Brew Pi Spark

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Rhodesy
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Brew Pi Spark

Post by Rhodesy » Sat Jan 14, 2017 5:56 pm

I am very interested in one of these however my wiring skills are at best basic. I have looked over their website and forum but struggling to see a step by step idiots guide/diagram and a complete inventory of the parts required.

I know a few people on here run this system, I was hoping if anyone could as so kind to post some pictures of their set up and provide a list of parts required? I take it you need the following

- Brew Pi Spark
- 2 x SSR's
- Heatsink?
- Enclosure
- Electrical cable? Which type?
- Raspberry Pi (I have one doing nothing)? Is this still required or can I just use my computer on the wifi connection?
- Anything else?

Matt in Birdham
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Re: Brew Pi Spark

Post by Matt in Birdham » Sat Jan 14, 2017 7:07 pm

Yes, you need the Pi to run the webserver which hosts the Brewpi web page and acts as an interface to the Spark, which runs the control aglorithms.

I think you've listed everything you need. I use cable like this for the SSR outputs (the 0.5mm stuff), but I am not an electrician and just picked it on spec. It has been working fine.

I don't use a heatsink but I do have the SSRs screwed to the lid of an old aluminium project case, which is fairly thick alu and ridged on one side (so it is a little like a heat sink). The installation is also open, and the SSR barely gets warm to the touch even after running the fridge for a while (YMMV, of course).

Image

You also need the temp probes of course.

Rhodesy
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Re: Brew Pi Spark

Post by Rhodesy » Sat Jan 14, 2017 7:46 pm

Thanks Matt, appreciate you taking the time to get a pic for me. So I am wiring the live an neutral to the SSR and the earths connected together? As I said, very basic skills (would get my spark mate to give it the once over once I am sure of what is required).

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themadhippy
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Re: Brew Pi Spark

Post by themadhippy » Sat Jan 14, 2017 7:57 pm

I use cable like this for the SSR outputs (the 0.5mm stuff),
hope your not using that cable for 240v or anything over 3A,you need 1mm at the very least with an insulation rated for 300v
So I am wiring the live an neutral to the SSR
No ,the live in goes to one side of the ssr,the other side of the ssr goes to the load,the neutral goes straight to the load
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Matt in Birdham
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Re: Brew Pi Spark

Post by Matt in Birdham » Sat Jan 14, 2017 8:17 pm

themadhippy wrote:
I use cable like this for the SSR outputs (the 0.5mm stuff),
hope your not using that cable for 240v or anything over 3A,you need 1mm at the very least with an insulation rated for 300v
No :) just for the Spark -> SSR 12v

Rhodesy - think of the SSR as a switch. You basically take your live, cut it and attach each end to the SSR output connectors. Neutral and earth stay as they were. I actually have mine setup with a single cable for power, with the fridge SSR going to a pug socket (didn't want to butcher my new fridge in case I need the warranty), and heat tube wired up directly. I also run a 240v PC fan full time from the same power source. Buy yourself a 2 or 5m single socket extension cable and you have a plug, socket and cable all wired up.

Rhodesy
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Re: Brew Pi Spark

Post by Rhodesy » Sat Jan 14, 2017 10:40 pm

Thanks guys, I think I get it now. It is not as daunting as I envisaged.

Rhodesy
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Re: Brew Pi Spark

Post by Rhodesy » Thu Jan 26, 2017 12:35 pm

Took the plunge and ordered this and the relevant bits and bobs this morning. Hopefully all here by mid next week and can sort it over the weekend before planning my next brew.

Rhodesy
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Re: Brew Pi Spark

Post by Rhodesy » Thu Jan 26, 2017 1:07 pm

Sorry forgot to add, I am going to install what I can to my Raspberry Pi in the meantime to get me as ready as possible. Looking at the BrewPi community it seems a bit all over the place what to do with the Spark2 etc once you have installed the software on the BrewPi

Matt - Do you have any decent reading links at hand which you used to help me get my head around what exactly I need to do once set up? Any help much appreciated.

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Re: Brew Pi Spark

Post by Matt in Birdham » Thu Jan 26, 2017 1:07 pm

Rhodesy wrote:Took the plunge and ordered this and the relevant bits and bobs this morning. Hopefully all here by mid next week and can sort it over the weekend before planning my next brew.
Cool - you won't regret it! (I hope :) )

As for reading - I would just jump on the Brewpi forum and have a read of people asking setup questions. That's what I did, and there are a few good suggestions for PID parameters etc. One thing I would say is that the "out of the box" parameters were not great for me, or - seemingly - for many others. Obviously setting up and running with a full FV of water for a few days is a good idea as well. I can look up my params for you when I get a chance.

Rhodesy
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Re: Brew Pi Spark

Post by Rhodesy » Thu Jan 26, 2017 1:18 pm

Thanks, about to do some reading up over lunch, some of the programming talk takes me back which still baffles me in places. I believe in the future this should be able to control more than one fridge which would be great for my set up.

The parameters would be interesting if you get the chance, even if just something to compare to the defaults.

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Re: Brew Pi Spark

Post by Matt in Birdham » Thu Jan 26, 2017 5:16 pm

Rhodesy wrote:Thanks, about to do some reading up over lunch, some of the programming talk takes me back which still baffles me in places. I believe in the future this should be able to control more than one fridge which would be great for my set up.

The parameters would be interesting if you get the chance, even if just something to compare to the defaults.
I will try and grab them later.

A couple more thoughts:

When you get it set up and working, IMAGE YOUR SD CARD! As mentioned in other threads, SD cards do get corrupted on RPis from time to time, and if yours goes you have to reinstall the whole thing. This is a big PITA and happened to me once at about midnight on a Sunday - not a good way to spend the last few hours of a weekend, mid-ferment. With a backup image, you can just swap it in and reboot and you should be good to go. Note that even if your Pi does pack up, your temp control should be OK because that is all run by the Spark.

Take a look at weaved.com (now remote.it), which is a service for IoT type things. It is very easy to set up an account, install the service on the Pi and get secure access over the interweb to your Brewpi, which is nice if you want to monitor your ferment from work!

Rhodesy
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Re: Brew Pi Spark

Post by Rhodesy » Thu Jan 26, 2017 10:09 pm

Thanks Matt, will look into it. I am going to attempt this Pi install soon, did the instructions on the BrewPi forum work ok to the letter?

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Andy
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Re: Brew Pi Spark

Post by Andy » Thu Jan 26, 2017 10:32 pm

For info, there is a BrewPi port to ESP8266, a device you can pick up for under a fiver. No Pi required.

https://github.com/vitotai/BrewPiLess
Dan!

Rhodesy
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Re: Brew Pi Spark

Post by Rhodesy » Thu Jan 26, 2017 11:06 pm

Andy wrote:For info, there is a BrewPi port to ESP8266, a device you can pick up for under a fiver. No Pi required.

https://github.com/vitotai/BrewPiLess
Thanks, I already had the Pi 2 sitting doing nothing as originally bought it when I was planing a RIMS system at the time as BrewPi was at that point looking like they would support mashing (still working on it I believe). Just going through the motions updating it just now on SSH.

Rhodesy
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Re: Brew Pi Spark

Post by Rhodesy » Fri Feb 03, 2017 10:11 am

Quick update on this. I received all of the parts earlier in the week and successfully got it wired up, web interface working etc. I trialed it firstly to heat up a Wit Bier I have in a keg which is naturally carbonating. I noticed much better results when I set up a computer fan in the fridge on day 2, it then held the keg steady at 21c.

I am now chilling down a 5L starter for the Bohemian Pilsner I have planned for this weekend having already created the profile I plan for that. I tried that remot3.it site to try and set up remote access but despite me following the instructions to the letter I could never find my Pi in the device list. Will look into this or another service at some point I reckon.

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