how to build water level indicator

Posted on Feb 6, 2014

The whole project was developed on a friend`s request. Its purpose was to remotely monitor the water-level in a metal tank located in the attic by means of a very simple control unit placed in the kitchen, some floors below. Mains requirements were: The very small remote unit is placed near the tank and measures the water level in three ranges by

how to build water level indicator
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means of two steel rods. Each range will cover one third of the tank capacity: When the water-level is below the steel rods, no contact is occurring from the metal can and the rods, which are supported by a small insulated (wooden) board. The small circuit built around IC1 draws no current and therefore no voltage drop is generated across R5. IC2A, IC2B and Q1 are wired as a window comparator and, as there is zero voltage at input pins #2 and #5, D3 will illuminate. When the water comes in contact with the first rod, pin #13 of IC1 will go high, as its input pins #9 to #12 were shorted to negative by means of the water contact. Therefore, R4 will be connected across the full supply voltage and the remote circuit will draw a current of about 9mA. This current will cause a voltage drop of about 0. 9V across R5 and the window comparator will detect this voltage and will change its state, switching off D3 and illuminating D2. When the water will reach the second rod, also pin #1 of IC1 will go high for the same reason explained above. Now either R3 and R4 will be connected across the full supply voltage and the total current drawing of the remote circuit will be about 18mA. The voltage drop across R5 will be now about 1. 8V and the window comparator will switch off D2 and will drive D1. The battery will last very long because the circuit will be mostly in the off state. Current is needed only for a few seconds when P1 is pushed...

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