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Old 12-06-2012, 10:41 PM   #1
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Default Automated volume sensing idea/help

Ok, the folks in here seem more whack than the other forums, and I'm counting on that for ideas/feedback for optical volume sensor.

Did a thread search and found a bunch of float switch setups, but don't like the idea of having extra stuff hanging in my keggles and was concerned about accuracy when moving between keggles. And proximity and other sensors I found were major $$$$$.

Working on my off-grid solar setup, I stumbled on this solar tracker module.
http://www.redrok.com/led3xassm.htm#paypalled3x
It uses the hysteresis or differential of LEDs to trigger a motor to move solar panels from east to west to follow the sun.

Got me to thinking that I could mount the two sensors on a chingadera clamped to sightglass that could be moved up and down to sense fill or regulate fly sparge flow. They would detect a buoyant cylinder or sphere in the sightglass.

For "fill" you would use a relay to bypass the "on" LED and rely on the "off" LED to stop filling at whatever level you set the clamp on sightglass.
For the sparge, the level would be set just above the grainbed and sensor would control pump or solenoid to maintain flow to match the output of MLT, or just have it on until level is reached/maintained.
Probably having a light source would add to reliability, but that should be pretty straightforward.
All feedback appreciated.
Thanks, Dale

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Old 12-06-2012, 11:09 PM   #2
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I may be in over my head here, but why not premeasure the desired flow instead of measuring after it arrives in the pot?

http://www.buygpi.com/mechanical-batching.aspx

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Old 12-06-2012, 11:25 PM   #3
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Quote:
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I may be in over my head here, but why not premeasure the desired flow instead of measuring after it arrives in the pot?

http://www.buygpi.com/mechanical-batching.aspx
The best meter that place has only goes down to 5 gallon increments. Yeah, that's not going to work....
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Old 12-07-2012, 12:20 AM   #4
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Why not use a pressure sensor like the brewtroller?

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Old 12-07-2012, 12:53 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyirishman34 View Post
Why not use a pressure sensor like the brewtroller?
Not sure I am comfortable with the variables. Barometric pressure, temperature/viscosity. Seems like frequent tuning could be required.

Been viewing BT forums and don't recall anyone shouting they've seen Jesus. Do you have any positive experiences with BT bubbler?

Kind of like the idea of analog, yes/no measurement that can be easily set/adjusted.

I need to apologize for not stating intent. Building Brutus-like gas/electric hybrid/bi-sexual using BT or BCS for control and thinking BCS expansion module would handle a bunch of discrete inputs for volume measurement via optical sensors.

Will be posting up later on the peculiar build, but had the optical thing on my brain from the solar project.

Thanks for your replies, Dale
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Old 12-07-2012, 02:50 AM   #6
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My set up uses the pressure sensor. It is pretty spot on for fill and sparge volumes. I am not using the bubbler setup I drilled a hole in the bottom of the pot and ran a silicone tube to the pressure sensor. I just calibrated it one time by adding water one gallon at a time till the pot was filled. The BT can extrapolate from there. In my experience it is accurate to a tenth of a quart.

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Old 12-07-2012, 12:56 PM   #7
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There are plenty of devices to measure level along an analog scale.

They are just very expensive.

http://www.omega.com/toc_asp/section...k=green&flag=1

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Old 12-07-2012, 03:06 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyirishman34 View Post
My set up uses the pressure sensor. It is pretty spot on for fill and sparge volumes. I am not using the bubbler setup I drilled a hole in the bottom of the pot and ran a silicone tube to the pressure sensor. I just calibrated it one time by adding water one gallon at a time till the pot was filled. The BT can extrapolate from there. In my experience it is accurate to a tenth of a quart.
Interesting, can detect a double-jigger, that is awesome achievement that wasn't apparent to me from BT forums. That degree of resolution would seem a stretch via analog without a bunch of "tuning", now I gotta know more.

Do you get a display, and how is sensor used in your brew process?
Also, would your setup work with gas-fired keggles in the event I chose (or switched between) direct fired RIMS or gas HLT and HEX?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxkling View Post
There are plenty of devices to measure level along an analog scale.

They are just very expensive.

http://www.omega.com/toc_asp/section...k=green&flag=1
Thanks, hadn't seen that source before, but just as expensive as those I did find. That's why the optical $24 kit and $39 assembled unit intrigued me. Seemed cheapest way I'd found with potential to control sparge input and figure out fill later.

Thank you both for your input.
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Old 12-13-2012, 08:31 PM   #9
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I'm waiting to receive AD620's, I bought a cheap bathroom scale already and harvested the load sensors from it. I'll let you know, if it works reliable. https://www.sparkfun.com/products/10245

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Old 12-14-2012, 12:48 AM   #10
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I wonder if you could set up the load sensors to output 0 to 5 volts?

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