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Old 07-04-2012, 04:08 PM   #11
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Not trying to pick a fight... this is my opinion:
I actually priced out all the components including the stainless box and the more expensive PID used. Including labor the price is actually reasonable for a plug and play product. Building a unit to be generic is more challenging. The one factor that is often overlooked is the labor and other costs. Not everyone has the time or skills to build their own. I think the ToP is a good product. And I'm not a Blichmann fan.
Hi

Don't forget the big pile of "extra stuff" that's now sitting in the garage. I have been doing stuff like this for a *long* time and there's never ever been a project that used exactly and only the parts I bought for it. Then there's the tools. Then there's the $400 mistakes ....

Bob
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Old 07-04-2012, 04:17 PM   #12
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Hi

Don't forget the big pile of "extra stuff" that's now sitting in the garage. I have been doing stuff like this for a *long* time and there's never ever been a project that used exactly and only the parts I bought for it. Then there's the tools. Then there's the $400 mistakes ....

Bob
Hi hear ya bro! Gone through a lot of parts getting our systems to where they are today and we are just getting started. Valves, plumbing, switches, scrap steel.... Fortunately, we have a much better idea nowadays and 'most' stands are cut and dry.
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Old 07-09-2012, 07:47 PM   #13
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Yeah, this is just a preliminary list of stuff, so that hopefully when I start building it I have most of the items and minimize the time waiting on parts to arrive.

update to the plan...Hardware wise the plan is the same, still doing an electric Brutus 20, however, ive decided to play with Arduino and make the controller from scratch with an Arduino Mega ADK, and use my Android Tablet as a user interface. There will be manual controls for when the android tablet isnt used as well. Ive started ordering the internal parts to start building the controller and going to take that with me when a deploy and work on the coding and wiring while over there. So when i come back all I have to do is plug it up and it will be good to go.

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Old 07-10-2012, 12:55 AM   #14
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Hi

I think I'd take along a minimal set of "play parts" to let you validate your code and your approach. You never know what may get lost 7 or 8 time zones away from home.

Put another way - take only what you can afford to break / loose / destroy.

Bob

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Old 07-10-2012, 01:54 AM   #15
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Thats the plan, just bringing the basics, the switches and gonna use leds to represent the pumps and elements while testing, was already bringing my tablet so that isnt anything new

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Old 07-10-2012, 02:11 AM   #16
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Adeering,
When I went downrange to Iraq, I took a couple of developement boards and a few basic parts and did pretty much what you are describing. When I got back my ATHC torch height controller was nearly complete. It definately made time go by quicker too. Good luck, keep yer head down and look out for your battle buddy.
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Sparkfun also ships to soldiers and deplyed civilians too. They have a huge Arduino library and a ton of Arduino boards and parts. Just in case you need to order anything while youre down range.

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Old 07-10-2012, 02:29 AM   #17
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So quick question about SSRs and the Arduino, are SSRs capable of variable output. And can using the PWM outputs to control the percent power given to the element so that the elements can control the amount of heat.

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Old 07-10-2012, 09:27 AM   #18
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SSR are capable of variable AC output and use DC volts for the most part to turn on and off. You can order SSR's with different on/off voltages, AC or DC in and out, with or without a pre-attatched heat sinks and in many different available amp ratings. Look carefully when you start getting ready to buy and insure your Input (control) voltage is suitable (5V DC nominal for Arduino) and your output voltages are in the correct range and do ot exceed the available amps. SSR's are also capable of fast switching and have a zero crossing sensor to help ease the current inrush. Also remember that the Arduino chip can only put out X milliamps (see datasheet) before it shuts down the output or fries the chip. With any inductive load like a coil or motor you should have at least one freewheeling diode to avoid damage to the chip too. You can demo anything you want with LED's, but keep the max limits of the current you will be able to supply. Most chips limit all loads combined to a max of 120 Milliamps or 20 Milli per pin. Darlington transistor array's and other transistor used as a switch is a common way of getting around the milliamp limits on the chip, and it also helps isolate the chip from inrush damage too. Holler if you need any help.
Wheelchair Bob

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Old 07-10-2012, 11:30 AM   #19
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Ok thanks, for now I think Ill be fine with the stuff im testing and using to develop, but Im sure ill have some wiring questions to make sure I dont screw anything up when I get back and start putting the real stuff together.

On another note it sucks waiting for packages, have the switches coming from china (gonna have to wait a few weeks for those hopefully they make it before I leave), the Arduino Mega ADK coming tomorrow along with a breadboard and wiring kit and various resistors and leds to get started, A LCD screen and two temp probes. So should be enough to do a mockup with the switches and temp probes to turn on various leds for testing.

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Old 07-11-2012, 10:34 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Rbeckett View Post
SSR are capable of variable AC output and use DC volts for the most part to turn on and off. You can order SSR's with different on/off voltages, AC or DC in and out, with or without a pre-attatched heat sinks and in many different available amp ratings. Look carefully when you start getting ready to buy and insure your Input (control) voltage is suitable (5V DC nominal for Arduino) and your output voltages are in the correct range and do ot exceed the available amps.
Ok so if I understand this right the control input can determine the amount of output?

So for use with a Digital output on an Arduino which is capable of 40mA and 5 VDC what would be needed. Based on my wiring (got from P-J adapting to use only 2 elements, 2 pumps, and the arduino) what would you suggest for an SSR
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