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#371557 - 04/07/14 10:57 PM remote electronic water depth gauge
glandrytn Offline


Registered: 04/05/14
Posts: 2
Loc: TN
Hi, I'm looking for a remote electronic water depth gauge for my pond. Would like to be able to monitor water depth from inside my house. Any suggestions? Thanks.

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#371561 - 04/08/14 12:08 AM Re: remote electronic water depth gauge [Re: glandrytn]
esshup Offline
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Registered: 01/26/09
Posts: 24033
Loc: Grovertown, Indiana
What's your budget?

Oh, pardon my manners. Welcome to the forum!!
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#371575 - 04/08/14 06:56 AM Re: remote electronic water depth gauge [Re: glandrytn]
lassig Offline
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Registered: 02/04/09
Posts: 941
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#371577 - 04/08/14 07:53 AM Re: remote electronic water depth gauge [Re: glandrytn]
JKB Offline
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Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 6692
Loc: Michigan
I've applied both Hydrostatic and Ultrasonic level sensors and systems in ponds and lakes. Remote access and control via web server.

Budget is the key here.

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#371583 - 04/08/14 09:08 AM Re: remote electronic water depth gauge [Re: lassig]
Cecil Baird1 Offline
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Registered: 08/08/02
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Originally Posted By: lassig


Yikes! At that price I think I'd stick to something visual like a sealed yardstick mounted to a post or marked PVC.
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#371585 - 04/08/14 09:18 AM Re: remote electronic water depth gauge [Re: Cecil Baird1]
esshup Offline
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Registered: 01/26/09
Posts: 24033
Loc: Grovertown, Indiana
That's why I asked about a budget. I don't know of a way to do it inexpensively if electric remote monitoring is desired.
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#371596 - 04/08/14 10:06 AM Re: remote electronic water depth gauge [Re: esshup]
JKB Offline
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Registered: 12/03/09
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There are many ways to do this, but I can't think of a way that someone would think is reasonably priced.

You could use Arduino stuff, that would bring the price down a chunk. How reliable tho?

Last Hydrostatic rig I did was in excess of 8K, but this was controlling the level of two ponds, so it was a bit more than just monitoring. It's on their cell phones.

If it were me, I would just use a universal analog remote I/O module at the pond. That way you can utilize other sensors. RS485 or Ethernet back to the house, depending on length of run. Ultrasonic sensor (cheaper), but Hydrostatic sensors are not affected by surface disturbances. You can just rig it to your puter. Still ain't cheap, but you could probably pull that off for under a grand. Not much under!

Mind you, I am talking about industrially hardened components. There may be some stuff on Amazon... that would be cheaper.

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#371599 - 04/08/14 10:28 AM Re: remote electronic water depth gauge [Re: JKB]
esshup Offline
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Originally Posted By: JKB
Mind you, I am talking about industrially hardened components. There may be some stuff on Amazon... that would be cheaper.


That's just it. The way I look at it, usually the homeowner grade stuff won't last long term. So, even tho it's cheaper, how many times do you want to buy it vs. buying the insustrial grade stuff once. Plus if you really want to monitor it on a daily basis from a distance, what do you do when it goes off line? What does it cost to go and fix it?
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#371605 - 04/08/14 11:38 AM Re: remote electronic water depth gauge [Re: glandrytn]
2Old2Soon Offline


Registered: 12/02/12
Posts: 136
Loc: Georgia
If you have AC power and WIFI in the area you can deploy a wireless IP camera for about a hundred bucks. For a little more money you can get one with pan and tilt and watch everything else. You can go high def for less than 2hundred bucks. You can access it from the house or from your laptop, smart phone or tablet from anywhere.

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#371609 - 04/08/14 12:02 PM Re: remote electronic water depth gauge [Re: 2Old2Soon]
esshup Offline
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Registered: 01/26/09
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Loc: Grovertown, Indiana
That's a great idea! Put a depth stick in the pond so you can read the markings on the stick. I have a 6' yellow aluminum "yardstick" attached to a pipe in my pond. That's how I know how high or low it is.
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3/4 to 1 1/4 ac pond LMB, SMB, PS, BG, RES, CC, YP, Bardello BG, (RBT & Blue Tilapia - seasonal).

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#371649 - 04/08/14 04:42 PM Re: remote electronic water depth gauge [Re: esshup]
glandrytn Offline


Registered: 04/05/14
Posts: 2
Loc: TN
Of course i would prefer the lower end but i am willing to consider a more expensive solution. thanks

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#371663 - 04/08/14 06:38 PM Re: remote electronic water depth gauge [Re: glandrytn]
JKB Offline
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Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 6692
Loc: Michigan
If you have line of sight to the pond, maybe binoculars or a spotting scope from inside may work.


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#371797 - 04/09/14 06:32 PM Re: remote electronic water depth gauge [Re: esshup]
JKB Offline
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Registered: 12/03/09
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Loc: Michigan
Originally Posted By: esshup
Originally Posted By: JKB
Mind you, I am talking about industrially hardened components. There may be some stuff on Amazon... that would be cheaper.


That's just it. The way I look at it, usually the homeowner grade stuff won't last long term. So, even tho it's cheaper, how many times do you want to buy it vs. buying the insustrial grade stuff once. Plus if you really want to monitor it on a daily basis from a distance, what do you do when it goes off line? What does it cost to go and fix it?


If things are a must, you go redundant.

The cost of fixing stuff. That's an "it depends" question.

Last spring I had to do a service call at a waste management company. Nothing was coming up on the screen for the incinerator control. This control system is Outside, and subject to Michigan weather.

After unlatching the door on the panel, I had to pry the damn thing open to see the gut's.

After getting online with the PLC and HMI, and a few quick tests, both are working fine, but it was a communication issue between both. Serial port on the PLC had issues.

They needed to get it going, so I popped a new processor in it. A OK!

Brought the old one back to the shop and checked it out. Corroded wire on the DB9 connector. A bit of solder fixed it.

Date code on this and when it was commissioned was 1984!!!

It ran without a skip for 29 years in a crappy environment!

HMI has a date code of 1987. That's when they got rid of the buttons.

I would call that a tad on the side of being reliable wink

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#371801 - 04/09/14 08:11 PM Re: remote electronic water depth gauge [Re: glandrytn]
Bluegillerkiller Offline
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Registered: 09/08/09
Posts: 3536
Loc: Illinois, St. louis area
1+
You have to take in to account the way stuff was built in 1984 even though not that long ago its prolly better quality than how it's built now.. stuff is just not built to last anymore period.. unless you build it yourself like I like to do as much as possible smile
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#371899 - 04/10/14 06:37 PM Re: remote electronic water depth gauge [Re: esshup]
JKB Offline
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Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 6692
Loc: Michigan
Originally Posted By: esshup
Plus if you really want to monitor it on a daily basis from a distance, what do you do when it goes off line?


That's actually a really good question. I only planned on using cellular for internet, and it's gone down several times. For extended periods! No Cable in the area either, but that's also gone down for periods in GH.

Good old land line!!! I can configure two of the serial ports on the HMI's. One as a server, and one as a client, that split off to a modem connected to a land line.

I can get text messages to my cell and email from the rig on a land line, plus access the web server and pass thru, but the last two may require some patience.

Yep, that would be a redundant plus!

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