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Old 02-06-2013, 06:19 PM   #1
nickdude
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Default Help Finding Automation Circuits Learning Materials

I'm really interested in learning the basics of automation circuitry and figured that a good application would be to merge that with my love of home brewing.

I have some background with circuits, and am comfortable working with power but could really use some intro sites that go step by step through even building a simple on off automated circuit.

If I understand the basics correctly, a PC or a microcontroller is used to trip SSR's which power the components while looping over the on/off logic (or more complicated logic) to determine if these switches should be open or closed thus controlling pumps, heating elements and valves.

If anybody can tell me if I'm headed down the right path, or can lead me to an appropriate starting point, it would be much appreciated.

Thanks,

nickdude



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Old 02-08-2013, 06:11 AM   #2
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Nickdude,
Have a look at All ABout Circuits, and Elactr Tech Online. Those two will supply ideas galore and help with the technical and electrical circuits required to make them work properly. I have been studying electronics at home through the first one and I can tell you that it is a complete training class from beginning to end and will spark your imagination to new and better ideas everytime you visit that site. If you need more help LMK and I will give you some more of the links I use regularly to build all kinds of devices for home, shop, brewery and plasma table.
Bob



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Old 02-08-2013, 09:16 AM   #3
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I think the arduino would be a good place to start personally. They even sell them at Radio Shack now, and there are a ton of projects you can do with them. Fairly inexpensive too.

You can start out with simple circuits, just turnimg leds on and off at first. It isn't much of a step to then scale it up to control actual hardware.

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Old 02-10-2013, 06:05 PM   #4
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Arduino is fast becoming the default go to small chip for easy developement and prototyping. I have been using Picaxe but am rapidly changing my mind about that platform since the arduino platform is extremely well supported and there are code snipa everywhere now to cobble together and get a working device. If you haven;t already invested take a good long hard look at them because they are very easy to write code for, have a huge open source library and have a ton of BOB's and shields already available that do not require any tinkering to get them to operate properly. I think you can get into Arduio with a programmer, cable, free software and all the misc parts you will need for right around 100 buck and that includes a very nice selection of basic parts to get started. Then Ebay becomes your chinese freind for the cheap boards you can order with no freight and cheap pricing. Never has a bad component or board from china yet and I have ordered over 1000 different parts already as a ninimum, probably more if I really counted everything in my parts stock in my lab. Hope this helps you find a direction and that you get a project going soon.
Wheelchair Bob

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Old 02-11-2013, 02:21 PM   #5
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Thanks guys, I really appreciate the feedback. I asked for an Ardrino starter kit for a birthday gift and I'm hoping it arrives shortly.

My thought is to do something relatively simple like kick on the heating element until it reaches strike temperature, and turn off. I'll work my way up from there, but I'm really excited to get started.



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