The Laundruino

My washing machine is located in the basement. Unfortunately, the time data displayed on the front panel is always inaccurate. So instead of constantly running down the stairs and checking if the laundry is done, I decided to connect the washing machine to my LAN and extend it’s features by a simple http server. This is what I needed for it:

In my case, getting the right signal from the washing machine was simple: It has a “Finished” LED on the front panel, so all I needed to do, was to solder it out and replace it with a two-core wire.

To connect my washing machine with the arduino, I built a minimal shield with a prefboard and a CNY17. Here’s how everything is put together:

Now I have a LOW signal on pin A2 (digital mode) when the laundry is done and a HIGH signal if the machine is running or turned off. In my case, a loop of 100ms duration is needed every time to watch the signal because I don’t get a steady voltage here (I guess the front panel LEDs might be multiplexed). If  the signal becomes LOW once in this time window, the washing machine has finished and the LED would have turned on.

Screenshots:

You can download the code on github: https://github.com/exitnode/laundruino


 

66 thoughts on “The Laundruino

  1. This is really cool – and has inspired me quite a lot!

    I’ve wondered about doing something like this too. Our washer is in the bathroom – the old model used to beep when it was done, but our new one doesn’t. I don’t want to take it to pieces to do something like this, but have a few options. My first thought was an opto-coupler as someone above suggested. This may work, because the washer has a decorative door over it (so no light leakage). It also provides a handy way of moving the opto-coupler out of the way when you’re looking at the machine.

    The other thought I had was to wrap some wire around the mains cable. I don’t know how detectable the change in current really is, but if I could detect when the washer’s demand current dropped, that would indicate when it was finished.

    In terms of connectivity, I didn’t flood wire the bathroom, so I figure a wireless solution would be best for me. GSM seems a bit too much, so I may just use some 415MHz modules or something.

    Either way – cool article, thanks for the inspiration!

    Now if only I could find a way of opening the door, emptying the drum and hanging out the clothes ;-)

  2. Pingback: Low-Tech Waschmaschine meldet Waschgangende über LAN | Homemade Gadgets

  3. Cool Project. What about using an accelerometer? With a little time spent profiling the movement of the different cycles, one could even send updates on this, and then just implement a no movement timer to show when finished.

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  6. Would there be a code to connect to an SMTP server to relay an email? I have the old school washer with mechanical switch on finish, so creating the proper mechanical trigger should be easy. I do not know how to send the email though :(

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  9. Hi, can someone explain how to add some kind of contact device to an old school washer (1988) that only has the mechanical dial switch? It doesn’t have any buzzer or led. I need a way to know when the dial switch is at the end. If I can get some kind of 2 piece contact, I can run that to a Insteon IOlinc. That IOlinc can receive an “open” or “closed” from the contact piece, and send that to my home automation software for Mac, Indigo by Perceptive Automation.

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  11. Pingback: The Laundruino – Internet-connected washing machine « freetronicsblog

  12. I had this very same problem….but I went for the less obvious solution and got myself a wife. It has worked out rather expensive and I would suggest anybody else looking for a solution to a similar problem sticks with electronics.

  13. Hum… @ NT: the old dial-switch actually is a timed proramm-switch. It should have some unused channels you could easily detect by measuring it out.

    Another way to do this could be the usage of a SNMP-agent that detects a “dry-contact” (potentialfreier Kontakt). If the mashine doesn’t provide such a contact, it could be easily constructed out of a reed-relais next to the main power-wire. (maybe making a loop is necessary). A drop of currency results in the reed-relais to open and toggeling the dry-contact. The SNMP-agent would inform another computer via TRAP or send an email by itself. Like a fire-detection-network. e.g.

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