Under Pressure…

“Live, from my basement lab”…we’re adding video in this post!

Many of you have been asking about the Wimoto Water. Mainly because I promised it’d be able to sense not just the presence of water (think leak, flood, etc.) but also water *level*.

I’m going to tell you this has been one heck of an engineering challenge. I knew I could make it work in principal, but getting it to a point where output was stable, meaningful, accurate, and able to be squeezed into a tiny Wimoto device was tough.

For the purposes of the demo, we’re moving the sensor up and down — but it works the other way around too if the level of the liquid rises or lowers, it’ll report the change.

What are the applications for this? Anywhere you want to deploy a $50 wireless sensor that runs for a year or more on a single battery, logs data for up to a month, and works with modern mobile devices

– Measure how close the ground water is getting to the top of your sump pit and get an alert on your iPhone or Android device *before* a basement flood
– Know when to top off your pool, pond, or hot tub
– Keep an eye on your beer keg level (or if someone’s been helping themselves)
– Environmental monitoring of waterways

Accuracy is ~1cm over a span of about 1m. The slight lag between moving the sensor and the reading is due to signal conditioning.

4 comments

  1. chrisbartley · ·

    Very cool! Thanks for this–awesome to see it in action. This will be perfect for the dehumidifier in the basement–put the probe in the tank and I’ll know exactly how full it is!

    What’s the *minimum* amount of water it’ll be able to detect? I was thinking of putting one on the floor next to the dishwasher or the kitchen sink, to get a notification if something is leaking. Or in the laundry room by the floor drain, so I could see whether the washer or water heater is leaking. Or in that corner of the basement that gets a tiny (about the size of a half dollar) puddle of water when the gutters are full and we have a bug rain. None of these cases have water measurable in centimeters (I hope!), but rather more like a millimeter. Is this possible with Wimoto Water?

    1. Hi Chris,

      The water contact sensor on the Wimoto Water will sense very small amounts of water that short-out its pins. I believe that’ll do exactly what you want. 🙂

      I’ll post some pictures as soon as the boards get back from the fab.

      -m

  2. Would the length of the probe and material be sufficiently long to measure the amount of oil in a house fuel oil tank? I was thinking of this to monitor the oil in home heating oil tank.

    1. We have had to remove the level sensing feature as it’s too delicate for most people to use.

      Also, the pressure sensor part is only suitable for non-corrosive materials such as pure water.

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