BrewPi Dual Valve Controller


#21

I’ll make the ball valve controller boards available without case as well.


#22

Elco, do you have a best guess date for the valve and SSR controller board release to the store yet?
Thanks again.
Mike


#23

Hi Mike,

The manufacturer is assembling the connectors and then the valves are ready to ship. I also have about 20 hand soldered prototypes I could ship to early adopters. I just shipped your order today, could have included one… sorry. But they are small enough to ship in an envelope for a few euros.

Haven’t started a bigger production batch yet, I have to focus on software and shipping first.

Elco


#24

Elco,
Thank you for some of your valuable time. I will keep this in reserve as I am moving my entire household to Arkansas as I plan on retiring in August, so will not be brewing for a while. What I have not checked yet is the RJ12 spec on voltage, and the actual pin outs of my existing valves/voltage needs. I bought the valve set from OSCSYS and would really like not having to re-buy valves.
Best of luck and I will continue to monitor.
Mike


#25

I wonder… I do have already a finished setup (hardware-wise) with motorized ball valves. They are running with 12V and have a simple three-pin connector: clockwise, counterclockwise and ground voltage… May I be able to use them anyway with the boards you are making? Would be great, indeed :smile:


#26

Yes, sounds like they could be used with our board. The board has a L293D equivalent (quad half H-bridge). I think you should be able to drive 2 valves with it.


#27

Excellent! So count me in for some boards for all 12 valves :smile:
I hope that at some point you’ll go on and let them be manufactured :slight_smile:


#28

Sweet. Looking forward to seeing the controllers.


#29

Actually, I already finished my HERMS build as now. I still have to mount all electrical connections and the Brewpi Spark (which arrived yesterday), so really looking forward to give it a brew :slight_smile:


#30

The current control algorithm on it is really for fermentation control. It has minimum times between heating and cooling cycles that are too long for mashing. Support for PWM heaters (not affected by minimum on/off times) is on or short term todo list. I know many people bought BrewPi for mashing, so it is a high priority feature.


#31

The valves are on their way to me :smile:

Now for the controller, I have 20 prototype PCBs like the one in my setup.
I am going to redesign it to fit an enclosure.

For water tightness and low cost, all cables will be fed through a singe, large cable gland. By doing it that way, the big connectors fit through the gland.

For the enclosure, I want:

  • A clear lid
  • Waterproof (IP65)
  • Not too big.

Polycase offers a great price and the possibility to make custom holes.
The smallest (WC-20F, 2.28 x 2.52 x 1.38 in. / 57.91 x 64.01 x 35.05 mm) one is a bit too small:

The case that is one size bigger fits the board with ease (WC-31F, 3.23 x 3.15 x 2.17 in. / 82.04 x 80.01 x 55.12 mm), but it is kinda big.

Another option is a case that is longer, but as narrow as option 1
(WC-22F, 4.53 x 2.56 x 2.17 in. / 115.06 x 65.02 x 55.12 mm)

This case has a bit more room to get the cable to the cable gland inside.

In all cases, I will use a vertical version for the 5p connector (white), so that it is easy to bring all cable to the same side.

Any opinions or suggestions for alternatives?
The cable gland nut is 30mm. That determines the minimal height of the case.
The minimal PCB dimensions are 50mm x 40mm, but 50 x 60mm is better to have some room between PCB and cable gland.


#32

WC-22F seems like a good compromise to me, even i fsize doesn’t really matters here, so a bigger case would be ok in my case :smile:
Can’t wait to see the finished board (and brew with it, of course) :smile:

Elco, how should one actually drive the heating coils? Can I connect a SSR directly to the BrewPi Spark?


#33

I have found a new candidate from a Dutch supplier:

http://www.spelsberg.nl/product/p/tk-pc-97-6-tm-lege-behuizing/an/13700201/cHash/6b405be8b253d2b7eec729a9924b7c1e

The holes for the cable gland are only M20, but the connector for the valves should just be able to go through. I have some M20 glands at the office to confirm this tomorrow.

Update: company was very helpful on the phone, samples are coming my way. They can make M25 holes in them for me.


#34

I received the samples, looks like a winner to me.
It is a bit high, but that room is needed for the M25 cable gland.

The flanges are optional. The box can also be screwed down by inserting screws under the lid screws.

Some engineers might frown upon the way the cable gland is used, but to me it looks sufficiently waterproof.

I will redesign the board to fit the internal mounting holes and change the valve connectors to vertical ones and put them behind the RJ12 block.


#35

Looks good to me Elco! I am very anxious to be able to start controlling fermentation and brewing devices! How are the SSR units for pot heaters coming?


#36

Any projections on release date(s) for the valve and SSR control modules?


#37

I have made a new prototype board to match the enclosure which I will receive within a week. If that works well I’ll start batch production which I estimate on another 3 weeks.


#38

Elco,
Thanks a bunch for the update, I appreciate some of your valuable time. Will this be able to control both valves or SSRs or is there another module in the works for SSRs?
Thanks again.
Mike


#39

Has there been any progress with this? I am looking to use such valves in BrewPi to control the flow of glycol to fermenters?


#40

There has been some progress!

I redesigned the board for the case.
First production run will start in a week.