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4-channel TC meter and datalogger project


greencardigan wrote:
- Time axis automatically scales if maximum roast time variable (MAX_TIME) is changed

Maybe a good idea to use a larger default value than 5 minutes? Suggest that the default value be revised to, say, 19 minutes.

Whoops, I forgot to change that back. I had it set on 5 so the graphs moved across the screen quicker when I was testing the markers.


greencardigan wrote:
Whoops, I forgot to change that back. I had it set on 5 so the graphs moved across the screen quicker when I was testing the markers.

I am experimenting with it just now, and when it got to 5 minutes the graphs all went blank and the axes were not extended. Did you disable that feature during your marker tests?
I have tried setting all filtering (at every level) to 0 to see what happens, which is very interesting. The ambient sensor is unbelievably fast and sensitive, as the attached graph shows. At each of the four markers, B, FC, SC, and E, I breathed out relatively short and sharply in the direction of the ambient sensor, at a distance of about 10cm. At the same time as the breath I pressed the relevant button. The first and second "cracks" were so close to instantaneous that the rise curve virtually through the centre of the timing marker. (I aimed to press the button as accurately as possible at the start of the outbreath, which lasted probably about 1/4 second or so). The first peak * on the graph occurred unexpectedly as I moved while preparing to start (probably a gust of warm air caused by my movement). I am not sure why there is no response from the first breath; all the breaths were biologically controlled, therefore not exactly identical, and the distance likewise. Maybe the first breath was a little too light and too far away, but virtually every breath has a similarly dramatic response.

Sorry, I can't get the attached file to attach!

I've just tried the same thing with the BT TCs, and to my surprise the results are even more dramatic. The TCs are at the bottom of a copper pot 10cm wide and 25cm deep. Breathing sharply into the mouth of the pot I could get RoR to go from off-screen negative (probably marginally off-screen) to off the top of the screen within a fraction of a second of the start of the breath (probably around 1/2 second). The TCs are 1.5mm mantel elements.

* Ahemm. The graph of course shows T0 and RoR of T0, while what changes is ambient, which affects the calculation of T0 in the opposite direction. Therefore it seems the breathing on the ambient sensor was a cooling effect while the breathing in the mouth of the pot had a warming effect. Nevertheless the results are just as astounding. Well done Jim and Bill for developing such good hardware!

OK, here are the graphs. First the ambient:

Then the T0:
Edited by Bhante on 04/06/2011 12:10 PM
I have started a new thread that is specific to Bourbon discussions:

Please, let's move our Bourbon discussions over there.

I have also changed the name of Brad's branch in the repository to be consistent with naming conventions I described in the new thread. Brad's current pBourbon code can now be found here:



JimG wrote:
I have started a new thread that is specific to Bourbon discussions ...
Please, let's move our Bourbon discussions over there.

I agree it is necessary to start a new thread, but wait, I have an alternative suggestion:

1) The main TC4 thread is HUGE. It contains masses of very important information, but finding required information is a nightmare. On the other hand I think this TC4 thread is a good place to centralise current discussions, especially ones which might be of interest to all TC4 users, not just Bourbon users. There is an overwhelming need for a new thread which ONLY contains authoritative information on the hardware and software, building, obtaining, using, problems, solutions etc, without millions of discussions about issues that are not relevant to all users, especially to new users. Therefore I suggest you use the new thread ONLY for authoritative statements: what is, how to, how it works (excluding discussions and questions), how to build, how to install/calibrate, updates/new issues/new branches etc. It would be nice if we could get full documentation for everything but I know that is a difficult target to reach and may never happen for lack of time, since the most productive people are always short of time - but the best alternative I think is to have a repository of key authoritative information without any discussion. (Otherwise the new thread will also in no time be a mamouth thread, and it will be difficult to find essential information there too). Therefore my proposal is that you discourage discussion on the new thread as far as possible, rather than simply moving the discussion from one place to another, and keep the new thread for authoritative statements, which hopefully over time will build up step by step to something approximating to reasonably full documentation.

2) Note that Bourbon is both aBourbon and pBourbon, and some other programs depend on aBourbon although not using pBourbon (pCatuai for example). Additionally, many discussions of Bourbon will be entirely relevant to all or several of the other programs used on TC4, and vice versa, so I think it would be valuable to keep such discussions together so that anyone interested in developments of TC4 in general knows where to look, and doesn't have to split his attention between split discussions for split audiences and/or duplicate his discussions.

3) To help keep the new "repository" thread slim and information easy to find, I propose that all questions about points in the new thread, and about information people cannot find, or requests for explanations, should go here in the main discussion thread, where the emphasis would be more on current discussion.

4) Of course, my proposed authoritative information could equally well go somewhere else such as in the wiki of the google code site, but what matters is that somehow and wherever the key information gets collected in a place where it is easy to reach.

That is my proposal.


Bhante wrote:
That is my proposal.

Thanks for your thoughts.


JimG wrote:
As a relative newcomer to HRO, I have to first ask "Does the HRO community wish for HRO to continue to be the primary forum for the TC4 system?"

If yes, then my thoughts would be to initiate a few new threads, generally along these lines:

1. TC4 - Overview and announcements
2. TC4 - Hardware discussions
3. TC4 - Bourbon application software
4. TC4 - Catuai application software
5. TC4 - Artisan application software
6. TC4 - Gesha application software

Randy has already started a thread for the Kona application, so I think that application is covered already.

If the consensus here is that those new threads would be appropriate, and welcome, then I will volunteer to get them started.


The direction posted previously in this thread (quoted above) is where I currently plan to take things. Will that satisfy your concerns?



Bhante wrote:


greencardigan wrote:
Whoops, I forgot to change that back. I had it set on 5 so the graphs moved across the screen quicker when I was testing the markers.

I am experimenting with it just now, and when it got to 5 minutes the graphs all went blank and the axes were not extended. Did you disable that feature during your marker tests?

No, I haven't coded that feature yet.

The max time currently needs to be set before running. The axis will then scale to fit to the max time value.
Hi all

First post here, my name is Antonio and I write from the UK. Not exactly a British name, I am actually Italian!
I could be sligtly off topic here, but was not sure if I should have opened another thread.

I was searching the Internet for a 2 (or more) thermocouples USB logger for reflowing XboX. I would like to do it properly and I would like to find a correct reflow profile using my equipment. See the graph on video would be the best thing to do.

Now, let me say that your project is AWESOME! It's good to see that open source can gather so many people in great projects! Well done.

Said that, I knew the Arduino platform and I would like to buy one for experimenting. The TC4 board seems to be the icing sugar on top.

Do you think the TC4 could be suitable for my task? I think it's approximately the same of roasting coffee (ok, don't take it wrong!), I need to reach a temperature keeping an eye on the rising rate of it, to avoid damaging the chips.

The ultimate software would be to have a superimposed graph I could follow using the heaters (well, the ultimate one would be Arduino to control the tools, but that's another task!).

I read many pages of the forum but as some says there is a lot of content and it's not easy to keep track of all of it (not a complaint, definitely not easy to keep everything tidy).

If I correctly understand to run the TC4 I need... the TC4, which can be ordered bare, partly populated or fully populated; then I need an Arduino board. Which model? UNO?

Thanks for your time and for helping me!

Welcome Tony! It seems to me that the TC4 should be fine for your project. The 4-channel adc that we use is a bit slow-- something like 250mS to sample but most of us run 2 channels with an overall update rate of 1 second. We have software both for the Arduino and also for the PC. You might be able to use the software as-is, or you might want to tweak it, or just study it and roll your own. I'd suggest the 'Bourbon' sotware application as a good starting point.

Yes, the Uno will work, or the Duem, or similar that have the original shield format. We use I2C heavily in the tc4, by the way.

Feel free to start a new about your project - reflowing is of interest, as is datalogging.
Edited by bvwelch on 05/08/2011 3:13 PM
Thanks bvwelch for the warm welcome!

I'll open a new thread then, so I keep this thread free from OT!

See you there, thanks!
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