Project too big for Arduino?

Hello all,

I heard about Arduino from a co-worker and thought it would be perfect for me. I am an engineer by trade and love to tinker. I got the Arduino super starter kit and am loving it so far.

My next project I'm working on will be controlling water flow. I am going to need to control 4 solenoid valves, 3 water pumps (small dc motors) and a Water PH sensor. I have a Elegoo Uno R3 board, but am concerned I will not have enough I/O for this project. What do you guys think would be the easiest solution?

thunter7891:
Hello all,

I heard about Arduino from a co-worker and thought it would be perfect for me. I am an engineer by trade and love to tinker. I got the Arduino super starter kit and am loving it so far.

My next project I'm working on will be controlling water flow. I am going to need to control 4 solenoid valves, 3 water pumps (small dc motors) and a Water PH sensor. I have a Elegoo Uno R3 board, but am concerned I will not have enough I/O for this project. What do you guys think would be the easiest solution?

easier, MEGA
but I count 7 outputs and 1 input, not near the max of an UNO.

Perfect, I'm looking at my board now and I will be able to control this project with my UNO board after all. Thank you very much for the clarification, Dave!

Remember the Arduino can’t drive those solenoids or motors directly!
You’ll need h-bridges or transistors as ‘drivers’ to handle the higher voltage/power needed for the devices.

Also note that the pins A0 to A5 can also be used as regular digital pins.

And keep pins 0 and 1 free as they are used for uploading code and sending debug messages to the PC.

…R

thunter7891:
Hello all,

I heard about Arduino from a co-worker and thought it would be perfect for me. I am an engineer by trade and love to tinker. I got the Arduino super starter kit and am loving it so far.

My next project I'm working on will be controlling water flow. I am going to need to control 4 solenoid valves, 3 water pumps (small dc motors) and a Water PH sensor. I have a Elegoo Uno R3 board, but am concerned I will not have enough I/O for this project. What do you guys think would be the easiest solution?

I think that you can run the solenoids and motors with one or more motor driver boards and only need 1 pin for each. But you also need sensors/limit switches?

You can use shift registers as "pin multipliers". SPI can feed/read them at 512KB/s default speed.

You can breadboard a 40 pin AVR for less than $10. You don't need it but the ATmega1284P has 16K RAM and 2 serial ports as well as the usual core and ports. The ATmega324 is that with 2K RAM but not much price drop in single pieces. Last time I looked the 1284 ran $5.50 or less for 1 and the smaller 28-pin 328P were under $2.50.

If you write non-blocking code, the AVR core has enough "attention" to run 100's of not-high-attention things. If I have something that needs close monitoring every millisecond or less then I'd dedicate a chip to that and whatever else it can carry, look on youtube and see 8x8x8 RGB led cubes in action.

thunter7891:
Hello all,

I heard about Arduino from a co-worker and thought it would be perfect for me. I am an engineer by trade and love to tinker. I got the Arduino super starter kit and am loving it so far.

My next project I'm working on will be controlling water flow. I am going to need to control 4 solenoid valves, 3 water pumps (small dc motors) and a Water PH sensor. I have a Elegoo Uno R3 board, but am concerned I will not have enough I/O for this project. What do you guys think would be the easiest solution?

the first step would be to write out each device. the voltage and power needed.
since all Microcontrollers only output a logic level signal, very low power, etc
there are dozens of ways and interfaces to power the big, hungry bits.
for example a fountain pump that runs of mains voltages, you can buy a relay that takes the output of an Adruino and switchs the pump off and on.
if you have a DC pump, but want to adjust the speed, you can buy a motor controller.
if you have a fan that you want to push air one way, or the other, then you can get a reversing controller...
so, step 1, define your desired devices.
1a find appropriate drivers for them.
create a simple sketch of the parts
as you build your project on paper, the power needs will be revealed and things like power supplies will assert themselves.
taken one step at a time, the project should be straight forward.