Help to Automate a machine I made


#1

I need help to automate a machine I made to break-in Radio Control car engines. This machine is basically an oil bath that is heated with heating elements and once the oil is hot at around 180 Fahrenheit I turn a on stepper motor that turns a shaft that turns the engine that is inside the hot oil.
To keep the oil at the right temperature I use an inkbird temperature controller that works as a relay so when the thermometer reads below 180 Fahrenheit it turn on the heating elements.
What I want to do is eliminate the manual component of the machine, I want to turn it on and the machine to read the temperature, heat the oil and once the oil is hot it turn on the stepper motor, also will like to a way to make the stepper motor to start once the temperature is achieve and to make the stepper motor to increase its speed according to time.
The big problem is that I am completely new to Ardruinos so that is why I am asking for any guidance that can be provided so I can take the next steps into the improvements I want to make.

Thanks for all the help.


#2

Hi

I’d suggest you break the project down into small things that can work without the complexity of the whole system. The obvious two things here are temperature control of the oil bath, and the stepper motor control of the RC motor.

You might want to look into PID control for the oil temperature. I think Joop Brokking has a brilliant video on this on YouTube. You could start with this one: https://youtu.be/JBvnB0279-Q

When it comes to the stepper motor, you’d have to do some research into the maximum speed of the motors because most stepper motors are built for accuracy and sacrifice speed for accuracy. You could opt for a DC motor with sensors to measure the speed and thereby control the speed via PWM. I like the simplicity of videos like those of Homofaciens for this sort of thing. A good starting point might be this YouTube video: https://youtu.be/dPBKTZw_xi4

Please let me know if that was helpful or went over your head.


#3

@bhofmann
Thanks for your response I think you provided me the right path and it is breaking down the project. I am going to go over the videos you sent me and try to learn as much as possible.
I am going to start with the temperature control of the oil bath.
Thanks for the input and I will reach out to the community if I need further assistance with the initial task.