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Thread: Homemade Jandy Valve Controller

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    Homemade Jandy Valve Controller

    If I swap my 3/4hp Tristar pump for an Ecostar pump, I can ditch one of my Intermatic timers ( keeping the one for the booster pump ). When I get a suction cleaner I will only need to automate one Jandy valve to control the time & amount of cleaner operation. The only other timed operation I might add, would be a salt water chlorine generator. All the off-the-shelf pool feature controllers I could find were way over-blown for my needs ( remote wi-fi, multi-program, multi-feature units ), and far more expensive than I want to shell out. Besides, I have the urge to build one more controller of my own, before I check out.
    I did a quick check of the parts I would need, and got price checks from the online electronics supply houses, and found that I could put together a control unit for about $70 that can manage one Jandy valve ( 3-wire 24vac ) and one additional feature that also requires either/or 24vac and additional 5v, 12v or eithernet drive connections. The major parts required are:
    o 24vac wall transformer -- $12
    o 115vac x 12vdc wall power supply -- $12
    o 2-line 16 character LED display -- $33
    o Z86C91 40-pin DIP Microprocessor -- $5.70
    o Hobby-box & perf component board -- $10
    Most of the small parts I have on hand ( resistors, capacitors, EEProms, push-buttons, wire, sockets etc. ). I figure the build will take about a week, and the programming about two weeks.
    The best price I could find for a Jandy actuator, was $80 ( Intermatic PE24VA ).
    15K gallon in-ground gunite/plaster pool(58 year-old Anthony Bros.), 15'x30', depth 3-1/2'->8' . Hayward Ecostar pump. Hayward DE-3600 filter with Variflow 710XR50 1-1/2" valve. Polaris 380 cleaner & "the pool cleaner (suction)". Main-drain suction disconnected. New skimmer suction plumbing 2" PVC. Single return line 1" copper. Cleaner line 1-1/2" copper, re-plumbed in pump-house (PVC) for either suction or pressure. Hayward 3/4HP PB4 booster pump. Leslie's 260 BTU Coppertherm heater. All new suction interconnect plumbing 2". Return plumbing, filter-to-booster, 1-1/2". Single return to pool 1". All equipment located 2-1/2ft. above pool bottom level ( neg. 5ft. from surface ).

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Homemade Jandy Valve Controller

    That sounds like great fun

    The main thing to watch out for is lightning induced surges. Those are most likely in the actuator control wires, but possible from nearly any other source as well. Adding a couple of MOVs will help keep that under control.

    I've seen the PE24VA for $68, for example at Amazon.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    East_Akl_Neil's Avatar
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    Re: Homemade Jandy Valve Controller

    I saw a thread on here once about someone doing something similar. If I was not on my phone, id do a search for ya.
    Late 1970's 39000L IG Concrete Pool with Vinyl Liner
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    Living in beautiful New Zealand

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    Re: Homemade Jandy Valve Controller

    I would recommend switching the 24 VAC for the valve with a SPDT relay. The relay can be controller by the microcontroller.
    7,500 gal, IG pool, L shape 22' x 15', 1.5 hp pump, cartridge filter, AquaPlus SWG/Controller, Pebble-Tec liner.

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    Re: Homemade Jandy Valve Controller

    Thanks for the replies. Regarding the MOV's, I will add a couple in cascade, to protect the actuator from short-duration spikes ( 85 joules each ), but most of my electrical incidents are longer duration surges ( brownouts & blackouts due to folks driving into power poles ). I do not live in a lightning-prone area -- most strikes hit in the mountains 33 miles distant. To help prevent surge damage to the hard-wired Ecostar pump, I will wire in a 1295joule load-center suppressor at the secondary panel in my garage.
    Regarding management of the 24vac power, I will probably use reed relays ( 5 vdc ) off the micro-p to drive a larger SPDT 12 vdc relay. The wall transformer produces 1000ma at 12vdc, and a 12v/5v dc converter will supply the micro-p.
    I believe that I too have a recollection of someone on the forum doing a home-built controller, but I have not followed up on it. If he is a B-Boomer or "Mellinial" guy, he is probably using a more up-to-date micro-p than the Z8. I use the Z8 because I am more familiar with it ( 30 years of process-control applications ) than some of the modern chips ( some of which are only available in surface-mount ), plus I have a good assembly-language source-code development/dos-assembler package on an old Win-95 computer.
    15K gallon in-ground gunite/plaster pool(58 year-old Anthony Bros.), 15'x30', depth 3-1/2'->8' . Hayward Ecostar pump. Hayward DE-3600 filter with Variflow 710XR50 1-1/2" valve. Polaris 380 cleaner & "the pool cleaner (suction)". Main-drain suction disconnected. New skimmer suction plumbing 2" PVC. Single return line 1" copper. Cleaner line 1-1/2" copper, re-plumbed in pump-house (PVC) for either suction or pressure. Hayward 3/4HP PB4 booster pump. Leslie's 260 BTU Coppertherm heater. All new suction interconnect plumbing 2". Return plumbing, filter-to-booster, 1-1/2". Single return to pool 1". All equipment located 2-1/2ft. above pool bottom level ( neg. 5ft. from surface ).

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    Re: Homemade Jandy Valve Controller

    Brewer....

    Sounds like a fun project, but why not go with an Arduino Uno or Mega? There are plenty of libraries and existing routines out there to make development go much quicker than a fully homebrew approach. In addition, Arduinos are very easy to program and download code via a USB connection. I had considered going this route, but decided to go with an Easytouch because I wanted to get a salt water chlorine generator and power panel, so it wouldn't have been much cheaper to roll my own. Another great thing about the Arduinos is that setting up a small display like you have would be trivial.
    38K in ground pool with attached spa. Current equipment: Easytouch 8 (521150) with IC-60 SWCG with web control by Autelis, 1x Pentair IntelliFlo 011018 pump (for filter), 1x Pentair 2HP WhisperFlo pump (for waterfall), 2X Pentair IntelliBrite 5G 12V lights, Pentair MiniMax400 NG Heater, Pentair SMBW2060 DE filter. Zodiac Barracuda MX8 cleaner on dedicated cleaner line. Lighting/home automation controlled by Insteon/ISY-99i.

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    Re: Homemade Jandy Valve Controller

    Craig;

    Thanks for the input. I knew there were a lot of hobby boards available at Radio Shack ( and other outlets ), but I hadn't heard of the Arduino before. I checked out the specs, & it has many of the same features as the Z8 ( RS232 serial, multiple ports, timers etc. ) plus an on-board EEPROM. I would still need the Wall-warts, relays, local programming controls ( switches & push-buttons ) and 32-character display. The Uno EEPROM is probably too small for my taste ( I have scads of 128KB - 512KB chips on hand ), as I always program my controllers with watch-dog timers & transient-recovery code-paths to avoid power-spike lockups ( beware the Toyota runaway acceleration problem ). I cannot drive the proposed controller directly from my computer ( either Wi-fi, usb or RS232C ) as my pump shed is 130' from the house, so the program must be self-contained.

    Garry
    15K gallon in-ground gunite/plaster pool(58 year-old Anthony Bros.), 15'x30', depth 3-1/2'->8' . Hayward Ecostar pump. Hayward DE-3600 filter with Variflow 710XR50 1-1/2" valve. Polaris 380 cleaner & "the pool cleaner (suction)". Main-drain suction disconnected. New skimmer suction plumbing 2" PVC. Single return line 1" copper. Cleaner line 1-1/2" copper, re-plumbed in pump-house (PVC) for either suction or pressure. Hayward 3/4HP PB4 booster pump. Leslie's 260 BTU Coppertherm heater. All new suction interconnect plumbing 2". Return plumbing, filter-to-booster, 1-1/2". Single return to pool 1". All equipment located 2-1/2ft. above pool bottom level ( neg. 5ft. from surface ).

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    Re: Homemade Jandy Valve Controller

    Garry:

    There are a couple of options for more memory on the Arduino boards. The Mega 2560 and Due boards have considerably more flash and program memory space, and they are both still relatively inexpensive. Since they have flash memory, once you upload your program ("sketch" in Arduino lingo), it remains in non-volatile RAM. So, no need to keep a dedicated connection to a computer, as the board then runs autonomously. Plugging the board in (or hitting the reset button) causes the board to reboot and initiate the program you've uploaded. It's really the ideal platform for what you would want to do and minimize the effort. The Arduino is programmed in a variant of C, so a little learning curve if you haven't programmed with C before, but not too bad. Plus, there are plenty of example sketches online regarding temperature sensors, relay controls, etc. As well, there are "shields," circuit boards that can plug directly into headers on the Arduino boards that support functions like relays, 2-wire temperature sensors, etc, LCD displays, etc. If you ever want to automate your chemistry, there is something called the Arduarium shield (http://practicalmaker.com/category/stor ... no-shields) that is a shield with both pH and ORP circuits ready to plug into probes via BNC connectors. This might be beyond what you are looking for, but demonstrates the extensibility of this platform.
    38K in ground pool with attached spa. Current equipment: Easytouch 8 (521150) with IC-60 SWCG with web control by Autelis, 1x Pentair IntelliFlo 011018 pump (for filter), 1x Pentair 2HP WhisperFlo pump (for waterfall), 2X Pentair IntelliBrite 5G 12V lights, Pentair MiniMax400 NG Heater, Pentair SMBW2060 DE filter. Zodiac Barracuda MX8 cleaner on dedicated cleaner line. Lighting/home automation controlled by Insteon/ISY-99i.

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    Re: Homemade Jandy Valve Controller

    There are additional shields that would minimize soldering that would be useful for your project. Sainsmart makes nice relay shields, including some that use SS relays. There are also display shields, though a simple 2 x 20 LCD can be easily wired directly to any Arduino, and this is supported by a library provided in the Arduino IDE development platform (free download) with minimal effort. Sparkfun also sells capacitive touch sensor shields that could serve for input. If you want to report or control temperature, there are Dallas Semiconductor ds18b20 2-wire temperature sensors that are quite accurate and easy to wire via 2-wire serial (again, Arduino provides a simple library for this that you include at the top of the sketch). A single wall wart to drive the Arduino and peripheral circuits is all that is needed. You could in theory use a 24V supply to run the valve actuators and then step that down to a 7-15V range that the Arduino would be able to run on using a simple voltage regulator circuit. I am not sure about the power spike issue, but that could probably be addressed using an MOV (or simple surge protector). As I said, the Arduino reboots automatically on power cycling. Unless you really want to do this from scratch, I think the Arduino (or equivalent) would be the quickest way to get this functioning. And then you could share your results with the rest of us
    38K in ground pool with attached spa. Current equipment: Easytouch 8 (521150) with IC-60 SWCG with web control by Autelis, 1x Pentair IntelliFlo 011018 pump (for filter), 1x Pentair 2HP WhisperFlo pump (for waterfall), 2X Pentair IntelliBrite 5G 12V lights, Pentair MiniMax400 NG Heater, Pentair SMBW2060 DE filter. Zodiac Barracuda MX8 cleaner on dedicated cleaner line. Lighting/home automation controlled by Insteon/ISY-99i.

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    Re: Homemade Jandy Valve Controller

    Status summary ( for now ). With the holidays in full swing, a new Ecostar in my pump-house ready to install ( and a replacement DE grid-set on order ) I have a pretty full plate. Controlling the skimmer/cleaner Jandy valve will not be a necessity until I purchase a suction-side cleaner ( the P-380 works just fine, but the booster is an energy hog ). I was impressed with the number of official ( and unofficial ) Arduino modules out there, as well as other off-the-shelf modular systems, and I may yet go that route when the time comes. When I see my 16 year-old Grandson ( who is a member of his high school robotics club ) this Christmas, I will pass on to him what I have learned. I suspect however, that he may be already way ahead of me.
    15K gallon in-ground gunite/plaster pool(58 year-old Anthony Bros.), 15'x30', depth 3-1/2'->8' . Hayward Ecostar pump. Hayward DE-3600 filter with Variflow 710XR50 1-1/2" valve. Polaris 380 cleaner & "the pool cleaner (suction)". Main-drain suction disconnected. New skimmer suction plumbing 2" PVC. Single return line 1" copper. Cleaner line 1-1/2" copper, re-plumbed in pump-house (PVC) for either suction or pressure. Hayward 3/4HP PB4 booster pump. Leslie's 260 BTU Coppertherm heater. All new suction interconnect plumbing 2". Return plumbing, filter-to-booster, 1-1/2". Single return to pool 1". All equipment located 2-1/2ft. above pool bottom level ( neg. 5ft. from surface ).

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    Re: Homemade Jandy Valve Controller

    Also watch out for power outages with the Intermatic vs what you are cooking up - if the power goes out and the intermatic "loses" time vs your board, you could possibly have a situation where your pump runs dry...
    Science and Math Teacher
    Owner - SPS - part time pool biz
    18x36 IG Vinyl, 23000 Gallons with Jacuzzi (the bane of my existance) pumpworks
    Polaris 280 w/ PB4 booster

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    msgtdan's Avatar
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    Re: Homemade Jandy Valve Controller

    I cannot drive the proposed controller directly from my computer ( either Wi-fi, usb or RS232C ) as my pump shed is 130' from the house, so the program must be self-contained.
    Brewer that shouldn't be a big problem, my household broadband is through a 1.1 mile wifi connection to my dad's house. There are at least 2 prepackaged setups to do that and lots of homebrew with directional antennas and hacked wifi routers/access points. I went with EnGenuis setup due to time and effort of moving back and forth the 2.5 mile road trip for a homebrew directional setup. I set both systems up at my house and then mounted one at each location and turned on. It has worked great for 2 years now, only have to reboot one or the other router occasionally, weather has never been a factor.
    Dan D
    Used 2003 Aqua Leader 27'x52", 17,800 w/10" hopper, SwimPro SW256T 250# sand filter, Hayward PowerFlo LX pump 1hp impellor, Emerson 1 1/2 hp motor, setup Aug 2012 Summer 2011 used Summer Escapes Ring pool 14' x 42", Intex 1600gph sand filter, HTH 6 way test kitTF-100 w/stirrer, Well water @ FC=0, PH=7.2, TA=290, CH=320

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    Re: Homemade Jandy Valve Controller

    I hadn't considered long-range routers with directional antennas, like the Engenius boxes, but likewise was not really aiming for remote control of any pool functions, as I am retired and need any excuse I can find to get up off my butt. Walking to the pool & pump-house, like walking the dog is pretty much a daily routine for me. When I "take off" for 2-1/2 weeks or so for a sojourn in the Sierras, or to visit my offspring in the Pacific Northwest, I just shut down everything except the filter pump. When a power outage occurs, the Intermatic timer "picks up where it left off" when power comes back on. With the new Ecostar ( which will be hard-wired into a secondary GFCI panel ) a power outage might cause problems if its electronic controller boots into an unknown region, causing the pump to run full-bore & blowing my filter grids to kingdom come. I recently posted a request regarding Ecostar default speed settings on initial power-up, for the same reason, but have received no replies to date. Systems that I have designed in the past always incorporate a watch-dog timer that runs off a dedicated Micro-P interrupt. The timer calls high-frequency status-check routines that detect abnormal conditions, and cause the program to either re-boot or go into visual/audible alarm modes to signal a malfunction. While this approach is not 100% foolproof ( no hardware or software design is ) I have yet to experience a catastrophic lockup or runaway situation. As I noted on a post on a Pool Cleaner forum thread, the booster pump running solo ( by mistake ) has never caused the booster to run dry or overheat, as my equipment is 5' below sea-level, so the piump simply draws water from the return & pushes it directly to the Polaris ( no connection to the filter or heater ).
    15K gallon in-ground gunite/plaster pool(58 year-old Anthony Bros.), 15'x30', depth 3-1/2'->8' . Hayward Ecostar pump. Hayward DE-3600 filter with Variflow 710XR50 1-1/2" valve. Polaris 380 cleaner & "the pool cleaner (suction)". Main-drain suction disconnected. New skimmer suction plumbing 2" PVC. Single return line 1" copper. Cleaner line 1-1/2" copper, re-plumbed in pump-house (PVC) for either suction or pressure. Hayward 3/4HP PB4 booster pump. Leslie's 260 BTU Coppertherm heater. All new suction interconnect plumbing 2". Return plumbing, filter-to-booster, 1-1/2". Single return to pool 1". All equipment located 2-1/2ft. above pool bottom level ( neg. 5ft. from surface ).

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    les_garten's Avatar
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    Re: Homemade Jandy Valve Controller

    You guys seem to be plugged into the Arduino stuff pretty well. I am getting an Intelliflo VF this week. This should handlemost of my scheduling needs.

    I have a dedicated suction port and a single skimmer, and a pool drain. So far, that's 3 Jandy Valves I want to control. I do have one water feature on a Jandy that I may look into for the future.

    I am looking to plan for Solar soon. That would be another valve, ehhh?

    So maybe a 5 Valve controller.

    My thinking was an Arduino with the Wifi board and some relay shield to work some relays to run the valve actuators.

    Then some trigger buttons to manually select modes, all in a Nema enclosure with a real time clock, or getting RTC from the Internet?

    If I were to do SWG it would be with a relay pull off the pump draw. I would rather do this with Linux but have grasped that yet. The Arduino stuff looks kinda fun to learn.

    Anybody think this can be done with an Arduino?
    14x30 PebbleTec(Caribbean Blue) 12,000 Gals BORAX
    Pentair IntelliFlo <<>> Pentair FNS Plus DE
    Pentair 5G Intellibrite w/Intellibrite Controller
    ROME Solarium 125 Heat Pump
    Kreepy Krauly Classic <<>> Pentair 320 Feeder

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