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Building BrewPi... is my plan obsolete?

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petrolSpice

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I've been using an STC-1000 for years for ferm temp control, and would like to upgrade to BrewPi for the additional features and I want to get into the development board game and learn more about them.

I read through a few guides and got the basic idea, however, I'm concerned that the guides are outdated and I would be building a dinosaur. Here is what I have on my shopping list so far...

Buying:
Raspberry Pi 3 w/ starter kit (power adapter, case, etc)
Arduino Uno
2 channel relay
32 GB micro SD card
DS18b20 temp sensors

Already have:
HMDI monitor and cables
USB keyboard and mouse
4.7 kOhm resistor
Wiring, solder, outlets etc
Wifi

My plan is to communicate with the RPi via a laptop and VNC after it's all setup and connected to my home Wifi. This is also how I would access BrewPi's interface to set and check temperatures. I do not plan on using an LCD display, at least not yet.

So what has developments have occurred recently that make my plan obsolete?

Thanks! :tank:
 
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petrolSpice

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stlbeer

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I guess my concern is that since BrewPi came out, a lot of people who are smarter than me have made clever changes or improvements, most of which I don't understand. For example, getting rid of the Arduino Uno and just using the RPi. There's a relay board that mounts right on top. I'm not even sure what the Uno offers other than redundancy if the RPi crashes (correct?)
You can call the elimination of the Arduino an improvement or not. I've experienced 2 RPi malfunctions in each of my last two fermentations that make me quite happy that I am using Arduino's and not relying simply on the Pi. I would consider Arduino elimination a design option. Personal experience tells me that the Arduino is a requirement.
 
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Thorrak

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I guess my concern is that since BrewPi came out, a lot of people who are smarter than me have made clever changes or improvements, most of which I don't understand. For example, getting rid of the Arduino Uno and just using the RPi. There's a relay board that mounts right on top. I'm not even sure what the Uno offers other than redundancy if the RPi crashes (correct?)
Correct - The uno effectively offers redundancy.

There's a bunch of options out there at the moment.

Officially Supported:
BrewPi Spark - Runs the latest firmware, neat LCD panel

"Official" DIY Version:
Arduino Uno-based - Runs the legacy firmware, well documented on these forums

Other Versions:
Fuscus - Pure python build, no Arduino needed, runs the legacy firmware
BrewPi-ESP8266* - ESP8266-based build (replaces Arduino), Native WiFi support, runs the legacy firmware
BrewPiLess - ESP8266-based build, Replaces both Arduino and Raspberry Pi, Not officially BrewPi, but very very similar. Based on the legacy firmware

* - This is my project, so I'm biased, but I think it's the best option. Very biased, though
 
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petrolSpice

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* - This is my project, so I'm biased, but I think it's the best option. Very biased, though
But the Raspberry Pi has Wifi, so I'm not sure what the benefit is exactly :confused:
 

ubermick

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But the Raspberry Pi has Wifi, so I'm not sure what the benefit is exactly :confused:
The ESP8266 units communicate with the Pi (or server) via wifi. So your "minions" live with your fermenters doing their thang, and your server can be elsewhere.

My only issue currently with the ESP8266 is that it doesn't offer rotary support. With the Arduino model, even if the Pi goes down as happened to @stlbeer, or even fries completely, you can still control what's going on at the fermenter. (That, and I'm already too deep in the Arduino side of things to deviate).

The official BrewPi (now Spark based) seems to be rather expensive for what it is, although someone else on here managed to build a DIY version. They still seem to be ironing out some bugs, though, and the Arduino version is working great for most.
 

Thorrak

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The ESP8266 units communicate with the Pi (or server) via wifi. So your "minions" live with your fermenters doing their thang, and your server can be elsewhere.

My only issue currently with the ESP8266 is that it doesn't offer rotary support. With the Arduino model, even if the Pi goes down as happened to @stlbeer, or even fries completely, you can still control what's going on at the fermenter. (That, and I'm already too deep in the Arduino side of things to deviate).
Good point - The two ESP8266 versions don't have rotary encoder support.

Fuscus does (as do the arduino & spark versions).
 

Thorrak

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Yet. Right? Amirite? :D
Possibly. My thought at the moment is to add a tiny web interface that allows you to set beer/fridge constants, toggle LCD backlighting, and turn temperature control off.

Not quite the same, but would allow some degree of control without the web interface.

Of course, the new web interface is coming, also, but that won't help if your Pi is down. ;)
 

pocketmon

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Good point - The two ESP8266 versions don't have rotary encoder support.

Fuscus does (as do the arduino & spark versions).
BrewPiLess, my project, might support Rotary Encoder, later.

I found some issues but seem to solve them. If no new issue are found, I will release it later.

Setting by wireless in front of my desk is easier than using the rotary encoder. The only usage of Rotary Encoder to me is to "wake up"(turn on) the LCD. There is no PI in my project, so no Pi will crash or hang.

Wait.. I don't understand how could it be possible to use the rotary encoder without LCD?:confused:
 

day_trippr

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Lol. Really?
Of course that would make zero sense...

Cheers!
 
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petrolSpice

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The ESP8266 units communicate with the Pi (or server) via wifi. So your "minions" live with your fermenters doing their thang, and your server can be elsewhere.
If the ESP8266 is connected on your home wifi, could you connect with it via a laptop that is on the same Wifi and check/adjust temps? And not use a Rpi at all.
 

pocketmon

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If the ESP8266 is connected on your home wifi, could you connect with it via a laptop that is on the same Wifi and check/adjust temps? And not use a Rpi at all.
BrewPiLess will connect to LAN, and you can control it on your computer or phones. You can connect it through VPN or by DMZ setting, if you know how to setup. I don't recommend that, though.
You can also setup BrewPiLess to report the temperature to a web site. For example, my BrewPiLess sends data to thingspeak.com every 5 minutes. I can check the status everywhere internet is available.
 

FuzzeWuzze

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Theres nothing your doing that seems out of the ordinary. There have been some improvements in the BrewPi code for the Spark, but honestly the Arduino based system works so well at controlling temperatures i dont really care. If brewpi spark gets me to 99.99% accuracy and speed i dont really care because i already feel the BrewPi+Arduino legacy setup is 99.98% accurate.
 

gromitdj

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I agree with Fuzze. I've purchased all the parts to attempt the DIY spark and haven't yet, because the Arduino version I built from Fuzze's thread works so well. I probably won't bother with the spark until they figure out the hot side control that has been promised for quite some time. If it ever comes.
 

Brewski_59

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I started with Fuzze's howto thread, then added the LCD thanks to daytrippers thread. I've learned that this thing is only limited by your imagination and abilities. After asking a question here https://community.brewpi.com/t/brewometer-integration/1674 I was able to integrate the tilt hydrometer to my build with a lot of help from the community. Build yours, you won't regret it.
 

FuzzeWuzze

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I started with Fuzze's howto thread, then added the LCD thanks to daytrippers thread. I've learned that this thing is only limited by your imagination and abilities. After asking a question here https://community.brewpi.com/t/brewometer-integration/1674 I was able to integrate the tilt hydrometer to my build with a lot of help from the community. Build yours, you won't regret it.
Im dying to post a DIY on how to make your own tilt like device, but i just know they would come after me because of the patent since im in the US.
 

ame

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Im dying to post a DIY on how to make your own tilt like device, but i just know they would come after me because of the patent since im in the US.
Here's one outside the US. I haven't checked out the details, but it looks promising:
http://hobbybrauer.de/forum/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=11235
 

day_trippr

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Im dying to post a DIY on how to make your own tilt like device, but i just know they would come after me because of the patent since im in the US.
They don't have a case if you're not selling anything.
It's not like espionage ;)

Cheers!
 

FuzzeWuzze

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They don't have a case if you're not selling anything.
It's not like espionage ;)

Cheers!
In the US you can get in trouble for inducing someone to infringe on a patent, we have some stupid ass laws in general around patents.

https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/35/271

So while i wouldnt be selling anything, if i induced someone else to make a copy who did sell it i could be sued as an infringer. Totally stupid.

There are various thoughts, a lot of patent lawyers actually say that you can do this, but others say you cant...i asked reddit and couldnt get a straight answer. In my mind it just became, sure its probably fine, but if its not im going to have to hire a laywer for some godly fee. Not worth the risk for something i make no money on to begin with.
 
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petrolSpice

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Your link returns the following information:

Das von dir ausgewählte Thema existiert nicht.

I think it means the requested information doesn't exist.
The link worked for me. Have google translate ready, and even then it's a little confusing.
 

numberspace

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Hey Fuzze how goes the struggle to make this work with glycol? I patiently check BrewPi for updates but it seems for now the best bet is the Pi with an Adruino (I'm thinking of using the Leonardo board) thoughts?
Edit: I should include that I'm thinking of using one to take a temp input and open a valve and a second to take a temp input and turn on a pump. But I would prefer to use one
 

wapitiscat

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Yes yes, i have restarted that documentation project :)
That's great news. Looking forward to seeing what you've come up up with. The BrewPi build I based on your earlier efforts is running strong and helping me convince various Sach strains to do things according to my temperature constraints.*

Todd

* Who am I kidding? We all know those fungi are really the ones in charge.
 

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