[aprssig] water level gauge for APRS

Robert Bruninga bruninga at usna.edu
Sat Aug 20 19:33:01 EDT 2016

I like your idea of the ultrasonic water level gauge...

Here is the basic module from Spark Fun for under $4.

Anyone want to make a prototype flood gauge sensor for lowest cost?

We use the $10 float switch at the bottom of the PVC pipe to power up the
sensor connected to a PIC processor and APRS tracker of some sort running
on primary batteries (maybe 5 D cells...

Then it beacons in Steve Dimse's  gauge format.  Since just the sensor
draws 15 mA, then the PIC will also then power everything  down between say
1 hour measurements.

Shucks. it can be smart too.  When first turned on at the minimum interest
water level, it begins beacnoing once an hour.  As the water gets higher,
it increases the sample rate.  And at preset thresholds then it also
changes the BEACON text so that humans are alerted when critical levels are

I like it.

Bob, Wb4APR

On Sun, Oct 4, 2015 at 11:53 PM, Steve Dimse <steve at dimse.com> wrote:

> On Oct 4, 2015, at 8:03 PM, Robert Bruninga via aprssig <aprssig at tapr.org>
> wrote:
> > TO make a flood gage, it would seem that a simply pressure sensor like
> we use for atomosphere for balloon payloads would work.
> >
> > Just put it inside a pipe with a cap on the top and open on the bottom.
> Then the pressure will vary with the height of the water.  Connect this to
> the analog input of an APRS tracker and you have a flood gage.  Calibate it
> with some testing and done...
> >
> you'd have to worry about temperature, and the chamber would have to be
> perfectly and permanently sealed. There is an easier way.
> It never got much traction, but there is a commercial product
> http://floodadvisor.com/products.php
> that is apparently still for sale, and includes integrated TNC and radio,
> runs for a year on a lantern battery. Their non-ham product uses satellite
> reporting. At this time there are just two stations still using the ham
> version, you can see the data at
> http://www.findu.com/cgi-bin/floodadvisor.cgi
> I have one at my house, but never did replace the battery when it died.
> This uses an ultrasonic sensor that measures the water level inside a PVC
> pipe, open (copper screen) at the bottom and with a tiny vent hole at the
> top. I don't know what sensor it uses, but in other projects I've used this
> sensor with good results,
> http://www.ebay.com/itm/Ultrasonic-Module-Distance-Measuring
> -Transducer-Sensor-Perfect-Waterproof-/321714364470?hash=item4ae7aba036
> send it a 5v trigger signal, and get back a pulse whose length is
> proportional to distance, easy to measure with a pic or arduino. There is a
> non-waterproof version for less than $2 for inside use too.
> If you develop something, please consider sending with the flood advisor
> protocol so it is parsed by findU, then you will have graphing available
> for no extra effort.
> K2GE-7>APFG21,WB2SNN-15*,WIDE2-1,qAR,KC2YYW-1:=4026.04N/07421.51Ww>T+057F-030V062
> FloodAdvisor -30
> the data is temp, height*10, voltage*10, and at the end an optional
> sequence number.
> Steve K4HG
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