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IndustryArena Forum > Mechanical Engineering > Mechanical Calculations/Engineering Design > Lets build Computer Controlled Graphical Fountains
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  1. #1
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    Lets build Computer Controlled Graphical Fountains

    Hi,
    Been watching the 'Graphical Fountains' on Youtube...
    [nomedia="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mFD__5FyXVY"]YouTube - Japanese Creativity - Water Fountain[/nomedia]
    [nomedia="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tnPnwET4x9k"]YouTube - 3dx scenic studio's new graphical water display[/nomedia]

    I am thinking to make a similar version... I know its a heck of work but also know that everything is possible with collective efforts and team work...

    just want to get ideas from you, what you think how this thing work?..Do we need lot of solenoid valves with lot of tiny steppers?

    Programming ?..do we need to make our own programming software?.. just think if we get the image and convert it into bits and bytes and send to the fountain?...

    I will try to use PIC or AVR microcontroller with multeplexing, have to programm a software in VisualBasic , make some initial hardware.. Just thinking of 10 rows of fountain for the time being...

    Any ideas from you guys?.. this may be our 2011 PROJECT..
    http://free3dscans.blogspot.com/ http://my-woodcarving.blogspot.com/
    http://my-diysolarwind.blogspot.com/

  2. #2
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    Hmm.. have to make some base work so that you take interest
    http://free3dscans.blogspot.com/ http://my-woodcarving.blogspot.com/
    http://my-diysolarwind.blogspot.com/

  3. #3
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    I would start by using a pic coded with C. I really like the dspic series.

  4. #4
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    Interesting!

    'Pixels' are determined by distance in the x direction and time in the
    z direction.

    So, some number crunching is in order first.
    Suppose that that fountain is 128 'pixels' wide.
    Guessing the time per pixel is a bit harder. There appeared to be
    minimal pressure at the nozzles - I would be tempted to use an open
    reservoir at the top with a row of valves. Time resolution of 10 mS
    ought to be plenty. So image data requires 1600 bytes per second -
    not really a whole lot. However, all valves need to be synchronized.

    The electronics would be very similar to the Spoke Persistence of Vision
    project. The 74LS595 chip looks ideal for this.

    However, I'd would probably want a PC chucking image data out a USB
    port to a suitable microcontroller which then fires it out the serial channel
    to the latches and triggers the sync. Perhaps some buffering would occur
    in the microcontroller so that PC timing becomes less critical.

  5. #5
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    Thanks vegipete for insight
    Offcourse, we are thinking on the same pattern .. Use of Shift registers (SIPO) and Image converting software into bits of rows.

    Here is my scheme and current work so far:
    1- Programming a Image (Bitmap) software. This software will convert the image into Black and White. The White will be '0' bits whereas the Black will be'1' bits.
    2- Making a structure having a top with open reservoir Just atmospheric pressure) , on which we will install Solenoid operated valves. Lets suppose 16 valves at the top in a row.
    3- Considering 16 SOV, we will make the software to generate image of 2-bytes in a row. Each bit will be considered as ON or OFF.
    4- The Hardware will include PIC microcontroller that will take the data from the Image software for each row (2 bytes)thru SERIAL PORT (USB)throw the data to the shift registers that will decide which valve will be ON and which Valve will be OFF...
    5- The timing can be adjusted in the image software

    Current Progress:
    1- I am searching of Solenoid valves (24V DC).
    2- Writing a software (Image mapping) in Visual Basic.


    PS:
    In the attach image (just a rough skecth), Each row the black shows the solenoid valve is open whereas the white shows the solenoid valve is closed.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails scheme.bmp  
    http://free3dscans.blogspot.com/ http://my-woodcarving.blogspot.com/
    http://my-diysolarwind.blogspot.com/

  6. #6
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    just a thought,,, wouldn't it be possible to interface the solenoids to a cheap scrolling led sign?

    example , opto couple to the first vertical row of led's



    led scrolling sign - Google Search

  7. #7
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    Markwind, nice idea and can be implementable with some limitations..
    1- Timing issues, Here we are dealing with Water and gravity and the timing between each row of water drops is very critical.
    2- We will be limited to scrolling of programmable words only.
    3- We will be limited to very few solenoid valves (10 or 15) considering the no. of rows of the sign. (No. of Rows of sign= Solenoid Valves). So very less resolution.


    yesterday i purchased a lot of 24VDC solenoid valves from scrap shop. I got 0.8 US Dollar each. Their were only 15 available with the shop so i purchased all of them. They told me that on monday they can supply more of them. So with less than 10 US Dollar i got 15 Solenoid Valves.

    They also available only solenoid with Stem plugs, 12VDC and i purchased one brand new for the same price.

    Now i am thinking two things:

    1- Controlling of those solenoid valves with AVR microcontroller i.e. Arduino
    2- Controlling the Solenoid with PIC Microcontroller i.e. 18F4500 that can handle USB interface easily.

    Using Arduino is simple as it contains USB interface and can take serial data from/to computer, but salvaging the complete Arduino for this project is not cheap. The PIC interface will be quite simple and cheap only if i know how to interface the computer with PIC thru USB.The only problem is interfacing USB with PIC that i do not know how to do it.
    http://free3dscans.blogspot.com/ http://my-woodcarving.blogspot.com/
    http://my-diysolarwind.blogspot.com/

  8. #8
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    Get a big dot matrix printer. The printer head has numerous tiny solenoids that drive the individual printing wires and each solenoid is powered by a conductor in the ribbon cable running to the print head. Wire these individual conductors to your little solenoid valves and the printer would print in drops not dots.

    You might need to connect the solenoid valves through little power transsitors with the printer signal triggering the transistor so you have enough current available to drive the solenoid valve.

    Probably regular solenoid valves will not respond fast enough to give nice drops without any dribbles. What would be needed are valves like those used for fuel injection where there is a little needle that opens and closes right at the orifice. This starts and stops the flow very quickly and precisely.
    An open mind is a virtue...so long as all the common sense has not leaked out.

  9. #9
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    Here the pictures of solenoids
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 1.jpg   2.jpg   3.jpg  
    http://free3dscans.blogspot.com/ http://my-woodcarving.blogspot.com/
    http://my-diysolarwind.blogspot.com/

  10. #10
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    Geof, that is another good idea I often amazed how peoples brings different solutions for one problem ..Getting the Dot Matrix printer and hacking it for this purpose will require some skills that a person talented like you have or RomanLini or Russell AKA epineh...but again your idea is Out-of-the-Box and workable...We will definetly think on that...

    In the above post, i have attached the pictures of the solenoid valves, the solenoid ON/OFF by applying 24VDC but still to be tested with water.
    http://free3dscans.blogspot.com/ http://my-woodcarving.blogspot.com/
    http://my-diysolarwind.blogspot.com/

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by AustinT View Post
    I would start by using a pic coded with C. I really like the dspic series.
    That will be nice... but the purpose is to use 4x4 Matrix Keypad, a LCD display. Storing 100 of design in the form of Code in the PIC and recalling the designs with Keypad or contineously randaomly run the design will be a nice feature too.. This will make the fountain computer-independent... However attaching a computer will give some new life to the old designs... make new designs , send thru USB to the fountain and enjoy

    I currently working on PCB circuit interfacing the PIC with USB... and this interface is hard part for me.. The programming, interfacing and mechanics seems very easy.... Keep in touch...
    http://free3dscans.blogspot.com/ http://my-woodcarving.blogspot.com/
    http://my-diysolarwind.blogspot.com/

  12. #12
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    I just stumbled on this thread an it looks like an interesting project Khalid !

    Back when I was a boy and used to play with very low power PC's (C64) to make any kind of graphics at a reasonable speed I was setting up a background of sorts, then pointing the screen map area to different locations, this had the effect of a scrolling background with very little cpu load, but worked OK I guess.

    You could do the same with a micro easily enough, but it should be able to shift the image as a series of bits, shifted from some kind of bitmap stored in memory, if you made it a series of 8 bit chunks to form whatever size "line" you need any kind of micro should be able to fire/stop the solenoids fast enough to keep the lines horizontal.

    The biggest hurdle I see is getting/making a suitable solenoid, it needs to be able to output "pixel" sized drops fast and without any dripping, not too sure about that, will sleep on it.

    Should be interesting to see what comes out of this

    Russell.

  13. #13
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    Hi Russel, thanks for the post... Just check the attach picture, yes, this is infancy stage of graphical fountain binary code generator. It takes Black and White WMF file, convert it into binary files. The Black appears '1' and the white appears '0'. The attached pictures shows that their are 50 solenoid valves. so 50bits for on/off of these solenoid valves. You can customize the generated binary code for upto 100 solenoid valves, however this can be increase more... The more solenoid valves, the better the resolution.

    Now check each rows. we will send each row to the micro-controller in the form of bits through 74HC595 SIPO bit shifter. HC595 gets 3-lines in from the micro-controller and output 8 lines. these registers when connected in series gives tremendous output with only 3-inputs from micro-controller.

    Now in microseconds one complete row of solenoid will be operated. The delay between the next line may be adjustable....

    00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000
    00000000000000000000011111111000000000000000000000
    00000000000000000000111111111110000000000000000000
    00000000000000000001111111111110000000000000000000
    00000000000000000001111111111110000000000000000000
    00000000000000000000111111111100000000000000000000
    00000000000000000000001111111000000000000000000000
    00000000000000000000000111100000000000000000000000
    00000000000000000000111111111100000000000000000000
    00000000000000000111111111111111100000000000000000
    00000000000000011111111111111111111000000000000000
    00000000000001111111111111111111111110000000000000
    00000000000111111111111111111111111111100000000000
    00000000001111111111111111111111111111110000000000
    00000000011111111111111111111111111111111000000000
    00000000111111111111111000000111111111111110000000
    00000001111111111111111000000111111111111110000000
    00000011111111111111111000000111111111111111000000
    00000011111111110000000000000000000111111111000000
    00000011111111110000000000000000000111111111000000
    00000011111111110000000000000000000111111111000000
    00000011111111111111111000000111111111111111000000
    00000001111111111111111000000111111111111110000000
    00000000111111111111111000000111111111111100000000
    00000000011111111111111000000111111111111100000000
    00000000001111111111111111111111111111111000000000
    00000000000111111111111111111111111111100000000000
    00000000000011111111111111111111111111000000000000
    00000000000000111111111111111111111100000000000000
    00000000000000001111111111111111110000000000000000
    00000000000000000111111111111111100000000000000000
    00000000000000000111111111111111100000000000000000
    00000000000000000011111111111111100000000000000000
    00000011111111111111111111111111111111111111100000
    00000111111111111111111111111111111111111111110000
    00011111111111111111111111111111111111111111111100
    00111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111110
    01111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111
    01111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111
    01111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111
    01111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111

    Any feedback?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails bishop.jpg   fountain software.jpg  
    http://free3dscans.blogspot.com/ http://my-woodcarving.blogspot.com/
    http://my-diysolarwind.blogspot.com/

  14. #14
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    Consider a Chess board falling from fountain.... just removed the 0 bits... Just think the '1' is falling water pattern.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails chess.jpg  
    http://free3dscans.blogspot.com/ http://my-woodcarving.blogspot.com/
    http://my-diysolarwind.blogspot.com/

  15. #15
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    Nice work, I like how you made your own program to generate the binary pattern

    Russell.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by epineh View Post
    Nice work, I like how you made your own program to generate the binary pattern

    Russell.
    Thanks Russell...the binary conversion of a picture as per number of solenoid valve is completed, meanwhile I am currently adding serial port communication capabilities in the software...

    At hardware side i made a simulator of 16Leds using 74HC595 shift register... Tested the hardware last night and its working perfect..will soon post the pictures for updation.
    http://free3dscans.blogspot.com/ http://my-woodcarving.blogspot.com/
    http://my-diysolarwind.blogspot.com/

  17. #17
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    Add the capability to use colored water from tanks for short RGB color "surprises" during the waterfall show. CarveOne
    CarveOne
    http://www.carveonecncwoodcraft.com

  18. #18
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    There's a waterfall in a building in Japan that does something like this, the vid is on YouTube but I ca['t find it yet...

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by CarveOne View Post
    Add the capability to use colored water from tanks for short RGB color "surprises" during the waterfall show. CarveOne
    Hi carveOne,
    The Scheme is very simple... All the solenoid valves will be connected to one overhead tank. So whatever color you fill in the tank the same will be displayed in water fall.. But, we can add some colored lighting just below the Solenoid valves..For this we will use Plain water with no color, and we will get the reflection of different lights colours in the drops.

    louieatienza
    At the start of this thread i have added some Youtube videos.
    http://free3dscans.blogspot.com/ http://my-woodcarving.blogspot.com/
    http://my-diysolarwind.blogspot.com/

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Khalid View Post
    Hi carveOne,
    The Scheme is very simple... All the solenoid valves will be connected to one overhead tank. So whatever color you fill in the tank the same will be displayed in water fall.. But, we can add some colored lighting just below the Solenoid valves..For this we will use Plain water with no color, and we will get the reflection of different lights colours in the drops.

    louieatienza
    At the start of this thread i have added some Youtube videos.
    That will be less complex, less costly, and better than just plain water.

    My idea is to add the capability in the software to allow someone (with lots of money) to do this so that the "water pixels" can be selectively colored as in the old 16 bit RGB computer monitors. It would be like seeing low resolution color images in the waterfall. The colors would stay together all the way down. The Japanese aren't doing that yet are they?

    CarveOne
    CarveOne
    http://www.carveonecncwoodcraft.com

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