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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 08-06-2012, 10:15 AM   #31
rksylves
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Forgot all about this.

Here's the box. Yes, it's a Radio Shack plastic box.



Here is a pic of the guts



Different view


The green PCB is the back of the LCD display. I originally had made it to control my two WSMs. That's why there's a 1/2 switch and the display has info for two cookers.

Eventually I want to lay out a real PC board instead of the hand wired board. I also want to lay out a nice aluminum front panel that looks way more professional than my hacked up plastic box.

Russ
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Unread 08-06-2012, 06:30 PM   #32
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I am currently in the process of building a controller using an Arduino. I wanted to take range out of the equation so rather than use something like ZigBee or Bluetooth I opted for a USB host shield. I had an old Android phone laying around which requests voltage reading from the Arduino and then it acts as a server that is connected wirelessly to my network. I have an Android Server app which I've written and an Android Client app which can connect to the server. You can set alarms and graph the temperatures. I can go out on a date with my wife and still check my temperatures even though I might be 30 minutes away. My eventual plan is to use a different micro controller with slightly more processing power and a wifi shield so that I can remove the need for an old android phone. The server software will run on the micro controller and the same Android client app which I've written will connect to and communicate with the device over the internet/intranet depending on how it is setup. I'm still in the early stages, but as I get farther along with it I will post more information here.

The device:



Snapshots of the Client Android app I am writting:





Last edited by lkspencer; 08-06-2012 at 06:49 PM.. Reason: removing attachments
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Unread 08-06-2012, 06:48 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rksylves View Post


Different view


The green PCB is the back of the LCD display. I originally had made it to control my two WSMs. That's why there's a 1/2 switch and the display has info for two cookers.

Eventually I want to lay out a real PC board instead of the hand wired board. I also want to lay out a nice aluminum front panel that looks way more professional than my hacked up plastic box.

Russ
Russ - your build gives me hope that I might be able to do this project. Have you had a chance to test it out yet? Please keep us updated!
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Unread 08-06-2012, 06:50 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lkspencer View Post
I am currently in the process of building a controller using an Arduino. I wanted to take range out of the equation so rather than use something like ZigBee or Bluetooth I opted for a USB host shield. I had an old Android phone laying around which requests voltage reading from the Arduino and then it acts as a server that is connected wirelessly to my network. I have an Android Server app which I've written and an Android Client app which can connect to the server. You can set alarms and graph the temperatures. I can go out on a date with my wife and still check my temperatures even though I might be 30 minutes away. My eventual plan is to use a different micro controller with slightly more processing power and a wifi shield so that I can remove the need for an old android phone. The server software will run on the micro controller and the same Android client app which I've written will connect to and communicate with the device over the internet/intranet depending on how it is setup. I'm still in the early stages, but as I get farther along with it I will post more information here.
I'm not going to pretend to understand everything you said, but finally... someone is messing with an Android temp controller!!

Are you building a temp monitor or a PID type controller? Great job so far!
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Unread 08-06-2012, 06:53 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caliking View Post
I'm not going to pretend to understand everything you said, but finally... someone is messing with an Android temp controller!!

Are you building a temp monitor or a PID type controller? Great job so far!
Yes...er...well right now it is only a temp monitor, but i fully intend on adding a motor driver to it. Of course then the software would also allow you to remotely control the desired temperatures. Yes, it's all in the plans.
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Unread 08-07-2012, 12:12 PM   #36
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It's more or less completed. I've been using it in competition for 3-4 years now.

It's uglier than sin and the software is pretty rudimentary, but it works every time. I need to either learn how to write software better or find somebody that has the knowledge. I'm a hardware engineer, not a software guy.

Russ
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Unread 09-17-2012, 04:21 PM   #37
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Good looks aren't everything :) Here is a little information for you. Or more likely for the next person who wants to take up the torch.

Code:
https://github.com/br3ttb

Easy explanation:
http://brettbeauregard.com/blog/category/pid/

This code works, I have used it to cook sous vide, although my own smoker uses a Watlow PID controller from ebay. I have a brewing project in the works that will probably be Arduino based.
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Unread 09-25-2012, 03:01 PM   #38
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Invading from the Virtual Webber forums, I too have made several Arduino-based BBQ controllers. From the networking perspective I've found all the Arduino shields to be pretty disappointing so I ended up building my own "shield" consisting of a whole computer attached at all times.

Starting with my original Arduino+WiShield +DataFlash design:


To building the whole thing inside a Linksys router:


To finally shrinking it back down and bolting it to a Raspberry Pi:


The whole thing is open souce too. I found this thread while googling around for similar systems for homebrewing but it is awesome to see some of the other great ideas in this thread!
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Unread 09-25-2012, 05:29 PM   #39
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Hey, Bryan welcome too the Brethrens. Its about time you posted over here.

Im also building a Rasberry Pi BBQ controller, I should have it finished next week while i take a week off from work.
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Unread 09-25-2012, 05:41 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Theboz1419 View Post
Hey, Bryan welcome too the Brethrens. Its about time you posted over here.

Im also building a Rasberry Pi BBQ controller, I should have it finished next week while i take a week off from work.
Definitely write up your project. I was curious if anyone would start messing around with a raspberry pi. That's on my list of things to get so I can tinker.
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Unread 09-26-2012, 09:01 AM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Theboz1419 View Post
Hey, Bryan welcome too the Brethrens. Its about time you posted over here.
Hey, I know you! It's awesome to find another forum where folks are rolling their own solutions because I see some of these projects and just remark "Oh man that's amazing, I want that!". Which is I guess why the HeaterMeter project will never end, I keep finding new ideas I want to try out.
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Unread 09-26-2012, 09:25 AM   #42
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There's lots of a Aurduino info / parts at www.sparkFun.com .
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Unread 09-26-2012, 11:21 AM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lkspencer View Post
I am currently in the process of building a controller using an Arduino. I wanted to take range out of the equation so rather than use something like ZigBee or Bluetooth I opted for a USB host shield. I had an old Android phone laying around which requests voltage reading from the Arduino and then it acts as a server that is connected wirelessly to my network. I have an Android Server app which I've written and an Android Client app which can connect to the server. You can set alarms and graph the temperatures. I can go out on a date with my wife and still check my temperatures even though I might be 30 minutes away. My eventual plan is to use a different micro controller with slightly more processing power and a wifi shield so that I can remove the need for an old android phone. The server software will run on the micro controller and the same Android client app which I've written will connect to and communicate with the device over the internet/intranet depending on how it is setup. I'm still in the early stages, but as I get farther along with it I will post more information here.
lkspencer, I *love* the idea of reusing an old phone for the communication. Can the phone use the power from the USB port? I have an old Droid but the battery is shot and probably can't last more than a few hours. If the Droid can run off USB power then there's no problem. Definitely keep us updated on your progress. Do you have a site with the software somewhere?
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Originally Posted by twinsfan View Post
My only problem, is, right now, that the fan draws 12 V/0.07 A, (I swear it was advertised as 5 V but whatever), and the Arduino power pins only supply 5 V, which really doesn't move the fan too well.

Can any electricians help me out here? Will the fan not work or do I need to introduce external power from somewhere?
I'm a little late but this may help: an Arduino can be powered by 5v to 12v. It has a regulator to bring down the 12v to 5v for use by the Arduino and the output pins. However, there is one pin that gives you access to the power *before* it is regulated. Use 12v to power your Arduino and hook up your fan to the unregulated pin. You'll need a relay between the 12v and the fan that is controlled by one of the PWM output pins of the Arduino. That's what I did with my Arduino controller for my smoker: http://www.instructables.com/id/Homemade-drum-smoker/
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Unread 09-26-2012, 08:16 PM   #44
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I'm working on putting the parts together for this, and just a FYI that it's not necessarily an inexpensive project to put together. I haven't started on the assembly yet, but so far I have almost $150 into it. My total is below. The unit is going to have more functionality than I can get from spending a $150 on anything else and so I'm fine with spending the money, but if you think it's an inexpensive controller that's not quite the case.

Raspberry Pi $45.00 - WiFi Adapter $10 - PCB $13 - Mouser and Digikey parts $80 - Total$148.00
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Unread 10-19-2012, 08:14 AM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deeg View Post
lkspencer, I *love* the idea of reusing an old phone for the communication. Can the phone use the power from the USB port? I have an old Droid but the battery is shot and probably can't last more than a few hours. If the Droid can run off USB power then there's no problem. Definitely keep us updated on your progress. Do you have a site with the software somewhere?

I'm a little late but this may help: an Arduino can be powered by 5v to 12v. It has a regulator to bring down the 12v to 5v for use by the Arduino and the output pins. However, there is one pin that gives you access to the power *before* it is regulated. Use 12v to power your Arduino and hook up your fan to the unregulated pin. You'll need a relay between the 12v and the fan that is controlled by one of the PWM output pins of the Arduino. That's what I did with my Arduino controller for my smoker: http://www.instructables.com/id/Homemade-drum-smoker/
I don't know why the forum didn't notify me that there were more posts to this thread. Anyway, I don't have a web site setup yet. When talking about USB there is always a parent child relationship. One of the parent or host's jobs is to provide power. With the setup I have, the host is the arduino with its USB shield. The arduino with its USB shield provides the power to the phone.

I'm trying to find a cheap PSB that can run android so I can use what I've already done without needing a phone.

https://www.miniand.com/products/Hac...eloper%20Board

That's what I am considering using. Life has kept me busy for these past few months but I've made a bit of progress on the software. I am starting to write code that will help users re-calibrate the thermistors (probes). I haven't setup any fan control yet. I need to read up on the best way to do that with an arduino, and then I can code it all into the android apps (client and server) which can send the commands to the arduino device. So, I have a ways to go before I would feel comfortable sharing it but I am making progress.
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