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#21 jermitts

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Posted 17 January 2009 - 01:05 PM

Oh man, that is awesome. I've been staring at the schematic for hours really, and somehow I just couldn't see how that thermal tied in. Now it makes perfect sense.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arduino

Ardunio is like "the new basic stamp." I mean, it does what a basic stamp was supposed to do, only cheaper and easier and better. It's based on an ATMEL microcontroller, but it has a bootstrap loader that allows downloading of sketches (programs that look like a simplified C variant, it's based on Processing/Wiring) to control all the io lines. The basic model has 12 digital io (6 can do pwm) and I think 6 analog lines. It does I2C so you can add another 16 digital io lines with a $3 I2C io chip, and you can put up to 127 of those 16 io chips on one Arduino... In case you need a LOT of io... ;) (I think that's around 2032 total)

Anyway, there's a whole following on the Internet for this thing, because it's open source hardware and firmware, and people post the sketches they write and plans and everything. An assembled Arduino including shipping can be had for $33, or you can build one yourself from parts and the parts total about $16.

There's also a "Sanguino" variant that is based on a larger ATMEL chip and modified firmware that gives something like 32 digital and 8 analog. You can build one of those for about $18 in parts.

There are all these pre-written libraries you can use too, like one for interfacing with a 4 or 8 bit lcd. So a lot of the hard stuff is already done.

SOAP- I'm going to try to use a 12vdc windshield wiper pump from a 5 gallon bucket of diluted laundry soap. I'll dilute it enough to get the pump to like it, and then figure the time it takes at ~12v to get about the right amount of soap into the tub during the beginning of the fill. Then, the plan to refill the bucket is to let it run almost dry, then pour in a whole bottle of soap (we always buy the same kind) and add water to a sharpie-line on the bucket to get the ratio right to match the dispense time. Once I get it right, I'll add a trigger to the bucket so I can add the soap and hit a "new soap" button and it will fill the bucket with water to the line. (slowly, so as not to cause bubblys!)

Thanks for the photoshops. I don't know why I didn't just do that early on. The lamps-tapped-on-wires routine was a total waste of time! I should have asked earlier for the diagram!

The timer and the tranny are really amazing mechanical devices. The timer with all its switches (it has six spdt with center off) controlled by the player-piano-inspired wheel, and the tranny with all those parts for neutral drain followed by spin. And apparently, most of the time, it all works very well for years and years and years. That's just total pride in craftmanship! Now-a-days, all the complicated stuff is hidden away in software-designed ICs, almost nothing fancy in hardware!

I'd love to run into someone on the team that came up with the timer design. I wonder how old it is? I might go do a patent search... ;)

Jeremy

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#22 jermitts

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Posted 17 January 2009 - 01:20 PM

[user=1]Samurai Appliance Repair Man[/user] wrote:

I hope you'll consider making a Youtube video and posting the link here so we can feast our mechanically-switched squinties upon the final product. :shades:


We got our daughter a Flip for Christmas, so I can document it and post to YouTube. I've got a lot of wiring to do, and then I plan on having a pcb made (batchpcd.com) because I don't want to leave it on a breadboard. I think this was the final bit of info I needed, and I picked up two 10a dpdt relays last night to do the w-bk/r/bu/y reversal. (one to do the wire swap and the other just to control on-off.)

And thank you Master Samurai for the help the other morning. I'd been waiting since Monday to get on here and post! :) Stupid browser!

#23 RegUS_PatOff

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Posted 17 January 2009 - 02:08 PM

[user=45554]jermitts[/user] wrote:

... The timer and the tranny are really amazing mechanical devices...  and the tranny with all those parts for neutral drain followed by spin. And apparently, most of the time, it all works very well for years and years and years... Now-a-days, all the complicated stuff is hidden away in software-designed ICs, almost nothing fancy in hardware! ...

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one of my video productions: “Easter Seals: Walk With Me”

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"A Child Is Waiting" . Burt Lancaster . Judy Garland . 1962

RegUS_PatOff > www.youtube.com/watch?v=oPAY2LsKVEw

#24 jermitts

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Posted 17 January 2009 - 06:55 PM

That's all well and good, but decades ago, some guy(s) figured out how to do it elegantly with what they had. And for all its complexity, it works very well, over and over again. Apparently the timer mech was designed before ICs, and they figured out how to make parts of it advance by timer and parts of it advance by sensor, all with 120v logic controls. And they work over, and over, and over...

It just seems to me that most of the stuff made these days doesn't end up lasting as long as the same stuff made years before, even when the designers and engineers say it's better than the previous because it is somehow different. There are a million examples. I'm not saying the dc brushless direct isn't better than a beltless brushed motor with a transmission, only time will tell that. I'm just saying that, over the past 20 years, it seems like things aren't made to last as long as they used to be made to last.

My 98 car died at about 130k miles. My wifes 85 has 500k+ and still runs. Sure, it gets terrible mileage and leaks oil everywhere, but it isn't dead yet. I could give another 100 examples (water heaters, hvac, carburetors, CRTs, hard drives, microwaves, toasters to name only a few) but I won't bore you with all the details. You've seen it yourself in some aspect I'm sure.

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Yes, I need to make a signature. :)

#25 RegUS_PatOff

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Posted 17 January 2009 - 10:04 PM

yes, they've learned how to make things last a certain amount of time...

a "6 yr" water heater used to last forever, until they ran some life-cycle tests and determined... ohh.. the tank walls are too thick...

old GE fridges with the "round condenser on top"

wringer washers ...

those days are gone ...

now it's a throw-away society ...

imagine the land-fills ..

http://www.automaticwasher.org/index.htm
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one of my video productions: “Easter Seals: Walk With Me”

every day is Down Syndrome Awareness Day
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RegUS_PatOff > www.youtube.com/watch?v=oPAY2LsKVEw

#26 jermitts

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 12:56 PM

Someone said I should look into putting a newer water level sensor, because they were digital now and I could hook that into my chip.

Can one of you smarter people post a link to one of those devices? It's something I can just attach my tube to, right?

Thanks!

(I own a spanner nut wrench now!)

#27 jermitts

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 01:00 PM

"digital" isn't what I meant. Something that can report a range of values based on the amount of water in the tub / pressure in the tube. More like "analog" I guess.

#28 jermitts

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Posted 31 January 2010 - 08:50 PM

Me necromancing a year-old thread again.

Just an update, a year later... I've finally built the transistor and relay circuits to control the motor, to control the hot/cold water valves, to sense the tub filled-ness and lid-openness, and to pump soap. Now I'm writing the software to control the board to make it control the washing machine.

YOU MAY ASK, Why did I wait so long? I didn't like the "control" options available after I somehow got my mind stuck on having a touch screen to control everything in the house that needs controlling (hvac, security, washer, coffee maker...) and not being able to find a sub-$600 way to do that elegantly.

Then along came a client who wanted a touch screen application built, and I did that, and when I went to buy his $600 monitor I found that HP is making a 21.5" LED monitor with USB touch built in that is retailing for about $320 (I got these for about $302 from CDW after discount). So that caused me to start writing a home interface application... then the bracket that holds the timer in place on the washer broke (everything else is fine!) and so that has moved up to the top of the list because it is literally being held together with duct tape.

denrayr asks how are you going to accomplish the detergent dispensing and the answer to that is not set in stone. I have a bucket that I'm plumbing a tube out the bottom into a windshield-wiper pump (12vdc) and the current plan is to time the pump on-off to get the right amount of diluted soap into the tub at the right moment. I don't know if that is going to work out-- I don't know if I can reliably get a consistent amount (will the weight of 5-gallons of liquid on the pump cause it to spit more out than when there is only 1 gallon left?) and I don't know if the pump will like the thickness of the soap (will 2:1 water:detergent work through this pump?) and I don't know if dilution will stick (will the soap sink back to the bottom of the bucket?)

The original plan was a tube dropped into the bucket going to the pump but it turns out that windshield-wiper pumps (they are cheap!!!) have little-to-no lift ability whatsoever, so the pump needs to be, gravitationally speaking, at the bottom of the bucket. But it isn't sealed, so I can't actually put it IN the bucket. Once the pump has liquid inside, it will drive it out the smaller "out" tube with quite a bit of force and lift, but it won't suck anything "up" into itself.

I know that the design for most soap dispenser pumps is like the IV pumps my wife encounters on a nightly basis at work- there's just a thing that squeezes a tube and pushes the soap along... so there isn't any contact between the liquid and anything really mechanical. Probably a check-valve too on actual soap dispensers, but not on the IV pumps... This method of pumping sticky/thick liquids is probably the better route (long term) to take, but I've got the pump already (it was like $8 used and works fine) so I'm going to tinker with this route first for soap dispense.

I've never done anything youtubeish, but my daughter has a flip and some other camcorder and loves to make videos, so I'll get her to post something when there is something to look at. It's a bit of work to avoid "pulling the knob out turning 270 degrees and pushing it back in" but hey, I'm not going to have to fill up that stupid lid to the number "1" line any more either! That's worth SOMETHING, right?!

Anyway, any thoughts anyone has (including simple ones, like
"get a life", "you're an idiot you know", "you should buy a new washing machine, dude") are always welcome. :)


Jeremy

#29 appl.tech.29501

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 01:28 PM

You may be able to find a scrap pump out of one of the new GE front loaders that have the fabric softner pumps in the pedestals.
If you would like to make a donation you may do so at the link below

One on one repair help now available !

http://homepage.mac....ppl.tech.29501/

http://twitter.com/ApplTech29501

http://www.facebook.com/ApplTech29501

www.eliteapplianceservice.org




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