iSpindle - DIY Electronic Hydrometer

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rsquared

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I'm not too worried about how accurate it is, the battery lasts plenty long enough as it is. I just set it once during initial setup and haven't looked at it since.
 

HarryB

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Just to update - The iSpindel + repeater on soak test are still working and reporting 48 hours later.
 

DuncB

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@HarryB thats encouraging, I've ordered the parts so in a couple of months I'll be able to give it a try. Also ordered some temp probes but couldn't see from the instructions how to wire that on. I'd like to have fridge? cellar temp as well as ferment temp.
I watched the instructions and you did set a fixed ip address I assume?
 

HarryB

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Yes, it has it's own allocated IP on my LAN. I only wanted the repeater for logging, I have no need for temperature control - I already control that separately, so I cannot help you there. And it's still on test / still working - I'm beginning to think I need to power iSpindel and repeater up in some specific order, whispering incantations, or some equally silly process :)
 

DuncB

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Thanks @HarryB
I use an STC 1000 for temp control but will investigate this as another option, it's not that intelligent the STC so tends to do a lot of cycling because it's dumb.
Good news it's working reliably now. I'll be wary before using mine and give it a good soak test. But likely take 6 weeks for parts to arrive minimum.
 

DuncB

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Just brewed my first NEIPA and the Ispindel sank on day three when I allowed a bit of pressure to build up. It had been working fine.
Fished it out and this is what it looked like.
IMG_20210508_182347.jpgIMG_20210508_182356.jpg

Opened it up and smell of acetone really from the liquid.

Had no hopes for it at all and expected to just salvage the bottle and sled.

Took it all out and gave the electronics a good scrub over with isopropyl alcohol and left it to dry in a draught and the sunshine.

Then into a bag with silica gel dessicant further 48 hours.

Yesterday plugged it in to charge, bit stiff getting the usb plug in but it got there.
Expected fireworks when I powered up the charger or nothing and amazed the red light went on.
After a few hours charging thought to myself better test it works as light was blue.

Can't believe it worked straightaway.

Just need to reassemble and calibrate again.

I'm flabbergasted. It was in fermenter for ten days submerged and the beer tastes great as well.
IMG_20210505_162246.jpg
 

gello22

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maybe I have been lucky I use mine under pressure and no issues so far. The brepiless stopped logging but the ispindel kept going at 25psi. no water ingress. Though the mating point between the tube and cap might be just above the water line.
1621011841387.png
 

DuncB

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My ispindels don't have the cap above the liquid. Always at least part of the cap in the liquid. We'll see if things are tighter with the oring arrival, but agree with you this was a one off sinking and maybe the heat didn't help.
There's a lot going on on that graph but I think I've worked it out. The two temperatures are the cabinet and the beer ?
 

NSMikeD

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I can’t get my iSpindel to connect with brewfather. I followed the steps, rested connected iSpindel thru the WiFi and input the info as per brewfather ie url port calibration method etc. I can rest and confirm the info but for some reason it won’t talk to brewfather.
Any quick ideas I might have overlooked before I start posting screen shots to trouble shoot? It’s been a few weeks so I’ve given sufficient time each try to connect.
 

gello22

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My ispindels don't have the cap above the liquid. Always at least part of the cap in the liquid. We'll see if things are tighter with the oring arrival, but agree with you this was a one off sinking and maybe the heat didn't help.
There's a lot going on on that graph but I think I've worked it out. The two temperatures are the cabinet and the beer ?
yeah that is what it looks like in brewfather plotting both the Ispindel and brewpiless. 2 beer temps(light blue/purple), the fridge temp(light green), pressure in orange, ispindel voltage in dark green. I probably need to calibrate temps as the Ispindel and thermal well shouldn't be 2 degrees apart.
 

DuncB

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yeah that is what it looks like in brewfather plotting both the Ispindel and brewpiless. 2 beer temps(light blue/purple), the fridge temp(light green), pressure in orange, ispindel voltage in dark green. I probably need to calibrate temps as the Ispindel and thermal well shouldn't be 2 degrees apart.
How do you measure the pressure? I have wondered about those tyre sensors that relay to the car but they only turn on with movement I think. My fermenter isn't rolling about.
If your thermowell is at the bottom and Ispindel at the top could be a temperature difference especially as a couple of fahrenheit isn't that much.
I must set up a brewpi or equivalent and get this extra info and control you are garnering.
 

HarryB

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Just to update - The iSpindel + repeater on soak test are still working and reporting 48 hours later.
I'm at a loss to explain my earlier problems with my iSpindel and Repeater. After it stopped reporting towards the end of the fermentation in my last batch of wine, I gave the iSpindle a full charge then just set it running again, recording and sat on a shelf. It took a few attempts to get it going, but it began working on the 2nd May, now the 23rd and it is still reporting just fine, every 10 minutes and reporting the iSpindel's battery volts as 4.08v.

The repeater has consistently shown 4x **** on its display throughout, suggesting a full strength signal from the iSpindel.
 

DuncB

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@HarryB that's good, I am awaiting the parts to arrive still from China for the repetidor.
The Ispindel that sank and flooded worked fine in a wine, it didn't have a brand new battery in it when I built it, whether the sinking upset it more I can't tell. It lasted seven days signalling every 40 minuteds but plummeted from 4.1V to 3.66V when it sent it's last reading. Think I need a new quality battery for it.
But at least it hasn't sunk again!
 

DuncB

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@ZeSlammy
Have looked at your link, is this something similar to the repetidor mentioned on page 42 ? I have several D1 mini lying around but wonder if your device could work on a D1 Mini pro that can have an external antenna rather than me having to hack onto the existing one on the D1 mini?
I'm not having any luck getting the repetidor to work as an access point, but it is working on the internal network with brewpiless and relaying to the screen okay.
I'm looking to improve the ispindel signal getting out of my fridge and to my WIFI network. I'd rather not have the second router I have setup in the brewroom attached by a cable as it's better used in other parts of the house.
 

DuncB

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@LBussy
Thank you. Hoping really to get the repetidor I have got the parts for working first, I'm just looking at my router settings to see if I need to enable or disable or allow wireless bridge connection to it. As the brewpiless bit working ok but the ability to use it as an access point that I could point other ispindels to does not reach the internet only my internal network.
 

DuncB

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@LBussy
That is probably the difficulty I'm having. Would have thought that station and ap would have been my option but no dice with that in the brewpiless modded setup. I'll be patient and keep fiddling this end.
 

ZeSlammy

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I was telling @ZeSlammy that I need to figure out how to allow a Soft AP and WiFi connection to infrastructure work at the same time. Real Soon Now™ (now that Keg Cop is released.)
I HAD IT WORKING !!! (insert here a video of a mad scientist).

@DuncB : The idea is to have both D1 and D1 Pro working.
IMG_20210428_155539.jpg



I have screens of different sizes, D1 with PCB Antenna, Ceramic Antenna, with/without external antenna connection.
 

DuncB

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@ZeSlammy
That's encouraging, feel a bit deflated with my CH340 esp8266 not behaving as access point ( yet ) which was one of my big hopes for it.
Think I'll order a D1 pro and some small antennas as there are various parts of the property where brew related activity occurs and the wifi signal is poor.
Having looked a bit more at the OLED repeater mentioned above, it is registering on my network with it's fixed ip, and the ispindel connects to it and the data is on screen. I can access it inside my network and get to the config graph screens of brewpiless but can't use it as AP beyond the network.
Networking not my expertise. But when I access the brewpiless wifi network it sets up from another device I see that it is a different network ie brewpiless gateway is 192.168.4.1 and the ip for the device accessing it is say 192.168.4.6.
The rest of my network is 192.168.1. xxx , I'm wondering if that is the issue the brewpiless is having?
Probably much better technical terms for what I've described.
 

Lalo_uy

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DuncB, Brewpiless work on 2 different networks in its life cycle. In the initial config it generates the wifi network, and it is in 192.168.4.x range. Once you setup the wifi ssid and passwor it attache to your home network, and get whichever ip yor home router assigned it. Then you can forget about 192.168.4.1
 

NSMikeD

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ughhh I switched the wifi network to my iPhone personal hotspot and that did the trick. So I recalibrated the ispindel ( was a bit sloppy for the initial calibration and wanted better numbers that weren't all over he place), replaced the formula and the device won't upload anymore. I gave it a week, but nada. I suspect there is an issue with the formula that is preventing it from connecting. Back to the drawing board.

this is what I am using


0.9566995311701804+0.0018716553127743824*tilt-0.0000028941342503638205*tilt^2
 

BreeBrew

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ughhh I switched the wifi network to my iPhone personal hotspot and that did the trick. So I recalibrated the ispindel ( was a bit sloppy for the initial calibration and wanted better numbers that weren't all over he place), replaced the formula and the device won't upload anymore. I gave it a week, but nada. I suspect there is an issue with the formula that is preventing it from connecting. Back to the drawing board.

this is what I am using


0.9566995311701804+0.0018716553127743824*tilt-0.0000028941342503638205*tilt^2
Try a formula with less digits behind the decimal point(who needs 22 decimals?!) and replace the last tilt^2 to tilt*tilt.
 

NSMikeD

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Try a formula with less digits behind the decimal point(who needs 22 decimals?!) and replace the last tilt^2 to tilt*tilt.

Thanks. I suspected that, but I could not find what the character limit was. Meanwhile, I re-entered my data into the online calibration tool and used the 3 point formula

0.9252244978629107+0.0043117531682422411*tilt-0.00006952494454743714 *tilt^2+5.662186042255915e-7*tilt^3

I changed the name on my ispindel and deleted the old name on the app. That still didn't work,

What did work is that I had the personal hot spot page on my phone open and turned the Ispindel off and on. I saw the blue bar flash at the top of my iPhone that appear when I use the personal hotspot (although that usually stays lit on a tradition wifi device). and the information appeared in Brewfather. Merely having the hotspot turned on would result in a connection with the ispendle. In any case, since it did connect and update, long formula wasn't the issue.

My next step is to see if after I leave the house, taking the iPhone out of the iSpindle range to seeing if it will reconnect and update when I return. That did happen before, so I am cautiously optimistic.

At some point, I will try and find out why my router (AirPort Extreme) and cable modem will not automatically let the ispindel connect.



Once last question. I have the device laying flat and its reading 1.005 on brewafther. I know the documentation says 1.004 means I'm using a wrong reading. Should I worry that it's reading 1.005 SG?
 

BreeBrew

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From the brewfather documentation:
Make sure your iSpindel reports gravity in Plato (it will be converted to SG) and temperature in Celcius. Add [SG] to the name of your iSpindel if you use SG based formula. If the gravity is displaying 1.004 in Brewfather you are using the wrong formula, use the formula that reports in Plato or use the tag above.

If you get no gravity reported: Check that the formula is not too long.(as of 6.5? of the iSpindel firmware it is 250 characters; what the max. length is in brewfather I don't know), There's a max character length. Instead of "tilt*tilt*tilt" put *tilt^3"(instead of what I told) etc.
If it still fails: Upgrade to the latest iSpindel firmware or try to use the second degree polynomial formula for your iSpindel.
 

NSMikeD

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From the brewfather documentation:
Make sure your iSpindel reports gravity in Plato (it will be converted to SG) and temperature in Celcius. Add [SG] to the name of your iSpindel if you use SG based formula. If the gravity is displaying 1.004 in Brewfather you are using the wrong formula, use the formula that reports in Plato or use the tag above.

If you get no gravity reported: Check that the formula is not too long.(as of 6.5? of the iSpindel firmware it is 250 characters; what the max. length is in brewfather I don't know), There's a max character length. Instead of "tilt*tilt*tilt" put *tilt^3"(instead of what I told) etc.
If it still fails: Upgrade to the latest iSpindel firmware or try to use the second degree polynomial formula for your iSpindel.
I did all that except I haven't been able to determine if my iSpindel is reporting in Plato.



bummer. It reported to Brewfather at 9;56am this morning our s as of 10:43 I have no update with the internal setting of 900.


This has been a huge headache all because of some esoteric wifi setting that prevents such a simple process (connecting to the wifi) to occur. Good grief what a waste of money so far.


Edit note. I cannot connect using my home wifi which I looked at several times an found no unusual settings. I can connect with the iPhone personal hotspot for an initial reading but it will not update - which sort of makes this useless. well I am going to increase my batch size a bit to account for hydrometer and refractometer readings
 
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BreeBrew

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except I haven't been able to determine if my iSpindel is reporting in Plat
Where did you get the formula from?
What version of the iSpindel firmware do you use?
Reporting only once could indicate that there is a hardware problem where it can't get out of deep sleep for some reason. Google: iSpindel deep sleep
 
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NSMikeD

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Where did you get the formula from?
What version of the iSpindel firmware do you use?
Reporting only once could indicate that there is a hardware problem where it can't get out of deep sleep for some reason. Google: iSpindel deep sleep
I used the online formula iSpindel Calibration


I'm recharging right now, but I did update the firmware
 

gello22

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How do you measure the pressure? I have wondered about those tyre sensors that relay to the car but they only turn on with movement I think. My fermenter isn't rolling about.
If your thermowell is at the bottom and Ispindel at the top could be a temperature difference especially as a couple of fahrenheit isn't that much.
I must set up a brewpi or equivalent and get this extra info and control you are garnering.
I had a 5v 100psi stainless sensor from an engine project I never did uhm 20 years ago. The range is not ideal but with the proper RC filter I get a decent reading from the brewpiless. It is just teed into the spunding valve connection. Took a while to find the fittings to go from 8mm tube to 1/4" male pipe.
 

DuncB

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@gello22 I see that's a good way of doing it teed off the spunding valve. I see now that there are pressure sensing and even autospunding options on brewpiless but I've not seen any real world talk about them.
 

HarryB

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Repeatidor + iSpindel - loss of reports..
I heard a hint of a suggested update for one or the other, which fixes the issue, but failed to make a note of it.

Ispindel worked fine reporting direct to my router, never problem. I then built a repeatidor, tested it, it seemed OK and gave me more options for data display, as well as a local display on the unit. Mid way through my first brews, it stopped reporting, so I then ran a 'dry test' with the two just a couple of feet apart. The dry test soon failed, so I restarted it and it ran for 3 weeks, reporting every 10 minutes, before again failing. At the point of failure, the battery report was 4.08v, so not that.

It seems when this occurs, that the Repeatidor goes into a state of frequently rebooting - its display goes blank, then shows signs of a reboot, gets an IP from my router, but fails to connect to the iSpindel for data. Even at two feet apart, I notice that the full strength connection to the iSpindel (****), can sometimes drop to just one *.

Has anyone heard of the fix please?
 
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DuncB

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Hi @HarryB
I've made my repetidor ( two in fact ) and find that it just gives up after a while. I have to reboot to get it to reconnect and start working again. It shouldn't be my network as the repeater is a separate network really ( brewpiless). I did dialogue with the developer and my comments are on the repeater page. He says all fine and that it is release 2 of his software ( whatever that means ) and not had problems with wifi dropout.
I'm going to address the issue by turning one of the esp8266 boards into a NAT router that can boost signal and interface with my network using martin-ger/esp_wifi_repeater then my ispindel signal should get back to the network and then get into brewpiless device as well.

Ideally this software and some display software -+ brewpiless all on the one esp8266 although that might be demanding too much memory etc from this device.
I did notice that after several days of signalling from my ispindel to the repeater that the blue light was on all the time instead of only flashing when it sends a signal. I'm not sure why or if this is contributing.

Do you do a hard reset of the repeater using the button or unplug and restart to get it working again.
Are you logging during this dry test and if so have you looked to see if the memory area for this gets filled up and causes a problem perhaps the bootloop?
 

HarryB

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Ideally this software and some display software -+ brewpiless all on the one esp8266 although that might be demanding too much memory etc from this device.
I did notice that after several days of signalling from my ispindel to the repeater that the blue light was on all the time instead of only flashing when it sends a signal. I'm not sure why or if this is contributing.

Do you do a hard reset of the repeater using the button or unplug and restart to get it working again.
Are you logging during this dry test and if so have you looked to see if the memory area for this gets filled up and causes a problem perhaps the bootloop?
Have you a URL for the repeater updated firmware?

I don't think it's a memory issue (bootloop), because it ran continuously in my dry run much longer than my actual brew takes. I have never seen the blue LED remain on in my iSpindel. I don't think it is a network access problem, because even when iSpindel on its own, in an actual brew, it never missed a single report. When I ran the dry test, both items were in the same room as the router. My brews (wine) are usually finished within 10 days, whereas the dry run ran for more than double that before it stopped reporting - both at a 10 minute report interval. The run time to failure also seems to be random.

I reboot the repeater, by unplugging it. I must admit I did notice a problem when initially trying to get both working together, when starting a brew - I not sure what works best, booting the iSpindel or the repeater up first. My usual method is to mess about rebooting them in the dry, until I get at least two reports, then pop the iSpindel in the brew.
 
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