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Homeroasters.org » DATALOGGERS - CONTROLLERS - RATE OF RISE METERS » Dataloggers/Controllers/Rate of Rise Meters
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Logger and controls for Ambex YM-2
bigote
Hi everybody, long time reader first time poster.
I just acquired Ambex Ym2, it already has the digital flame controller that includes Maxitrol M420RH 0-20 volt proportional valve, the control board for manual control of the flame.
This roaster also came with the Watlow SD series PID and type J TC I think.
So my question is to the more knowledgeable members here, what are my options since I already have the proportional valve, I would like to start logging first and then move on the automation if possible.

Thanks very much
Edited by allenb on 08-09-2013 03:52
 
bigote
I just found this controller it is the A200 from MAXITROL similar to the one I now have except this one takes 0-10v input instead of a manual knob like mine but still produces the required output of 0-20 volts that my valve needs.
http://www.patrio...ROL_SC11_B
The only problem of course is that our TC4 only produces 0-5 volts not the 0-10v tha the A200 needs, this controller also supports 4-20mA input does anybody know if the TC4 can be made to output this?
thanks again
Luis
 
boar_d_laze
bigote wrote:I'm on the same boat as DavidG, I just acquired Ambex Ym2, it already has the digital flame controller that includes Maxitrol M420RH 0-20 volt proportional valve, the control board for manual control of the flame.
This roaster also came with the Watlow SD series PID and type J TC I think.
So my question is to the more knowledgeable members here, what are my options since I already have the proportional valve, I would like to start logging first and then move on the automation if possible.


I can't help you at all with the automation; think your problem might be well out of my league; and can only offer some very general advice on upgrading your current situation. As you presumably already know Watlow's SD series on the is (a) discountinued; and seems to be (b) single input only.

So. Where from here? Do you want:
1. To know real-time ET as well as BT?

If so, do you want:
2. The ET and BT thermocouples to report to the same software?
3. That software to include real time plotting?

And, do you want:
4. The thermocouple data go through the same temp controller/datalogger to the software, via USB? (Elegant but will cost you time, trouble and money)

Or:
5. Are you willing to leave the current setup as is, and add new, separate thermocouple probes and have them report to a computer through an outboard datalogger? (Easy but kludge-ugly).

Or:
6. Something else which may or may not include a clear path towards automation?

BDL
Edited by boar_d_laze on 08-08-2013 13:59
USRC 1lb Roaster, Chemex+Kone, Espro, Various FPs, Royal Siphon Vacuum, Yama Ice Drip Tower, Bunnzilla, La Cimbali M21 Casa, Ceado E92.
CookFoodGood
 
allenb
Luis,

See if you can find the open/close speed of your valve and let us know. If it's pretty fast like the proportional solenoid Tamarian and I are using then you would use a very simple to build driver board between a TC4 and your A200. This allows the TC4 to cycle your gas valve between a low fire and high fire state in a proportional duty cycle control mode and avoids trying to scale and filter the TC4's 0 to 5 PWM to a quasi 0 to 10 vdc which is not real easy.

Stan (Rustic_Roaster) has designed this driver board and has very few components, very low cost and works great!

If you want to see a video of my converted to gas drum roaster for a brief glimpse of its burner cycling via my TC4C and driver board see the second to last youtube video in my easydrum thread:

http://forum.home...post_44655

Allen
1/2 lb and 1 lb drum, Siemens Sirocco fluidbed, presspot, chemex, cajun biggin brewer from the backwoods of Louisiana
 
allenb
bigote wrote:

it already has the digital flame controller that includes Maxitrol M420RH 0-20 volt proportional valve, the control board for manual control of the flame.
This roaster also came with the Watlow SD series PID and type J


I'm assuming you would be leaving intact the flame safety controls and would only be swapping out the PID controller for the TC4? Some of us home builders like to live dangerously and have very little if any safety controls but I'd seriously argue against hacking a UL listed store bought if it meant killing the flame safety features. Shock

Allen
1/2 lb and 1 lb drum, Siemens Sirocco fluidbed, presspot, chemex, cajun biggin brewer from the backwoods of Louisiana
 
bigote
Thank you all for your responses:
boar_d_laze I kind of like option 5 on your list, this in case something goes wrong with whatever I end up using I could always go back to basics.

Allen all I could find on this valve is this datasheet.
http://s3.pexsupp...mittal.pdf
As far as killing the safety feature I don't know, I was under the impression that the TC4 would replace both the PID and the manual knob control I now have however this last one I would like to leave intact and just disable it while I'm using TC4.
Forgive me, I forgot to mention this is not a new unit, and I'm very very new to roasting in fact I have not even set it up yet as I'm finishing construction.
I think it would be great to get my hands on the schematics for the driver board as I'm an electronics tech myself.
thanks for your input.
 
boar_d_laze
In terms of option 5, the thermocouples are more or less standard. That leaves the datalogger and software.

Figuring out your software should come first.

I'll repeat what I said earlier. I'm not a professional roaster. I've been screwing around a little bit with Typica to the extent of hand-entering data, but haven't used it for real time plotting.

It could be buggy as all get out, but as far as I can tell a lot of pros like it, there don't seem to be too many complaints and it sure as hell looks impressive to me -- with great relational support for "business" aspects like inventory control.

On the other hand, I don't think you get the flexibility with Typica in terms of datalogging devices you get with Artisan or RoastLogger -- both of which are also free.

The guy who wrote Typica, Neal Wilson, really wants you to put an NI device between the thermocouples and a USB plug.

There are less expensive ways to go about doing the same thing, including dataloggers with their own readouts (like the Amprobe TMD 56) which communicate seamlessly with Artisan and RoastLogger. But I'm not sure if they'll talk to Typica.

As it happens, I've got an Amprobe working with my current roaster, but my new roaster has a built in datalogger which works a little differently and demands the same complications in setup to work with Typica as it does with Artisan or RoastLogger.

So, because I'm too cheap to buy software (and really, why should I?) I have the luxury of trying Typica and ditching it in favor of going back to Artisan if it doesn't work out.

In my case it's a quirk, and not a good one, that I choose big complicated software and only ever use a small bit of its power. But, I'm not you.

If you're going to buy software, like Cyberian's Roast Log or Cropster -- neither of which have I ever seen in person, they just came up on google -- you'll want to talk to the designers about how to hook it up. If they can help you automate, it might be worth it. Worth a couple of phone call. Otherwise, no opinion implied, just thinking out loud.

BDL
USRC 1lb Roaster, Chemex+Kone, Espro, Various FPs, Royal Siphon Vacuum, Yama Ice Drip Tower, Bunnzilla, La Cimbali M21 Casa, Ceado E92.
CookFoodGood
 
rustic_roaster
bigote wrote:

Hi everybody, long time reader first time poster.
Hope this thread is not too old.
I'm on the same boat as DavidG, I just acquired Ambex Ym2, it already has the digital flame controller that includes Maxitrol M420RH 0-20 volt proportional valve, the control board for manual control of the flame.
This roaster also came with the Watlow SD series PID and type J TC I think.
So my question is to the more knowledgeable members here, what are my options since I already have the proportional valve, I would like to start logging first and then move on the automation if possible.

Thanks very much


I dont see a M420RH listed in the datasheet you referenced. Did you read the number off the physical device in your roaster?

I understand some YM-2 had just a manual flame on/off switch and some have a variable flame control. Which version of YM-2 do you own?

The circuit Allen mentioned would not work as is for direct driving of those valves as they require higher currents. It might work as a level translator to interface a TC4 to the SC11 you referenced but would only give you two output levels.

You referred to the Maxitrol M420RH as a proportional valve but the datasheet calls it is a modulating valve. There is some text that sort of implies it is a proportional valve but does not say so directly. I am wondering if it is really expecting a PWM signal. Do you have a scope to look at the input signal to the valve?

Stan
Edited by ginny on 08-09-2013 00:54
 
allenb
Stan wrote

The circuit Allen mentioned would not work as is for direct driving of those valves as they require higher currents. It might work as a level translator to interface a TC4 to the SC11 you referenced but would only give you two output levels.

Stan,

This is what I was suggesting in my post, to place the driver in between the TC4 and the A200 interface control and for it to control via two state (low fire and high fire).

Do you see any problems if he wants to use your driver circuit in this fashion?

Allen
1/2 lb and 1 lb drum, Siemens Sirocco fluidbed, presspot, chemex, cajun biggin brewer from the backwoods of Louisiana
 
rustic_roaster
Yes the driver circuit should work to interface the TC4 to the A200.

If the input impedance of the A200 is too high a dummy load may need to be added to the output of the regulator to ensure it regulates.
 
bigote
boar_d_laze,
Thanks you for taking the time to share tour ideas, I've been looking at all this roasting programs and I agree with you in thinking that artisan would be the best candidate because it's free and the wide range of hardware it supports including TC4 the only downside I could find was that it seem to require a fairly fast computer.
Regards

Stan and Allen, sorry for not replying earlier but have been very busy finishing my roasting room in my yard.
Yes I read the part number M420RH off the part itself, I think the H means it works with propane and the R just means right side placement on the roaster.

As far a the roaster model as explained by the previous owner they added the DIGITAL FLAME CONTROL KIT themselves and it is an external plastic box with a board inside and a knob to manually control the flame with wires going to the valve.
I belive the terms MODULATING VALVE and PROPORTIONAL VALVE are interchangeable but I could be wrong.

I don't have a scope but I did measure the voltage output from the board to the valve and it does go from 0-20 volts depending on the pot/rheostat position.

Stan, I thought the driver board you designed could bring the TC4 output to 0-10 volts which is what the A200 needs as input, if this is not the case do you have any ideas as to accomplish this modifying the TC4?
I belive I read something to that effect on an earlier post by JimG the member building the TC4.

Thank you all again for your time and effort, I'm very tired and got to get some sleep.
good nite.
 
allenb
Morning Luis,

FYI,

Rustic_Roaster and I have been comparing notes on his driver design and specifics on your valve and it will most likely work out fine but I want to call Maxitrol on Monday and get a few more details not provided in the spec sheet. Yes, modulating is pretty much the same as proportional but it seems the descriptor "proportional" is to designate where a valve is going to be stroking exactly 1:1 with a control signal but for our purposes there won't be any difference.

Stan brought up a good point in that some of their valves seem to have more of a two stage effect with minimum set position via spring instead of a true proportional operation so we want to verify your valve's operation on the phone.

Jim did speak of a possible way to do a pseudo 0-10 using PWM and some filtering but the two state (duty cycling low fire/high fire) works just as well as a linear full stroke modulation.

One thing that would help us move forward is for you to let us know if this roaster's burner is capable of firing at a very low output with a real low flame height?

Allen
1/2 lb and 1 lb drum, Siemens Sirocco fluidbed, presspot, chemex, cajun biggin brewer from the backwoods of Louisiana
 
bigote
Dear Allen:
You're right on the spot I'll like to think this valve is a full proportional otherwise they would not include such a sophisticated control board just to control hi and low.
It would take me a few more days to have the roaster operational so that I can do do the tests you suggest, I agree this will give us a definitive answer as to what this valve really is.

Have a great day

P.S. Do you know if JimG is back?
His web site says TC4 still unavailable any idea where I can purchase one.
thanks
 
Dan
This is an exciting thread. It opens up the very real possibilities of infinite gas output for the home roaster. It will be especially valuable for builders wanting medium to large roasters. I hope that when you are done you'll provide us with a detailed how-to description so others here are HRO can duplicate your success.

Dan
1 pound electric sample roaster, 3 pound direct-flame roaster, both handmade; modified Mazzer Mini grinder, LaSpaziale Vivaldi II automatic espresso machine. When the electricity goes out I make vacpot coffee from beans ground on my Zassenhaus hand grinder, and heat the water with a teakettle on the gas range.
 
http://www.intactamerica.org
rustic_roaster
Bigote,
The circuit that Allen is using does not convert the binary output of the TC4 into a linear 0-10V output, it converts the binary output into two distinct programmable output voltages between 1.5V and 10V.

If the control signal is a 20V PWM type signal using a DC voltmeter may give a false reading. If your meter have an AC volts and frequency functions with enough bandwidth you could measure the valve control signal using AC voltage and frequency to see if it a DC or PWM signal.

When I see the word modulation I think of something being varied in someway, but not necessarily in a linear proportional fashion. The mechanical definition of modulate may be different from the electrical definition. Once Allen speaks with the vendor we should have a better understanding of how these valves work.
 
allenb
Dan wrote:

This is an exciting thread. It opens up the very real possibilities of infinite gas output for the home roaster. It will be especially valuable for builders wanting medium to large roasters. I hope that when you are done you'll provide us with a detailed how-to description so others here are HRO can duplicate your success.

Dan


I agree that this could be very useful and much more affordable than when you had to buy a $300 valve and $200 interface module. It looks like the Maxitrol valves with interface modules are less than that but are still around $350 or so for the pair.

I will do a separate thread pretty soon covering the valve I'm now using along with the driver circuit and details on operation. I'm sure more will come later once we see how the TC4 and driver combo does with a larger roaster as Luis's Ambex YM-2.

Allen
1/2 lb and 1 lb drum, Siemens Sirocco fluidbed, presspot, chemex, cajun biggin brewer from the backwoods of Louisiana
 
bigote
Stan, here are some pics of my valve and control board, also I'm attaching part of the manual of the SC11 board very similar to mine where it clearly says 0-20 DC it does not specify PWM unfortunately I don't have a meter with AC capabilities.
bigote attached the following images:
valvepartnumber.jpg valve_1.jpg sc11.jpg control_board.jpg

Edited by bigote on 08-11-2013 15:25
 
rustic_roaster
Bigote, I did some searching and seems like a modulating valve is a one that can be set to any position between open and closed, so your valve is most likely a proportional valve. It would be easier to tell if the data sheet had a graph of current/voltage vs flow.
Edited by rustic_roaster on 08-11-2013 15:23
 
bigote
You're right Stan, I will have to run some flame size vs knob position tests once I fill my 120 gal. tank, as I don't have a small BBQ size tank handy.
It is kind of sad they don't have a datasheet for specific product instead they give you one for all

My understanding is as I said before that modulating and proportional are the same thing said differently by different manufacturers as proportional means to me "in proportion to input in this case the rheostat on the front of the box"
Luis
Edited by bigote on 08-11-2013 15:40
 
rustic_roaster
Luis, After looking over the datasheet I was able to figure out your part number. I got confused as they explicitly identify some variants but not all of them. Should have looked closer at the suffix table.


In your picture of the control board does the green,blue,purple wires go to the rheostat or do they go somewhere else? Also do the valve wires connections on the control board go directly to the valve or do they go to another circuit board? Wondering if there some kind of safety logic to over ride the valve.


Stan
 
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