Viscometer and Graphing

Now that I’ve got the new board working, I’ve been programming all of the pertinant functions back into the chip. This time I’ve redesigned them to be a little more modular and useful in the long term. As was mentioned in the post a while back, I made a new board and I’ve come to realise that the RS-485 Port is wrong. It has 2 connectors when it requires 3. A-B-Ground. Sigh!

Anyways, I’ve been running tests with the viscometer and everything is working great so far. I’ve got the temperature sensors working and the conditioning of them with OP-amps has worked like a charm. Though I find that the read value from the ADC is pretty jumpy.

Anyways, as reference, here some photos.

The Whole Deal
The Whole Deal

Temp Conditioner
Temp Conditioner

Also, the linearity test went well. Better than I initially expected.

Motor Linearity
Motor Linearity

One can notice that there are some burps along the graph but for the most part, it’s fairly linear as far as I’m concerned.

The lamp I’ve been saying I was going to build

Well, I’ve built it, the useless yet fun, timer lamp. The idea behind the timer lamp is to have a bedside lamp that you can turn on and of but also set it to turn off after a certain amount of time. This task is pretty easy but I wanted it to be controlled by a micro controller. After two years of thinking about it I finally got off my duff and built it.

Here’s a blow by blow of how it was built.

Controller board

First I took the thing apart. The wire itself is pretty tough to chew on so I kept it in there so I can save the lamp itself. The lamp was bought from Wal-mart for about $18.

Controller board

Here’s a blurry pic of the control board I designed. It’s generic in that it can take both digital and switch input and output 200ma per channel on 3 outputs. It’s nothing special but it’s small enough and it works. The MCU on it is a PIC16F505, not a great MCU but it works.

Lamp Husk

with buttons

And here’s the casing on the base. Inside was some sort of bizarre weight made of something I did not want to cut.  I took the guts out and popped two 5/8 holes for the buttons. I didn’t have a proper drill so I used a forstner bit, not ideal bit it worked surprisingly well.

ugly guts

I inserted the guts of the machine and had to follow the existing wire in and keep the controller towards the front. As you can see, it’s pretty ugly, as well I used hot glue to affix the boards to some wood which was then affixed with hot glue to the inner casing. It’s not an ideal solution but it relieves me of having to use bolts and it was fast.



And there you have it, it seems to work. No fire, or smoke and it works as programmed (kind of). Now I’ll have to go to work and build a new base, one to keep the unit steady, also I think I’ll add a little piezoelectric tweeter for audible confirmation of time selected.

Anyways, I’m glad I made it this far on the project in such a short amount of time.