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04/18/2021 3:00 PM
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A scary thought.
What's going to happen when the last few supporters of these free Dataloggers, TC4's and other stuff we have come to enjoy and that has greatly improved our roaster control finally get burned out?
When all this stuff was new and being developed a few years ago, everybody and their brother was spending large amounts of time in the development and support of all this stuff.
Now that the new has worn off and some like Artisan, aArtisan and RoastLogger that so many of us enjoy using and depend on, have grown so large, it's very obvious it has become almost a full time job for those initial developers and it's easy to see many have greatly reduced or quit offering their support
You can probably count on one hand those few that are still in here helping those of us that don't have the Arduino programming knowledge to ever begin to do this without their help. I'm sure even some of those never realized this stuff would grow and turn into the monster it has and are wondering how much longer they can continue dedicating the time it takes supporting it. Old saying goes, "fun quits being fun when it becomes work".

I for one would like to say I greatly appreciate the work these guys have put into advancing this hobby. They have helped take it to a level that would have never been possible without the huge sacrifices they've made dedicating the time and effort into what the rest of us depend on every time we turn on a roaster. I just hope they continue for a long time.
We seem to be doing OK here. There are members who are Roastlogger and Artisan developers that often appear here to answer questions. There are also advanced developers/hobbyist who add features and share/support what they come up with.

My system is about 7 years old. It does what I want and I see no need to update any of the software. I find that Arduino IDE updates often cause problems. Simply going back a version will work.

The only programming is for the Arduino sketches for Artisan and Roastlogger and those are mainly switches and option settings. It sometimes gets a bit slow here but I find most questions are answered.

KKTO Roaster.
I've wondered about this as well. I had a lot of issues with my Artisan/TC4/Arduino setup with the last update that was never resolved.

Most likely it was user error, but lack of assistance has driven me away from the TC4 PID setup. It is frustrating given the amount of money I've now spent on different setups.

I'm not pointing any fingers, nor am I not thankful for all the hard work the developers have put into this project.
I understand your concerns but unfortunately there's not a lot we can do about it other than encouraging more users and therefore a bigger support community.

The TC4 is definitely a steep learning curve if you don't have previous experience with electronics/coding etc. There's just so many places for issues to arise. Multiple software packages, multiple interconnected hardware pieces, various roaster setups, combined with the difficulties of remote diagnosis and support via text messages. I think new users need to be aware of the complexities before choosing the TC4.

I built on Jim's code to make aArtisanQ_PID which suited my own needs. Making my code changes available has resulted in others picking it up and often requesting support. My setup works and my hobbies have moved on to other things, so providing support and active development is not 'fun' like it used to be.

Nevertheless, I hope to continue providing some level of support as time permits. I do check here quite regularly looking for TC4 posts in particular.
Thanks Brad for your response and all the work you do and your many helpful responses.

We are all volunteers here who do this because we love coffee roasting and experimenting with gadgets. I read every post and check every link and keep spammers out to make sure the site is safe.

It is very disheartening for me to read posts like this.

KKTO Roaster.
My philosophy.....

If something works, don't break it.

Roll back to a version of Artisan that works for you and don't try to be bleeding edge with antique hardware.

If the new version of software does not run on your older hardware, don't complain, just re-install what works.

Mick - "Drinking in life one cup at a time"
"I'd rather be roasting coffee"

Roaster 1: San Franciscan SF-1
Roaster 2: Hottop B-2K+
Roaster 3: Behmor 1600 +
Grinders: Modified Super Jolly - Forte BG (x3)
Pour over: Hario - Bee House - Chemex - Kalita - Bodum
Drip: Bunn CWTF15-1 & CW15-TC (commercials)
Espresso: Pasquini Livia 90 auto
Vacuum: Cona - Bodum
Press: Frieling - Bodum Colombia
@Turtle, that's what I had done, just before my TC4 fried out on me. I bought the phidget setup as a backup but I just don't like it as much as the TC4 setup and the option of having the PID function.

I don't want anyone to think I'm knocking any of the developers, that's not the case at all, I'm incredibly grateful!

I think for me the biggest frustration is having to search out information on how to do things, there isn't one place to go to find the answer.

I owe @greencardigan a thank you as well for going the distance to help me out. Appreciate it!
I am in a similar boat than greencardigan as I have to reduce my contributions significantly due to economical reasons. I have been spending about half an hour every day supporting people via various online channels only in about 10% of the cases the issue was caused by a problem in Artisan. While I will try to keep up my support (and development) on Artisan, I will not be able to support general setup issues anymore. I think virtually all of key facts around Artisan/Arduino/TC4 are available online and there is a community of experienced users that could share their knowledge. I will stop sending links to documentation that can simply found by typing 2-3 terms into a search engine. To me it feels strange that people rather start lengthy online discussions (often via distracting direct emails) instead of just first reading the material available online. Yes, this material is distributed, but the the 3-5 volunteer developers decided to spend their scarce resource rather on developing working systems instead of focusing on easy accessible and centralised documentation targeting non-experts. For designing a commercial product one would most likely have come to a different split on resource spendings.

I also double greencardigan's statement that most of the problems are not caused by issues in individual software/hardware "components", but on the lack of experience by users. This is not to blame those users, but to stress that this stack is not plug-and-play and needs some considerable (time-) investment and willingness to learn. To my knowledge there was no significant change in the TC4, aArtisan (PID or no) firmware and Artisan in the last years that would break anything.
I'm not a programmer but do have a degree and over 50 years experience in electronics, and my knowledge of the sketches used in the TC4 is somewhat basic. I also have an extensive knowledge of many things since I have a wide range of hobbies and have been home roasting since 2000 and I do have several of the TC4's and have been using them for about three or four years now so I have some experience and knowledge of their workings, though some of it may not be the most current because I don't keep up with what's the latest and greatest updates.
I used to try helping when questions were asked about stuff I felt I could help with when it seemed no one else that should have more experience than me was going to reply, just to have these arm chair quarter backs make negative comments to my post because I might have some little something that's not exactly right, when they should have been the one trying to help the OP. Since I don't stay current with the latest updates, I've decided it's best if I just keep my thought's and comments to myself and not get involved with trying to help.
Tom Coxton, (GreenBean) who wrote the RoastLogger and the RoastLoggerTC4 sketch for the TC4 was amazed at the control I was getting using his sketch and the TC4 and asked if I would publish a documentary with photo's on how I was doing it. When I got it nailed down solid I was going to but because of the negative attitudes about info I've tried posting in the past, I decided it wasn't worth wasting my time. When someone says you are full of it and PID will only control a steady state and can't be use to control a curve, it's time to leave things alone.
So, now I just do the same thing a whole bunch of others seem to do, just visit and read.
If you upgrade the artisan software you more than likely will need to upgrade the tc4 sketch to play along with the newer code.

That would be where I would look first as it is a simple load sequence to change the sketch within the hardware
Mick - "Drinking in life one cup at a time"
"I'd rather be roasting coffee"

Roaster 1: San Franciscan SF-1
Roaster 2: Hottop B-2K+
Roaster 3: Behmor 1600 +
Grinders: Modified Super Jolly - Forte BG (x3)
Pour over: Hario - Bee House - Chemex - Kalita - Bodum
Drip: Bunn CWTF15-1 & CW15-TC (commercials)
Espresso: Pasquini Livia 90 auto
Vacuum: Cona - Bodum
Press: Frieling - Bodum Colombia
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