Having two separate water tanks on nb Tanya Louise, with individual pumps, meant that monitoring water levels in tanks & keeping them topped up without emptying & having to reprime pumps every time was a hassle.
To this end I have designed & built this device, to monitor water usage from the individual tanks & automatically switch over when the tank in use nears empty, alerting the user in the process so the empty tanks can be refilled.
Based around an ATMega328, the unit reads a pair of sensors, fitted into the suction line of each pump from the tanks. The calculated flow is displayed on the 20×4 LCD, & logged to EEPROM, in case of power failure.
When the tank in use reaches a preset number of litres flowed, (currently hardcoded, but user input will be implemented soon), the pump is disabled & the other tank pump is enabled. This is also indicated on the display by the arrow to the left of the flow register. Tank switching is alerted by the built in beeper.
It is also possible to manually select a tank to use, & disable automatic operation.
Resetting the individual tank registers is done by a pair of pushbuttons, the total flow register is non-resettable, unless a hard reset is performed to clear the onboard EEPROM.
View of the main PCB is above, with the central Arduino Pro Mini module hosting the backend code. 12-24v power input, sensor input & 5v sensor power output is on the connectors on the left, while the pair of pump outputs is on the bottom right, switched by a pair of IRFZ44N logic-level MOSFETS. Onboard 5v power for the logic is provided by the LM7805 top right.
Code & PCB design is still under development, but I will most likely post the design files & Arduino sketch once some more polishing has been done.
As I have some spare boards & the capability to etch plenty more, I figured I could supply DIY kits of my Flyback Driver circuit.
This kit & the associated flyback transformers are capable of producing very high voltages which can be hazardous!
Kit will include both a custom etched PCB & all the components required to build a working circuit.
Price is £18 with free shipping to anywhere within the UK
NOTE: A heatsink for the main switching MOSFET is required. This is supplied separately to reduce costs for hobbyists that already have such things lying around. If you require a heatsink, please add the heatsink option to your cart when purchasing. Provision is also made on the PCB for a fan, if being run at high power.
Flyback Driver Kit:
Here is a simple 555 timer based flyback transformer driver, with the PCB designed by myself for some HV experiments. Above is the Eagle CAD board layout.
The 555 timer is in astable mode, generating a frequency from about 22kHz to 55kHz, depending on the position of the potentiometer. The variable frequency is to allow the circuit to be tuned to the resonant frequency of the flyback transformer in use.
This is switched through a pair of buffer transistors into a large STW45NM60 MOSFET, rated at 650v 45A.
Input power is 15-30v DC, as the oscillator circuit is fed from an independent LM7812 linear supply.
Provision is also made on the PCB for attaching a 12v fan to cool the MOSFET & linear regulator.
Board initially built, with the heatsink on the linear regulator fitted. I used a panel mount potentiometer in this case as I had no multiturn 47K pots in stock.
Bottom of the PCB. The main current carrying traces have been bulked up with copper wire to help carry the potentially high currents on the MOSFET while driving a large transformer.
This board was etched using the no-peel toner transfer method, using parchement paper as the transfer medium.
Main MOSFET now fitted with a surplus heatsink from an old switchmode power supply. A Fan could be fitted to the top of this sink to cope with higher power levels.
This is the gate drive waveform while a transformer is connected, the primary is causing some ringing on the oscillator. The waveform without an attached load is a much cleaner square wave.
I obtained a waveform of the flyback secondary output by capacitively coupling the oscilloscope probe through the insulation of the HT wire. The pulses of HV can be seen with the decaying ringing of the transformer between cycles.
Corona & arc discharges at 12v input voltage.
Download the Eagle schematic files here: Flyback Driver Eagle Files (122)
Here is a home laser hair removal unit, a Rio LAHS4. Shown above is the system overview, with the laser wand & the user controls.
Main base unit popped open reveals the main PCB, with the central processor, a PIC16F628A.
Other side of the PCB is mainly populated with power supply & filtering for the logic sections.
Cracking open the laser wand reveals a stacked pair of PCBs, a main laser controller & the capacitive sensor PCB. This capacitive sensor connects to a pair of pins on the laser head & prevents operation if the unit is not held firmly against the skin.
Front of the laser diode module with the movable lens, on a pair of voice coil actuators. Very similar to the lens positioner used in any CD/DVD player pickup assembly.
The diode in this unit is an 808nm chip, with power in the 300-600mW range most likely.
Rear of the diode module, with the connections to the diode itself & the voice coil positioner for the lens.
Other side of the wand PCB, showing the capacitive sensor board on top of the main controller board. There is another CPU on the board here, which most likely communicates with the main processor in the base through a serial connection.
I have finally got round to designing the balancing circuitry for my ultracapacitor banks, which have a total voltage of 15v when fully charged. The 2600F capacitors have a max working voltage of 2.5v each, so to ensure reliable operation, balancing is required to make sure that each capacitor is charged fully.
The circuit above is a simple shunt regulator, which uses a 2.2v zener diode to regulate the voltage across the capacitor.
A 10W 1Ω resistor is connected to the BALLAST header, while the capacitor is connected across the INPUT. Once the voltage on the capacitor reaches 2.6v, the MOSFET begins to conduct, the 1Ω resistor limiting current to ~2.6A.
Each capacitor in the series string requires one of these connected across it.
Below is a link to the Eagle project archive for this. Includes schematic, board & gerber files.Ultracapacitor Balancer Project Files (246)
Inside Electronics by Ben Thomson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.