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Nov 10, 2014, 09:19 PM
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Build Log

arduPump, an arduino vacuum pump controller


My old aquarium pump wasn't entirely cutting it, and I've got some new wings to skin. I decided to hack together a simple digital controller using an Arduino to read a pressure sensor and turn on a cheap 12V pump.

Basic parts list; I sourced everything from Sparkfun & Jameco
Ardweeny, AT328 with a backpack board for crystal, interface; programs like an Uno
4 digit 7-segment display
RFP30N06LE logic level power MOSFET - pulls the 12V pump to ground
MPX5100D pressure sensor - 0.25 - 4.7 volt output, 0-100 kPa range
LM7805 for 5V power / reference
large 10K pot
switches / resistors / caps / jumpers

D2028 - inexpensive 12VDC pump, nominally 16" vacuum

Here's the breadboard version in action:
arduPump breadboard (1 min 4 sec)
Last edited by c.walker; Nov 13, 2014 at 08:37 PM. Reason: Attached code
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Nov 10, 2014, 09:48 PM
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Boxing: way too many of my projects never make it past the breadboard stage. I have breadboard circuits in various piles built over the years that do...well, I'm not really sure what they do anymore, but they seemed like a good idea at the time. This time I'll actually mount everything in a self contained unit.
Last edited by c.walker; Nov 10, 2014 at 09:58 PM.
Nov 10, 2014, 11:11 PM
Slow builder
_AL_'s Avatar
Wow. Nice project.
Very interested & watching closely.

Al
Nov 13, 2014, 05:53 AM
Entropy is happening!
Jim.Thompson's Avatar
Struth that looks complicated!
What is the estimated cost so far?
Nov 13, 2014, 07:00 AM
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I have the parts for one lying in a box somewhere, if I was to make it, it would take me quite some dedication to understand exactly how it should be put together. And then the programming that would take me a lot of time, perhaps a couple of years for me to get it right.

Will I be able to use your program in my unit though it is a completely different build but still Arduino based?
Last edited by hallo; Nov 13, 2014 at 07:15 AM.
Nov 13, 2014, 03:06 PM
Entropy is happening!
Jim.Thompson's Avatar
My simple regulated vacuum supply cost me $2 and took a lazy few hours to assemble. It is mainly made from salvaged bits and pieces from the tip and has been in commission for 5 years now. Fully adjustable vacuum level and low deadband. It is silent, or very nearly so.
I'm a bit baffled by the perceived need to complicate things like this, when something electro-mechanical like my DIY set up works totally reliably.
Nov 13, 2014, 04:14 PM
2012 NZ Speedcup - 231 MPH
DownUnderPilot's Avatar
That's an interesting project.

Personally for me I have invested in a continuous 25" pump. Just switch it on and come back when the resin has cured. Of course I don't bag foam...... :-)
Nov 13, 2014, 04:29 PM
Entropy is happening!
Jim.Thompson's Avatar
One of the benefits of hydro electricity - it is cheaper than ours!

My regulated system operates at > 1% duty cycle.
Nov 13, 2014, 04:35 PM
2012 NZ Speedcup - 231 MPH
DownUnderPilot's Avatar
Well the running costs for 5 hours is ~ $1 NZD.

Affordable I'd say!
Nov 13, 2014, 08:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim.Thompson
Struth that looks complicated!
What is the estimated cost so far?
Unless your time is free, there's really no way this is cost effective compared to a vacuum switch and a standard pump. I'm doing this because I wanted something really small, I like hacking, and as an EE, I already have piles of circuit components. Also, having an arbitrarily small deadband and a digital readout is nice for dealing with low density foam.

Rough parts cost:
Ardweeny: $10
sensor: $15
box + board: $15
nice potentiometer: $15
pump: $15
other circuit bits: $10
all up: $80
Nov 13, 2014, 08:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hallo
I have the parts for one lying in a box somewhere, if I was to make it, it would take me quite some dedication to understand exactly how it should be put together. And then the programming that would take me a lot of time, perhaps a couple of years for me to get it right.

Will I be able to use your program in my unit though it is a completely different build but still Arduino based?
That looks like an Uno, so my code will compile for your Arduino. The display is different, so you'll have to deal with that. It looks like you've got everything you need except for a logic level FET to drive the relay. Code will go up shortly.
Nov 13, 2014, 08:26 PM
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It's finished. I wasn't as careful as I should have been gluing the display into the box, so some resin leaked out, but it's all together and functional.
Nov 13, 2014, 08:39 PM
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Code is now up at the initial post.
Here's the completed unit being tested against a vacuum gauge:

arduPump calibration testing (2 min 3 sec)
Last edited by c.walker; Nov 14, 2014 at 07:11 AM.
Jan 09, 2015, 09:51 AM
Peter, irl
Another EE here with more free time than free space, wanting to dabble in composites. I really like this idea but I wonder about the pump itself. It is reliable enough to bag say a 60" wing? Have you finished any wings? What about smaller parts? (Thinking servo covers, v-mounts, etc).

Cheers


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