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Old 12-19-2013, 08:30 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barts View Post
I wonder if a solution to the display issues isn't to use a Raspberry Pi configured as an access point... you can then use any smart phone or tablet as a display device.

I think the Arduino is neat - but pixels count.

- Bart
That's a great idea and we all eagerly await your long thread on developing the interface! All of us, that is, who have a smart phone. Mine is dumb as a Princess Phone. Z
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Old 12-19-2013, 10:01 AM   #30
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Been looking at the Arduino yun ($72).
Arduino - ArduinoBoardYun

Also was testing a DIY tank level sensor using a capacitive sensor.
https://www.sparkfun.com/products/9695

Works but need to figure out tuning for charge/discharge and pad size for thick plastic. ( Yea seelevel .. DIY is for ego )

My initial test was with aluminium foil tape which worked reasonably well..
bildr Sensing Capacitive Touch – MPR121 + Arduino similar to this guy.

But assuming I'd print a flexible circuit board and Stick it to the tanks externally. Using laser printer toner transfer..
DIY Flexible Printed Circuits

Also not sure about I2C/2-wire and distance over 10-20+ feet.
might have to consider rs485 adapter(s)..
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Old 12-19-2013, 10:27 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chromis View Post
Been looking at the Arduino yun ($72).
Arduino - ArduinoBoardYun

Also was testing a DIY tank level sensor using a capacitive sensor.
https://www.sparkfun.com/products/9695

Works but need to figure out tuning for charge/discharge and pad size for thick plastic. ( Yea seelevel .. DIY is for ego )

My initial test was with aluminium foil tape which worked reasonably well..
bildr Sensing Capacitive Touch MPR121 + Arduino similar to this guy.

But assuming I'd print a flexible circuit board and Stick it to the tanks externally. Using laser printer toner transfer..
DIY Flexible Printed Circuits

Also not sure about I2C/2-wire and distance over 10-20+ feet.
might have to consider rs485 adapter(s)..
now you're talking! Great inputs.
Z
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Old 04-03-2014, 08:07 AM   #32
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Check out this unit - it uses a "field-effect" sensor to sense the water level from the outside of the tank. I installed one of these on another trailer and it seemed to work fine. Looks like you can buy the sensors alone for $30. Might be fun to try.

SensaTank II Fluid Monitoring System with Field-Effect sensors

Rasjad
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Old 04-03-2014, 03:14 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chromis View Post
...
Also not sure about I2C/2-wire and distance over 10-20+ feet.
might have to consider rs485 adapter(s)..
I have four (4) I2C sensors on 20' or longer leads that have been operating for more than a month in an unfinished house environment. No problems so far.

Rasjad, I looked at your suggested sensor. It seems to work like the penetrating contacts, except no penetration. I prefer to use a continuous sensor. The Arduino community has several methods of achieving this. You can start by looking here. Also, the Atmel microprocessor handbook has a capacitive sensing application.

Zep
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Old 04-10-2014, 04:33 PM   #34
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Veering off but kind of interesting

I've been watching this thread with great interest and have been playing with some ideas to add to the info here and try and retain some of the vintage look. So I've been playing with the small stepper motors that are used in automotive gauges made by Switec. I've mocked up a very simple circuit with 2 LM34 temperature sensors. I also printed a quick dial face and cut a pointer out of paper just for proof of concept. It works pretty good. I need to add a switch and then you can toggle between the 2 temp sensors (indoor/outdoor). The LED will light when you are on the outdoor sensor and shut off when on the indoor.

I'm thinking the temp dial could pretty easily be retrofitted into the old Springfield gauges that are in my '71. I'm pretty sure both are toast anyway. The barometer is for sure.

Zep, thanks for the spark to start tinkering with this. I'd like to look at your code and see how you have the connections made for the LCD and the ladders LED's. I'm thinking I'd run out of i/o lines on the standard Arduino and may have to go to the mega to make it all work. I'd also like to see what you did for battery monitoring.
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Old 04-11-2014, 04:39 AM   #35
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I used ten I/O lines to address the LED ladder. Two of the ladders always have the base LED on, so they only need three lines each. Right now the lgic escapes me.

In order to monitor the tanks using the standard "pins in the tank" system, you need an off-board resistor ladder for each tank in order to scale the voltage for input to A0-A2.

The battery voltage is monitored directly through a 1/3 voltage divider. I had considered using an offset scheme, but 10 bits is enough resolution to provide 0.05 volt precision in the 11.0-14.5V range. Current data is provided by a 30A hall effect sensor. You can find these dandy devices just by Googling "Arduino current monitor." I have this one and several others.

Connection to the LCD is through the SCL/SDA lines (A4-A5). You need to buy the LCD with the 2-wire hardware driver.

As you can see, the Nano can handle all this with D0-D1 (Rx/Tx), D12, D13 (if you can abide the LED on that pin), and A3 to spare.

This is a very preliminary board--just wanted to see if it could be done. I'm still toying with the idea of putting all the data on the LCD and not having an LED ladder.

Zep

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Old 04-28-2015, 07:59 AM   #36
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Hi,
Very interresting project. I'm looking to do the same prototype for my camper.
where i could find more info?
Thank you
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Old 04-28-2015, 08:16 AM   #37
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Dang, I was toying with building a Pi for the Airstream, but this is even more interesting.
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Old 04-28-2015, 04:02 PM   #38
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Just found this eye-opening project. Ingenious work, Zep. Thanks for the trip.
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Old 04-28-2015, 05:46 PM   #39
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Just something to toss out, maybe to add some kind of "exterior light controller." I grabbed the daylight sensor off the Pontiac Solstice I'm using as a parts car for my Morgan project. I believe the thing runs off of a 12v system with some kind of resistance based on light detection (could be wrong, haven't had a chance to mess with it yet). The idea being, you could use it to automatically turn on exterior (or interior) lights based on lack of daylight, with a programmed in cutoff / turn-off point to play along with park 'lights out' rules.

Just a fun idea.
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Old 05-18-2015, 07:35 PM   #40
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Love adruino

I too have a good background with this technology! I've been toying with these things for about 2 years and there is almost an unlimited amount of things you can do with it. I personally installed one in a 2000 Honda Civic DX. Let me finish... This Honda has a lot of custom things done with it all done by myself, let me get to the topic. I installed two Adruino systems, one consistently running (UNO) and the other when the car comes on (MEGA).

The UNO is equipped with a GPRS shield (laymen terms a cell phone without the screen or case). I then wrote logic to accept a text from my personal cell phone only and start my vehicle from anywhere in service range. It would then reply a message back when sensed voltage reached over the 13.7 VOLT running alternator state. The GPRS shield had to be linked to a AT&T account and assigned a cell phone number. You could also "kill" the engine and keep it off when you feel like it is necessary, or just send a stop run command with the ability to be restarted originally.

The MEGA is instructed to turn on with the ACC status is initiated. This module controls all of my climate controls. I normally run logic that simply attempts to reach a desired temp (72) by increasing or decreasing the temperature in the cab. Once the temp is reached it slowly ramps the fan down within 3 minutes time until blowing softly. I also have a 10.4 " touch screen running a Windows-base GPU that can control any aspect of the climate control system (not really needed when done automatically but still nice).

I know what you are thinking, this is stuff that is equipped in most vehicles, but remember the beginning of this ramble, this is a 2000 Civic. They weren't even thinking about that stuff back then. I want to help any way possible with knowledge with this equipment and the endless sea of sensors, actuators, motors, on and on. I do believe I could even possibly be its own forum or sub-forum one day (popularity is increasing drastically). I love the fact that people are already interested about them in RVs. Your mind will race after doing research about the capabilities! Please if any questions please feel free to ask!

P.S. the logic is the magic that sets apart people from the rest I went to Miami University of Ohio for Computer Science.

These pictures are the UNO / GPRS Shield / Relay Shield = car starter!
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Old 05-19-2015, 03:10 PM   #41
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You are going to be an excellent addition to the effort. More later, still building the house (not so fondly called the gulag).

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Old 11-26-2015, 07:45 AM   #42
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Are these on sale yet?

Ok, guys...you all seem to be electrical engineers! I have read this thread and the prior from start to finish, all very smart and interesting! Can anyone dumb this down a bit for the non-electrical engineer types?

I am installing gray tanks to my 1970 Safari. I am considering adding screw in probes so that I can monitor tank levels. I'm pretty sure my central control panel is shot but I can attach the wiring that was used for the old black tank probes to the new screw in probes. Question: will I be able to eventually use those probes with a new monitoring system like this? Is there a better plan before I secure the tanks and install the subfloor? Can you be specific on what parts to buy and assembly instructions for this new central control panel prototype?

Thank you all and Happy Thanksgiving!
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