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iSpindle - DIY Electronic Hydrometer

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jimdkc

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Finally got around to building 3 last night using the cherry Phillip 4.0 board. I Couldn’t get the battery conversion factor dialed in and that’s when I realized I used 220 ohm resistors instead of 220 kohm resistors guess I didn’t notice the k. Hopefully I didn’t do any damage. I ordered some 220 kohm from mason when they get delivered I’ll heat up the old ones and pop them off. How likely did I do any damage. They seemed fine just read a higher than actual battery voltage even with the max conversion factor set. I’ll just not turn them on again until I get the right part. View attachment 669483
If you didn't let any of the magic smoke out, you may still be good to go!
 

Hopmonkey

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I have built a few of theses and find them to work very well. I wasn't expecting the accuracy. Well surprised.
It's great to have data from inside the fermenter.

What are people using as the data storage?
Brewspy seems good.

My thought was to send the data to an sql database and use a graphing library to display the results.
This keeps everything "in-house" and allows me to control it end to end.

Has anyone has success sending the data to php/sql?
I ran into a few issues.

cheers
Hopmonkey
 

BrewingAroundtheRrealm

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I have built a few of theses and find them to work very well. I wasn't expecting the accuracy. Well surprised.
It's great to have data from inside the fermenter.

What are people using as the data storage?
Brewspy seems good.

My thought was to send the data to an sql database and use a graphing library to display the results.
This keeps everything "in-house" and allows me to control it end to end.

Has anyone has success sending the data to php/sql?
I ran into a few issues.

cheers
Hopmonkey
I too investigated the PHP/MySQL route. Then I discovered Fermentrack which is written in Python but does everything I wanted: https://www.homebrewtalk.com/forum/...rewpi-www-replacement-for-raspberry-pi.649303
 

Hopmonkey

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BrewingAroundtheRrealm

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Thanks for the quick reply, and the link. I'll take a look.

Were you able to get data to the database?
I currently have my recipes and brew data in my database. I would like to link this data in as well.
I never went that far down the PHP path before I came across Fermentrack. I use BeerSmith so it was never an issue for me to connect the recipe to fermentation data.
 

Hopmonkey

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I never went that far down the PHP path before I came across Fermentrack. I use BeerSmith so it was never an issue for me to connect the recipe to fermentation data.
Yeah, I use beersmith as well. I put my recipes in a database to make them easier to search thru. With a click of a button, I can have the recipe from beersmith to sql.
If I want all recipes with a specific ingredient, I can run a query. I really don't like how the recipes are saved (some bastardized version of xml). It makes it impossible to search for specific parameters.
 

BrewingAroundtheRrealm

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IanJ

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Does anyone know if the XL or XXL preforms can fit into a 6 gallon Better Bottle neck?

Dimensions/specs posted in various places seem to have conflicting information about it. From what I've read it won't fit in a glass carboy, however those openings are about 1/4-1/2 inch smaller I believe.
 
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jimdkc

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I bought these XL Preforms on Ebay: https://www.ebay.com/itm/132379354446

I just measured one with a caliper. Diameter at widest point is: 1.697 Inches or 43.1 mm

This is around the raised ring just under the cap. You could (in theory) probably sand or grind that raised ring off and get the size down to about: 1.616 Inches or 41.1 mm (The diameter of the cap.)

(Definitely won't fit in a glass carboy!)
 

IanJ

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I bought these XL Preforms on Ebay: https://www.ebay.com/itm/132379354446

I just measured one with a caliper. Diameter at widest point is: 1.697 Inches or 43.1 mm

This is around the raised ring just under the cap. You could (in theory) probably sand or grind that raised ring off and get the size down to about: 1.616 Inches or 41.1 mm (The diameter of the cap.)

(Definitely won't fit in a glass carboy!)
Awesome, thanks! Those were the ones I was looking at, and seemingly the only reliable place to buy.

So I don't have an accurate measuring device beyond a few rulers, but from what I can tell the ID of an unused 3 gallon BB is approximately 1.75" so theoretically those should fit without any shaving needed, but if it comes to that, grinding the lip with a dremel or fine grit sand paper, maybe even melting it with a heat gun or something to keep it smooth and avoid harboring bacteria, would be super easy.

Think I'm going to order the parts and see how it goes, at best I'll have one that works for me, and at worst I'll have some completed pieces to sell/give away to others because I can't use em :)

Now, to decide on which PCB to go with...
 

bscuderi

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So I went for the first actual run of actual use on my ispindels In a beer and it was a failure. I planned on using two step calibration just floated in water and then on my beer with a known og once I switched to normal mode i would get one reading communicated with fermenttack but then it wouldn’t come out of deep sleep on the interval. I never noticed cause in my testing I never thought to tAke it beyond the first reading as it communicated like it was supposed to and thats all I thought to test besides the configuration mode. I thought maybe it was just the one device so I threw a second one in the same brew and same thing. Where can I start for troubleshooting this one? I used the cherry Phillip 4.0 and the bat 43 diode. when I get back from my trip I’ll reheat the solder points on reset and d0 as well as the diode spot. Is there any other multimeter tests I can run to see where me my issue is? Bad batch of diodes or boards? I’m pretty sure I lined the strip on the diode up with the picture on the board.
 

BrewingAroundtheRrealm

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So I went for the first actual run of actual use on my ispindels In a beer and it was a failure. I planned on using two step calibration just floated in water and then on my beer with a known og once I switched to normal mode i would get one reading communicated with fermenttack but then it wouldn’t come out of deep sleep on the interval. I never noticed cause in my testing I never thought to tAke it beyond the first reading as it communicated like it was supposed to and thats all I thought to test besides the configuration mode. I thought maybe it was just the one device so I threw a second one in the same brew and same thing. Where can I start for troubleshooting this one? I used the cherry Phillip 4.0 and the bat 43 diode. when I get back from my trip I’ll reheat the solder points on reset and d0 as well as the diode spot. Is there any other multimeter tests I can run to see where me my issue is? Bad batch of diodes or boards? I’m pretty sure I lined the strip on the diode up with the picture on the board.
You'll need to go back and follow the Easy method (I) calibration steps (https://github.com/universam1/iSpindel/blob/master/docs/Calibration_en.md) to make sure the iSpindel is actually working correctly. Set your update interval to 20 seconds. Then enter all of the values in Fermentrack.

Once I ran through calibration I ran a 3 day test with the iSpindel reporting to Fermentrack every 20 seconds. Upon completion of the 3 day test, I reset the interval to 900 seconds and used it in an actual ferment. That went perfectly. I ran a second iSpindel in another ferment a few weeks later, that one didn't work correctly at all. Even though It worked perfectly in the 3 day test. I ended up having to reflash it with info from this post: https://www.homebrewtalk.com/forum/...tronic-hydrometer.598187/page-19#post-8366882 and reset all of the settings to get it working again.

Also check the iSpindel info on the configuration screen to make sure the gyroscope is working correctly. I had the gyroscope fail on one of mine. Caused all kinds of chaos when I stopped receiving updates and didn't think to check the info.
 

kdw2pd

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Does anyone happen to have some random components they'd be willing to sell me? I need 1 each of: D1 mini, BAT43, battery charger, toggle switch, and Petling bottle?

Bought parts for a group order, and ended up with odd numbers of a couple of components.
 

pocketmon

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So I went for the first actual run of actual use on my ispindels In a beer and it was a failure. I planned on using two step calibration just floated in water and then on my beer with a known og once I switched to normal mode i would get one reading communicated with fermenttack but then it wouldn’t come out of deep sleep on the interval. I never noticed cause in my testing I never thought to tAke it beyond the first reading as it communicated like it was supposed to and thats all I thought to test besides the configuration mode. I thought maybe it was just the one device so I threw a second one in the same brew and same thing. Where can I start for troubleshooting this one? I used the cherry Phillip 4.0 and the bat 43 diode. when I get back from my trip I’ll reheat the solder points on reset and d0 as well as the diode spot. Is there any other multimeter tests I can run to see where me my issue is? Bad batch of diodes or boards? I’m pretty sure I lined the strip on the diode up with the picture on the board.
First of all, check if your iSpindel does wake up or not by watching the LED on D1 mini board. You could set the report period to a shorter time.
 

kdw2pd

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What container are people using for the test in pure water, and for the easy sugar calibration? I don't have any containers that are both wide and deep enough for the iSpindel to float freely other than fermenters. It's currently sitting at 27.4 degrees in 63 degree tap water in the fermenter without weights after offset calibration, so pretty close there. I could fill up 5 gallons of 1.085 sugar wash, then pour half out and refill to 5 gallons for each dilution step, but if there was a better option I'd take that first.
 

BrewingAroundtheRrealm

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What container are people using for the test in pure water, and for the easy sugar calibration? I don't have any containers that are both wide and deep enough for the iSpindel to float freely other than fermenters. It's currently sitting at 27.4 degrees in 63 degree tap water in the fermenter without weights after offset calibration, so pretty close there. I could fill up 5 gallons of 1.085 sugar wash, then pour half out and refill to 5 gallons for each dilution step, but if there was a better option I'd take that first.
I used a 2 gallon bucket that I normally use for sanitizer on brew days.
 

DaniFilth

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I've got my ispindle to push data every 30 mins but brewers friend isn't receiving the data. Does anyone know what i'm supposed to put in each box in the ispindle settings just in case i've got that bit wrong?
 

DaniFilth

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I've got my ispindle to push data every 30 mins but brewers friend isn't receiving the data. Does anyone know what i'm supposed to put in each box in the ispindle settings just in case i've got that bit wrong?
No worries, i had to take off the http:// before the log.brewersfriend.com
 

peircetrainor

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Firmware 6.2.0 fixed this problem.
what was your fix for the not saving issue you were experiencing I am currently experiencing the same issue. I was using the newest firmware available, with is the 6.2.0 The only thing it is saving is the wifi name, and password, but not my name of it and not the temp. I have tried something a user did in the previous thread which is blank writing the d1 and then rewriting the firmware but still not success.
 

KDMcM

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I've not looked too closely at the custom PCBs: they seem to be awkward to find / download due to patent concerns. I have 2 technical queries, though on the basic design:

1) I've seen a number of folk use a resistor to RST for waking from deep sleep. Some folk just use a wire link. This design always seems to have used a Schottky diode. Can anyone tell me the difference between these designs?

2) Do we actually get a low battery warning from the +5V connection to ADC0? My concern is that the ADC has a max 3.3v input. I can't find out if this is potted down on the D1 board, but I'm reluctant to squirt 5V in.

I'm sure the answers will be a face-slap to me once someone points out the obvious!

Thanks.
 

MT_Keg

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what was your fix for the not saving issue you were experiencing I am currently experiencing the same issue. I was using the newest firmware available, with is the 6.2.0 The only thing it is saving is the wifi name, and password, but not my name of it and not the temp. I have tried something a user did in the previous thread which is blank writing the d1 and then rewriting the firmware but still not success.
All I did was clear the flash (like in this thread) and uploaded the 6.2.0 firmware. Worked right out of the box. Sorry I can't be of more help.
 

rkhanso

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Question on my first use of the iSpindel. I use it with CraftbeerPi.
It seemed that immediately after pitching, and once the iSpindel data started showing up in CraftbeerPi, gravity started dropping. Is this normal? Or might there be something wrong? Shouldn't it be steady for a while before the gravity starts dropping?
I didn't calibrate it before use (not sure how, actually), and planned on just using it for indicating when fermentation stops and for temp readings.

ispindelv3.png
 

rkhanso

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Another question about the iSpindel output...
When I first started this ferment yesterday, the iSpindel said it's battery level was 4.478623v

Today, the voltage says 5.338894, and the gravity has already flat-lined. The beer can't be done fermenting in 6 hours, can it?
The temperature is still changing though.
This thing doesn't seem trustworthy in it's data, does it?

Immediately after pitching yeast yesterday - notice the battery level:
iSpindelv1.png


Today's battery level:
ispindelv4.png

And the gravity chart:
ispindelv5.png
 

BrewingAroundtheRrealm

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Question on my first use of the iSpindel. I use it with CraftbeerPi.
It seemed that immediately after pitching, and once the iSpindel data started showing up in CraftbeerPi, gravity started dropping. Is this normal? Or might there be something wrong? Shouldn't it be steady for a while before the gravity starts dropping?
I didn't calibrate it before use (not sure how, actually), and planned on just using it for indicating when fermentation stops and for temp readings.

View attachment 673700
With out calibration the iSpindel isn't going to be of much use. You'll need to follow the Easy method (I) calibration steps here: https://github.com/universam1/iSpindel/blob/master/docs/Calibration_en.md
 

rkhanso

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I wondered if the iSpindel might have been hung up on the cooling coil in my fermenter. I opened up the conical and tried to see the iSpindel, but there was too much foam. After I put the cover back on, the data jumped down lower, but still flat-lined.

My thought was that without it calibrated, it would still show me when fermenting is complete - even though the actual numbers showing Gravity may not be correct. I really don't care what the gravity is during fermentation, since I'll be using a hydrometer before bottling to get the FG anyway.

My main question was the data it was outputting, indicating that fermentation was complete after just 6 hours. Unless this really is related to calibration and I just don't realize it. I just expected the tilt of the iSpindel would be changing during fermentation, even though the numbers might be wrong.

After taking the conical lid off and putting it back on:

ispindelv6.png

And now, the battery level it's giving is back to what seems more normal, instead of the 5v+ it was giving me earlier today
iSpindelBattery
4.118874V
 

flowidc

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You might have a connection issue with it being inside a conical. If the ispindel lost connectivity with your wifi and cant communicate to you pi, cbp will continue to output the last known measurement. This appears as a straight line when you look at the chart. It will do this for each measurement type (gravity, temp, battery). One way to test this is to restart cbp, this will reset the cbp ispindle reading to 0. If you dont see it update with an actual value then you know it's a communication issue.
 

rkhanso

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Maybe it is just a connection problem then. I rebooted the Raspberry Pi and the data from the iSpindel hasn't shown up in the GUI 20 minutes later.
The fermenter is plastic, and is in the garage (with the Fermenter and Brewing controllers in the garage also). Maybe the iSpindel WiFi is just that much weaker than even the Pi Zero W so that it doesn't always connect to the WiFi network. I should get another WiFi Access Point out in the garage, I suppose.
 

BreeBrew

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Maybe it is just a connection problem then.
You can't assume that. As stated before the calibration is mandatory in order for the iSpindel to work properly. If it hasn't data in the config file to relate the current state to, the outcome is unpredictable and is the same as if you wouldn't have an iSpindel which is nothing.
 

rkhanso

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OK. Thanks for that info.
I just now checked my Unifi controller (Ubiquiti GUI to see WiFi data on the network) to see if the iSpindel shows up. It used to show up (with MAC address only, no IP Address since I caught it when it was sleeping). It's not showing up at all now - as being recently connected via WiFi, so I still believe it's not connecting to WiFi.

Regarding calibration - - I wouldn't say it has no calibration. When I initially set it up on it's own GUI, I used the default data for the configuration. I know, still not correct.
I may try moving my WiFi AP closer to the garage to see if it'll connect. At least eliminate that as a problem since it's more sanitary than digging around in the fermenter to pull out the iSpindel.
 

rkhanso

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It appears it was a problem with the iSpindel connecting to the network. I re-positioned my WiFi AP and it's putting data into CraftbeerPi again.
I'll have to get a 2nd AP to put in my garage.

I'll keep watching the Gravity to see how it responds now. I lost a lot of data though.
 

KDMcM

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It appears it was a problem with the iSpindel connecting to the network. I re-positioned my WiFi AP and it's putting data into CraftbeerPi again.
I'm sure loads of folk have done this: I moved my stuff in my garage closer to my AP. The connection went downhill. Then I realised that I'd put it all behind a metal up-and-over door. As we know, metal is not a friend to radio.
 

Kori83

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Hi, i have a problem with my ispindel build. I did 2 different builds with 4.0 board and the open distilling guy board. For some reason when i flash it with 6.2 firmware i can't connect to it. When i flash with 5.8 i can connect but it can't save anything on it. Please help.
 
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