Actually, we've found that there's a ton of expensive equipment being sold for all kinds of applications which can be done very cheaply with something like a Raspi. (One of the worst examples we found for bleeding needy people's wallets dry was monitoring systems for disabled kids, which can cost tens of thousands of quid for some bog-standard sensors, cameras, a microcontroller and a CPU.) They're expensive because they're produced for niche markets who can't do the things they need to do without such a device. Volumes are often small, so prices are high, but this doesn't reflect how much that device costs to engineer or to build.Mjiig wrote:If there's "a ton of expensive equipment", there might be a reason for that.
My introduction to computers many years ago was the result of my interest in brewing beer. I imported a Commodore Pet to run a database rather than using a card index system to record by brews.croston wrote:I run the Fuzzy Duck Brewery http://www.fuzzyduckbrewery.co.uk and have a few ideas for automation of my brewplant:
jamesh wrote:You don't need to worry about any real time aspects - the Raspi is perfectly 'realtime' enough for this task. In fact, probably overspecced for it. And if you write the software correctly, won't crash either.
So basically the controls would all be linked back up to Siemens, and I would just use the Pi as sort of a monitoring device/web-browser but the main control would exist somewhere completely different?tech_monkey wrote:Hmmmm Beer. SO would this make the PI a Raspbrewery-Pi then
You could use a couple of EZ Web Lynx Modules. http://www.ezweblynx.com/ . These are basically programmable web servers with connection pins to the outside world. These can be used to monitor or control HVAC systems, monitor fridges, Turn motors on or off. The good thing about them is that they are fairly cheap. So for some of the things you want to do you could use these.
Then the pi just points to webpages of the various stages or processes.
Another option which isn't huge sums would be something like Siemens Logo PLC controllers. http://www.automation.siemens.com/mcms/ ... fault.aspx These aren't that hard to program and the software is almost point and click. Plus there is an emulation mode so you can test the design before you go live. The main Logo module is about 100 pounds, depending on version (mains powered or low voltage AC/DC power, with or without LCD display etc), then you may need to add some other modules to this. RS sell most of the Logo stuff. http://uk.rs-online.com/web/c/?sra=oss& ... go&x=0&y=0
Here's the link for the basic mains powered LCD module http://uk.rs-online.com/web/p/logic-modules/0499829/
Ebay sometimes has good deals on the logo modules. Some are second-hand or rather almost new bought for a project and never actually did the project.
With either method you could then use the PI to collect info and display on a central screen. Then you could click on a process to adjust settings or act on warning messages etc.
One thing just thought about. Fail safes if the monitor or the PI or power supply dies, you will still need to have the various monitoring and control processes running. So not too sure if the EZ Lynx does this or not, but then if you have a smart phone you could then log in to the web pages and see what is happening. The Siemens Logo would definitely work in stand alone mode.
That is pretty awesome! Will have to try and connect.cnxsoft wrote:One guy (Matthew Pratt) has designed a "brewbot" based on Frescale MCU.
http://www.cnx-software.com/2011/11/10/ ... ex-m4-mcu/
He might be interested in implementing his system with a Raspberry Pi instead.
I started to write this, and realized how complex the whole thing is going to be... I will get some documentation on what exactly would be needed, where and why, maybe with a drawing? ASAP. There are quite a few temperature sensors and switches, with a constant oversight on fermenters required.Threlkeld wrote:It's surely not how you do it at this stage, it's what you need to do?
What needs to be measured and recorded, what needs to be controlled? Systems analysis first, decisions on hardware and software very much later.
And yes, how many gallons of aie, and what sort? IPA, winter warmer, mild - all good systems analysis questions I'd say.
I think the cool thing about all of this gear, from what I can tell, is that it does not need to be done all at once. I can automate certain aspects of it as I move along, and find where the most arduous tasks/monitoring requirements exist. As I have not yet 'Broken Ground' and already purchased my Raspberry Pi with the assumption that I could find some use for it somewhere, I thought it would be alot of fun to discuss what the ultimate brewery control would be, and how it could be put together for minimal cost. I like the idea of the Raspberry Pi as a command center, with the cost of them I suppose there would be a way to make redundant ones in case some issue occurred with one.dext0rb wrote:David,
I think I know who you are! Small world, perhaps!
BUT, kinda vague of a question...where would you like to start automating first? (Or where do you need automation right now?)
For example, if you Google's a bit for Arduino PID library you will come up with some info. Used in conjunction with a temperature sensor and burner controller, you can automate/ regulate your brew pot.
I agree with asselinpaul, not sure if you really need the flexibility a RaspPI in this case, or quite yet.
An Arduino should be good enough to start playing with controlling your mechanical hardware. If anything though, you could use the RaspPI as the brewery "command center", which could query various Arduinos running various processes, run a web server, etc.
If you want to talk more engineering stuff in private, hit me up @foolingmachine on twitter.