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Automated aquarium feeder

Chathuranga Karunarathna

Introduction

Aquariums, especially commercial aquariums must keep under certain conditions. Like feed fish through a proper time cycle to keep them healthy. Automated fish feeder system enables to solve this matter. The main advantage is, this is a low cost system and with the basic electronic circuit knowledge anyone can build this kind of a system in different ways. The direct current (DC) motor is the main device of the feeder unit that used in many industries in order to convert electrical energy into mechanical energy. There are two main controlling parts in the circuit, PIC microcontroller and Push-pull driver IC PIC microcontroller is used as the timer to give certain time delays, real time clock and logic command to the motor driver IC. The motor driver controls the motor according to the logic of PIC microcontroller.

Rational of the topic


The automated fish feeder system is much more accurate than the manual (feed by person) feed and the owners will not get confused while they are having large number of fish tanks.

Goals The ultimate goal of this project is to design an automatic fish feeder circuit to avoid being interrupted to the aquarium owners and especially to the fish. Study about different microchips and detectors that can be used in the system. Study about different methodologies that can be used for the design. Prepare the literature review based on the research. Prepare the circuit design for the above system based on the research and the literature review. Test the circuit design using software simulations and make changes if necessary.

Problem identification Pet fish are very sensitive because they live in an artificial environment and feed on artificial food which feed by someone in a time manner. If this usual habitat gets off fish will get confused and could causes to their lifestyle. The best solution is install an automated fish feeder circuit.

Literature map

Methodology The developed system should be able feed the fish according to a real time clock at a low cost. Three methods were considered to develop the above system based on the research shown in literature review which are Develop the system using DC motor Develop the system using microcontroller Develop the system using motor driver

Develop the system using DC motor DC motor is the output device of the circuit. According to the logics of the PIC microcontroller we can rotate it both clockwise and anticlockwise through a motor driver Microcontrollers are designed for data processing, which requires millions of skinny pathways and microscopic switches. On the other hand, motors are straight forward and power hungry. Because of the internal structure of microcontrollers, they cannot supply enough current needed to run a motor directly. Therefore, an external driver circuit is required to deliver the electrical power to a motor under the control of the microcontroller.

Develop the system using microcontroller

The data memory is partitioned into two areas. The first is the Special Function Registers (SFR) area, while the second is the General Purpose Registers (GPR). The written code must enter to the PIC microcontroller and then after it gives the output signal to the DC motor through motor driver circuit.

Some features of PIC is, Only 35 single word instructions to learn All instructions single-cycle except for program branches which are two-cycle 1024 words of program memory 68 bytes of Data RAM 64 bytes of Data EEPROM 14-bit wide instruction words 8-bit wide data bytes 15 Special Function Hardware registers

Develop the system using motor driver (Electrosome website states) We cant drive a DC Motor (depends) directly with a Microcontroller, as DC Motors requires high current and high voltage than a Microcontroller can handle. Microcontrollers usually operates at +5 or +3.3V supply and it I/O pin can provide only up to 25mA current. Commonly used DC Motors requires 12V supply and 300mA current, moreover interfacing DC Motors directly with Microcontrollers may affect the working of Microcontroller due to the Back EMF of the DC Motor. Thus it is clear that, it not a good idea to interface DC Motor directly with Microcontrollers. The solution to above problems is to use H-bridge circuit. It is a special circuit, by using the 4 switches we can control the direction of DC Motor. Depending upon our power requirements we can make our own H-bridge using Transistors/MOSFETs as switches. It is better to use readymade ICs, instead of making our own H-bridge.

Develop the system using motor driver We cant drive a DC Motor (depends) directly with a Microcontroller, as DC Motors requires high current and high voltage than a Microcontroller can handle. Microcontrollers usually operates at +5 or +3.3V supply and it I/O pin can provide only up to 25mA current. Commonly used DC Motors requires 12V supply and 300mA current, moreover interfacing DC Motors directly with Microcontrollers may affect the working of Microcontroller due to the Back EMF of the DC Motor. Thus it is clear that, it not a good idea to interface DC Motor directly with Microcontrollers. The solution to above problems is to use H-bridge circuit. It is a special circuit, by using the 4 switches we can control the direction of DC Motor. Depending upon our power requirements we can make our own H-bridge using Transistors/MOSFETs as switches. It is better to use readymade ICs, instead of making our own H-bridge.

Design and implementation

Assembly coding

Thank you