Aquaponics $2 sequencer, flow splitter - $15 PVC version

I've taken my $2 sequencer a step further and made a PVC version. I still havnt found my silicone and/or glue gun so it doesnt stand up very well to being full of water, but It does seem to work. It also no longer costs $2 but now costs more like $15.

Remember this device requires that you turn off your pump for at least a few seconds each time you want it to swap from one GB to the other.

I thought I'd use a ping pong ball because they might be easier for some people to find than the foam balls.

I started by cutting some holes with a hole cutting set I just bought for around $7. It looks a little like this. There is a central drill bit and some different sized rings that are made of saw blade.

You clip the required sized saw to the disk attached to the central drill bit, and you are all set to cut a hole.

I can now make PVC eggs
I cut holes in each end cap so that a ping pong ball would sit neatly in them.

The amount of water the ball displaces is important, because it makes the end with the ball in it lighter, so the device tips. The downside to using a ping pong ball, is that not enough water is displaced due to their size. I got around this by extending a gutter further than the outlet in each direction.

This makes the open end much heavier once it fills with water.

Previously this was achieved by the weight of water the larger float displaced. The smaller float would still work, but it would need to be manufactured with a little more accuracy, But with the addition of the gutter, you can be much more casual with your measurements.

So casual in fact that, like me, you can forget all about measuring.

The gutter was made by cutting a 500mm length of 90mm PVC down its length.

Then I made two cuts in the middle about 120mm apart that went approximately half way through the PVC pipe.

Next, I drilled two holes at the bottom of the cuts, to allow me to get the jigsaw in.

I cut the sections out and removed them.

I also have a T-Junction, and two small slices of 90mm PVC like egg rings to act as joiners. The required components look like this.

Then I placed the Caps on the T-Junction, then placed that inside the 500mm length of PVC.

It now looks like this. (BTW this is all 90mm PVC but could be scaled up or down to suit.

All up it's taken less than 30 minutes of actual work to make.

Most of my time is spent looking for things.


Current status is it rocks back and forth and successfully seals and triggers the tilt on both sides, and does so reliably for as long as it takes to fall to bits because nothing is glued, and there are no real pivot points. ( I think I'll just silicone on a pair of washers and pivot on screws or nails)

Next step is to find my silicone or glue gun.

[edit from the future - There is some additional material on sequencers. Readers might find this newer version in a post titled  The Bullwinkle sequencer build of interest. It's a better design, and only costs around AU$15 to build with off the shelf PVC components]

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