68 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 ;-)

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  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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  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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  15. Nice project! Isn’t it possible to leave the LED on the mainboard and to detect the current in case the LED is on (washing program finished)?