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 Post subject: ECM-1240 counter questions
PostPosted: Sat Jul 10, 2010 11:35 am 

Joined: Sat Jul 10, 2010 11:06 am
Posts: 38
I have a water softener that uses an internal flow meter to determine when to regenerate. The flow meter has three wires between it and the softener PCB. According to the schematic, the leads are red(+), black(-), and green(S). There is a constant 19.5Vdc across the red and black leads. There is a constant 5.1Vdc across the green and black leads when NO water is flowing. When water flows, the voltage across the green and black leads will momentarily "pulse" to zero volts (or very close to zero). The softener specs say the flow meter generates 133 pulses/gal. The softener can probably flow up to 12 gal/min, so the maximum pulse rate is around 25 pulses/sec.

So given the above info, can I tap into the flow meter leads and count its pulses on the ECM's AUX5? If so, do I need to connect a NC relay's coil to the meter leads and the relay's contacts to the AUX5 terminals?

I'm a little backlevel on the ECM software, so can you tell me what info is collected/reported/saved regarding the counter? What intervals are used? Can the data be used to calculate flow (i.e., gallons/minute)? Even if the flow is only for a few seconds? For example, is there a way to report that flushing a toilet resulted in 1.5 gallons being used? Is the data kept in such a way that I could graph the actual flow in one second intervals over that fifteen seconds?

For the above questions, assume that I have the ECM packet send interval set to 10 seconds, and the datbase write interval set to 10 seconds (if either makes any difference).

What plans do you have for integrating counters into the dashboard?
Thanks,
Ira


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 Post subject: Re: ECM-1240 counter questions
PostPosted: Sun Jul 11, 2010 1:26 pm 

Joined: Fri Jun 04, 2010 11:11 am
Posts: 127
When the ECM-1240 AUX-5 is set for pulse counting, the Engine would be set as shown in the attached screenshot. When setup in this fashion, every 133 pulses would increment the gallon counter.

The engine/database would store the incremental gallon count. The plot would then be able to display the number of gallons over time.

The bad news is that the monitor's maximum pulse rate is 14 pulses-per-second. There are two options to make it compatible: 1. I will look into the feasibility of a firmware modification. 2. Inserting a divider IC between the flow sensor and the ECM-1240.

As for the voltage compatability, you may be able to simply insert a resistor diode network.

Do you know the pulse duty cycle? In other words, when the pulse occurs, how long is the duration?


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 Post subject: Re: ECM-1240 counter questions
PostPosted: Sun Jul 11, 2010 2:15 pm 

Joined: Fri Jun 04, 2010 11:11 am
Posts: 127
It appears that the best solution is to insert a prescaler between the flow device and the ECM-1240. A prescaler is simply a pulse divider. If your flow device generates 133 pulses/gallon, then I would suggest a divide by 16 counter to provide 8.3125 pulses per gallon.

Although we do not have these, one can easily be put together using 4 components costing less than $2. It would also be powered by the ECM-1240 and fully compatible with the flowmeter's output signal.


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 Post subject: Re: ECM-1240 counter questions
PostPosted: Sun Jul 11, 2010 5:45 pm 

Joined: Sat Jun 05, 2010 7:20 pm
Posts: 23
I am trying to get my pulse counter to work as well. First, where do I get version 2.00 beta as shown in the picture?

The download area (where ver 1.99 engineG should be available) does not have any hot-links for me to even download ver 1.99. I am presently using ECM engine 1.93 beta.

Am i missing something?


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 Post subject: Re: ECM-1240 counter questions
PostPosted: Mon Jul 12, 2010 12:53 am 

Joined: Fri Jun 04, 2010 11:11 am
Posts: 127
You can download the latest EngineG.exe file from here:

http://www.etherbee.com/BrultechSampleSite/files/EngineG.exe

Do not un-install your current version, simply replace the exe file.


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 Post subject: Re: ECM-1240 counter questions
PostPosted: Mon Jul 12, 2010 3:37 pm 

Joined: Sat Jun 05, 2010 7:20 pm
Posts: 23
Ira wrote:
The softener specs say the flow meter generates 133 pulses/gal. The softener can probably flow up to 12 gal/min, so the maximum pulse rate is around 25 pulses/sec.


Ira, you still might be OK the vast majority of the time. Showering consumes about 2.5-5 gpm with a low flow head. Toilet flush "re-fills" could be slowed down...etc. I think I would try it "as is" before adding in a pulse divider.

I am going to eventually try the same thing...thanks for your idea!


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 Post subject: Re: ECM-1240 counter questions
PostPosted: Tue Jul 13, 2010 3:22 pm 

Joined: Sat Jul 10, 2010 11:06 am
Posts: 38
Paul,

Thanks for the info. I've got a few follow-up questions for you...

1. So the ECM can count the "voltage pulses"? It doesn't need a relay in the middle to change the voltage pulse to a dry circuit open/close?

2. From the perspective of the CQC driver for the ECM-1240 written by Rob...when the driver receives data, will it get the number of pulses and the number of seconds since the last time it received data? For example, if the ECM has a Send Packet Interval of five, and it has seen 20 pulses since the last send, will the CQC driver see 20 pulses and five seconds? If not, what data does it get from the engine?

3. As "smarty" noted, I would seldom overrun 14 pulses/sec, since that would be over six gpm, which would require several household users simultaneously using water at a fairly high flow rate (for household usage). However, I would still like to implement a a pulse divider if possible. I don't think I need to go 16-to-1 since I will never see 133 pulses/sec (60 gpm). 2-to-1 (or 4-to-1 if I really want to be safe) should be fine. Can you provide a diagram and parts list for a 2-to-1 pulse divider for those of us that are electronically challenged? Google wasn't much help.

4. Do you see any potential for damaging the water softener electronics or the ECM by doing this? Not asking for guarantees, but just wondering what you might foresee as far as negatives go.

5. You said... "As for the voltage compatability, you may be able to simply insert a resistor diode network." Can you explain further? If something is needed, can you provide a diagram?

I don't have any idea what the pulse duty cycle is, and I doubt the manufacturer would provide that information. Am I correct in thinking that the duration will decrease as water flow increases? I guess an oscilliscope would tell me...right?

Thanks for the help.

Regards,
Ira


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 Post subject: Re: ECM-1240 counter questions
PostPosted: Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:21 pm 

Joined: Wed Jul 07, 2010 5:59 pm
Posts: 12
I am also trying to get the pulse counter to work. When shorted it out by putting a resistor between the Gnd and Aux 5 inputs, it is still registering 150+ pulses per second, without the flow meter even connected.
As far as I can tell we have done everything right and are getting around 150 pulses per second on the engine g software. In another setup it was constantly changing between 60 pulses per second and 100 pulses per second. None of this is correct because the pulse counter we are using is for natural gas and is 1 pulse/cubic foot. We are running air through it which should give us around 1 pulse per second.

Any ideas what might be going on? It seems to be a problem with the ECM 1240.


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 Post subject: Re: ECM-1240 counter questions
PostPosted: Tue Jul 13, 2010 7:13 pm 

Joined: Sat Jul 10, 2010 11:06 am
Posts: 38
jfisher wrote:
I am also trying to get the pulse counter to work. When shorted it out by putting a resistor between the Gnd and Aux 5 inputs, it is still registering 150+ pulses per second, without the flow meter even connected.
As far as I can tell we have done everything right and are getting around 150 pulses per second on the engine g software. In another setup it was constantly changing between 60 pulses per second and 100 pulses per second. None of this is correct because the pulse counter we are using is for natural gas and is 1 pulse/cubic foot. We are running air through it which should give us around 1 pulse per second.

Any ideas what might be going on? It seems to be a problem with the ECM 1240.


What kind of meter are you using for your NG usage? Do you have a link to one on the web? I have two LPG tanks (one 250 gallon tank for my home and a 500 gallon tank for my genset) that I would like to monitor.

Ira


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 Post subject: Re: ECM-1240 counter questions
PostPosted: Tue Jul 13, 2010 7:37 pm 

Joined: Fri Jun 04, 2010 11:11 am
Posts: 127
Ira wrote:
Paul,

Thanks for the info. I've got a few follow-up questions for you...

1. So the ECM can count the "voltage pulses"? It doesn't need a relay in the middle to change the voltage pulse to a dry circuit open/close?

2. From the perspective of the CQC driver for the ECM-1240 written by Rob...when the driver receives data, will it get the number of pulses and the number of seconds since the last time it received data? For example, if the ECM has a Send Packet Interval of five, and it has seen 20 pulses since the last send, will the CQC driver see 20 pulses and five seconds? If not, what data does it get from the engine?

3. As "smarty" noted, I would seldom overrun 14 pulses/sec, since that would be over six gpm, which would require several household users simultaneously using water at a fairly high flow rate (for household usage). However, I would still like to implement a a pulse divider if possible. I don't think I need to go 16-to-1 since I will never see 133 pulses/sec (60 gpm). 2-to-1 (or 4-to-1 if I really want to be safe) should be fine. Can you provide a diagram and parts list for a 2-to-1 pulse divider for those of us that are electronically challenged? Google wasn't much help.

4. Do you see any potential for damaging the water softener electronics or the ECM by doing this? Not asking for guarantees, but just wondering what you might foresee as far as negatives go.

5. You said... "As for the voltage compatability, you may be able to simply insert a resistor diode network." Can you explain further? If something is needed, can you provide a diagram?

I don't have any idea what the pulse duty cycle is, and I doubt the manufacturer would provide that information. Am I correct in thinking that the duration will decrease as water flow increases? I guess an oscilliscope would tell me...right?

Thanks for the help.

Regards,
Ira


1. It is recommended to use dry contacts to isolate the ECM-1240 from other voltage sources or creating "ground loop" noise. I have been successful connecting directly such as the diode example in the attached pic.

2. Once setup, the existing watt-second register will display an incremental count representing the AUX-5 input pulses. Using this incremental count in conjunction with the seconds incremental count, the number of pulses and seconds between packets can be calculated, providing rate of flow (GPM) and gallons used. Rob should have no problem implementing this. He will need to treat the AUX5 watt-second counter accordingly.

3. I will add the divider circuit shortly.

4. Your water softener cannot be damaged if connected accordin to the diagram


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