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Old 06-06-2013, 03:47 PM   #1
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Default Help Deciding what what Hardware I want to learn (Arduino or RPi)

If this is redundant i apologize as I tried to search first before posting. I am in the planning stages of a PC driven brewing system. It will be HERMS with 2, 5500w elements.

I have a spot in the basement dedicated to be a brewing room, and I want to start getting rough Ideas for what I want to do. I really like the controllers at Brewmaster Controls but Im on a budget and cant drop the 2500 + cables outright. I will have to build it and get one piece at a time. Besides I want to learn to do this because i like to build this kind of stuff.. its almost as fun as brewing.

I see that that specific controller uses the Arduino UNO as a heart that controls the SSRs and includes a data logging tool. I really like the way that's set up but I have been reading a lot about the Raspberry Pi model B and it sounds really fun also.

I know very little about how to use / program them but im willing to dedicate time to learn one of them really well but Im not sure which would be the best option for me. Below is the list of must haves.. maybe it will help you guys suggest which chipset to learn.

======================================
Must Haves:

-Must control 2 heating elements with PID control to a SSR

-Include at least 3-4 Temperature sensors to go in the vessels and
possibly one to control the cold side fermentation fridge.

- Must include a data logging tool i can parse or email graphs to myself for records.

- I want to drive it with either my laptop or a 10" touchscreen mounted into a panel.
======================================

Thanks for taking the time to read this long winded post and offer advice on what I need to research... I really appreciate it!!

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Old 06-07-2013, 01:44 PM   #2
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Nobody has any insight into which I should purchase first to learn?

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Old 06-07-2013, 02:27 PM   #3
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Arduino would be a good place to start if you haven't programmed before. You could get both.

Use the arduino for the "Temperature control side" and then use the Pi to do the data logging and user interface stuff.

The Pi stuff
I currently use Arduino to control my HERMS and Fermentation chamber. The Arduino spits out data to Linux laptop that uses python to parse the arduino data to file and also mysql database for the user interface that runs on webpage via apache.

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Old 06-07-2013, 02:58 PM   #4
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Thanks, I'll get an arduino. I've done some programming classes through my engineering curriculum but it was visual basic.

are the cheap china knock offs just as good? I can get one for about half cost of the Italian board.

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Old 06-07-2013, 03:07 PM   #5
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I have always gotten the real "Arduino" board so no experience with the knockoffs.

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Old 06-08-2013, 05:52 AM   #6
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It really depends on what you want to do. If you want to have a headless controller with an 2 x 20 LCD display and a few buttons for the interface, then go with the Arduino. There is plenty of stuff out there, like libraries and programming examples, to make interfacing with temperature probes and relays/SSRs a pretty easy task. If you want web control, the RPi is the way to go. You could get an Arduino with an ethernet shield, the the combo is more expensive than an RPi and you have significantly less memory and CPU to work with. I have both and I can see the advantages and disadvantages to both platforms. The Arduino is really great for interfacing with temp probes and relays/SSRs. Its modest memory and speed puts certain limitations on the user interface. The RPi is great for its user interface (via web primarily), but it doesn't have any built-in DAC/ADCs, so interfacing with temperature probes is a bit more work. Or you can go with the best of both worlds:

http://www.buttcrackbrewery.com/2012...roller-part-2/

Jim's system uses an RPi with an Arduino Teensy 3.0 board, which gives the strengths of Debian/Xnix and web/ethernet control of the RPi and real world interface capabilities of the Arduino. This approach takes advantage of the 1-Wire devices (e.g. the DS18B20 temperature probes and DS2406 1-wire switches) to interface with the real world and provide a convenient web-based user interface. In theory, you could do pretty much all you need with 1-wire devices connected to the RPi's GPIO pins. HobbyBoards.com also has a USB to 1-wire solution to allow the RPi to interface with the 1-wire network ("mini-LAN"). But, Jim's approach seems cleaner to me.

As for the Arduino knock-offs, I stick with the real thing. The real deal is pretty cheap, and you know that anything you find out there for Arduino will be compatible.

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Old 06-08-2013, 02:05 PM   #7
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Take a look at my TeensyPi project.

I've purchased arduino knock-offs from SeedStudios and Freetronics, and they are both top notch.

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Old 06-09-2013, 01:49 PM   #8
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Thanks for the references, I asked about the knock offs because the ones I saw still had the arduino logo and it was misleading. The only way to tell the difference was the knockoffs say designed in Italy instead of made in Italy.

I bought a real one and I'm working on learning it. I've been looking for an RPi on eBay.. I would like to drive the automation with arduino and drive the arduino and software with RPi.

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Old 06-10-2013, 04:01 AM   #9
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Adafruit usually has the RPi in stock, as well as Element14

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Old 06-12-2013, 01:52 AM   #10
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I'll join in the above recommendations. Start with the Arduino to get yourself brewing, add the RPi for a fancy interface later.

Also, I backed the "UDOO" Kickstarter program. It's a merger of the two: a dual or qaud core RPi with an imbedded Arduino Due. They are due to ship in September.

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