BruControl: Brewery control & automation software

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum:

Chokpish

Active Member
Joined
May 20, 2015
Messages
27
Reaction score
2
Ok, I think Igot it figured out. I now have 24vdc on V+ of AA-2. I adjusted AA-2 outputs to 5.0vdc max. When Brucontrol Élément is at 100% (255) I get 5.0 vdc on AA-2 output. When Brucontrol Élément at 50% (128), I get approx 2.5 vdc on AA-2 output.

Pete, Please note: AA-2 potentiometer 3&4 were found mislabelled. I will re-label them - but it sure got me scratching my head for a while!! Thanks to all.
 

Chokpish

Active Member
Joined
May 20, 2015
Messages
27
Reaction score
2
So I have my proportional SSR’s mcpc2490a hooked up via AA-2 amp, will give her a wet trial in a few days.

My set up has 6 heating elements, with 2 SSR’s that are not pwm capable. While doing a visual inspection on those 2, I found this;

image.jpg
 

Chokpish

Active Member
Joined
May 20, 2015
Messages
27
Reaction score
2
Question on using a normal ssr on a port that has pwm capability : due to running out of space on my Unishield, is it ok to have a pwm-capable Element to control a non-pwm ssr? I selected PWM ´off’ in the pid Element settings..?
 
OP
OP
BrunDog
Joined
Dec 19, 2014
Messages
5,845
Reaction score
1,686
Location
West Palm Beach
Question on using a normal ssr on a port that has pwm capability : due to running out of space on my Unishield, is it ok to have a pwm-capable Element to control a non-pwm ssr? I selected PWM ´off’ in the pid Element settings..?
Yes, with if PWM mode is turned off in the PID, it will use a binary output.
 
OP
OP
BrunDog
Joined
Dec 19, 2014
Messages
5,845
Reaction score
1,686
Location
West Palm Beach
So I have my proportional SSR’s mcpc2490a hooked up via AA-2 amp, will give her a wet trial in a few days.

My set up has 6 heating elements, with 2 SSR’s that are not pwm capable. While doing a visual inspection on those 2, I found this;

View attachment 792787
Very known and documented problem with fake SSR's. Avoid FOTEK or other cheap knock-offs. Use a quality heatsink, not the little one which ships from Amazon, Aliexpress, etc. and make sure to use a very light application of thermal grease underneath.
 

oakbarn

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jun 23, 2011
Messages
2,001
Reaction score
433
Location
Bartonville
I was trying to figure out what @Chocpish was trying to do. I was reading the manual (4/20/2022) regarding PID (Page 50) and there is no mention of the "Use PWM" switch.
@Brudog stated
"Yes, with if PWM mode is turned off in the PID, it will use a binary output."

Does this mean it will act like a Digital Output Element with just On and Off?

What is the use of the "Use PWM" switch?
 

oakbarn

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jun 23, 2011
Messages
2,001
Reaction score
433
Location
Bartonville
Use PWM sets the output mode to PWM output if the output can support it. Otherwise it is a binary output (ON or OFF) aka Duty Cycle.
Why would you want to set this up? Future replacement of a Standard SSR with a Proportional one? I could see that use because you would have all scripts correct and not have to delete and replace a Duty Cycle Element with a PID Element.
 

oakbarn

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jun 23, 2011
Messages
2,001
Reaction score
433
Location
Bartonville
I deleted an element (port 34) Digital Output as I was re organizing some new elements. It was deleted from the Workspace. I decided I was going to use Port 34 as a different Digital Output, so I tried to Add an Element Port 34 as a Digital Output. That choice is not on the list. I have rebooted the computer twice. I even checked the brucfg file and cannot find the deleted element in that file. So it was deleted. I wrote a little script to see if the was "there" with "Port34_do_ My Element" enabled = true. It threw the correct error as it did not find the Element. Any suggestions?
 
OP
OP
BrunDog
Joined
Dec 19, 2014
Messages
5,845
Reaction score
1,686
Location
West Palm Beach
I deleted an element (port 34) Digital Output as I was re organizing some new elements. It was deleted from the Workspace. I decided I was going to use Port 34 as a different Digital Output, so I tried to Add an Element Port 34 as a Digital Output. That choice is not on the list. I have rebooted the computer twice. I even checked the brucfg file and cannot find the deleted element in that file. So it was deleted. I wrote a little script to see if the was "there" with "Port34_do_ My Element" enabled = true. It threw the correct error as it did not find the Element. Any suggestions?
Do you have another Digital Output Device with a dual-throw set up that is using it? Or did you change the wiring map?
 
OP
OP
BrunDog
Joined
Dec 19, 2014
Messages
5,845
Reaction score
1,686
Location
West Palm Beach
Why would you want to set this up? Future replacement of a Standard SSR with a Proportional one? I could see that use because you would have all scripts correct and not have to delete and replace a Duty Cycle Element with a PID Element.
You would use this if you wanted a proportional output rather than a duty cycle output. Your example is a good one: using a proportional SSR rather than a digital one.
 

oakbarn

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jun 23, 2011
Messages
2,001
Reaction score
433
Location
Bartonville
Do you have another Digital Output Device with a dual-throw set up that is using it? Or did you change the wiring map?
I do not think I have set any Dual Throws. I just went to a backup and restarted changing things. I just edited the existing Port 34 digital Out in the backup and have solved my issue but I thought it was very strange that it happened. I am using the latest Firmware 46 (11/22/2022) and have not changed that since it the day you put it out.

I simply deleted the Element then went to create a different one on the same Port( getting my wires more in order), but could not create a new DigitaL Out. Everything was working normally before.

I might play with it again tomorrow and see if I can duplicate the error. I will just go to a previous backup and try to delete and then add so I do not lose my changes that I just made.
 

oakbarn

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jun 23, 2011
Messages
2,001
Reaction score
433
Location
Bartonville
On the UM-1 Product note:

Pin 8 Description in chart

"Connects the interface pin 5 to the Base board. In cases where a shield is used and pin 5 is needed for SPI or 1- wire communications, disconnecting this line may ensure proper operation of the SPI or 1-wire bus"

"1. For UniShields without a communications shield or with an Ethernet shield, the 1-wire bus can be connected to either pin 5 or 6. If connecting to 5, ensure switches 7 and 8 are ON. If connecting to pin 6, ensure switch 6 is ON."

This seems "at odds" to me if you are going to use Pin 5 for one-wire with an Ethernet shield.
 

Chokpish

Active Member
Joined
May 20, 2015
Messages
27
Reaction score
2
Proportional valve related question: I plan on using KLD 24 vdc proportional valve with 4 wires; what kind of Brucontrol Element should I use with it? Something similar to a PID with pwm? Just wondering what is the easiest way to control and monitor valve angle..
 
OP
OP
BrunDog
Joined
Dec 19, 2014
Messages
5,845
Reaction score
1,686
Location
West Palm Beach
On the UM-1 Product note:

Pin 8 Description in chart

"Connects the interface pin 5 to the Base board. In cases where a shield is used and pin 5 is needed for SPI or 1- wire communications, disconnecting this line may ensure proper operation of the SPI or 1-wire bus"

"1. For UniShields without a communications shield or with an Ethernet shield, the 1-wire bus can be connected to either pin 5 or 6. If connecting to 5, ensure switches 7 and 8 are ON. If connecting to pin 6, ensure switch 6 is ON."

This seems "at odds" to me if you are going to use Pin 5 for one-wire with an Ethernet shield.

"Connects the interface pin 5 to the Base board. In cases where a shield is used and pin 5 is needed for SPI or 1- wire communications, disconnecting this line may ensure proper operation of the SPI or 1-wire bus" <- what this means is if you wanted to stack an additional (third party) shield on the UniShield, and need communications to Pin 5, switching off function switch 8 will disconnect the signal to the base board. This will remove the extra wiring and output driver circuit, which *could* create EMI interference, capacitance, etc.

"1. For UniShields without a communications shield or with an Ethernet shield, the 1-wire bus can be connected to either pin 5 or 6. If connecting to 5, ensure switches 7 and 8 are ON. If connecting to pin 6, ensure switch 6 is ON." <- what this means is if you want to connect your 1-wire sensor to the base board's P terminal (9-2P for pin 5 or 8-3P for pin 6), then you need to make sure the function switches 7 (enables pin 5 onboard pullup resistor) and 8 (connects pin 5 to the base board per above) are ON for pin 5.

I'm not sure why you think it would be odd to use Pin 5 for 1-wire with ethernet shield... since the ethernet shield does not need pin 5, it is available for use otherwise, and 1-wire is a good choice there because we included a built-in pullup. You can use another available pin <15 but then you would need to add your own pullup resistor.
 
OP
OP
BrunDog
Joined
Dec 19, 2014
Messages
5,845
Reaction score
1,686
Location
West Palm Beach
Proportional valve related question: I plan on using KLD 24 vdc proportional valve with 4 wires; what kind of Brucontrol Element should I use with it? Something similar to a PID with pwm? Just wondering what is the easiest way to control and monitor valve angle..

Yes, it would be PWM as these microcontrollers do not have native analog out (well, some do). You should convert that to analog with a converter, RC low-pass filter (not advised but would work), or the analog-amplifier board.
 

Chokpish

Active Member
Joined
May 20, 2015
Messages
27
Reaction score
2
So I have the analog amp board from Brucontrol and I’m using a few channels for my proportional ssr’s- all good so far.

I’m wondering which of these BC Element types I should use for this proportional valve…

I am using Port 6 which has a pwm capability.

P.s. Mega Unishield with Ethernet
 

Attachments

  • A15770A3-8C5C-47E7-9995-229FA63B9810.jpeg
    A15770A3-8C5C-47E7-9995-229FA63B9810.jpeg
    3.2 MB · Views: 0

oakbarn

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jun 23, 2011
Messages
2,001
Reaction score
433
Location
Bartonville
Also, since you are using a UNIShield, you need to reserve either Port 5 or Port 6 for future one wire. I have chosen to use any one wire with Port 6 myself and have set the DIP Switches accordingly. You may not need one wire now, but better to plan for the future. And since you have to remove the Ethernet shield to set the DIP switches, now is the time to think about Port 5 or 6 as YOUR choice for one wire reservation.

You can use other Ports for one wire, but the Unishield is set up for Port 5 or 6.
 

Chokpish

Active Member
Joined
May 20, 2015
Messages
27
Reaction score
2
Also, since you are using a UNIShield, you need to reserve either Port 5 or Port 6 for future one wire. I have chosen to use any one wire with Port 6 myself and have set the DIP Switches accordingly. You may not need one wire now, but better to plan for the future. And since you have to remove the Ethernet shield to set the DIP switches, now is the time to think about Port 5 or 6 as YOUR choice for one wire reservation.

You can use other Ports for one wire, but the Unishield is set up for Port 5 or 6.
Thanks for the suggestion on Port 6; I’ll keep it unused for now.

For the pwm element, I finally got it. For some reason I was trying to use a PID function and selecting pwm switch on - which is not relevant. All good now

Do you use the feedback wire from the valve ?
 
OP
OP
BrunDog
Joined
Dec 19, 2014
Messages
5,845
Reaction score
1,686
Location
West Palm Beach
I don’t recommend using the feedback signal. The information won’t really mean much - the valve percentage open or closed won’t tell you much of value. If you want a good feedback loop, I’d suggest using a flowmeter to assess flow rates through the circuit.

That output is current driven so would need to be converted to voltage via a resistor if you want to use it.
 

H0phead

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Nov 23, 2014
Messages
40
Reaction score
4
Location
Burlington, WA
@BrunDog

I'd like to purchase your uniflex 30A product, but am unsure that it will suit my needs. My brewery has 20 KLD20 (2way) motorized valves, 1 PSF-20 volume sensor, and 2 Onewire temp probes. It looks like from your spec sheet that the Uniflex only supports up to 12 I/O.

Is there a Uniflex configuration that could support 20 valves, 1 volume sensor, and 2 temp probes?
 

oakbarn

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jun 23, 2011
Messages
2,001
Reaction score
433
Location
Bartonville
@BrunDog

I'd like to purchase your uniflex 30A product, but am unsure that it will suit my needs. My brewery has 20 KLD20 (2way) motorized valves, 1 PSF-20 volume sensor, and 2 Onewire temp probes. It looks like from your spec sheet that the Uniflex only supports up to 12 I/O.

Is there a Uniflex configuration that could support 20 valves, 1 volume sensor, and 2 temp probes?
The Uniflex 30A is sorta of a Turnkey for controlling 2 electric vessels. You can add a Mega Unishield and add lots of valves, If you have DC valves, the Unishield will power them without the need for additional SSRs (the only caveat is that if you have reverse polarity valves, you will still need a DPDT relay for those to work) In fact with an AA-3 Analog Amp and some Proportional Controllers, you can power up to 4 PWM Elements.

The Uniflex seems to be an entry level system that is limited and some of the wiring has been done for you. You can accomplish the same by doing your own wiring and buying your own Proportional Controllers. I have added additional interfaces to divide and conquer and have two Unishields, although I could have done with one because I have 22 valves and they are all reverse polarity 5 wire and could have just used a standard Mega 2560.

I am not sure of the wiring you have on your KLD Valves and how they work. Regardless, you can add DPDT Relays if reverse polarity and use a Standard Mega with a Ethernet or Wifi Shield (Ethernet is more reliable).
 

Chokpish

Active Member
Joined
May 20, 2015
Messages
27
Reaction score
2
Brucontrol Workspace - Backup and Recovery

My laptop crashed last week and I ended losing my workspace in Brucontrol. Not sure what happened exactly, but I rebuilt my workspace and everything has been running smoothly since.

As I’m getting ready for my first brewday using my shiny new Brucontrol, I wonder how to prepare I’m case my laptop acts up again? I attempted to recover my workspace after last week’s crash to no avail. I followed all the steps on page 17 of Brucontrol’s user manual - no success.

As mentioned,it’s all good now, but if there’s an easy way to get me out of a similar bind in the future- I’d be all ears.

Ps- just finished all of my ‘wet’ functional checks tonight- all inputs/outputs checked and calibrated where required, pumps, valves, sensors - we’re good to go, Houston.
 

RiverCityBrewer

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 20, 2009
Messages
1,286
Reaction score
237
Location
Cincinnati
There is a folder called BruControl that is created inside of the Documents folder of the user account that installed BC. Simply copy that folder to external storage on occasion and you will be able to restore your config.
 

H0phead

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Nov 23, 2014
Messages
40
Reaction score
4
Location
Burlington, WA
The Uniflex 30A is sorta of a Turnkey for controlling 2 electric vessels. You can add a Mega Unishield and add lots of valves, If you have DC valves, the Unishield will power them without the need for additional SSRs (the only caveat is that if you have reverse polarity valves, you will still need a DPDT relay for those to work) In fact with an AA-3 Analog Amp and some Proportional Controllers, you can power up to 4 PWM Elements.

The Uniflex seems to be an entry level system that is limited and some of the wiring has been done for you. You can accomplish the same by doing your own wiring and buying your own Proportional Controllers. I have added additional interfaces to divide and conquer and have two Unishields, although I could have done with one because I have 22 valves and they are all reverse polarity 5 wire and could have just used a standard Mega 2560.

I am not sure of the wiring you have on your KLD Valves and how they work. Regardless, you can add DPDT Relays if reverse polarity and use a Standard Mega with a Ethernet or Wifi Shield (Ethernet is more reliable).
Thank you for the helpful info. My valves are 24VDC (3wire)...not sure on polarity (will need to check this). From your reply it sounds like I can "extend" the I/O capacity of the Uniflex (to accomodate my valves and sensors) by integrating a Mega 2560.
 

oakbarn

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jun 23, 2011
Messages
2,001
Reaction score
433
Location
Bartonville
There is a folder called BruControl that is created inside of the Documents folder of the user account that installed BC. Simply copy that folder to external storage on occasion and you will be able to restore your config.
Just as an aside. I always make an immediate backup before I make ANY changes to a Workspace or Script. I do that by simply using Windows explorer to copy and paste the file of my configuration. While BruControl does an excellent job of making automatic backups daily when the program is running, it is a good idea to always make a backup and keep OFF your computer. You can use a thumb drive or something like Dropbox to store on the cloud. I do this every month. Takes a few minutes but can save a lot of grief.
 

oakbarn

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jun 23, 2011
Messages
2,001
Reaction score
433
Location
Bartonville
Thank you for the helpful info. My valves are 24VDC (3wire)...not sure on polarity (will need to check this). From your reply it sounds like I can "extend" the I/O capacity of the Uniflex (to accomodate my valves and sensors) by integrating a Mega 2560.
You likely have CR03 wiring then and it is not reverse polarity, but could use 2 Ports of a Mega Unishield to control a single valve (or use an External DPDT Relay with one Port) A Mega has lots of I/Os (54 I think) and for 22 valves you would use most of them (44) with a Unishield. It is easy to add another Mega or Grand Central to create even more I/Os. BruConrol has an attribute for a Digital Out when it is easy to "flip the switch" where when One Port has the "state" as True, the Dual Throw Port is False. (Acts sorta like a DPDT relay).

The Unishield makes controlling valves easy, but you can do it with a Standard Mega and three DPDT 8 channel Relay and just use 22 ports on the Mega.
 

Chokpish

Active Member
Joined
May 20, 2015
Messages
27
Reaction score
2
There is a folder called BruControl that is created inside of the Documents folder of the user account that installed BC. Simply copy that folder to external storage on occasion and you will be able to restore your config.
I am able to access and backup the Brucontrol config files; my issue is with the recovery portion. How could I use yesterdays config’ ? As mentioned, I followed the instructions in BC user manual (after last week’s laptop crash) and was not able to recover my previous workspace..
 

Chokpish

Active Member
Joined
May 20, 2015
Messages
27
Reaction score
2
...and while I rebuid my Workspace, I just realized that I lost my few scripts I had in there...! So after many months away from attempting to write any kind of script, here<S the error message I'm getting when trying to set up a boil over protection..

Line 3 seems to be in error...??

1671116529642.png
 

oakbarn

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jun 23, 2011
Messages
2,001
Reaction score
433
Location
Bartonville
I am able to access and backup the Brucontrol config files; my issue is with the recovery portion. How could I use yesterdays config’ ? As mentioned, I followed the instructions in BC user manual (after last week’s laptop crash) and was not able to recover my previous workspace..
This really has nothing to do with BruControl but is a Windows thing. BruControl just uses some of the Windows standard items to place their files.

Because it is controlled largely by Windows, these may change and have nothing to do with BruControl. The first screen shoot is form a Win 11 machine, all others are Win 10. They would be very similar from Win 10 to Win 11.

For example my real configuration is named:

OakbarnBrewery2. brucfg


Open Windows Explorer.

Step 1.png




1. Navigate to Documents
2. Once you click , you should be in the Documents folder.
3. There is a subfolder named BruControl. This is where your Brucontrol documents reside.

step 2.png

4, Click to navigate to the BruControl Subfolder.

In may case, I have 3 configuration files.

5. Default.brucfg is the default configuration file that was created when you installed BruControl.

LARGE HINT: if Default.brucfg is your configuration file, Copy, Paste in the Documents/Brucontrol folder and RENAME it. Select the renamed configuration file in BruControl under Settings-> Configuration!


6. I have a configuration named OakbarnBrewery. brucfg that was last used on 11/30/2022.

7. I have a configuration named OakbarnBrewery2. brucfg that was last used on 12/15/2022. This is the one I am currently using.

8, settings.brusettings is a file created by BruControl. If you delete this file, an new one is automatically created.

9. The date modified is the last day the file was used.

There are also some sub folders created autonatically.

10. Config Backup

This is where automatic backups are put.

11. Data
This is where your SQL Data file is put. It is named Data.mdf.

12. Log
This is where any Log files are placed.

I have some other subfolders I created myself:

Images: Where I store some generic image files
Manual Backup: where I manually create a backup file before doing any changes to scripts or workspaces so I can quickly recover if I make a big error.

step 3.png


13. Navigate to the Config Backup folder.

14. Your Configuations are being backed up.

a. default.brucfg was last backed up on 11/30/2022
b. OakBarnBrewery.brucfg was last backed up on 11/30/2022.
c. OakBarnBrewery2.brucfg was backed up on 12/11/2022. You can see that that has been the file that I have been using as it has many backups. It has
additional backups on the 12/13/2022, 12/14/2022 and 12/15/2022. I am going to restore the backup made on 12/11/2022 because that was the day I remember when everything was working, If you made any changes after that backup, they will be lost if you restore that backup.
15. The .bak is the file extension for a backup.
16. You can see that that has been the file that I have been using as it has many backups. It has
additional backups on the 12/13/2022, 12/14/2022 and 12/15/2022.
17. This is the date of the backup.
18. I am going to restore the backup made on 12/11/2022 because that was the day I remember when everything was working, If you made any changes after that backup, they will be lost if you restore that backup.
Note that the file name has some meaning.

The file name is OakbarnBrewery2.brucfg.20221211.bak

This means that it is a backup of the OakbarnBrewery2.brucfg made on 12/11/2022.

We need to replace our OakBarnBrewery2.brucfg with the backup.

step 4.png




18. Right Click the file.


19. Copy the file.

20. Navigate back yo the BruControl folder.

step 5.png




21. Click or Right Click the bad configuration file. In Win 11 you have to Right Click and choose More Options, If you do not know Windows,, call a friend.


22. Click Delete. The file will be deleted. There is no waring. It is gone.

step 6.png


23. Paste your copied backup.

24. Right Click to Rename the File.


step 7.png



25. Rename the file.
step 8.png

a. Click into the end of the File Name. Use backspace to get rid of everything up to the brucfg part of the file

26. Click Enter
27. Yes
.
 
Last edited:

oakbarn

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jun 23, 2011
Messages
2,001
Reaction score
433
Location
Bartonville
...and while I rebuid my Workspace, I just realized that I lost my few scripts I had in there...! So after many months away from attempting to write any kind of script, here<S the error message I'm getting when trying to set up a boil over protection..

Line 3 seems to be in error...??

View attachment 807850
If "PID 3-4" is a PID Element, You can only READ the Value attribute of a PID Type Element. You may not SET the Value. It is between 0 and 255.
 

exoticatom

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 25, 2017
Messages
120
Reaction score
40
Location
Zürich
Where? I do not see anywhere on a Global to selectively not record it. I have Build 22.
Misunderstanding, sorry. I meant, I also don't have it. And if I am not mistaken, last software release was more than a year ago. Many features have been discussed....
 
Last edited:
Top