After my washing machine refused to wash my socks one time too many, I decided to rebuild it
It had this intermittent fault that every now and again it would refuse to spin anything and all the clothes would come out badly washed. I tried a new controller and various other bits but it was still the same.
I thought - how hard can it be to hook the washing machine up to the computer via RS232 - the answer - pretty hard lmao
The first attempt resulted in the machine overfilling as the "snubber network" on my triac drive circuit for the valves kept the water on and the machine wouldnt stop filling.
Second attempt was better - the machine communicated with the PC via RS232 and actually did what it was told. The problem was that it wouldnt slow tumble the clothes which it needed to do to wash them. It would get up to a slow "spin" and sit there. I then reprogrammed my homebuilt controller to use different acceleration ramp speeds and monitored the tacho output on the motor more closely.
Final result ? A visual basic controlled RS232 interfaced washing machine with attitude I say to it "spin", it says "how fast" - just how I like my kitchen appliances. I say "wash", it says "yes no problem" lmao. The water temperature is kept within a couple of degrees by the contoller now and I can send it any program I want.
Now all was going swimmingly well. I'd sorted the routines out for the wash cycle, the fill, temperature heating, constant motor speed control etc when the missus informed me that she'd gone out and ordered a new washing machine as she couldnt work out how to use this one now
Oh well - at least I proved to myself I could do it I suppose. The parts might live on in something else in the house - I've got a controller here that will control up to 5 devices at 40 amps (I overengineered it slightly lmao )