CEB Press/User's Manual

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CEB Press
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1 Testing

Operations Manual

Earth Block Calculations Spreadsheet

Wanted: Determine which pages from Category:CEB Press have information that can potentially form part of a user's manual.

Wanted: Instructional videos of operation, as well as written operating instructions with pictures

Wanted: Most common breakdowns and repairs. e.g. How can you tell if the maetal surface is wearing out?

Work Site Setup

Getting to Know Your CEB Press

Power Source Requirements

  • The power source could be the hydraulics from LifeTrac, PowerCube, or any hydraulic power source with a capacity of 6 gallon per minute (22.71 liters per minute).

Machine Use Overview

Structural Overview

Complete CEB Walkthrough from Open Source Ecology on Vimeo.

Startup and Operation Procedure

  • If you are using Arduino Uno, go to the following webpage and download the file:
  • If you are using Arduino Duemilanove, go to the following webpage and download the file:
  • Go to the following webpage and follow the steps for uploading the CEBTesting.ino code into the Arduino Microcontroller
  • Connect the computer to the Arduino Microcontroller on the CEB Press via USB cable
  • Open Terminal and navigate to the folder containing the file
  • In Terminal, type:
  • Note: for Windows and Mac users, open the file using python through a method of your own choosing/compatibility
  • Note: The CEB Testing Graphical User Interface should now pop up in a new window
  • In the GUI, click "Open Connection"
  • Click other buttons to test the CEB Press:
Mosfet C11 starts the shaker
Mosfet C10 moves the drawer right
Mosfet C9 moves the drawer left
Mosfet C6 moves the pressfoot up
Mosfet C3 moves the pressfoot down
Sensors lights the sensor LEDs on the solenoid driver board when you move a magnet around the sensors
LED Blink lights the sensor LEDs on the solenoid driver board intermittently
  • Note: see the annotations within the code using a text editor for more details on the testing procedure
  • Note: look for the LEDs of the solenoid driver board and of the solenoid valves lighting up as you click on the relevant buttons within the GUI
  • Note: Connect a battery to the controller box to power the solenoid valves
  • Note: Start the hydraulic pump for live testing of the CEB press when you are confident with the testing procedure and the CEB Press

CEB Press Assembly and Disassembly




  • Avoid excessive hydraulic pressure! Make sure you have a correctly installed pressure relief valve on your hydraulic circuit. Start testing the CEB Press with a low pressure setting on the pressure relief valve.
  • Avoid hydraulic fluid leaks and non-motion! Check that all hydraulic connections are tightened/connected and theoretically leak-free.
  • Avoid premature sensor latching! Check that the sensors are mounted parallel to the magnets. Sensor should be not too close but not too far from magnets
  • Make sure that the middle primary magnet is passed by the end of the primary cylinder's compression motion

Electronics Troubleshooting


Is the Arduino noticeably broken? Check the top and bottom surfaces for signs of a short circuit. Look for black burn marks.

Is the Arduino mounted correctly? The Arduino's conductive electronics should not be touching any external conductive surfaces.

Does the Arduino have enough power? The electrical input should be 7 volts or higher. Check the input voltage with a multimeter.

Is the Arduino correctly power-wired? Check the wiring between the Arduino and the electrical input. Positive to Vin, negative to GND.

Does the Arduino have the right code uploaded to it? If unsure, upload the latest operation/testing code.

Solenoid Driver

When the Arduino runs through its code, the solenoid driver LEDs should light up. More specifically, a control LED and a drive LED for a given channel should light up at the same time.

If the LEDs do not light up properly, the LED circuit may have been short-circuited or bypassed.

If the control LEDs do not light up properly, the Arduino may be broken and unable to send digital output.

If the drive LEDs do not light up properly, the solenoid driver may have a broken MOSFET.


When the sensor has 5V to its Vin and 0V to its GND, then the voltage between the signal pin and GND should switch depending on the sensor's magnetic latching. Use a multimeter to monitor the signal-GND voltage and wave/flip a magnet- the voltage should fluctuate between 2 approximate low/high values.

Check the sensor to Arduino wiring. Arduino 5V to Sensor Vin, Arduino GND to Sensor GND, Arduino A0 to Primary Sensor Signal, Arduino A1 to Secondary Sensor Signal.

Check the sensor's placement relative to the magnets. The sensor being too far, too close, or improperly angled will cause CEB operation problems.

The Arduino may have broken analog input pins.

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