cheap temp monitoring of coolant output

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cheap temp monitoring of coolant output

Postby MtRainier » Tue Aug 07, 2018 5:49 pm

Thought I would share this quick project I did. I'd been looking at the coolant temperature monitors on the StillDragon site which look pretty nice and are inexpensive, but their fittings and tubing all seem to be metric so it wouldn't work for me without a lot of adapting.

Instead I got this little cheap 2-channel thermometer from amazon: http://a.co/iCCGM2M It isn't the most accurate thing ever and can't be calibrated from what I've seen, but I mostly want it to show me the ballpark of the cooling water temp.

The probes fit snugly inside standard 1/4" push-connect tubing. I put some hot glue on them and quickly shoved them in a stub of the tubing to make it a watertight seal. If the coolant water gets hot enough to melt the hot glue, then I know I've got a problem

Then I put the tube stub in the side leg of a 3/8 x 1/4 x 3/8 tee and now I can monitor my water output temperature with it. It was a total of about $25 including the 9v battery. 8)

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Re: cheap temp monitoring of coolant output

Postby fizzix » Sun Aug 26, 2018 7:13 am

The true spirit of DIY.
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Re: cheap temp monitoring of coolant output

Postby mashins » Mon Aug 27, 2018 2:31 am

So stealing this idea man! Need to do same to control my valve to regulate temps.
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Re: cheap temp monitoring of coolant output

Postby MtRainier » Mon Aug 27, 2018 7:33 am

I've now used it a few times and it works great and doesn't leak.

Next I'm going to hook up some hall effect flow meter sensors to an Arduino to get an idea of flow through the reflux condenser when it's doing its job well.
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Re: cheap temp monitoring of coolant output

Postby mashins » Mon Aug 27, 2018 9:03 am

MtRainier wrote:I've now used it a few times and it works great and doesn't leak.

Next I'm going to hook up some hall effect flow meter sensors to an Arduino to get an idea of flow through the reflux condenser when it's doing its job well.

Please keep on shareing, liking this even more!
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Re: cheap temp monitoring of coolant output

Postby MtRainier » Mon Aug 27, 2018 1:28 pm

OK. I may make another thread for this, but this is what I'm doing to monitor flow.

I have an Arduino Nano.

I bought one of these displays, which works great:

http://a.co/d/h3OM41Q

I downloaded the library for talking to it from:

http://wiki.sunfounder.cc/index.php?tit ... 2C_LCD1602

Then I ordered two flowmeters from China:

http://a.co/d/0mHyZu6

And am talking to them using this library:

https://github.com/sekdiy/FlowMeter

I'm only using one flowmeter for the moment, and I haven't calibrated it yet.

Here is my code simulating the flow rates. Basically feeding random numbers to the flowmeter library:

Code: Select all
#include <FlowMeter.h>
#include <Wire.h>
#include <LiquidCrystal_I2C.h>


float a, b;
const byte rcPin = 2;
const byte pcPin = 3;
const unsigned long period = 1000;
const double cap = 10.0f; // l/min
const double kf = 21.0f; // Hz per l/min

LiquidCrystal_I2C lcd(0x27, 16, 2); // set the LCD address to 0x27 for a 16 chars and 2 line display

FlowSensorProperties MySensor = {cap, kf, {1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1}};
FlowMeter rcMeter = FlowMeter(rcPin, MySensor);
FlowMeter pcMeter = FlowMeter(pcPin, MySensor);

void rcMeterISR() {
  rcMeter.count();
}

void pcMeterISR() {
  pcMeter.count();
}

/*********************************************************/
void setup()
{
  Serial.begin(9600);
  lcd.init();  //initialize the lcd
  lcd.backlight();  //open the backlight
  attachInterrupt(digitalPinToInterrupt(rcPin), rcMeterISR, RISING);
  attachInterrupt(digitalPinToInterrupt(pcPin), pcMeterISR, RISING);
  rcMeter.reset();
  pcMeter.reset();
}
/*********************************************************/
void loop()
{

  // simulate counts
  long frequency = random(MySensor.capacity * MySensor.kFactor);  // Hz
  long period = random(3 * frequency, 5000);                      // ms
  for (long i = 0; i < (long) ((float) period * (float) frequency / 1000.0f); i++) {
    rcMeter.count();
  }
  //

  delay(period);

  rcMeter.tick(period);
  pcMeter.tick(period);
  // output some measurement result
  Serial.println("FlowMeter - period: " + String(rcMeter.getCurrentDuration() / 1000.0f, 3) + "s, " +
                 "frequency: " + String(rcMeter.getCurrentFrequency(), 0) + "Hz, " +
                 "volume: " + rcMeter.getCurrentVolume() + "l, " +
                 "flow rate: " + rcMeter.getCurrentFlowrate() + "l/min, " +
                 "error: " + rcMeter.getCurrentError() + "%, " +
                 "total duration: " + rcMeter.getTotalDuration() / 1000.0f + "s, " +
                 "total volume: " + rcMeter.getTotalVolume() + "l, " +
                 "average flow rate: " + rcMeter.getTotalFlowrate() + "l/min, " +
                 "average error: " + rcMeter.getTotalError() + "%.");

  //Serial.println("PC Currently " + String(pcMeter.getCurrentFlowrate()) + " l/min, " + String(pcMeter.getTotalVolume()) + " l total.");

  lcd.setCursor(3, 0); // set the cursor to column 3, line 0
  lcd.print("RC");  // Print a message to the LCD
  lcd.setCursor(11, 0);
  lcd.print("PC");

  lcd.setCursor(2, 1); // set the cursor to column 2, line 1
  a = (float)random(0, 100) / 100.0;
  a = rcMeter.getCurrentFlowrate();
  lcd.print(a);  // Print a message to the LCD.
  lcd.setCursor(10, 1);
  b = (float)random(0, 100) / 100.0;
  b = pcMeter.getCurrentFlowrate();
  lcd.print(b);
}
/************************************************************/
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Re: cheap temp monitoring of coolant output

Postby Wolfairious » Wed Nov 07, 2018 6:24 am

Just ordered a single temp display. Great idea. I'll have to look at a larger coupling to fit my 1/2" hose. Great idea!
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Re: cheap temp monitoring of coolant output

Postby Euphoria » Wed Nov 07, 2018 8:07 am

Just good old simple, (and accurate,) analog gauges for me...
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Re: cheap temp monitoring of coolant output

Postby Getsmokin » Wed Nov 07, 2018 10:22 am

Actually put this together over the weekend. [img]https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20181107/3c6ec5274c0a62358df3dfd9c36efafb.jpg[/img]
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Re: cheap temp monitoring of coolant output

Postby still_stirrin » Wed Nov 07, 2018 1:34 pm

Getsmokin wrote:Actually put this together over the weekend. [img]https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20181107/3c6ec5274c0a62358df3dfd9c36efafb.jpg[/ing]

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Re: cheap temp monitoring of coolant output

Postby Getsmokin » Wed Nov 07, 2018 4:16 pm

One more time... Actually put this together over the weekend.
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Re: cheap temp monitoring of coolant output

Postby MtRainier » Wed Nov 07, 2018 5:14 pm

Getsmokin wrote:One more time... Actually put this together over the weekend.


That looks nice!

Mine are doing really well, and I find a lot of value in the readings they give. At least for the reflux condenser. Not so much the product condenser. At a given input power I now have a number for output reflux water temp that will start allowing vapor through given my fixed condenser size.

Also, I now wish I had a longer condenser, because I now know I can't keep up with full power. 8)

I still haven't gotten the inline flowmeters hooked up, but I plan to.
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Re: cheap temp monitoring of coolant output

Postby HDNB » Wed Nov 07, 2018 5:31 pm

any of these have dry contact outputs?

i'd like to put temp and flow on a few places and interlock them to the gas valve on my boiler. even supervised i have had situations that i'd like something faster than me to push the big red holyfuck button.

like if distillate output hits 120* then open/close a contact (that i can use to trigger a relay to open the gas valve)
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Re: cheap temp monitoring of coolant output

Postby acfixer69 » Wed Nov 07, 2018 5:41 pm

That HDNB can be done easy with a holding relay wired in line with the holyfuck red button :D
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