UnaClocker writes:

This is the problematic dishwasher I have. It’s a Maytag (so much for never needed a repairman…). The control panel on the front of it died, it failed from corrosion getting into the laminated plastic PCB that it’s made up of. Not really repairable, just meant to be replaced, except that it’s a $150 part. From what I could find online, it seems to be a common failure, so why buy an overpriced part that’s just going to fail all over again?

This is one of the things I love about the Arduino, it allows me to consider alternatives that I’d have NEVER been able to consider before. If I had to program a controller in assembly, or flat do it with just discrete chips, I’d have never considered this as an option. But with the Arduino, not only can I build my own controller, but it’s almost stupidly simple to do.

Details, photos, and code are available at NeonSquirt.com. [via adafruit]

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Sean Michael Ragan

Sean Michael Ragan

I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and makezine.com. My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c’t – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.


  • http://profiles.google.com/anderskeith Keith Anderson

    2 hours and how much energy to clean the dishes? I bet doing them by hand would take 20 min. Cool project though.

  • http://profiles.google.com/anderskeith Keith Anderson

    2 hours and how much energy to clean the dishes? I bet doing them by hand would take 20 min. Cool project though.

    • Anonymous

      On one hand, using a dishwasher may use more energy, but it probably also uses less water, unless you’re very conscientious about the faucet while you wash by hand.  In the end, I’d say it’s probably a… “wash?”

    • Anonymous

      On one hand, using a dishwasher may use more energy, but it probably also uses less water, unless you’re very conscientious about the faucet while you wash by hand.  In the end, I’d say it’s probably a… “wash?”

    • Anonymous

      On one hand, using a dishwasher may use more energy, but it probably also uses less water, unless you’re very conscientious about the faucet while you wash by hand.  In the end, I’d say it’s probably a… “wash?”

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NPIRWCB3ELCM46TJCKIZM4JJWI Anonymous

      Energy cost: Roughly eight cents. Or two square meters of solar cell. We’re makers around here.
      Water cost: Around a cent.

      Doing them by hand involves a labor cost which makes it prohibitive.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Marvin-Fife/100001725544022 Marvin Fife

        You’re forgetting to add in the time it takes to load and un-load the dishwasher. :P

        But seriously, I thought of this as my first Arduino project, but I’m still waiting on my dishwasher to die. It probably won’t, as it’s a rotary mechanism vs. digital panel.

        How about adding in a light sensor and a LED to test how clear the water is. That way, when the water runs clear, do a quick rinse and call it a day.

        Image a kit for upgrading old, still mechanically sound washers, dryers, dishwashers, etc… with modern day sensors like humidity levels (dryer), water clarity (dish washer) and fancy programming options (clothes washer).

    • Anonymous

      I found that it was a strain on the relationship with my wife, when she had to wash them by hand. So it’s definitely better to let the machine do the work. :)

    • Anonymous

      I found that it was a strain on the relationship with my wife, when she had to wash them by hand. So it’s definitely better to let the machine do the work. :)

  • Anonymous

    This is great… we had a three year old (!) dishwasher literally throw sparks and flames when it died a spectacular death.  Cool to think we could have reverse-engineered the controls… major props for doing this!

  • http://www.facebook.com/briankwest Brian West

    I have that exact same dishwasher and my panel has died the same but start button works but never thought of doing this… NICE.

  • http://www.facebook.com/briankwest Brian West

    I have that exact same dishwasher and my panel has died the same but start button works but never thought of doing this… NICE.

  • http://www.facebook.com/briankwest Brian West

    I have that exact same dishwasher and my panel has died the same but start button works but never thought of doing this… NICE.

  • http://www.facebook.com/briankwest Brian West

    I have that exact same dishwasher and my panel has died the same but start button works but never thought of doing this… NICE.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_AB7OAEOR4BZ6XOVYCWY5EN4REQ Randall

    Hi,  About how much $$ in parts for your setup we see here?  How long did it take, start to finish?  Finally, do you have a finished pic or vid?

    Looks like it was fun to do!

    Thanks

  • http://www.jennairdishwasher.org/ jeff burger

    This is awesome! One of the biggest problem with arduino is a retrofit. Safe isolated retrofit. U are the man, none the less!