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98EXL 12-17-2009 04:13 AM

General Arduino Discussion
General arduino discussion...I had some really stupid intro for this, but lets get down to the nitty gritty.

I know some of you have been using these nifty little boards for quite some time now, and have started to incorporate them into your brewing rigs. I want to get into the Arduinos, my buddy knows PIC really well already. I just picked up a Sanyo 4912, so kegging is around the corner for me. I'm pretty well aware of what I need to do to get that setup, however I really want to mix my love of beer, brewing, and electronics into a nice little project. Part of my problem is I don't know anyone personally to talk about these things, the internet seems a little limited in that, and I don't have one yet either, so I'm sure once I can start to play with one, and create some sketches or drawings in C, or whatever they are called, I'll be good to go. Here is where I am so far on the concept side of things.

I know I can take a Arduino, use it as a temperature controller for the fridge, that part seems pretty easy, except I still don't understand what these 1-wire sensors are, where to get them, and why they are better.

What I would really like this board to do for me is this:
  • be the temperature controller for the kegerator
  • give me CO2 tank pressure
  • text or email me updates when tank pressure is low
  • give me above values on an LCD screen (I've never worked with those before)
  • I'd like to be able to input what brew is in each keg, and when it was tapped, but I don't know if that's possible without reprogramming it

I don't know which board I should get, or what sensors I need, but I think having just a general discussion where we can post code snippets would rock, hardware side I am pretty comfortable, software side I'm fine, just never done both before.

So let the commenting begin

Yuri_Rage 12-17-2009 04:40 AM

You only need a standard Diecimila (ATMega168). A Duemilanove (ATMega328) will do just fine if that's all you can find for sale, but you won't need the extra memory or features.

Use an MPX4250GP sensor for CO2 pressure. It's easy to interface and will register up to ~37 psi.

Use an LM34 temperature sensor (or LM35 if you prefer Celsius). EDIT: 1-wire sensors are cool, and there is plenty of example code for interfacing with them. The DS1820 is a popular one. You get better resolution and potentially faster/more efficient (on the order of nanoseconds) use of your Arduino when using them, but they are a bit more complex. The LM34 would still be my go-to device for kegerator control (simple, cheap, easy).

Get a serial LCD and look at http://www.arduino.cc for example code.

If you use a networked computer to interface with the board, you don't need any more hardware, but you'll need to write some serial code to interface with Arduino and transmit the results. Dynamically changing the LCD titles would be pretty trivial that way. If you want to plug the Arduino directly into the network, look into an Ethernet shield. All of the code could be self contained, but the Arduino code would get a bit more complex.

Sawdustguy 12-17-2009 12:56 PM

Or you could have a look at the Fermtroller at http://www.brewtroller.com. The Fermtroller is based on a Anduino AT-Mega and they have some software already written. Why re-invent the wheel?

98EXL 12-17-2009 01:27 PM

The only reason why I am leaning not towards that is because I'm going to want to use the arduino for other projects, and I want to use the same base controller to do a few of my projects

DavidP 12-17-2009 01:29 PM

Re-inventing the wheel is fun!!

Vinic 12-17-2009 02:14 PM


Originally Posted by DavidP (Post 1747887)
Re-inventing the wheel is fun!!

I prefer the term "parallel inventing".

My project is in it's infancy, and has been pushed to the back burner until my "physical" brewhaus is built, but it has quite a bit of flexibility including some insane possibilities like voice activation. "Brew me an IPA, please!" Though vocal response will most likely be the voice app that I use right away: "Hey, boil point is approaching!".

Those are bells and whistles. What I wanted most was nice charts of my Mash temps.

1-Wire Temperature Monitor

Fingers 12-17-2009 02:56 PM

My parents are at an age where they prefer me to simply tell them what to buy for Christmas for myself and my family. I will be getting a Duemilanove for Christmas this year. I haven't done any programming for a very long time, but I'm in electronics for a living. I'm still collecting essentials to build my electric brewery, but in the interim I'll have to learn how to program the board. I'll be using it for other applications as well.

I want to monitor my sewer pump, water pump, and heat pump, sump pump, and sump level. The sewage pump will likely be monitored by placing a small 120VAC relay across the pump switch contacts. When the switch is open it will produce 120VAC across the relay coil causing it to activate. I'd like to monitor the duty cycle of the pump so that I know when the filter is getting clogged and needs to be cleaned. There will be an alert level and then an alarm level. I'd like to have a remote alarm panel that is located upstairs away from the pumps.

98EXL 12-17-2009 03:04 PM

the whole home monitoring aspect really opens up a lot of possibilities...so you have a sewage problem?

Hermit 12-17-2009 03:10 PM


Originally Posted by 98EXL (Post 1748096)
the whole home monitoring aspect really opens up a lot of possibilities...so you have a sewage problem?

Hope it isn't his beer......:eek:

Fingers 12-17-2009 05:09 PM


Originally Posted by 98EXL (Post 1748096)
the whole home monitoring aspect really opens up a lot of possibilities...so you have a sewage problem?

Not a problem, I just have to take care of it myself. I have a holding tank and a pump that send the effluent to an above ground injector a couple of hundred yards from the house. The tank separates solids from liquids but hair and soap crud gets through. I put a filter on the intake to the pump so that the solids that get through don't clog my injector. If the filter clogs too much there isn't enough pressure to eject the nasty. If that happens in the winter, the whole thing freezes up the stack and we no longer have indoor plumbing. That makes SWMBO cranky.

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