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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Automated Brewing Forum > Low cost automation
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Old 03-23-2013, 03:11 AM   #1
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Default Low cost automation

Hello All,

I have access to several 32 and 64 bit laptop computers that my dept is retiring that I could use as my controller. My question is, Ive seen alot of Linux based controllers,but is there any low cost Windows based brewing automation software. I am looking to control temp and run some timers for alerts and other automation. Ideas?

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Old 03-23-2013, 03:58 AM   #2
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I haven't seen any, but then again, I have not found much in the way of Linux control software for regular desktop/laptop computers either. Most of what I have seen is for Aduinos and the like. I too have access to such machines, and have wondered if I could make them work. What did you find for Linux software that would work on the laptops?

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Old 03-23-2013, 04:11 AM   #3
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My experience with Linux is 10+ old, but I thought I thought most distros would run on this hardware. If so, what kind of software and controllers do I need to look at?

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Old 03-23-2013, 05:59 PM   #4
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I run Linux Mint on an older machine in my basement shop/brewspace. I have not used if for controlling brewing. I have Auber PIDs for the gas valves for the HLT and MLT, stlll being installed in my spare time. It seems like there ought to be full automation software out there for Linux on a PC, but I have not seen it.

Have you seen this thread? It explored that question. http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/moni...-cheap-240955/

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Old 03-27-2013, 02:53 PM   #5
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I came here to post a new thread, but this one fits what I have to share:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/...e-boa?ref=live

This seems like it has a lot of potential in a lot of ways, but naturally I thought of brewing first.

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Old 03-27-2013, 04:40 PM   #6
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The software is one thing, but you also have to consider how to interface the inputs and outputs.

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Old 12-04-2013, 10:05 PM   #7
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Default Easybrew software

Quote:
Originally Posted by xblazermnx View Post
Hello All,

I have access to several 32 and 64 bit laptop computers that my dept is retiring that I could use as my controller. My question is, Ive seen alot of Linux based controllers,but is there any low cost Windows based brewing automation software. I am looking to control temp and run some timers for alerts and other automation. Ideas?
Hi,
do you know easybrew?
It's a free automation project of mash in brewing process using arduino.
if you like visit official website of easybrew
easybrewscreen.png  
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Old 12-04-2013, 10:12 PM   #8
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Quote:
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The software is one thing, but you also have to consider how to interface the inputs and outputs.
I agree alien.
Most of the linux brewery controllers I would suspect are based either of the Raspberry Pi or Beaglebones Black control boards - both of which give easy access to GPIO.
There is the Labjack hardware but a quick check puts even the basic module at 2-3x the price of RPi / BBB.
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Old 12-16-2013, 07:20 PM   #9
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I made a brewery controller and GUI that used windows and a USB 1wire dongle to interface with ds18b20 temp sensors and then a ds2408 addressable switch for SSR control. Worked okay but I now run it off if a raspberry pi with a web interface. The limitation I ran into was that the 1wire interface is too slow to do PWM if you are trying to emulate a PID control. Still works in a pinch though!

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Old 12-17-2013, 08:56 PM   #10
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The limitation I ran into was that the 1wire interface is too slow to do PWM if you are trying to emulate a PID control. Still works in a pinch though!
Yes, I wouldn't necessarily want to design it that way but if it was the only option I don't think it would be disastrous, you'd just need a fairly long cycle time.

The old fashioned way to control things from out the back of a PC was using the parallel port.

An intriguing option is to use the VGA port as an I2C connector (cost: the price of a hacked monitor cable) and then expand to 16 I/O pins using a MCP23017 or similar. Apparently it doesn't work on windows though, or newer Macs.

Going back to the Cro Magnon era, BBC Micros were very good for this sort of thing.
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