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Old 10-03-2008, 03:46 AM   #1
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Default Temperature Control System Beta Testers Needed!

Hello everybody. I work for a small company called Embedded Control Concepts, specializing in engineering services. I'm also an avid homebrewer, and my process has definitely improved by reading threads on this forum. I've created a web-based temperature control system that is now essential to my brewday equipment. I've built this system from the ground up to be user friendly, and of course expandable / future proof. The plan is to offer the system to fellow homebrewers if there is enough interest.

Here's some of the specs of the BCS-460 Temperature Control System.
-Web based user interface
-4 temperature probe inputs
-Data logging with interactive charts
-6 outputs for relay control, 4 inputs

For additional screenshots and example systems, check out our website:
Embedded Control Concepts

The BCS system is still in the Beta stage of development. We have working prototypes and the hardware is stable, but there are still plenty of firmware bugs to be worked out. We need your help! We're looking for people from the HBT community to be part of the Beta test program. You will receive a beta prototype of the BCS-460, under the agreement that you will stress the system and report back any problems. We would also like any suggestions for features not implemented that you would find useful. Since we only have a limited supply of beta prototypes available, the current plan is to select one person from this forum.

Ideally the Beta testers would have a somewhat "automation ready" system. In other words, a HERMS/RIMS system with pumps, heating elements or gas control valves, etc. The BCS system has the potential to be very powerful, so the more stuff you have to control, the better. Fermentation control and/or a keg system is also a plus, although not required. Your HBT reputation is also a huge factor, since we're giving away some fairly valuable equipment. We expect you to post your experiences for the benefit of others in the community, as well as get good discussions going for feature requests and suggestions.

What you get in return for you efforts:
(1) BCS-460 functioning beta prototype. Firmware can be updated when the production firmware is available.
(2) temperature probes
(2) Solid state relays

If you are interested in becoming a Beta tester, please post here or PM me. Include a brief description of your system, how you intend to use the BCS-460, and how you would get fellow HBT'ers involved. If you have any questions, post on this thread and I'll answer as many as I can.

eccsynd

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Old 10-03-2008, 01:23 PM   #2
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Looks like a great system. I'd jump on it, but my methods are too basic.

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Old 10-03-2008, 01:27 PM   #3
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*jaw drops* ME! Just what I was wanting. Sadly I still need to build a stand and get all the valves. What is the price of the final product estimated to be? Wait, I don't need a stand, just the valves?! This reminds me of my Neptune Systems Aquacontroller for my reef tank, which I love.

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Old 10-03-2008, 01:41 PM   #4
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Sounds like a great deal. I wish I could help you out. I am a techno geek and love trying out new software systems.

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Old 10-03-2008, 01:52 PM   #5
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While I do have a system that this would work on, I don't know if I brew often enough to make this of use to you. How would this interface with what I have today?

Here is what I have, tell me if it will work.

HLT = Cooler with 1500 watt element installed in cooler. Pump to recirculate, no temp control, I just monitor the temp via digital probe.

MLT = Cooler that drains into heat exchanger with 1500 Watt element. I control the output of the heat exchanger with love control and use a pump for recirculation.

BK = standard Keggle with propane.

I brew about once a month with this system.

Linc

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Old 10-03-2008, 02:24 PM   #6
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I would be thrilled to take this opportunity but, unfortunately the only gas control I have is a cheap aftermarket regulator (well, that a nd Gas-X) . Out side of that I have cobbled toghether a system that meets your other criteria. My system is direct fired (all 3 tuns) and recirculatory.

Leaves HBT to go price 3 each LPG solenoids..........

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Old 10-03-2008, 07:36 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by missing link View Post
Here is what I have, tell me if it will work.
Hi Linc. Yes, it will work. Here's how I would setup your system using a BCS-460.

You are very close to the example system that I list on the website:
Embedded Control Concepts: Documentation and Example Systems

I would setup one process to control the MLT element and the pump, almost identical to the one linked above. All you'd have to do is replace the love probe with one that's compatible with the BCS. I'd also add an SSR to control the pump (do you have 2, or use the same one?), so that both are under complete control.

Then you could setup another process to control the HLT. The BCS unit can support upto 4 temperature probes, and they're cheap (~$15), so why not? A PID for the HLT is probably overkill, but it's available. The BCS can support upto 6 outputs, each under separate PID control.

With both the HLT and MLT under control of the BCS, you could log onto your system remotely via the web, and kick off the processes so your Strike and Sparge water are heated up and ready to go when you want to start brewing.

So if you're selected to receive a beta test unit, you wouldn't have to buy any additional equipment (assuming you already have at least one SSR for you elements).

eccsynd
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Last edited by eccsynd; 10-03-2008 at 07:38 PM.
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Old 10-03-2008, 07:46 PM   #8
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Looks like a good ready made solution.
Any idea what the $$$ is going to be?

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Old 10-04-2008, 03:38 PM   #9
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Although final pricing hasn't been set, I can give you an estimate. It will be somewhere between $150 - $190. I definitely want to keep it under $200 so that it can be accessible to any brewer.

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Old 10-04-2008, 04:08 PM   #10
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Sounds reasonable.

I will keep an eye on this in case I decide to move away from KISS brewing.

I build a pid/ssr system but have not managed to get it working yet.

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