Wiring up your Bonsai Buckaroo

For this project, you'll need a Bonsai Buckaroo, a CLUE, a water pump, some tubing, alligator clips, and two nails (or something else conductive will work too!). It's super simple to connect them up.

Here are the basic steps -- you can then use the photos below for more detail.

  • Mount the Bonsai Buckaroo to the CLUE using the included mounting hardware.
  • Connect the red wire of the water pump to the top of the motor controller terminal.
  • Connect the black wire of the water pump to the bottom of the motor controller terminal.
  • Connect an alligator clip to the 3V pad on the Bonsai Buckaroo.
  • Connect an alligator clip to the PIN#1 pad of the Bonsai Buckaroo.
  • Connect the other end of the alligator clip wires to nails stuck into the soil of your plant.
  • Connect the tubing to the water pump
  • Place the other end of the tubing in the soil of the plant.


First, use the included screws to fasten the CLUE board to the Bonsai Buckaroo.


The Bonsai Buckaroo has a motor driver built in to run the DC pump.

To wire it, place the red wire in the top terminal and the black wire in the bottom one.

Push down the tabs with a screwdriver as you insert each wire to get a solid connection.


Press fit the tubing onto the pump outlet.

For and extra secure connection, you can use a zip tie like a hose clamp. Pull it tight and trim off the excess.


To make the soil moisture probes, simple clip one end of each lead to a nail.

Push the nails deep into your flower pot soil.

You will then connect the other ends to 3V and Pin 1 connections on the Bonsai Buckaroo.

Pump and Water

Now, to use the watering feature of the project, you'll need a container of water into which you can you submerse the pump.

Make sure the tubing is positioned over the flower pot and then turn it on.

If the soil is moist, you'll see a happy plant graphic and the percentage displayed.

When the soil becomes dry over time, the display will show the percentage reading, and if it gets below 50%, the dry plant graphic will be shown, the motor will start pumping, and the buzzer will sound until the moisture level is back above 50%.

This guide was first published on Mar 25, 2020. It was last updated on Mar 25, 2020.

This page (Assemble the Bonsai Buckaroo) was last updated on Mar 18, 2020.

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