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Thread: Question in regards to automation and water testing

  1. #1
    DIYFK member ubotbuddy's Avatar


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    Question in regards to automation and water testing

    Unfortunately, a former co-worker of mine moved away and from time-to-time when he was here I would bounce some ideas with him. He had a Phd. in Chemistry so I know he knows that equipment quite well.

    Anyway, I think I have seen the equipment mentioned in here but for the life of me I cannot think of it. I believe it does some kind of spectrum analysis depending on the test.

    Recently, I was doing some research on a special camera used within a robotics project. Basically, the camera (using an Arduino) could do color matching and it was pretty accurate. Granted, the expensive chemical equipment would do a more effective and conclusive analysis but it caused me to wonder.

    If the camera were shown the results of one chemical test vial and then looked at the comparison chart it might select the best matching color which would then return the numeric value.

    Maybe it's a pipe dream but for some crazy reason it sounds doable.

    Thoughts?

  2. #2
    DIYFK member HillbillyHomer's Avatar


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    I thank it would be doable. Maybe not 100% accurate but what home test is?

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    DIYFK member Meep's Avatar


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    It would work, but to be accurate you would need constant (probably before every test) re-calibration against known colors to correct for any drift...

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    DIYFK member Stryf's Avatar


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    Thats an interesting concept. Have a link to the one you saw? Im curious as to what it consists of.
    2300 Gal pond: 7 Koi, 2 Goldfish, 2 Catfish
    125 Gal: 1 Reticulated Stingray, 2 Bala Shark, 3 Neon Tetra, 1 Glo Fish, and several guppies.

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    DIYFK member ubotbuddy's Avatar


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    Sorry for the delay ... work caught up with me even though it is the weekend.


    Here is the camera.
    https://www.adafruit.com/product/1906


    I saw this sometime back but forgot about until I stumbled upon the adafruit link you see. Watch the KickStarter video, it's the 1st video under the products main image.


    When you see it processing the colors you will see how this triggered this idea with me.


    I also thought I would use these pumps for injecting the chemical for the particular tests being run.
    https://www.adafruit.com/product/1150


    Of course this initial test would have to be close to how it would be setup just to see if it can make the right color detection. I realize that some test results may be close to be accurate but maybe extreme differences would be a good first step. Maybe someone has an idea of what to use as a test tube that will be easy enough for the camera to focus on and not have any reflective bounce back. Plus, it will also have to be flushed out.

    Maybe I read between the lines to much when the developer was talking on the video but it may be possible to program the actual scanning colors. Clearly they saw this as a robotic use but I'll wager a McDs biscuit that they did not think of a chemical tester.

    Thanks for the positive feedback so far. I think I am going to order it at my next paycheck.

  6. #6
    DIYFK member Stryf's Avatar


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    I buy some of my supplies from Adafruit.

    Looks like it would work. You could assign the colors the appropriate reading numbers from the test kit cards. Then the camera could scan the test tubes, and output the corrosponding test kit reading.

    I saw some dosing pumps somewhere that may be a little more accurate than that pump. I'll see if I can find them again.
    2300 Gal pond: 7 Koi, 2 Goldfish, 2 Catfish
    125 Gal: 1 Reticulated Stingray, 2 Bala Shark, 3 Neon Tetra, 1 Glo Fish, and several guppies.

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    DIYFK member ubotbuddy's Avatar


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    I reached out to the Pixy company to see if there was a way to trigger the color signature (as they call it) using software. Unfortunately, the answer was no BUT it may be possible to rig up a special solenoid for that part. Possibly a servo could be used if the right pressure could be applied evenly.

    The dosing pumps are a great idea. I just saw that one pump that Adafruit had but using pump specifically for aquariums would be a much better choice.

    Thinking this through shows at least a number of things that would be needed. Would be kind of cool to have something where the right amount of water would fill the tube, dosing pump applied the chemical, then shook the tube, grab the color signature, test it, record the results, and then wash the tube with a blast of distilled water. Then it would be ready for the next test.

    The only thing that bugs me right now is the Arduino. I love how I can control stuff but when it comes to talking on a network or even WiFi it stinks. Raspberry Pi is much better.

    For now I will start looking for a test tube for designing a prototype.

    Buddy

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    DIYFK member Stryf's Avatar


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    I'm quite fond of my Raspberry Pi's. I need to stop being lazy when I get time off and get back to work on my Pi aquarium controller project.
    2300 Gal pond: 7 Koi, 2 Goldfish, 2 Catfish
    125 Gal: 1 Reticulated Stingray, 2 Bala Shark, 3 Neon Tetra, 1 Glo Fish, and several guppies.

  9. #9
    DIYFK member RecycledElectrons's Avatar


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    Cool idea. I thought of something similar with a SeaChem Ammonia Alert. (It's a card that hangs in water and changes color according to the ammonia levels.)

    Someone will make alert cards for all relevant tests in the next few years. I had read at one point that SeaChem would have Nitrite and Nitrate alert cards by the end of the year, but I have not heard anything else since.

    There are electronic sensors for many other aquarium tests: Ph, temperature, Total Dissolved Solids, lux, calcium, oxygen, salinity, etc. Nitrate testing is possible, at least in salt. I look forward to the day when I get a sensor system that looks like a HOB filter, and updates me by a phone app. I would like to see a tab in the app that tells me what fish would do the best in my tank.

    I had placed links in my post, but I am not allowed to post links so I had to delete them. Sorry.

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