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Topic: A Low Cost Approach to Graphical Waterfall (Read 12 times) previous topic - next topic


May 02, 2011, 06:58 pm Last Edit: May 02, 2011, 07:03 pm by Khalid Reason: 1
Hi my Friends,
World is full of genius persons and i amazed to see how computer made life easier and how the ideas evolves and takes it shapes in real world...Long story short, sometime ago i saw a graphical fountain on You-tube:
Watching this video amazed me and convinced me to make a cheap but high quality version of the same... Looking at the fountain, it seems that water droplets are controlled through 100's of solenoid valves and each of the solenoid valve is controlled through computer in a complex manner and a complex programming...
So to make a computer controlled graphical fountain, we require:

1- A complex software that generate images into binary data and send to micro-controller.
2- Electronic hardware that plays as a bridge between Computer and Solenoid valves.
3- Mechanical structure that hold overhead reservoir with solenoid valves and a drain.

All above tasks are doable..... So i started making program and electronics hardware at the same time... when i tired from electronics i started programming... so eventually both the software and hardware completed at the same time..
The following picture of software shows how a number of solenoid valves can be operated in a manner to make beautiful stunning water effects....The Software is user friendly and designed to operate in following steps:
1- You have to select an image
2- Select the number of solenoid valves you have installed on the fountain. The greater the number of valves the greater the resolution and beauty of fountain.
3-Convert this image into '1' and '0' i.e. binary data... If you check the 'Add each design to one file' checkbox..you will have different designs in a single file
4-Open the computer USB port at which the micro-controller is installed.
5-Press 'SEND' button and see the stunning effects..

6- A Loop checkbox and STOP button is added. If the 'Loop Checkbox' is ticked, the graphical hexadecimal data will be send to the micro-controller in a loop. So we will able to continuously run the graphical fountain and repeat the designs.
7- Pressing the Stop button will check how many bytes are in shift registers. Then the software will send numbers of  '0X00' to finalize the shiftout function. After shifting out the software will turnoff all the valves by sending 5-bytes '0X00' to the controller.


That's cool!  Did you get the hardware completed?


msut be on the moon the see it slowly !

Nice effect


May 03, 2011, 03:35 am Last Edit: May 03, 2011, 03:39 am by Khalid Reason: 1
Hi Coyote,
The hardware is almost complete. I am using 40 Solenoid valves 24VDC 260mAmp.
Here is the PCB sketch where i am using Qty:05EA shift registers 74HC595 and the PCB also serves as a simulator with 40 LED installed. The PCB also contains 40 IRF540 to drive the solenoid valves.

Here is the completed PCB:

and here is 6inch diameter PVC Header pipe with 40 drains dia 8mm each. The Pipe also have connections for inlet / outlet  of water supply.

Here is the solenoid valves i am using for this project:

Here are the 40 solenoid valves attached to the rig.

A small video where i am experimenting with a single solenoid valve. the simulator also works great:




Thank you EVP...
Some more updates:
For fast response of the solenoid i made a RC circuit. resistor 47Ohm 5Watt, capacitor 50V 100mFarad... Now i will use 33V power supply to drive the Solenoid.

Also installed the fixture for Header pipe and solenoids, you can see the sump of galvanized sheet.


Today i did tubing and wiring of solenoids...


I am using arduino for car pc project you can help me on this blog ????? -


This looks very impressive, can't wait to see the final product!


Today i did wiring work from solenoid valves to microcontroller. ... lets see whats happen... I know the wiring is not organized so dont point  ]:D


Today i did wiring work from solenoid valves to microcontroller. ... lets see whats happen... I know the wiring is not organized so dont point  ]:D

*Points at wiring*


This is first test of graphical waterfall consist 40 solenoid valves. All the things working fine but the graphics are hardly visible due to:
1- I have long tubing downstream the solenoids...If small metallic nozzles directly connected to the solenoid i would have got good results.
2- The Height of the solenoid. The solenoid are installed at about 8feet height, i think to see the graphical effect it must be 20 feet or above.

Any comments to improve will be highly appreciated:



Maybe some food coloring in the water would help the visuals better?



Yes or ink and maybe a strong uv light as well. I want this project to work i might have a go myself i think it needs more hight as well, you might have to take it out side.


Awesome project!!!  :D
Yeah, some dark food color would definitely help and maybe some white sheet as background.

Can't wait to see more.

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