Washer Dryer Detector

I have an idea for a project, a washer dryer detector.

Like most homes there washer dryer are in the basement. You go down there and put your laundry in them and wait for them to beep right. Well it’s like the tree that falls in the forest. Does it make a sound?

What if we made a tone detector that listens for the two different beeps and sends out an alert. It could be like an Alexa skill where you could say “hay Alexa tell me when the washer or dryer are done” and it response with “OK”. Or you could have an app on your phone that sends you an alert that your dryer is done and if it’s connected to your activity tracker or smart watch your wrist would buzz.

Now the problem is you forgot you put the laundry in and you’re at the mall shopping, oppose.

We could have Ken make an info commercial and sell them for 3 easy payments of 19.95, no wait for a limited time get two units for the same price just pay shipping and handling. We could call it the Clap on Clap off for the washer dryer. Ok maybe we need someone more upbeat then Ken.

We have most of the hardware needed except a way to detect the beeps coming from the washer dryer. You could wire something into the washer dryer but that would mean taking it apart and messing with the wiring and every washer dryer is different so that might not be a good idea.

So we need like a telephone encoder that can take sound and convert it to an 8 bit value that we can process. From there we use a Parallax WiFi module to connect it to our network and send out an alert that is picked up by an app. They always have an app for that right.

So the question is how to detect the beeps if no ones in the basement since it might not make any noise.

Mike

PS: we could also add in a water detector so when things overflow. I have one of those things that you set on the floor and it beeps when it detects water.

Comments

  • A P1 with a microphone could be used to detect the noise from the washer/dryer and the buzzer tones easily enough, and activating an audible/visible indicator in the home is simple enough. Don't understand why you would go to the trouble of having it phone you. Are you going to drop whatever you are doing and rush back home to deal with the laundry?
  • I actually have this device available now and mostly installed, however it is pretty buggy and darned expensive for what you get for the price-point. (I call it a "teenager with cellphone". LOL)

    On a serious note, how about using a passive (inductive) amp-clamp? When the current falls to near zero, the washer/dryer is done. Have two channels: 1=washer, 2=dryer. Maybe add an option for a couple of SSR's for controlling other stuff too.
  • We have a dryer that doesn't buzz at the end of the cycle.

    I rigged up a vibration sensor using one axis of a 3-axis accelerometer. When less than a certain amount of movement is detected by a propeller chip (because the drum is no longer rotating), and for more than 45 seconds or so, I sound a buzzer.

    It's not even mounted to the dryer, it just sits on top.

    It would probably also work for a washing machine, as long as the delay allowed for the pauses between cycles.

    Works pretty well, but at this time it's not sensitive enough, so it sounds off even though the dryer is still going. I just need to tweak my settings.
  • Does the running time of a washer or dryer have that much variance? I just set a timer when I put the wash in. If you require asking "Alexa, remind me when the dryer is done," shortly after starting the machine, then you save the cost of hardware to monitor it.

    I'm not sure about the washer, but the dryer should be detectable by a whole house power meter. Some energy meters can recognize appliances by their energy usage patterns. I don't know first hand how well that works.
  • Does the running time of a washer or dryer have that much variance? I just set a timer when I put the wash in. If you require asking "Alexa, remind me when the dryer is done," shortly after starting the machine, then you save the cost of hardware to monitor it.

    I'm not sure about the washer, but the dryer should be detectable by a whole house power meter. Some energy meters can recognize appliances by their energy usage patterns. I don't know first hand how well that works.

    Since my cellphone is always with me I use it to time washing machine, dryer, oven, microwave, and anything else I need to time, including rise and shine if a specific time is required.
  • Hmm Guys,

    I do just remember that I have to move stuff from washer to dryer or dryer to inside. Heck they rarely take more then half/full hour.

    Honestly, you need a phone/ringer to remember what you did half a hour ago?

    confused,

    Mike
  • We have those new fangled washer driers that have a mind of there own. They label them as high efficiency.

    Anyway they show the time on the front of them but it's never right. Both units could say they have a minute left and then run for about 20 to 30 minutes. They have all kinds of sensors now and do all kinds of gyrations to get the job done.

    So no, you can't set a timer and then just check on them.

    The idea is to listen for the beeps and trigger an app to let you know they are done and you need to move those paints and shirt if you don't want them wrinkled and have to iron them.

    Mike
  • Does the running time of a washer or dryer have that much variance?

    The washer, probably not, at least for ones like mine with mechanical controls.

    But for dryers, the type of load does affect the running time. A load with many towels will take much longer to dry than one with just shirts, for example.

  • msrobots wrote: »
    Hmm Guys,

    I do just remember that I have to move stuff from washer to dryer or dryer to inside. Heck they rarely take more then half/full hour.

    Honestly, you need a phone/ringer to remember what you did half a hour ago?

    confused,

    Mike

    For me it's not so much a matter of remembering what I did half an hour ago, it's being so focused on what I am working on that loose complete track of time. My wife used to swear that a demolition crew could tear the house down around me and I wouldn't notice unless part of it fell on my bench.
  • I like the idea of listening for beeps, it could be used in a variety of applications. Your choices are build/buy/test something similar to a voice recognition system, or start playing with components and code and seeing how far you get.
  • xanadu wrote: »
    I like the idea of listening for beeps, it could be used in a variety of applications. Your choices are build/buy/test something similar to a voice recognition system, or start playing with components and code and seeing how far you get.

    A voice recognition systems seems to be a bit of overkill to me. An audio band pass filter tuned for the base frequency of the buzzer would be much simpler, and connecting two wires to the buzzer and making use of that signal even simpler.
  • I have been looking into those MEM microphone sensors that output I2S. Look like a interesting way to interface to a microphone and it maybe just the ticket to detect a buzzer.

    They output 24 bits of frequency but I fear that the Propeller chip may not be fast enough to handle the conversion. The specs say it needs a 3.072 MHZ frequency to drive the clock.

    This is the chip I'm looking at Invensense ICS-43432.

    Building an I2S driver sounds like fun.

    Mike
  • The data sheet says the clock frequency min is 0.46MHz, max is 3.379MHz, so P1 should be able to provide a fast enough clock for the audio frequencies the buzzers use even if the clock is generated by pasm code in a cog. use the timers and even 3.379MHz or close to it is possible.
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