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Old 09-08-2013, 10:00 AM   #1
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Default Fat kid at a doughnut shop - which controller?

The question?
Which controller should I get, BT or BCS or Pi? Have any of you bought one and wished you had the other? During brew day are you wishing you had more or less? Which features on brew day seem to be the most important ones when considering the system? What features should I be considering that ended up making your decision?

Set up
I have 3 welded fitting keggle on 30 amp sys. I already have the elements, 5500w. I have both a 110 rims tube and welded in a set up for herms. Not sure which one i am going to use in the end or the logic to have both. 2 pumps currently thinking about going with a 3rd.

Back story.
I was going to build a Kal clone (sorry Kal looks like I'm going more automated), but then started to really look around at all the options for cool control panels. At first looked at the BCS and thought that would be my system. Looks like I could do everything I wanted. I wasn't into water levels and some of the more customizable features. Then like most of us, the thoughts on how cool it would be to have that kind of automated brew bling started creaping in. So then I started thinking about moving into the BrewTroller side and checking out how Black Heart did his set up. So I have read the 8 or so threads about the differences of the 2 systems and how they work on your opinions. Seems like the BCS guys are very outspoken over the BT guys and Pi is just sitting in the corner.
My dad is a electrical engineer and I know a ton about web interface, so woring and programing arent really issues.
I am excited about making a real kick ass visual for web access of the controller. I'm thinking about making it bootstrap so it will look amazing on any device and run like a raped ape. Maybe pulling the data logging into ruby... Anyway that is after this first step.



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Old 09-09-2013, 07:00 AM   #2
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If you're sticking to the fat kid/donut shop simile, you need to buy all three and feel sick afterward.



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Old 09-09-2013, 01:58 PM   #3
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If you are into the web interface side of things I would suggest the BrewTroller is not for you. The embedded microcontroller under the hood will probably not be powerful enough for what you want to do, and the firmware development seems to be lagging.

If you are rolling your own system, you might want to consider BeagleBone Black which has similar price and capabilities as the Pi but more I/O options.

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Old 09-09-2013, 02:42 PM   #4
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Have you considered PLC control? These systems are just a microcontroller emulation of a PLC.

My biggest question would be your budget?

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Old 09-09-2013, 03:45 PM   #5
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Quote:
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These systems are just a microcontroller emulation of a PLC.
Hope you're hungry gutboy, because here come the man selling 10 foot high donuts.
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Old 09-10-2013, 01:37 AM   #6
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I would like to keep the control unit under $400. All the other accoutrements can be expensive as they want. I have time on my side and some disposable budget to work with.

I will check out the other ones you guys suggested.

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Old 09-10-2013, 04:10 AM   #7
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For that money you will have to DIY, but you probably wanted to anyway.

The Teensy-Pi thread should give you some ideas.

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Old 09-10-2013, 11:59 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alien
For that money you will have to DIY, but you probably wanted to anyway.

The Teensy-Pi thread should give you some ideas.
Thanks, I like all of them so far. Each day I keep thinking I'll decide and I haven't yet. I think the ultimate decision will be centered around programming functionality. The more "plug and play" aspects.

So I have a manual ball valve before my sparse arm right now. Are their ball valves that can be partially closed? I just thought about that piece of my set up.
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Old 09-10-2013, 02:18 PM   #9
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Quote:
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I would like to keep the control unit under $400. All the other accoutrements can be expensive as they want. I have time on my side and some disposable budget to work with.

I will check out the other ones you guys suggested.
Yeah. DIY is the way to go.

My PLC control panel build is just under $2000, but will last a lifetime with parts that are essentially swappable.
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Old 09-10-2013, 03:59 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muhteeus

Yeah. DIY is the way to go.

My PLC control panel build is just under $2000, but will last a lifetime with parts that are essentially swappable.
Do you have images of your system? How was the interface to build? I'm building a panel right now that will work without a brain. I wanted to try a manual brew to make sure it's capable of a full manual brew day.


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