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Undertheradar

Wet's Battery powered air top-off...$10.

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Undertheradar

I ordered one battery powered air pump (hagen).

Then I cracked it open and cut one of the white wires...

used wire hats to splice the leads of one of those 'el-cheepo' float-switches.net buggers...they are not rated for 110AC, but a couple of 'D' batteries is well under that. A good rule of thumb is that if the wires on the device are smaller that what you are trying to splice it into...chances are it isnt rated for it, and prolonged use of these float-switches on 110 is a fire hazard...plain and simple. The wiring on the inside of the battery air pump is the same as the float switch's leads...a perfect match.

 

Since the battery pump has a clip on it that fits 1/4", i figured that it would be pretty cool just to mount it all together, so I made a harness for the switch itself with a scrap of masonite cut 3/4" x 2"...bolted a 3/4" PVC pipe band to it and ran the PVC through. Then I put a 1/4" hole in a 3/4" endcap to mount the switch through...and then I put it all together. The air line goes to the water res, and the returning water is let go next to the float through the air line that is wedged between the PVC band and the bolt. No extra power cords. No electrical worries. Very small and 'all in one'. Oh, and the cost...

 

Hagen battery pump, about $6 online.

PVC cap, pipe, band...under $1

float switch...$2

two bolts and nuts...piece of masonite...air line...$pennies

water res (2L Coke Bottle)...free from trash

oh, and 2 old 'D' cell batteries getting too low for the 'Mag-light' yet plenty of juice to run this thing for a year or two...$uh, dunno

 

So, for less than $10 of random junk, a safe, reliable top-off is made. now all I need to do is add on the snail guard...Geez, I should make these by the dozen and charge $20 each!!

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Undertheradar

heres a detail of how the wires come out of the side of the pump and down the adjustable-depth float switch mount...

 

edit Nov 22, 2005. Due to the recent file migration, all the photos in this thread were lost. I am unsure which photos were here before, but I will attach all of the pics at once here and I think you can sort them out.

post-7237-1132644786_thumb.jpg

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post-7237-1132644890_thumb.jpg

Edited by Undertheradar

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Undertheradar

And heres the inside of the pump...the white wiring is the one I splices the black float switch wires into.

 

11-22-2005 : More pics below of a newer version that I sold to go directly on a tank

post-7237-1132645156_thumb.jpg

post-7237-1132645170_thumb.jpg

Edited by Undertheradar

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Undertheradar

here it is on the side of a HOB sump...to adjust the depth of the float you can simply slide the pipe up and down in it's holder...

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Undertheradar

The cool thing is that I never really modded much...I could simply remove the float switch, put the wiring back and have the original air pump again. I made a simple pipe mount for the float...and that's it.

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speakeraddict

Absolutely sweeeeet!

 

Now I have to find that old battery powered pump and put it to good use! I have had my float switch from them for over three months and done nothing with it. This is the kick in @$$ I needed to use it.

 

Thanks a bunch!

speakeraddict

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AquaFilly

Wow! Where do you find a $2 float switch? Very cool! Exactly what I wanted to know.

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sdbeazley

Yery cool idea but can you please show how you get water out of the bottle?

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skeletor

very nice !

 

to get the water out of the bottle, make two holes in the cap for some rigid airline tube, put one long piece of tube in so it's near the bottom, this is the water out line. the other piece of airline is short and is the air in. the large plastic sode bottles work great for this as they handle the pressure and seal up pretty easily.

 

-skeletor-

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surfy

Dude!!!! thats freak'n sweet, good job.

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matt the fiddler

so how are plug it in air pump people doing their wiring on here, if theya re not moding the extension cord?

 

want to see some DIY ;-)

 

 

matt

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Undertheradar

Thats the whole point...they arent. The juice going throught a cheap $6 battery powered is much less than the 110 coming out of the wall. The battery powered models are well within the float's specs...the plug in ones aren't. The point here is that plug-in pumps (powerheads and diaphram) exceed the electrical operating capacity of these float switch devices. Either a relay box that reduces the current going through the float is needed, or a reduction in the overall system's operating current is needed...ie: battery powered.

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exemd
So, for less than $10 of random junk, a safe, reliable top-off is made.  now all I need to do is add on the snail guard...Geez, I should make these by the dozen and charge $20 each!! [/b]

 

I'll take one for $20.

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DSparks

Yikes! I'm running 110 through a floatswitches.net float switch!!! Anyone have good instructions on how to setup one of these on 12V?

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matt the fiddler

however wet.. look at the specs for floatswitches.net

 

"Maximum Switching Rate 20W Maximum Switching Voltage 200V Maximum Switching Current "

 

regardless...

 

 

what i meant to ask.. is can one open up a normal airpump, and mod it , to reduce the voltage? rather than the extension cord deal? some one with a meter wana measure the specs on the internal wires of a normal airpump?

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Littleoceans

Question? Does the air pump have enough power to push water? And have you tested it? I have found you need a powerful air pump to get over the head pressure to push the water out of the container..... LO

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Undertheradar

Maximum Switching Rate 20W Maximum Switching Voltage 200V Maximum Switching Current 0.6A Contact Withstand Voltage (DC) 250V Contact Resistance 0.3W max Temperature Range 122-F.

- specs from floatswitches.net

those are the specs, yes...note that they are DC rated, not AC. The leads from the floats are in the 20-26 ga. range..and most electronics have at least 18, if not 16ga. wire inside...that should be a good enough indication for most. As of yet, there is no easy way to mod the inside of a plug-in air-pump.

this is the reason that relay boxes are used, and to mod the inside of a diaphram air-pump would involve the same things as just getting a relay box.

 

Before I go further, the whole point of this was to use cheap little parts...and prevent having 110AC running through your tank. Sure, one could modify a much more expensive AC pump, but why? The battery ones are under $10, and do have plenty of oomph as far as I can tell.

 

Littleoceans,

Even with the worn out batteries I'm using in it, the pump can push water out of a 2Liter Coke bottle I am using, and up another 3 feet into the tank through that 1/4" diameter air hose.

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matt the fiddler

well, how often are we talking about changing the batts. or how much would it be to wire an AcDc convertor up o a batt airpump?---- my one concern.

 

i got about 30 gallons of water volume.. and go through roughly 5 gallons of top off in 1.5- 2 weeks or so. plus since it drips into my main tank, i have the air flow restricted. so it is on for probably 10 mins a time. drip by drip

 

i like the idea of keeping the current away from my tank.. in my studies on this topic a few months ago i overlooked the AC/ DC issue. need to readdress this so i don't fry my tank now..... been goign on 3 monhs with AC power in my tank

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Undertheradar

In what may seem to be an extreme case, like the one you have listed above, I would be more concerned with burning out the pump more than anything by having it so restricted. Just wondering, what is the reason behind that?

 

None the less, hooking up an AC/DC converter would appear to be the best solution for unlimited, yet greatly reduced power. As is, I would bet my top-off would work for a year at least, even with half depleted batteries like Im using. Anyone know the voltage on these? I will have to look around, but whatever it is, Im sure I have a converter lying around... I will look into it.

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AquaFilly

If you're worried about batteries, I'd suggest using rechargables. Actually I haven't researched this. Can you find chargers for those big batteries? Will have to check it out.

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Undertheradar

Sure, you can find chargers...anyone happen to know the voltage of 2xD-cells?

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senorpyro
Originally posted by Undertheradar

Sure, you can find chargers...anyone happen to know the voltage of 2xD-cells?

 

~3 volts. each standard sized battery (AAA,AA,C,D) falls somewhere between 1.25-1.5 volts

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Undertheradar

Just found the 1.5V stamp on the batteries this morning...so it looks as though a 3v power converter could be wired in. I think i have one of those laying around....hmmm....I'll have to tinker with that when I get home later...

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exemd

So is anyone considering making these for profit? I would love to purchase one for the previously suggested price of $20. (Not too much time on my hands in med school to DIY)

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Littleoceans
Originally posted by Undertheradar

Just found the 1.5V stamp on the batteries this morning...so it looks as though a 3v power converter could be wired in.  I think i have one of those laying around....hmmm....I'll have to tinker with that when I get home later...

 

Undertheradar- You might want a 1.5volt converter and not a 3volt. I just bought a similar pump from Walmart last night to do the same thing... batteries are in series.. so the voltage stays at 1.5... To test this.. put in one battery and see if the pump works if it does its 1.5..... LO

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