home improvement turns into science fair projects?

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mediatechnology
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Re: home improvement turns into science fair projects?

Post by mediatechnology » Wed Mar 04, 2020 1:34 pm

I could program up the 8bit micro already on my first generation tuner board, but 8 bit programming hurts my head... I need to check the footprint I might be able to pop a newer generation pic onto the old footprint.
Just buy an Arduino Nano board from eBay https://www.ebay.com/b/Arduino-Nano/4660/bn_7114049738 for a couple of bucks and download the free IDE: https://www.arduino.cc
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Re: home improvement turns into science fair projects?

Post by JR. » Wed Mar 04, 2020 3:15 pm

I feel a sense of irony being advised to use a micro after just years ago being dismissed because I reccomended micros for too many projects. I actually take this as sign of progress...

I am still unenthusiastic about another major coding project, or even a minor one requiring learning new handshakes.

From my recent experiments I am still evolving my design.

I will not rule out a proper float level switch, if the one I purchased and returned because it was faulty, comes back and works. :lol: I guess optimal float switch height is before the pump pulls air... perhaps a combination of multiple sensors...

Still soaking this design in beer....

JR
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Re: home improvement turns into science fair projects?

Post by mediatechnology » Wed Mar 04, 2020 3:32 pm

Well if I had to do a level meter with more than 8-10 steps I might use a micro.
But I still think I would do rectification with an op amp and then read the output with the on-chip A/D.
So yeah there may be some progress.

What makes the Arduino or Rasberry Pi so attractive are all the available libraries in addition to very low cost hardware.

WRT float switch what about a common toilet tank float with a Microswitch?
Or the styrofoam floats used to detect air conditioner evaporator secondary pan overflow...
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Re: home improvement turns into science fair projects?

Post by JR. » Wed Mar 04, 2020 5:27 pm

mediatechnology wrote:
Wed Mar 04, 2020 3:32 pm
Well if I had to do a level meter with more than 8-10 steps I might use a micro.
been there done that
But I still think I would do rectification with an op amp and then read the output with the on-chip A/D.
been there didn't do that... Besides rectification (not trivial) I have even coded up different attack/release time constant RCs and even RMS conversion
So yeah there may be some progress.
progress is good...
What makes the Arduino or Rasberry Pi so attractive are all the available libraries in addition to very low cost hardware.
all micros are cheap... If the library checks off all my boxes I'm in... but I bought a C compiler years ago that I ended up not using. It didn't give me the control granularity I desired.
WRT float switch what about a common toilet tank float with a Microswitch?
Float level switches are a mature technology with sundry commercial solutions (even tho' I found one that didn't work... its only on strike one, so far.) :lol:
Or the styrofoam floats used to detect air conditioner evaporator secondary pan overflow...
The longer I soak this in beer, the more personal my solution becomes, I have a unique water flow characteristic under my casa (not flooding as much as subsurface ground water flows). Of course I could use a common float switch and just set the level threshold a little higher*** to reduce noise near shut off (I was already on that path). I have a current sensor in hand, and a water flow sensor on order, so I will have multiple data inputs to use for this, to refine the design with.

.....or I could just manually switch this on and off like I have been for several decades, and I am right now. :lol:

JR

*** I have been waiting for my crawl space to dry up, so I could dig the well hole my pump sits in a little deeper... Not going to dry up any time soon. In fact we are under a flash flood watch until 6PM tonight. :oops:
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Re: home improvement turns into science fair projects?

Post by JR. » Thu Mar 05, 2020 9:40 am

My target design has flip flopped back and forth.... My old DIY heater controller already has an outlet with 16A triac switch so I just need to tweak the code for different on/off criteria (right now it measures room temperature from a diode's forward voltage drop). BUT, after the critical amount of beer I realized that I was heading down an all too familiar dead end path.

#1 I replaced this DIY heater controller with a commercial time of day thermostat that has worked fine for years...
#2 I replaced another DIY gadget slow cooker with a commercial unit that works fine (more or less).

The obvious solution is a proper water level switch, a mature technology, and I already purchased one (that failed). I need to give that float switch a fair chance to work as designed, when it returns from repair. If it fails again that doesn't mean that the concept is flawed, just that the particular execution is inferior.

I could implement any one of several indirect control scenarios (pump current, discharge water flow, etc), but they all suffer from not literally measuring the water level in my crawl space. :oops:

JR
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Re: home improvement turns into science fair projects?

Post by mediatechnology » Thu Mar 05, 2020 9:50 am

(not flooding as much as subsurface ground water flows)
Why I looked at your topo.
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Re: home improvement turns into science fair projects?

Post by JR. » Thu Mar 05, 2020 12:43 pm

mediatechnology wrote:
Thu Mar 05, 2020 9:50 am
(not flooding as much as subsurface ground water flows)
Why I looked at your topo.
I have managed the surface water run off reasonably well... I have front and back rain ditches that flow lots of water in weather like this. I did not do the initial rain ditch design, but I maintain what I inherited and have made significant improvements.

Several years ago I buried a french drain in my front yard to move standing water from there into the front rain ditch and away downstream... During the summer months I block that french drain so my pecan trees can benefit from the extra rain water...

===

I can barely hear the new sump pump pulling air. I have another thought... a cheap line cord power meter display might reveal how hard the sump pump is working. Just what I need another gadget. :lol:

Image
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Re: home improvement turns into science fair projects?

Post by terkio » Thu Mar 05, 2020 3:10 pm

This raises the question:
Is it measuring W or VA ?
Cheapos may even be measuring A scaled by a standard V.

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Re: home improvement turns into science fair projects?

Post by JR. » Thu Mar 05, 2020 4:26 pm

terkio wrote:
Thu Mar 05, 2020 3:10 pm
This raises the question:
Is it measuring W or VA ?
Cheapos may even be measuring A scaled by a standard V.
Not for me... I don't care as long as I can see some difference between full water flow, and pulling mostly air....

This is the cheapest one I could find, so it may be measuring floobydust. :lol:

JR

[edit I actually found a cheaper one Image [/edit]
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Re: home improvement turns into science fair projects?

Post by terkio » Thu Mar 05, 2020 11:02 pm

True watt measurement might make a difference especially to see about a motor idling versus running under load.

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