Custom Automation - Arduino

kolcun

Silver Supporter
Apr 12, 2015
49
Mississauga, ON, Canada
#1
So I recently installed a MaxFlo VS pump. The pump has the ability to be controlled via external relays, which got me thinking about how I could integrate the pool with the existing Insteon automation I already have in the house.

My plan is to have a local controller at the pump, which will have
- A button to activate the remote stop switch that the pump supports
- 4 buttons to activate 4 different speeds.
- A button to control the heater on /off
- A button to control the pool light on /off.

I'll run this all with an Arduino.

The cooler part will be integrating this with the rest of the automation.
I use OpenHab as my automation controller, and it supports the MQTT message bus protocol.
I'll get an Ethernet shield for the Arduino, and use MQTT to communicate.
OpenHab also supports Apple Homekit, so I should be able to control the pool directly form my iPhone, or via Siri.

Let me know if this sounds cool, and I'll post updates as I go.

The first question I have is regarding the 12VDC power supply that's available in the MaxFlo VS pump. The manual indicates that it can be used as a power supply to activate the relays for the speed control. I wonder how much current it can supply. Maybe I can use that 12V supply to power my control panel. Though the Arduino, plus ethernet, plus relays, plus LCD screen may be a 500-600 mA draw.

Anyone have any experience with this external relay control?

Thanks
 

foobert

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 19, 2013
143
Bay Area, CA
#2
Just out of curiosity, why use an Arduino over a Raspberry Pi?

Although I've been side tracked w/ work and life lately, I'll eventually get around to finishing this.

I can't speak to the specifics of your pump, but, I'd be very suspect of drawing 0.6A off your pump's power supply unless they've clearly documented this is within the limits of it and you fused it with a fast-blow fuse. It's going to be a very expense if Ohhh #$% moment if you accidentally short something out.

I'm powering my setup with an off-the-shelf 12V supply capable of 3A current ($8 on Amazon) and a 5-volt step-down buck converter for the Pi.
 
OP
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kolcun

Silver Supporter
Apr 12, 2015
49
Mississauga, ON, Canada
#3
Why Arduino? - Mostly because I haven't used it before and want to give it a try.
I do have a raspberry Pi running the OpenHab/Insteon setup.

I think you're probably right about drawing that much power, it's more about me not wanting to run another conduit for the power, but that's what I'll end up doing.

The step down you mention is a good idea, I'll need a 5V supply to run the LCD directly. The Arduino takes 12V in without any trouble.
This one looks particularly small and nice : UBEC DC/DC Step-Down (Buck) Converter - 5V @ 3A output ID: 1385 - $9.95 : Adafruit Industries, Unique fun DIY electronics and kits
Though my options on amazon.ca are more limited.
 

wayner

LifeTime Supporter
May 31, 2012
472
Toronto, ON
#8
Keep us up to date on how it works out for you. I would love to get my pool more automated but the price that you pay for some of the systems like Jandy Aqualink, etc is stupidly expensive for the functionality that it gives you, especially considering that you could hack it together with hardware worth about $15 with a RPi and a couple of relays. Whenever I look at buying the automation interfaces it seems to cost about $1000 in CAD.
 
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kolcun

Silver Supporter
Apr 12, 2015
49
Mississauga, ON, Canada
#9
Finally got the unit installed outside, it was a real pain to fit in the box, wish I had an extra inch of depth on it.

If I want to update the program on the arduino, I'll have to open it up, and connect to my laptop to program it.





 

craigzych

New member
Dec 29, 2017
1
punta gorda
#10
Neat project. I like the case, similar to what I made for my last house except it wasnt an outdoor enclosure.

I used the beaglebone and built an android app it control it.

This time around I will keep the app the same but use a chip micro controller and build an alexa skill for voice control.

Do you have an app or is it just button control?