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Old 01-03-2013, 06:57 AM   #1
W0rter
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Default Timer Function or What roll does the Timer Play?

I'm building a panel that sports 3 PID's 1 HLT 1 RIM tube and 1 Exit of the MLT. A Blichmann propane burner under the BK will supply all the heat (strike water, sparge water via a pump and finally boiling the wort.) I see some panels including KAL's that sport a Timer. What is the purposed job the timer is serving? is it simply an egg timer for 60 min boils or when to add hops or does it somehow initiate a process in the brew recipe? Thinking of adding one but first off I'm curious if it's only for the wow factor.
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Old 01-03-2013, 04:31 PM   #2
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It's simply a timer. Some of the PIDs have built in timers that you can set to start or stop a process, but there's really no need.


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Old 01-03-2013, 06:25 PM   #3
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I use my watch- nobody watches me brew so no need for "cool" factors that add nothing to usability.
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Old 01-03-2013, 06:33 PM   #4
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I had the same question before I built my control panel. I initially designed it without the timer, since Kal's suggested timer was prohibitively expensive for what amounts to a kitchen timer. But when I posted my design for review, I was pointed to the Auber ASL-51. It's slightly more cumbersome to use, since it doesn't have a button for each digit, but it's only ~ $30.

In the end, I redesigned my system to use the $30 timer, if only to have a dedicated timer that's built in to the system. That way I don't have to worry with an additional watch or timer, or being on a call when my phone timer goes off, etc.

Regardless of whether you incorporate a timer, I'd definitely use a buzzer/alarm that can be tied to your PIDs - it can be nice to set temp alarms that can trigger an audible sound if you're out of the room.
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Old 01-03-2013, 07:46 PM   #5
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If the title of this is a nod to Dr. Strangelove, I tip my hat to you, if not, I believe that the integrated timer is a sweet piece of fluff, but not needed when the cooking timers that are programmable are pretty reliable.

I use my cell phone's alarms, not my favorite solution, but works quite well.
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Old 01-03-2013, 07:57 PM   #6
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I use the the $2 brew pal app on my phone for recipes. It includes mash and boil timer functions and will let you know when to add ingredients based on you recipe.

Part of the purpose of having an automated electric system is you don't have to be standing in front of it watching the clock.
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Old 01-03-2013, 08:21 PM   #7
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OK here's an interesting question. say I opt for the timer (prob ASL-51 or JSL-71) and I'm using an alarm can I wire the alarm to serve two functions? Like alert me if the mash temp exceeds a preset limit and when the timer runs out?
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Old 01-03-2013, 08:29 PM   #8
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Yes it is just a wired OR circuit with the pid OR the timer triggering the alarm. You may want a couple 2way or one 3way switch to select mash temp or timer alarm outputs. Otherwise you will have to reprogram the pid to turn off the
Mash alarm in order to use the timer alarm.
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Old 01-03-2013, 09:11 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by W0rter View Post
OK here's an interesting question. say I opt for the timer (prob ASL-51 or JSL-71) and I'm using an alarm can I wire the alarm to serve two functions? Like alert me if the mash temp exceeds a preset limit and when the timer runs out?
Short answer: yes - the buzzer can be triggered by any of the PIDs or timer, and can go off when either the time limit expires, or when a temperature is hit (or both).

I tend to think of an "alarm" as a timer and buzzer combo, which (to me) confuses how the whole panel is wired. It helps to not think about the alarm as one piece, but rather as two - a timer, and a buzzer. The buzzer just goes off whenever a circuit to the buzzer is closed. That can be triggered by the timer, the PIDs, or any combination.

I modeled my control panel off of my understanding of how Kal's works. As such, I have a 2-way "alarm on/off" switch for each of the PIDs and another switch for the timer. That way I can set which elements can trigger the buzzer at any given time.


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