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Controlling Robobrew with Craftbeerpi

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gusterminator

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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.

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
 

Stevied71

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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
 

mickeytee

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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
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
 

Ferment8

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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?
 

mickeytee

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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?
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
 
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Stevied71

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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
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!
 

Ferment8

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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?
 

mickeytee

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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?
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
 

splitice

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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.
 

gusterminator

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Hi guys, I haven't done this yet.....got tied up with work and such. I do have a plan.....I'm going to buy the Robobrew upgrade kit. I will cut the 8 wire cable that comes from the screen to the board. Then have each end of the 8 wire ribbon cable go to two different IP6 rated 8 pin pannel mount connectors. I will make a jumper wire that will connect on the out side of the robobrew from one connector to the other. This will be attached when I want to use the original controller. when I want to use craft beer pi to control I will remove the jumper and hook up a Raspberry to the other connector using a relay board. I will feed the 5V from the robobrew board threw the raspberry pi relay board and back to the robobrew board to turn on the relay which controls the elements. I will also be able to integrate the over temp thermostat. For temperature I will just add a Stainless T in on the Recirculation with a DS18B20 at the top of the robobrew where the recirc arm is.

I hope to get on this in the next couple months.....If anybody else gives it a shot let me know how it goes.

Thanks,
 

gusterminator

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The robobrew power board already sends 5V on the 8 wire ribbon cable to power up the controller and screen. Then the screen"Controller" sends 5V back to the two relay's on two separate pins "wires" to turn the one larger element on and then the other two elements on....something in that order. If you jumper the 5 volts over to one or the other pins that powers up the relays they should click on. When I get my replacement board I'm going to test all this out and verify if my logic is correct before I take my system down. If it proves out then it's a go for the Modification. I haven't looked into what kind of temp sensor the robobrew uses but there are RTD addons for the raspberry pi, so it would be possible to get it all working with some work. I'm assuming it uses an RTD but could be wrong.
 

Furry

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Hey Lads,
I've just completed installing a Raspberry pi onto my old V2 robobrew (board failed), I removed the old board but kept the switches in play and just installed a SSR for the 500W element for precise temperature control, then used a 2 switch relay board for the pump and 1900W element control. Removed the old temp sensor and installed a DS18B20 with thermowell in its place (drilled out the original hole). The SSR is bit overkill for the 500w element I know and it's a bit messy underneath but it works
 

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FBPOWERS

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I am in the process of doing this exact same thing with my V2. Thanks for posting the pictures. Out of curiosity did you ever thinking about separating the 1000 watt and the 500 watt on to two different SSR's? Also how did your you temp prob upgrade work does it seem to be more accurate?

Hey Lads,
I've just completed installing a Raspberry pi onto my old V2 robobrew (board failed), I removed the old board but kept the switches in play and just installed a SSR for the 500W element for precise temperature control, then used a 2 switch relay board for the pump and 1900W element control. Removed the old temp sensor and installed a DS18B20 with thermowell in its place (drilled out the original hole). The SSR is bit overkill for the 500w element I know and it's a bit messy underneath but it works
 

Furry

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Oh and I use VNC viewer on my laptop or tablet to control the pi remotely so no extra wires or connection on the outside of the Robobrew.
 

Jimbo

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Hey Lads,
I've just completed installing a Raspberry pi onto my old V2 robobrew (board failed), I removed the old board but kept the switches in play and just installed a SSR for the 500W element for precise temperature control, then used a 2 switch relay board for the pump and 1900W element control. Removed the old temp sensor and installed a DS18B20 with thermowell in its place (drilled out the original hole). The SSR is bit overkill for the 500w element I know and it's a bit messy underneath but it works
I thought the reason my v2 died was moisure in that underside area.
 

Furry

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I am in the process of doing this exact same thing with my V2. Thanks for posting the pictures. Out of curiosity did you ever thinking about separating the 1000 watt and the 500 watt on to two different SSR's? Also how did your you temp prob upgrade work does it seem to be more accurate?
The temperature indication is a lot more accurate, I did think about putting both on SSR but there isn't much room under the bottom and I wanted to contain it all and I figured the 1900W would be fine on a relay due to the 500w doing the majority of the temperature control.
 

Furry

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I thought the reason my v2 died was moisure in that underside area.
Mine looks like the live connection to the boards connect was loose and arcd out burning the board.
 

FBPOWERS

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So I have this all wired up and am trying to get my SSRs to fire up but doesn’t seem to be working. My set up is different i wanted to control each element on a different SSR. Did you have any issues to get your pi working with your SSR? I am attaching my bottom view so you can see what I was doing.
 

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Marcu0111

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Hi. I am from Canada an new to this forum. I am looking in a way to add crabftbeerpi to my robobrew without losing initial way of working.

Someone mentioned voltage but I believe we can use a logic level converter in order to get the 5v which can be supplied by the usb power supply. My other question is if someone has attempted to use the temp signal going to the display with the 8 pin cable. Would this be readable by the piu provided voltage is stepped down by the logic level converter? Hopind someone reads this.
 

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