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Old 03-29-2010, 08:29 PM   #21
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Come on guys, don't run him off again.

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Old 03-29-2010, 09:29 PM   #22
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Sorry to threadjack......If anyone in the Columbus, Ohio area has a BCS-460, I would love to see it in action. I am almost done with my Brutus and just want to see the BCS at work.

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Old 03-29-2010, 10:20 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by passedpawn View Post
Not true. There is a A/M button on the ubiquitous Auber PIDs. Auto/Manual. There is an LED that indicates which mode you are in, also.
I stand corrected, thank you for the clarification. It's been awhile since I used my Auber PID. But if I remember correctly (and I may not), when you switch to manual mode, it assumes the same state it was in in the Automatic mode... So Pushing the A/M button gets you to manual, but the element/pump is still on? You then have to adjust the "level" with the down arrow.

Really, my point was that a PID, doesn't give you anymore "immediate manual control" than the BCS.
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Old 03-30-2010, 01:59 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio-Ed View Post
Not sure what you mean by "immediate manual control"?
While standing in front of the brew station

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I bet I can turn an element or pump on or off quicker from the BCS control screen than you can in a PID.
I bet you can too.

However, my Computer is in a far distant corner of my huge old buildin from where my brewing station will be located placing the BCS a long way off in a stone walled room built with stones that have substantial iron in them. I've had issues with several wireless phones. The Panasonic 1.9GHz does pretty well though. I have no idea how a wireless router will perform

I have not contemplated adding a computer to the brewing station, though a cheap laptop might be the better approach. The idea of running around a few corners, through a couple rooms, up a couple flights of stairs, to my office where my PC is, and waking my PC up to tweak the controls is my idea of not having immediate manual control.
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Old 03-30-2010, 02:06 PM   #25
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This looks like something that will really work out for me, as I build an automated system. A year and a half ago, I picked up a pallet of industrial computers from a salvage company. I sold a bunch of them and made my money back, but kept quite a few. Right now, I have one mounted on my three tier system running Beersmith and Multi timer. It is nice since they are waterproof and a touch screen.

Here is a pic of it:



and the brochure on it:

http://www.citadelcomputer.com/pdf/vista-12xl.pdf

On the network thing, you have a few options. Wireless can be run in 'ad-hoc' mode, where they just communicate with each other. Another option, if they are a bit apart, is powerline ethernet. I use that in my house to link up from my downstairs, up to the office. I have had good luck with them.

Anyone actually used one of these things that can tell us the good, bad, and ugly of them?

Jim Olsen

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Old 03-30-2010, 02:16 PM   #26
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Check out an Asus netbook, small, cheap and handy. That or look at small form factor computers. I might even be able to sell you one super cheap, we use them at work.

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Old 03-30-2010, 02:27 PM   #27
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Does the BCS460 have to be run wirelessly or can it plug into a laptop and be controlled from there (Im a compooter cretin - sorry) ?

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Old 03-30-2010, 02:30 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cliff897 View Post
While standing in front of the brew station



I bet you can too.

However, my Computer is in a far distant corner of my huge old buildin from where my brewing station will be located placing the BCS a long way off in a stone walled room built with stones that have substantial iron in them. I've had issues with several wireless phones. The Panasonic 1.9GHz does pretty well though. I have no idea how a wireless router will perform

I have not contemplated adding a computer to the brewing station, though a cheap laptop might be the better approach. The idea of running around a few corners, through a couple rooms, up a couple flights of stairs, to my office where my PC is, and waking my PC up to tweak the controls is my idea of not having immediate manual control.
That makes perfect sense.

The BCS does not require a PC attached to run a brew process, but without one you are really running "lights out". It will process all the steps, you just won't have any idea what the heck it's doing.

My opinion is that brewing with a BCS involves a PC in the vicinity of the brew rig. I keep my laptop far enough away to be safe from splashes, but close enough that I can see the Gages and tweak the process as needed. I have hard switches on my rig to turn things on and off, but really just intended for cleaning, random use, and emergencies.

If you decide to add a PC to the mix, the BCS does not have to be wireless. You can run a cable from the PC to the BCS. Also, the PC does not need to be attached to the internet to interact with the BCS.

BTW... I didn't mean it as a challenge that I could turn off an element quicker than you can... just meant to say that in my opinion, interacting with the BCS is no more difficult than a PID.
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Old 03-30-2010, 02:31 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clifwlkr View Post
Anyone actually used one of these things that can tell us the good, bad, and ugly of them?

Jim Olsen
Just in this thread alone Ohio-Ed and myself are using them (I have been using mine for more than 6 months) and are big believers in it.

Like I said, it is priced great, and can be used as simply or complicated as you like.

And the big thing for me, is that it is a multi-use tool in my arsenal, i.e. it does not sit unused when not brewing. It controls heating and cooling in two fermentation chambers, and maintains temps in my kegerator.

It is money well spent.

If you are going towards any sort of electronic temperature control and/or brew control, I think the BCS-460 cannot be beat by love/ranco controllers or pid's.

That said, the brewtroller is in the same league as the BCS-460, but the approach is a little different.

To me, the BCS-460 is the best out of the box, ready to use option that is currently out there.

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Old 03-30-2010, 02:32 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bru View Post
Does the BCS460 have to be run wirelessly or can it plug into a laptop and be controlled from there (Im a compooter cretin - sorry) ?
Wireless is NOT required.
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