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Old 02-08-2011, 01:07 PM   #11
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ranchonodinero- My neighbor bult the stand from my plans.

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Old 02-08-2011, 03:42 PM   #12
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The one I'm debating on is the switch to decide between HLT and BK for the heating element. Obviously we want to avoid turning on both at the same time, and this is one sort of safety to avoid that. I'm sure there are those who chose not to bother - anybody have any feedback on that particular item?
Your programming should take care of that.
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Old 02-08-2011, 04:26 PM   #13
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Your programming should take care of that.
That's what I was thinking.. putting in a switch to manually select which element is firing seems like it would be unnecessary - yet I seem to see it on alot of bcs panels.
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Old 02-08-2011, 04:36 PM   #14
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Hey Bruin- I built Layne's controls. His remote box connects to the main panel with a DB25 data cable. It runs power to and from the box, the sensor connections, and all the logic lines (control SSRs in the main panel). Layne's system runs on 50Amps so he can run both elements simultaneously, but we originally had a selector switch on a 30amp design. I would suggest it, but it isn't necessary. Just remember to think about what you are doing.

I was very impressed with the BCS interface.

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Old 02-08-2011, 04:56 PM   #15
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Thanks, I never thought about using a larger cable like that to carry all the signals. Was initially thinking of just bundling a few cat5 together (made my own speaker wire that way one time - turned out pretty nice). Gotta think about that part a little more, it'd be cool to use all 4 temp sensors while brewing - then just disconnect the cable and plug my fermentor and serving fridge back in to monitor those. The temp won't change much anyways - plus I still have Rancos on those for backup.

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Old 02-09-2011, 05:59 PM   #16
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That's what I was thinking.. putting in a switch to manually select which element is firing seems like it would be unnecessary - yet I seem to see it on alot of bcs panels.
I set both my elements and my pumps with 3 way auto-off-on switches. Most of the time the BCS is controlling everything, but it sure is nice to manually heat up some water or control the pumps without having to use the computer interface, or accidentally interrupting the running process. I mostly use manual control for clean up, running boiling wort through the chiller to sanitize it, and sometimes preheating the mash tun.

Brent
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Old 02-10-2011, 02:00 AM   #17
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Really nice guys, this is very helpful. Great picture of the BCS there Layne, I was wondering what it would look like if I put the BCS in a separate box and then have a bunch of RJ45 to hook that all up - sort like a wrapper around the BCS.

So, with that in mind I'll definitely add a switch for the pump to my list.

The one I'm debating on is the switch to decide between HLT and BK for the heating element. Obviously we want to avoid turning on both at the same time, and this is one sort of safety to avoid that. I'm sure there are those who chose not to bother - anybody have any feedback on that particular item?
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Your programming should take care of that.
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Originally Posted by bruin_ale View Post
That's what I was thinking.. putting in a switch to manually select which element is firing seems like it would be unnecessary - yet I seem to see it on alot of bcs panels.
If the combined load of your elements and pumps exceed the supply you have available, I would recommend a selector switch to reduce the chance of tripping a breaker.

Even if you don't use manual selector switches for your elements, you can still exceed the capacity of your circuit with the BCS. If you are very careful, you might be able to program the BCS steps and processes to avoid firing more than one element simultaneously, but there is no interlock safe guard built into the BCS to enforce that as a rule. There are no interlocks between output devices of the BCS. And if you run the BCS in manual mode, all bets are off.

If your panel is designed properly, a fuse or breaker should protect against catastrophic failure but I chose not to count on it.

I have two pumps, two 5500 watt elements, and one 1500 watt element on a 50 amp breaker. Without a selector to prevent me from firing both 5500 watt elements, I'm sure I would have tripped a breaker by now.

Good luck.


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Old 02-10-2011, 02:17 AM   #18
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Thanks Ed, I tend to agree but don't want a manual step between firing burners. I'm not as familiar with this type of electric work as I am with digital logic. I'd like to do something like this:
A = select HLT element
B = select BK element

C= BK XOR HLT

C AND A => SSR HLT
C AND B => SSR BK

Any such switch or configuration that I could use or would I need to just build the circuit myself?

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Old 02-10-2011, 06:50 PM   #19
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Okay, thought about this some more..

What about this? I'd have 3 40A SSRs
1 HLT SSR - controls HOT1 to HLT
2 BK SSR - controls HOT1 to BK
3 HLT/BK SSR - controls HOT2 to both HLT and BK

SSR 1 & 2 are just standard BCS output on one side of the coil and BCS Ground on the other.
SSR 3 would have the BCS HLT and BK outputs on the coil. Essentially, the relay is only open if current flows across the coil - so if HLT and BK are both 1 or both 0, SSR #3 is open. Elements only get power if HLT!=BK.

Would that work? Anybody see a problem with that?

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Old 02-11-2011, 01:35 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bruin_ale View Post
Okay, thought about this some more..

What about this? I'd have 3 40A SSRs
1 HLT SSR - controls HOT1 to HLT
2 BK SSR - controls HOT1 to BK
3 HLT/BK SSR - controls HOT2 to both HLT and BK

SSR 1 & 2 are just standard BCS output on one side of the coil and BCS Ground on the other.
SSR 3 would have the BCS HLT and BK outputs on the coil. Essentially, the relay is only open if current flows across the coil - so if HLT and BK are both 1 or both 0, SSR #3 is open. Elements only get power if HLT!=BK.

Would that work? Anybody see a problem with that?
You said you don't want a manual step between switching from HLT to BK heating. So are you talking about trying to control this via the BCS?

I don't know how you can build an interlock / lockout without a physical selector switch.

In my panel, all the selector switches are on the low voltage "control" side of the SSR's.

Ed
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