Analog (i.e. non-on/off) water level sensors?

ConnivingPigeon

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Hello all,

I was recently gifted a reef tank by a friend who was upgrading, so I've been voraciously consuming as much information as possible here.

I was wondering if people have luck with ultrasonic sensors to give an analog readout of the water level (i.e. not just high/low, but the relative height), or if perhaps there's another option I'm missing. Thanks!
 

Sleepydoc

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Hello all,

I was recently gifted a reef tank by a friend who was upgrading, so I've been voraciously consuming as much information as possible here.

I was wondering if people have luck with ultrasonic sensors to give an analog readout of the water level (i.e. not just high/low, but the relative height), or if perhaps there's another option I'm missing. Thanks!
I was playing with an Arduino for making my own controller a while back and had an ultrasonic sensor to measrue water level in my ATO reservoir. It was reasonably accurate but I don’t know how well it would have held up to the humid environment.

The other option would be a pressure sensor; I haven’t seen any of those, though.

The main problem is most controllers don’t have any analog inputs
 

MaddyP

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Dennis Cartier

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Two tanks ago, I built some pressure sensors using the same module that Reef Angel uses. They use trapped air in an open tube to provide an analog voltage. They worked reasonably well, but needed to be exposed to atmospheric occasionally as changes in barometric pressure would eventually cause them to drift. I don't remeber the sensor name, but can look it up if you are interested.

Adafruit sells some laser distance sensors that I planned to look at for this purpose. Well that and providing parking guidance to help when parking under our parking lifts. My DIY solution for that is a strip of blue duck tape and some upside down solo cups along with the parking camera built in to the bumper, lol.

The sensors are time of flight sensors and appear to be very accurate. Here is an example Adafruit VL53L0X Time of Flight Distance Sensor - ~30 to 1000mm

I figure those mounted above protected from splashes should be quite handy for measuring water levels.

Dennis
 

Sleepydoc

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Two tanks ago, I built some pressure sensors using the same module that Reef Angel uses. They use trapped air in an open tube to provide an analog voltage. They worked reasonably well, but needed to be exposed to atmospheric occasionally as changes in barometric pressure would eventually cause them to drift. I don't remeber the sensor name, but can look it up if you are interested.

Adafruit sells some laser distance sensors that I planned to look at for this purpose. Well that and providing parking guidance to help when parking under our parking lifts. My DIY solution for that is a strip of blue duck tape and some upside down solo cups along with the parking camera built in to the bumper, lol.

The sensors are time of flight sensors and appear to be very accurate. Here is an example Adafruit VL53L0X Time of Flight Distance Sensor - ~30 to 1000mm

I figure those mounted above protected from splashes should be quite handy for measuring water levels.

Dennis
Not sure if the sensor you linked would work or not - it's light based, so it would depend on the water reflecting the light rather than absorbing or transmitting it. Any shield would also need to transmit the light without much attenuation. Finally, you'd have to test it out to see if it would work on a non-constant surface like rippling water.

The nice thing about ultrasonic sensors is the air-water interface makes a very good reflector for sound waves and small ripples don't affect it much. Of course the drawback is you can't shield it from the moisture with a lens the way you could an optical sensor.
 
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fragit

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This is what I use, all analogue.
 

Dennis Cartier

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Not sure if the sensor you linked would work or not - it's light based, so it would depend on the water reflecting the light rather than absorbing or transmitting it. Any shield would also need to transmit the light without much attenuation. Finally, you'd have to test it out to see if it would work on a non-constant surface like rippling water.

The nice thing about ultrasonic sensors is the air-water interface makes a very good reflector for sound waves and small ripples don't affect it much. Of course the drawback is you can't shield it from the moisture with a lens the way you could an optical sensor.
Ya, after I posted the link I was reading about the difference in sensitivity between a white object and a grey object and it made wonder on how reflective water really is. Typically when there is a reflection (in water) it is caused by a dark bottom and depth. I plan on getting some anyway for the garage, so we can see how they work for water then.

Dennis
 

threebuoys

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Yeah, stainless steel does rust unless it is super high grade. Even then...not so sure.

But this looks like what your thinking about.

 
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jnvd3b

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Hello all,

I was recently gifted a reef tank by a friend who was upgrading, so I've been voraciously consuming as much information as possible here.

I was wondering if people have luck with ultrasonic sensors to give an analog readout of the water level (i.e. not just high/low, but the relative height), or if perhaps there's another option I'm missing. Thanks!

what are you trying to measure? ATO reservoir water level? Sump level? Something else?
 

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