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Topic: Flood Monitoring Device  (Read 698 times) previous topic - next topic


Jul 22, 2018, 06:19 am Last Edit: Jul 22, 2018, 06:20 am by larryd
I'm thinking a magnetic float in a plastic tube with reed switches on the out side.
Switches close as the magnet advances up the column.
Switches placed such as to give make before break.

No technical PMs.
The last thing you did is where you should start looking.


Jul 22, 2018, 04:19 pm Last Edit: Jul 22, 2018, 04:22 pm by dave-in-nj
Hi me and my teammates wanted to know what is the best model of Arduino for monitoring the depth or level of flood and the type or model of the water level sensor to be used. Not too pricey please. And also if it is okay too put the instructions on how to build it...
since we are having fun at your expense.....
you asked about the 'best' model of arduino for monitor depth of level of flood....

there are two types of sensors, a switch type and an analog type.
think light switch and light dimmer.

DEPTH of flood would indicate an analog type, with the sensor at the bottom of the flood to monitor the depth of water.

Level of flood would indicate a sensor that watched how high the water was rising, and offer an analog value.

Since this is all at level 101..   an analog value to you and I are gradients.  to a computer it is a digital value over a range. for the Arduino, there are 1024 steps.   so, you can have 1,024 swithes or one analog device.

Of course there are other ways.  One is to have a second device do all of that for the Arduino and then tell the Arduino want it found.   These start to move into intelligent sensors.

Now, what all my cohorts and I have done is to totally ignore your request.
you asked for the best arduino and how to build it..
since the manufacturing of microprocessors is very detailed and one needs a rather high-tech factory to make Integrated Circuits,   We jumped to the assumption that you are not asking how to build the device from the molecules on up.

However, you did ask how to build an "ARDUINO"   for that, I would recommend you spend some time with Google.

Here is one that shows you the basics on   instructions on how to build it
as you asked.


There's a steep learning curve ahead, if they don't yet have an Arduino or Arduino-like device to hand and have yet to write a sketch to read a switch.
Oh, that seems only part of the problem. It seems they haven't even gotten to that point. Have you read their specification of the whole project, or better said: the lack of any real specification of what they want?

Really, based on what is specified a single float switch and an appropriate communication channel is what they need: "if flood levels reach a certain level, send alert". No question for measuring rising waters or so, just that one level.

If that's meant to be a 4th year IT student project I think they're actually still in primary school, as that's the level of the project based on the specification. Even for 4th year primary it won't take two months to complete (or the students would've long lost interest), as long as you have the parts it's more like an afternoon.
Quality of answers is related to the quality of questions. Good questions will get good answers. Useless answers are a sign of a poor question.


the great thing about the Arduinos is that no matter what board you start with, any work you do is not wasted and be moved to a different board that fits your project better.

That's a wee bit of an exaggeration: it would be a shame to embark on a project with a Mega just because you had one available, then use all the hardware serials, and try to do that on a nano ;)
I believe the qualifier is 'that fits your project better'    
Certainly if we are to jump to all the conclusions and add in external threads and information into the OP's post,  the small qualifier above suffice.
I doubt if anyone really thought that was the question: I'm sure the OP is asking how to build the project as a whole, given a working Arduino of some description, and some sensors. And providing that level of detail would be thwarting the purpose of his college assigning their students a final project which presumably requires the normal "own work" declaration at the front.
Too many times I have been given every explicit instructions by clients or my boss, and I 'assume' that it is part of another project and those specifications apply.  Only to be sharply reprimanded that the task was very specific and ALL the information needed was in the WRITTEN instructions.
how do we know the project is the exact same ?
that the team is still in place and 2 months ago, all but one graduated ?
that the professor is not asking for ONE area of clarification from this ONE student that was charged with ONE task on the whole project ?
I do applaud your efforts to show that after months of working, you can repeat your prior work in minutes.
but that is not the case with a person who does not even know what board to use.  I hope that does not sound critical, but clearly your expertise shows that you have way more training than the OP.
Just for S&G, I will order an ultrasonic sensor and put it into my newly acquired rain barrel with ESP8266 and post a graph of both rain fall as well as rain barrel level.  I will sketch out the project, lay out a board, order it, get a parts list order them, and then once I have all the bits and bobs, try to replicate your work, but in a format that I am more familiar with  and use graphs, not meters.  I am curious how long it will take me.  I expect a few hours.
Also, you may have missed the instructions that say, a local flood alarm for the town, has no power source, no internet , no cell phones, and needs to sound a siren that can be heard for 1 km ?


Jul 22, 2018, 06:28 pm Last Edit: Jul 22, 2018, 06:31 pm by dave-in-nj
board laid out

wemos D1
SR04T - ultrasonic sensor
4 screw terminal for external sensor
small enclosure

NOKIA-5110  display or 1.8 inch LCD

well, that took a half hour.  not even opened the IDE yet.

Had to use the Nokia, the LCD would not fit the project case.
may need to get a larger case and put the sensor board in the case as well.


Jul 22, 2018, 07:03 pm Last Edit: Jul 22, 2018, 07:03 pm by dave-in-nj
I  just checked the sizes, using the tiny project case, I can fit either the LCD or the JSN board, but with the tiny case, it is an either/or proposition.

A larger case would allow both.
tight squeeze, needs some testing to make sure the SD card on the display is accessible.  I wish the 1.8" LCD's came with a micro SD for the same cost as the ones that have the full size SD card.

looks like my parts list is good. but it took well over an hour to lay out the board, and get the parts list.
still not have opened the IDE.


wemos D1
SR04T - ultrasonic sensor
small enclosure  waterproof, with gasket and clear front
1.8 inch LCD
DS18B20 temperature sensor
2mm stand off's for the SR04T board to allow access to the cable plug
PG13  waterproof glands for the enclousre for wires,   power, DS18B20 and ultrasonic sensor

scope :
monitor rain water level.
monitor external temperature
monitor water temperature

options : tie in to my tilting bucket rain gauge
with a super-hetrodyne receiver ( 1 pin with interrupt )

Since I am not using an I2C I have the free pins.

I think I can also use the ESP8266 to tie in for the local weather and watch for approaching storms. 


as far as this topic/thread,   there was a similar thread some years ago about posting water level sensors on bridges on a river so that as the flash floods were comming down the river, the townsfolk could be warned of the impending disasters.   that thread was concerned about many kilometers of river and sending signals down stream.  with a LoRa mesh, that becomes much more of a workable project.

IIRC they used ultrasonic for a 10 meter span from the bridge to the low water mark.


No technical PMs.
The last thing you did is where you should start looking.


justanotherprogrammer :
I have no real idea what your goal is and what your experiance is.

I would offer that you should get a simple Arduino board.
the Nano, UNO, or any that you can get easily.  they all should be able to measure for water level.

I would recomend that you get a WEMOS D1.  is is a low cost board and you can measure the water height with it.

There is a JSN-SR04T sensor, with wire, and a remote sensor that is waterproof.
this is really a car back-up sensor with a board to make it work.

I ASSUME you want to measure the height of water in a bucket or trash can or fish tank.  
I believe that the maximum you can sense something is about 4 meters.  and I know you cannot measure anything less than 1/4 meters.

there is a ping library for the Arduino IDE software and you can use that on an UNO/NANO or WEMOS .

you can read that out on the monitor when running your Arduino IDE software.

My suggestion is to get those parts, and try to make it work.  if you have problems, we can help you with specific problems.  

At this time, all you have is an idea, and it is hard to help with ideas.

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