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Old 03-02-2013, 02:23 PM   #1
sgraham602
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Default PID controller build

Can anyone point me in the direction of a good resource on how to build a PID controller for a direct fired mash tun? I'd like to make a set up with a gas solenoid that will auto fire my mash tun burner.

Is it hard to do? (I have very little electrical experience)



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Old 03-02-2013, 03:02 PM   #2
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I am in the process of doing the same thing, I have read nearly every thread out thread out there, and still feel a little lost



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Old 03-02-2013, 05:48 PM   #3
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Conceptually it is easy enough to do but the details are bound to prove burdensome especially if you have no electronics and coding experience. The algorithm has been implemented in many ways over the years (pneumatically, for instance) but I can't imagine doing it any way other than in an Arduino or similar 'computer' today.

The first step is to understand the algorithm itself. The Wikipedia article should serve as an introduction.

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Old 03-02-2013, 06:10 PM   #4
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Hold on. If I get a PID and connect it with a gas solenoid, I still have to code the PID?

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Old 03-02-2013, 07:12 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sgraham602 View Post
If I get a PID
I'm not sure what you mean here. If you buy a PID controller then no, you just set if for proportional output, pick a cycle time, tune it and go. I thought the object was to build something using the PID algorithm. In that case you will have to code the PID algorithm and write some code that turns the PID algorithm heat demand into duty cycle and switch control. If you don't necessarily want PID you can also encode other control laws e.g. have the controller turn heat on when temperature drops below a specified value and back off when it rises to some other specified value.
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Old 03-02-2013, 07:51 PM   #6
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I might not be on the same page here. I want to have this be as painless as possible.

I want to use something like a Love controller to control a gas solenoid and fire up my MLT burner when it falls below the desired temperature.

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Old 03-02-2013, 08:28 PM   #7
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Silly me. I interpreted your request for info on 'how to build a PID' to mean that you wanted to build a PID. I think what you really want to do is buy a PID controller and hook it to a gas valve. That can certainly be done and is actually very easy to do. You get a controller that has relay output and wire the relay, the coil on the valve and a small transformer (sufficient to operate the valve) in series. You then put the controller in proportional output mode, hook up the temperature sensor and you are in business. You can operate the controller in delta mode or PID mode. If you choose the latter you will have to tune the controller which you may well be able to do using its 'autotune' feature (which all modern controllers have).

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Old 03-02-2013, 09:51 PM   #8
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Man I wish I understood what that means. I was really hoping for someone to post an idiot proof answer. Where do you get the controller?

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Old 03-02-2013, 10:03 PM   #9
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Given the nature of the questions I humbly suggest that perhaps this isn't the best thing for folks with your levels of experience to undertake. I would strongly suggest that each of you try to find a mentor willing to work with you in setting this up. You are working with gas and electricity and those two can be bad combination if sparks occur at the wrong time.

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Old 03-02-2013, 10:16 PM   #10
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Oh I have no intention of trying this. But I keep hoping for something to make sense. I'm going to buy it when I have everything else for my single tier ready to go.



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