Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 11-23-2013, 03:06 PM   #1
Rivet Master
 
Zeppelinium's Avatar

 
1975 31' Sovereign
1973 27' Overlander
1977 23' Safari
Palmer Lake , Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 3,908
Send a message via Skype™ to Zeppelinium
Arduino Tank/Battery Monitor

This post is just a place holder until I can document the prototype in the photo below. Total cost is about $40, plus your time to install it and maybe run the additional wires for the temperature sensors.

"Arduino" is the name of a family of small microcomputers that are super easy to program and use. Setting up the display and sensors in the photo below took about 30 minutes, including downloading the software and modifying it slightly to provide the appropriate display text.
Z

PS--this monitor uses waterproof temperature sensors, so you can make a monitor to show the temperatures inside, outside, in the tanks, behind the cabinets, in the water heater, in the fridge, in the freezer, in the fridge chimney, in the air conditioner, etc. You can show 8 temperatures, each with a short label, on this 4x20 LCD, or more if you don't think you need to label each reading. If there is interest in such a device, let me know. I intend to install one in each of my Airstreams, particularly the fridge monitor capability.

Click image for larger version

Name:	DSCN1828 proto monitor.jpg
Views:	1318
Size:	153.9 KB
ID:	200563
__________________

Zeppelinium is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-2013, 01:11 PM   #2
1 Rivet Member
 
1995 28' Excella
West Yellowstone , Montana
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 16
Amazing! Id never heard of Arduino, looks like a great addition to a trailer. Are the temperature and fluid level sensors separate from one another? Are they wireless? Looks like you've included an amp meter as well, does Arduino make a shunt? Is the monitor switched? Great work, thanks for sharing. I look forward to future posts on the subject.
__________________

__________________
Linus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-2013, 02:22 PM   #3
Rivet Master
 
Zeppelinium's Avatar

 
1975 31' Sovereign
1973 27' Overlander
1977 23' Safari
Palmer Lake , Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 3,908
Send a message via Skype™ to Zeppelinium
The current sensor is an Allegro ACS712, 30 amps. It has an internal resistance of 1.2 milliohm, about the same as the copper shunt in the old Univolts. The advantage of this device is that zero current produces an output of 2.5 volts. Zero volts is negative 30 amps and5 volts is positive 30 amps. The analog input on the Arduino can read this directly. The old shunt system produced a negative voltage for negative current, which is harder to handle in a digital system.

Battery volts are measured directly by an analog input on the Arduino.

Temperature is sensed by DS18B20 one-wire sensors that are accurate to +/- 0.12 degrees C. These can be water proof and submerged in the tanks or placed inside the fridge/freezer, as well as outside.

Tank level is more problematic. The initial design will use the vintage system of probes and wires to detect fluid level. I haven't decided yet whether to show that using LED bars or on the screen. I'd prefer to keep the screen area for temperatures, amps, and volts.

Z
Zeppelinium is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-2013, 03:02 PM   #4
Rivet Master
 
65CV's Avatar
 
1959 26' Overlander
Western , Massachusetts
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 1,449
Images: 6
Zep-

Great find -- not only on the microprocessor -- but on the sensors as well. Looks like a great way to have a small, discrete monitor for a host of different applications. I predict that we'll see some very creative uses in this thread.

Here's one idea: since you seem to be into the '70s era, are you thinking about programming a motion-activated disco ball?

John
__________________
65CV is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-2013, 03:46 PM   #5
Rivet Master
 
Aviator's Avatar

 
1997 34' Limited
1970 27' Overlander
South of Atlanta , Georgia
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,655
Images: 2
I am interested in such a device. One for the full on 1970 Restoration I am involved in and one for out 1997 on which none of the probes currently work. I have been using a standard La Crosse inside/outside temp display for the fridge by simply placing the wireless sender inside the fridge. Having a couple of central displays would be great. Possibly one for fluid, propane levels, and battery condition with the other dedicated to various temperatures.
__________________
Craig and Carol
1997 34' Excella 1000
1970 27' Overlander, International
2009 Ford F150 5.4L
ProPride hitch with 1400# bars

AIR 41028
TAC GA-8
WBCCI 10199
Past President Southeastern Camping Unit (12)
Aviator is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-2013, 04:16 PM   #6
Rivet Master
 
wxbuoy's Avatar
 
1991 35' Airstream 350
Carriere , Mississippi
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 1,205
Send a message via Skype™ to wxbuoy
I am interested as well! I am at the point in my rehab to install or run wires if needed. Looking forward to details, schematics and parts list!
__________________
Dave and Felicia
wxbuoy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-2013, 05:08 PM   #7
1 Rivet Member
 
1990 25' Excella
Florissant , Missouri
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeppelinium View Post
Tank level is more problematic.
I dont know if it could be used in your setup or not but on my Arduino computer that I use to monitor and control my aquarium there is a level sensor that uses pressure to monitor the level of the aquarium. Basically it is a sensor in the top of a piece of pvc that monitors air pressure in the pvc, as the level goes up it compresses the air at the top and tells you that it is full. I am new here and don't know the exact rules about posting links to off subject sites but I can post if its ok. I have no affiliation with the company I just thought it might help. Also there is 15" of range on the height of the water I don't know if that's enough or not.
__________________
VSpeck is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-2013, 05:57 PM   #8
Rivet Master
 
Zeppelinium's Avatar

 
1975 31' Sovereign
1973 27' Overlander
1977 23' Safari
Palmer Lake , Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 3,908
Send a message via Skype™ to Zeppelinium
VSPECK, post away. Any input is helpful to the discussion. Sounds like your sensor might fill the bill. We only need to measure 7" of depth. The only problem I can see is that sloshing in the tanks may allow fluid to get up to the sensor and wet it. It is obviously not designed for that.

Z
Zeppelinium is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-2013, 06:28 PM   #9
1 Rivet Member
 
1990 25' Excella
Florissant , Missouri
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 7
there is no good way to ling directly to the module but if you click the link and then click expansions it under water level expansion module. Sloshing tanks shouldn't be an issue. I mistyped the last post. In the top of the pvc is an adapter that a piece of 1/4" air line connects to and that connects to the sensor. The actual sensor its self can be kept well above the tanks and in a safe and dry space. The same company is working on a 5port level sensor which would be more helpful in our situation but if you are good with hardware work you could make a 3 port or whatever you needed I'm sure.

here is the link to the company page
Reef Angel Aquarium Controller

the same company has humidity expansions and leak detectors and waterproof temp probes and everything. Maybe it would help you in designing your setup.
__________________
VSpeck is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-2013, 07:19 PM   #10
Rivet Master
 
garry's Avatar
 
1969 31' Sovereign
Broken Arrow , Oklahoma
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,362
Images: 7
Here is a tutorial for anyone looking for "how to" information with the Arduino.

Arduino Tutorial - Learn electronics and microcontrollers using Arduino!
__________________
Garry
garry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-2013, 07:29 PM   #11
4 Rivet Member
 
Chillpoints's Avatar
 
1992 29' Excella
Asheville , North Carolina
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 275
Images: 7
Thanks for the new link
__________________
Jonathan Hettrick

'92 Excella 29'
Dodge Ram 1500
AIR # 59179
TAC NC-12
Chillpoints is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-26-2013, 04:54 AM   #12
Rivet Master
 
Zeppelinium's Avatar

 
1975 31' Sovereign
1973 27' Overlander
1977 23' Safari
Palmer Lake , Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 3,908
Send a message via Skype™ to Zeppelinium
Quote:
Originally Posted by VSpeck View Post
there is no good way to link directly to the module ...

here is the link to the company page
Reef Angel Aquarium Controller

the same company has humidity expansions and leak detectors and waterproof temp probes and everything. ...
Click image for larger version

Name:	MPXV5010GC6T1.jpg
Views:	170
Size:	81.1 KB
ID:	200704

I've searched for a suitable device and the MP3V5100 is about the best I've found so far. It's a +/- 0.3 psi (gauge) transducer for about $14 in single units from Digikey. The vendor (Freescale) makes all kinds of these chip-based transducers. This unit puts out 2.5V at zero pressure and 4.5V at 0.3 psi (only the positive pressure output is useful in this application). For almost all tanks in vintage Airstreams, the max tank depth is less than 8". Eight inches of water is almost exactly 0.3 psi.

The problem is, how to connect the sensor to the tank. The fish tank example above is nifty in that keeps the sensor dry and re-zeros itself every time the tank is empty, but it requires a vertical intrusion into the tank.

Zep

PS--this does the same thing as the $70 unit from the aquarium company, but you have to be able to solder the surface mount package to a circuit board. It's a challenge.
Zeppelinium is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-26-2013, 08:29 AM   #13
1 Rivet Member
 
1990 25' Excella
Florissant , Missouri
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeppelinium View Post
The problem is, how to connect the sensor to the tank. The fish tank example above is nifty in that keeps the sensor dry and re-zeros itself every time the tank is empty, but it requires a vertical intrusion into the tank.
I didn't know if there was a way to get in the tanks for you other than a major renovation situation or not.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeppelinium View Post
PS--this does the same thing as the $70 unit from the aquarium company, but you have to be able to solder the surface mount package to a circuit board. It's a challenge.
Yea I'm sure there are ways to do it cheaper but by going through them I get a whole forum full of people working on the same situations as me and 24hr customer support and its already built. I could solder and assemble but that's more work than I want to invest on that particular hobby. I already have enough time in reef tanks
__________________
VSpeck is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-26-2013, 09:13 AM   #14
Rivet Master
 
Wayward's Avatar
 
2006 25' Safari FB SE
Cary , North Carolina
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 803
other sensor options

Very intersting stuff.

Parallax sells a 12" submersible strip that converts pressure changes to variable resistance.

Here is an 8" version that looks similar

Here is a video with some Arduino code to read the resistance.

Someone else suggests using a Parallax ultrasonic sensor and converting ping return time, to distance. Code is here but it is not clear if anyone built it.

Garnet's SeeLevel sensor seems to attach on to the outside of the tank. It might be using 1-wire technology with a proprietary data format. This would be an interesting Arduino hack as the sensors can be purchased separately.
__________________

__________________
2006 Safari SE FB
2000 F150 4.2L
2011 F250 6.2L
Raleigh, NC
Wayward is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:24 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.