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CIRCUIT

IDEAS

FUEL RESERVE INDICATOR EO

FOR VEHICLES
SANI TH

„ D. MOHAN KUMAR by sensing the voltage variation de- ‘on’ time will be around four minutes.
veloped across the meter and activates The output of IC2 is used to power

H
ere is a simple circuit for moni- the beeper when the fuel tank is al- the astable circuit consisting of timer
toring the fuel level in ve- most empty. Its point A is connected 555 (IC3) via diode D2. Oscillations of
hicles. It gives an audiovisual to the input terminal of the fuel meter IC3 are controlled by R6, R7, VR2 and
indication when the fuel level drops and point B is connected to the body C4. With the given values, the ‘on’ and
alarmingly below the reserve level, of the vehicle. ‘off’ time periods are 27 and 18 sec-
helping you to avoid running out of The circuit consists of an op-amp onds, respectively. The pulses from IC3
petrol on the way. IC CA3140 (IC1), two 555 timer ICs are given to the clock input (pin 14) of
Nowadays vehicles come with a (IC2 and IC3) and decade counter decade counter CD4017 (IC4) and its
dash-mounted fuel gauge meter that CD4017 (IC4). outputs go high one by one.
indicates the fuel levels on an analogue Op-amp IC CA3140 is wired as a When the circuit is switched on,
display. The ‘reserve’ level is indicated voltage comparator. Its inverting in- LED1 and LED2 glow if your vehicle
by a red marking in some vehicles, but put (pin 2) receives a reference volt- has sufficient petrol in the tank.
the needle movement through the red age controlled through VR1. The non- When the fuel goes below the reserve
marking may be confusing and not inverting input (pin 3) receives a vari- level, the output of IC1 goes low, LED1
precise. This circuit monitors the fuel able voltage tapped from the input ter- turns off and a negative triggering
tank below the reserve level and warns minal of the fuel meter through resis- pulse is received at pin 2 of IC2. The
through LED indicators and audible tor R1. output of IC2 goes high for around
beeps when the danger level is ap- When the voltage at pin 3 is higher four minutes and during this time pe-
proaching. than at pin 2, the output of IC1 goes riod, clock pin 14 of IC4 receives the
The fuel sensor system consists of a high and the green LED (LED1) glows. clock pulse (low to high) from the
tank-mounted float sensor and a cur- This condition is maintained until the output of IC3.
rent meter (fuel meter), which are con- voltage at pin 3 drops below that at For the first clock pulse, Q0 output
nected in series. The float-driven sen- pin 2. When this happens, the output of IC4 goes high and the green LED
sor attached to an internal rheostat of IC1 swings from high to low, send- (LED2) glows for around 50 seconds.
offers high resistance when the tank is ing a low pulse to the trigger pin of On receiving the second clock pulse,
empty. When the tank is full, the resis- the monostable (usually held high by Q1 goes high to light up the yellow
tance decreases, allowing more current R3) via C1. The monostable triggers LED (LED3) and sound the buzzer for
to pass through the meter to give a and its output goes high for a prede- around 45 seconds. This audio-visual
higher reading. termined time based on the values of signal warns you that the vehicle is
The fuel monitoring circuit works R5 and C2. With the given values, the running out of fuel. On receiving the

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CMYK
CIRCUIT
IDEAS
third clock pulse, LED3 and the buzzer Q6 output of IC4 is connected to The circuit can be assembled on a
go off. There is a gap of around two- its reset pin 15 via diode D3. This perforated board. Adjust VR1 until the
and-a-half minutes before Q5 output means that after ‘on’ state of Q5, the voltage at pin 2 of IC1 drops to 1.5V.
goes high. count will always start from Q0. Ca- When point A is connected to the fuel
By the time Q5 goes high and the pacitor C5 provides power-on reset to meter (fuel gauge) terminal that goes
red LED (LED4) glows, four minutes IC4 when switch S1 is closed. The out- to the fuel sensor, green LEDs (LED1
elapse and the power supply to IC3 is put of IC1 is also connected to reset and LED2) glow to indicate the nor-
cut off. The output state at Q5 will not pin of IC4 via diode D1 (1N4148). So mal fuel level. VR2 can be varied to
change unless a low-to-high clock in- when your vehicle is refueled above set the ‘on’ time period of IC3 at
put is received at its pin 14. Thus LED4 the reserve level, LED2 glows to indi- around 20 seconds.
will glow continuously along with the cate that the tank has sufficient fuel. Enclose the circuit in a small case
beep. The continuous glowing of the IC5 provides regulated 12V DC for and mount on the dashboard using ad-
red LED (LED4) and the beep from the proper functioning of the circuit even hesive tape. The circuit works only in
buzzer indicate that the vehicle will when the battery is charged to more vehicles with negative grounding of
run out of fuel very shortly. than 12V. the body. z

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