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Post by Catsass » Fri Jan 27, 2017 2:52 pm

Hi all. I am in the process of planning my brew setup (Kai-inspired electric HERMS) and am considering controllers such as BCS, craftbeerpi etc. My goal is to automate as much as I can (and therefore require a lot of built-in flexibility) and from my research so far, it seems that BCS may be a good solution. However, all solutions have limitation and I'd am curious to hear from BCS users what their pain point are as if there are any workarounds.

Any comments would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks and happy brewing.

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Re: Limitations

Post by oakbarn » Fri Jan 27, 2017 4:00 pm

The BCS is a great tool and quite easy to use after you learn it.

It is limited in:
NO 4 -20mA or RTD Support
8 Processes with 8 States Each (64 Steps)

Depending on 460 or 462

I am not sure of the numbers on the 460 but the 462
8 Temperature Probes
8 Outputs that can be controlled by Temperature under PID or Hysteresis and also as Duty Cycle
18 Total Outputs (includes the 8 above) that can be controlled On/Off
8 Digital Inputs

I do not find these all those limiting. I only use 6 of the Controlled Outlets under PID or Hysteresis.
I do not use all 18 Outlets
I do not use all 8 DINs
I do use all 8 Probes and wish I had another. I do switch the wiring as I use one in the Mash and one in the Pitch. Neither are critical but I like to know the Temp of my cooling water going to the Plate chiller. I use 3 Probes in the mash at different areas, so if I only had 2, it still works fine.

The interface is quite easy to use and we have a great user base to help. It does have API so if you are computer savvy, you can create some programming unique to you. I created my own Large Screen Temperature Gauge that I can see across a room. I also created a Mash Countdown Timer that I put on a large screen.

One user wrote a great Temp logger so you can track a Brew.

Overall, I am quite happy with my two BCSs.

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