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Novice needs advice for a project
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Please be positive and constructive with your questions and comments.

Novice needs advice for a project

by rbarr110 on Tue Aug 06, 2019 3:30 pm

I want to create a motorized system that when a momentary switch is activated a motor will run for a set amount of time, lets say 10 seconds. What is the easiest and a relatively inexpensive way to do this?

The specifics for the project is that I am making my own roller mat filter system for my aquarium. The ideas is that a drain box that has rolled filter paper gets clogged enough that the water flow throw the paper causes the water level to rise, activating a float switch. The float switch tells the program to run a motor (possibly a small stepper motor) to run long enough to roll up the dirty filter paper to a clean section of filter paper. (The time it takes the motor to move the dirty filter will have to be determined through trill and error and programmed in once the time is determined).

This is a retail product of what I am doing, I want to make my own as the flow rate through the commercial filter setup is to low for my use.
https://www.bulkreefsupply.com/automati ... ing-1.html

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Re: Novice needs advice for a project

by franklin97355 on Tue Aug 06, 2019 4:08 pm

If you want it to be timed you can use a 555 timer chip and a MOSFET or you could use a switch that senses when the paper has advanced far enough to wrap the cylinder.

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Re: Novice needs advice for a project

by rbarr110 on Tue Aug 06, 2019 4:19 pm

franklin97355 wrote:If you want it to be timed you can use a 555 timer chip and a MOSFET or you could use a switch that senses when the paper has advanced far enough to wrap the cylinder.


I appreciate the input, but that is mostly greek to me. I guess I am looking for input such as, "buy the Arduino BoardXXX, motor stepper control board XXX, stepper motor X, etc". If I can make the system for around $100 it is still worth it even if it can be built for $20 if I was completely competent in making my own simplistic stripped down circuitry to perform a single task.

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Re: Novice needs advice for a project

by franklin97355 on Tue Aug 06, 2019 4:33 pm

OK, let's start with your physical hardware. What do you plan to use and how is it put together. How are you driving the paper and how far does it need to advance?

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Re: Novice needs advice for a project

by rbarr110 on Tue Aug 06, 2019 5:22 pm

franklin97355 wrote:OK, let's start with your physical hardware. What do you plan to use and how is it put together. How are you driving the paper and how far does it need to advance?


The box and structure will be made from acrylic cut on my CNC router (attached a photo of the render, design not fully complete). The filter paper is held onto a roll assembly comprised of various PVC pipe components I have already compiled. The PVC holder sits in a โ€œUโ€ shaped slot so that the filter roll is held in place but can spin. There will be another PVC roller assembly held in place in a similar manner that will roll up the used portion of the filter paper roll.
I intend to use a DC motor (possibly a stepper if needed) to drive the "dirty" side of the filter paper feed. When the momentary float switch is triggered, the motor turns on that is directly attached to the shaft made from PVC pipe that rolls up the dirty paper, which would be approximately 16 inches +/- of filter paper.
As far as electrical hardware needed to drive the motor and sense the momentary float switch is what I need to figure out. If you look at the commercial example I linked above, you can see the motor and float switch. As I said, I donโ€™t mind having a more robust electrical setup (if I need an Arduino board and stepper motor driver board all hooked up I donโ€™t mind).
Attachments
Roller_Filter_1_2019-Apr-07_05-27-45AM-000_CustomizedView37663151937.png
Roller_Filter_1_2019-Apr-07_05-27-45AM-000_CustomizedView37663151937.png (982.47 KiB) Viewed 99 times

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Re: Novice needs advice for a project

by franklin97355 on Tue Aug 06, 2019 6:09 pm

Since the rolls of material will vary in size over the useful life you will need a way to measure the linear movement of it. An encoder wheel (you could get one from a mouse) would work. A regular DC motor should be all you need for power. A Feather M0 and a motor wing should allow you the control you need.

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