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[Initial Release] RaspberryPints - Digital Taplist Solution

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kerber

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So wait, I DO have a spare laptop lying around and the display has burnt out. So that's perfect for use with this because I'll need a new display for the tap list anyway.

Will there be a guide to get this set up on a Windows device then also?
I can't speak to a guide, but RaspberryPints is using really standard software systems. If you can find a guide to set up MySQL, PHP, and a webserver on Windows - the rest should be pretty similar to our setup.
 

rgauthier20420

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I can't speak to a guide, but we're using really standard systems. If you can find a guide to set up MySQL, PHP, and a webserver on Windows - the rest should be pretty similar to our setup.
I think I'd just stick with the prescribed build parts. I like that the Pi is so small and the laptop is clunky. Plus it's old and outdated.

Looking forward to the final release of this!
 

Lost_Arkitekt

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What I want to avoid is everyone going out and buying hardware for a feature we've only done initial testing on. Obviously we can make the flow sensors work, but the hardware to interface them with the tap list is still in limbo.

The Slice if Pi/O was simple a guesstimate on Thadius's part. Once we got into testing, we realized we would need something more reliable and real-time to read the pulses. This hardware change has no effect on the main part of the project, only the keg monitoring. If someone is already spending the money for 5-10 flow sensors and the Pi, an additional $45 to make it work reliably should not be the end of the world. If that is too much, then don't do keg monitoring or contribute code to make it work without the Arduino.
Kerber...I don't know anyone on here (except one or two people), and I wasn't trying to be an ass. I don't know code. Period. Could I learn how to do it...sure. Not in my best interest to learn how to write code to save $45, so that makes the decision one sided for me (and probably many others on here). Plus, some of us who don't know code (well, at least me), went out in the infancy stages of this project and bought flow meters before the guy sold out of them because they were only $18 ea. With shipping, it was over $80 to me (not a lot to some, but to me, it is).

In fact, I think this entire project probably got written because the Thadius wanted something a little different than Kegbot and he could write it himself and save the dollars on Kegbot.

Also, saying something like "write code or spend money" isn't really fair. Not everyone has the money...in fact, some people on here are NOT going the flow meter route BECAUSE of the extra cost. I'm sure if the flow meters were $5 each and the boards to run 'em were $15 each, everyone would jump on that bandwagon. But, some people out there look at 3 flow meters (small keezer) and say, "Wow...I'd like to have them, but that is a 55 lb bag of Pale Ale Malt and some hops." In the beginning, I decided to take my extra money and put into the flow meters instead of putting it into other supplies (like another Chugger pump which I desperately need).

Again, I am not trying to be a jerk (not the intended tone here), but just remember that most people on here aren't computer techs/software engineers, so the code thing is not an option and throwing money at every turn is not an option either, or a bunch of people would have just bought Kegbot.

I, for one, have been watching this project since the very beginning, and I think the work you all are doing is amazing and nice as hell. Remember, YOU ALL are the "experts", so when you say, "You have to have 'X' to run this..." we all pay attention. "Buy a Slice of Pi and do some soldering..." and people buy that. (Some people already did...)

I'm also planning on donating to the project, so $30 here and $45 there (already bought the flow meters so I definitely want to incorporate them) adds up to no money for the project, and I, as well as many others, think you all deserve something for the effort.

There is my rant... I'll shut up now and buy whatever you say I need. :fro:
 

kerber

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Kerber...I don't know anyone on here (except one or two people), and I wasn't trying to be an ass.
I'm sorry if I came off as anything but straight-forward and to the point :\ This is definitely one of those engineer failing at communication situations.

What I was trying to say is that there will be some minimum amount of hardware needed to make flow sensors work. I spent a week of nights after work (much to my wife's dismay) trying to get the flow sensors to work reliably on just the Slice of Pi/O and a Raspberry Pi. While I have experience, I'm not an embedded systems expert and someone else might know a trick or two that I didn't. The Alamode/Centipede combo just gives us an Arduino compatible board and the same port expander chip that the Slice of Pi/O uses. Someone could totally go out and buy a cheap Arduino clone along with the bare MCP23017 chip. That would be totally compatible with what we're doing, but it would require some soldering and custom configuration.

Since soldering isn't an option for a lot of people, I started looking for solutions that would scale and just be plug and play. The Alamode and Centipede are really the cheapest already available options I could find. We could probably come up with a custom board layout that would be cheaper, but then someone would have to have the board made.

I'm really trying to find the combination of easy/cheap/expandable for people wanting to do level monitoring. I understand the new hardware target is more expensive than the Slice of Pi/O, but that's really the only option beyond wiring up something custom. As I see it, the options are A) Spend the money for pre-made boards B) Wire up something cheaper and custom C) Don't do the keg monitoring option and leave it at an awesome tap list
 

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Kerber is right about the lose in communication here. The research he has done as of right now is the best option. I have a slice of pi ready to go and was bummed it won't be used but if it can't meet the needs then it shouldn't be used. Having the pre-built boards will in the beginning cost more but will be the right way to go. I really hate soldering(shaky jake syndrome) and I work on electronics for a living. I should have waited till it was properly tested and I knew better but didn't listen to the tech in me and instead listen to the hey it is cheap and we will be fine. As kerber mention the A,B, and C option is some nice to have variables. Trust me I already got a little pissy with kerber last night but realized I was the one who made the mistake and jumped the gun before it was fired. I am not saying you made the same mistake or anyway was wrong. I am speaking for myself.

As for the coding you will not have to code a thing. The install instruction a real easy to follow. These guys built a nice install script for you all to use.

On another note. A kick ass job on the kegerator kerber.


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kerber

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On another note. A kick ass job on the kegerator kerber.
Thanks! I'm actually using this project as a good excuse to add more functionality to my Kegerator ;) Maybe I'll do a follow up thread once it's all done.
 

rgauthier20420

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Thanks! I'm actually using this project as a good excuse to add more functionality to my Kegerator ;) Maybe I'll do a follow up thread once it's all done.
We are finishing out basement at my house and told the wife about this project. Planning on through the wall taps and this is a perfect addition to a clean finish. She wasn't as excited about about the tap list as I was, but when I told her about the flow monitors...her eyes lit up :D
 

Lost_Arkitekt

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Kerber, et al, I'm not mad in the least. That is why I say there was no ill tone intended.

I think you all are doing an awesome job. My only caveat is that us non-tech beer lovers are just the lowly members following David Koresh. When you all say, "Jump"...we say "How high!" It's because we trust you.

If someone says, "Hey...buy these flow meters and they will work," we don't jump up and say, "Wait a minute...did you test these things out? Are you SURE they work?" Why? Because we don't want to insult anyone taking his/her spare time to create something to make our brewing/serving beer cooler and perhaps better.

My only advice is to not really mention stuff unless it is tested. Luckily, I didn't spend the $30 plus shipping from UK for the Slice of Pi. Until you know that the Alamode Arduino and Centipede option is definitely working, I wouldn't mention it because most of us are going to run out and buy that. That is my only thing. Just say, "The flow meters might require different hardware than we thought, but we'll address that after the release."

Thanks again to everyone. And BTW, option C really isn't an option for those of us who bought a bunch of flow meters already. It's like that new carburetor you bought for the muscle car. You are dead set on having that thing...so much so that you have to by a new intake manifold, etc., just to get the damned thing to work! Hahaha.
 

kerber

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My only advice is to not really mention stuff unless it is tested. Luckily, I didn't spend the $30 plus shipping from UK for the Slice of Pi. Until you know that the Alamode Arduino and Centipede option is definitely working, I wouldn't mention it because most of us are going to run out and buy that. That is my only thing. Just say, "The flow meters might require different hardware than we thought, but we'll address that after the release."
...

I'd encourage everyone to hold off on buying the Slice of PI/O right now. We're still very much in the process of hashing out hardware specifics. With the RPi being a non real-time OS, I'm hesitant to dump a bunch of functionality on it and still trust it to read flow sensor pulses at the speed we need.

The SF800's are absolutely going to work, it's just a matter of how we interface them. We've got things in the works and affordability is still very much at the forefront of our decision making.
As anxious as people might be to go out and buy those boards, it might not hurt to hold off until the feature is closer. While this is the current target hardware, there is still a lot of testing to be done. For now, the only 100% known hardware is the RPi.
I'm trying as hard to manage expectations and curb enthusiasm as I possibly can. I swear, I'm trying! I would love to ignore these threads and go hold up in my workshop and work on this project. The only reason I keep posting is to try to hold everyone back from jumping on hardware. I don't even have the Alamode or Centipede boards yet. I'd just mentioned those as tentative target hardware in our developer conversations.
 

tom_hampton

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I'm an old embedded systems engineer. Pulse counting can be done a few ways in both hw and sw. But counting pulses only a couple ms apart in sw with interrupts or worse polling is unreliable.

Generally, the most reliable way to do this is to have a hardware up counter that actually does the counting. Then sw just reads the counter periodically and does the math on pulses per time. Then sw resets the counter to 0.
 

Lost_Arkitekt

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...

I'm trying as hard to manage expectations and curb enthusiasm as I possibly can. I swear, I'm trying! I would love to ignore these threads and go hold up in my workshop and work on this project. The only reason I keep posting is to try to hold everyone back from jumping on hardware. I don't even have the Alamode or Centipede boards yet. I'd just mentioned those as tentative target hardware in our developer conversations.
Yes...you mentioned that just yesterday or the day before. The Slice of Pi request (for us to go buy) was made weeks ago.

I wasn't trying to point fingers or be ****ty. Sorry you took it that way. I just know how people are...if you say that something is what now works and then follow that up later with the "I would hold off...", most people will glaze over the latter. That's not YOUR fault...it's just the way people are.

Good work everyone.
 

jkurl

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Can we please move on and not keep beating a dead horse. We get it, mistakes were made. That is the thing about being human we make mistakes and learn from them. Please stop.


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mattd2

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I'm an old embedded systems engineer. Pulse counting can be done a few ways in both hw and sw. But counting pulses only a couple ms apart in sw with interrupts or worse polling is unreliable.

Generally, the most reliable way to do this is to have a hardware up counter that actually does the counting. Then sw just reads the counter periodically and does the math on pulses per time. Then sw resets the counter to 0.
Not trying to derail the thread but could you suggest any hardware options for counting, maybe PM me if you don't mind. Cheers :mug:
 
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thadius856

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Wow, looks like a trainwreck went on here. Why is HBT not sending me email alerts? Ugh.

Allow me to attempt to quench the flames.


The Slice if Pi/O was simple a guesstimate on Thadius's part.
Yes, yes it was. And I made absolutely no attempt to hide that fact.


Plus, some of us who don't know code (well, at least me), went out in the infancy stages of this project and bought flow meters before the guy sold out of them because they were only $18 ea. With shipping, it was over $80 to me (not a lot to some, but to me, it is).
If someone says, "Hey...buy these flow meters and they will work," we don't jump up and say, "Wait a minute...did you test these things out? Are you SURE they work?" Why? Because we don't want to insult anyone taking his/her spare time to create something to make our brewing/serving beer cooler and perhaps better.
You were not instructed to buy them and specifically warned that they may not work.

I made it very clear in a [post=5783010]post on Jan 1st, 2014[/post] -- as soon as the very first person said they bought some flow meters on eBay -- that I wasn't even sure I could get the flow meters working at all.

Anybody who went out and purchased flow meters on their own in the last 39 days knew that they were venturing into uncharted waters with absolutely no guarantee they even would work to begin with.


In fact, I think this entire project probably got written because the Thadius wanted something a little different than Kegbot and he could write it himself and save the dollars on Kegbot.
Simply incorrect. I decided to try to write my own because I liked the idea behind the Kegerface project. I spent several days cleaning up the code and wanted to release my work back to the public, with instructions, to simplify things.

KegBot was removed from my own consideration over 6 months prior because it had a hard limit of 2 flow meters. Had that not been the case, I probably would have built a KegBot, washed my hands, called it a day, and never started this project.

Ironically, KegBot just funded a Kickstarter that appears to remove the limit on flow meters, up to as far as you can daisy-chain USB hubs (127 ports, IIRC).

The only reason this project still exists is pure and simple altruism.


I'm also planning on donating to the project, so $30 here and $45 there (already bought the flow meters so I definitely want to incorporate them) adds up to no money for the project, and I, as well as many others, think you all deserve something for the effort.
We cannot accept donations of any kind per HBT forum rules.

We discussed removing our presence from HBT to allow us to accept donations. The overwhelming consensus among the development team was that we wanted to stay so we could give our code away to as many people as possible, so we're completely out-of-pocket for all hardware.


Thanks again to everyone. And BTW, option C really isn't an option for those of us who bought a bunch of flow meters already. It's like that new carburetor you bought for the muscle car. You are dead set on having that thing...so much so that you have to by a new intake manifold, etc., just to get the damned thing to work! Hahaha.

Luckily, I didn't spend the $30 plus shipping from UK for the Slice of Pi.
The Slice of PI/O is £5.99 and the shipping was £2.99. AFAIK, I'm the only person that actually bought one. Thus, I'm the only one eating the cost of it and I'm the only one that wasted my weekend building/testing it.


Yes...you mentioned that just yesterday or the day before. The Slice of Pi request (for us to go buy) was made weeks ago.
You seem genuinely upset about the hardware you purchased when you were specifically recommended not to buy it yet.

If you don't want your meters, I suggest you sell them back on eBay. The going rate has risen on them by 50%, so I'm sure you'll be able to get your money back and then some.

If you bought a Slice of PI/O, PM me your PayPal account name and mailing address. I'll buy the thing off you and put it to use elsewhere.


My only advice is to not really mention stuff unless it is tested.
You're probably right here. I was simply trying to keep the community informed on behind-the-scenes progress. That appears to have backfired.

Going forward, we will not be providing sneak peeks of features or hardware. I will officially announce hardware or software changes, via release notes on our website -- and only once they have been 100% coded, tested, and committed to a public release version.



I write this with a heavy heart. I have no idea how the other team members feel, but personally I can only get kicked in the teeth so many times while volunteering my time, energy, and money before a little backlash is merited.


Edit: Please forgive my tone. I tend to get a little snarky when I'm awake at 4 am on a Satuday morning, hunting software bugs. I'm all piss and vinegar right now.
 

speeddemon190

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I have been following this since the start and Im really excited to see how this turns out. Fantastic job from everyone who is working on the project.

I do have a quick question, I am one of the people who are a little limited on cash. So if I bought the basic version of this without the flow meters, how hard would it be to add the flow meters and additional hardware once I could afford it?
or is it not possible to add it afterwards?
 
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thadius856

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So if I bought the basic version of this without the flow meters, how hard would it be to add the flow meters and additional hardware once I could afford it?
or is it not possible to add it afterwards?
Our goal is always ease of use.

The upgrade would essentially be powering down the Pi, removing the case cover, and sliding the two expansion boards on top of the Pi. Literally as easy as putting three Legos together.

Wiring the meters will be slightly trickier. My aim is for our instructions to be clear enough that a 5th Grader could wire them up in an afternoon.

On the software side of the house, I imagine we'll have some sort of a web-based form in our administrative panel, but it's too early to be sure. I can't imagine it'll be much more difficult than purchasing something from Amazon.
 

Josh1275

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Just want to throw my 2 nickels here. What Thadius, kerber, and the rest of the crew (sorry I can't rattle off everyone on the dev team's names) are doing is great. The good idea fairy and has been flying through this thread and IMO they've done a good job of engaging all of us in a real discussion about what we want to see. So first off, thanks to the raspberry pints crew for what you're doing, the discussions here are what is going to make this something we'll want to use.

As for the folks that bought flow meters and now are concerned about the incremental cost, this is just a suggestion, and just my opinion only, hang out for a bit, once the crew rolls out the flow meter support I'm sure there will be plenty of people who will want to take those meters off your hands... Especially since the meters are $80 new, and eBay dude has jacked up his prices.

Again, just want to say thanks for all the hard work that the crew is doing to build this for US, just wish I had some skills that could help them make it happen.

*these opinions are my own and I don't represent anyone else*


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Lost_Arkitekt

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Again...not mad or not trying to kick anyone in the teeth at all. Sorry you took anything I mentioned that way.

I've been giving praise as well since the process started. Maybe I'm weird, but coming from an Architecture/Graphic Design background, I am used to taking and giving constructive criticism.

A week or two ago I remarked that from a design standpoint, I really like how you cleaned up the hops graphic, and also, from a design view, I thought the ABV graphics could be made simpler and offered to help do the design portion.

So, I am one of those people that must have glazed over the "they might not work" caveat. The only thing I remember was people talking about some weight based system and how that wouldn't work very well, and then someone mentioned rigging up a system using metal tabs on tap handles, etc. The overall consensus was that the flow meters would work. I bought them. Then, if I remember correctly, Slice of Pi was needed to get more than two to work or three to work. When, I searched for Slice of Pi, it was around $27 plus 3 £ shipping...which is just over $30. I didn't and wouldn't want anyone paying money if I did. It is my decision...I'm an adult.

I don't want anyone paying me anything. I am not upset about anything, either. I was just saying that things revolving around the purchasing of hardware should just be vague. I was originally told that my monitor really wouldn't work all that well, and I spent a week of nights trying to find a small, 1080p monitor for cheap. Now, from what I read, the program will adjust for any monitor.

Sorry to those who feel like constructive criticism is kicking you in the teeth. Not my intention at all. I also apologize for coming up with a scenerio of why Thadius started this...it was just a "probably". Most of us on here build our own gear for three reasons...custom design, saves us money and the pride of doing it ourselves.

As I said many times, I think you all are freaking awesome for this. I will refrain from saying anything else.

Also, regarding donations, can you not put a Donate button on the RPints website?


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Adeering

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This is a little off topic, and something that would definitely be for a later release type thing, but I was looking at the Kegbot kickstarter page and seeing what was different from their original and noticed the android app they have to display the info. Since everything sounds like it would be on a server and the webpage that we use to display would be just processing that info. Couldnt the same be done for an android app.

I have some experience programming java and making apps (not much with server and databases though) but if after the release there is a need for a more tablet friendly version of the display. I could try and put something together. Though my ability with graphic design side of things is very very limited so would be looking to get some help with that.
 
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thadius856

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An Android app could be developed, yes.

But since the Pi is already hosting everything on the web server, it sounds like a huge undertaking for what amounts to not much difference.

Wouldn't a mobile page layout achieve the same thing, and be platform-independent?
 

Broham1

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Low-priority feature request: option to display label art, similar to album covers.


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raysmithtx

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Okay let me get this straight. A group of total strangers with a variety of differing technical skill sets decide to get together and build a complicated system that a lot of homebrewers dream about. They design it to be flexible, expandable and with inexpensive hardware. They write open source code, they test it and debug it (while juggling fulltime jobs and family at the same time). And they plan on making the entire system available to everyone for FREE along with easy instructions and plans for future enhancements already in the works. Am I missing something here?

Just saying thank you seems somehow inadequate.
 

Broham1

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Not only that, but the turnaround seems amazing! Maybe this team should work together more :)


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thadius856

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Okay let me get this straight. A group of total strangers with a variety of differing technical skill sets decide to get together and build a complicated system that a lot of homebrewers dream about. They design it to be flexible, expandable and with inexpensive hardware. They write open source code, they test it and debug it (while juggling fulltime jobs and family at the same time). And they plan on making the entire system available to everyone for FREE along with easy instructions and plans for future enhancements already in the works. Am I missing something here?

Just saying thank you seems somehow inadequate.
Not only that, but the turnaround seems amazing! Maybe this team should work together more :)


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Thanks! We appreciate these posts. It's what keeps us going.
 

LAHammer

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Thadius and the development team have done an amazing job of sacrificing their time and money to put together a pretty sweet addition to our breweries. They have even shared their ideas as the program went along, some of which didn't work out or have been postponed. I'm as excited as the rest of you to get this rolled out and I can understand those of you who have programming talent wanting to move this along. However, please give these guys some breathing room so they don't get burned out before it's complete.

Thanks for all your hard work guys. I can tell that you want this to be a perfect rollout and I like the comments you make about making this easy to install (I like easy). There are many (hundreds, thousands?) of us patiently :drunk: waiting on the sidelines to see your final product.

Cheers!:mug:
 

Hello

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Okay let me get this straight. A group of total strangers with a variety of differing technical skill sets decide to get together and build a complicated system that a lot of homebrewers dream about. They design it to be flexible, expandable and with inexpensive hardware. They write open source code, they test it and debug it (while juggling fulltime jobs and family at the same time). And they plan on making the entire system available to everyone for FREE along with easy instructions and plans for future enhancements already in the works. Am I missing something here?

Just saying thank you seems somehow inadequate.
You said it! Seriously, once I finally returned and found out that this is how things were being ran, I was shocked. Thank you does indeed feel inadequate.

Not only that, but the turnaround seems amazing! Maybe this team should work together more :)


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No kidding! If developers worked like this for say Apple or Android, life would be absolutely amazing in a technological way.
 

LAHammer

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Thanks!

Feel free to dig in and play with a live beta test version:

http://thadius856.servebeer.com

Admin panel can be accessed by clicking the brewery logo. L//p is admin//admin.
Wow! This is very sweet!

I did get my pi and other stuff in this weekend (thought the positive vibs might help) so I plan to play around with that in the next few days. My wife found some very cheap ($15-$25) displays at a local thrift store so I may try one of those before I commit to higher $ higher tech video.

Thanks again! :beard:
 

RiverCityBrewer

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Awesome work! Very interested in setting up one of these. Maybe I missed it somewhere, but how will the page display if there are more taps than are viewable on the screen? Is there a scaling/scrolling function (other than adjusting the zoom level of the browser) that I am missing?
 

mcangeli

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It scrolls in a browser (on a tablet anyways)

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thadius856

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Awesome work! Very interested in setting up one of these. Maybe I missed it somewhere, but how will the page display if there are more taps than are viewable on the screen? Is there a scaling/scrolling function (other than adjusting the zoom level of the browser) that I am missing?
It scrolls in a browser (on a tablet anyways)

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Scrolling is purposely turned off so that the scrollbars hide, even when there's content to scroll to. This is because I kept bumping into situations where it was 1px too wide or tall, and it would draw the scrollbars, which then made it 10px worse each direction.

However, manually scrolling with a touch interface, mouse wheel, keyboard arrows, spacebar, page up/down keys, etc. should all still work.

I keep 10 beers on tap on mine on a 1080p display. Think you'll have more than that?
 

RiverCityBrewer

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Scrolling is purposely turned off so that the scrollbars hide, even when there's content to scroll to. This is because I kept bumping into situations where it was 1px too wide or tall, and it would draw the scrollbars, which then made it 10px worse each direction.

However, manually scrolling with a touch interface, mouse wheel, keyboard arrows, spacebar, page up/down keys, etc. should all still work.

I keep 10 beers on tap on mine on a 1080p display. Think you'll have more than that?
Maybe its just how its rendering in chrome on my desktop, but I'm running a 1080 display also and I only see from tap 1 through part of 6 in fullscreen and the rest is cut off and I would have to scroll down. If I wanted this as a static display with no user interaction is this possible, or am I just experiencing a rendering issue? I have 8 taps and was planning on displaying this on a 23" monitor @ 1920 x 1080.
 

TNugent

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Maybe its just how its rendering in chrome on my desktop, but I'm running a 1080 display also and I only see from tap 1 through part of 6 in fullscreen and the rest is cut off and I would have to scroll down. If I wanted this as a static display with no user interaction is this possible, or am I just experiencing a rendering issue? I have 8 taps and was planning on displaying this on a 23" monitor @ 1920 x 1080.
It's made to run in landscape mode.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N900A using Home Brew mobile app
 
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