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Parts to get started?  (Read 6713 times)

cinderblock

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I just tried to order the parts to get started, but it appears the 4 Port Temp Sensor indicated in the following link is no longer. Do you have any suggestions?

http://rainfroginc.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Data-Logging-Data-Sheet_Layout-1.pdf

So I'm planning on purchasing an iPad, 4 Port Temp Sensor, Acrylic Enclosure, and K Type Thermocouple. Is this all? As noted above, the 4 Port Temp Sensor is not available anymore... or at least the link is leading to an antiquated page.

PS: I'm a complete newb, and I'm not much of an engineer-minded person, so I apologize in advance if I'm asking terribly basic questions. Appreciate all the help I can get.

Danny Hall

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Hi

Phidgets have reworked their product categories - here's the 4 Port Temperature Sensor.

The parts you mentioned are correct. In addition to those, you'll still need a laptop for the network host, or purchase the Phidgets SBC3 to fulfill that role. Note that if you're only going to monitor 1 probe, you can opt for the cheaper 1 port temperature sensor. And it doesn't matter where you get the probe.

Despite the DIY nature of Phidgets, they really are awesome pieces of hardware. The wireless advantage Phidgets offers is tough to beat.

A couple of notes about upcoming releases of Roastmaster.

1. The next update will provide J-type thermocouple support, if you'd rather have a J-type thermocouple.

2. I've received the SDK and a test unit for a new type of iOS probe - the iCelsius BBQ. It's a great looking little probe that connects directly to an iPad. The downside is it has a limited temperature range, and is tethered directly to the iPad, so it does not offer the wireless portability that Phidgets do. It would be great for home roasters interested in simplicity, but with its limited temp range, would not fit the bill for shop roasters. You can see it here. I plan to dive into the programming in the next couple of weeks, and see how she runs. I would like to provide support for that in the near future, as long as testing pans out OK. Just wanted to mention that in case you're a home roaster, and would rather have the simplicity.

I'm here to answer any questions you have. Just let me know here on the forum or via email.

Kind regards
Danny Hall

cinderblock

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Thank you Danny for the informative response!

1. You mentioned J-type thermocouples. What is the advantage of J over K? Which would ya recommend?

2. As for the BBQ iCelsius app, why would I need wireless portability of Phidget? Do some people use Roastmaster for shop roasters as well? Sorry, I thought the Roastmaster was tailored for Quest M3 and Behmor. And what do you mean by limited temp range? I don't think you need more than 500 F, no?

3. I apologize for not clarifying in my original post that I have a Quest M3 at home. I will also have access to a 2K Ambex and 5K Diedrich, so if Roastmaster is applicable on other roasters, that would work out fantastic! You mentioned that in addition to everything listed above, I would also need a Phidget SBC3. Do you have a link for this as well? Thanks!

4. I am also planning on purchasing a laptop as well, so should I just forgo the Phidget SBC3 if I don't need it?

Thank you once again for all the help with my setup!
« Last Edit: June 15, 2013, 07:24:21 AM by cinderblock »

Danny Hall

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From my research (not formal testing) K type has a broader temp range, but is more expensive. K style seemed to be the ubiquitous standard when I was designing data logging, at least in roasting circles, so I went with that one first. Recently, I've been contacted by many shop roasters who are wanting to use data logging with the probes built into their roasters, which are usually the cheaper J type. Alas, I don't own a shop roaster, so until I do I can't speak from experience about the feasibility of mod'ing them, I can only say that if it's a J or K type thermocouple that you can hook up to the Phidgets temp sensor, Roastmaster should be able to handle the input just fine.

Having the iPad wireless and portable comes in very handy. Phidgets give you the freedom to walk about with your iPad and monitor the roast and see live temp updates from other rooms - or the couch or deck or whatever, while the hardware sits dutifully next to the roaster, broadcasting its readings via wifi - much easier than you having to sit by the roaster. The BBQ would not offer that, since the end of the probe is connected to the iPad - you'd be stuck there with it - or at least need to walk in and check it frequently. Again, the BBQ is for a future release. I'm hoping the API works well - I believe it will, but i won't be ready for at least another month.

Why would you need above 500? Hmmm, that's a good question. In an earlier version of Roastmaster, I limited curves to a range of 999 thinking that was plenty of head room. A user contacted me, saying that he needed a greater temp range for larger shop roasters, claiming their roaster needed over 1000. I could only assume that possibly the charge temp for larger batches can get to be pretty high. I've always doubted that, though - if they were that high, then J type probes wouldn't measure them. Possibly, in retrospect, he wasn't understanding something about curves. Whatever the case, I present that info about the temp range just so you'll be aware (or other googlers) in case there's something about the physics of shop roasters the eludes me. :)  I know that on my Quest, temps never go above 230° C, so a temp range of 500° F would work fine for use with a Quest.

I personally use a Behmor and a Quest both, but Roastmaster is pretty open-ended in its design (almost to a fault in some areas). Folks use it with lots of different roasters - truth be told I talk to more shop roasters than home roasters. I researched all of the major home roaster models when designing it, and settled on a design (particularly of profiles and curves) that I felt would work well with any roaster - even shop roasters.  I've payed a lot of attention to the Behmor, due to the popularity of the roaster, but have remained very steadfast in keeping a Behmor workflow as an 'opt-in' scenario. In other words, you won't find any Behmore-specific fields or data, unless you actively enable them. Regretfully, I have to fend off many requests from Behmor users in order to keep the design of profiles and curves simple and flexible.

The SBC3 is here. If you are planning on purchasing a laptop regardless, then might be best to try data logging with that first to get the hang of it. I've mounted my SBC and temp sensor on a small board, with a hook I hang next to the roaster. THat's much easier IMO, than hauling out a laptop/temp sensor combo every time I roast. Your mileage my vary though. The good thing is you can try it out without investing in the SBC, then add that later if you want to.

Hope this helps
Danny
« Last Edit: June 16, 2013, 04:06:01 AM by Danny Hall »

cinderblock

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Thank you for the informative response!

Just got the necessary parts, but I'm stumped on how to thread the new K-type thermocouple probes to the Quest. In the pictures, you seem to have some kinda nut that sealed the probe quite nicely!

BTW I have the probe depicted in page 3 of 4 with the phone line coil thingy.

http://rainfroginc.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Data-Logging-Data-Sheet_Layout-1.pdf

Is there a tutorial for this available somewhere? Thanks again!

Danny Hall

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This is for your Quest you mentioned, right? You'll need to order them online. I ordered mine from a fellow named Eric Svendson. He has a great tutorial here. His contact info is on the PDF - ordering was a breeze for me.

When I ordered, he was out of stock of the nicer compression fittings, so I opted for simple pre-drilled allen caps crews. I don't see them labeled as such on the current price list, nor am I sure why the $12 adapter M8 screws (which I assume is them) only list the ET location on the roaster, instead of both ET and BT. I ordered 2 of those cap screws - one for BT and one for ET, and they were identical. Perhaps that's a misprint, or newer roasters may have different specs.

He's good at answering questions - shoot him an email and he'll be able to explain the parts better. I assume the first fitting on the list is the compression fitting, and the rest are cap screws - but double check with him.

If you have the probe on page 3 - that is a 1/8" probe, so make sure to get the fittings that accommodate 1/8".

Let me know if I can help.

cinderblock

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Egads, I am a bit confused due to the lengthiness of the instructions, not to mention all the options.

I am assuming the following part is what you were suggesting for me? 2X for quantity to measure BT and ET? Crazy how the fittings cost more than the thermocouples!

Thermocouple Adaptor for
Quest Roaster – Direct
Replacement for stock
thermometer $40

Anyhoo, I shot him and email just to clarify. Let me know if I'm looking at the right part. Thanks!

Also very confused by the following directions, assuming I have the right part...

Quote
Slide the thermocouple in place until the tip (inside the roaster) is about 1/8” away from
the closest drum supporting strut. Rotate the drum by hand to ENSURE that any strut
does not contact the thermocouple. The thermocouple should extend into the drum as
far as possible WITHOUT contacting the strut. This should not be considered a trivial
exercise.
With the thermocouple properly positioned, apply a small dab of nail polish (or
equivalent) to the thermocouple probe where it exits the 7/16” gland nut on the outside
of the roaster. Snug up the 7/16” nut – maybe 1/2 turn past finger tight while orientating
the thermocouple in the desired position
.

What is the 7/16" gland nut? The whole time we're referring to 1/8"... and what does he mean by it "exiting" the gland nut? Isn't the thermocouple being inserted into the roaster?

And he also mentions a "1/2 turn past finger tight". So I assume I need some tool to turn it 180 degrees once my fingers no longer do the trick?

Also what is the point of nail polish? And where exactly do I apply it?

I am so sorry for the confusion, and thank you for all the help!
« Last Edit: June 27, 2013, 04:35:51 AM by cinderblock »

cinderblock

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Egads, I am a bit confused due to the lengthiness of the instructions, not to mention all the options.

I am assuming the following part is what you were suggesting for me? 2X for quantity to measure BT and ET? Crazy how the fittings cost more than the thermocouples!

Thermocouple Adaptor for
Quest Roaster – Direct
Replacement for stock
thermometer $40

Anyhoo, I shot him and email just to clarify. Let me know if I'm looking at the right part. Thanks!

Also very confused by the following directions, assuming I have the right part...

Quote
Slide the thermocouple in place until the tip (inside the roaster) is about 1/8” away from
the closest drum supporting strut. Rotate the drum by hand to ENSURE that any strut
does not contact the thermocouple. The thermocouple should extend into the drum as
far as possible WITHOUT contacting the strut. This should not be considered a trivial
exercise.
With the thermocouple properly positioned, apply a small dab of nail polish (or
equivalent) to the thermocouple probe where it exits the 7/16” gland nut on the outside
of the roaster. Snug up the 7/16” nut – maybe 1/2 turn past finger tight while orientating
the thermocouple in the desired position
.

What is the 7/16" gland nut? The whole time we're referring to 1/8"... and what does he mean by it "exiting" the gland nut? Isn't the thermocouple being inserted into the roaster?

And he also mentions a "1/2 turn past finger tight". So I assume I need some tool to turn it 180 degrees once my fingers no longer do the trick?

Also what is the point of nail polish? And where exactly do I apply it?

I am so sorry for the confusion, and thank you for all the help!

Okay, sorry I think I figured out what the "7/16" gland nut is, but I don't the "SS flat washer" in his accompanying pictures.

Quote
Install the new thermocouple adaptor and SS flat washer into the roaster and lightly
snug up the large hex body such that one of the flats is horizontal. This permits
maximum opening of the bean door.

Danny Hall

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Were you able to talk with Eric?

I was a bit confused as well - he's changed the format of the PDF since I ordered. If you zoom up on the second picture of the the Quest here, you'll see my roaster with the two simple M8 threaded cap screws. For MY model, the BT and ET were identical.

The $40 adapter is a compression fitting that keeps the probe from moving - worth the money if your roaster is fixed and never moves. I put mine away after each roasting session, so the simpler cap screws work well for me because it's quick and easy to just insert the thermocouples and start roasting. Note how I wrapped high-temp HVAC foil tape around the probes as a "stop" to ensure they don't go too far and hit the tines.

The SS washer is on his extruded diagram for the cap screw, but not the compression fitting. I'd say that just goes against the face of the roaster on the outside - between the hex head and the roaster face.

I'll be completely honest - I don't pay any attention to the ET. I run two thermocouples on every roast, just for the sake of testing to make sure the logic of Roastmaster is functioning correctly for multiple probes. If it weren't for that, I'd only run 1 - the BT. Just my $.02. :)

cinderblock

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Danny, fortunately Eric was very quick to reply!

I have already sent the payment of $86 (80 for 2 adaptors + 6 shipping). Just gonna wait for them to finally arrive and get this thing started.

BTW Eric recommended I purchase wooden dowels that are 1/8" to gauge "insertion depth" on the roaster, before I use the thermocouples. He explained that this is because wooden dowels are less expensive to test with, than actual thermocouples.

Unfortunately, I did not understand quite the relevance of the wooden dowels. Perhaps he meant to stick the wooden dowels in the exact position I'd place my thermocouples and activate the roaster drum to see if it's okay?

Also, position-wise, he recommended strut or vane contact minus 1/8". Seems way too close for comfort?? I figured you just stick the needle horizontally. I didn't know you'd have to tilt the probe needle exactly 1/8" from strut/vane. Super sensitive precision would be required for this, not to mention some crazy industrial strength glue that would permanently afix the probe 1/8" away from strut/vane. If the probe moves at all - even 1/8" in the wrong direction - I expect nothing less than disaster. However, he also mentioned he is not a roaster, so he's not 100% sure.

Finally, he recommended applying red nail polish on the thermocouple "sheath" to act as a "marker." What would I be marking and why?

Thanks again!

PS: I already bought two thermocouples, so I figured I'd go ahead and just install both ET and BT. I've always theorized that you only need the BT. I doubt that ET, BT, MET are all gonna be drastically inconsistent on a roast-to-roast basis. I imagine they'll all correlate pretty consistently.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2013, 04:12:31 AM by cinderblock »

Danny Hall

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You should not have to tilt the probes - they should be inserted straight into the drum. You just need to make sure that there is 1/8 clearance so that the sides of the drum tines/vanes do not hit the probe as it spins.

The dowels would just be for finding the right probe depth. You can rotate the drum by hand, though, and forgo the dowels. With the roaster off, just insert the probe and gently rotate the tines to where you barely get contact with the probe, then withdraw the probe 1/8" away from the tines for a safe distance. Rotate the drum through 1 complete revolution and make sure the other tines are a safe distance from the probe as well. Make a "safe mark" on the probe sheath, even with the outside edge of the roaster at this position with a fine tip magic marker. That mark shows you the maximum distance the probe can be inserted without being hit by the tines as the drum spins.

On my installation, with the simple cap screws, I wrapped hi-temp foil tape around the probe, with the edge of the tape exactly on the "safe mark". Just wrap enough revolutions with the tape so that it prevents the probe from inserting any further than the "safe mark". Not sure if this method would work with the fancier compression fitting. If not, then the method of making the "safe mark" with nail polish would seem to suffice, since the probes are held solid by the compression fitting. The safe mark is just a visual check to make sure nothing has slipped since the last use.

Danny
« Last Edit: July 03, 2013, 04:31:45 PM by Danny Hall »