A friend and customer called today and asked a simple question -
could he put in a remote camera to watch the water flow out of a few
water wells refilling a lake, to make sure they are running properly?
(Not sucking air.) One well head is down in a manhole, and it's a
royal pain to get down there twice a day just to monitor the flow.
And I'm thinking, with an IP connection (DSL or cable-modem) and
power easily available at each location I can do better than that with
the right gear. Rig an interface to start or stop the pump contactor
remotely, have a pulse counter on the output flow water meter, a low
oil float switch on the oil dripper tank, an alarm if the phase
monitor or overloads stop the pump, and a color Webcam aimed at the
pump motor to catch the next spectacular motor failure.
I would have loved to have a recorder rolling - they just had a U.S.
Motors 60-HP 480V 3ph vertical well pump motor blow right as he hit
the Start button, with nice gouts of flame spouting 20 feet out all
the vents. Of course Carl wasn't too thrilled, seeing as he was only
5 feet from the motor at the time he pushed said Start button -
luckily the vents pointed the other way...
Somebody out there has done this before and has the slick PLC or
mini-controller all scoped out. Or a ruggedized PC/laptop that can
live in a manhole or a curb-side pedestal box without AC, and a
PCAnywhere style interface...
And the best part, Carl's willing to pay the freight as needed, no
charity. ;-) He's tired of climbing into that manhole every day just
to look at a stupid water meter, and I don't blame him. Ideas?
17 years ago