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I found this controller while trolling the Auberins site yesterday and immediately ordered one along with an addition SSR as per their link in the product description.
I think aside from it's ability to change the power to a set value when temps reach a set point (Phaze 2), I like the fact that you don't have to run on 100% for Phaze 1. I like to trim my element back to maybe 90% during heat up. This controller also has some alarms and you can schedule it to automatically turn off.
My current setup consists of two Auberins SSR PID controllers. Guess I'll be simplifying things a lot more when this package arrives. Can't wait!
there is another reference in another post, they currently have three models
the x00 units are on backorder at the moment
I have been emailing back and forth with one of the engineers, he wanted to know how they were used int he process, I filled his brain full, I think ;-)
The next version (May/June?) will have at least one set of alarm/relay contacts. They may do two, but will have to remove the TC connections so it would be RTD only, and RTD is more accurate, so we don't think it will be a problem..
He also was asking about the 4-20mA for the reflux valve...
How long are the 'on' cycles for the SSR?
So I guess you can't use zero crossing SSR's
Actually, Yes, you can...
from the sheet of the supported SSR's:
That would equate to only three power settings in my mind.
0%, 50% & 100%.
I wonder what they're doing?
for 1/60th of a second, you are correct.... but they do not need to turn the SSR on every time the line voltage crosses zero, just a percent of the times it crosses zero...
It must run a weird calculation that works over a much larger time than the line frequency then. Straight PWM wouldn't work in that instance.
You can write an interiorp routine that is triggered on the zero crossing (or just before fracturing in runtime). Increase the counter every time it's triggered. Two if statements, turn on element if counter is less than your PWM on value and reset counter once you reach your PWM cycle count. That would give you for a 1% resolution about a 2 sec PWM time.
If you want faster, then you can trigger on both rising and falling and have about 1sec = 100%
I'm hoping they offer a larger, more impressive size. These screens on 1/16 units are dinky. Com output would make this product perfect.
1/16 is pretty standard, you can probably find some older, high end 1/4 DIN unit that has these features...
Check out this sucker:
Watlow’s F4T with INTUITION® Integrated Process Controller
A bit pricey I'm sure, but it has up to 4 PID loops built in. The 4" LCD touch-screen makes even 1/4 din units look archaic.
If you want to use an iPad or mobile phone as your interface, this unit is really easy to use:
Red Lion's CSMSTR Modular Controller
Software is free, it's super simple to design HMI and code the PID loops. I managed to find a master unit and some analog PID units on ebay for a couple hundred bucks
None of these are "out of the box" by far though. If the auberins unit does what it says it does, it will be impossible to beat at that price.
The wallow is certainly a Daimler Benz. Nice features!
Here you go @fusiondust , a little less fancy, but a little less costly too...:
F4PH-CCAA-01RG - Single channel temperature/process controller, two alarms, EIA 232/485 comms. four event inputs
Watlow F4PH-CCAA-01RG Type 4x Enclosure Temperature Process Controller @ eBay
For that much money, buy the red lion and use an ipad for the HMI.
I have the BCS-462 ($300 new) and an iPad ($200 refurb)for the HMI...
the red lion CSMSTRSX was $1172 new at digikey
found this on ebay
I am still getting the Auber for the pot still/gin still...some things don't need to be over-controlled ;-)
Yeah don't pay more than $150 for the CSMSTRSX - there was a GT version (640x480 HMI) that sold for about that a month ago - bargain.
I have the SX - It's 320x240 HMI (low res) - it's perfectly fine since you can code 4 screens right off the hot buttons - but the extra pixels would be really nice.
The add on modules can get expensive, make sure you get the CSPID1RA modules for Analog control.
CSRTD is nice - 6 RTD inputs for monitoring/logging
CSDIO14 - Digital Input/Output module (easy way to add switches and lights)
Just an FYI, they are upgrading the 200's to 210's that have a mashing mode... pretty neat little things indeed
They aren't dual mode for heating and cooling, right? Would be nice if it could manage the boil up, gel hold, then cool to mash in, hold, and then cool to pitch temp.
They seem to only "go up" and hold... so really more of a half-mash in our case. You would have to manually reset the temp target and cool if you wanted to do so. It allows auto power reduction but nothing mentioned about temp reduction. A water jacket would be great cos you could just dump the hot water and replace.
So basically rad if you're only making malt whiskey, pretty neat if you can dump/replace a water jacket haha
BCS-462 can do all of that... and send you an email at each state change ;-)
all for $180
Would be great if the BCS used RTD or 0-20ma instead. But, if you dont already have thermometers, BCS looks like a way better investment than the auberins.
I'm just going to do the same with my Red Lion, the code is pretty simple and I can use to to log more than just temperature, for example, I have a pH controller with 0-20ma output).
462 is another $100 then you're still paying for everything else. One would still have to wait for temp drop one way or another... I imagine the BCS can run cooling cycle rigs no issue but if you don't have that then what? The fact remains that the auberins are ridiculously user and budget friendly.
I'm talking mashing only - although you could argue there isn't much difference between the Auber boil controller and something like a ramp/hold PID, which you could find very inexpensively, just use a second pid for cooling with a manual switchover. If you don't need/want the logging and web alerts, you could do it for less than $100 if you bargain hunt.
I do like how the Auberins guys aren't afraid to get into this market though.
yep, the auber guys are responsive... I have been talking to the engineer and looking forward to the new DSPR that I already pre-purchased with relay contacts for the alarm (to use for cooling water) It is just a differrent animal..
Yes, the BCS-460 @ $180 is more expensive than the auber, but the minute you need a 2nd PID it comes closer, with a 3rd, it is a wash, if you want 4 temps, a GUI, network connection, API interface, complex programming such a a mash, it is super easy and there is a complete forum of people using it for fermenter cooling to gas valves burners.. and it will email you...
And there is (don't hold your breath) a BCS-pro version coming with RTD temps and 4-20mA out, but I wouldn't be surprised if it were $$$ more
When i said cooling I was referring to to the stage between the gel hold and grain in. I'd imagine knocking it down 25-30 degrees could take a sec.
I'm also coming from a standpoint of not being well educated in electronics and coding :( I still have lots to learn before being comfortable building a more complex controller from scratch. These make it very easy to create something intermediate that is more than acceptable
Also, the DSPR210 info will be available from the website later today.
DSPR210 Distilling Controller for Distillation Process Automation @ Auber Instruments
FedEx has my DSPR200 and my box with heatsink. I just got an email from the engineer today also, he said he could 'upgrade' mine, so I am guessing it is just software.. interesting... He said it will be a few months more for the next one with relay contacts... will take pics and do a small writeup
Cheers would be very useful