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-   -   Android Controlled Electric Brewery Part 1 (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f235/android-controlled-electric-brewery-part-1-a-340032/)

Adeering 07-07-2012 12:58 PM

Android Controlled Electric Brewery Part 1
 
Ive decided that instead of going a premade controller (like brewtroller or the BCS-460) Im going to program my own. I have experience with android programming (See BrewAide app) but havent worked with arduino yet. I just ordered a Arduino Uno to start playing with and learning.

The plan is to get the programming and control systems programmed and ready while im deployed and get everything ordered and ready so when I come back can put it all together.

Its going to be a modified version of a Brutus 20 system, all electric and controlled by the arduino uno (maybe mega) and my samsung 10.1 tablet.

The idea behind the control is im going to take the code I have from my android app and use it to take a beer recipe from either BeerSmith or any BeerXML format and it will load in the app and generate the required information. Next I will be able to either manually control the elements (set temps, turn on/off) and the pumps or start a sequence for either the mash or the boil and it will automatically go through a series of steps based on the recipe.

The android part will be easy to send and receive signals based on the recipe. Since ive already made the BrewAide app I have all the required code to open and read the recipes, just need to make the interface and have it send the info. Planning on using bluetooth to connect and send the inputs.

Heres what I dont know yet and will be researching/hoping for help with:
1. Controlling temp with the Arduino, I know theres a PID library so Im assuming I will use that and send a temp setting to the arduino which will then use the PID library to control the element

2. Can one Uno handle two elements and two pumps or will I need multiple arduinos or one mega

This is going to be a learning process and going to use this thread of a thinking box to get ideas and help

Build Starts on Post #40

kladue 07-07-2012 01:30 PM

Sounds interesting, but would ditch the arduino and look at a M3 cortex board to build from, same or lower price and so much more capability. If you are interested in a wireless interface then look at a Murata SN8200 module so you could link the brewing control platform to the tablet.
Having done the control hardware and software for the automation you describe, be prepared for quite a few hours of programming to make it work.

tjpfeister 07-07-2012 01:51 PM

I just built an eBrutus2.0 and my friend kept suggesting Arduno, so this is interesting to me. However, I opted for caveman PIDs out of China.. I'll stay subscribed to see how yours works out and maybe I can give a little input on the hardware end of things. Cheers!

carlisle_bob 07-07-2012 02:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kladue (Post 4232116)
Sounds interesting, but would ditch the arduino and look at a M3 cortex board to build from, same or lower price and so much more capability. If you are interested in a wireless interface then look at a Murata SN8200 module so you could link the brewing control platform to the tablet.
Having done the control hardware and software for the automation you describe, be prepared for quite a few hours of programming to make it work.

Hi

Plan on multiple arduino's if you go that route. The ARM will indeed be a better bet ....

Consider that the code will need to be pretty much stand alone. You don't want the system to go nuts when there's a wireless outage. It needs to *gracefully* handle a few other situations as well. Some of the gotcha's will be easier to handle on one cpu rather than several.

Bob

MalFet 07-07-2012 02:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kladue (Post 4232116)
Sounds interesting, but would ditch the arduino and look at a M3 cortex board to build from, same or lower price and so much more capability. If you are interested in a wireless interface then look at a Murata SN8200 module so you could link the brewing control platform to the tablet.
Having done the control hardware and software for the automation you describe, be prepared for quite a few hours of programming to make it work.

I know there's a lot of disdain for arduino in the microcontroller world, but perhaps the two statements in bold here are related. Especially for hardware novices, there's a lot to be said for the wide support base built around arduino hackery.

In any case, I built something similar to what is being described here (though I used HTTP rather than bluetooth to interface). I am a complete amateur with this stuff, but coding was far easier than I expected it to be thanks in large part to the wide availability of sample code.

MalFet 07-07-2012 02:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by carlisle_bob (Post 4232198)
Plan on multiple arduino's if you go that route. The ARM will indeed be a better bet ....

Why multiple arduinos?

kladue 07-07-2012 03:15 PM

While the Arduino platforms are popular and relevant for simple systems, the analog capabilities are not good. For those that have minimal needs stick with the Arduino, but for systems with greater complexity you run out of resources on the Arduino platform and would be better off with an Arm platform.
Having written applications in both Java and .Net, I have a very good understanding of what is needed to code for a recipe to control application that has run time access to all the recipe and control variables, and the time it takes to write, test, and debug.

MalFet 07-07-2012 03:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kladue (Post 4232288)
While the Arduino platforms are popular and relevant for simple systems, the analog capabilities are not good. For those that have minimal needs stick with the Arduino, but for systems with greater complexity you run out of resources on the Arduino platform and would be better off with an Arm platform.
Having written applications in both Java and .Net, I have a very good understanding of what is needed to code for a recipe to control application that has run time access to all the recipe and control variables, and the time it takes to write, test, and debug.

I'm not trying to doubt your expertise. In fact, quite the contrary. It's my experience that people who are very good with this stuff often forget what it was like to be looking at hardware process control design problems for the first time.

Arduinos have 10-bit adc, and I can't think of a brewing application that would benefit from more than that. The OP wants to read recipe parameters from a Bluetooth connection and use them to manage four relays, and there's no question that an Arduino can pull that off handily. As for managing an entire library of recipes, I didn't see anything in Adeering's design requirements to suggest that was even desirable, let alone necessary.

If there's a specific requirement of the OP's project that you find to be limited by the arduino hardware, I'd be interested to hear your thoughts. But, the fact that an ARM system is more powerful doesn't make it better. I've done something very similar to what is being described here, and it was a breeze to code and debug even with my very limited experience. Why move to something more complex just for the sake of complexity?

kladue 07-07-2012 04:25 PM

Looking at OP, there are more things needed than the 4 outputs listed, valving and PWM for elements.
If Arduino's meet all your needs and you do not want to expand functions as you grow the system, go for it.
IMHO it would be better to start with something that can grow as your level of experience grows with brewing automation, not spend time only to finally realize there is not enough code room, inputs, outputs or resolution to expand.

MalFet 07-07-2012 04:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kladue (Post 4232436)
Looking at OP, there are more things needed than the 4 outputs listed, valving and PWM for elements.
If Arduino's meet all your needs and you do not want to expand functions as you grow the system, go for it.
IMHO it would be better to start with something that can grow as your level of experience grows with brewing automation, not spend time only to finally realize there is not enough code room, inputs, outputs or resolution to expand.

Or he could just hop up to an Arduino Mega and not even need to change his pin-out configurations.

I understand what's involved in this setup because, as I keep saying, I've done something very similar to it. On an arduino. Not only can it be done, it can be done without much sweat.

To the OP, if you someday want your controller to browse the HBD archives looking for recipes it thinks you might like and play Counterstrike with you while you wait for your mash to finish, you should start with something more powerful than an Arduino. If, on the other hand, you want a clean and user-friendly way of doing what you've described here with plenty of sample code, a supportive community, and ample room to expand, Arduinos are a great way to go. Let me know if I can help you in any way. :mug:


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