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Earth
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The point of this project is to view and automatically control all of the 12v gadgets in my camper with no wires and the least amount of juice possible from my laptop and Droid anywhere with my voice and Arduino. i am off grid with 255watts of solar panels charging 9 absorbed glass mat 12V batteries. so im limited to only 12V. although i do have a 1500/3000watt pure sine wave inverter that only spits out 600watts. i will edit this first post with the parts we will need. Feel free to post your ideas, opinions and apps. To start off we will use my Arduino Mega 2560.
"Arduino Mega 2560 camper"  title="camper"

We will buy and stack this Arduino WiFi Shield on top.
"camper"

And then we will buy and stack this Arduino BT on top of that.
"bluetooth"

we will want to know my water level. and go with a SeeLevel II tank sensor strip from http://www.rvgauge.com/rv.htm

voltage sensor to read my water level sensor. Geez


Bluetooth Digital Baby Thermometer for Android Devices. $31
Great for wrapping around tanks or pipes outside. but requires charging every 2 days. so we might have to hardwire it to the arduino. maybe train it to turn on a light to warm that area up. or we might not buy this at all.


i have this to power the Arduino Mega 2560. i will convert my 12v to 9v.

we might need these.


i have 2 of these Waterproof Digital Temperature Sensor Thermal Probe DS18B20
"Temperature Sensor"

EasyVR Shield - Voice Recognition Shield https://www.sparkfun.com/products/10963


i have two 20kg load sensors



i want to see my battery bank voltage and amps being used.
i want to see the temperature inside and control that with my voice.
i want to see the temperature outside the camper rv.
i want to see my amount of propane in my two 20pd propane tanks. but that is impossible.
i want to turn on and off any light in camper by saying "Arduino, turn on light #".
Sensordrone sounds amazing but this is not available to buy yet. http://www.sensorcon.com/sensordrone/
i will talk to my camper with this software http://www.bitsophia.com
but i will need several (8-10) microphones spread out evenly. but i dont want any wires!
and then i have to write the javascript/sketch/library/droid-app/code/thingy
i then can finally sit down and never have to get up.  smiley-twist smiley-evil(evil laugh) smiley-evil smiley-twist
« Last Edit: March 20, 2013, 10:26:11 am by TrailerTrash » Logged

Webmaster living off grid in a camper with 300watts of solar panels charging 9 absorbed glass mat 12V batteries. i own about 40 dot coms. i

Indiana, US
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Very cool.  You'll have to keep us posted on your progress.

But why even use a laptop or phone?  Just modify one of these: http://www.popsci.com/technology/article/2012-07/brainwave-controlled-version-pong
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Earth
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im not sleeping with that thing on my head. lol
if i wake up in the middle of the night to pee i want to turn on and off a specific 12v light with my voice.
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Earth
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i dont remember how many times i woke up at 3am and noticed its 45 degrees inside.
i throw my closes on and grab my 7/8 wrench and switch out a propane tank with my 3rd one.
i need a solution, a warning, a % number on my computer screen or a phone call.
Can my Arduino do something to read a propane tank? its stressing me out  smiley-sad
« Last Edit: March 20, 2013, 09:33:48 am by TrailerTrash » Logged

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Can my Arduino do something to read a propane tank? its stressing me out  smiley-sad

Yes.  You need something to measure the weight of the tank.

Maybe this... https://www.sparkfun.com/products/8713?

Or a "load cell".

Something from here may help... http://arduino.cc/forum/index.php/topic,80223.0.html

https://www.google.com/search?q=+site:arduino.cc+arduino+weight
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So many projects, so little time...and money!
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@TrailerTrash
If you're camping at an electric site, use electric heaters.  You're paying for it anyway, why use up all of your propane?  We use the 30 amp and plug one heater to a receptacle inside.  We run an extension cord to the 20 amp plug outside and bring it inside for the 2nd heater on really cold nights.  We have a Flagstaff popup camper and have camped down to 35 deg F and stayed very comfy.   Another idea is to use electric blankets at night.  Happy camping.  I do like your electronics ideas, by the way.  Looks like a fun project.  May I suggest using RGB LEDs for some mood lighting?
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Earth
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@TrailerTrash
If you're camping at an electric site, use electric heaters.  You're paying for it anyway, why use up all of your propane?  We use the 30 amp and plug one heater to a receptacle inside.  We run an extension cord to the 20 amp plug outside and bring it inside for the 2nd heater on really cold nights.  We have a Flagstaff popup camper and have camped down to 35 deg F and stayed very comfy.   Another idea is to use electric blankets at night.  Happy camping.  I do like your electronics ideas, by the way.  Looks like a fun project.  May I suggest using RGB LEDs for some mood lighting?

i forgot to mention im off grid. i have 255watts of solar panels charging 9 absorbed glass mat batteries. i will add it to my first post. so no mood lighting or electric heaters. i use 3watt and 13watt 1156 led bulbs like this. and have a 7color changing dice.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2013, 01:35:11 pm by TrailerTrash » Logged

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Earth
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Can my Arduino do something to read a propane tank? its stressing me out  smiley-sad

Yes.  You need something to measure the weight of the tank.

Maybe this... https://www.sparkfun.com/products/8713?

Or a "load cell".

Something from here may help... http://arduino.cc/forum/index.php/topic,80223.0.html

https://www.google.com/search?q=+site:arduino.cc+arduino+weight


i like this idea of weighing the tank. except for one thing, its 9degrees this morning. will the flexiforce ink freeze?

The sensors are constructed of two layers of substrate. This substrate is composed of polyester
film (or Polyimide in the case of the High-Temperature Sensors). On each layer, a conductive
material (silver) is applied, followed by a layer of pressure-sensitive ink. Adhesive is then used
to laminate the two layers of substrate together to form the sensor. The silver circle on top of the
pressure-sensitive ink defines the “active sensing area.” Silver extends from the sensing area to
the connectors at the other end of the sensor, forming the conductive leads.

a "full" propane tank should weigh about 35 pounds. empty=15pounds.
but, At 80% fill rate on a 20 lb tank, that equals 16 lbs of propane. so 16+15=31
thats to much for the 25lb one so i wound need two 100lb Flexiforces
« Last Edit: January 23, 2013, 09:13:03 am by TrailerTrash » Logged

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i like this idea of weighing the tank. except for one thing, its 9degrees this morning. will the flexiforce ink freeze?

Let's check the datasheet...
http://www.tekscan.com/flexible-force-sensors#specifications

Quote
Operating Temperatures 
15°F to 140°F (-9°C to 60°C) 
15°F to 400°F (-9°C to 204°C) 
15°F to 140°F (-9°C to 60°C) 
15°F to 140°F (-9°C to 60°C)

Given the fact that you seek a cut-off point rather than an actual amount, you could apply some mechanics to the problem.  If the propane tank is on a seesaw with the target weight on the other side, a simple limit switch would indicate when the tank has reach the low level.  The seesaw would only have to move a small amount (a few millimeters).
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Interesting idea, and I am sure will be a lot of fun (maybe even a dash of pain) to make this project.

One thing that I have concerns for is that all this electronics will consume some amount of electrical power which may or may not be significant for your setup. Have you done the calculations in regard to what your capacity is in terms of what you get in with 255 Watts of solar panel and what you will use for all your existing electrical loads, such as lights, radio or laptop?

Under unfavourable conditions when you have low solar gain, will you have enough battery capacity to operate all these modules?

As a guess and for an example, such a system as you have proposed might consume up around 500mA from your 12 Volt batteries.
Any radio transmitting device, such as blue-tooth and WiFi will consume a not so insignificant amount of power.
Especially since you wish to have the system available 24/7 for your on voice commands.
If for example it consumes 500mA and you operate it 24 hours a day, then that would amount to 12V * 0.5A = 6 Watts.
Then over the course of the day, this small 6 Watts, becomes 6 * 24 = 144, thus taking 144 Watt/hours from your battery each day.
I would research and look at using a different platform altogether, one that was a true power miser or install more solar panels and increasing your battery capacity.

So, not to discourage you, but I just want to highlight these concerns I would have if I were doing it.

I can just imagine the scene,
Camped in the scenic outback you go out at 03h45 in the cold and dark for a much needed pee. You go behind a small scrub bush and feeling an almighty sneeze come on, you confuse the poor voice recognition system switching it into voice calibration mode. The lights go out and all manner of hell breaks loose in your truck. You are left in the dark, and you stumble over a rock you didn't notice before and fall, landing in the deadly poisonous thorny cactus with the beautiful flowers you had admired earlier in the day when you arrived, hitting your head on another rock rendering you unconscious, but not before thinking to yourself, 'bugger, if only I took my torch with me'.

Regards,
Paul
(living offgrid, sans voice control)

P.S. when you say
Quote
i woke up at 3am and noticed its 45 degrees inside
I am guessing you are in the states and you use Fahrenheit scale and not degrees Celsius?  smiley-sweat
« Last Edit: January 23, 2013, 07:16:16 pm by rockwallaby » Logged


Earth
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on January 24Th i wake up and look outside and i see 0degrees. so which state do you think im in?

i have filled my water tank before i heard this cold weather coming. but now i cant use it cause a water line inside is frozen. DOH!

and if i fall outside i will say "arduino, call 911"
and she would say "connection uncomplete"
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Quote
TrailerTrash wrote:
on January 24Th i wake up and look outside and i see 0degrees. so which state do you think im in?

You're not in any Australian state then I guess   smiley-twist
The temperature here where I am is around 25 degress Celsius, just right to hit road on the motorbike this afternoon, (can I have voice command on it I wonder, 'Arduino, save my arse from this corner, yikes')

Quote
TrailerTrash wrote:
and if i fall outside i will say "arduino, call 911"
and she would say "connection uncomplete"
Bugger  smiley-sad-blue

A thought with the microphones, I have built up many little circuits to do with microphones as another one of my hobbies is sound/field recording and it takes a bit of messing around to get good quality sound when you are trying to capture sound that is not that close to the microphone.

I make up very low noise microphone amplifiers circuits to bring up the level.
A problem you will come up against is that those little microphones have quiet a bit of self noise, which you can nothing about, except buy the best quality ones you can afford and then test them to check.
Or you could buy larger diameter condenser microphones, which are much more sensitive to the sound vibrations.

You will need to also build up a pass filter that attenuates all low frequency and high frequencies, only passing the frequency band of your voice.

You will need to build a separate amplifier circuit for each microphone as I don't believe you can simply parallel the microphones together.

Hope the water tank is now un-frozen   smiley-razz

Paul
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Couple of thoughts on measuring propane tank contents.  Weight has already been mentioned, another is temperature, as propane boils off, the temperature falls, you can often see a layer of frost on a tank, where the liquid is, so you could have a temperature sensor at the minimum level.  It would probably only work while drawing off the gas though.

Another possibility is using an ultrasonic transmitter and receiver.  You would need to experiment, but possibilities are transmitter and receiver at the top of the tank to see if you can reliably detect the liquid/gas interface in the tank, by the pulses bouncing off it.  

Or a transmitter at the top and a receiver st the bottom to measure the speed of sound in through the tank.  This would rely on the speed if sound being different for the gas and liquid.

Experiments would be with a full tank, an empty one and one partially full.. (getting the level of the partially full one by weight or temperature level detection)

Or a transmitter and receiver mounted opposite each other in the side of the tank at a minimum alarm level.  When the level drops below that point,  the speed of sound changes, giving an alarm condition.

The experiment would be on a half full tank, measuring time above and below the gas/liquid layer.  (You could use that method for calibrating the level detection using the sensor at the top and bottom of the tank suggested earlier)

(Obviously the sensor would be outside the tank, transmitting the sound through the metal, so it would need to be in good acoustic contact with the external surface)
« Last Edit: January 30, 2013, 02:05:18 am by peterjb » Logged

Earth
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i have all the parts connected now comes the hard part. i have to learn Arduino code. i can read, write and debug html, css, and php. but thier code looks like javascript. this will take forever.  smiley-confuse
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well this sketch said it was varified. now i uploaded it. now what?

Code:
//This is my first ever sketch i am writing for my 2650. i might need help.
//This sketch will eventually control my camper with my droid or voice.
//I will worry less about things going wrong with my off grid trailer.
//Worrying can lead to high anxiety. Stress affects you emotionally and physically.

int Water = 22; //Voltage sensor for my SeeLevel II water tank sensor strip
int Tank1 = 24; //load sensor for propane tank 1
int Tank2 = 25; //load sensor for propane tank 2
int Humid1 = 26; //humidity sensor inside
int Temp1 = 42; //DS18B20 temperature sensor under camper
int Temp2 = 27; //DS18B20 temperature inside camper
int Volts = 28; //battery bank voltage
int Amps = 29; //amps being used
int Relay1 = A0; //turns on a relay switch when Temp1 goes below 32degrees
int Mic1 = A1; //Electret mini condenser microphone
int Mic2 = A2; //Electret mini condenser microphone
int Mic3 = A3; //Electret mini condenser microphone
int RB1 = A8; //red and blue blinking led
int RB2 = A9; //red and blue blinking led
int val = 0; //not sure what this does but its needed
int Light1 = A10; //Will control 1156 Leds inside. or maybe i need digital pin.
int Light2 = A11; //Will control 1156 Leds inside. and might need some relays.
int Light3 = A12; //Will control 1156 Leds inside. oh shit, what did i get myself into?
int Light4 = A13; //Will control 1156 Leds outside.

void setup() {
// put your setup code here, to run once:
Serial.begin(9600);  // initialize serial communications
pinMode(Temp1, INPUT);
pinMode(Temp2, INPUT);
pinMode(Tank1, INPUT);
pinMode(Tank2, INPUT);
pinMode(Humid1, INPUT);
pinMode(Mic1, INPUT);
pinMode(Mic2, INPUT);
pinMode(Mic3, INPUT);
pinMode(Water, INPUT);
pinMode(Volts, INPUT);
pinMode(Amps, INPUT);
pinMode(RB1, OUTPUT);
pinMode(RB2, OUTPUT);
pinMode(Relay1, OUTPUT);
pinMode(Light1, OUTPUT);
pinMode(Light2, OUTPUT);
pinMode(Light3, OUTPUT);
pinMode(Light4, OUTPUT);

}

//these will read inputs and write them somewhere that can be seen in a droid app.
//and also to be seen on my laptop online when im home or away. i will need help.
void loop() {
val = digitalRead(Temp1);
digitalWrite(Temp1, 0);
val = digitalRead(Temp2);
digitalWrite(Temp2, 0);
val = digitalRead(Humid1);
digitalWrite(Humid1, 0);
val = digitalRead(Water);
digitalWrite(Water, 0);
val = digitalRead(Tank1);
digitalWrite(Tank1, 0);
val = digitalRead(Tank2);
digitalWrite(Tank2, 0);


//two load sensors outside to measure how much propane i have in each 20lb tank
if (Tank1 <= 17)
{digitalWrite(RB1, HIGH); }//led alerts me when 20lb propane tank 1 is low
if (Tank2 <= 17)
{digitalWrite(RB2, HIGH); }//led alerts me when 20lb propane tank 2 is low
if (Tank1 >= 18)
{digitalWrite(RB1, LOW); }//led is off for propane tank 1
if (Tank2 >= 18)
{digitalWrite(RB2, LOW); }//led is off for propane tank 2


//it gets to 15 friggin degress in the winter at night.
if (Temp1 <= 31)
{digitalWrite(Relay1, HIGH); }//turns on heat tape or something to
//warm up a outside pipe with using the least amount of power at night.
if (Temp1 >= 32)
{digitalWrite(Relay1, LOW); }//and shuts it off

//now i will display all sensors onto my laptop somehow. Help?
//in the future these will be displayed on my droid app.
Serial.print("Water: "); Serial.print(Water);
Serial.println("");
Serial.print("Tank1: "); Serial.print(Tank1);
Serial.println("");
Serial.print("Tank2: "); Serial.print(Tank2);
Serial.println("");
Serial.print("Temp1: "); Serial.print(Temp1);
Serial.println("");
Serial.print("Temp2: "); Serial.print(Temp2);
Serial.println("");
Serial.print("Humid1: "); Serial.print(Humid1);
Serial.println("");
Serial.print("Volts: "); Serial.print(Volts);
Serial.println("");
Serial.print("Amps: "); Serial.print(Amps);
Serial.println("");

delay(10000); //this rechecks every 10 seconds?

}
« Last Edit: February 07, 2013, 10:38:35 pm by TrailerTrash » Logged

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