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Old 09-11-2008, 08:51 PM   #101
John Beere
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One thought for you, the implementation of the dial gauges in the interface are kind of cool but lack "across the room" readability. If I were considering buying something like this I'd want big readable numerals.
This was initially how I had it. Maybe I can come up with a way to add them in as part of the LCD screen as well. To tell you the truth, after you begin to trust the app, you also begin to not worry about it as you know it is keeping everything in check - unless you hear an alarm being sound by the app.
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Old 09-12-2008, 05:40 AM   #102
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I got the relay / probe issue resolved and ran another test, This was probably the first accurate test of the new system. The current algoritm overshot the mash temp by one full degree every time it ramped the temp up. It also should have kicked on the heat a little sooner to catch the temp before it fell by a half degree - but no worries about either of those things, that is a simple tweak in the software.

In this test, I started at around 80 degrees and ramped the mash to 104, did a one minute acid rest and then immediately ramped to 153 and held for sixty minutes. The HEX differential was set to 5 degrees.


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Old 09-12-2008, 05:22 PM   #103
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please keep me on your list of folks who are interested in how this goes.

I can weld and tinker, but I'd either need the components for the controls and detailed instructions, or basically a mountable addition of the control panel lcd and the electrical and computer boxes that I could bolt onto my own stand. Right now I can build a working stand (and am doing so) that is managed manually, but if I could spend 500-1000 and get a control system for it that I could add on, that would be very very tempting. It wouldn't require much modification either, beyond the bracket to mount the new stuff with and installing all the sensors. That level of computer controls is out of my league to build on my own.

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Old 09-12-2008, 09:17 PM   #104
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I happen to like the idea of using Windows because most people have an older spare PC to use for their beer project anyway. Linux would be good too but is more a Geek OS so I can not see it as a good choice for this project. Beersmith is run on Windows XP and so integration with Beersmith data could happen too. I would like to see the interface between the hardware and the PC be a simple inexpensive item so that this could be sold as a kit for any home brewer to automate at a reasonable cost. As far as this project has gone it has proven that this would be a really nice system once the bugs are gone. I see no reason to heckle about changing to a completely different controller method as this is the path he has chosen and knows well and will be a lot of fun for him and we should feel grateful that he has shared his thoughts with the members of HBT.

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Old 09-13-2008, 07:01 PM   #105
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Very nice. I want one too. Are you going to sell plans? Software? Whole Sytems?

Is there a time frame?

Thanks

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Old 09-14-2008, 04:22 PM   #106
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Along the same lines with what Irwin asked......

John, I'm unclear on what you are trying to develop here. Are you looking to produce and sell the entire rig (kinda like a Brutus 10)? Or is it just the automated system that you are trying to market?
regardless, your entire setup is prodigious!



On a playful note......
Your automated system is just another computer taking a man's job away. Just like the self check out stands at the grocery store. They fired 8 cashiers and let a computer take over.

I'm teasing, John.

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Old 09-14-2008, 04:37 PM   #107
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Figuring out what exactly to sell and how is the hard part. Right now I am trying to get it wrapped up for my rig but that doesn't necessarily make it ready to just hook up to yours... The hardware is common but the wiring has become very specialized. Not to mention that touchscreens are not cheap.

I feel that this could be integrated into a rig that is ready to go - but that is a business I do not want to get into - although we are looking for partners.

I also feel that this could be sold as a DIY kit with the software and hardware as part of the package - but it has to become more flexible to work with other type rigs (such as Brutus clones that directly fire the mash, etc).

I'll get it there - hopefully sooner than later...

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Old 09-14-2008, 05:22 PM   #108
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Figuring out what exactly to sell and how is the hard part. Right now I am trying to get it wrapped up for my rig but that doesn't necessarily make it ready to just hook up to yours...
I also feel that this could be sold as a DIY kit with the software and hardware as part of the package - but it has to become more flexible to work with other type rigs (such as Brutus clones that directly fire the mash, etc).

I'll get it there - hopefully sooner than later...
Better to wait than market something with bugs not quite figured out, people never forget flawed equipment no matter how much better or improved it comes out later on.

With this system should it come out in kit form for those with already complete but manual systems like replied above will it include control for those wanting to go with a 100% electric heating system? Zero gas boil kettle included?

Quality results take time.
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Old 09-14-2008, 11:51 PM   #109
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Amazing system John - I am curious to see how it progresses over the next months. My only suggestion to make it more "marketable" is to plan ahead for people to install the software on a laptop and just plug in via USB/Ethernet/Whatever. Many people have spare laptops and they are lots cheaper than industrial touch screens.

In college I had an emphasis in controls, so I had pipe dreams of doing a PLC based setup, but you have whooped even my pipe dream.

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Old 09-15-2008, 03:29 AM   #110
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I also feel that this could be sold as a DIY kit with the software and hardware as part of the package - but it has to become more flexible to work with other type rigs (such as Brutus clones that directly fire the mash, etc).
Take your time John and enjoy this build. Maybe just plans would be the way to go as a kit. Maybe the touch screen could be a primium option and keyboard mouse as standard option. I have no idea how much has to be done to use a keyboard and mouse as far as software changes but that would lower the cost a lot. This is just a thought to ponder regarding later sales and devepopment John and in no way am I trying to imply a change in YOUR system.
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Fermentor 1: Bill's House Ale II, Fermentor 2: German Helles, Fermentor 3: Bill's Schworzbier (Black Bier)
Tap 1: Bill's House Ale II, Tap 2: German Hefewizen, Tap 3: Nut Brown Ale
Future Brews: Stone IPA Clone, Blonde Ale, Budvar Clone, Newcastle Clone
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