Version 1 of the software I wrote to monitor and control the fridge hardware was not reliable, easy to use or pretty to look at. For example:
- multiple restarts were required during a brew generally caused by the bad handling of sensor read failures. This would also break the progress chart, requiring large numbers of records to be manually removed from the database
- their were a few issues adding the details of a new brew to the database
- when I replaced a sensor there were too many steps to reflect this in the application
The final straw was the slow dying of the laptop I was using to run the software. I took this opportunity to fix the sensor libraries, and make a spiffy new UI.
The inspiration for the UI comes from the control panels used in old industrial plants. I don’t usually like software that tries to emulate real devices, but in this case it felt appropriate.
When the software loads it begins monitoring the sensor network. From here I can see that the 3 sensors and 3 relays are responding. I use this view to override the automatic control system if required.
Start, stop and review the progress of a brew.
The progress chart shows the temperature readings and relay activity for the duration of the brewing, or when running in fridge mode the last 3 days. The grey range on the chart shows the temperature range I’m currently targeting.
When I’m not using the fridge to make beer, I use it as a fridge. I’ve set the software up so that I can either use the fridges thermostat to control the temperature or I can control it myself.
image coming soon
- full screen, touch-aware
- monitors 3 1-wire temperature sensors
- controls up to 3 relays
- brewing: automatic temperature control for brewing, with manual override
- fridge: automatic temperature control for cooling, with manual override
- fridge: always on (use the thermostat for temperature control)
- conditioning/lagering: (not finished)
- web service to provide monitoring of the current progress
- web service to allow me to manually control the relays
- CPU speed, temperature and load
- WIFI signal strength and connection status
- Regular reset of the network interface – work around for a WIFI access point issue