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Old 01-08-2010, 07:29 PM   #21
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Hmmm, the core of a computer *is* a microprocessor, with added interface for both input (keyboard, usb, disk drive, microphone, camera) and output (screen, usb, writable disk drive, speakers).

Devices like an Arduino provide an extra layer of input (thermometer, thermocoupler) and output (terminal switches).

I've not worked with an Arduino per se, but imagine that they can be interfaced pretty easily with simple languages like perl (or 'most any language for that matter) to do pretty much anything you'd want them to do.

The setup I'm working on uses a couple alternative devices for input/ouput (I/O), namely because it's what I had laying around to work with already.

The latest addition controls a simple heat pad to bump the temp on my mash tun. It's not PID, but seems to work just fine since it's not having to adjust very quickly.
Yea, I should have used the term micro-controller, really I was just trying to refer to something like the Arduino.

Reading your setup, very cool BTW, what your doing with the 1-Wire Serial Adaptor is really what I was looking to do with the Arduino. Just some means of connecting external input directly to a computer. I really want to just avoid writing C code on the Arduino and go directly to programming against it using Java, .Net or a more robust programming language than C.


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Old 01-08-2010, 08:04 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by 98EXL View Post
...
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
...
What I'd suggest is a load sensor under the CO2 tank, enter the tare weight of the tank into the system and it will tell you how much CO2 is left. Since the tank pressure is constant (at constant temperature) while there is liquid CO2 remaining a tank pressure sensor is pretty useless. While we are at it, lets put a load sensor under each keg with the system knowing the average tare weight of a keg and let it email/text/tweet the keg status as well as display it on the LCD.

At least that is what I'm thinking when I get the money.


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Old 01-08-2010, 08:13 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by dozer4412 View Post
Just some means of connecting external input directly to a computer. I really want to just avoid writing C code on the Arduino and go directly to programming against it using Java, .Net or a more robust programming language than C.
Damn! Sounds like you know more programming than I ever will. Sorry 'bout the rambling.

Again, I don't know enough about the Arduino to say, but a 1-wire adapter, and a relay board would work with any language that can 'speak' with the output port (digitemp does a wonderful job of collecting and formating temperatures). I use perl because it needs no compiling and I really don't know any better. Also for my purposes, speed is not an issue.
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Old 01-09-2010, 12:21 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by camiller View Post
What I'd suggest is a load sensor under the CO2 tank, enter the tare weight of the tank into the system and it will tell you how much CO2 is left. Since the tank pressure is constant (at constant temperature) while there is liquid CO2 remaining a tank pressure sensor is pretty useless. While we are at it, lets put a load sensor under each keg with the system knowing the average tare weight of a keg and let it email/text/tweet the keg status as well as display it on the LCD.

At least that is what I'm thinking when I get the money.
Money is right - load cells aren't cheap. I was looking into doing something like that and the price went right out the window.

Back to the topic of interfacing an Arduino: they have serial I/O and all you have to do is write a little routine to listen to the input and act.

scoates has a pretty good go-by that he discusses in this thread:

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/ardu...97/#post531366
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Old 01-09-2010, 12:42 AM   #25
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I really want to just avoid writing C code on the Arduino and go directly to programming against it using Java, .Net or a more robust programming language than C.
That's impossible. If you want to avoid programming a microcontroller, then you should look into creating a network of simple serial devices (like the one-wire temp sensors) that you can use to communicate directly with the serial port on a computer.

The Arduino needs a "sketch" to be uploaded. The language used by the IDE is a stripped down version of C++. The sketch could be as simple as a scheme to read and write serial data, but it needs something to make it tick. I'd rather put most of the control code directly on the Arduino and just send data to the computer for display or datalogging. That way a lost data link doesn't result in a loss of process control.

OT: Your comment about robust languages is mildly amusing and largely opinion. Depending on your perspective, C is quite robust, and perhaps more robust than your other examples. However, I do understand what you meant.
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Old 01-09-2010, 12:50 AM   #26
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Is there any alternate boards out there that can do analog outputs?, and have a 12 bit analog input?
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Old 01-09-2010, 12:57 AM   #27
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Is there any alternate boards out there that can do analog outputs?, and have a 12 bit analog input?
Have you looked at Weeder Boards?

I don't know of one that will do both, but they have at least one each.
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Old 01-09-2010, 01:09 AM   #28
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There are some PIC microcontrollers with onboard 12 bit ADCs. The PIC18 series has a couple of chips capable of 12 bit ADC and PWM, but I don't see any true analog out capability.

You could also use external ADC chips and an SPI interface to get 12 bit resolution with Arduino.
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Old 01-09-2010, 01:40 AM   #29
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Would it be possible to use the arduino to supervise the RS 232 interfaced boards in a small scale distributed manner, or would the available memory for programming be too small.
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Old 01-09-2010, 01:46 AM   #30
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It's likely possible. It depends on the size and scope of the project, of course.


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