Alex MoonNoah FishelMark Mellor
Published © GPL3+

Waternator 293

The Waternator 293 is a simple device that regulates the water level in your Christmas tree base.

IntermediateFull instructions provided10 hours3,742
Waternator 293

Things used in this project

Hardware components

Arduino 101 & Genuino 101
Arduino 101 & Genuino 101
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Arduino Wifi Shield 101
Arduino Wifi Shield 101
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Adafruit ProtoSheild R3
This isn't strictly necessary, but offers an excellent platform to build your project. If you choose replace this with a custom board, or your own idea, don't forget to add .1µF caps to your 5v circuit.
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Vertical Float Switch
Any vertical float switch should work.
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Horizontal Float Switch
Any horizontal float switch should work.
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12" eTape Liquid Level Sensor with Plastic Casing
This device isn't the most accurate but works well for our purposes and can be made more consistent and accurate in code.
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Adafruit Peristaltic Pump
This pump is a little on the slow side but it's food safe. If you're not using it for human, animal, or plant consumption and need a higher flow rate you could find a different pump.
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Buzzer
Buzzer
Used for alerting of an an error. Could be left off.
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Texas Instruments L293D Dual H-Bridge Motor Driver
DC motor control chip, allows us to control motor speed and direction.
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Resistor 10k ohm
Resistor 10k ohm
Get them from wherever. 1/4w is fine.
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Resistor 4.75k ohm
Resistor 4.75k ohm
Get them from wherever. 1/4w is fine.
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30pF Ceramic non-polarized capacitor
Any 30pF, non-polarized, ceramic cap should do it. This capacitor does need to be able to connect across the motor leads to filter out high frequency noise. Most small capacitors don't have long enough leads to do this. I found this one online that should.
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16-pin IC Socket
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2-Pin Terminal Block
Make sure the pitch is correct (.1") to go on a perfboard.
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7-pin Terminal Block
Make sure the pitch is correct (.1") to go on a perfboard.
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Adafruit 19.5" Servo Extension Cable
This is to extend the cable on the eTape liquid level sensor. These come in various sizes...get whatever on you need to make it long enough for your application or make your own.
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Adafruit 12V 1A Power Supply
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Capacitor 100 nF
Capacitor 100 nF
Don't forget to buy an extra if you're not using the Protoshield. 12v capable.
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Capacitor 10 µF
Capacitor 10 µF
I used a Tantalum Capacitor not a Electrolytic. That said I think this capacitor could be left out of the circuit. It was added while diagnosing some issues. I later added a 47µF electrolytic cap that should be able to to low frequency filtering. 12v capable.
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Capacitor 47 µF
Capacitor 47 µF
12v capable.
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Capacitor 100 µF
Capacitor 100 µF
Just needs to handle 6.5V (fluctuating 5v)
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Project Enclosure
This case fits everything perfectly. The one thing I didn't add to this project was a panel mount USB. If you want to add one this case might be a little small.
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.12" Cable Gland
This gland is very snug, a larger one might not hurt. The sensor cables simply pass through this. It's waterproofness is not needed.
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Panel Mount 2.1mm DC barrel jack
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USB-B Panel Mount
I didn't add this to my project but would highly recommend. Once everything was wired in it was troublesome to get the USB plugged in. Please note: the project enclosure specified for this project is a very snug fit. I'm not sure that you could get this USB pass-through mounted in this enclosure. I would recommend finding a larger enclosure.
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Motor Mount Screws (#4 3/8" Metal Screws)
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22 Gauge Solid Core Wire (various colors)
Adafruit has a good option.
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Shrink Wrap (various sizes)
I mostly used smaller 1/8" diameter to protect the DC 12V input leads and the motor leads.
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Silicon Tubing
I wanted to make the pump output line longer. Local hardware store might have something. Something soft is good. Doesn't matter what if liquid is not being consumed.
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Adhesive Velcro 2"x4"
I used a little Velcro to attach the project enclosure to the side of the source reservoir.
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Software apps and online services

Blynk
Blynk
Used for smartphone control and monitoring interface
Arduino IDE
Arduino IDE

Hand tools and fabrication machines

Drill
Soldering iron (generic)
Soldering iron (generic)
1/16" Drill Bit
For tapping the motor mount screws.
1/4" Drill Bit
Hole for tubing to enter source reservoir.
1/2" Drill Bit
Vertical float sensor, cable gland, and DC jack holes.
3/4" Drill Bit
For horizontal float sensor. 13/16" might be better but is less common.
1" Drill Bit
Motor mount hole. This is slightly small and you need to use something like a Dremel or sandpaper to make it larger. Alternatively you could try and find a 17/16" drill bit.
Dremel Tool
The 1" hole for the motor mount isn't quite big enough. I used a Dremel tool with a sand paper tool to make it about 1/16" larger. You could use sandpaper, a file, or the correct size drill bit.

Story

Read more

Schematics

Circuit Schematic

This is the complete circuit. The only thing this circuit doesn't show is the Arduino WiFi 101 shield or the protoshield (it does show the LED and Capacitors we used on the protoshield). NOTE: There is a copy of this diagram in the Github Repo. If there are variations the github copy should be considered correct.

Code

Code Repository

Here's the code repository for the project.

Credits

Alex Moon

Alex Moon

1 project • 1 follower
Noah Fishel

Noah Fishel

1 project • 1 follower
Mark Mellor

Mark Mellor

1 project • 1 follower
Thanks to PARTS.

Comments

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