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Old 10-23-2012, 10:32 PM   #1
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Default Manual Switches with BCS460

I am building (or designing at this stage) a brew stand with the BCS460. Now I understand the benefits of manual switches but has anyone ever run a system with no manual switches with success?

My thinking is that I may plan on having a tablet mounted on the stand to run the BCS460. I could just turn on/off pumps and gas valves from the tablet. Am I only protecting my brew session in case of an internet or tablet crash with manual switches?

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Old 10-23-2012, 11:29 PM   #2
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People do it. Check out JonW's build for a good example, I don't believe he has any 'manual' switches.

You might consider wiring in an emergency stop though at least, that would shut off all the gas valves and pumps.

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Old 10-24-2012, 12:08 AM   #3
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I run my bcs system from my laptop with no problems. I do have one selector swith with a 5K potentiometer because I have pumps that run on 90 volt d.c. current and are adjustable speed. Other than that I only have a emergency stop button. When the e stop is activated all power is cut off except to the bcs, so it can still monitor temperatures. You can run the bcs in manual mode to turn off the pumps and elements. You just have to hit the refresh button for the change to activate.

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Old 10-24-2012, 01:13 AM   #4
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Have you ever wished you ever installed manual switches for any particular thing?

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Old 10-24-2012, 02:13 AM   #5
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I have a BCS460 and the only manual switch I have is to cut power to the panel itself. I've had my BCS for quite a while and can't think of a time yet where I wish I had installed an override switch.

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Old 10-24-2012, 02:48 AM   #6
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I run an electric rims setup. The e stop is for things like a stuck mash, pump problems- although, I have not had any. Possibly a stuck or faulty ssr. I can't really think of a reason to have a manual switch. Every single component is protected by circuit breakers, all elements have ssr's on both legs. The chance of a laptop crash is not too likely, and if it did happen, I would run and get my desktop. The bcs has its own ip address, so you don't need internet access to control it. I also don't run a wireless bridge for my bcs, possiblly something else to go wrong, but may switch to one in the future. The only advantage to me would be because I could also run it with a wireless tablet.

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Old 10-24-2012, 02:53 AM   #7
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Just to weigh-in on the reverse side of the equation. I have three-way switches that allow me to directly control (on/off), or auto control (BCS) two elements and two pumps. I have found it can be pretty convenient, particularly on a rainy day when my rig is outside, but computer inside, to be able to manually flip a pump while mashing-in, or turn off an element when strike water reserve gets low. Not sure I need direct switch, but it's handy.

For those of you who don't have any direct switching. What do you do if you need to directly do something while you're currently in a process? Do you have to go to manual mode first?

P

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Old 10-24-2012, 02:58 AM   #8
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I can't imagine running A BCS without at a minimum on/off/automatic switches, especially when it comes to pump control and for cleanup.

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Old 10-24-2012, 11:46 AM   #9
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I run a BCS-460 with master start and stop push buttons for all power except for the BCS supply.

The only other switches are two momentary contact switches that feed BCS inputs for increasing/decreasing PWM during the boil. I can do this from the laptop screen, but the switches are more convenient for me.

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Old 10-24-2012, 02:45 PM   #10
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When I first set mine up I controlled everything from my laptop. When I built my brew stand I added on(auto)/off switches for my heating elements, on/off/auto for the pump, and a momentary switch that allows me to manually advance to the next state. You can do it with or without switches but for me it's more convenient with switches.

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