The sprockets have been replaced and improved with key ways cut into the jack shaft and auger. This allows positive feeding without slippage. The jack shaft placement was constrained so adjustment of the chains is limited to what linkages can be removed or replaced with half links and adding a slack tension device on the slack side of the roller chain. With this complete the LCD problems appear to be fixed. Without proper tension the chain did not ride on the sprockets smoothly and the tension could take up suddenly adding a jerk to the system. Without this mechanical jerk in the system the motor can work more smoothly allowing the LCD to not get the power fluctuations that garble the display. The feed problems appear to be fixed but in the last test the unit ran for four days without fail and at this point although there is a marked improvement that time has not been surpassed. Next on the list is the hopper extension to allow feeding of two bags of pellets. This will allow 16 hours of run time without any software improvements.
After running the circulator controller for several days now, after 4-5 hours, sometimes more, sometimes less the LCD seems to start printing garbage characters. I have tried several different things to get rid of this but have not done so yet. My latest attempt to get the program to be stable is to add more delay into the program to allow the LCD more time to work. After reading the LCD manual it seems that this may be an issue and I will keep my fingers crossed however it appears that this may require a better understanding of the LCD and the programming language requiring a bit more studying. The Arduino and the program are both running correctly in the background and we are enjoying hot showers, the relays come on and shut off at the correct time, all seems to be working fine with the exception of the LCD display, I have switched out the LCD with another of the same brand and type but I think it must just be getting some bad data and not erasing it. Any suggestions would be helpful. Sorry about the picture quality, tough to get a good picture of the display.