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1  Using Arduino / Project Guidance / Re: Arduino controlled water pump on: February 08, 2013, 12:44:36 am
I think I follow you now. I suggest using a float switch in the pond set to turn the pump off at the 'low' level, and a float switch at the municipal output set to turn the pump off at the 'high' level, and a third override switch to turn the pump off when heavy rain is not expected. You could control this override switch manually. If you can tolerate a wired solution then you can get this working without any electronicsw at all - just the three switches wired in series with the pump.

Thanks @PeterH I looked around for float switches and this may work, however as I'm in the Arduino forum I just want to use the Arduinos for it's geek factor and am wondering if I can use something like infrared. This looks pretty interesting to me the fact that I can actually capture measurements may lead to interesting applications later on.

If you come up with a weather prediction system you're willing to trust, I expect it would run on the PC. You could replace the manual override switch with a relay (power switch tail, X10 outlet etc) controlled from the PC via an Arduino. If the weather prediction system seems to work, you might choose to turn the whole system off manually during seasons where you think heavy rain is unlikely and want to avoid dumping your precious irrigation water due to a forecasting error.

I may not have to use a PC, I see there are two methods of using an Arduino for predicting the weather. One is getting data through the internet and another is by using a barometer. Either of these should work. However if I use the internet method, firstly I will have access to a pool of data from professional weather providers and secondly I can send the water level to web server which I can store or graph. This is quite tempting.
2  Using Arduino / Project Guidance / Re: Arduino controlled water pump on: February 05, 2013, 05:55:49 am
Now I'm a little unclear what you're trying to achieve. If you're simply pumping the pond out to the surrounding land, couldn't you simply install an overflow pipe?

Allow me to re-describe my problem.

I have an uneven property where there are two ways for the water to flow, one is through a smallish drain towards the municipality and another to the pond on the premises. Usually the water output through the municipality pipe is low and when we have heavy rain, it becomes useless, which is why to alleviate flooding we prepare the pond to accept rainwater by pumping some water out. However during normal periods the pond is used as a water source for irrigation which is why the low pond levels should not be maintained all the time such as with a simple float switch + pump combination.

The way it works now is that when we see dark clouds we will start pumping. If there is heavy rain and the municipality's system is inundated and the pond is full then all pumping should stop until the water level has gone down again.

This is a relatively common problem in this part of the world and many do choose to maintain a permanently low water level but this wastes a lot of water.

Ideally the rain prediction should come from a barometer or a weather feed and the water levels indicating whether to pump or not should come from a series of sensors.
3  Using Arduino / Project Guidance / Re: Arduino controlled water pump on: February 02, 2013, 09:49:11 am
I didn't quite follow why you said "stop pumping if the property starts to flood up" but apart from that it seems to me that what you want is a bilge pump with the float switch used to set the level you want to hold the water at.

If the area outside the pond is already flooded, what that means is that any water that is pumped out of the pond will ultimately just flow back into the pond, which is why it's better to just stop and wait until the water drains out a little before we start pumping again.

I'm thinking of the issues regarding a physical float switch. Will it work correctly in a body of water as big as a pond?
4  Using Arduino / Installation & Troubleshooting / Re: Arduino UNO R3 stopped working on: February 02, 2013, 05:11:06 am
It seems that the Arduino I purchased was a fake, I wrote a blog post on the topic here comparing the two. I hope this can serve as a warning for somebody. :-(
5  Using Arduino / Project Guidance / Arduino controlled water pump on: February 02, 2013, 05:02:41 am

I have a property with a 1m deep pond that is used to supply water for irrigation. When it rains, the pond fills up to the point of overflowing which can cause the property to flood up. What I would like to do is pump water out of the pond until it reaches a certain level if rain is expected on a certain day (it takes several hours to pump water out), stop pumping if the property starts to flood up. There is about 20 meters between where the pump is located and where I can detect flooding and both are within wifi range. I'm debating whether to use a barometer or to just use weather underground as a datasource. The pond itself is silted and considered to be quite "dirty" so whatever I come up with for water level detection should not have any parts that can get clogged. I need suggestions on how to detect water level, how to forecast rain, and how to get flooding information across.

Thank you.
6  Using Arduino / Installation & Troubleshooting / Re: Arduino UNO R3 stopped working on: January 27, 2013, 07:22:35 am
Just an update, I tried plugging the 12V adapter in to the arduino and measured the voltage, I got a reading of 9.7 volts. When I tested the 5V pin, I got a reading of 8.6 Volts. Maybe this is causing a problem?
7  Using Arduino / Installation & Troubleshooting / Re: Arduino UNO R3 stopped working on: January 26, 2013, 10:39:10 am
I attached a 5V power source via a USB cable to a phone charger, I get 3.29V and 4.95V respectively which seems ok. The input regulator I'm not sure how it works (yes, I'm a n00b), I attach the positive probe to the pin closest to the round adapter socket and the negative probe to the other end and I'm also getting 4.95V. Does this mean that the board is salvageable?

I've placed an order for another arduino board to be the programmer. Is that you mean?

What do I use as a stable power supply to get the rated voltage? Battery is not feasible as I'll also be using a GSM shield which will drain it out in no time.
8  Using Arduino / Installation & Troubleshooting / Re: Arduino UNO R3 stopped working on: January 26, 2013, 05:41:10 am

Could you tell me where you'd like me put the probes? The power supply is from a decommissioned linksys WAP54G. The reading I'm getting in the power supply is 18 volts even tho it's rated 12. The board also seems to get very hot.
9  Using Arduino / Installation & Troubleshooting / Arduino UNO R3 stopped working on: January 26, 2013, 12:36:00 am

My Arduino UNO R3 stopped working. The power and the yellow led light remain on. Pressing the reset button has no effect. When I plug it in via USB it does not appear and if it's powered via an external adapter and I plug the USB in, my macbook shuts down.

Does anyone know what the problem could be and what could have happened?
10  Using Arduino / Project Guidance / Re: Opening and closing gate on: January 19, 2013, 03:52:30 am

Thank you very much for the feedback. I believe I will use the webserver code and possibly modify it so that I can do challenge response. Ideally I would like to use XMPP and supply the open/close commands over google talk.

I'm having difficulty choosing the parts, there is a supplier in Thailand that seems to have a whole range of arduinos and I'm not sure which one to get. From what I can gather, I think of using this Arduino this Shield and this relay Could somebody confirm that these are all the components required to make this work?
11  Using Arduino / Project Guidance / Re: Opening and closing gate on: January 17, 2013, 11:22:22 pm

Thank you very much for your responses smiley

@Quick5pnt0 how do I find out this information? I could go out and get a multimeter today but I'm not sure how to use it. I believe it's momentarily where I press the switch the gate starts opening, even when I release the switch, (sending the switch into an "off" state), the gate will continue to open until it's reached it's programmed limit. After then when I press the switch again, the gate will start to close.

@coltstrgj there is no keycode per se, it's controlled wirelessly via remote control or an indoor switch (it seems that the remote triggers a relay). I chose to connect the relay to the photographed switch since the location of the switch is within close proximity to a LAN port and a wireless access point (I prefer to use the access point to conserve ports).
12  Using Arduino / Project Guidance / Opening and closing gate on: January 17, 2013, 10:08:17 pm

With a bit of googling, I think I can use arduino to open and close my gate. The handyman connected these cables to a doorbell switch one press to open and one to close. How can I hook up an Arduino so that I can open and close my gate through the internet?
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