Is it just me…

As many of you know, I have been spending a lot of time coding lately. Most of my time has been spent on projects relating to Cisco Finesse and Cisco Spark. In addition to these projects I am working on a pretty cool application for my dad’s automotive shop. More to come on that soon.

I have started to notice an odd pattern.  I used to be of the mindset that I needed to have large chunks of time free to work on these projects. I didn’t want to lose my train of thought or forget where I was in the code. I am beginning to think this is false. When I give myself large chunks of time to accomplish a number of programming goals, I feel like I get stuck on one thing and blow hours trying to figure out what the heck I did wrong. Recently I started biting off small goals that take 30 minutes or less. Once I am done I get up and go do something else. When I come back, I tackle another 30 minute task. If I get stuck, instead of spinning my wheels for hours, I go do something else for a bit.

Ever since I started doing this, I have accomplished a lot more and am a lot less frustrated! I still consider myself to be a newbie when it comes to coding, so I will keep tabs on this theory.

Any other coders out there have the same experience?

My latest note to self: If your MongoDB updates aren’t working properly even though the syntax works fine in the mongo CLI, check to make sure all the fields are defined in the schema. (this was an example where I had to get up and go do something else for a bit!)

Ok, distraction time over, back to coding!

Keurig Auto Filler 2.0

Time goes by way to fast! This weekend I rebuilt my Keurig auto filler. I looked back at my old posts and the original post was just over a year ago! Version 1.0 has worked flawlessly but was way too big and bulky. I also never outlined how to build your own. So here it goes…

Shopping List:

  • Dual Float
  • DPDT relay
  • 4x2x1 Project Box
  • Prototyping board – I bought this pack and used the 3cm x 7cm board. You can probably find a single board at Radio Shack
  • 4 x PCB Terminal blocks
  • 4.7uf capacitor
  • 12v Solenoid Valve
  • 12v Power Supply
  • 1/4″ plastic tubing and connectors: you can find these are your Local Home Depot

Putting it all together:
I built the auto filler based off of this pump control circuit. I made one modification to this. It is VERY important that you do this or you will toast the float! Place the 4.7uf capacitor across the relay coil. This will prevent the relay from oscillating rapidly as the float switches open and close. The capacitor keeps just enough charge to prevent this. Here is a photo and their description:

This diagram is for the circuit to fill a tank, using two normally closed oat switches and a two pole
changeover relay. The upper switch will be closed provided the liquid is below that switch point.
The liquid falls until the lower float switch closes and energizes the relay. One set of relay contacts connects the pump to the supply and the other maintains the relay on-state, while the level rises towards the top switch. The relay will be held in the energized state until the top oat switch opens, so releasing the relay and cutting off the supply to the pump.

Pump Control Circuit for Automatic Tank Filling
Pump Control Circuit for Automatic Tank Filling

I tapped into the reverse osmosis water faucet under the sink for my water supply. You could also tap into your freezers water line if it has an ice maker.

Final Product:

label the terminal blocks: P = Power, S = Solenoid, B = bottom float, T = top float
label the terminal blocks: P = Power, S = Solenoid, B = bottom float, T = top float
all wired up!
all wired up!
Drill two holes in the water reservoir cap.
Drill two holes in the water reservoir cap.
mounted to the keurig with velcro
mounted to the Keurig with velcro