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Control panel with discrete PIDs vs. computer/automation?
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kal
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Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 10077
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Hop Candy Jr, Scottish 70/-, Cali Common, Maibock, Helles, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter

Working on: Weizen


PostLink    Posted: Fri Jul 15, 2016 3:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


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jgalak wrote:
I keep waffling on automation or not. So many pros and cons both ways. So here's a thought: the automation setup I'm mostly likely to use (Raspberry Pi running Strangebrew Elsinore) uses the same kind of solid state relays as TEB. I'm thinking about reusing the SSR to allow both - build a TEB back-to-back panel, but add a DPDT switch between the PID output and the SSR input. One side of the switch runs the panel in PID mode, the other stunts the SSR inputs to an external controller. (I'm not concerned about pumps at this time.)

Why built a panel that works both ways? When would you use one vs the other?

Quote:
I'm assuming the industrial style switches used in TEB can be had in a DPDT configuration?

Anything's possible by stacking contactors. Industrial style switches work a bit differently. I explain it here: http://www.theelectricbrewery.com/control-panel-part-1?page=9

Kal

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jgalak



Joined: 06 Jun 2015
Posts: 19



PostLink    Posted: Fri Jul 15, 2016 3:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kal wrote:
jgalak wrote:
I keep waffling on automation or not. So many pros and cons both ways. So here's a thought: the automation setup I'm mostly likely to use (Raspberry Pi running Strangebrew Elsinore) uses the same kind of solid state relays as TEB. I'm thinking about reusing the SSR to allow both - build a TEB back-to-back panel, but add a DPDT switch between the PID output and the SSR input. One side of the switch runs the panel in PID mode, the other stunts the SSR inputs to an external controller. (I'm not concerned about pumps at this time.)

Why built a panel that works both ways? When would you use one vs the other?


I'm a fairly new brewer, and have never done all-grain before. PID control seems like a much better option for a beginner to learn the processes, the equipment, etc. So my plan is to start with your standard setup.

But I'm also a gadget and electronics geek, so homebrewing an automated controller appeals to me. As you've said, many people who go the all-automation route take forever to complete it, and while I enjoy tinkering, I also want to be brewing.

My idea lets me flip a switch between "this works, let's make beer" and "I'm developing, no idea if this works, but I'm enjoying the tinkering" modes. Smile

Quote:

Quote:
I'm assuming the industrial style switches used in TEB can be had in a DPDT configuration?

Anything's possible by stacking contactors. Industrial style switches work a bit differently. I explain it here: http://www.theelectricbrewery.com/control-panel-part-1?page=9


Thanks, totally new to these types of controls.
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kal
Forum Administrator


Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 10077
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Hop Candy Jr, Scottish 70/-, Cali Common, Maibock, Helles, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter

Working on: Weizen


PostLink    Posted: Fri Jul 15, 2016 5:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jgalak wrote:
My idea lets me flip a switch between "this works, let's make beer" and "I'm developing, no idea if this works, but I'm enjoying the tinkering" modes. Smile

Sure - nothing wrong with that. While it would depend completely on how you implement it (there's no black and white answer) I don't see why you couldn't control the high powered circuitry in the panel (SSRs, relays, receptacles, etc) with PID or something else and allow you to choose which method if you want to tinker.

Quote:
Thanks, totally new to these types of controls.

I knew 'regular' electronics switch nomenclature too first (terms like DPDT, SPST, etc) so I figured I'd include explanations in the instructions for those that may have been in the same boat...

Good luck!

Kal

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tope472



Joined: 04 Sep 2016
Posts: 1
Location: Noblesville, IN


PostLink    Posted: Sun Sep 04, 2016 9:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I also could not decide on one or the other so I built both. I use the BCS for the most part to make beer. I really like the "leaving work, start strike water" capabilities. The PID's give me a lot of flexibility while in the act of brewing, or just heating water for cleaning, step mashes. Really anything besides a single infusion mash is to complicated and cumber some for the BCS to program every time. But it does that really well. Like flip valves, push button, take nap well.


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