"another" level sensor

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by dougal1111, Jan 12, 2011.

  1. dougal1111

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jan 12, 2011
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    hi
    been meaning to post this for a while and just spotted Iwasnevy's post,


    my problem is that i have a jeep with a "clear"plastic radiator header tank,
    snag is, it impossible to see the level.and no access from the top.

    it has a submersable type warning light, but this only comes on when the tank is empty.


    im looking for something a bit simpler (and external) than iwasnevy,perhaps a led/infrared transmitter on one side and a similar reciever on the opposite side,
    im assuming that the water would provide enough attenuation to ensure a positive switchover,?
    if anyones done something similar or has any ideas,it would be much appreciated.
    im ok with electronics.

    ps im also looking into the possibility of putting some sort of dye into the water but i dont know if this is possible.
    regards
    dougal
     
  2. retched

    AAC Fanatic!

    Dec 5, 2009
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    Can you just change the depth of the submersible sensor?

    Seems to me that raising the sensor would give you earlier warning and increased time.

    I feel for you. I just lost my car to a blown water pump gasket.

    Or leaky, i should say.

    I didn't realize the water was draining slowly from the system, and this car has no "gauges" except for speedometer.

    SO, once the [TEMP] light came on, I was done.
     
  3. maxpower097

    Well-Known Member

    Feb 20, 2009
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    ....................................................................
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2011
  4. retched

    AAC Fanatic!

    Dec 5, 2009
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    Im looking at a warped head/leaky head gasket.. one of the two.

    She just DUMPS her coolant as added.

    If I filled her up in the driveway, I would be dry before pulling out onto the street (about 15 feet) ;)

    and OUCH!

    An '86 IROC Z28... Man-o-man. That was a purdy car.

    Also known as a "chick magnet" back in high school ;)


    [​IMG]
     
  5. dougal1111

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jan 12, 2011
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    thanks retched
    that makes a lot of sense,


    apologies for the delay, i hit send for this earlier and everything just froze.

    unfortunately these are touchy vehicles, even the sensors have sensors.., im a bit reluctant to modify or dismantle the existing stuff,but certainly an idea.
    thanks again

    dougal
     
  6. dougal1111

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jan 12, 2011
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    hi packratking
    that sounds familier, i set off last week on a local journey unusually for me i checked water etc everything perfect.
    within 3 miles i thought the engine sounded a bit noisy/er but carried on the other half mile to my destination,
    found the pump totally wrecked, water everywhere,fortunately no other damage,
    what amazed me, after many years in the trade,was that something could fail so catastrophically so fast.

    regards
    dougal
     
  7. retched

    AAC Fanatic!

    Dec 5, 2009
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    You would think they would use a flange instead of just a gasket. Who knows..
     
  8. dougal1111

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jan 12, 2011
    22
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    well,
    the more i looked into this, the more complex it was turning out to be -lasers ultrasonics etc.
    and then i just put my cable finder against the plastic tank-- it works suberbly and accurate to 1/4 inch and a distinct changeover with little or no sensitivity calibration needed.
    im a bit puzzled though, it only works on the 'wood' setting,
    the metal setting dosent work.
    can anyone suggest why this should be?
    because i will of course need to replicate the circuit, any circuit suggestions welcome,
    presumably its an induction Lc circuit

    thank in advance

    dougal
     
  9. dougal1111

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jan 12, 2011
    22
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    hi dougal

    i think the answer is that you are using the 'wood' detector side based on a change in capacitance,whereas the metal detector uses a change in inductance,


    dougal
     
  10. retched

    AAC Fanatic!

    Dec 5, 2009
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    Thats right dougal1111, great answer dougal1111... ???

    Hows that for answering your own question..
     
  11. dougal1111

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jan 12, 2011
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    thanks retched
    sorry about that i was feeling a bit lonely,

    ive come up against the law of the sod....apparently the circuit requires oscillators, tuned circuits, discriminators, signal conditioner, amplifier, and a switched output,
    nothing difficult there then.....
    and unfortunately the two purpose built integrated circuits that would have done the job have been obsolete for years,
    i think i will canabolise the cable tester into a small box for mounting and extend the cable to a sensor plate on the tank.

    regards
    dougal
     
  12. marshallf3

    Well-Known Member

    Jul 26, 2010
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    Mine's been out since I bought the car over three years ago. Normally they just need to be removed and cleaned but they stuffed such a big engine into my tiny GTP that a lot of things are rather inaccessible. If I could simply unplug it the warning light would go out but I can't even fit my tiny fingers in to do that so I just put up with the tiny "Low Coolant" light on the dash as I've got a temp gauge so I know what's going on.

    Replacements aren't that expensive anymore, perhaps you could shove a simple GM one in there and make it work.
     
  13. retched

    AAC Fanatic!

    Dec 5, 2009
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    No reason to be sorry.. It is great to see someone who takes the inititaive to continue to search and do the leg-work even after the question has been posted.

    It seems many people do a few google searches, give up, post here and wait for us to do all the work.

    It is a breath of fresh air to see that you found your solution on your own, and still came back to let it be know.

    Thats what a forum is all about.

    If someone posts a question here, that post will be searchable for the life of the forum.
    When the poster answers it themselves, they rarely post the answer!

    This means someone in 2 years with the same problem, who gets to your thread via search engine, can get an answer.

    Commendable. Even if you thought you were not being such.
     
  14. dougal1111

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jan 12, 2011
    22
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    thank you for your kind responses ,

    a quick update,i initially mentioned that i was looking for a water level sensor as i could not see the level when topping up etc,however i am thinking of utilizing the sensor to provide a dash mounted early warning as well,i will need just need to swap over the existing red and green leds on the cable finder ,as its red below the level,and green above.
    (my car has got to the age where its prone to springing leaks.)
    i have tracked down an IC with a supplier that has a £20 (about $30) minimum order,
    not too bad i suppose, and my son wants something like this in his caravan ,
    so i might have a go at putting a circuit together,(its very similar to the old superhet
    am radio front end)

    thank you again
    dougal
     
  15. retched

    AAC Fanatic!

    Dec 5, 2009
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    You might want to pick up a kit to play around with too ;)

    Might as well.

    Even light chaser or a noise maker... something fun. It helps fill out the minimum order. ;)
     
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