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Old 06-03-2009, 02:48 PM   #1
Cpt_Kirks
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Default PID's or Brewtroller?

I'm working toward having an all electric brewing system. I'll need some way to control the elements in the HLT and Keggle, and maybe later for a HERMS setup.

It seems PID's to control the SSR's run about $45, each. A Brewtroller board runs about $100, complete.

I can go a step at a time with individual PID's, but in the long run, a Brewtroller board will be cheaper and more flexible.

Any advice on which way to go?

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Old 06-03-2009, 03:15 PM   #2
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I'm a computer engineer, so when I go to a HERMS/RIMS I'm going to either use a microcontroller or get some used computer parts and throw them together. And screw PID I'm going fuzzy logic all the way. I still have that code laying around somewhere.

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Old 06-03-2009, 03:18 PM   #3
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Won't the brewtroller control the PIDs? Surely you need all them PIDs and SSRs anyway?

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Old 06-03-2009, 03:41 PM   #4
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I chose the BCS from ECC. I liked the web based interface and figured it would be more flexible for me. Something about reading off a tiny LCD makes it tough on my old eyeballs. Still don't have it up and running due to missing parts for my stand. Sure it's more money but you can easily set up your system to allow someone else to see the process as you brew or brew from work while your assistant dumps the grain in! LOL

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Old 06-03-2009, 03:44 PM   #5
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The Brewtroller has integrated PiD loops.

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Old 06-03-2009, 05:10 PM   #6
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The Brewtroller can be setup to use PID or just straight ON/OFF. The BCS does have a great display but does require you have a PC in your brew area. Some day I plan on writing up a comparison between the two.

The BCS460 is a better solution if you are OK with a PC in your brewery and don't want to do as much DIY. If you want to be able to sense more things (like vessel volumes) and you're good with a lot of DIY, then the Brewtroller will do more for you. The Brewtroller is very close to being a "push to brew" system but can be programmed to just monitor if you want.

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Old 06-03-2009, 05:33 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brew_Weasel View Post
The Brewtroller has integrated PiD loops.
Oh crap!! Now I've got to re-plan all my half-assed previous tentative plans!!??

Listen, somebody better just post a REALLY easy tutorial on this brewtroller thing before I go postal and take out the city hall.

I have a heating element and two march pumps. The mission, should you choose to accept it is to guide me through the build of a kickass HERMS that brews my beer and fills out my tax returns. You all have one week from when I say go.


GO!!!!
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Old 06-03-2009, 05:37 PM   #8
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Yeah, I'm a Computer Engineer, too. It's just this BrewTroller looks like a nice little package at a decent price, about half what the BCS cost.

I think the BrewTroller will interface with a PC, I saw mention of an optional USB port. Need to read more on their site. It would be REALLY nice to have a bluetooth or even WiFi option.

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Old 06-03-2009, 05:46 PM   #9
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I have no knowledge of the brewtroller. A casual look at the website doesn't really give me a clear indication of how it works, or what it requires (ssrs, etc). Looks like a hell of a lot of assembly to end up with something that requires you to deal with a tiny screen from a 1970's calculator....

The 460 on the other hand is simple to use and program and can easily monitor volume sensors as well.

I've been using it for a few months now and love it. Yes, you have to have your PC to brew, but I wouldn't brew without one anyway. I have my 460 integrated into my wireless network. This allows me not only to keep my laptop a safe distance from the kettles while brewing, I can monitor my fermentation temps from my couch.



Michael

Quote:
Originally Posted by Derrin View Post
The Brewtroller can be setup to use PID or just straight ON/OFF. The BCS does have a great display but does require you have a PC in your brew area. Some day I plan on writing up a comparison between the two.

The BCS460 is a better solution if you are OK with a PC in your brewery and don't want to do as much DIY. If you want to be able to sense more things (like vessel volumes) and you're good with a lot of DIY, then the Brewtroller will do more for you. The Brewtroller is very close to being a "push to brew" system but can be programmed to just monitor if you want.
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Old 06-03-2009, 06:25 PM   #10
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For the "anti-PC in the brew area" folks, if you would rather control the BCS-460 from your iPhone or iPod Touch, there's an app for that. Nice compact wireless touchscreen GUI.

Brew Buddy by Druid Hill Software



The HTTP interface to the BCS-460 is open and documented, so people can write their own custom GUI's and other software if they are so inclined, just like np0x did with this awesome application.

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