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Itrium

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  • Itrium commented on Itrium's instructable WiFi Oil Tank Monitor
    WiFi Oil Tank Monitor

    Hi, you are right. The pin driving the transistor base should be labelled GPIO015.The oil monitor has been in place for about a year now and a couple of problems have arisen. I upgraded the router during this period and the monitor could not connect at this time resulting in a flat battery. The software needs some. sort of counter adding to put the chip back to sleep after a few attempts at connecting.The other problem is that the tank is nearly empty now and the sensor alignment is quite critical. There have been a few instances where it gets knocked out of true giving silly readings. Otherwise, the concept seems ok.

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  • Itrium commented on Itrium's instructable Sonic Anemometer
    Sonic Anemometer

    Hi, You seem to be making good progress. You are actually detecting a change in wind speed which is the difficult part. The next step is converting the measured changes into an angle and wind speed. This is really a maths and software exercise. Unfortunately, I am tied up with other stuff at the moment and a bit short on time. However, a few further thoughts, does reversing the wind direction across a sensor cause the output to change in the opposite direction? This would show the sensor is measuring properly and it is more a problem of calibration. If you look at the comments, you will see someone picked up a typo in the sketch, this is corrected now in the write up.I have attached the patent outlining this measurement method, it is over 20 years old and is not now in force. The maths is…

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    Hi, You seem to be making good progress. You are actually detecting a change in wind speed which is the difficult part. The next step is converting the measured changes into an angle and wind speed. This is really a maths and software exercise. Unfortunately, I am tied up with other stuff at the moment and a bit short on time. However, a few further thoughts, does reversing the wind direction across a sensor cause the output to change in the opposite direction? This would show the sensor is measuring properly and it is more a problem of calibration. If you look at the comments, you will see someone picked up a typo in the sketch, this is corrected now in the write up.I have attached the patent outlining this measurement method, it is over 20 years old and is not now in force. The maths is quite heavy and so I have simplified the measurement into estimating the x and y components without all the stuff about correcting for the circular effects. Have a read and see if it is any help. If you are getting sensible wind speed measurements, the rest is maths and calibration!

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  • Itrium commented on Itrium's instructable Sonic Anemometer
    Sonic Anemometer

    Hi, The first step is to make sure the Tx and Rx in the phase lock loop are working and tuned to resonance. If you look at this on a scope, you will see the phase lock and fix the frequency. Now it is a matter of adjusting the sound path length to put the phase at the centre of its range by moving the transducers or reflector.The wavelength of sound is about 8mm for these transducers and so it only takes a fraction of a mm to significantly change the phase. Moving the transducers slightly is the simplest way to move the phase angle to give the maximum measurement range. Again a scope is the best way to check the Rx are receiving the sound and giving a voltage proportional to phase.I hope this gives you a few more ideas.

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  • Itrium commented on Itrium's instructable Sonic Anemometer
    Sonic Anemometer

    Hi, It sounds like the phase detectors are not receiving a signal and producing an output. The best (and maybe only) way to troubleshoot the system is to use a scope. Check the sender is giving an output and then each receiver is working. The depth of each receiver will need adjusting to give about a 90 degree phase shift. All a bit trial and error together with setting the reflector distance. Hope this helps.

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  • Soil Moisture Sensor Calibration

    OK, try dipping the sensor area in a glass of water to give the maximum moisture reading. Hand squeezing will introduce all kinds of stray values.

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  • Soil Moisture Sensor Calibration

    Hi, as you get a good reading in the dry, it sounds like your voltage measuring setup is working ok. Could be you have a faulty sensor, pinholes in the varnish on the probe would cause all kinds of current leakage paths and random signals.Try a different sensor or waterproof the original with varnish to see if that helps.

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  • Itrium commented on Itrium's instructable Sonic Anemometer
    Sonic Anemometer

    I am pleased you enjoyed this project. The weatherproof version looks much more complicated. These sensors are very insensitive and will need higher drive voltages and amplifiers on the receivers. Nothing insurmountable, just a lot of time and effort.

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  • Itrium commented on Itrium's instructable Sonic Anemometer
    Sonic Anemometer

    The 4046 should work ok with a 5 V rail but the output voltage will be lower. I suggest you get the 4046 detectors working first with 5 V and measure the voltage under different wind conditions and then decide if the arduino ADC gives enough resolution. If not, a separate ADC module like the ADS1115 will be more sensitive.A scope is essential for checking the transducers are working properly and the distance between them gives the best phase shift.

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  • Itrium commented on Itrium's instructable Sonic Anemometer
    Sonic Anemometer

    Hi, I agree, the / and * got swapped somehow, I need to correct the sketch.In an earlier comment, there is a link to the patent where this idea came from. The complete maths is quite involved and so I went for an approximate quick and dirty estimate of wind speed.

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  • Itrium commented on Itrium's instructable Sonic Anemometer
    Sonic Anemometer

    Hi, I used a 7V rail for the phase detectors to limit the output voltage which feeds into the arduino ADC. Other rail voltages are possible but you need to check that the voltage spec for the ADC is not exceeded.

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  • Itrium commented on Itrium's instructable WiFi Oil Tank Monitor
    WiFi Oil Tank Monitor

    Hi, The deep sleep current will rise from about 22 uA to about 300 uA if the red LED is left on. The battery life will drop to around 9 months.It will ping off if you lever it off with a fine screwdriver, careful you don’t get an eyeful. The antenna link is next to the aerial socket. This will also ping off. Alternatively, if you may want to you replace it, place a soldering iron on top of the link and slide it off when the solder melts, very small and fiddly process. The external aerial gives much better range if you need it.The transistor is used as a switch. In the off state, the leakage current is a few nano amps so you can forget it. Using XSHUT still gives a standby current 5-20 uA. Powering the sensor on and off proved much simpler (to me anyway) than trying to stop and start it in…

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    Hi, The deep sleep current will rise from about 22 uA to about 300 uA if the red LED is left on. The battery life will drop to around 9 months.It will ping off if you lever it off with a fine screwdriver, careful you don’t get an eyeful. The antenna link is next to the aerial socket. This will also ping off. Alternatively, if you may want to you replace it, place a soldering iron on top of the link and slide it off when the solder melts, very small and fiddly process. The external aerial gives much better range if you need it.The transistor is used as a switch. In the off state, the leakage current is a few nano amps so you can forget it. Using XSHUT still gives a standby current 5-20 uA. Powering the sensor on and off proved much simpler (to me anyway) than trying to stop and start it in software.

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  • Itrium commented on Itrium's instructable WiFi Oil Tank Monitor
    WiFi Oil Tank Monitor

    Have you had a look the Pololu write up and datasheets on the VL53L1X? That might be helpful at this stage for ideas.The read problem could be the sensor not having enough time to settle, a delay may be needed to give it more time. I remember changing to the transistor switch to power the sensor down instead of using the XSHUT pin because of start up and shut down problems. You may have more knowledge in this area than me.Accuracy never bothers me, something that can be corrected with calibration. What matters is resolution, stability and repeatability. Resolution looks good at 1 mm. Repeatability is running the sensor with a fixed distance to get an idea of short term scatter in the readings. In my test I got about +/- 2 mm (see Instructable). Stability estimated from the spread in the r…

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    Have you had a look the Pololu write up and datasheets on the VL53L1X? That might be helpful at this stage for ideas.The read problem could be the sensor not having enough time to settle, a delay may be needed to give it more time. I remember changing to the transistor switch to power the sensor down instead of using the XSHUT pin because of start up and shut down problems. You may have more knowledge in this area than me.Accuracy never bothers me, something that can be corrected with calibration. What matters is resolution, stability and repeatability. Resolution looks good at 1 mm. Repeatability is running the sensor with a fixed distance to get an idea of short term scatter in the readings. In my test I got about +/- 2 mm (see Instructable). Stability estimated from the spread in the readings every 7 hrs is much higher at about +/- 5 cm. I suspect this is a temperature effect, either tank expansion or the electronics. A bit of correlation work measuring air and oil temperature should sort that out... one day!Anyway, it looks like you are on the home run 😊

    The sensor looks exactly like the one I used. I have attached the sensor library details, there are other versions about now, see if you used a different one.Another option would be to get the sensor working with some short code just to make sure it is working.

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  • Itrium commented on Itrium's instructable WiFi Oil Tank Monitor
    WiFi Oil Tank Monitor

    Hi,It will look neater after removing the FT232. Have you checked all the usual stuff, selected the generic 8266 module, baud rate - I used 74880 to show boot up code, right driver for FT232 - the interface chips vary with manufacturer, voltage set to 3.3V, google for the problem on the web.It takes a lot of trial and error to get this stuff working but you will get there.

    Hi, I have a background in silicon chip design so we come from opposite ends of this problem. Any thoughts on the code would be appreciated, I bolt together pieces that work from other people rather than try to write it from scratch.It seems the reset loop is not working. Is the BAT43 diode the right way round? You could try a manual reset, quickly connect IO16 to ground to give a reset pulse.The reset function often works with a wire link instead of the diode, try a temporary short across the diode to see if that works.The sensor comes with a protective plastic film across the optics, this needs removing if it is still there.This is proving a real test for an Instructable. If you have time (I am assuming you will have it working soon), could you let me know which parts need clarifying fo…

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    Hi, I have a background in silicon chip design so we come from opposite ends of this problem. Any thoughts on the code would be appreciated, I bolt together pieces that work from other people rather than try to write it from scratch.It seems the reset loop is not working. Is the BAT43 diode the right way round? You could try a manual reset, quickly connect IO16 to ground to give a reset pulse.The reset function often works with a wire link instead of the diode, try a temporary short across the diode to see if that works.The sensor comes with a protective plastic film across the optics, this needs removing if it is still there.This is proving a real test for an Instructable. If you have time (I am assuming you will have it working soon), could you let me know which parts need clarifying for an easier build.

    Hi, Great progress! It looks like the sensor is not responding. You could connect the sensor VCC and GND direct to the battery to see if it is detected knowing there is power on the sensor. The transistor circuit needs checking if that works. The transistors can come with different pinouts, EBC or ECB, have a look at the 2N2222 datasheet or the datasheet for whatever transistor you used. Check it is an NPN transistor, not a PNP. On some Chinese stuff I have found the SCL and SCA have been swapped, worth a try swapping.What is your technical background? I've no idea if I am pitching these comments at the right level...

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  • Itrium commented on Itrium's instructable WiFi Oil Tank Monitor
    WiFi Oil Tank Monitor

    Hi, The circle is the symbol for an NPN transistor. I think you need someone local who has experience in electronics to help you with the circuit diagram. Flashing the software can have its own set of problems.Failing that, it will be a long haul going up the learning curve and the Arduino Uno may be a better place to start. There are plenty of tutorials on the web about these topics but nothing beats trying it for yourself.

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  • Solar-powered IoT Ultrasonic Oil Tank Monitor by Steve M. Potter

    Hi, After getting the ToF sensor to work, I did not pursue the US types as they gave spurious results in a metal tank. I have put a link to the tank graph at the end of the Instructable. After sorting out a loose fitting cap, it has been running non stop.The readings have a standard deviation of 3.2 cm, much higher than the short term test in the Instructable. I put this down to temperature, the tank expanding during the day. A running average would smooth some of this background variation.As the unit gives me a good idea of oil usage and level, I have not been inclined to delve any further. Trying to compensate for temperature could be an interesting exercise because the empty part of the tank will expand faster than the oil filled part. There may be a correction possible based on oil te…

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    Hi, After getting the ToF sensor to work, I did not pursue the US types as they gave spurious results in a metal tank. I have put a link to the tank graph at the end of the Instructable. After sorting out a loose fitting cap, it has been running non stop.The readings have a standard deviation of 3.2 cm, much higher than the short term test in the Instructable. I put this down to temperature, the tank expanding during the day. A running average would smooth some of this background variation.As the unit gives me a good idea of oil usage and level, I have not been inclined to delve any further. Trying to compensate for temperature could be an interesting exercise because the empty part of the tank will expand faster than the oil filled part. There may be a correction possible based on oil temperature and air temperature...

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  • Itrium commented on Itrium's instructable Sonic Anemometer
    Sonic Anemometer

    The idea is to get a representative sample of wind passing across the sensors. A large diameter would act as a resistance to the passing wind while a small diameter would introduce all kinds of eddies into the wind flow. The final choice was a mixture between a subjective what looks right and the shape of similar commercial anemometers found by googling. A calibration process covering different wind speed could correct for these geometry effects but we are back to wind tunnels again.

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  • Itrium commented on Itrium's instructable Sonic Anemometer
    Sonic Anemometer

    Hi, You can get a rough idea from the equation in the 1950’s article. If you have a minimum wind speed of 1m/s and a sound speed of 343m/s, for a 50mm spacing, the time delay is 0.4us. The phase detectors should easily resolve this time change but a better ADC would help. I should mention this is not a fully engineered design, more a feasibility study on making a sonic anemometer. Ambient temperature and supply voltage will affect the electronics accuracy and stability. I can now understand why these anemometers cost so much!

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  • Itrium commented on Itrium's instructable WiFi Oil Tank Monitor
    WiFi Oil Tank Monitor

    Hi, I have just copied the sketch from the website and it compiles ok, so no typos. Also, I have attached the IDE settings in case that helps. Let me know if you succeed.

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  • Soil Moisture Sensor Calibration

    I was using robust to indicate ease of operation rather than physical strength. The tensiometer needs routine checking for water level and leaks whereas the capacitative sensor should not need any further attention. Provided the tensiometer is air tight and the soil is not allowed to completely dry out, the device should work for a whole season without needing a top up of water.

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  • Itrium commented on Itrium's instructable WiFi Oil Tank Monitor
    WiFi Oil Tank Monitor

    The 5k from GPIO105 to ground is permanent. A separate 5k is connected between GPIO100 and ground during power up to put the chip into flashing mode. My Instructable on water softener salt level uses a similar circuit and you may find this helpful.

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  • Soil Moisture Sensor Calibration

    Thanks for pointing that out. I will check the circuit and correct the diagram. As these sensors are so cheap, I hope no one has actually tried to build one from scratch and spent time trying to make it work.

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  • Motor Speed Controller

    How does the motor react to the 2 second mark and space ratio?

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  • Itrium commented on Itrium's instructable WiFi Oil Tank Monitor
    WiFi Oil Tank Monitor

    Thanks, something to try. I think the problem with my tank is that the vent pipe is at one end and so there are reflections off the side walls, see front picture. A hole drilled in the centre of the tank top would give a better view of the oil but beyond my DIY skills. The optical sensor has a more focussed beam and is working well in the vent pipe.

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  • Battery Powered Shed Door & Lock Sensor, Solar, ESP8266, ESP-Now, MQTT

    Does shorting IO16 when held high by the test switch exceed the current rating of the ESP8266 (12mA)?

    I guess something like a 470 Ohm resistor or a small Schottky diode would stop any chance of shorting the wake up pin.

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  • Itrium commented on Itrium's instructable WiFi Oil Tank Monitor
    WiFi Oil Tank Monitor

    Thanks for the comment. I guess it will depend on how ‘waterproof’ the box stays. The battery manufacturer warns against soldering to this type of battery (bursting issue) but supply wire ended versions for PCB mounting. Maybe spot welding would work if you have the equipment.As the climate here is damp, I was thinking of putting a bag of silica gel in the box to keep things dry.

    The FTDI that I used gets power from the USB connection and the ESP-07 runs from the battery. If you power the ESP-07 from the USB adapter, remove the battery otherwise there will be interesting if not fatal current flows.

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  • Solar-powered IoT Ultrasonic Oil Tank Monitor by Steve M. Potter

    I am going to compare the VL53L0X, VL53L1X, SR04 and US-100 to see which is the most consistent. It takes a few weeks for the parts to come from China. The oil tank is within WiFi range and so I was going to use the hardware in https://www.instructables.com/Water-Softener-Salt-Level-Monitor/ This is working well and uses less than 30uA when sleeping. The oil tank is nearly empty, ideal for range tests, hope to complete the trials before the winter fill up,

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  • Solar-powered IoT Ultrasonic Oil Tank Monitor by Steve M. Potter

    Thanks for sharing your experience. So far I have tried shining a VL53L0X into the tank and got sensible readings if the sensor is levelled up. Also, I am getting a US-100 to try out now. It is good to know that the oil vapour does not affect the materials to any significant extent.

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  • Solar-powered IoT Ultrasonic Oil Tank Monitor by Steve M. Potter

    I was thinking of making an oil gauge like yours but was concerned about the oil fumes rotting the plastics and adhesives in the electronics. Did you have any long term reliability problems?

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  • Soil Moisture Sensor Calibration

    Hi, Good to hear you made this project. Did it work as described on the tin, any problems or ideas to do it better...

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  • That’s a shame, I find anything gluten free rather tasteless and no texture. How about adding a soupçon of charcoal and a dash more hydrogen to give C2H6O. This would go well with nuts.

    Is this gluten free? If not,is there a gluten free option?

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  • Itrium commented on Itrium's instructable Arduino Fertigation

    I believe this method has the advantages of both organic and purely hydoponic growth. The plants are grown in organic compost, a natural product which supplies nutrients and provides a sympathetic rooting environment. The fertigation system adds the essential nutrients and water in a well controlled manner to match the plant growth pattern.By organic, I suspect you mean using farmyard manure or similar... If you are lucky, you may hit on the right product or have access to laboratory analysis of the material so that you can make an informed application. More likely, it will be loaded with nitrates which will give exuberant leaf growth at the expense of fruit yield.

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  • Itrium entered Arduino Fertigation in the Water Contest contest