BCS temp overshoot in manual mode

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patrickmathews
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BCS temp overshoot in manual mode

Post by patrickmathews » Thu May 24, 2012 3:59 pm

I am very frustrated. I have brewed with the BCS setup 5 times now and it has worked pretty well. Today, I set everything up, mixed up the water from distilled for both mash and sparge, measured and added salts, brought the water up to temperature and doughed in. I am still using the BCS in manual mode, setting a temperature and checking the control box. Everything was going great, I noticed that the temp had gone down a bit more than usual - I has a set point of 152 and it was at 148. The burner was on, so I figured it would get back up to temp in a minute and all would be fine. I walk away for a few minutes and come back - there is steam coming from the lid of the mash tun. The burner was still on and the temp was saying 148. I opened the lid of the mash tun to find the grains being boiled. I hit the all stop button and the burner turned off, I also noticed that the temperature went from 148 to 180. I saw boiling water so know this temp was off. I then could not access the BCS and tried to reset it. It is set with a fixed IP address. I still could not reach it after several power cycles. I then checked the DHCP server log on my router and found that it was picking up a new dynamic address. I logged in to this address and the BCS seemed normal other than the fact that it had somehow decided to get a dynamic address instead of using it's hard coded one. Since the mash was probably boiling for 15 minutes or so, I decided to dump it and get new grains. I did this process again and had a similar problem after about 5 minutes - the temp setpoint was 152 and the reading was 168 - the burner was still on. I didn't want to dump to batches (about $70 worth of grain and distilled water) so I turned off the burner and set the HLT to heat the prepared sparge water to 152. A little while later, the hlt is boiling and now I have to wait for it to cool down.



I'm not sure what's going on here. I am very adept at technical/electrical things (20 years in I.T. and engineering). I have used this set up successfully in the past on several occasions. I suppose it's possible to have a bad unit but - it has been working and is only about 6 months old. Any insights would be appreciated.

Is there a warranty on it? I don't think I want to use it again and I might just switch to a ranco type setup rather than going through this hassle on a brew day.

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JonW
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Re: BCS temp overshoot in manual mode

Post by JonW » Thu May 24, 2012 4:07 pm

Which option (column) are you checking to activate the burner when you set the temperature?

Where is your temp probe located to get its temperature reading?

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ECC
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Re: BCS temp overshoot in manual mode

Post by ECC » Thu May 24, 2012 8:08 pm

Yes, there is a warranty. Here are the details:
http://www.embeddedcc.com/wiki/index.ph ... Conditions

Check that the temperature probe association is correct for the output that you are trying to control. It sounds like the BCS thinks the temp that its controlling is only 148, but its actually much higher?

Just speculating, but maybe you gave it a hard reset somewhere along the line, and lost some of your previously programmed settings, i.e., it reset your static IP and temp associations?

patrickmathews
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Re: BCS temp overshoot in manual mode

Post by patrickmathews » Fri May 25, 2012 9:30 pm

Thanks for the response.
Check that the temperature probe association is correct for the output that you are trying to control. It sounds like the BCS thinks the temp that its controlling is only 148, but its actually much higher?
I thought this as well, one of the wires coming from the probe got a little scorched from the burner heat, but then it happened twice on a different pot (HLT vs MLT). I took a picture of the page with my phone - the HLT is set to 152 and the temp0 probe associated with HLT is registering 212 yet the HLT burner is on. I still think this has to be the root of the problem but I"m unsure how to further test. Given that it happend on two different probes, I think it may be something internal to box but specific to the part of the board that the temp probes connect to. The MLT probe does have a bit of scorching on the wire about 8 inches from the probe end. The HLT probe is in as perfect condition as I can imagine.

Which option (column) are you checking to activate the burner when you set the temperature?
I check the control box, the Hysteresis Controlled radio button, and put the desired setpoint (152 or 167 in these cases), then I hit the apply button. The pumps I operate by clicking the output buttons. The burners light up and turn the gray button green on the output box. I have used this setup several times now (probably 5 or 6) and while I have not gotten into the programming end, manual mode has worked well until now.
Just speculating, but maybe you gave it a hard reset somewhere along the line, and lost some of your previously programmed settings, i.e., it reset your static IP and temp associations?
I am certain I never gave it a hard reset as I never touched the actual box. All of the resets came from disconnecting power. I know sometimes these type of devices may reload from a stored copy somewhere if things get confusing during post, but in this case, it kept all the other programming - the associations, the sensor and output names etc...

I would like to test this with plain tap water and see if I can get it to hold a temp. I won't be able to do so for a few days. Is there some sort of error logging or debug mode I can get into so I can collect some data that might be useful?

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