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Old 11-27-2012, 09:32 PM   #1
bfinleyui
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Default How to get my DS18B20 into my ferm bucket?

So I spent the afternoon wiring up a DS18B20, along with the proper resistor, etc, to some female pin headers, then writing a program on the RPi to log that temp.

Unfortunately, the temperature from a stuck-on DS18B20 is nowhere near what either the fermometer or digital are saying, usually about 15 degrees cooler.

is there a way, other than drilling a second hole and dropping a legitimate thermowell down into the bucket, that I'm going to get an accurate reading?

this is the sensor I have

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Old 11-27-2012, 09:49 PM   #2
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Did you try putting insulation over the sensor and giving the system some time to come to equilibrium?

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Old 11-27-2012, 10:02 PM   #3
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What sort of insulation would you suggest?

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Old 11-27-2012, 10:05 PM   #4
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What about drilling 2 holes in 1 stopper?

I am doing the same thing at the moment and may end up with something like this.

http://morebeer.com/view_product/16672


Once the sensor is in the thermowell I was thinking of filling it with a non conductive liquid or filling it with epoxy to get a better reading.

I tried adding foam tape to the outside of my stuck on DS18B20 and was still a few degrees off.

-Jason

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Old 11-27-2012, 10:17 PM   #5
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I use the plastic buckets, so if anything, i would need to drill another hole and put another grommet that would (hopefully) hold the thermowell in place...

I just put a bunch of folded up paper towels and 6-7 layers of folded bubble wrap, duct taped over. seems to be a bit better, only about 8 degrees off.

if that consistent, I can at least take that into account to get a fairly accurate idea of what my wort temp would be.

what are some better ideas for insulation?

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Old 11-28-2012, 01:07 AM   #6
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I have a thermowell but don't use it much anymore because when paired with my controller I get some pretty significant undershoot on cooling (like 8F degrees or so). It would probably would work better once the system got closer to the set point, but I've just found it not to be worth the extra effort of sanitizing it etc. So currently I place my J-type thermocouple in contact with my plastic or glass fermentation bucket and cover it with a drywall sanding spounge. Any similar size spounge would probably be OK.

When you see that temp diff are you fermenting? If you are reading that sensor with 9 bits, it seems like the total inaccurracy could be as high as 1.4F. Throw in some inaccuracy for the other meter and the exothermic action of they yeast, and 8F might not be too unreasonable.

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Old 11-28-2012, 05:00 AM   #7
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make your own thermowell, you can for like 10 bucks. buy a chrome toilet line, they are solid brass covored in chrome so it's safe. they come long like 22 inches, so you need to cut it with a dremel or something ,just measure it so it's half way in your wort, then seal the end with aquarium silicone, you can get it at any pet store, it's 100 percent silicone once it cures,so it's safe in your wort. it fits a ds1820b perfectly. I drilled a hole in my bucket lid just big enough to fit the lower bit in and then push the flared bit in for a tight fit. I seal the top with some extra silicone and slide my sensor in. works great, I don't bother sealing the top.

you can see my arduino reporting to cosm here. if interested u can supply info to recreate my setup, the uno and Ethernet shield we're like 30 from dealextreme,and you already have the sensors

https://cosm.com/feeds/83208

the supply lines look like this
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/...500_AA300_.jpg

they are 4.49 here at Lowe's. the silicone was like 10 for a tube that can beused to seal many things for brewing

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Old 11-28-2012, 04:02 PM   #8
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Of course when i post to go look at mine it goes down lol...i think im still having power issues and possibly water getting into my tube screwing up the sensors.

More work to be done!

When it does work its great though lol...at 12 bits you get 0.11 degree resolution...a bit over kill but whatever.

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Old 11-28-2012, 07:32 PM   #9
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Thanks. Mind if I ask what gauge wire you used to solder to the leads on the sensor? This was my first soldering project, so it's obviously awful, and will probably have to wire up another sensor to get it down in such a small tube.

For reference, the difference I was referring to being 8F was between what my mercury thermometer sitting in the water in the bucket was compared to the sensor on the outside of the bucket.

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Old 11-28-2012, 09:04 PM   #10
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I actually went to home depot and bought some "Thermostat" wiring, its like 33c per foot and comes with 4 wires.

I picked it because i wanted a thin cable that had a minimum of 3 wires, and was flexible...everything i could find was solid core and too rigid for what i wanted.

I honestly have no idea what gauge it is, its pretty small though, if i had to guess i'd say 20 gauge.
Something like this


It came with 4 wires, i just snip back one of the wires. As a reference, its flexibility is similar to a Cat5 network type cable, but obviously thinner...another thing i wanted to try and find but couldnt was just regular telephone wire like you would use inside to connect a phone to the wall as its flexible and small...but all the stores only had phone wire for inside the walls which was rigid.

The tube is surprisingly large, you should have space to spread the legs out a small bit to solder and it will still fit.

I had issues with taping the DS1820B to the side of the bucket, no matter how much insulation i put on(and i put on so much it was ridiculous) you could watch the sensor begin climbing the exact moment my home heater kicked in...sure my ambient was going from 66-70 and the insulated sensor was only going from 66-67, but it was still annoying and ruined what i wanted when every 90 minutes my temperature spiked up and down when the heater came on.

Then on the far end of the cable that connects to my arduino in pins, an inch or two above the end i stripped the shielding off and soldered the 4.7k resistor between data and 5v.

Im still trying to get a better way set up to have a set of 3-4+ cables that are easily interchangable and i can plug/unplug at will...right now everythings hard wired to my arduino so if something goes wrong its a pain to swap cables. Not to get onto my project tangent, but just for your information i was hoping to use a telephone/cat5 jack, and my cables have a male connector with 2 sensors each. Then adding/removing sensors is as easy as plugging unplugging a telephone wire.

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