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Introducing Version 3.0 and the Forum

At long last, version 3.0 went live yesterday morning.

Thanks to everyone for their enduring patience while awaiting the long-coming update. I, as well, had to call on my own patience reserves over the late-summer and fall in dealing with the less-than-smooth introduction of iOS 5 and Xcode 4, and the bumps they brought with them in developing for Core Data. But, I’ve been told that “All’s well that ends well”, and… in the end, I’m very happy with the update. So, onward and upward!

I’d like to formally introduce the new forum. One of the things that many users ask for is a way within Roastmaster to import and export data like Profiles, Programs, Curves, Roasters etc. Version 3.0 brings this capability, but without a venue geared toward the app, and way to exchange this data, this feature is limited in its usefulness.

There are a number of coffee-roasting forums, run by some great people who devote a lot of personal time to moderating them. First and foremost, I have no desire to recreate the wheel. My time is better spent developing Roastmaster, and giving help to users with questions. Even so, I believe the forum will be the perfect venue for a number of things.

Naturally, forums are geared toward communal discussion and file exchange, so they’ll be a good fit for sharing your own personal data, and searching and downloading others’ data to experiment with yourself. That’s the main goal.

In addition, though, I want to take a more active role in sharing some of the more common questions I get about Roastmaster, as well as provide some much-needed resources for new users, and those seeking information on some of the more advanced workflows possible in Roastmaster.

The internal app help files do a good job of explaining the basics of the app, but I’ve dedicated too much time to coding, and not enough to supplying help that gives folks the bigger picture of how the app works, and how to best tailor it to their unique needs.

So, keep an eye on the site in the coming months. I’m beginning work on a few tutorial videos that will hopefully be a great resource for those with questions, and expanding the support page to offer more help to users coming to the site with questions. In addition, I’m always here to answer in questions you have via email.

As far as Roastmaster itself goes, my main focus in the coming months will be working on automated readings. Things are finally coming around in the probe market, and I want the app to be ready for products that will most assuredly materialize in the (hopefully soon) future.

As always – happy roasting!

Danny

About the Author

Danny HallHome Coffee Roaster and App DeveloperView all posts by Danny Hall »

  1. Miles
    MilesMay 09, 2012

    Does the App allow for interface roast temps from the roaster via USB to the ipad

    • Danny Hall
      Danny HallMay 10, 2012

      Hi Miles

      Sorry, the current version on the app store is manual data entry only. The update version I’m currently working on will support an unlimited number of add-on probes. I’ve found an open source wireless thermocouple solution that has been performing flawlessly in the dev version of Roastmaster for the past month. I’m about ready to start tying up the loose ends and working to getting data logging support live.

      So, in a nutshell, when the update goes live, it will only support one probe type at first – the open-source solution (I’ll post details soon). Beyond that, there is only one commercial wireless probe available at the moment (that I know of). I plan to add support for that one second, and investigate USB a little further after that.

      It’s gets very sticky with what Apple will allow iOS to connect to. True USB is not an option for iOS at the moment, due to the lack of a bona-fide USB port. Apple does supply the camera adaptor, but that will not pass USB information to any app – the information has to conform to a keyboard protocol for an app to get it. I’m not saying that USB is out of the question, but that’s a much bigger problem to solve than wireless thermocouples, which is where I’ve focused my efforts first.

      Once that infrastructure is up and running, I will concentrate on support for other devices – ethernet, Bluetooth, USB – whatever I can make work. I’ve built the probes support in a modular way, so adding support for other probes will be fairly simple.

      I’ll post a full write-up on the blog soon – once I’ve gotten the details ironed out with Apple. I have to say – it’s a lot of fun roasting “hands-free” and watching the data pour in. 🙂 I am excited about this update, and getting it live, but I don’t want to get ahead of myself, so I’m taking care to program in a way that support for other probes will be easy to implement as they become available.

      Kind regards,
      Danny

  2. ginny
    ginnyMay 17, 2012

    Hi:

    I lost my Crash Course and I cannot find it again. Does it just go away?
    I want my crash course back.

    You got a great write up on the forum today, check it out.

    ginny

    • Danny Hall
      Danny HallMay 17, 2012

      Hi Ginny!

      I see you found it. Let me know if you need help with anything in particular.

      Danny

  3. Roz
    RozJul 26, 2012

    Hi there,

    I have recently downloaded the app to use with our little 3kg electric roaster. I’m having trouble locating where to record the temperatures as the roast progresses.
    Thank you for guidance here!

    • Danny Hall
      Danny HallJul 26, 2012

      Hi Roz

      Temp readings are recorded in a curve(s). In the roast console, tap the blue curve button near the gauge to create a new curve. Name it, and make sure it’s set as a “Reading” curve. Then you’re set.

      To record temps during the roast, make sure the curve you want to record to is selected (tap the graph to select through the curves in succession), then just tap the “digital” readout (the LED-type numbers near the gauge), and enter a temp. It will be recorded as a time-stamped value to the selected curve.

      As you progress, you’ll probably want to start creating Profiles for different beans, brewers, etc. You can copy and paste curves from roasts into Profiles. From then on, whenever you tag a roast with that profile, its curves will be visible in the roast. Then, you can create a duplicate “Reading” curve in the roast to record temps for that roast, and have an “overlay” type of comparison between the target curve contained in the Profile, and the actual curve of the roast in progress.

      Profiles (and optionally Programs) are designed to hold 2 types of curves:

      Target temperature “Reading” curves – these are the temperature curves you will be trying to match in future roasts. You can either just try and match that curve via the roaster, or create a duplicate curve in the new roast as mentioned above and have the overlay comparison

      and

      “Control” curves (for roaster controls like Amps, Fan, Gas, etc). These are weight-dependent and used heavily by the home roasters, but not as much by shop roasters. Control curves graph differently and display alerts when their set points change. I’m working on adding support for roast events that are linked to temperatures in reading curves as an alternative for pros who cannot use weight-dependent control curves.

      As you roast, you’ll probably get tired of creating curves all the time (I did). The next update will introduce a curve template feature in Profiles and Programs, where you can spec empty curves to be used as templates in roasts. So, whenever you use that Profile or Program, instead of just inheriting the normal curves, the roast will also create new blank curves for you, with the name, type, color, etc. of the templates spec’d in the Profile or Program. So, with just a tap, all of the curves are there and ready to go.

      Let me know if you have any other questions, or are still unclear.

      I can always help

      Cheers,
      Danny

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