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Old 10-15-2010, 04:13 PM   #21
kal
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Never let out the magic smoke!

Ok, in all seriousness, I need some feedback on the wiring diagrams I'm working on now.

The whole thing could be done in one big schematic but a lot of people have told me they don't understand them. Makes sense as the symbols can and will be confusing to anyone who doesn't have electronics experience.

My intent is over a series of a dozen or so pictures, show exactly what size and colour wires to place between which connection point using regular part pictures using only a few wires at a time. The reader doesn't have to know how to read a schematic.

For example, here's the power input portion that shows how the power key switch, power light, and main power input relay operate:



To summarize: Turn the power key switch ON allows 120V to pass through the coil in the relay closing the relay which in turn supplies power to HOT and NEUTRAL bars which are used to power various low power 120V devices such as the power light.

Is that straightforward and clear?

Where connectors are important, I label them. Where they don't matter there's no label. For example, the power light has 2 connectors but it doesn't matter which wire goes where.

(Assume you have all the parts installed already [as per earlier instructions]and you've been shown how to crimp spades on to the wires).

I would then go on to the next image which would cover a different set of wires, and so on...

Feedback appreciated!

Kal

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Old 10-15-2010, 05:04 PM   #22
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It easily understandable, but when you label the key switch connections, you assume they bought the same key switch as you used. Same with the contactor.

I can't really think of a better way to build a diagram that's "Idiot proof", but it's dangerous. I could see someone (That shouldn't be wiring a panel anyway) blindly connecting a hot wire to another hot wire on a 2 pole contactor because the numbers matched the drawing.

I think the ability to read a schematic of a switch, and properly translate that to where to screw a wire into a real device is critical before anyone should even think about attempting a build with this kind of current...

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What does the primary pressure gauge on the tank tell us? That's right, the temperature. Put it on a scale if you want to know how much is in it...
Put some duct tape over the gauge - Or better yet - Replace the high pressure gauge with a plug - High pressure gauges are useless!
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Old 10-15-2010, 05:16 PM   #23
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I agree with Sweet. Anyone who can't read a proper schematic or at least have the level of knowledge to be able to figure it out, scares the crap out of me trying something even close to a full blown panel build.

Helping someone put together a tool box for a pump and a single PID is one thing (white goes here, that's neutral, then attach black here, etc.), but once it goes to this scale, I really think some knowledge is a really good idea. I mean these panels cost thousands of dollars, not something I throw away on an electrical fire or fried e-circuit...

Of course do as you like, but I wouldn't post a "dumbies" (no offense meant) version of your schematic. Some people think that is a "code-nazi" attitude, but I know a fair deal about circuits and EE and even I have blown up my fair share of electronics. Just not something to be messed with IMO.

Also, as Sweet said, a schematic is easily used by someone who does know what they are doing and adapted to the parts they are actually using.

I am sure your writeup will be immaculate and detailed either way. Awesome stuff.

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Old 10-15-2010, 05:35 PM   #24
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It easily understandable, but when you label the key switch connections, you assume they bought the same key switch as you used. Same with the contactor.
Good point. I do say (and link) earlier to purchase a key switch with one normally open contactor. I think what I'll do is remove the 3 and 4 labels. There are only 2 connection points on a single contactor switch so there's no reason to label them. I'll just leave the "NO contact block text" below.

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Originally Posted by SweetSounds View Post
I can't really think of a better way to build a diagram that's "Idiot proof", but it's dangerous. I could see someone (That shouldn't be wiring a panel anyway) blindly connecting a hot wire to another hot wire on a 2 pole contactor because the numbers matched the drawing.

I think the ability to read a schematic of a switch, and properly translate that to where to screw a wire into a real device is critical before anyone should even think about attempting a build with this kind of current..
You bring up a good point and one that I've been labouring over for months: Am I opening up a can of worms here? How idiot proof do I want to make this? If it's truly so straightforward to follow that someone with absolutely no knowledge or respect for electricity can built it, is that a good thing? I think not.

Kal
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Old 10-15-2010, 05:47 PM   #25
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I agree Kal,

And while you literally inspired me to build my own (Your pic of the control panel was my wallpaper for a couple months ) AND your documentation is as beautiful as it is accurate, I might draw the line at publishing anything BUT a real schematic. There really is no other way to present 100% detail on how your system is wired.

That, and a clear disclaimer that without the exact same part numbers, in the exact same configuration, none if it is useful for any more than a guide. And then there may be errors in the presented documentation.

I doubt anyone here would build to your specs, then go after you if they jacked something up. But you're publishing this to the vast interwebz... That's a scary place where you can find sheep in ba-a-ad positions, Brett Farve's wang, and thousands of posts on other forums made by "Electrical genius" type people...

Edit:
I want to reiterate how incredibly cool your build is! And the documentation is going to be a close reference as I build mine.

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What does the primary pressure gauge on the tank tell us? That's right, the temperature. Put it on a scale if you want to know how much is in it...
Put some duct tape over the gauge - Or better yet - Replace the high pressure gauge with a plug - High pressure gauges are useless!
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Old 10-15-2010, 05:48 PM   #26
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I'll admire from afar. We all can't have kick ass breweries.

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Old 10-15-2010, 06:01 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by kal View Post
Good point. I do say (and link) earlier to purchase a key switch with one normally open contactor. I think what I'll do is remove the 3 and 4 labels. There are only 2 connection points on a single contactor switch so there's no reason to label them. I'll just leave the "NO contact block text" below.



You bring up a good point and one that I've been labouring over for months: Am I opening up a can of worms here? How idiot proof do I want to make this? If it's truly so straightforward to follow that someone with absolutely no knowledge or respect for electricity can built it, is that a good thing? I think not.

Kal
Kal,

I'm fairly comfortable with electrical concepts, but learned a ton during my build.

When I built my panel, I asked for input and advise. CodeRage spent hours, reviewing my work, asking questions, and making suggestions. I'd bet he could have drawn the wiring diagram in a tenth the time he spent "teaching" me how to do it. In the end, I am VERY grateful that he did.
I now understand EVERY wire and connection in my panel. There is not a single connection point that is there just because "that's the way the picture looked". The real benefit is that if/when something in my panel "gives up the smoke", I'll be able to understand how to troubleshoot it.

I really appreciate all the hard work you have put into sharing your design and ideas with others.

Personally, I don't think you can make a project this complicated idiot proof.

Ed
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Old 10-15-2010, 06:01 PM   #28
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Quote:
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Am I opening up a can of worms here? How idiot proof do I want to make this?
In order to become proficient in understanding electric brewing, I am borrowing some books on home wiring and basic electrical theory. I sure as heck hope that no one would just wing it, but I've seen a few pretty frightening setups so far so I know that people are.

I hate to say it, but the first 'I burned my house down with electric brewing' thread cannot be too far off.

If I can't read schematics, then I need to teach myself how to do it--or enlist someone to help.

I think you should put some disclaimer stuff on your control panel page and warn people to leave this part to the pros, etc. The truth is, the HBT world can benefit from your work--but you wouldn't want someone thinking they can just attach wire a to wire b and make a setup. Not to mention the myriad questions you'll get when someone's switch doesn't match your diagram to a 'T' I can see all the 'Help me Kal!!!' threads now. :-)

I guess what I am saying is, you can idiot proof anything...but the idiot.
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Old 10-15-2010, 06:06 PM   #29
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Excellent documentation. I'd have to agree with some of the others. I think it's great to explain how each component works and provide tips but providing idiot proof schematics is a line I would not cross. Like someone else said, if they need schematics provided to them, they aren't competent yet.

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Old 10-16-2010, 01:48 AM   #30
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Thanks for the comments guys.

I think I'll still show wiring but I'll make sure it's somewhat generic so that people have to think.

Having pictures I think will be useful when I explain the basic concepts on how the circuits work. People can then refer to the diagrams.

I updated the original diagram:



I've also been working on two others:





Remember that these diagrams will be 'talking points' to my text. My text will explain generally how it works. Someone should feel confident that they understand the theory and then be able to wire it up themselves even without the picture. The picture will serve to illustrate my reasoning.

Kal

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