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Rain Simulator Motor Control System


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Hey guys,

 

I have my EE Senior Design Project that was done with two MSP430 devices. A MSP430-F5438A and a MSP430-G2553. The main part of the project is a stepper motor control system used to accurately simulate Florida rainfall intensities on a 30'x8' test bed. It also has a wireless rain sensor used to measure the rainfall amount. Obviously I can't go into too much detail here...it would take too long. I'm currently uploading a YouTube video and some pictures of the project.

 

Here is a picture of the Motor Driver portion of the main board. There are two of these identical portions, one for each motor:

post-9738-135135526574_thumb.jpg

 

Here is a picture of the Microcontroller portion of the main board.

post-9738-135135526588_thumb.jpg

 

Here is a picture of the Low Voltage power supply portion of the main board. It supplies 3.3V, 5V, and 12V.

post-9738-135135526604_thumb.jpg

 

I am away from my home computer but I will be able to access and upload the code, as well as a few more pictures and a video of the system operation. I have tons of documentation for this project and I'm hoping to enter it into the POTM contest. Like I said, I'll get a video and some more pictures up later this week.

 

I look forward to learning some more stuff from you guys!

-Adam C.

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Pretty neat Adam. What's the rain sensor?

 

Sent from my PI39100 using Board Express

 

Custom made for the project. It has 32 conductors spaced out on your typical rain gauge. There is another conductor with 3.3V constantly applied. As the water in the gauge rises, it connects the 3.3V to some of the 32 conductors. These 32 wires are run through two 16:1 muxes. The microcontroller can now read which levels are high by using the analog comparator. As the uC runs through the loop, checking each line that's connected to the mux, it increments a counter when the line is high. Using this method, it knows how high the water is in the rain gauge. This is then sent wirelessly to the main board using a couple of Xbee modules. It's really quite simple.The only connections to the uC are four select lines (paralleled to each mux), two enable lines to switch between the two muxes, and ones signal line from each mux.

 

I'll be able to post all the Eagle schematic and board files along with all the code later this week.

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I would like to see a photo of the rain sensor.

 

Are the parallel tracks on the sensor exposed copper?

What is the spacing on the tracks?

How will you prevent trace erosion caused by electrolytic reaction?

Does it measure the amount of rainfall or is it just a presence of rain detector?

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I would like to see a photo of the rain sensor.

 

Are the parallel tracks on the sensor exposed copper?

What is the spacing on the tracks?

How will you prevent trace erosion caused by electrolytic reaction?

Does it measure the amount of rainfall or is it just a presence of rain detector?

 

They are just the bare ends of some wire. The erosion has not been an issue so far. The reading is done so quick that there is never very much current flow. As fast as the uC can read the lines is as long has current is present. It then goes to sleep until the next reading. It measures the amount of rainfall. One part of the sensor is accurate to within .1 inches and another section is accurate to within .2 inches.

 

I'll try and get a picture up on Tuesday.

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Here are the updates I promised:

 

There are two main features not shown in this video. One is a wireless rain gauge that is placed on the test bed and transmits the measured amount of rainfall back to the control unit. The other the fault detection system. If at any time a fault occurs in the simulation such as a short circuit, or overheating, the system will shut down and alert the user utilizing the screen and the red fault indication light.

 

 

Thanks for looking and feel free to show it to anyone you please. My next step is uploading some pictures of the wireless rain gauge and some more of the internal components. I'm working on that now.

 

Rear of Keypad and LCD:

rearofkeypadandlcd.jpg

 

Main control board, Keypad, LCD, LV Transformer on the right, HV Power Supply on the bottom behind a plexiglass screen to protect from contact.

mainpcb.jpg

 

Front of Keypad and LCD:

lcdandkeypad.jpg

 

Overall View of Internals:

internals.jpg

 

Here is a video that shows the Wireless Rain Gauge:

I shot this with my phone and didn't have a plan of action when filming it so it's not very well done but it gets the point across.

 

And now for some pictures of the Wireless Rain Gauge.

 

Overall view of components:

20111206185122.jpg

 

Another overall view:

20111206185141.jpg

 

Closeup of the method used to detect water:

20111206185201.jpg

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And now for some schematics and PCB Layouts:

 

First we have the Low Voltage Power Supply:

lvpsschematic.png

 

And it's board layout:

lvpsboard.png

 

Next up is the Motor Driver:

motordriverschematic.png

 

And the Motor Driver board layout:

motordriverboard.png

 

Third we have the Microcontroller:

microcontrollerschemati.png

microcontrollerschemati.png

 

And the Microcontroller board layout:

microcontrollerboard.png

 

Last but certainly not least, we have the combined board. This board contains the Low Voltage Power Supply, the Microcontroller, and two Motor Driver circuits:

ucandmdboard.png

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