my opinion that would be a good place to focus as the sensors and harness need to be fairly rugged/weatherproof, but my opinion matters little. I’m excited to see what you develop.


yes, ive interchanged a few emails with Jim from Outfarming, and our projects are similar, but since i want to make th is thing open source and as cheap/simple as possible i decided to start from scratch


Looking forward to this project.

Following your proyect, I just buy a monitor for more than u$s 2000, too expensive for Us in Argntina.

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Any news on this project? I’m looking to do the same thing, I already have a simple seed monitor (doesn’t count the seeds, just tells when it’s without seeds or blocked).

I read some papers and patents about this kind of stuff and it seems that the best type of sensor are fiber optics, but they are kinda expensive.

And I’m struggling to find the right type of communication, I can’t figure out which protocol the commercial one use, they have some type of address, because it only has 3 wires (VCC, GND and Signal) and knows which sensor is blocked or without seeds. Mine uses a PIC18 microcontroller.

share your system or github. with this we can exchange ideas.

I’m sorry, I did not build the system, I’m trying to reverse engineer a commercial one. Next week I’m going to dismantle the sensor and try to figure out how it works.

Hi, ive got to a point where the error rate was low enough and didnt go any further, i’ll pick it up someday and share it here when is a little more “complete”, in My experiments the cheap ir sensors we’re sufficient, a non reflective coating inside the seeding tube Made all the difference in that regard, the rate of measurement was sufficient for corn and soy bean


Any updates on this?

I looked into creating my own Arduino sensors vs buying them.

I also spoke with Jim at who has a fairly economical custom made monitor.

I was going to make a prototype with just a pulse to an LED I figured I could make that for 20-30$ per sensor including a case. An even lower cost might be possible, but it didn’t shop around that much.
Jim said that an 8v pulse could be used with his monitor and therefore the cheapest option available for a seed monitor rig.

But first I’m wondering if it’s even worth making my own sensor when I’m seeing aftermarket JD sensors for 55$ new and I’m pretty sure if I looked hard enough I could find them used at half the price.
They are much tougher than anything I could ever build and likely more reliable and when I factor in the time to make each sensor I’m not convinced it’s worth it other than being a fun project idea. Any thoughts?

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