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  • NikonUser commented on TheLeftyMaker's instructable Touch-sensitive LED Lantern6 weeks ago
    Touch-sensitive LED Lantern

    Very nice looking lamp, and I especially like your home-made olive jar and LED light bulb - very creative! I need some new bedside table lamps and a pair of these would look great - though perhaps not quite as attractive as yours knowing my woodwork skills, and perhaps a tad too delicate - looking at the piles of 'stuff' currently on my wife's side of the bed (but don't tell her I said that!)I'm going to have a look for those components and see if I can come up with something similar - I hadn't ever thought about making my own lamps before. Thanks for the inspiration.

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  • Ultrasonic Rainwater Tank Capacity Meter

    Hi Wroger-Wroger - all great manual alternatives. I like the squirty one in particular - it wouldn't work on mine as it has a pump to give the same pressure regardless of head, but I like the concept. I guess another idea might be to use the clear plastic hose but just put a standard tap fitting on it and turn the tap on while holding the tube above your head, rather than having to plumb it on to the tank...

    LOL - yeah, I don't want anyone trolling me!! See the "be nice" policy!!!

    Hi mitri - yes, you are absolutely correct, and well spotted! Thanks for pointing it out, eagle eye.That declaration is a throwback to my mkI version of the code (the original breadboard test). Using the nominal capacity and percentage together, I could work out the remaining capacity in litres - however, knowing I have 749 litres left is a little less meaningful than seeing 35% indicated - at least, that's what I felt at the time... I'm having second thoughts about it now, and am considering a change to my sketch so that the display alternates between the percentage and actual capacity in litres once per second.I thought I had left the extra calculation line in the code, just commented out, but I see now that I must have deleted it when taking out all my extra testing and troublesho...

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    Hi mitri - yes, you are absolutely correct, and well spotted! Thanks for pointing it out, eagle eye.That declaration is a throwback to my mkI version of the code (the original breadboard test). Using the nominal capacity and percentage together, I could work out the remaining capacity in litres - however, knowing I have 749 litres left is a little less meaningful than seeing 35% indicated - at least, that's what I felt at the time... I'm having second thoughts about it now, and am considering a change to my sketch so that the display alternates between the percentage and actual capacity in litres once per second.I thought I had left the extra calculation line in the code, just commented out, but I see now that I must have deleted it when taking out all my extra testing and troubleshooting code.If I revisit this issue, I think that rather than simply using a nominal capacity based on the manufacturers claim (which is probably based on the tank's total volume, and not accounting for the volume lost from the overflow point up to the top of the tank), I would calculate an exact value based on the maxDepth and surface area of the water (easily calculated from the length and breadth of the tank). So I would either manually calculate a new and exact value for the capacity variable, or I would replace the variable with a new one called surfaceArea, and have the Arduino recalculate capacity each time (but it can do that thousands of times per second without breaking a sweat - so no worries there!).I'll add a postscript amendment into the instructable, along with mkIII of the code if I do make this change.

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  • Ultrasonic Rainwater Tank Capacity Meter

    Logging data sounds like a cool enhancement. Logged data can map usage against capacity against weather trends or actual rainfall. Nice idea. I love statistics and data analysis!Ironically, I read somewhere that the USB interface is one of the components that push the Arduino prices up, especially for genuine suppliers like Adafruit and SparkFun who would no doubt use the properly licensed FTDI USB interface. The cheap clones coming from China use an alternative USB interface chip (CH340G) which bypasses the FTDI licensing cost, and brings their prices down considerably, and a Pro Mini with no USB on it at all... well, I got mine for $2.65!!

    Many thanks MauriceT2. I know its a long read, but I wanted to make it an enjoyable one too.

    Hi Hackinblack - yeah, don't get me started on ebay delivery times from China!!I imagine that your friend's 1M water cubes are either all connected at the lowest point and fill up simultaneously, or are in a cascading arrangement where the first fills up, then overflows into the second, which fills up and overflows into the third, etc...? You would need to have the first arrangement for my version of the gauge to work, so that all the cubes fill or drain at the same rate - then a measure of capacity in any tank can simply be multiplied by the number of tank units to get an overall capacity, and obviously the water and tank depth can be used to calculate the percentage (as I have done with mine) regardless of the number of tank units.Good luck with dragging the stone-age dipstick soluti...

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    Hi Hackinblack - yeah, don't get me started on ebay delivery times from China!!I imagine that your friend's 1M water cubes are either all connected at the lowest point and fill up simultaneously, or are in a cascading arrangement where the first fills up, then overflows into the second, which fills up and overflows into the third, etc...? You would need to have the first arrangement for my version of the gauge to work, so that all the cubes fill or drain at the same rate - then a measure of capacity in any tank can simply be multiplied by the number of tank units to get an overall capacity, and obviously the water and tank depth can be used to calculate the percentage (as I have done with mine) regardless of the number of tank units.Good luck with dragging the stone-age dipstick solution into the current century.

    German_MX - absolutely true... Taking the first step is probably the most difficult. We often find it easier to make excuses NOT to start, and sometimes when we DO start we wish we hadn't, but most often, once momentum is gained and the journey started, seeing it through to the end is both rewarding, and potentially the start of a new journey. OK - enough with the metaphors - get on and just start making - the bells and whistles can come later, or on v2.0 All the best :-DOh, and thanks for the compliments ;-)

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  • Ultrasonic Rainwater Tank Capacity Meter

    Thanks 'also a Nikon user' - I like your enthusiasm! Sadly, anything that even makes it from breadboard to a project box is considered a total and absolute success in my book ;-) Version twos seldom happen, other than in my imagination - so I'm hoping someone else will take on that challenge for me, and I can at least claim the kudos for being the 'inspiration'...Star trails in the outback - are on my agenda once I retire. Only ten (long) years to go now...

    Many thanks Rene - that's just what I wanted to hear

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  • Ultrasonic Rainwater Tank Capacity Meter

    LOL - I sense a theme here. Great idea to tie the individual projects together into one instructable. I look forward to seeing it.

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  • Ultrasonic Rainwater Tank Capacity Meter

    Ha ha - worry not. Your comment was received exactly as you intended.

    Hi there MUSHROOMSOUPERMAN.If I could get the heavens to pour oil instead of rain (just for you and me of course), we'd both be incredibly rich, but plagued with complaints about the impact on the environment ;-) Thunderstorms could potentially be a little more hazardous, but I wonder what colour the rainbows would be?Many thanks for your kind words. I'm considering instructablising my next project, but with the installation of around 300 individual LEDs involved, and trying to introduce my 5 year-old grandson to the world of making, this could be a long runner.The HC-SR04 is officially rated to 4 metres, but I managed to get reflections back from mine up to 4.8 metres under ideal conditions. However - assuming you are talking about standard oil drums, or even a domestic oil tank at ...

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    Hi there MUSHROOMSOUPERMAN.If I could get the heavens to pour oil instead of rain (just for you and me of course), we'd both be incredibly rich, but plagued with complaints about the impact on the environment ;-) Thunderstorms could potentially be a little more hazardous, but I wonder what colour the rainbows would be?Many thanks for your kind words. I'm considering instructablising my next project, but with the installation of around 300 individual LEDs involved, and trying to introduce my 5 year-old grandson to the world of making, this could be a long runner.The HC-SR04 is officially rated to 4 metres, but I managed to get reflections back from mine up to 4.8 metres under ideal conditions. However - assuming you are talking about standard oil drums, or even a domestic oil tank at home, then 4 metres should easily be plenty of range for you.Good luck with your build - I'd love to see your final product and hear about any adaptations or changes you made along the way.

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  • Ultrasonic Rainwater Tank Capacity Meter

    Hi cobourgdave - many thanks for your kind comments - I am glad you enjoyed the instructable, and my style of writing. In answer to your question - I’d say why make a simple solution where there is a complicated technical solution that will give me an excuse to indulge my hobby? LOL - sorry, I don’t mean to sound facetious. But in all seriousness, my intention was provide an entertaining article that illustrated some electronics and programming principles, and offered some tutelage thereof. The problem it solved was more of an excuse than a reason. Admittedly, it was a tongue-in-cheek and highly over-engineered solution to an actual problem I had, but like I say - one that allowed me to indulge myself in my hobby. This was never intended to be a recommended, best, simplest, ...

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    Hi cobourgdave - many thanks for your kind comments - I am glad you enjoyed the instructable, and my style of writing. In answer to your question - I’d say why make a simple solution where there is a complicated technical solution that will give me an excuse to indulge my hobby? LOL - sorry, I don’t mean to sound facetious. But in all seriousness, my intention was provide an entertaining article that illustrated some electronics and programming principles, and offered some tutelage thereof. The problem it solved was more of an excuse than a reason. Admittedly, it was a tongue-in-cheek and highly over-engineered solution to an actual problem I had, but like I say - one that allowed me to indulge myself in my hobby. This was never intended to be a recommended, best, simplest, or cheapest solution - just my particular take on it based on my skill sets. I thought about mechanical solutions involving floats and pulleys with an external flag or scale, but that meant some permanent means of getting the string from inside to outside, and affixing pulleys, etc. I also considered a simple transparent plastic indicator tube up the side of the tank, plumbed in at the bottom and top, but my concerns were a) the likelihood of it leaking where I drilled into the tank (it’s a corrugated tank with no flat surfaces anywhere), b) the need to drain the tank to do it (and how long it might be before I could recover that water - it doesn’t rain often here, and 2000 litres of water is a valuable standby commodity), and c) the tube - being exposed to daylight - ending up green with algae so I couldn’t see the water level anyway. But you are right - there’s certainly more than one way to solve this problem - even just using electronics � Thanks again for your comment.

    Adapting it for use with a weather station type rain gauge sounds like an excellent excuse to go the extra mile and have a real-time, internet accessible version. Could also use the spare capacity of the arduino to link a motor mechanism and timer to the rain gauge, to invert and empty it every 24 hours. Would need some thought on the weather-proofing though. Nice alternative use suggestion - thanks.

    Hi cobourgdave - many thanks for your kind comments - I am glad you enjoyed the instructable, and my style of writing. In answer to your question - I’d say why make a simple solution where there is a complicated technical solution that will give me an excuse to indulge my hobby? LOL - sorry, I don’t mean to sound facetious. But in all seriousness, my intention was provide an entertaining article that illustrated some electronics and programming principles, and offered some tutelage thereof. The problem it solved was more of an excuse than a reason. Admittedly, it was a tongue-in-cheek and highly over-engineered solution to an actual problem I had, but like I say - one that allowed me to indulge myself in my hobby. This was never intended to be a recommended, best, simplest, ...

    see more »

    Hi cobourgdave - many thanks for your kind comments - I am glad you enjoyed the instructable, and my style of writing. In answer to your question - I’d say why make a simple solution where there is a complicated technical solution that will give me an excuse to indulge my hobby? LOL - sorry, I don’t mean to sound facetious. But in all seriousness, my intention was provide an entertaining article that illustrated some electronics and programming principles, and offered some tutelage thereof. The problem it solved was more of an excuse than a reason. Admittedly, it was a tongue-in-cheek and highly over-engineered solution to an actual problem I had, but like I say - one that allowed me to indulge myself in my hobby. This was never intended to be a recommended, best, simplest, or cheapest solution - just my particular take on it based on my skill sets. I thought about mechanical solutions involving floats and pulleys with an external flag or scale, but that meant some permanent means of getting the string from inside to outside, and affixing pulleys, etc. I also considered a simple transparent plastic indicator tube up the side of the tank, plumbed in at the bottom and top, but my concerns were a) the likelihood of it leaking where I drilled into the tank (it’s a corrugated tank with no flat surfaces anywhere), b) the need to drain the tank to do it (and how long it might be before I could recover that water - it doesn’t rain often here, and 2000 litres of water is a valuable standby commodity), and c) the tube - being exposed to daylight - ending up green with algae so I couldn’t see the water level anyway. But you are right - there’s certainly more than one way to solve this problem - even just using electronics!!Thanks again for your comment.

    Hi cobourgdave - many thanks for your kind comments - I am glad you enjoyed the instructable, and my style of writing. In answer to your question - I’d say why make a simple solution where there is a complicated technical solution that will give me an excuse to indulge my hobby? LOL - sorry, I don’t mean to sound facetious. But in all seriousness, my intention was provide an entertaining article that illustrated some electronics and programming principles, and offered some tutelage thereof. The problem it solved was more of an excuse than a reason. Admittedly, it was a tongue-in-cheek and highly over-engineered solution to an actual problem I had, but like I say - one that allowed me to indulge myself in my hobby. This was never intended to be a recommended, best, simplest, ...

    see more »

    Hi cobourgdave - many thanks for your kind comments - I am glad you enjoyed the instructable, and my style of writing. In answer to your question - I’d say why make a simple solution where there is a complicated technical solution that will give me an excuse to indulge my hobby? LOL - sorry, I don’t mean to sound facetious. But in all seriousness, my intention was provide an entertaining article that illustrated some electronics and programming principles, and offered some tutelage thereof. The problem it solved was more of an excuse than a reason. Admittedly, it was a tongue-in-cheek and highly over-engineered solution to an actual problem I had, but like I say - one that allowed me to indulge myself in my hobby. This was never intended to be a recommended, best, simplest, or cheapest solution - just my particular take on it based on my skill sets. I thought about mechanical solutions involving floats and pulleys with an external flag or scale, but that meant some permanent means of getting the string from inside to outside, and affixing pulleys, etc. I also considered a simple transparent plastic indicator tube up the side of the tank, plumbed in at the bottom and top, but my concerns were a) the likelihood of it leaking where I drilled into the tank (it’s a corrugated tank with no flat surfaces anywhere), b) the need to drain the tank to do it (and how long it might be before I could recover that water - it doesn’t rain often here, and 2000 litres of water is a valuable standby commodity), and c) the tube - being exposed to daylight - ending up green with algae so I couldn’t see the water level anyway. But you are right - there’s certainly more than one way to solve this problem - even just using electronics Thanks again for your comment.

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  • NikonUser commented on jsvester's instructable Simple Arduino and HC-SR04 Example4 months ago
    Simple Arduino and HC-SR04 Example

    Thanks for the idea - but access into the rainwater tank is very limited via a single 30cm diameter hole in the top, and I don’t really want to start drilling holes and have to seal them (a disaster just waiting to happen!!), but the good news is that I have been able to build and test my unit - at least on breadboard (haven’t had time to mount it in a box yet), and all works to my satisfaction. The next step is to make all the connections permanent on my pro-mini, and drill the correct size holes in the box for the sensors to poke through. Btw - very impressed with the accuracy of the unit considering it was a cheap Chinese clone from eBay - it was good to within 1-2cms at 4 metres, and <1cm error at 2 metres. More than adequate for my needs.

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