Phidgets Plugin Discussion

Posted on
Sun Jan 13, 2013 2:22 am
gtreece offline
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Re: Phidgets Plugin

One last data point before I sign off for the night. I added the 1048 directly to my SBC (USB connection), and then added it in Indigo. The 1048 shows me the IP address of the SBC in the Address column. The SBC itself still shows n/a.

Also, the 1048 does not show an onOffState value. The SBC shows 'online' for the onOffState. Not sure what the intended behavior is for stand alone phidgets hooked to an SBC.

It is working, showing me the ambient, as well as the one temp probe I have hooked up to it.

Posted on
Sun Jan 13, 2013 5:59 pm
hamw offline
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Re: Phidgets Plugin

I'm interested in installing some water shutoff valves. I've found this Valbia model that looks pretty good, as it has 12 vdc, 1.2 amps, sensors for both open and closed, manual shutoff and is reasonably priced. It requires reversing polarity on separate contacts to open/close, which I think is DPDT.

http://www.automation4less.com/store/pr ... -8ISO-012D

In looking at solutions to integrate this, a Phidgets 1701_1 (edit: 1071_1) might just be the ticket.

What interface kit etc would be needed to start from the beginning with a Phidgets system? Also, would another board be needed to read the sensor states in addition to the 1701_1? Finally, what is the minimum wiring gauge to run a 5 second pulse of 12 volts, 1.2 amps 50-75 ft? Think standard 4-conductor alarm wire would be OK?
Last edited by hamw on Sun Jan 13, 2013 8:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Posted on
Sun Jan 13, 2013 6:18 pm
loafbread offline
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Re: Phidgets Plugin

My Address column also shows "- n/a -" for my SBC and for my 0/0/8 which is plugged into the SBC. The other DI, DO and Sensors correctly show either Phidgets SBC or Phidgets 0/0/8.

Posted on
Sun Jan 13, 2013 7:01 pm
berkinet offline
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Re: Phidgets Plugin

loafbread wrote:
My Address column also shows "- n/a -" for my SBC and for my 0/0/8 which is plugged into the SBC. The other DI, DO and Sensors correctly show either Phidgets SBC or Phidgets 0/0/8.
.
Thanks for the report. This will be fixed in the next release. I am testing it now and should have it out in a couple of days.

Posted on
Sun Jan 13, 2013 7:29 pm
berkinet offline
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Re: Phidgets Plugin

hamw wrote:
I'm interested in installing some water shutoff valves. I've found this Valbia model that looks pretty good, as it has 12 vdc, 1.2 amps, sensors for both open and closed, manual shutoff and is reasonably priced. It requires reversing polarity on separate contacts to open/close, which I think is DPDT.

http://www.automation4less.com/store/pr ... -8ISO-012D

In looking at solutions to integrate this, a Phidgets 1701_1 might just be the ticket.

What interface kit etc would be needed to start from the beginning with a Phidgets system? Also, would another board be needed to read the sensor states in addition to the 1701_1? Finally, what is the minimum wiring gauge to run a 5 second pulse of 12 volts, 1.2 amps 50-75 ft? Think standard 4-conductor alarm wire would be OK?


I guess I am not clear what it is you are trying to accomplish. Are these system sit-off valves in case of leaks, freezing temperatures, etc. Or, is this for standard irrigation control? If you want irrigation control, the standard 24VAC valves built for that purpose are probably a much better way to go.

OTOH, if you want the ability to turn off a normally open water line then the valve you are looking at seems appropriate.

Next. There is no Phidget 1701. What is the name of the Phidget you were looking at?

Also, and this is really the key question, how is it that you want this to operate. Manual, automatic? If automatic, what are the inputs/events you will use to trigger turning the water on or off. Why do you need to sense the state of the valve?

If you can answer these questions, it will be much easier to come up with a way to wire these, or some other, valve into your system.

Posted on
Sun Jan 13, 2013 8:10 pm
hamw offline
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Re: Phidgets Plugin

Sorry, meant 1017_1, the 8-DPDT relay interface unit, here: http://www.phidgets.com/products.php?ca ... _id=1017_1 Hopefully the relays each have an "off" position, otherwise I'd think I'd need to use two relays for each valve, one to open and one to close.

The shut off valves would be for 1) whole house water shutoff in case of a leak, and 2) to turn off the water to my pool and pool house when not needed, which is most of the time. There is also set of unused sprinklers that feed off that water supply, and they don't need to stay pressurized. My other sprinklers are controlled via EZFloras.

The actuators need 5 seconds of 12 VDC to rotate the valves. There are separate terminals for open and close. For the whole house shutoff valve, I imagine a water sensor would enable an Indigo trigger, which would then tell the Phidgets device to close the whole house water valve automatically. The "state" would confirm that the valve had closed, and then, when the problem is fixed and the valve reopened, would confirm the valve was fully opened.

For the pool feed, the pool water supply would remain normally closed. When someone wanted to use the pool or pool house, the "Pool On" button would open the valve so that the sinks, john etc would have flow. When done, the valve would be closed, either through a motion sensor timer (automatic) or an Indigo control page button activating the close signal (manual). Again, knowing that the valve was fully closed would be important.

I'm assuming the Phidgets plugin and Indigo can activate/deactivate a relay for 5 seconds. Thanks!

Posted on
Sun Jan 13, 2013 9:02 pm
berkinet offline
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Re: Phidgets Plugin

thanks for the clarification...

First to your application. The basic functionality you want is to operate a valve. Based on the description of the valve you are considering, it sounds like to open the valve you need to provide electricity for 5 seconds to two terminals and then to close the valve you need to again apply voltage for 5 seconds, but in a reversed polarity. The key point here is that once the valve is fully open or closed, there should be no current flowing to the valve actuator. This means you will need 2 relays per valve. One wired to provide the regular polarity and the second to supply the reversed polarity. You would need to take care that both relays never operated at the same time or you would have a direct short.

The situation described above is doable. But. I would suggest you look at their 24VAC actuators. These are still low voltage, but the circuitry is much simpler. You connect one side of the 24VAC line to a common terminal and then connect the other side to one of two terminals depending on whether you want to open or close the valve. In this case you would still need two relays per valve. But, one would connect to the "open" terminal and the other to the "close" terminal.

The 1017 Phidget you noted would do this. You could also use the 1014 with 4 relays on-board. The Phidgets plugin has been tested with the 1014. The 1017 should also work. But, it has not been tested. If there are issues, they would be easy to resolve.

You will also need something to monitor the valve limit switches. The best bet for that would probably be the 1018 8/8/8 or the 1072 SBC2 with built-in 8/8/8. Personally, I would suggest the SBC2 since you need only connect it to your network and not worry about USB runs to your Indigo box. If you go with the 1018 or 1072 you could then consider the 3053 dual SSR Relay board with two SSR relays (or the slightly more expensive 3051 mechanical dual relay board). You would need three such boards. In this arrangement the 6 SSR relays would connect to 6 Digital Outputs on the 1018 or 1072. After connecting 3 inputs to your 3 valves you would have 5 inputs and 2 outputs free. Plus 8 analog inputs for other sensors.

Issues of timing, safety, auto operation, etc. would all be managed in Indigo.

Take some time to digest this and let me know if you have more questions.

EDIT: BTW, since the valves contain internal limit switches, you could use that to control the duration the open and close relays operate. Of course, you would also want a maximum timer just in case.

Posted on
Mon Jan 14, 2013 12:25 pm
berkinet offline
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Re: Phidgets beta 0.3.2 now available

Version 0.3.2 of the Phidgets plugin is now available. This release fixes all known issues. For more information and a download link, please see the new Phidgets Announcements forum.

Posted on
Mon Jan 14, 2013 10:10 pm
hamw offline
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Re: Phidgets Plugin

berkinet wrote:
The situation described above is doable. But. I would suggest you look at their 24VAC actuators. These are still low voltage, but the circuitry is much simpler. You connect one side of the 24VAC line to a common terminal and then connect the other side to one of two terminals depending on whether you want to open or close the valve. In this case you would still need two relays per valve. But, one would connect to the "open" terminal and the other to the "close" terminal.

The 1017 Phidget you noted would do this. You could also use the 1014 with 4 relays on-board. The Phidgets plugin has been tested with the 1014. The 1017 should also work. But, it has not been tested. If there are issues, they would be easy to resolve.

You will also need something to monitor the valve limit switches. The best bet for that would probably be the 1018 8/8/8 or the 1072 SBC2 with built-in 8/8/8. Personally, I would suggest the SBC2 since you need only connect it to your network and not worry about USB runs to your Indigo box. If you go with the 1018 or 1072 you could then consider the 3053 dual SSR Relay board with two SSR relays (or the slightly more expensive 3051 mechanical dual relay board). You would need three such boards. In this arrangement the 6 SSR relays would connect to 6 Digital Outputs on the 1018 or 1072. After connecting 3 inputs to your 3 valves you would have 5 inputs and 2 outputs free. Plus 8 analog inputs for other sensors.


These are great suggestions. Unless you think there is a compelling reason to go with the SBC, the 1018 8/8/8 seems more cost effective - $80.00 vs $225.00 for the SBC 8/8/8, and then use the 3053 boards which would be switched by the 1018. But can the USB be flaky, or does ethernet vs USB offer more expansion advantages down the road?

Posted on
Mon Jan 14, 2013 10:33 pm
berkinet offline
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Re: Phidgets Plugin

hamw wrote:
...Unless you think there is a compelling reason to go with the SBC, the 1018 8/8/8 seems more cost effective - $80.00 vs $225.00 for the SBC 8/8/8, and then use the 3053 boards which would be switched by the 1018. But can the USB be flaky, or does ethernet vs USB offer more expansion advantages down the road?

The issue with USB is that you have short cable lengths (though there are extenders available). This means the USB equipment needs to be placed close to the computer they are connected to... in your case, probably your Indigo Mac. If your Indigo Mac is in a location that is convenient for running the (5 or 6 conductor) cables to your devices, then the 1018 is fine and supports the same 8/8/8 interface kit as the SBC. The main advantage of the SBC is that you can place it anywhere you have Ethernet or, with a USB Wi-Fi adapter, wherever there is Wi-Fi. Also consider whether your Mac's location is suitable for locating/mounting the Phidgets equipment.

BTW, I should have noted that once all of this is installed you should be able to make Indigo devices that represent your valves. The devices would operate like regular relay type devices, they could be turned on, off or toggled and their state, on or off, would track the valve's state. Thus, you could easily add the valves to your control pages.

You also asked about wire size. For the valve control lines, it really depends on the length of the run, the voltage and the amperage of the valves. The signal wires can be anything.

Posted on
Tue Jan 15, 2013 8:09 pm
berkinet offline
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Phidgets plugin 0.4.0 now available

Version 0.3.2 of the Phidgets plugin is now available. This release fixes an issue with the 1048 4 relay board. There are a few minor improvements and features and one, possibly very useful, new feature.

For more information and a download link, please see the new Phidgets Announcements forum.

Posted on
Wed Jan 16, 2013 12:09 pm
berkinet offline
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Re: Phidgets Plugin

hamw wrote:
...and then use the 3053 boards which would be switched by the 1018.

On reflection, I would suggest you use the 3051 Dual Relay Board. It might be better suited to your application than a solid-state relay. If you really like the idea of the SSR, you might call Phidgets and see what they say about using one for switching 24VAC in an application like you are planning.

Posted on
Fri Jan 18, 2013 1:35 pm
loafbread offline
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version 0.4.0 vs 0.3.2a

The current download link says version 0.4.0 but the PluginVersion in Info.plist is 0.3.2a. Indigo warns that this is a version downgrade. Is it ok to install the 0.3.2a version?

Posted on
Fri Jan 18, 2013 1:43 pm
berkinet offline
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Re: Phidgets Plugin Discussion

Sorry. I didn't update the version in the plist. It is safe to install, or, download it again, the version number is now correct.

Thanks for pointing this out.

Posted on
Sun Jan 20, 2013 6:53 pm
berkinet offline
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beta 0.4.5 now available

Version 0.4.5 of the Phidgets plugin is now available. This release fixes an issue which prevented sensor, input and output devices from being added to a Phidgets Interface Kit device. There are several other bug fixes, including setting sensitivity and data rate settings for interface kit analog inputs, and minor features..

For more information and a download link, please see the new Phidgets Announcements forum.

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