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Old 01-30-2014, 08:31 PM   #1
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Default BCS/Brewer's Hardware Beef

Let me first say - I really do like my BCS. Once you understand how to program the system, it's a snap to reconfigure and because it runs off-line you can just start a process and walk away. Nice. . . Really looking forward to the 4.0 upgrades that have been talked about.

My beef is really with Brewer's hardware - I think. Not to be confused with Brew Hardware - Bobby's done well by me!! I bought my BCS460 several years back along with 4-5 white cabled thermoprobes. They aren't particularly sturdy (pretty crappy to be honest), but they're decent enough if you're careful. Well I wasn't, and I eventually broke the wiring right where the cable enters the probe body. Total loss (and yes I tried to get inside). So, no big deal, right? Just jump on-line at BH and order replacements. Problem is - and this wasn't obvious until I ran a firmware update on my BCS (another beef for another time ), the new probes are not the same as the old ones. They have a different transistor and the coefficients are actually different. WTF?? Why was this change made? This means I need to keep track of which probe I'm using and change the coeffs in the system settings file every time I plug in a probe. Dumb. . .

The good news was I was able to create two system.cfg files. One uses the new probes (and their coeffs) and runs my brewery; the other uses the white probes (and a different set of coeffs) to run my fermenters. The bad news is, I'm one broken/bad probe away from being screwed on the fermenter side, and these probes ain't cheap!

Ok. Rant over. Call this a PSA for BCS probes. Perhaps someone out there will read this thread and have an ahhh - that's why my probes are way off - moment. I did. . .

Thanks for listening (reading)
PLOVE

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Old 01-30-2014, 10:03 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PLOVE View Post
The bad news is, I'm one broken/bad probe away from being screwed on the fermenter side, and these probes ain't cheap!
Not really. How about $5 per probe -
http://www.ebay.com/itm/1m-NTC-Therm...-/400618558583
or
http://www.ebay.com/itm/waterproof-t...-/171199824174

If you gonna have it dirty cheap ($0.2 per piece) you can make it yourself. You just need a thermistor - http://www.ebay.com/itm/10pcs-10k-OH...-/140748275841

Just solder 2 wires and put it in SS or copper tube. Then seal you probe with silicon. To make it react faster add some thermal paste on thermistor head before inserting it in a thermowell.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-Thermal-...-/350791740134
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Old 01-30-2014, 10:12 PM   #3
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Before Brewers Hardware (BH) bought BCS/ECC, the probes from ECC were as you said "aren't particularly sturdy". At that time you could also buy the custom probes from BH, but you needed to manually set your coefficients. Once BH bought BCS/ECC, it didn't make sense to continue to supply the crappy probes when they already had their own. The BH probes are much better built and come in way more configurations. I was at their place a couple of weeks ago and saw some new ones that even have a built-in quick disconnect on the end of the probe. Those were sweet!

Yeah, it's a PIA if you're on the old ones and mixing new ones, but that's how progress works.

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Old 01-30-2014, 11:06 PM   #4
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I'm thinking that if you're going to build your own, $2 for the real deal is more of a bargain than getting $.02 chinese ones that will lead to the same missmatch of coefficients the OP has issues with.

https://www.brewershardware.com/THERM10KNTC-1.0.html

Just my $.02

That's what I'm doing.

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Old 01-31-2014, 12:12 AM   #5
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I'm thinking that if you're going to build your own, $2 for the real deal is more of a bargain than getting $.02 chinese ones that will lead to the same missmatch of coefficients the OP has issues with.

https://www.brewershardware.com/THERM10KNTC-1.0.html

Just my $.02

That's what I'm doing.

ha-ha If you take a look to page you mentioned it says
"Vishay 10K NTC Thermistor"
And Vishay is a Chinese manufacturer. So you actually buying the same chines parts just 10 times more expensive.
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Old 01-31-2014, 02:06 AM   #6
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Quote:
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ha-ha If you take a look to page you mentioned it says
"Vishay 10K NTC Thermistor"
And Vishay is a Chinese manufacturer. So you actually buying the same chines parts just 10 times more expensive.
No you are wrong!... they are 100x more expensive!
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Old 01-31-2014, 05:50 AM   #7
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Cool about the sensors. I priced out a similar build months ago (don't recall BH selling sensors) and digikey was selling the silly 10k transistors for like $8 a piece. By time I added tubing, wire, and silicone for another $5, it was cheaper (time and labor) to buy them. $2 sensors are a game changer. I can see setting up a vice and cranking out 8-10 to have on standby.

And yes, I do really like the new BH sensors. I just wish these were standard when I first purchased my BCS. Complaining - yes; Ranting - yes. . . but I'm also brewing 20 gal of bourbon porter that will go in my new free to me oak barrel. Nothing could be sweater. . .

Looking forward to good thing form BCS. Thanks for the great solutions!

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Old 01-31-2014, 12:38 PM   #8
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By the way, Vishay (a highly reputable manufacturer) is not Chinese. It is listed on the NYSE. The HQ is just down the road from me in Malvern PA.

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Old 01-31-2014, 03:00 PM   #9
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Quote:
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And Vishay is a Chinese manufacturer. So you actually buying the same chines parts just 10 times more expensive.
Sure about that?
http://www.vishay.com/company/about/

I think it is more about precision than country of origin. BH sensors are 1%. EBay from China are rated 5%-10%.
So, if you don't mind mashing at 164F or 142F, saving $1.98 makes sense.

But, if you don't mind splurging, Vishay here for $0.14, from ex-commies.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/20x-Vishay-p...-/221353284428

Bottom line, a couple of bucks to avoid PLOVE's agony seems money well spent.

**edit**dangit, Alien beat me to it. never type before bed and submit when you get up
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Old 01-31-2014, 03:18 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brumateur View Post
ha-ha If you take a look to page you mentioned it says

"Vishay 10K NTC Thermistor"

And Vishay is a Chinese manufacturer. So you actually buying the same chines parts just 10 times more expensive.

So buying a Toyota is the same as buying a Subaru because they are both Japanese? Heck I might as well buy a VW and put BMW emblems on it for that matter. Save me over half the cost of an M3.
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