Breakthrough on the solenoid valve from the previous post! Got it working, and made the code give it some extra rhythmic life, rather than just opening it and letting it all drain out. I think the problem was too much head after all, cause after I shortened the tube between the reservoir and the valve it drained exquisitely. Video.
Now, however, it took about 1 minute to drain 1 gallon, due to the extra life I gave it. At 192 gallons, that’s going to take way too long. I should have timed how long with just an open valve. If I want to keep this kind of life, I’ll need 16 valves to get it down to 6 minutes of drain time. The valve is 1/2″, so I can’t increase the tube size. There’s got to be a better solution to decreasing drain time than adding more valves, while still keeping some life in the rhythm of the solenoid. I might even make a wireless (Xbee) valve controller with some buttons to control which valves are doing what and when, and the syncopation.