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CraftBeerPi Reliability

Discussion in 'Electronics, Hardware & Software' started by Brewdiggity, 30/3/19.

 

  1. Brewdiggity

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    Posted 30/3/19
    Hey Brewers,

    I'm in the process of a HERMS Electric Brewery build and am looking at either PID or CraftBeerPi controller build to run the show.

    Was interested in others experiences setting up CBPi and also how reliable its been once setup. Although I understand the possibilities in terms of full brewing automation and data storage and potentially fermentation control integrating Tilt once setup, I've found in the past with opensource software, you just about need to be a software developer to resolve issues quickly. I've read another user of CBPi's response stating the if you have some experience of developing plugin's you can develop your own solutions to bugs which sounds at bit like too hard basket to me. I am reasonably tech savvy but certainly not skilled at creating plugins.

    Although I'm somewhat tempted by the potential benefits with CBPi I'm inclined forgo these and go with the less headachey option of PID controller.

    Am very interested to hear about others experiences with CBPi are which might help me decide on the best option for me.
     
  2. gusterminator

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    Posted 12/4/19
    I currently use Craftbeerpi and think it's great. I added a Tilthydrometer for internal fermentation temp. I also added a flow sensor for measuring my water transfers.
    I'm currently going to make it so I can flick a switch between using robobrew controller and craftbeerpi.

    There are quite a few different PID examples to choose from within the program as well.

    Hope this helps,
     
  3. Meddo

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    Posted 13/4/19
    I've found it reasonably unstable unfortunately. On my last brew it stopped responding during a mash step, I had to reboot the raspberry pi. I'm not sure whether the elements were on full power at that point but it could have ended in disaster if they were and I hadn't noticed.

    Ardbir was much more stable, although not as customisable. And yeah potentially you can build or tweak plugins but I suspect some of the instability is in the core component which is not as easy to pull apart.

    One major issue I have with the functionality is there doesn't seem to be any way to modify boil power on the fly while running an automated mash/boil program. I've looked at modifying one of the plugins but the element power doesn't seem to be exposed to the user interface outside the manual function, and I'm buggered if I can find that component in the code. Otherwise the features are great, just a bit unreliable.
     
  4. Dunk

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    Posted 17/4/19
    Mine works well, it can be a little laggy from the control interface at times (I'm using a pi2) but had no issues on brew day, I've brewed well over a dozen beers on a RIMS system.

    Just got an iSpindel up and running, next step trip with CBPi...
     
  5. Dunk

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    Posted 22/7/19
    It turns out my reliability issues were due to the GPIO buttons. I stopped using them and upgraded to a pi3 and it works well!
     
  6. Truman42

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    Posted 23/7/19
    Can you use a Pi zero wifi to run a Guten or Robobrew? If so any ideas on where to start? i just managed to get Craftbeerpi installed on my raspberry pi zero with wifi but thats as far as I got.
     
  7. mickeytee

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    Posted 30/8/19
    Meddo,

    I found all reliability issues with CBPi and my RPi 3+ were solved by upgrading powersupply to the Pi. Instead of using the OEM Pi power supply I went to a dedicated Mean Well 5v 3A Switching PSU from Jaycar and hasnt missed a beat since.

    Just run 240v AC in and then get an old MicroUSB charging cable, cut the end off it and run the +/- "power" wires of the cable into the +/- output of the power supply.

    You can power the RPi directly thru the GPIO pins however you will no longer have circuit protection like you do with the USB power side.

    https://www.jaycar.com.au/15w-5v-3a-enclosed-power-supply/p/MP3295

    I was having reliability issues with wifi dropouts and also CBPi crashing when using BoilPID plugin. I didn't think the PSU would fix the software issues but it has.

    Hope this helps.
     
  8. Meddo

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    Posted 30/8/19
    Hey Mickey, thanks but I don't think power is an issue as it's being supplied by a 5V / 3A converter output from a craftbeerpi shield (itself powered by 12V / 6A Mean Well PSU). But worth investigating further I guess.

    I've been playing with a raspberry pi 4B the last few nights and it's night and day - responsive, stable, just a much better experience. Will hook it up to the brewery at some point over the next few weeks.
     
  9. mickeytee

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    Posted 30/8/19
    I've been contemplating ordering a 4B for my entertainment unit Pi - Would you be able to post and update on how it goes on the Brewery front?

    Also were you running CBPi 2 or 3 when you were having stability issues?
     
  10. Meddo

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    Posted 30/8/19
    Will do Mickey.

    Have only run CBPi 3, never tried 2.
     

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