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  1. #16
    Fanatical Contributor Tim's Avatar
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    Default Re: Understanding how to develop an lookup algorithm

    Another update

    The product I wanted to make using this tech is in a field where I compete with some multinational players. So I like to see what patent applications they make so I do not get in trouble.

    I used new search method yesterday and found they had applied for one a couple of years back using the float and sensor method. I do differ in a lot of respects but the float system looks like a no no.

    So I'm abandoning it now.

    If anyone has any idea how to measure the water level in a 10mm id tube to say ~1mm over 200mm I would appreciate it.

    Thanks

    Tim
    Tim

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  • #17
    Prolific Poster normnet's Avatar
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    Default Re: Understanding how to develop an lookup algorithm

    Quote Originally Posted by Tim View Post
    ...If anyone has any idea how to measure the water level in a 10mm id tube to say ~1mm over 200mm I would appreciate it...

    Tim
    I have posted the OV7670 camera module before however with consistent lighting conditions it should see the same lip on the glass tube as your own eyes and the water level could be determined at a 1 or 2 pixel resolution.

    No float to hang or misalign due to attached bubbles.

    For use with a single camera perhaps a stepper with a gear ratio requiring many revolutions per unit of camera travel height could precisely track the camera height?

    Norm

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  • #18
    Fanatical Contributor Tim's Avatar
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    Default Re: Understanding how to develop an lookup algorithm

    Hi Norm

    Yes I purchased a camera last time you mentioned it, but never used it. The original usage was for another situation that the camera did not fit. So I am looking again at it.
    The issue though is processing the image is beyond me. I'm not forgetting it but looking first at a method I can implement.

    The concept of a motor and either acme thread or even a belt drive is nice. I have looked in depth for parts etc.

    Since overlapping sensors eg with the Hall effect seem to be do able I was thinking about a bunch of LED's on one side and sensors on the other and analyse the signals from each to ascertain the level.

    The one thing I need to do is stand back and think is it all necessary. The current product is plumbing essentially. The new iteration on the go solves most of the issues a user will encounter in day to day operation. So is it worth it trying to digitise a process the customer only uses one a year. Its invention for the sake of it.
    Saying that though the next product I have on the go needs the level system as part of it.

    Cheers

    Tim
    Tim

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  • #19
    Fanatical Contributor Tim's Avatar
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    Default Re: Understanding how to develop an lookup algorithm

    Here are a list of the methods I have actively looking at.

    Slot opto where a light beam is sent from an LED to the detector.
    + They are off the shelf and cheap. But do not work so well over large bores.
    - Water drops on the wall of the tube cause issues, mechanical.

    Electrical probe. Where a probe is plunged into the water via a drive
    + it can detect the water
    - Surface tension means you have to rise up to break it then drop down again to just touch it, mechanical

    Pressure sensor
    + off the shelf and cheap
    - Not accurate, plumbing not compatible with current design

    Ultrasonic from the top
    + Might work
    - Affected by air pressure which will change as level drops
    Tim

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  • #20
    Senior Member Henk57's Avatar
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    Default Re: Understanding how to develop an lookup algorithm

    Well do you giv up so soon?

    In posting #15 of http://www.protonbasic.co.uk/showthr...666#post506666 you can read that build a water capacitor.

    I don't know your skills (sorry) but if you can make also an water-cap. and do some test maybe it will work,
    but it must be free from AC-lines and EMC etc.
    In my case it wasn't so I had to average the readings 20 times before a stable result was displayed.

    Secret is aluminum foil and pices of inkjet printer paper and an laminator and sheets.
    But the question is, what is the final, pF, pico farads, of the water-cap.

    These foils must be placed close together for <5pF* in air (in water <50pF*), but then it must avioded that waterdrops stay in between the foils can ad ~1pF,
    so in little fan on top must be switched, on and off, everytime BEFORE every reading.

    * Based on experience.

    Henk.

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  • #21
    Prolific Poster normnet's Avatar
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    Default Re: Understanding how to develop an lookup algorithm

    Quote Originally Posted by Tim View Post
    ...The issue though is processing the image is beyond me...

    Tim
    I set up the camera with a GLCD to view the image. As the PIC writes the captured image pixel data to the GLCD save an array of several rows of a specific column in a vertical line over the tube. Once the image is completely drawn redraw the data capture line in red to verify position.

    Much like your eye the pixel data should distinguish between the puckered lip of the water surface in the tube, the air above, and the water below. If 16 bit color is used each pixel data may be for example in 5 bits red, 6 bits green and 5 bits blue. Grayscale may be simpler to analyze as it will only be one value in place of three. Draw a short horizontal line to verify results. Consistent results require consistent lighting as change will affect the pixel data. Perhaps an enclosure for lighting and protection would be of help?

    Norm
    Last edited by normnet; 26th November 2017 at 17:10.

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  • #22
    Fanatical Contributor Tim's Avatar
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    Default Re: Understanding how to develop an lookup algorithm

    Thinking about the systems I know work eg slot opto/ light beam, I thought how can I get around the dia issue. In that I need the opto to look across from one side to the other. 10mm ID gives the volume I need but I doubt you would get a slot opto to work properly through a tube over say 6mm.

    Now I have a solution use a rectangular tube you can make it as big one dimension as needed to get the volume and just have it smaller the other eg the 6mm i need.

    However there is an issue if you use one sensor then you do not know if when you see water it's the edge or lower. You will need 2 perhaps or hunt up and down constantly finding the edge.
    Tim

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  • #23
    Prolific Poster normnet's Avatar
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    Default Re: Understanding how to develop an lookup algorithm

    Analyzing the pixel data for water level looks easier than I thought as seen in this boiler sight glass I monitor every day at work. The pixel data should clearly determine the water level even while viewing the entire height of the tube. This is so because of the red stripe with adjoining white strips painted on the back of the tube. Above water the 3 stripes are visible while below water only a single full column width red stripe.

    Norm

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  • #24
    Fanatical Contributor Tim's Avatar
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    Default Re: Understanding how to develop an lookup algorithm

    Hi Norm

    Great to see a fellow boiler man. I used to do that for years although the boilers were a lot bigger....

    I'm really interested in this. I can step back so to speak only around 50mm. I was wondering about looking down from the top with a mirror at an angle along the whole length.
    That way I will get to see the whole length.

    I will play around with the stripe effect as even on the manual version that uses good old eyes to view the level it will help.

    Tim
    Tim

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  • #25
    Prolific Poster rcurl's Avatar
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    Default Re: Understanding how to develop an lookup algorithm

    Hi Tim-
    Rather than a camera I wonder if it would be practical using a CCD line scan array like you would find in a fax machine or document scanner. These are essentially a long line of photodiodes with a serial output kind of like a shift register, It's common to see them in lengths of 8 inches or greater. There are usually matching LED arrays available, so you could put the sensor on one side of the tube and the illuminating array on the other side.

    -Rick

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  • #26
    Fanatical Contributor Tim's Avatar
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    Default Re: Understanding how to develop an lookup algorithm

    Hi Rick

    That would be perfect

    Any idea where I can get them?
    Tim

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  • #27
    Prolific Poster rcurl's Avatar
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    Default Re: Understanding how to develop an lookup algorithm

    Quote Originally Posted by Tim View Post
    Any idea where I can get them?
    If I were doing this, Id start by buying some cheap hand-held document scanners on eBay or stopping at the Thrift Store to pick up some used fax machines to disassemble. That would be the quickest way to get matched sensors and emitters.
    You could also look here: https://toshiba.semicon-storage.com/...ar-sensor.html

    -Rick

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  • #28
    Fanatical Contributor Tim's Avatar
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    Default Re: Understanding how to develop an lookup algorithm

    Thanks,

    I will be making 60+ a year, scrap bin is not an option.

    Tim
    Tim

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    Prolific Poster rcurl's Avatar
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    Default Re: Understanding how to develop an lookup algorithm

    Quote Originally Posted by Tim View Post
    I will be making 60+ a year, scrap bin is not an option.
    I'm certainly NOT suggesting using scrap parts in the product- just suggesting a way to quickly determine if this approach will work, and to discover what brands of line scan sensors are being used in low-cost scanners.

    -Rick

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  • #30
    Prolific Poster normnet's Avatar
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    Default Re: Understanding how to develop an lookup algorithm

    Any updates on the project?

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