iSpindle - DIY Electronic Hydrometer

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mdime

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Anyone have any extra of the newer iSpindel PCBs they'd be willing to part with? Something like one of these? I built up an iSpindel a few years back with the original printed tray design and while it worked well, one of the connections is bad and I'd like to rebuild it with the newer PCB design.
 

DuncB

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Anyone have any extra of the newer iSpindel PCBs they'd be willing to part with? Something like one of these? I built up an iSpindel a few years back with the original printed tray design and while it worked well, one of the connections is bad and I'd like to rebuild it with the newer PCB design.
I've just built a load of these using that PCB it's a much easier build and calibrate and it works better as the antenna is higher in the bottle. Hope you find someone local who can send one, if I sent from here it would be cheaper to buy a whole batch of new ones from the supplier and you'd get them quicker the post is terrible from here.
 

BreeBrew

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Anyone have any extra of the newer iSpindel PCBs they'd be willing to part with? Something like one of these? I built up an iSpindel a few years back with the original printed tray design and while it worked well, one of the connections is bad and I'd like to rebuild it with the newer PCB design.
Where are you located, I have a bunch of these laying around till winter comes and it's to cold or wet to go to the golfcourse ;) So I am willing to send one at a price to be agreed upon plus shipping.
 

BreeBrew

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@beardedb

Can you tell me the diameter of the opening of a carboy please or the narrowest bit of the neck, I might have a plan.

30mm or 1.181102 inch. But there are quite a few of different versions around.
 

mdime

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Where are you located, I have a bunch of these laying around till winter comes and it's to cold or wet to go to the golfcourse ;) So I am willing to send one at a price to be agreed upon plus shipping.
Thank you for the offer. I'm in California so the shipping probably doesn't make it worth it. Unless there's someone here in the US that can just put one in an envelope with a postage stamp I'll probably just order a small batch.
 

DuncB

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Thank you for the offer. I'm in California so the shipping probably doesn't make it worth it. Unless there's someone here in the US that can just put one in an envelope with a postage stamp I'll probably just order a small batch.
I'd go the batch route and sell them on via ebay etc.
 

BreeBrew

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Thank you for the offer. I'm in California so the shipping probably doesn't make it worth it. Unless there's someone here in the US that can just put one in an envelope with a postage stamp I'll probably just order a small batch.
I checked shipping from NL to US and I have to fill in a CN22 customs declaration because I send goods, shipping costs would be €10.30 about 12.50usd. If I send it as a letter without a customs declaration it is € 4.65 about 6usd but it will almost certain be intercepted by customs because of the contents without declaring it, so that is no option imo.
But the maker of this PCB is US based : The Jeffrey 2.69, How to Flat Solder, Balance to 25 degrees using Solder Pad Weights - Open Source Distilling maybe you can contact him.
 

MBasile

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Well, having started this project nearly two years ago, I finally picked up a 3D printer to start iterating a carrier to hold the Adafruit Huzzah and perfboard. After 10 revisions I got the specs and shape nailed down, so I set to work soldering everything together. However, after plugging in the battery my Huzzah gave up it's magic smoke! Back to gathering new components, will try again in a few weeks. I did put together a custom PCB and sent that off to have a few printed for me; that should make the assembly a bit easier.
Another 2.5 years later, and it's in its first batch of beer. Have I really had this thing sitting around for almost 5 years? F**k.

The battery life is abysmal on my setup (Adafruit Huzzah for an integrated charger). After this batch is done I'll likely take it apart to measure the current draw while sleeping. It's currently consuming about .1v per day when reading every 4 hours, so nowhere close to the 3-month battery life reading every 30 minutes of the original design.
 

rsquared

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Thank you for the offer. I'm in California so the shipping probably doesn't make it worth it. Unless there's someone here in the US that can just put one in an envelope with a postage stamp I'll probably just order a small batch.
I've got a spare board I can part with, and I'm also in CA. It's the previous version of that board (the Jeffrey 2.1) but the changes between that and the newest are pretty minor.

If you're interested, send me a PM and we can discuss details.
 

MBasile

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Another 2.5 years later, and it's in its first batch of beer. Have I really had this thing sitting around for almost 5 years? F**k.

The battery life is abysmal on my setup (Adafruit Huzzah for an integrated charger). After this batch is done I'll likely take it apart to measure the current draw while sleeping. It's currently consuming about .1v per day when reading every 4 hours, so nowhere close to the 3-month battery life reading every 30 minutes of the original design.
I rigged up a second iSpindel circuit on a breadboard and got the same power consumption rates (as measured by the drop in voltage over time). I swapped out the Adafruit Feather ESP8266 and put in their ESP8266 breakout board (no USB circuitry or anyting) and it is consuming less than half the power of the Feather-based circuit—but without any battery charging circuitry attached. However, at 0.0017 volts/hour when waking every 30 minutes, the battery will still go from 4.2v to 3.3 in about 22 days (assuming a linear rate), which is still 1/3rd of the battery life as the creator claimed with their circuitry and components.

I have some D1 Minis from Amazon coming this weekend, so I'll see how the power consumption is with one of those. I also have some kit coming to measure and log the amperage draw from the circuit so that I can see just how different they are without having to run multi-day test. The takeaway at this point is, though, that the Adafruit Feather isn't a good option if you want frequent readings or need a month+ of battery.
 

MBasile

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I rigged up a second iSpindel circuit on a breadboard and got the same power consumption rates (as measured by the drop in voltage over time). I swapped out the Adafruit Feather ESP8266 and put in their ESP8266 breakout board (no USB circuitry or anyting) and it is consuming less than half the power of the Feather-based circuit—but without any battery charging circuitry attached. However, at 0.0017 volts/hour when waking every 30 minutes, the battery will still go from 4.2v to 3.3 in about 22 days (assuming a linear rate), which is still 1/3rd of the battery life as the creator claimed with their circuitry and components.

I have some D1 Minis from Amazon coming this weekend, so I'll see how the power consumption is with one of those. I also have some kit coming to measure and log the amperage draw from the circuit so that I can see just how different they are without having to run multi-day test. The takeaway at this point is, though, that the Adafruit Feather isn't a good option if you want frequent readings or need a month+ of battery.
Just me yammering to myself again. I was able to test the current of each board today, and found the following during deep sleep.

.9mA seems sort of insignificant, but on a 3500mAh battery, that's theoretically 2 extra weeks (calculating running the battery down to 0mAh left, and I don't know if that's how they work).

I also noted that the DFRobot MPU6050 drew an extra 3.5mA while the device was in deep sleep compared to a random Amazon GY-521 board. I guess I'll chalk the last 5 years of fiddling with this thing up as a learning lesson about power consumption differences between different fabrications of components, and just make a new iSpindel based off of one of the existing board/sled designs. At least I was able to use this experience as an excuse to get a 3D printer to design a sled for the feather-based device. :yes:
 

Darsx

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Hello,
I recently built two Ispindles. The first went together and worked like a charm without issues. The second, I'm having issues flashing the board. I'm using ESP8266 Flasher and 7.1.2 firmware. After flashing, "ispindle" does not appear as a wifi connection; instead there is a network titled "ESP-7D7444" to which I cannot connect. I tried these steps here to clear and reflash the bios but with no luck. I though it was a bad D1 board, and ordered a new one, but having the exact same issues. This leads be to believe its something else, but unsure what it could be. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

DuncB

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@Darsx
I might have had some issues similar to yours with some of my builds. See post 1733.

It was suggested that the temp probe was incorrectly installed, I changed it 3 times to no effect. Finally changed the D1 mini and it worked. I would check your soldering on the D1 is really good, I think that's the problem I had because I did get that swapped out D1 mini working in the end as a NAT relay.

Suspect it is software or firmware struggling with a hardware issue.
 

Darsx

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@Darsx
I might have had some issues similar to yours with some of my builds. See post 1733.

It was suggested that the temp probe was incorrectly installed, I changed it 3 times to no effect. Finally changed the D1 mini and it worked. I would check your soldering on the D1 is really good, I think that's the problem I had because I did get that swapped out D1 mini working in the end as a NAT relay.

Suspect it is software or firmware struggling with a hardware issue.
Hi DuncB,
Thank you for the suggestion. I de-soldered and re-soldered the temp sensor, and no change. I also used the following diagram https://www.opensourcedistilling.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Printing-Print-Schematic-scaled.jpg to check polarity between the temp sensor and the D1 at post 6, and it looks good. I then just started checking random parts, with the multimeter and noticed that the resistance between post 2 and post 3 on the thermometer was very low. According to the diagram it should be close to 4.7k ohms, but I'm getting more like 0.3 ohms (very low). Now, I'm no electrical engineer, and mostly learn my tinkering, but would it be incorrect to get that reading? just want to confirm before I start tearing the whole board apart looking for a faulty resistor.
 

DuncB

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@Darsx
I'm afraid I have no idea, someone here should know. But it's not my area of expertise at all. If it bled I'd be more help. My knowledge only gleaned from experience of others and my mistakes. I'll be waiting for the answer. That does seem low though.
 

ChrisThomas

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I've checked with my meter on my OSD and I don't get a reading that low between any pins on the DS1820. With a resistance that low, sounds like you've got a short circuit between those pins somewhere. That could be solder bridge or a faulty PCB?


Chris
 
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Darsx

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@ChrisThomas @DuncB
Thanks for both your help! After several days of de-soldering and re-soldering (and finding out embracingly late in the process that solder wicks exist...), I did end up finding a short on the board. Then, the temperature sensor leads fell apart in my hands, likely from metal fatigue from the constant soldering... but I think I found my problem. I'm confident that with a new temp sensor, I'll be up and running.
 

IanJ

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For anyone who has built an iSpindel with CherryPhillip 4.0 board AND encountered issues getting 25 degrees, did you ever find a solution that worked?

I'm currently maxing out at 16 degrees after calibrating the gyro to ~89. I've tried weighting in various spots above and below where I could get small things to fit. It should be top weighted based on the angle, but small things like coins to packing foam just sink it more. Just about ready to give up and get the latest PCB (Jeffrey 2.69) out of frustration. Think it's worth going that route instead of battling this?
 

BreeBrew

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For anyone who has built an iSpindel with CherryPhillip 4.0 board AND encountered issues getting 25 degrees, did you ever find a solution that worked?

I'm currently maxing out at 16 degrees after calibrating the gyro to ~89. I've tried weighting in various spots above and below where I could get small things to fit. It should be top weighted based on the angle, but small things like coins to packing foam just sink it more. Just about ready to give up and get the latest PCB (Jeffrey 2.69) out of frustration. Think it's worth going that route instead of battling this?
I would try it in a brew as is thus with the 16 degrees and see what it does, maybe the measurements during the brew aren't that accurate but you can surely see if the fermentation is still going or has ended.

The latest 2.69 version has the ability to add solder at the bottom of the PCB to adjust the angle but in my experience you don't even need that due to the weight of the battery so that would be easier but you have to get it first so I would try your current build first.
 

cayde1001

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For anyone who has built an iSpindel with CherryPhillip 4.0 board AND encountered issues getting 25 degrees, did you ever find a solution that worked?

I'm currently maxing out at 16 degrees after calibrating the gyro to ~89. I've tried weighting in various spots above and below where I could get small things to fit. It should be top weighted based on the angle, but small things like coins to packing foam just sink it more. Just about ready to give up and get the latest PCB (Jeffrey 2.69) out of frustration. Think it's worth going that route instead of battling this?
I have had some luck with adding foam or cardboard to the bottom of the pet and then shaving down the tabs at the top of the pcb. This lifts up the center of gravity and might possibly help.
 

IanJ

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I have had some luck with adding foam or cardboard to the bottom of the pet and then shaving down the tabs at the top of the pcb. This lifts up the center of gravity and might possibly help.
Awesome, thanks! I'll give that a try later and see. Looks like there'd be a cm or two at the top if the tabs are gone.
 

wd16261

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I would try it in a brew as is thus with the 16 degrees and see what it does, maybe the measurements during the brew aren't that accurate but you can surely see if the fermentation is still going or has ended.

The latest 2.69 version has the ability to add solder at the bottom of the PCB to adjust the angle but in my experience you don't even need that due to the weight of the battery so that would be easier but you have to get it first so I would try your current build first.
16° is too low so adding something will not help and IanJ mentioned that it is a CherryPhilip 4.0 board not a Jeffrey.
But like cayde1001 said if you could get the position of the battery a little bit higher that could work.
 

IanJ

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I would try it in a brew as is thus with the 16 degrees and see what it does, maybe the measurements during the brew aren't that accurate but you can surely see if the fermentation is still going or has ended.

The latest 2.69 version has the ability to add solder at the bottom of the PCB to adjust the angle but in my experience you don't even need that due to the weight of the battery so that would be easier but you have to get it first so I would try your current build first.
Sorry, totally missed your reply somehow. Thanks for the thoughts, that's definitely a valid point - at least to determine how close it could be to terminal gravity, but then again being accurate would be nice too.

16° is too low so adding something will not help and IanJ mentioned that it is a CherryPhilip 4.0 board not a Jeffrey.
But like cayde1001 said if you could get the position of the battery a little bit higher that could work.
And yeah, that's what I was worried about. I shaved off the tabs and no matter how high it's pushed up, (now the power switch is grinding up against the petling cap) and it won't go beyond ~19 degrees, so if desoldering and moving the battery holder higher doesn't work then I may just order some new PCB's. Problem with moving the battery is that the pins are clipped into the board so I'd have to shave them off and bend the contacts to move it.
 

DuncB

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Could you trim away some of the battery holder especially in the lower half? The battery would probably hold in fine with just the top part clipping it. If you removed lots of the battery holder and it wasn't secure a small cable tie would secure it. Might just do the job without soldering.
 

IanJ

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Could you trim away some of the battery holder especially in the lower half? The battery would probably hold in fine with just the top part clipping it. If you removed lots of the battery holder and it wasn't secure a small cable tie would secure it. Might just do the job without soldering.
Ohhh maybe, hadn't thought about that! Actually I did consider just removing the battery holder entirely after buying a set that were too large for the PETling. Was considering soldering just the metal pins from them in position and using a rubberband to secure it a bit. Wonder if that would be too light and require even more balancing though o_O

Anyhow, if I can find something that will trim enough off without totally breaking it, maybe that will help just enough. Dremel probably? I'll post some pictures of my hack job so far, if I get this balanced.

Been a heck of a process trying to make this work, having not used a soldering iron since middle school shop class, and a whole lot of screw ups along the way, from a damaged board, some pins I couldn't de-solder when I put them on the wrong side, oxidized tips and damaging one gyro trying to get the led off. Fun times!
 

DuncB

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Dremel should do it, lot safer than a stanley or craft knife. Cable tie would be best, the original ispindels were on 3d printed sleds and the battery was held on that with cable tie.
Easier to add weight to tune it so I'd take more off than you think will save a lot of in and outs of the tube lid on off etc. I snapped the tab on one of my battery holders when it pointed away from the holder and I wanted to move the battery down and the tab was in the way.
The jeffery 2.69 was a huge ease jump up from the 3d sled design was using before.
 

IanJ

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Sounds about right. I was going to try with an exacto because it's such a tiny sliver at the base... but don't trust slips not to happen, that casing plastic is pretty dense.

I think I get what you mean, a tie going through the battery holder mounts instead of wrapped around the whole pcb.
 

DuncB

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@ZeSlammy
I'd resorted to indelible black marker on the petling inside and nicely tapered wings on the sled to have a fit tighter than a crabs bottom at 50 fathoms. But your ring will be tight as well! Nice design.
 
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