Tom Cancelleri

Dust Collector Bin Full Sensor

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So while it's not a "Wood working" project in it's entirety. There will be some woodworking done. It does relate to woodworking and the shop. 

I decided since I have the know how that I would build a dust bin sensor with a bit of flare. 

Using an Arduino, a Sharp IR sensor and some LEDs I just completed my prototype bin sensor. (This took me all of 30 minutes to do).

My plans will be to build a wooden stop light that hangs on the wall in my shop with green, yellow, and red LED matrices embedded in it.

 

 

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1 minute ago, Llama said:

How can it know if the bin is half full or half empty?

The bin is always half full.... That's just the kind of outlook the Clearvue has.

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1 minute ago, Tom Cancelleri said:

The bin is always half full.... That's just the kind of outlook the Clearvue has.

Ah, must have studied Maslow...

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I need one to send me a text!  Obviously, then I know when it needs to be emptied but, more importantly, I'll know is someone is using my shop while I'm on the road.  Just an added "security" feature ;)

 

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5 minutes ago, TIODS said:

I need one to send me a text!  Obviously, then I know when it needs to be emptied but, more importantly, I'll know is someone is using my shop while I'm on the road.  Just an added "security" feature ;)

 

I've built things with bluetooth transmitters and receivers that allow the program to talk to an app. No reason I couldn't work in that feature, or circuit that would shut the dust collector off if it gets too full. 

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1 minute ago, Llama said:

Can you make it sense when someone sucks their dentures into the DC??

Yes, but that feature only works in professional cabinet shops. 

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That is very cool, how will you compensate for just a high dust concentration? 

 

Should have said swirling dust while it is in use.

 

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Cool protect - where can a person learn about doing a project like this?  Is there a good intro website or reference text?

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Great idea Tom, extremely hi tech.  Maybe you could design a way for it to empty itself once it hits the sensor. Right now I go old school and take the top of my vac (dust deputy) and gauge the fill level.

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1 minute ago, Just Bob said:

That is very cool, how will you compensate for just a high dust concentration? 

I was thinking of writing some code to do comparisons in values. If the values change so drastically within a matter of seconds it'll ignore it, or take an average of all the numbers and report that as the fill level. 

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Very cool Tom!

Have you tried the sensor to see how it responds when there's dust & debris flying?  If it picks up the flying debris, and the readings from that are intermittent, then your idea to average values might help.  Or filtering the current values to see if they're stable and if not throwing out the ones that correspond to something flying past the sensor.

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2 minutes ago, sjk said:

Very cool Tom!

Have you tried the sensor to see how it responds when there's dust & debris flying?  If it picks up the flying debris, and the readings from that are intermittent, then your idea to average values might help.  Or filtering the current values to see if they're stable and if not throwing out the ones that correspond to something flying past the sensor.

I'm gonna install it on my dust deputy connected to my shopvac and see what kind of numbers it puts out before I hack into the lid of my big cyclone

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Ok, first lesson learned. In mounting it in the dust deputy, the eyes quickly got covered in dust. There's a window in the cyclone pail that I will try to use. I added the averaging code, which made the readings more stable until the dust mucked it all up.

Sent from my 831C using Tapatalk

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1 hour ago, Pug said:

Cool protect - where can a person learn about doing a project like this?  Is there a good intro website or reference text?

Pug, here's the site for the microcontroller tutorial and introductions. It's fairly easy if you can understand how the coding structure is setup. It's similar to C, however there is so much code out there you don't have to do very much to get things like this working. I wrote a fairly small amount of code for it, and used a library that was available to do the averaging and polling the sensor. 

https://www.arduino.cc/en/Tutorial/HomePage

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Should be able to do this with a Raspberry Pi too, which has been sitting on my desk for two years waiting for me to make it into a media server. 

I wonder if weight might be a method of determining fullness level? But I have to assume that some chips weigh more depending on species. So that may be too much variance. 

Good idea though Tom. I'm interested in this now because I've only emptied my separator twice - and both times it had long overfilled and pumped into the collector bag. 

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Worst case, you could add a power sensor and only have the dust fullness sensor activate when the DC is off.

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I struggle with this too. My system is a multi-stage and I can tell when the bottom barrel is full because the upper bag begins to collect sawdust where normally it has hardly any. I thought of a light sensor but it seems like the dust may be an issue. I finally settled on drilling a hole in the cover of my barrel and putting a large dowel in it. I painted the bottom 2 feet of the dowel red. Now once in a while when i walk by the barrel I lift the dowel in the hole and drop it. It gives me a pretty good indication of how much is in there.

20160507_170957.jpg

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