University of Wisconsin-Madison Physical Sciences Lab

Archive for February, 2015

Water Counter: Counting on Upgrades

Thursday, February 26th, 2015


Inside of the box, with the new circuit board installed.

This box is one of four units supplied by the Wisconsin Energy Institute. The unit counted the presence of water by responding to a conductive path between an AC signal generator and rectifier circuit. The box was originally designed and constructed by a graduate student, however, the units never worked reliably.


Detail of the old circuit board.

PSL was asked to fix them, and a number of methods were explored. The units were upgraded to Arduino circuit boards, which offer reliability, a large online support community, and a number of upgrade paths. Some possible upgrade paths are wireless control, and Bluetooth monitoring.


A completed box ready for delivery.