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Thread: DIY 2012 KC-30 electronics re-build

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    DIY 2012 KC-30 electronics re-build

    So as some of you know I picked up an old model KC-30 that had been lying around for a while but never used a few weeks ago and intended to use it for my parents pond rebuild (I've decided to move on to a profi-drum for my parents pond rebuild) but over the last few weeks I've had issues with the old style copper sensors on the unit and most recently a blown diode which made the drum stop spinning during a cleaning cycle. I've now decided to do a little DIY overhaul of this RDF and replace all of the electronics and sensor equipment in order to make it more reliable and some day be able to use it.

    Today I spent the day basically tearing the kc-30 apart and managed to pull all of the wires as well as remove the drum motor. Finally I took the control panel off of the RDF so now I have all of the existing electronics and it's time to figure out how to replace all of the functionality.

    After I managed to disconnect all of the sensors and power connectors and removed the entire electronics panel off of the RDF. I'm going to try to reuse the watertight boxes if possible.
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    This is the KC-30 motor. It's operates at 24v DC, 60 watts and I believe around 3 amps and is made in Korea.
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    And here is the KC-30 after stripping off a bunch of components from it.
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    So the plan is to try the following:

    1. Use a simple AC to DC power supply to replace the onboard transformer. Something like this: https://www.automationdirect.com/adc...ount/PSS24-100

    2. Use a two two-channel relay module that can be controlled by a raspberry pi or arduino module and can power both the AC-DC 24v power supply and a jet pump during a cleaning cycle. (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...=ATVPDKIKX0DER)

    3. Try out different sensors to see which are most reliable. I've already got a 24vdc 18mm promixity sensor that I'm going to try but I'm also going to try a simple float swtch. As long as the sensor can trigger an event inside the pi/arduino we can process that signal and trigger the cleaning cycle. (https://www.automationdirect.com/adc...hes/FLS-HM-100)

    4. Reuse the water-tight boxes that came with the KC-30 to protect the power supply and raspberry pi during operation.

    Stretch goal #1: If I'm able to get this working with a raspberry pi or arduino that means we will have wireless capabilities so I might try to pull realtime events from the RDF and chart how often it's cleaning, have the RDF clean on a schedule or remotely enable the RDF to go through a cleaning cycle from the web or a native mobile app. Basically make an internet connected RDF. Probably the best use of this would be to send alerts if the RDF ever got into a bad state such as non-stop cleaning cycle or low water condition etc..

    Stretch goal #2: If I can get all of the sensors and relay stuff working then I might try to get this working on a real micro controller for better reliability. I've never programmed a micro controller but with this kind of application I imagine you want something as simple and reliable as a PLC (programmable logic controller). This one looks pretty cool and it has wifi on-chip (https://www.adafruit.com/product/2821)

    The goal here is to learn but also maybe come up with the world's most reliable wirelessly connected 1st gen KC-30. :-)

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    Tomorrow morning I'll dig out the schematic I drew up for an RDF that is DC powered and doesn't need a PLC to control it. Is the motor on the unit 12 or 24volts?


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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaymeseywaymsey View Post
    Tomorrow morning I'll dig out the schematic I drew up for an RDF that is DC powered and doesn't need a PLC to control it. Is the motor on the unit 12 or 24volts?


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    24v

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    Since you have it all apart, I'm curious what type of watertight seal is used on that gearmotor shaft - just in case I ever go with a direct-drive setup versus chain-driven.

    Also, for those considering doing something like this, you can use this 10-amp timer module to handle the motor and sprayer control if you want to avoid programming. http://www.3rdbrakeflasher.com/timer...amp-p-210.html
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    Quote Originally Posted by kimini View Post
    Since you have it all apart, I'm curious what type of watertight seal is used on that gearmotor shaft - just in case I ever go with a direct-drive setup versus chain-driven.

    Also, for those considering doing something like this, you can use this 10-amp timer module to handle the motor and sprayer control if you want to avoid programming. http://www.3rdbrakeflasher.com/timer...amp-p-210.html
    There was a black plastic block that sat between the partition of the dry motor area and the actual motor mount. I believe this is what provides the seal. I'll try to take a photo of it but I might not be able to get back to my parents house until memorial day weekend.

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    DIY 2012 KC-30 electronics re-build

    This is a very simple design to control your RDF.

    The components are:

    24v power supply with enough amperage for the motor under load as well as the the valve solenoid and the relay.

    An adjustable timer relay. Again amperage must accommodate the entire system and be in the 0-60 second range of adjustability.

    Float switch

    Manual switch (momentary)

    24v solenoid valve

    Pressure pump with a pressure sensor.

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    ^ That's exactly what that timer module I linked to can be used for, though it runs on 12-20V (a shame it doesn't do 24V).
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    Great resources. Thanks guys. I might fall back to this if the microcontroller stuff doesn't work out but I'm a software engineer by trade so doing it in software is always going to be more comfortable for me even though I know these systems you guys describe are less complex and usually more reliable. I'm going to try to strike a balance between reliability of the software/controller and enough control to still operate within my programming comfort zone.

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    Here is what I'm thinking so far with a few sainsmart relays which I have already successfully used in the past. I can probably even use the 115vac and 24vdc lines on the same relay as they are physically isolated. Having a 24vdc power supply available all the time also allows me to power capacitive proximity sensors as an alternative to the float switches.

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    Very neat! It's amazing what you can do with these tiny computers. How about an RDF with a touchscreen?

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    And here are the results of last nights "tinkering". Let's just say I've always been better at taking things apart than putting them back together again. In addition to the watertight enclosure I'm going to try to re-use some of these components if possible just need to make sure I have enough analog capabilities with the rpi otherwise I'll have to switch to an arduino or a more traditional microcontroller architecture as they typical are more geared towards handling analog switches etc..

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    Quote Originally Posted by Huysy View Post
    Very neat! It's amazing what you can do with these tiny computers. How about an RDF with a touchscreen?
    Yeah it's an exciting time for the DIY'er. I actually wrote a super simple android app which runs on a little tablet in our koi house/grow-on tank and my dad uses it to control the lights, pumps and feeder when he wants to otherwise there is another service that handles the schedules of when those things turn on and off. Basically a DIY smartthings. Anyway most of the newer controllers out there have wifi chips that can act as their own access point and provide a local web server to connect to and control something attached to the controller. There are also touch screens that attach directly to the controllers for making interactive displays. The sky is the limit really.

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    Another alternative to using a real PLC as a controller is to use the best of both worlds with an Arduino chipset ruggedized for industrial use (https://www.rugged-circuits.com/micr...pecial-edition) along with a ruggedized 24vdc shield (https://www.rugged-circuits.com/24v-...ustrial-shield) that works with all of the existing switches that came with the KC-30. So for basically $125 you have an industrial grade modern controller with much more upside in that it can do just about anything. This is pretty exciting. This makes me feel like I should prototype with an Arduino instead of an RPi.

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    So yesterday I hooked up a 24v DC power supply to the KC-30 drum motor and it looks like the power supply is underpowered as the motors worm gear drive turns for maybe half a second before stopping and then starting again for half a second etc.. From what I've read this is pretty typical of a motor drawing a lot of current at startup before smoothing out and the power supply kicking into a protected mode when it senses the high draw. The motor is rated for 60w and 3.5amps while the power supply is rated at 100w and 4.17amps so I'm thinking the initial draw is too much for the power supply and it shuts down. So I ordered another 24v DC power supply delivering 15amps which hopefully does the trick. This is going to be quite the journey.

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    As suspected the original power supply I was using was underpowered so the new 15amp 24vdc PS works great with the motor. I also took delivery of my ruggeduino with a ruggedized 24V PLC shield. One downside of the new power supply is that it does not fit in either of the KC-30 watertight boxes so I'll have to order a larger watertight box for the power supply and ruggeduino. Next step is to start testing the proximity sensor and the level sensor at 24v with the Arduino.

    Link to motor test: https://youtu.be/8Q7fqq8w-pE

    And photos of ruggeduino

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    I didn't have much time last night but I did manage to get a few things working with the arduino powered KC-30 electronics redesign. I managed to fire up the ruggeduino with a feed from the 24vdc power supply and get the ruggeduino to flip a two channel sainsmart relay on and off based on a timer by feeding 5v from the ruggeduino to the sainsmart relay and so far so good. Finally I took another 24vdc feed from the same power supply and this time wired it into one of the sainsmart relays and the drum motor and viola I was able to turn the drum motor on and off on a simple timer so part one of this test looks good. I'm hoping to just feed the other relay channel with 115vac and output that to a plug that the jet pump will be connected to and that should be at least the first working prototype if it's just set to trigger based on a simple timer in the arduino code. Sensor stuff to trigger cleaning cycle is next up.

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    Finally got the capacitive proximity sensor working with the arduino 24v plc shield. I'm turning on a 24v indicator light just for fun. Since the KC-30 is currently in the filter pit and about to be put into temporary service over the weekend working off a simple timer I'll have to field test the arduino and proximity sensor with the RDF running which should be fun.

    Here is a quick video of the capacitive proximity sensor detecting the lack of water in the glass thus signaling the arduino's digital input which I then use to trigger a few relays via some digital outputs. The relays would be powering the drum motor and the jet pump outlet. As I move the sensor back down to the part of the glass containing water the sensor is triggered again and all is back to normal. Now I need to come up with a bracket to mount the sensor up against the sight glass on the KC-30. So far so good.

    https://youtu.be/heRy__U6ZPc

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    You're are making great progress. Nice board and sensor.

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