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Old 24-01-2011, 08:43   #31
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Originally Posted by Bergovoy View Post

When i was trying to think of an 'aquarium controller', I was thinking about getting flow sensors for the plumbing, and found those parts to be really expensive for saltwater.. in the $300 range.

I think part of it or maybe most of it was for non corrosive parts that would leech metals into the aquarium water and adversly affect the fish and coral.. not sure if that would be an issue for the flow sensors for a drinking water system...
Bergo--

Sika flow sensors are available on Ebay for $50. Those available there probably are inadequate for fish tanks because the minimum flow rate is 2l/min. The models I have are all plastic except for the rotor pins which are SS. No fear of an type of contamination using these devices because they are not in the product output lines.

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Old 24-01-2011, 09:04   #32
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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
for us micro age boys ( born in 60) micros are easier. !.

PS in realtion to TDS metering , really all you need is a simple conductance probe, it doesnt even need to be calibrated. Find the conductance valve that corresponds to your taste buds and then scale from there, theres no real need to actually discover the salt content.

Dave

Dave--

Been years since I was in the technical world but how vividly I recall having a team of software programmers working under me along with hardware design engineers. Some designs were for monitoring and controlling various aspects for power control, fault analysis, cooling and so forth. More complex designs were for automatic testing of very expensive components used in a military application.

I lost track of the number of hours required for software engineering. I used to take my programmer's time estimates and unknown to them, multiply the time by factors of 6-10! The work involved not only the software design but the implementation into processors via programmed ROMs, flash memory and emulators. They always seemed to surprise me by going over even my schedule.

Maybe today off the shelf products have greatly lessened the implementation phase. I do agree that a good controller can provide mind boggling information.

Foggy
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Old 24-01-2011, 16:53   #33
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Originally Posted by Bergovoy
the KISS is basically for 'safety' and to avoid problems/complications when you are somehwere when the 'control' system is on the fritz...

having an electronic control system to have complete control of the watermaker mean an all encompassing type of system. and for each solenoid you will need a flow sensor to confirm that the solenoid is in fact operating as commanded. (I knowthere must be some type of term for this, maybe two way solenoid, or feedback solenoid?)

so in essence you will need to components for each function, at least... and then maybe a back up...

When i was trying to think of an 'aquarium controller', I was thinking about getting flow sensors for the plumbing, and found those parts to be really expensive for saltwater.. in the $300 range.

I think part of it or maybe most of it was for non corrosive parts that would leech metals into the aquarium water and adversly affect the fish and coral.. not sure if that would be an issue for the flow sensors for a drinking water system...

anyways, i am all for turning one valve after use... i.e. turn the system on for an hour, or for you, push a button, then when done push a button, for me it would be turn a valve, then turn the power off...

just giving you my unexperienced/laymen perspective, for whatever it's worth...
Sure sure KISS is a point of view. I like mucking about with microcomtrollers. Btw there's no need for sensors to detect solenoid action. Remember out side of the flushing systems. I have only one solenoid in the product line and that's low pressure. The two paddle wheel flow sensors provide positive feedback as to what's happening as does my high pressure sensor. I can also detect the unloaded valve operation electronically and report a fault.

In my case as I build the circuit myself I end up with upto four copies so I have a lot of spares. Well designed electronics don't fail. Also as with building your own you inevitably end up with a few spares !!

In my case I believe my design is more robust then a purely manual one. My system can detect high pressure leaks, incorrect settings are impossible and membrane performance can be closely monitored. ( on a pc at present ) the main issue I had was sourcing basic plumbing especially high pressure stuff and here the hassle of dealing with NPT ( this being metric land). However once you've identified the proper suppliers that problem goes away.

Tellie thanks 're the glycol I actually have that for anti freezing my water system. Never thought of it for pickling. Great. Will it be ok for filmtec membrane do you think

Dave
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Old 24-01-2011, 18:20   #34
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Hi Dave, sure it will be fine for filmtec.
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Old 24-01-2011, 19:32   #35
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Dave--

Few questions--- are you/have you used PICs? If so, is there a particular benefit with any one processor? Do you have a recommendation? PIC construction boards for breadboarding?

More-- If your into PICs, how did you do your programming, compiled C, assembly language???

I am going to start looking into them but I have a lot of poop on my plate just now but I am going to find time.

Thanks--

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Old 25-01-2011, 19:39   #36
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Hi foggy, I used a PIC16F1823 as it is available in a 14 pin DIP and has ADC, USART flash etc. I use the Mikroelectronica development system with their "C" compiler MikrocC see MikroElektronika - EasyPIC6 Development System - PIC Development Board not bad little systems for the price. Im running close to the max memory limit on the chip ( probably due to my crappy C mind you)

I may move over to AVR ATmega line of microcontrollers as the architecture is a bit more regular, but hey "the devil you know".

These can be easily breadboarded to get going, I tend to go directly to a PCB as I have layout software sometimes I put a prototype area into the PCB, helps if I need to add bits but for this design its only driving a few solonoid valves and reading a couple of squarewave inputs from the flow units and a analogue signal from the pressure transducer, not a big deal. ( ming you I blew up a board or two!). i need to rework the design to handle the motorised needle valve and the conductance probe and a few more valves for the auto pickling system.

Any dayy now I'll get around to finishing the little touch panel app, thats then connects via the USART port on the PIC

as Telie says, DIY aint for everyone, I'm at this for over 10 months on and off, still not ready to go.

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Old 25-01-2011, 20:37   #37
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Yeah Dave, I posted in another thread support for Tellie. The DIY projects for me at least and appears the same for you is the excitement gained from the technical stuff.

I know a little info is dangerous, I read where the 18F offers benefits over the 16F processors, they even cost less. Of course the 16's have been around longer so there probably is greater support for those processors. You mentioned something regarding your C skills. What do you believe mine are after over 15 years being away from functions and I don't mean drinks at the bar.

Another thing that got my attention is the very small amount of ram on PICs. That comment is away ahead of my technical knowledge of PICs. Even with limit skill, I can see memory limitation problems if things got complicated.

Hey!!! THANKS for sharing what PIC your using along with the compiler info. I am anxious to get something going, I will keep you abreast of whatever direction I get to follow.

Foggy
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Old 25-01-2011, 22:53   #38
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btw, is there a way to automate and or electronically control a sailboat? Have motion sensor to determine the orientation of the boat, and position of the sail, and the wind direction, and even the load being taken at the mainsail

thre's gotta be a way... could be the project of a life time... then we could UAV's cruising the world... unmanned atomated vessel's
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Old 26-01-2011, 04:11   #39
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btw, is there a way to automate and or electronically control a sailboat? Have motion sensor to determine the orientation of the boat, and position of the sail, and the wind direction, and even the load being taken at the mainsail

thre's gotta be a way... could be the project of a life time... then we could UAV's cruising the world... unmanned atomated vessel's
Just when I thought we'd seen every colour, size and shape of insanity on this forum, someone resets the benchmark.

Some of your posts are good Bergo... this isn't one of them.

Believe it or not, most folk here actually LIKE sailing!

Might as well get an X-box and a blow up doll and live in a darkened room...
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Old 26-01-2011, 06:35   #40
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Originally Posted by foggysail

I know a little info is dangerous, I read where the 18F offers benefits over the 16F processors, they even cost less. Of course the 16's have been around longer so there probably is greater support for those processors. You mentioned something regarding your C skills. What do you believe mine are after over 15 years being away from functions and I don't mean drinks at the bar.

Another thing that got my attention is the very small amount of ram on PICs. That comment is away ahead of my technical knowledge of PICs. Even with limit skill, I can see memory limitation problems if things got complicated.



Foggy
Foggy there's so many PICs to choose from I was merely using what I had to hand rather after an exhaustive examination the project isn't that complex.

As to your "C" skills don't worry it will all come back after a few goes. The microcontroler based C is fairly straightforward but you are always aware of the limitations and general weirdness of the underlying chip. Setting up the "fuse" options is also a learning curve and will result in unusable chips while you're learning

Go for it.

Dave
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Old 26-01-2011, 09:40   #41
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Just when I thought we'd seen every colour, size and shape of insanity on this forum, someone resets the benchmark.

Some of your posts are good Bergo... this isn't one of them.

Believe it or not, most folk here actually LIKE sailing!

Might as well get an X-box and a blow up doll and live in a darkened room...
not sure about your comment, but, I was just going along with the OP desire to autmate everything as it was easy for him to do it...

if he can do the electronics and logic part of it, then there must be a way to do this with sensors and servos and all that.

Clearly per my earlier posts in this subject, I would rather KISS.. but, for the challenge of design building a logic circuit and all that, I would love to see someone automate the process...

i mean we can send space ships into space and they 'navigate' and all that, so why not sailboats...
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Old 27-01-2011, 12:20   #42
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Foggy there's so many PICs to choose from I was merely using what I had to hand rather after an exhaustive examination the project isn't that complex.

As to your "C" skills don't worry it will all come back after a few goes. The microcontroler based C is fairly straightforward but you are always aware of the limitations and general weirdness of the underlying chip. Setting up the "fuse" options is also a learning curve and will result in unusable chips while you're learning

Go for it.

Dave

Well Dave, you whetted my appetite, the hook is set.

I looked at the AVR stuff that purport to have a great C compiler but I backed away from them. Their processors use the RS232 serial junk. I instead went way overkill with a PIC18F4550. Yes, I know, its HUGE with 40 pins but its also INEXPENSIVE! Relatively that is.

I purchased a development board at Futurlec along with an extra processor just in case I screw the first one up. The board and extra processor cost delivered is $62.80.

Check this thing out! Has a great a many features including a a USB interface. http://www.futurlec.com/PIC18F4550_Board.shtml

Don't know where all this will lead me but I am excited. It has soooo much potential. Heck, I can take the output from the flow transducers, count them, use the internal A/D converters, apply a correction factor and output this to a buffer then to a meter. But you already know that!!!

I expect to have so much fun playing with all the options, why heck, I might not finish my watermaker until NEXT year! Thanks for pointing me to this newer technology where I don't need an emulator.

Foggy
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