My Brew System Build

Post pictures of your System
datamike
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Re: My Brew System Build

Post by datamike » Tue Mar 10, 2009 9:54 am

missing_link wrote:Your sketch should work, But if you use a cell phone charger on the BCS side of the SSR, you can get nicer lighted switches to switch the 5v and trigger the SSR.

You'd power the switch with the cell phone charger and use the switch to trigger the SSR. This allows you to use much thinner wire also.

Linc
Interesting idea that I never thought of! I may have to resort to that, or go with unlighted switches, unless my current option works out.

My current option is to use lighted switches which in theory, are rated for 125v, 16amps. I say "in theory" because I purchased them from "Radio Shack - You've got questions, we've got blank stares". There's no pinout or wiring schematic on the package. When I asked the counter drone if he knew anything about it, his response was "um, we're not technicians, we really don't know much about that stuff". Hmm, so I say "What about the "you've got questions, we've got answers" motto?" "Well, not THOSE kind of answers. You might try checking google" which is apparently Radio Shack's new product documentation system. :D

Anyway, heres a pic. It has three pins marked 1, 2, 3. Next to the third pin it appears to say "+ -". Anyone have any idea how to wire this?

Image
Image

Thanks!
Michael

gbrewer
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Re: My Brew System Build

Post by gbrewer » Wed Mar 11, 2009 11:31 pm

Based on your diagram, it shows you are coming in to the pump from two sides of the positive. I am not sure if this will cause any damage to the SSR since you will essentially be "back feeding" a circuit which is not closed at the SSR. (Positive side)

I would suggest making a small change. Bring your manual power and relay power into a 3 way switch. When the switch is in the middle position, it kills all power to the pump. When the switch is up, it turns on power manually. When the switch is down (relay mode), it sends power to the pump through the relay based on the BCS.

I think this is a much easier (and safer) way to operate the system. A nice label on the outside of the box will tell you if you are running in manual mode or BcS Relay Mode.

datamike
Posts: 36
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2009 2:40 pm

Re: My Brew System Build

Post by datamike » Thu Mar 12, 2009 4:26 am

Yes, I know what you're saying. I thought about that too. I asked I guy I know who is familiar with SSRs and he said it won't be a problem. But if anyone has concrete info that it will be, I'd really like to see it.

In the meantime I am going to just using the lighted switches I already purchased. I did finally find someone who knew how to wire them.

Thanks!
Michael

gbrewer wrote:Based on your diagram, it shows you are coming in to the pump from two sides of the positive. I am not sure if this will cause any damage to the SSR since you will essentially be "back feeding" a circuit which is not closed at the SSR. (Positive side)

I would suggest making a small change. Bring your manual power and relay power into a 3 way switch. When the switch is in the middle position, it kills all power to the pump. When the switch is up, it turns on power manually. When the switch is down (relay mode), it sends power to the pump through the relay based on the BCS.

I think this is a much easier (and safer) way to operate the system. A nice label on the outside of the box will tell you if you are running in manual mode or BcS Relay Mode.

datamike
Posts: 36
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2009 2:40 pm

Re: My Brew System Build

Post by datamike » Fri Apr 03, 2009 10:58 am

Build update: I've made a lot of progress in the last month. It's essentially fully-functional, I am just waiting for a few more stainless fittings and disconnects.

Image

I was able to use the Radio Shack lighted switches, and they seem to work great using the wiring diagram I posted earlier.

I've been playing with the 460, mostly in manual mode and it works great so far. So, my question at this point is whether to use PID or differential control. Obviously I want the tightest, most precise temp control I can get. It'll be controlling two gas solenoid valves for wort production, then a freezer for fermentation. There's also a heat pad in the freezer.

Suggestions? Tips?

Thanks!
Michael

missing_link
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Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 2:44 pm

Re: My Brew System Build

Post by missing_link » Fri Apr 03, 2009 2:32 pm

In PID mode it is supposed to slow the heating as it approaches the set point so as to not overshoot. In my first run it worked great

Linc

gbrewer
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Re: My Brew System Build

Post by gbrewer » Fri Apr 03, 2009 8:37 pm

Good job with the assembly. Very clean!

np0x
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Re: My Brew System Build

Post by np0x » Sat Apr 04, 2009 5:48 am

So, my question at this point is whether to use PID or differential control.
It really depends, I find depending on what I do I choose. I will let ecc chime in as well, but for using gas solenoids which have an ignition process i don't think switching on and off frequently would be ideal. So I would be inclined to use differential control. If you wanted to use pid, i think the "Sample Frequency" would benefit by being changed, so that you aren't cycling the solenoid as frequently. I will take some video next time I brew of how the pid cycles, which is the best way to get a feel for it.

For any fermentation/fridge control definitely use differential, as you don't want to cycle the fridge on/off really frequently as it will burn out the compressor. This subject merits a page in the wiki, I will think about doing something like that and post a link if I get the gumption together!

Bottom line, I would be inclined to start with all differential control, but you should experiment with PID control you will know immediately if it works well with gas. Since I am all electric, it's not a fair comparison(and I use both PID and differential depending on what I am doing).
Check out the Brew Buddy for iphone controlling your bcs-460.

datamike
Posts: 36
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2009 2:40 pm

Re: My Brew System Build

Post by datamike » Mon Apr 06, 2009 6:50 am

gbrewer wrote:Good job with the assembly. Very clean!
Thanks!

I am now wondering what's the best way of controlling the fermentation temps, specifically how to program the 460 to use the cooling function of the freezer and the heating pad to get the tightest temp swing. Suggestions?

Thanks again to everyone for their help!

Image

Michael

np0x
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Re: My Brew System Build

Post by np0x » Mon Apr 06, 2009 7:04 am

I am sure you know this, but make sure you protect your temp probe wires from any heat/flame wash from your burners!

Temperature wise on the ferment, what are you fermenting in? I have a fridge that holds 8 carboys, I just measure the air temp(or a very small volume of water) and then heat/cool the air letting the fermentors just fall into line with that. I use differential control and use a relatively wide swing(6 degrees F) as the air temp moves "fluidly"(heh) and the liquid temps will be rock steady at the midpoint after settling in.
Check out the Brew Buddy for iphone controlling your bcs-460.

datamike
Posts: 36
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2009 2:40 pm

Re: My Brew System Build

Post by datamike » Mon Apr 06, 2009 7:42 am

np0x wrote:I am sure you know this, but make sure you protect your temp probe wires from any heat/flame wash from your burners!

Temperature wise on the ferment, what are you fermenting in? I have a fridge that holds 8 carboys, I just measure the air temp(or a very small volume of water) and then heat/cool the air letting the fermentors just fall into line with that. I use differential control and use a relatively wide swing(6 degrees F) as the air temp moves "fluidly"(heh) and the liquid temps will be rock steady at the midpoint after settling in.

Yea, I'll be routing them a bit better. No flames come up the sides of the kettle though, so should be good.

I ferment in stainless conicals with a thermowell going into the wort. Heating the ambient air temp of a fermentation vessel is better than nothing, but far from ideal. Many yeast strains will heat the wort 4-6 degrees f just from fermentation. Some Belgian and wheat strains will raise it by more than 10f! That means the wort can be very different temp than the surrounding air. I am looking to hold less than a 2 degree f temp swing in the wort itself.

Thanks!
Michael

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