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Old 11-09-2007, 06:49 PM   #1
Kharz
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Default Computer interfaces

Hey guys -

My brew buddy and I are finally looking to upgrade into a fun system, rather than use the standard coolers for our all grain system. Now, I realize our current set-up makes perfectly good beer -- and there is no guarantee than a thousand dollar system will make better beer; but we are just looking to to have fun with the process. So here is where I currently stand and where I need help:

(1) I am using a 14 gallon brew pot from more beer, with stainless steel parts; temperature gauage, etc. I will probably buy the mash tun and HLT from these guys so the whole thing looks consistent.

(2) Single tier, stainless steel frame. I am currently talking to a local wielder

(3) Recirculation / temp control, I will probably use a close copy of the smart system used by more beer.

(4) Computer controls. I am looking for a system to control the pumps and turn on/off the HLT al that can be hooked into a computer. Luckily my brew buddy is a very talented software designer; so if we can find the appropriate hardware I am pretty sure we can make it work.

(5) Yes; I realize I could just buy the 1550 (loaded) or 2050 (loaded), but am trying to improve on that a bit if we can. Otherwise, I will just order one of those sytes.

Thanks for any / all help!

-Kharz


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Old 11-09-2007, 07:15 PM   #2
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If he's good at software design, it shouldn't be too bad to do. I know there are programs out there for carputers (PCs mounted in cars) to control door locks and the like through the serial port; that might be a good place to start. IIRC, there might have been one that was open source. Once you have that, the hardware side would be mostly relays.


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Old 11-09-2007, 07:29 PM   #3
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there is a programmable board out there somewhere, I'll check my links at home and get back to you. It is really cheap and highly programmable to cary out on/off and % functions by voltage inputs (thermocouples etc).
I may even have read about it here, check the rest of the DIY section
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Old 11-09-2007, 07:41 PM   #4
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What you want is a dry contact controller similar to this http://www.chassis-plans.com/IO-Cards/CP8002.htm

I would start browing at Smarthome.com and Jameco.com. I looked at Jameco online quickly, but didn't find it. Order their catalog, it's much easier to browse and it's organized nicely.

Philip
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Old 11-09-2007, 07:44 PM   #5
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So we are still in the planning stages; and I apologize for this questin. But it seems like doing the majority of it (pumps, etc) isn't rocket science. What I am having a hard time with is learning how I can control the burner to the HLT.

So the dumb disclaimer is I have been reading / planning this stuff for months; but still learning.

Any ideas about how to do this with the HLT ?

Thanks!

p.s. the irony is this thing may cost several thousand anyway; but would be fun to try and automate via computer controls.
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Old 11-09-2007, 07:50 PM   #6
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Oh, I just ordered the Jameco catalog. Also looking at smart homes, my brother-in-law does home automation in NYC ... so I will hit him up for ideas as well.

Hmmm.....
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Old 11-09-2007, 08:00 PM   #7
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I have no personal experience, but I know a number of people here us the Arduino Board.

http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/pro...roducts_id=666
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Old 11-09-2007, 08:18 PM   #8
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Where's Yuri???
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Old 11-09-2007, 08:25 PM   #9
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You will have to have an electronic regulator/solenoid for the gas
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Old 11-09-2007, 08:38 PM   #10
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Yeah, I am using http://forums.moreflavor.com/viewtop...lenoid&start=0 as a starting point. I can obviously just use a pilot light solenoid for a water heater .... but I am curious if there are any that are made to interact with a computer program (thinking about people with automated houses who can turn on / off appliances via a web application)

The rest of the build I at least have some idea how to do .... this one i am a little confused on. And because you measure twice and cut once ... I am not starting the buid on any of it until it is perfectly planned


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