Project 2010: Testing Data Transfer Over Plant Roots






 -plant root (5 mm in diameter, dandelion – Taraxacum officinale)

-carrots (various diameters and lengths – Daucus carota)

-yellow turnips (rutabagas, various sizes - Brassica napobrassica)

-2 computers (COMP1-send and COMP2-receive)

-2 RS232 to RJ45 Adapters

-1 or 2 Serial (RS232) to USB Adapters, for the computers with no native serial ports (Note: Not required if both computers have serial ports)

-2 RJ45 Ethernet cables, with one end of the cable stripped for both (CABLE B & C)

-1 RJ45 Ethernet cables, with both ends intact (CABLE A)

-2 RJ45 Breakout Boxes

-Copper Wire (10 gauge, solid core)

-Text File 50KB or larger (referred to as test file), on COMP1



 Figure 1:  RS232 Pinout on the PC connector.  Note that only Pins 2 and 3 were

                   used in this experiment.




1.     Insert each end of CABLE A (refer to materials) into a separate RJ45 breakout box.

2.     Find green and green/white pins on CABLE B, on the stripped end.  Strip green and green/white pins, and punch green pin down into one of the two breakout boxes, on pin 4.

3.     Find green and green/white pins on CABLE C, on the stripped end.  Strip green and green/white pins, and punch green/white pin down into the second breakout box, on pin 4.

4.     Plug the RJ45 connectors of CABLE B into COMP1 and CABLE C into COMP2.

5.     Set up the testing application (Hyperterminal) on both computers.

6.     Take green pin of CABLE B, cut a 3 cm section of 10 gauge copper wire, and wrap green pin around it.  Tape down tightly with electrical tape.

7.     Repeat step 6 with the green/white pin of CABLE C.

8.     Take 1 section of plant root (dandelions, carrots or turnips).  Insert each copper wire piece (which are attached to CABLE B & C appropriately) into each end of the piece of plant root.

9.     Send test file on Hyperterminal at 300 bit rate (other setting are: data bits 8, parity none, stop bits 1, and flow control none), with Zmodem protocol, with data recovery, from COMP1 to COMP2.

10.Record bps (bits per second) on COMP2 using the bps indicator on the receiving Hyperterminal software.  Check the folder set to save the received text file on COMP2, compare file size to the same file on COMP1.  Also open file and read through briefly to ensure data integrity.




Figure 2:  Experimental Setup.