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Old 10-10-2011, 04:42 PM   #11
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Can a laptop with the correct setup eliminate the need for a big traditional controler
you need 3 things: the hardware (your kettles, heaters, burners, whatever), individual sensors and/or actuators (relays, contactors, switches, electronic valves, sensors...), and something to control those input/output devices so they all work together (computer software, hardware PLC, some type of controller that everything hooks into).

the big traditional controller and the laptop both serve the function of "something to control the input/output devices so they all work together", so yes you can interchange them. normally most people have the relays and sensors built into this device as well, so those will have to have their own separate enclosure if you want to use a laptop, but the idea is the same.
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Old 10-10-2011, 07:23 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by movet22 View Post
Ok, so please forgive me for moving slowly, this is a lot to absorb.

That being said, two questions: Can a laptop with the correct setup eliminate the need for a big traditional controler (ala Kal's)? And is there a wiring diagram set up that is out there now that incorporates one of these brewing softwares?

I'd love to be able to run my rig with an old acer netbook that is collecting dust.
No, it may not be as big. You laptop/controller is still controlling the SSR's, Contactors, Relays, and what not. There is no way around it.
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Old 10-11-2011, 12:58 AM   #13
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How far have you gone with the HMI software package?
I was able tonight to get everything to work properly. I just had to manipulate the ladder logic in-favor of the hmi software. So pretty much every switch or button or input needs to have a comparable bit that the hmi can energize and manipulate the same way as the input device.

The output is pretty simple you just assign the plc address to the output in Visual Basic, and the Inputs you assign a bit to energize in Visual Basic.



I'm having issues with the latest release of the code, but the previous version is running great, there are just less built in tools.
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Old 10-11-2011, 01:52 AM   #14
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Ah, the joys of ladder logic and programming, hardware I use does not have any software support anymore so I had to create my own. The brewing software has evolved to the point that it can handle the entire brewing process from start to finish, build recipe, load grain and hops, connect fermenter, then touch auto run icon.

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