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Dust Gate Project  


Garry42
(@garry42)
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I have 100 dust gates on 10 machines. While at one machine I want to close all gates and open the gate attached to the machine I am working on.  The system is to have only one gate open at a time.

I would prefer to use WiFi and stepper motors if possible, but each gates could be wired to a central location.

If I could number each machine I could send a control to close all gates and set one motor to open, but I am not sure how do do so unless there is an Arduino on each gate.

Any advice would be appreciated.

 

Thanks


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byron
(@byron)
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@garry42

I take it there was a typo and you do not have 100 dust gates for just 10 machines. 🤨 

There are several ways to implement this, but how about this simple way. For each of your 10 machines you have a stepper motor to open and close the dust gate, a motor controller board for the stepper motor, a current sensor sensor to sense when the machine is switch on or off, and a microcontroller that can send a 'wireless signal' of your choice, but an ESP8266 can be found for a couple of $. and can be used with or without wifi to send the 'signal'.  For the dust collection vacuum, also an ESP8266 and a relay to switch it on and off.

All dust gates are shut. Switch on a machine, the current draw to that machine is sensed which triggers the ESP8266 to activate the motor controller board to open the gate, and sends a wireless signal to the ESP8266 that controls the dust collector vacuum to switch it on. And of course the reverse when the machine is switched off. (maybe after a small delay to clear the dust from the pipes).

For the communications between the machines ESP8266's and the vacuum ESP8266 you could use ESP-NOW 

I am planning something similar in due course (meaning a year or 2 😎 )for my workshop.


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Garry42
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Yep, not 100 gates. Not sure about the current sensor as half the machines are 15 amp on 240v. 

Also one the gates will connect to portable machines on different outlets.

I was thinking about a keypad on each machine. Press a number on the pad and send a signal to close all gates and then open the local gate.
The dust extractor is on Google assistant and operates by voice control as turing off and on between moving to machines or resetting the saw is wasteful.

As I said this is my first project so I am learning as I go.

Thanks

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Steve Cross
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First, before you do anything else, get a prototype of your automated blast gate working. Only then will you be able to determine the correct components needed to control the gate, and start breadboarding and testing your design. I suspect you'll need a fairly hefty stepper motor or perhaps a solenoid to reliably operate the gates. They all seem to accumulate dust in the mechanism and can require a fair amount of force to operate.

Also, I'm curious as to why you have chosen centralized control of the opening and closing. It seems to add complexity for no real benefit. Since the default state of a fully automated system is for all gates to be closed except when needed, the dust collector only needs to "know" when its services are required -- not who needs them. Nor should it ever need to proactively close any gates. And it would quickly become a PITA if you have to manually "tell" it "which" gate to open. Best to just have it turn on -- regardless of which blast gate makes the request.

It is probably better to put the "intelligence" at the source of the request, i.e. the machine(s) needing the dust collector to activate. Especially since you need some logic to control the stepper motor anyway, and it would be nice to just automatically work when the machine turns on/off. I believe you can probably find current sensors that work by just threading the woodworking machines power cord through a sensor coil.

There are other reasons to keep the intelligence local to the "requesting" machine. Ideally, the blast gate should be fully open before starting the dust collector -- otherwise the resulting suction might make it even harder for the gate to move. Also, it is a good idea to keep the gate open and the vacuum still on for 10/20 seconds after the machine is turned off to allow any sawdust to make it all the way to the collection bin and not just settle in the ductwork.

Full disclosure, this has been on my todo list for at least a decade. BUT, my current low cost / low tech solution provides most of the benefits, so this project never gets moved up from the bottom of the list. When manually opened , each of my blast gates just closes a low voltage switch (wired in parallel) which activates a relay to turn on the dust collector. Since I'm already standing at the machine anyway, it is virtually no additional time or effort to open or close the gate. Or, at least not enough to justify the effort and expense for me anyway. Even so, it seems like a fun project -- and it is still on my list. Good luck.


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Will
 Will
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@garry42

If you're willing to use a keypad to denote which machine you're going to use, why not put it on/with the dust bin header. If everything uses a plug (instead of built-in wiring) you could use that panel to select all of the bins and also have a set of electrical plugs (with each machine plugged into the socket below the dust bin cover). Selecting the bin with a button or keypad could then use a stepper (or linear actuator) to open the appropriate bin lid and also use SSRs (or relays) to direct power to the same machine's power socket). 


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Will
 Will
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You might find this of interest as well


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Garry42
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Topic starter  

My current plan is to have a keypad at each machine. When a key is pressed broadcast a signal to all gates to close, at the local gate open servo on pin 13.Thinking of NRF240L01 as the wifi and MG995 as the servo.  I like this idea

If I can keep the gates in vertical hose then the dust should be pulled by gravity and not clog in the gate. 

Dusty is controlled separately and can stay on while moving to different machines or setups. I don't like to have saws running unless they are cutting material. At times the dusty is not required when cutting one small piece of wood, eg 1mm off a piece of wood.

The dust collector is on it's own circuit as most power tools and the dusty would blow the circuit breaker if on the same circuit. I am also thinking of adding a shop vac for the 33mm hose connected to the smaller power tools as I am not certain there is enough air for the dust collector in a 33mm hose as compared to a 100mm hose..

Could have a number to open all gates, although not sure why.

There are videos with a central control but this seems inefficient. There would be a lot of walking to change gates when changing machines. For example, wood through the planner, then the thickener, and then the saw would be a few trips to the central control.

All is low voltage so an electrician is not required as it is illegal here to touch 240v without a license.


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Will
 Will
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@garry42

 

Your video doesn't play ("An error occurred. Please try again later ..."), so I can't respond to that part of your message.

I am curious though - why would you use a keypad when all you need is a simple (cheap) pushbutton switch connected to the Arduino to indicate which machine will be in use ?


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Garry42
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I am not sure how to code a push switch to start the close procedure.

 


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Will
 Will
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@garry42

Here's some sample code for 1 pushbutton on pin 4. Connect pin 4 to one side of the pushbutton to pin 4 and connect the other side to GND

Define the button pin

#define  pushButton1    4

In setup() specify the button is an input and connect the internal pullup resistor

pinMode(pushButton1,INPUT_PULLUP);

Add a module to test if any pin is down. Note that the pullup resistor ties to 5V which means that the button will normally be pulled up to 5V, so if the button is pressed, then it will be a GND. This sort of reverses the logic so we have ...

bool isButtonDown(int buttonPin) {

  return ( digitalRead(buttonPin)==LOW );

}

I haven't allowed for any signal bounce for the button code here, but since you'll be shifting the bin collector lids as as soon as the button is triggered, I don't think bounce will matter.

So, in your loop you'll have something like this for every button you've declared.

if (isButtonDown1) {

  ... do whatever needs to be done for this button ...


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robotBuilder
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@garry42

The video you linked to doesn't use a keypad or buttons it is fully automatic?

Why stepper motors instead of servo motors?

https://iliketomakestuff.com/how-to-automate-a-dust-collection-system-arduino/
https://github.com/iliketomakestuff/iltms_automated_dust_collection

 


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