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Controlling Robobrew with Craftbeerpi

Discussion in 'Electronics, Hardware & Software' started by gusterminator, 12/4/19.

 

  1. gusterminator

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    Posted 12/4/19
    Hi, I'm going to modify my Robobrew 65L so I can control it with Craftbeerpi. I had a few questions for any body to help.
    I was looking at this picture.
    [​IMG]
    I noticed they labelled the two pins 1900W for the element.
    I would think that one pin is for 1900W and the other pin is for the 500W. If 5V from power board is fed back to those pins the relay for the elements come on.
    Would anyone else agree with me?

    Thanks'

    Gus Picture1.png
     
  2. Stevied71

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    Posted 20/8/19
    Hi Gus,
    How did you go with this? My old v2 board carked it and I'm struggling to find spare parts.
    I've only just found out about the CraftBeerPi, would love to know how it went as it may be my only alternative.
    Cheers,
    Steve
     
  3. mickeytee

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    Posted 30/8/19
    How did you go with spare parts steve?

    May be able to help with craftbeerpi and robobrew conversion side of things, quite familiar with both.


    Cheers
    Mick
     
  4. Ferment8

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    Posted 30/8/19
    Having just got a 35L robobrew 3.1 I would be very interested in attaching a carftbeerpi or similar to control it. Any idea if anyone has actually achieved this yet?
     
    Truman42 likes this.
  5. mickeytee

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    Posted 30/8/19
    Only thing i could foresee being an issue would be the temperature probe. CBPi is designed out of the box to us DS18B20 "one wire temp sensors" (3 actual wires but you can run a bunch of sensors to the same GPIO pins and are compatible with the RPi 1 wire settings) and I assume the RoboBrew is using an NTC type thermistor given it has 2 actual wires. Would just be a matter of unscrewing bottom of robobrew, taking out old thermistor, installing a thermowell and placing a DS18B20 temp probe inside thermowell.

    Any questions am happy to help
    Cheers Mick

    Edit: Thermowell, the 50mm version would suffice: https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre=https://www.ebay.com.au/ulk/itm/372729720038

    DS18B20 sensors:
    https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre=https://www.ebay.com.au/ulk/itm/372729720038
     
    Last edited: 30/8/19
    Ferment8 likes this.
  6. Stevied71

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    Posted 30/8/19
    Mick,

    I picked up a gen 3.0 on gumtree for a lot less that the cost of a SmartPID and without the challenges of building/programming the Craftbeerpi.

    However, this site has a nice build and contains links to the parts you need for the build: https://leaningman.com/portfolio/brewery-controller-complete-guide/

    I'm not sure if new thermowells/sensors are needed since the RB has this already...

    When I get some spare cash, I'll look at replacing the controller on the old gen 2.

    Looking forward to brewing this weekend!
     
  7. Ferment8

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    Posted 30/8/19
    Cheers Mick
    I have a few temp sensors laying around from making my brewpiless controllers. What else would be needed? Just the pi and straight from gpio pins to the small connector on the robobrew or breakout board, ssr's e.t.c?
     
  8. mickeytee

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    Posted 30/8/19
    I can't seem to find a wiring diagram for the PCB of the robobrew and am not 100% sure how the relays in them work when you are in "play" mode. Going off gus' original post it looks like the 8 pin serial wire (with the 5V 1900W element wires etc) appear to be the signal for the onboard relays when in "play mode" (being when 5V is sent thru the 1900W signal wire it turns the heating element on and vice versa).

    Unfortunately the RPi GPIO's are only 3.3V output so they would not have enough voltage to trigger the relay on their own straight off the pins. I'm no sparky so am unsure how you would be able to step this voltage up to be able to eliminate the need for SSR's.

    Personally I would make something like my control box here (which include the SSRs in it):- https://aussiehomebrewer.com/threads/15-kmart-pot-craftbeerpi-biab-rig.100840/

    And modify the robobrew something like the below (apologies for crude MS Paint):-
    51E7jxSe8UL._SL500_AC_SS350_.jpg

    Where you would take the Neutral and Live lines in parallel from the larger 240V AC Bus of the Robobrew PCB for the pump and heaters respectively, drill in another hole on the bottomside of kettle next to the existing Robobrew thermo and put your weldless thermowell and DS18B20 temp sensor as discussed above.

    That way you're not really touching any of the Robobrews PCB or LCD UI and if you find that CBPi is not for you then just plug the 240V AC back into the original Robobrew Socket and use it as originally purchased. Basically all you are doing bypassing the Robobrews controls and switches and utalising the heater elements and pump that comes installed with the Robobrew as your actors for CBPi.

    Bit of food for thought anyways. I've tidied up the wiring on my control box a bunch and hard mounted everything; just need to do a bit more soldering and will post pictures later in the weekend. The footprint of it is only ~300x200mm so it doesn't take up too much room at all.


    Cheers, Mick
     
  9. splitice

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    Posted 30/8/19
    Quite an interesting idea. I'd be in on helping out (software engineer with a minor background in hardware R&D particularly RF). I haven't opened up the bottom yet and poked about but it's on my list.

    I'd probably look at brewpi-esp8266. The ESP8266 has an ADC (pin A0 on Wemos) so it is possible to use Analog temperature sensors. It outputs 0-1V with an accuracy of 1024 bits. As long as you don't want accuracy below say 0-2-0.5 degrees it should be possible to implement on the hardware side. Of course the code has to be written. Maybe someone has a fork out there which already does it. Not sure.

    Of course the simpler idea might just be to mount a temperature probe on the underside, attached with high temperature adhesive. It may need a small offset to account for the indirect contact.

    I would probably hook up both controllers. A controller in paused mode is going to do nothing other than report temperature. Meanwhile.
     
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