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Author Topic: Arduino for a small washer pump?  (Read 2323 times)
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Puerto Rico
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Hello everyone! smiley

I have a small camera looking at the beach.
The wind + salty air gets the front glass of the housing all dirty.

I want to install a "windshield washer kit" from Pep Boys ($14 or so), that has a small tank, pump, tubing and nozzles.
Already did it to one camera, and it works awesome.

Yet my "timing" system is a mess/over-complication.

I want to turn on the washer system three times per day (morning, mid-day, afternoon).
At the moment, I have a digital timer, with a resolution down to 1 minute.
Ok, so I turn on the timer at 7:00am, and turn it off at 7:01am.

The 110vac of that timer, goes into a "delay timer relay" (I think its called).
This has an adjustment knob.
I adjusted this knob via trial-and-error to "send power out" about 58-59 seconds after it starts receiving 110vac.

Would there be a possibility to have this setup with an Arduino?
Have an output for 1, 2 or 3 seconds?

The PepBoys washer pump is for automotive, so it's 12volts.
At the moment, I'm running it with a AC-DC power plug (brick thingy) that I had laying around.
The output of it is 12vdc, at 1.5amps.
The pump runs awesome with that.

Any thoughts on what I can do?

Thank you very much for taking the time to help... very much appreciated!

 --  AJ
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When you're carrying a hammer, everything tends to look like a nail. I'm certain that what you want could be done with an Arduino and an RTC chip and a relay driver circuit. It would be great fun to do.

But if you only want it to work, couldn't you achieve that using an NE555 to control the 'spray' duration via a relay and an ordinary domestic timer (like you already have) to control how often it sprays?
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Puerto Rico
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Thanks for the reply Peter!

Any additional direction you could provide me with?
I'm looking into that NE555 now... I see it has been in production since 1971 (and they estimate over 1 billion are manufactured every year at the moment!).

So the domestic timer would start (their resolutions are down to 15 minutes, the rotary type ones)...
Then the NE555 would activate a relay... and shut it down?

Sorry, I'm a n00b.
Yet any more information is greatly appreciated!!
Thanks!
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What I had in mind was to rig up a circuit around the NE555 which produced a 'high' output when it was powered up, and went 'low' after a few seconds. The NE555 data sheet shows you how to wire it up to do that sort of thing. The output would then go through a transistor (with the obligatory flyback diode) to drive the relay. The relay would connect the 12V supply to the pump. The idea would be that the whole thing was powered by the 12V supply, the timer would switch the supply on, the NE555 would close the relay for a few seconds and then open it, it would then stay open until the timer cut the power off and the NE555 reset.

It's not remotely as much fun as doing it with an Arduino, but about a hundred times simpler I would think.
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Puerto Rico
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Hello everyone,

I'm looking to finish this project off.

Would like to use the Arduino board, as now I would prefer to be able to go "into" the Arduino, and turn on the washer system whenever I want.

Which Arduino board should I buy?
I see there are various models.

And one that has DC output?
I would use an automotive-type relay in order to power up the washer pump system.

Any thoughts?

Thanks!
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Puerto Rico
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Looking at the Arduino modules... I would reckon the Arduino with Ethernet would be ideal (and even better the one with PoE).

I'm still researching this.
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If you leave the 12V supply permanently connected to the mains, you can control the 12V pump from the Arduino using a logic-level mosfet, a gate resistor and a flyback diode. See http://bildr.org/2012/03/rfp30n06le-arduino/ for the connections, however it's recommended to connect a resistor of 100 to 220 ohms in series with the mosfet gate terminal. You can power the Arduino from the same 12V supply.

If you want the timing to be accurate then you will also need either a real-time-clock module, or a 60KHz time signal receiver module, or an Ethernet connection so that you can access an NTP server. Alternatively, instead of using fixed times, why not add a light sensor to your project? Then you can turn the washer on at dawn and and then at (say) 5 hour intervals until dark, and the system doesn't need to know the time.

To turn on the system whenever you want, why not just add a push button?
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Puerto Rico
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Thanks for the reply!

I'm looking at your provided link right now.
I can't press the button, because the camera(s) are off-site.
They're all spread out geographically.

So my idea is to do it remotely.

I also changed the idea of having the cycle start automatically, because there are days when the camera doesn't need the wash.
And I would be "wasting" that water inside the reservoir.

So that's why I think it would be better to remotely connect to the Arduino, and turn on the wash system cycle when desired.

Which Arduino board would you suggest I buy?
I see that there are like... 24 in SparkFun.com
Any thoughts?

Thank you!  smiley-mr-green
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How do you intend to connect to the Arduino to control it - is the camera connected by Ethernet, or wireless, or something else?
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Puerto Rico
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Yes, ethernet.

The camera is Ethernet (and PoE), and the Arduino, I believe there are Ethernet enabled, and PoE enabled boards?

Thanks! =D
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I suggest this http://arduino.cc/en/Main/ArduinoBoardEthernet then. You will also need a 2-port Ethernet switch that supports POE both for the switch and for the attached devices (if such a thing exists), unless you double up the Ethernet cable.

[EDIT: yes they do exist and are called PoE repeaters, e.g. http://uk.level1.com/Repeaters/POR-1102/p-738.htm]
« Last Edit: November 25, 2012, 05:51:16 pm by dc42 » Logged

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Puerto Rico
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Perfect!

I do have an extra Ethernet port over on-site... yet I use PoE Injectors for the cameras.
So I'll just buy another one of those for the Arduino.

Question: Preference between the Arduino Uno and the Arduino Duo?
Any... difference for this project?

Thanks!
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Since you want to connect it to Ethernet, why not get the Arduino Ethernet, with the optional PoE module?
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Since you want to connect it to Ethernet, why not get the Arduino Ethernet, with the optional PoE module?

THAT was a doubt I had!

I thought I had to get 1st the Arduino, then add-on the ethernet (with PoE).

So can I get, for example: https://www.sparkfun.com/products/11361 ?
Arduino Ethernet with PoE
DEV-11361
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Yes, that is an Arduino Ethernet. Btw there is also an Ethernet Shield which is for adding Ethernet to a regular Arduino - perhaps that is why you were confused.
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