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Old 05-10-2010, 02:44 PM   #1
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Default First few steps in automation

Hey guys,

Being a massive geek (about beer and many other things) automation is one of the few things that really gets me excited. Heck, Im a software engineer, I design automated systems all day long. Though that's with per-existing hardware and whatnot. I get specs and I make things work. With this whole automated brewery thing Im at a bit of a loss since I have to make the specs.

Im still a ways off from getting near automation, I need to get a single tier brew stand first, and pumps, HERMS, etc, the list goes on and on. But I want to build all of that with automation as the end goal.

So my simple question is, what kind of controllers are you guys using to interface between your inputs and outputs and your computer. Where are you buying your valves and monitors. And most importantly. To take a system from manual to automation, what's a VERY rough guesstimate of price.

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Old 05-10-2010, 03:00 PM   #2
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BrewTroller is what I'm using. Although I'm not automating every aspect of my rig, the BrewTroller is capable of full automation and can be as DIY as you want it to be.

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Old 05-10-2010, 03:06 PM   #3
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Awesome, thanks!

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Old 05-10-2010, 03:58 PM   #4
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+1 on brewtroller. Its really got the flexibility to build up slowly and the community is REALLY helpfull!!

http://www.brewtroller.com

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Old 05-10-2010, 04:58 PM   #5
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brewtroller looks awesome!

Though I was really looking to write my own software (being a developer by trade) and make a schnazzy touch screen interface (ala DeepSix V2.0). Im not seeing brewtroller support external control.

Sure a full blown computer is a bit much for this...oh well.

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Old 05-10-2010, 05:37 PM   #6
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Do you work with Java and SQL?, how much time do you have on your hands and how much do you want to spend for hardware. I have an application written in Java that uses SQL tables for a completely automated system that might work as an example for the various tasks. The programming sounds simple but after spending roughly 25-30 hours a week for last year writing and testing code and hardware, it was not as easy as it sounded in the beginning.

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Old 05-10-2010, 05:45 PM   #7
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I know SQL well and I know Java enough to get by, Im no expert, but I have about 4 years of experience in it.

I mainly develop in C#. How much I want to spend on hardware, I dont know yet to be honest. I'd love to keep it under a grand but I still have a lot to build before I get to automation. I still need a damn brewstand and a pump (next paycheck? ).

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Old 05-10-2010, 06:08 PM   #8
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That BrewTroller looks sweet ... I had been looking to do something with my Arduino ...

I want to look at the images on the BrewTroller site, but you have to register, and it currently says registration is disabled by the administrator

Bummer

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Old 05-10-2010, 06:54 PM   #9
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While the Brewtroller is a nice low cost platform, it is not suited for more than simple programming and functions. It would be better in the long run to start with an ARM 9 platform with enough memory, ethernet port,USB port,232 ports, touch screen display, and SD card memory expansion that could hold tables and program. This way you can buy off the shelf I/O hardware and plug it in, not spend time building interfaces.

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Old 05-10-2010, 08:08 PM   #10
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I guess it really depends on the level of equipment your looking for.

Brewtroller can Literally automate the entire brewing process from beginning to end.... a tad bit more than "simple programming and functions" I'd say.

But again, it depends on your own desires. If your looking to build the equipment, do all your own coding, and use whatever parts you wish want.. go nuts!

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