Measuring Gas-Tank Level via Microcontroller?

by miax on Fri Oct 26, 2012 1:36 pm

Maker Community,

Hello! My first robot project will involve turning my snow blowing into a autonimous droid that I will control via live video feed from my house. :) It will require both an Arudino Mega and a Rasberry Pi working together along with a dozen HiTec Servos (some waterproof, some super-troque), one electric motor and TONS of Adafruit electronics! 8)

I have two challenges that I don't know how to overcome, this thread addresses the first; understanding how much gas is left in the tank (so the droid will know when to drive home for fuel).

Is there a Safe sensor that I can use to measure fuel-level in the gas tank ,shown below via my Arduino Microcontroller?

SnowDroidBackSideProfile800x600.JPG
Snapper Snow Blower - Pre-Modification
SnowDroidBackSideProfile800x600.JPG (317.62 KiB) Viewed 1072 times


Thanks in advance!!

Kris
Kristopher Kortright
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Re: Measuring Gas-Tank Level via Microcontroller?

by franklin97355 on Fri Oct 26, 2012 4:28 pm

You could install a "sightglass" on the tank and use IR sensors to get the level of the gas in the glass.
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Re: Measuring Gas-Tank Level via Microcontroller?

by john444 on Fri Oct 26, 2012 10:06 pm

Hi Kris,

I think you might use something like this gas-cap to start:
http://www.amazon.com/fuel-gauge-Simplicity-171252-2171252/dp/B000NEAM92/ref=pd_sim_sbs_lg_5
The cork on the twisted shaft rotates the pointer about 270° from full to empty.
You might use a optical coupler to detect the empty position or use an encoder to detect position.

I imagine riding on the snow-blower is going to be a rough environment -
hot, cold, vibrating like crazy, wet, greasy, gasoline vapors. Lots of rough stuff.

Good Luck, John
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Re: Measuring Gas-Tank Level via Microcontroller?

by apastump on Sat Oct 27, 2012 4:14 am

Curious topic
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Re: Measuring Gas-Tank Level via Microcontroller?

by miax on Sat Oct 27, 2012 9:22 am

Hi John!

Thank you again for the great suggestion! I took advantage of your advice and just ordered one from Amazon. :)

You also gave me pause about the environment - I had considered the hot, cold, wet, greasy and vapors, but I had forgotten how bad they vibrate!

I took some time this morning and adjusted my designs accordingly, I will post them in a bigger post about the project when I'm more ready. I'm still gathering the parts and improving my 3D printers environment to cut-out the drafts (as I'll need to print several parts for the project).

Thanks again John! I'll definitely give you proper mention in the credits!

Cheers,

Kris
Kristopher Kortright
Father, Husband, Horseman, Maker, Writer, Internet Technologist and Inventor of Strange of Useful Things
Supporter of the Open Source Hardware movement
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