I Call Her “Vera”
Posted in Hobbies
First watch, 2 bells (9:24 pm)

A few weeks ago I had some work done on my plumbing. I ended up with an extra hot water expansion tank, a 2.2 gallon tank with a hose connection on one side and a valve like a tire's valve stem has on the other.

Of course, as soon as I saw it I thought SQUIRT GUN and started stewing over some ideas of how to implement it. In the end, I decided to use a sprinkler valve with a momentary switch connected to it, and a handful of PVC pipes, adapters, and couplers. Home sprinkler valves run on 24v AC power, but I found that for whatever reason a 9v DC battery seems to trigger it just fine. I have yet to do a full pressure test though.

I'll write up more of this later, after my final tests. I've already got some ideas for Vera Mark II (a switch to use a 555 timer generating a square wave with a rheostat or potentiometer as a frequency modulator—think variable machine gun pulses—and a power LED.

If I dress her up she'll get taken out somewhere nice…

Addendum One: The 9v power wasn't enough to trigger the solenoid when it was under pressure. I thought this might happen. Working on a higher power source to see how it goes.

Addendum Two: Switching to a 12v or 18v supply works just fine. Two 9v batteries in series is more compact than 8 AA batteries in a holder.

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