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Old 05-08-2012, 09:51 PM   #1
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Default Building one piece at a time

I have a 3 keggle sculpture with a single march pump, propane fired.

I am interested in automating slowly, pieces at a time.

I see it going in a few small steps:

1) Get the PCB/Software and some temp probes up and running
2) Get some automated stuff going for the pump(s) to turn on and off
3) Maybe eventually get something going for the propane (solenoids/pilot lights)

Does anyone have suggestions on the cheapest and most effective ways to get started on this? I am not ready to read full-on crazy charts with every component as that will be too complex for me. I figure if I build a piece at a time it will make a lot more sense and be a lot more affordable and less frustrating.


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Old 05-09-2012, 02:05 AM   #2
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Welcome to the new automation area. This is exactly what we asked for when we got this section. I am currently doing the exact same thing as you, as are many of us. What level of electronics/electric experience do you have? I have decided to use the CX-100 PID's to monitor temp through a K type thermocouple. Both are relatively cheap and capable of expanding when you add the next block or level. I ultimately see a completely integrated system with safety interlocks and other control and monitoring functions too. But for now I am just starting with the basics and studying for the next step. Glad youre here and hope we can all share a bit of info and get our stuff built and working as planned.
What do you mean "no Kidneys"???, WTF now I gotta drink less beer...
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Old 05-09-2012, 03:03 AM   #3
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The hardware is not that difficult with off the shelf boards, software could be done in Java or C#, which I have code built in C# that works with the analog and digital board experiment I am working on now. Here is a picture of the 16 digital output indicator board with power and 5V reference components on top, and the 8 analog input board below with potentiometer for variable inputs to test PID programming, and USB interface sticking out right hand side.
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