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TC4 Alternatives?
brennn
Hi!

I'm a new coffee roasting hobbyist and am excited to start on my roasting project! I will be modifying a West Bend Popper.

With limited TC4 availability, what are the next best options for both data logging and automatic control?

Can the Arduino still be used without the TC4 shield for automatic coffee roasting control?

Is there any documentation of using a PID Controller and an Arduino in the same project? (Without the TC4).


Thanks!
 
ginny
Hi,

there must be more ways...

I was looking around today and found this little thing:

http://www.ni.com...r/10632/en

it appears that the little USB-TC01 allows you to customize the basic software.

looks like it may be something to look into...

-g


beach
 
Dan
Brenn, asked:

Quote

Is there any documentation of using a PID Controller and an Arduino in the same project? (Without the TC4).


The Fujis have a communications option that might work. The PXR-Lite manual says, "Remote monitoring is possible with the RS485 option that uses the industry-standard Modbus protocol."

hope this helps.
1 pound electric sample roaster, 3 pound direct-flame roaster, both handmade; modified Mazzer Mini grinder, LaSpaziale Vivaldi II automatic espresso machine. When the electricity goes out I make vacpot coffee from beans ground on my Zassenhaus hand grinder, and heat the water with a teakettle on the gas range.
 
tamarian

Quote

brennn wrote:
Can the Arduino still be used without the TC4 shield for automatic coffee roasting control?


Yes. There is an Arduino PID library, and some have modified it to have Ramp/Soak functionality. You'll be able to find some sous-vide and home brewign projects implementing the PID library.

For hardware, you'll probably need an Arduino board, breadboard, thermocouple, analog to digital converter (to read the thermocouple), SSR to drive the heating element, and a relay to drive the SSR with 0-24VDC signal.

Quote

brennn wrote:Is there any documentation of using a PID Controller and an Arduino in the same project? (Without the TC4).!


I would think it's an either/or matter, since they would be redundant if the purpose is driving the heating element. However, my current build uses both for different purposes. I use Fuji PXG4 to drive the heating element in Ramp/Soak mode to control the roast, and I use Arduino for safety monitoring of the flame via a flame sensor, to sound alarm if something goes wrong. Using Arduino relays, I can fire other actions in such alarm events, such as shutting down the gas valve (by cutting it's power) etc.

As both Fuji and Arduino have digital inputs and output ports, they can be used to send signals between them, in addition to via Modbus, as Dan mentioned.
Wa'il. 1 Kg PID'ed gas-fired fluid bed roaster, GS/3MPS, K10F
 
brennn
Thanks for the responses! This is a very receptive community and I look forward to documenting my build and sharing it with you all. A couple of other questions.
------------------------------
The TC4 allows for automatic control of the relays depending on the set point that I denote in the software?

How do the response times compare between the TC4 and the Fuji PXR or PXG series of PIDs?

Since I'll be modifying a West Bend, would it be useful to replace the heating element and the fan with more durable components?

Is the Poppery I or Poppery II better suited for automatic control? I remember reading somewhere about the power ratings on the two poppers, but I'm not sure which one is which.
Edited by brennn on 09/16/2013 6:43 AM
 
JackH
Too bad about the TC4. I hope it comes back one way or another and it probably will.

Under $100 (including Arduino), 4 TC channels, easy to install and use, small size, control of heater and fan.

The alternates seem over complex, time consuming and expensive.

Jack
---Jack

KKTO Roaster.
 
Dan
Does this change effect TC4C boards, too?
1 pound electric sample roaster, 3 pound direct-flame roaster, both handmade; modified Mazzer Mini grinder, LaSpaziale Vivaldi II automatic espresso machine. When the electricity goes out I make vacpot coffee from beans ground on my Zassenhaus hand grinder, and heat the water with a teakettle on the gas range.
 
SmokNmirz

Quote

ginny wrote:

Hi,

there must be more ways...

I was looking around today and found this little thing:

http://www.ni.com...r/10632/en

it appears that the little USB-TC01 allows you to customize the basic software.

looks like it may be something to look into...

-g


beach


That looks interesting since it bypasses the use of something like the Amprobe that then needs to go to the computer. I find the Amprobe a good meter but way to difficult to interface with a computer since I am not enough of a nerd to grasp what the/how the Amprobe really works. I know it can be done but I need a hands on instruction from someone! These little USC-TC01 look pretty slick :-)
L-1p, HG-1-motorized, Monolith Flat, (ordered) mini500Plus.

If whatever you do does not put a smile on your face then rethink what you are doing.
 
tamarian

Quote

brennn wrote:
The TC4 allows for automatic control of the relays depending on the set point that I denote in the software?


Yes. It all depends on the program "sketch" being loaded onto Arduino, and the hardware installed. I have not used TC4, but have read on here about various sketches made for Artisan and RoastLogger software, in addition to sketches to control HotTop roaster, and people can freely write new sketches or modify existing ones.

Quote

How do the response times compare between the TC4 and the Fuji PXR or PXG series of PIDs?


I would guess it is negligible, since they will both rely on some SSR relay, and the response time that counts is generally the heating element itself.

Quote

Since I'll be modifying a West Bend, would it be useful to replace the heating element and the fan with more durable components?

Is the Poppery I or Poppery II better suited for automatic control? I remember reading somewhere about the power ratings on the two poppers, but I'm not sure which one is which.


I have not used any popper, but the basic idea of heat control is cut one of the heating element wires and attache both ends to an SSR relay, and have a PID to drive that SSR relay.
Wa'il. 1 Kg PID'ed gas-fired fluid bed roaster, GS/3MPS, K10F
 
tamarian

Quote

Dan wrote:

Does this change effect TC4C boards, too?


I didn't get the question, what change?
Wa'il. 1 Kg PID'ed gas-fired fluid bed roaster, GS/3MPS, K10F
 
leo-bsb
Hi guys,

I was in the same boat, trying to find a cheap and reliable alternative to the TC4C.

My objective was to buy an Arduino Uno and the minimum parts needed to control a modified oven to roast my Coffee.

I choose to modify the TC4C Roastlogger sketch and libraries and use these parts from DX.com and Ebay:

Arduino (any Uno compatible):
http://dx.com/p/m...ack-202588

Max31855 + thermocouple.
I bought other but this one will work:
http://www.ebay.c...4d1255d0dc

SSR DC-AC 25A

16*2 LCD with buttons
http://dx.com/p/l...602-118059

Total cost is around $ 43.00. You may also want to buy some jumper cables or a Bluetooth adapter.

Right now we already modified the TC4C Roastlogger code to use the LCD library, new buttons and added the max31855 library.

I need some help to understand and modify the rest of the code to substitute the formulas addressed to the TC4C thermocouple with the max31855. Also I need to know if it is ok to use the 16MHzPWM library with an UNO and delete the EEProm library.

Any help will be appreciated.

https://docs.goog...M5bnc/edit
Edited by JackH on 09/16/2013 12:57 PM
 
ginny
Hi Guys:

We have all been in the same TC4 boat with the loss of Jim and his expertise for now.

A few here at HRO have discussed a bulk buy of parts and follow up support for fellow members in building their respective datalogger/controller.

We have tons-o-knowledge and as many members with the same goal.

Sometime today we will open/start a new thread with the details for
participation in the HRO Open TC4 Project.


ginny



limb
Edited by ginny on 09/17/2013 4:53 AM
 
leo-bsb

Quote

ginny wrote:

Hi Guys:

We have all been in the same TC4 boat with the loss of Jim and his expertise for now.

A few here at HRO have discussed a bulk buy of parts and follow up support for fellow members in building their respective datalogger/controller.

We have tons-o-knowledge and as many members with the same goal.

Sometime today we will open/start a new thread with the details for
participation in the HRO Open TC4 Project.


ginny



limb


Thanks Ginny,

I already did a lot of changes in the code to use a Arduino Uno and a Max 31855 chip with easily available parts for cheap. I think that is a very good starting point.
 
snwcmpr
Patiently awaiting more information about the .... HRO Open TC4 Project.

Ken in NC
--------------
Backwoods Roaster
"I wish I could taste as well as I wish I could roast."

As Abraham Lincoln said "Do not trust everything you read on the internet".
 
ginny
couple more hours to get a bit setup with this idea...

great to see we will have some participants.

we want to source the materials and help you do it, much like Jim.

we will start and keep all in some order so it will be easier to gt, find and use the information.


ginny


way

limb

but heck why not
 
brennn
I'm excited to be a part of this community. I'll be sure to document my entire build!
 
allenb
I agree, this is an exiting project! I'm looking forward to seeing a large turnout for participation.

Anyone wanting to get involved in this needs to jump in and not be shy. This project is not for "experts" only and, as they say, there's no "dumb questions" so make sure you don't hesitate to ask if something doesn't make sense.

Big thanks to JackH, rustic_roaster and ginny for all of your efforts in putting this together! ThumbsUp

Allen
1/2 lb and 1 lb drum, Siemens Sirocco fluidbed, presspot, chemex, cajun biggin brewer from the backwoods of Louisiana
 
snwcmpr
I am willing to what I can. I used to have geek qualities, but they may have faded. I would hate to think I would benefit from the great efforts on this forum, and not help.
Please let me know what I can do.

Ken in NC
--------------
Backwoods Roaster
"I wish I could taste as well as I wish I could roast."

As Abraham Lincoln said "Do not trust everything you read on the internet".
 
DavidG
I'm in, if you'll have me.

Quote

allenb wrote:
Anyone wanting to get involved in this needs to jump in and not be shy. This project is not for "experts" only and, as they say, there's no "dumb questions" so make sure you don't hesitate to ask if something doesn't make sense.


I think an important part of of any group project's success is that the least-tech-savvy member gets something out of it, too. So, I volunteer to be the all-left-feet-dancer of the bunch. I've been wanting to control/log with a roaster for a while--both a Poppery I and a KKstyleTO roaster.

Cheers,
David
Edited by DavidG on 09/20/2013 12:44 PM
europiccola | yama + coryrod | chemex | AP | clever
wbp1 | wepp1 | bm/hg | co hybrid (still coming soon...)
 
ginny

Quote

I think an important part of of any group project's success is that the least-tech-savvy member gets something out of it, too.


you made the most important point David...


one that every forum administration should have in mind at all times.


thank you,

-g
Edited by ginny on 09/20/2013 12:54 PM
 
Dan
A pictorial assembly would be a great contribution.
1 pound electric sample roaster, 3 pound direct-flame roaster, both handmade; modified Mazzer Mini grinder, LaSpaziale Vivaldi II automatic espresso machine. When the electricity goes out I make vacpot coffee from beans ground on my Zassenhaus hand grinder, and heat the water with a teakettle on the gas range.
 
rustic_roaster
Jack,
Thanks for stepping up to start the first builds and documenting it.

If you dont have eagle cad loaded I can make a PDF of the silkscreen to use as an assembly drawing. Not really sure one is needed but it does not hurt.
 
Dan
I have some ideas on how I can contribute, too.

David, I agree on going with the "least common denominator" route. When I first posted about using the Arduino four years ago, my vision was having it simple enough that anyone could implement it.

http://forum.home...;pid=11755
1 pound electric sample roaster, 3 pound direct-flame roaster, both handmade; modified Mazzer Mini grinder, LaSpaziale Vivaldi II automatic espresso machine. When the electricity goes out I make vacpot coffee from beans ground on my Zassenhaus hand grinder, and heat the water with a teakettle on the gas range.
 
tamarian
Was wondering if we can do it with an Arduino Mini, since they're often at around $10.
Wa'il. 1 Kg PID'ed gas-fired fluid bed roaster, GS/3MPS, K10F
 
Dan
Tamarian, If memory serves, no pun intended, you need more RAM for the various roasting control sketches.
1 pound electric sample roaster, 3 pound direct-flame roaster, both handmade; modified Mazzer Mini grinder, LaSpaziale Vivaldi II automatic espresso machine. When the electricity goes out I make vacpot coffee from beans ground on my Zassenhaus hand grinder, and heat the water with a teakettle on the gas range.
 
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