Deep Six Brewing System - v2.0

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Clayton

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Yes, I am the programmer. It is actually a very refreshing project compared to the software I write for work...

Right now the configs are loaded through a standard windows dialog but that isn't good enough for the final product. I am working on creating an interface to load the configs that is more touchscreen friendly. Here is a screenshot - sorry, kinda big... it is 1:1 ratio. Notice that the only letters that are lit up are the ones with configs that match. Once the letter is selected, a list of all configs that match are returned to be selected... still working on that part.

QUOTE]


you know just as a thought
the onboard computer has ethernet it would be very sweet if
you could make-import your Recipes in BeerSmith.
if Beer Smith had an added function to it for the JBBS
then you open your Recipe send it to the jbbs via usb thumbdrive or ethernet

mabe it could even provide added logging and what not
if you connect via your computer the need for screens and other interface stuff
could be olimnated ,
 
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John Beere

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I have been using ProMash for some time but recently downloaded the trial of BeerSmith and like it a lot. I have briefly looked into the XML output from Beersmith, and I think most all of the info could be gleamed from it. I will definitely explore this once I get the other bugs worked out.
 
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John Beere

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Right now I can't find a reasonably priced flowmeter, nor have I researched any type valve that could be precisely controlled - but both seem completely doable.

I have never had issue with grain bed compaction or anything of the like, so I recirculate during the entire mash at 100% flow.
 

Chriso

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if you connect via your computer the need for screens and other interface stuff could be olimnated ,
This isn't exactly the same as what you were describing... as you will still need to manually copy over the configuration file... BUT. As long as the "brewing PC" is running Windows XP Professional (or the right version of Vista but I don't know which versions support it), it has a Remote Desktop feature built-in.

I use this frequently from other PCs and from my MacBook (there's a Mac client available) to remote in to my main desktop.

Once you remote in, you control that computer as if you were sitting at it. So then, if you have a network drive mapped on your Brewing PC that connects to another computer on your network with your copy of BeerSmith on it, you can simply drag-n-drop the exported config file from the "server" to the Brewing PC. Then, you can open JBBS (still remotely), load the config file, and start the process running.

I've done this successfully over wireless, no ethernet cable required. :)

Cheers!
 
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John Beere

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bakins

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Bigger than that though is the flexibility that the LabJack provides in reading a multitude of devices and probes and the accuracy (12-bit resolution on the analog inputs) it provides. Right now, I am toggling six solid state relays, reading two temperature probes, and monitoring a float switch. And I can still hook up ten more devices to this single device.
Okay, I will definitely dig deeper into the labJack stuff. Their website is kinda "blah" but I found some forums that may be of mor ehelp.

Thanks.
 

slnies

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You might find this interesting as well, You my friend are creating a smarter PLC. In fact, you could install a simple PLC along with your touch screen and program, The PLC could take care of all of the automation and even take all of the sensor readings, and their analog inputs already come in 16 bit. I', not sure I said that right, but you get the picture. The interesting part is the PLC can take a lot more abuse than the average computer, kind of, making your system Brewer proof, well mostly. LOL You can still retain the option of hooking the big bad computer to the system at any time, because you can expand a PLC with ethernet and network it as well. This is popular on industrial robots. Anyway, just more ideas. And I already understand, you have a limited amount of time. But hey, it is what it is. I look forward to seeing the final product. S.
 

Clayton

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This isn't exactly the same as what you were describing... as you will still need to manually copy over the configuration file... BUT. As long as the "brewing PC" is running Windows XP Professional (or the right version of Vista but I don't know which versions support it), it has a Remote Desktop feature built-in.

I use this frequently from other PCs and from my MacBook (there's a Mac client available) to remote in to my main desktop.

Once you remote in, you control that computer as if you were sitting at it. So then, if you have a network drive mapped on your Brewing PC that connects to another computer on your network with your copy of BeerSmith on it, you can simply drag-n-drop the exported config file from the "server" to the Brewing PC. Then, you can open JBBS (still remotely), load the config file, and start the process running.

I've done this successfully over wireless, no ethernet cable required. :)

Cheers!

ya but that adds 150$ for no reson (cost of xp),, the onboard computer can run a free os and the server app running on the JBBS can just talk to a modifide ver of beer smith

as for wireless ver wire there is no deffrence its all tcp-ip
 

wihophead

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You might find this interesting as well, You my friend are creating a smarter PLC. In fact, you could install a simple PLC along with your touch screen and program, The PLC could take care of all of the automation and even take all of the sensor readings, and their analog inputs already come in 16 bit. I', not sure I said that right, but you get the picture. The interesting part is the PLC can take a lot more abuse than the average computer, kind of, making your system Brewer proof, well mostly. LOL You can still retain the option of hooking the big bad computer to the system at any time, because you can expand a PLC with ethernet and network it as well. This is popular on industrial robots. Anyway, just more ideas. And I already understand, you have a limited amount of time. But hey, it is what it is. I look forward to seeing the final product. S.

Going the PLC route would be much more expensive, hell if you go with A-B or GE the software alone is crazy expensive. We have 6 ME hardware keys at work that cost a total of $30,000. When I finally get around to building something I will go the route of a PLC but I work for GE and use Machine Edition and Logic Master on a daily basis...;)
 
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John Beere

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It is all pretty simple really - and I'm not trying to rant - I am a windows programmer, have been for over a decade now. At this stage in my career, I really don't want to start over and re-learn anything... so I went with what I know. And I know GUI - which, to me is what makes this app really click.

Mixing real world devices and programming is something that I have always wanted to explore - and this seemed like the perfect project. For me, it has turned out exactly how I wanted it... actually it has already exceeded my expectations.

I'm sure I've sparked every programmer's imagination who has seen this thread. There are probably hundreds of different ways to achieve the same goal - and there is sure to be a hundred attempts made at achieving it now - but, that is OK. I chose to share it at this stage of development for a reason.

Maybe you can hook up a monitor to the Arduino. Or maybe you just hook it up to your PC and interface it that way, I don't really know. But if the latter is true, I don't get why I would care about it as it only seems to make sense when it is running completely removed from a PC. I get that you could interface it through networking, but you would still need a PC on the other end. I mean, if it has to be hooked to a PC, why couldn't I have just rigged my own PID from a serial or parallel port for that matter? I have the code to do that and I would still have the robustness of Windows to make it do anything I wanted it to do instead of trying to get everything to work from the Arduino...

A good example is the PH electrode integration we are working on. I'm not even going to go into the EE issues we are working through, but I will say that even if you get it working, you are in for trouble if you don't offer a robust calibration routine as well as have an algorithm to handle temperature offsets. I would not have wanted to attempt that, or any of the other algorithms the application uses, any other way...
 

Chriso

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ya but that adds 150$ for no reson (cost of xp),, the onboard computer can run a free os and the server app running on the JBBS can just talk to a modifide ver of beer smith
BeerSmith is Windows software. From what JB has said, JBBS is Windows software. The cost of the OS is not relevant, and has nothing to do with what I was saying. I was just posing a creative solution to being able to run the Brewing PC without monitor or keyboard - Trying to give a practical response to the type of setup you were describing. Not trying to start a fight, just trying to clarify. Sorry you found my suggestion wasteful/offensive. Cheers.
 

Clayton

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"Not trying to start a fight, just trying to clarify. Sorry you found my suggestion wasteful/offensive. Cheers."
all cost in production are relavent and effect the total cost I did not find anything offensive or wastful ,, this is a free exchange of ideas, no one is picking on you so dont be a sissy and lets not hijack this thread ether this is johns party and he deserves the spotlight
 

kladue

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IMHO Johns system is what the labJack interface is made for, PLC hardware is overkill for this type system as the cost of the hardware and the time needed to build the control application are not worth it. Keeping the software in the windows world makes development and distribution easier than java & linux based programming would be. This is a lesson learned while developing a Java application for a PLC based system that has gone beyond 3000 SLOC and still is only 75% done.
 

slnies

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Going the PLC route would be much more expensive, hell if you go with A-B or GE the software alone is crazy expensive. We have 6 ME hardware keys at work that cost a total of $30,000. When I finally get around to building something I will go the route of a PLC but I work for GE and use Machine Edition and Logic Master on a daily basis...;)
Don't get me wrong big dog, but you don't have to spend that kind of money on a PLC to get one that you could use to run a brew rig. There is at least one brew rig on the market that is available to home brewers that uses one. It is made by SABCO. I will point out that it does not cost 30,000 dollars either. It's not cheap, but it is in line with 3B on their systems. Point. Wihophead, you get to work with the best PLC's on the market, that also makes them expensive. Thank goodness for competition!! For less than the price of a new computer you could buy the right PLC for the job and the software. You do however have one problem, and Kladue hit it on the head, writing a program that is useful and not so ginormis that it takes forever to run. Johns idea is great, and he is using what he knows and that is good enough for me, just remember the PLC was just an idea. Maybe not a great one, but one none the less.:tank:
 
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Yet another person to compliment you on this. It would be very cool to see you take this and turn it into a profitable business. Can't wait to see it all happen. Do you have a manual system as well that you will use occasionally? Autobrewing would be cool to get your beer stock up but taking the day for brewing is fun as well.
 
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John Beere

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Well, I realized there was an issue with the LabJack on late Tuesday night and spent most all day yesterday working with their staff on figuring it out. They were able to recreate the issue and came up with several different resolutions, now I just have to implement it. Kudos to them for taking this issue so serious and working with me as much as they did.

It turns out that sinking current into the digital outputs was causing "small" errors with the analog input readings. What this really translated into is that even though I had everything wired correctly, it was causing a lot of ground current to flow into the same chip which does the analog/digital conversions.

The five 120v relays effect is minimal, but the 220v relay was causing the temp probes to instantly lose between .5~.6 degrees every time it turned on and then gain it back when the relay turned off. This was not only causing false readings, it was causing the HEX to heat for longer than it should as it was reading the temp as too low.

The LabJack is very flexible and I should have my testing done with the new wiring configuration sometime in the next few days... will report back then with some new graphs.
 

camiller

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Gotta tell you, as a Purdue Alumni I love the Old Gold & Black color scheme. ;)

One thought for you, the implementation of the dial gauges in the interface are kind of cool but lack "across the room" readability. If I were considering buying something like this I'd want big readable numerals.
 
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John Beere

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One thought for you, the implementation of the dial gauges in the interface are kind of cool but lack "across the room" readability. If I were considering buying something like this I'd want big readable numerals.
This was initially how I had it. Maybe I can come up with a way to add them in as part of the LCD screen as well. To tell you the truth, after you begin to trust the app, you also begin to not worry about it as you know it is keeping everything in check - unless you hear an alarm being sound by the app.
 
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John Beere

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I got the relay / probe issue resolved and ran another test, This was probably the first accurate test of the new system. The current algoritm overshot the mash temp by one full degree every time it ramped the temp up. It also should have kicked on the heat a little sooner to catch the temp before it fell by a half degree - but no worries about either of those things, that is a simple tweak in the software.

In this test, I started at around 80 degrees and ramped the mash to 104, did a one minute acid rest and then immediately ramped to 153 and held for sixty minutes. The HEX differential was set to 5 degrees.


 

nathan

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please keep me on your list of folks who are interested in how this goes.

I can weld and tinker, but I'd either need the components for the controls and detailed instructions, or basically a mountable addition of the control panel lcd and the electrical and computer boxes that I could bolt onto my own stand. Right now I can build a working stand (and am doing so) that is managed manually, but if I could spend 500-1000 and get a control system for it that I could add on, that would be very very tempting. It wouldn't require much modification either, beyond the bracket to mount the new stuff with and installing all the sensors. That level of computer controls is out of my league to build on my own.
 

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I happen to like the idea of using Windows because most people have an older spare PC to use for their beer project anyway. Linux would be good too but is more a Geek OS so I can not see it as a good choice for this project. Beersmith is run on Windows XP and so integration with Beersmith data could happen too. I would like to see the interface between the hardware and the PC be a simple inexpensive item so that this could be sold as a kit for any home brewer to automate at a reasonable cost. As far as this project has gone it has proven that this would be a really nice system once the bugs are gone. I see no reason to heckle about changing to a completely different controller method as this is the path he has chosen and knows well and will be a lot of fun for him and we should feel grateful that he has shared his thoughts with the members of HBT.
 

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Very nice. I want one too. Are you going to sell plans? Software? Whole Sytems?

Is there a time frame?

Thanks

:mug:
 

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Along the same lines with what Irwin asked......

John, I'm unclear on what you are trying to develop here. Are you looking to produce and sell the entire rig (kinda like a Brutus 10)? Or is it just the automated system that you are trying to market?
regardless, your entire setup is prodigious!



On a playful note......
Your automated system is just another computer taking a man's job away. Just like the self check out stands at the grocery store. They fired 8 cashiers and let a computer take over.:mad:

I'm teasing, John.
 
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John Beere

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Figuring out what exactly to sell and how is the hard part. Right now I am trying to get it wrapped up for my rig but that doesn't necessarily make it ready to just hook up to yours... The hardware is common but the wiring has become very specialized. Not to mention that touchscreens are not cheap.

I feel that this could be integrated into a rig that is ready to go - but that is a business I do not want to get into - although we are looking for partners.

I also feel that this could be sold as a DIY kit with the software and hardware as part of the package - but it has to become more flexible to work with other type rigs (such as Brutus clones that directly fire the mash, etc).

I'll get it there - hopefully sooner than later...
 

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Figuring out what exactly to sell and how is the hard part. Right now I am trying to get it wrapped up for my rig but that doesn't necessarily make it ready to just hook up to yours...
I also feel that this could be sold as a DIY kit with the software and hardware as part of the package - but it has to become more flexible to work with other type rigs (such as Brutus clones that directly fire the mash, etc).

I'll get it there - hopefully sooner than later...
Better to wait than market something with bugs not quite figured out, people never forget flawed equipment no matter how much better or improved it comes out later on.

With this system should it come out in kit form for those with already complete but manual systems like replied above will it include control for those wanting to go with a 100% electric heating system? Zero gas boil kettle included?

Quality results take time.
 

Jonnio

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Amazing system John - I am curious to see how it progresses over the next months. My only suggestion to make it more "marketable" is to plan ahead for people to install the software on a laptop and just plug in via USB/Ethernet/Whatever. Many people have spare laptops and they are lots cheaper than industrial touch screens.

In college I had an emphasis in controls, so I had pipe dreams of doing a PLC based setup, but you have whooped even my pipe dream.
 

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I also feel that this could be sold as a DIY kit with the software and hardware as part of the package - but it has to become more flexible to work with other type rigs (such as Brutus clones that directly fire the mash, etc).
Take your time John and enjoy this build. Maybe just plans would be the way to go as a kit. Maybe the touch screen could be a primium option and keyboard mouse as standard option. I have no idea how much has to be done to use a keyboard and mouse as far as software changes but that would lower the cost a lot. This is just a thought to ponder regarding later sales and devepopment John and in no way am I trying to imply a change in YOUR system. :)
 

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I think having the software that would work on a laptop and a USB interface where all of the solenoids would plug into would be a good idea. Making it a simple plug and play system would be easy for users to work with.
 

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I think having the software that would work on a laptop and a USB interface where all of the solenoids would plug into would be a good idea. Making it a simple plug and play system would be easy for users to work with.
That's what I was thinking about for an arduino based setup. A box with a USB connector and everything just plugs into it (pumps, heating elements, etc.). The actual relays would be inside the box as well (with heatsinks). This is how my brewcart is today, except I'm using a couple of Auber PID's. I could theoretically "transform" mine for the price of an Arduino and some programming time. If I ever get around to it, I'm not sure what language I'd program it in (I don't even have a windows box to even try...) but I guess I could learn Java or something to be cross platform. Would release it as open source, because I'm sure it would need lots of community involvement to be usable.
 
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John Beere

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Well, I had hoped to brew on my new setup this weekend but it just didn't happen due to some unexpected personal issues. On the other hand - I was able to pick up my new kettles today.

The software has a "hide pointer" option so that it can run from a touchscreen. It would run just fine from a laptop - another option is a cheap or used tablet PC. The only real issue is that it would have to support 1024x768 or higher resolution.

Before I agree to release it, I will have to create options for Brutus / RIMs systems. There are a lot of options but they are all very realistic to add into the app - just have to get it all worked out...
 

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A good example is the PH electrode integration we are working on. I'm not even going to go into the EE issues we are working through, but I will say that even if you get it working, you are in for trouble if you don't offer a robust calibration routine as well as have an algorithm to handle temperature offsets.
I'm an EE and develop calibration routines for industrial/automotive sensors as part of my job. I'd love to see what challenges your facing if you can share.
 
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John Beere

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I'm an EE and develop calibration routines for industrial/automotive sensor for a living. I'd love to see what challenges your facing if you can share.
I don't have all my notes in front of me - and I'm not the EE - but it has to do with amplifying the output of the PH probe into readable voltage by the LabJack. The temperature calibration routine doesn't look like it is going to be that challenging as it is linear. We still don't have a working amplifier, but the other thing I am trying to take into consideration is the fact that ph probes can apparently lose up to 70% of the output voltage in time or if not cleaned properly...
 

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John, I have an amplifier I sell that we use on a type K thermocouple so that they can be connected to data logging systems, has a 0-5 volt output. I would be happy to send you one to try on your PH probe. Not sure it would work but the price is right :) if interested PM a note with your address
Mike Licht
 
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John Beere

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John, I have an amplifier I sell that we use on a type K thermocouple so that they can be connected to data logging systems, has a 0-5 volt output. I would be happy to send you one to try on your PH probe. Not sure it would work but the price is right :) if interested PM a note with your address
Mike Licht
Awesome - will do. Thanks much...
 

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Wow! This system is amazing. Congrats!!

Just a side note from a legal perspective...have you been considering patents for the design? You can get patents for the current design and get new ones for subsequent modifications to the base prototype. If you are considering selling this thing (which you definitely should) I'd consider getting them sooner rather than later (if you haven't already), especially since you are sharing information on a public forum. Would hate to see someone profit from your ideas, albeit you haven't shared significant detail.

Again, congrats on this project! It's amazing.
 

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Have you taken a look at the LAB-Tick amplifier board for the Ph probe?, looks like the input impedance would work, just need to bias the Ph probe with +2.5 V to get full range output (Ph probe output polarity reverses above Ph 7). As to probe maintenace and signal loss from electrolyte dilution you can prolong the life of the probe by storing the glass element in the concentrated electrolyte solution when not in use.
 
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