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  • Diversitech® WS-1 - Wet Switch Flood Detector
    Diversitech® WS-1 - Wet Switch Flood Detector
  • Twine Portable Wi-Fi Sensor + Full Sensor Package
    Twine Portable Wi-Fi Sensor + Full Sensor Package
  • Getting Started with Raspberry Pi
    Getting Started with Raspberry Pi
  • Edimax EW-7811Un 150 Mbps Wireless 11n Nano Size USB Adapter with EZmax Setup Wizard
    Edimax EW-7811Un 150 Mbps Wireless 11n Nano Size USB Adapter with EZmax Setup Wizard
  • Airlink Fully compatible Wireless N 150 Ultra Mini-USB Adapter (AWLL5099)
    Airlink Fully compatible Wireless N 150 Ultra Mini-USB Adapter (AWLL5099)
  • SB Clear Raspberry Pi Enclosure
    SB Clear Raspberry Pi Enclosure
  • Raspberry Pi User Guide
    Raspberry Pi User Guide
  • Onsite Pro FS1NPTW Whole Home Wireless FloodStop with 1 Inch Valve
    Onsite Pro FS1NPTW Whole Home Wireless FloodStop with 1 Inch Valve
  • Floodstop Washing Machine Valve Shutoff Kit
    Floodstop Washing Machine Valve Shutoff Kit
  • Onsite Pro FS3/4H Washing Machine FloodStop with Straight Valves
    Onsite Pro FS3/4H Washing Machine FloodStop with Straight Valves
  • Aqua Managers - FS 1 1/4-NPT - Floodstop for Water Heaters Water Leak Detection System - White - 1.25 in. pipe
    Aqua Managers - FS 1 1/4-NPT - Floodstop for Water Heaters Water Leak Detection System - White - 1.25 in. pipe
  • Floodstop Individual Water Appliance Additional Water Sensor XS-01
    Floodstop Individual Water Appliance Additional Water Sensor XS-01
  • Furman MP-20 Power Relay Accessory, 20 Amp, Two Outlets, Remote Turn-on from Momentary or Maintained Contact Switches
    Furman MP-20 Power Relay Accessory, 20 Amp, Two Outlets, Remote Turn-on from Momentary or Maintained Contact Switches
  • Furman MP-15 Power Relay Accessory, 15 Amp, Two Outlets, Remote Turn-on from Momentary or Maintained Contact Switches
    Furman MP-15 Power Relay Accessory, 15 Amp, Two Outlets, Remote Turn-on from Momentary or Maintained Contact Switches
  • Watts 500800 Premier Hot Water Recirculation Pump, Blue
    Watts 500800 Premier Hot Water Recirculation Pump, Blue
  • Watt'S Sensor Valve Kit for Hot Water Recirculating Pump (0955801)
    Watt'S Sensor Valve Kit for Hot Water Recirculating Pump (0955801)
  • Kicker 10cvt8-2 Shallow 8
    Kicker 10cvt8-2 Shallow 8" Subwoofer 2-ohm 400 Watts
  • Kenwood Kfc-P709Ps 6.5-Inch Performance Series Component Speaker System
    Kenwood Kfc-P709Ps 6.5-Inch Performance Series Component Speaker System
  • Metra 70-2002 Radio Wiring Harness for Saturn 00-05
    Metra 70-2002 Radio Wiring Harness for Saturn 00-05
  • Metra Reverse Wiring Harness 71-2002 for Select 2000-2005 Saturn Vehicles OEM Radio
    Metra Reverse Wiring Harness 71-2002 for Select 2000-2005 Saturn Vehicles OEM Radio

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Wednesday
Nov212012

Twine - Monitor Christmas Tree Water Level

Overview

In the previous article we used the the Twine device to provide email alerts and SMS text messages when a water leak was detected in the laundry room.  We will use the same basic concepts in this project except with a different input sensor attached to the Twine to send notifications when the water level in a Christmas tree stand gets too low and needs to be refilled.  
 

Shopping List

Installation

First you will need a water level float sensor.  I have included several links above to various models and styles of these sensors.  You may need to look at your Christmas tree stand and determine what type of mounting bests suites your needs and which sensor will work best for you.  The water float sensor that I am using is a part that I had laying around from an old water cooler that I had cannibalized.  

These sensors work by completing a circuit or opening a circuitry depending on if the sensor is NO (normally-open) or NC (normally-closed).  My sensor completes that circuit when the float is at its highest position meaning that the water level is full.  If you sensor works in the opposite manner that is not a problem, you will just need to reverse the trigger condition logic of the rule in the Twine configuration section.  You can use the continuity test on a digital multi-meter to determine the circuit behavior of your sensor.

Below is a photograph of my Twine connected to my water level float sensor.

Next you will need to devise a method to attach the water level sensor to the Christmas tree stand.  I used a metal "L" bracket and drilled a small hole in the Christmas tree stand (above the water line) and attached it with a screw.

You will need to make sure that you position the sensor such that the float descends from the top position at the water level where you want to be notified for a low level.  Again, this make take some trial and error and experimentation to get the level right.  

Below is a photo of the final product.

Configuring Twine 

If you have not previously performed the initial setup configuration on your Twine, then please visit this article and perform the configuration steps before continuing.

Also, your Breakout Board should already be connected to the Twine at this time.

Open a web browser and login to the Twine management web application:
https://twine.supermechanical.com/ 

Next, select the specific Twine device that you have connected to the water level sensor from the drop-down menu at the top of the screen.

Next, we are going to create a new RULE to issue notifications when the water sensor opens the circuit indicating that the water level is below the target minimum level.  (If you have any existing rules defined, you may want to delete them first.)  Use the Add Rule button to create a new rule.  We will define a Twine rule to take action when the circuit becomes open.  

The new rule should be applied as follows:

WHEN
> breakout  = "is open"

THEN
> send alert email (and/or text messages and/or twitter post)

An example of the rule I am using is displayed below.

You may also want to include a second rule that sends notifications when the water level is restored.  This second rule should be applied as follows:

WHEN
> breakout  = "is closed"

THEN
> send OK email (and/or text messages and/or twitter post)

An example of this second rule is displayed below.

After creating the rules, make sure to click the Save to Twine button at the bottom of the screen.  It will prompt you to flip the twine on its back to immediately save the new rule to the Twine unit.  Now just wait until the save is complete.  It takes around 20-30 seconds to complete.

You are done, that's all that is needed to setup notifications from the Twine. We will now move on to testing.

Testing

Now that we have everything wired and configured, let's test the system.  Fill the Christmas tree stand with water to the point where the water sensor float is in the high position and verify that you receive the water level OK email notification.

Next, drain some of the water from the Christmas tree stand to the point where the water sensor float is no longer in the high position and verify that you receive the water level ALERT email notification.

Final Thoughts

This project turned out to be a fun and simple project due to the simplicity of the Twine hardware and software.  I also expect this to be a very useful project as we head into the Christmas season.

The most complex step was finding a means to mount the sensor and make sure that the water level and sensor float were calibrated appropriately.  The Twine device is perfectly suited for this type of task.  I will use it with batteries since it is a temporary/seasonal installation.  Just remember to place the Twine device away from the water so that accidental spills don't get it wet.  The Twine is not waterproof.

Merry Christmas!

 


Related Holiday Projects:

>> Sunrise / Sunset Timer for Christmas Lights

 

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Reader Comments (2)

This was excellent, easy, cheap, and a perfect example of how to use the twine. Thank you so much for the idea and instructions. I was able to complete this project for around $6 for the water level sensor, and a eye bolt. I used the eye bolt in place of the l bracket. A bit simpler, and easier since I had the eye bolt on hand. Thanks again for the idea, and Merry Christmas.

December 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBrad

@Brad

Glad you liked the project and were able to have some DIY fun. Using the eye bolt is a great idea and may be easier to install on some Christmas tree stands. I used the L bracket just because I had it lying around in my workshop. DIY resourcefulness :-)

Stay tuned, the next article I post will be another Christmas related project.

Merry Christmas.
-Robert

December 3, 2012 | Registered CommenterRobert Savage

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