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Fuelmaker C3 restoration

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  • nickyp00
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    screen mounted, almost ready to put into service.

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  • nickyp00
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  • nickyp00
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    Today the larger screen has arrived and have started the process of reconfiguring the code in arduino to display the necessary information. To jazz things up a little, we are calling the fuelmaker c3 "fuelmaker 2000" as a tribute to the arduino hardware upgrade. The new board is simulating the function of the orignal board according to the service manual to a tee with a few improvements on the original. We now have replaced the led display with a 4 line by 24 character lcd display. That display now shows total run time logged for each session which resets every time you start the fill process, a total run time counter which when reaches 3000 hours the system shuts down and requires servicing and the timer rest to continue, fill percentage, mode of operation as in filling and stopped, temperature of head and box on display and pressure rise monitoring over time to ensure the system is functioning correctly. We are due in the next couple of weekends to do another tank test fill with compressed air and also need to remove the temperature sensor from the head to work out its values and hopefully use the original sensor for temperature monitoring. Will update as things progress further

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  • nickyp00
    replied
    Originally posted by hypermilinggx View Post
    If you actually succeed in building your own electronic control module for a Fuelmaker, you're pretty good, but your biggest challenge still lies ahead. Where will you get internal compressor parts? You may be able to find good used hard parts, but what about soft wear parts, such as piston rings & seals? I was able to string my FMQ-2-36 along for about seven years with good used parts, but it all ended with the stage 3 shuttle cup seal. I had several seals custom made over the years, but this particular seal was made in such a way that was not easily duplicated. It came down to having the seal material chemically analyzed to find out what material it was made of. If you did do that, then a seal manufacturer will want to know how many thousand or tens of thousands you want made. No seal manufacturer is going to tool-up to make you up a hand full of seals for a reasonable price.

    As far as trying to make a Fuelmaker work with custom made parts, you picked the right model. The C3 is far better than the FM series.

    Please let us know how it goes in the future.
    On Saturday the 25th of April 2019, thanks to the help of my best mate, we have managed to get the arduino control module to fire the motor and purge solenoid and filled our first tank with air and successfully cut out according to high pressure.
    I have posted a short video to the prototype.

    ​​​​​​https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yJ2tkf_QF6A

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  • nickyp00
    replied
    Have made some pregress again, seems we wont be needing the extra arduino board to correct the voltage overload problem, someone has provided a solutiion tantalisingly too simple to resist to work around. http://www.skillbank.co.uk/arduino/measure1.htm

    With the addition of a simple voltage divider circuit, we are able to limit the voltage input into the arduino module from the pressure transducer thereby allowing the unit to monitor the high pressure sensor and not requiring the extra arduino module. All can be achieved with the one module.

    Will post updates as they eventuate.

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  • nickyp00
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    Up u till now everything has been running pretty smoothly in the build. The module has been verry simple to adapt preprepared code freely avalable on the internet with slight modofications to allow necessary functionality, howevere have hit a slight snag. The pressure transducer runs a signal output between 1 volt *empty) to 6 volts (full 3000psi). All the current addons and code have been sufficient to run all the devices we have experimented with but the voltage limit on the analog pins is now set to a maximum of 5 volts which to change to allow the 6 volts will require recoding the entire program. To avoid this problem, we are adding another arduino module that came in the learning kit. This modules dedicated job will be to handle the voltage inputs from the pressure sensor transducer, convert it into a pwm signal which can be fed directly into the arduino mega board and alow us to get around the excess voltage input dillema. Will post more info as it arizes. probably be a few weeks as am pretty busy right now. Could also use some information from anyone that knows roughly how long i should be holding the purge solenoid open to purge the gas from the fill hose back into the fuelmaker gas controll module. Have given it 5 seconds, this may be excessive but will see how it goes.

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  • nickyp00
    replied
    The first image shows the arduino stack that is being used so far. It contains the display, network interface module and the arduino mega module. Also in the interest of being severely anal, my mate mark also figures out what code is necessary to display the degree symbol next to the temperature.

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  • nickyp00
    replied
    The following images show the display of the room temperature and finger temperature, Accurate reading are now displayed.

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  • nickyp00
    replied
    Thie images below show the compressor temp sensor and display messages. We have figured out how to display a message when a button is pressed along with temperture reading that means something in degrees celcius.

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  • nickyp00
    replied
    These images show two displays, one large and one small. The smaller one will be attached to the fuelmaker control panel and will display the compressor status, internal temperture and operating mode, The larger of the two displays I am hoping after learning some more to use on a remote panel that can sit in my lounge room and or bedroom allowing me to remotely monitor the refuelling appliance and with extra programming remotely shut down the machine from a safe distance. I m also aiming with the adition of the network server module to be able to access the fuelmaker from any internat capable device and monitor it via the internet. This feature will bring the device into this century.

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  • nickyp00
    replied
    The components illustrated show the relay board, real timer and Arduino uno spare board. I intend to use the real timer to have an automatic shut down over time if the compressor runs longer than normal preventing overfilling in the event of pressure sensing malfunction similar to the original oem equipment. The relay board will be used to control the motor, purge solenoid and gas interlock solenoids. We have successfully programmed the arduino to fire the purge solenoid relay for a total of 5 seconds when the stop button is pressed and the motor is shut off via temperature and pressure measured by the pressure transducer. The aim is for this to happen automatically when the machine completes a fill cycle. The Interlok solenoids fitted to tanks must be opened to allow gas to flow in and out of the tanks and is a safety device required to meet Australian standards. This will also be necessary to be programmed in to successfully allow my tanks to be filled and will need extra wiring along side the filler neck to be installed.
    Last edited by nickyp00; 03-27-2019, 03:00 AM.

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  • nickyp00
    replied
    Unfortunately due to the amount of inputs and outputs required to operate the fuelmaker c3 safely, the larger arduino mega was ordered. The mega has many more inputs and outputs reducing the chance I will run out of pins.

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  • nickyp00
    replied
    We have powered up the arduino uno for the first time and to test it have set up a simple led circuit that causes it to blink depending on the code we programmed into the chip. Success !

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  • nickyp00
    replied
    Good news, the arduino bits have started turning up this week and have been making some great progress. So far, have managed to configure the display, the buttons for the display, the purge solenoid function, the compressor run function, ahead is the headache of the pressure transducer read to stop the unit when maximum pressure is reached.

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  • nickyp00
    replied
    Internal seals, gaskets and mechanical parts I internd to fabricate what I can, the seals, bob hatton wreckons he has many seal kits for it so am stocking up. I have is purchased a spare compressor module for it second hand that is working ok and pressurizing to 3000psi so will use that when mine fails. The good part of this compressor is it has verry low hours so am hoping will get some time out of it. As for building anothe controll board, don't need to. Have found arduino hardware, if you have not heard of it before, is programable electronic hardware that is adaptable to various applications using varied data inputs and with appropriate programming can provide a solution for my hardware failure problem.I am talking about the board. Do some research on arduino, be suprised what you can do with it. I will post step by step info on how I did it.

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