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Homeroasters.org » DATALOGGERS - CONTROLLERS - RATE OF RISE METERS » Dataloggers/Controllers/Rate of Rise Meters
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CR3 Arduino coffee roaster shield (TC4-compatible)
mg512
Hi all,

A few months ago I started designing my own Arduino shield for my coffee roaster, as I wanted a few additions to the TC4 design, ideally all on the same board. The result is a fully TC4-compatible shield, that also has an on-board voltage regulator, DC fan driver, and header for a bluetooth module. I've been using this for a while now myself, and since a few people on here seemed to be looking for thermocouple boards recently I've decided to make these available to the community.


What?
The CR3 is an Arduino shield providing a 4-channel thermocouple interface and driver logic for AC and DC loads. It is fully compatible to the established TC4-shield, which has been used extensively for home-made coffee roasters. The CR3 has been designed specifically with small popcorn machine based roasters in mind: Integration of a voltage regulator and DC PWM driver enable control of a popcorn machine roaster with only one controller assembly (Arduino & CR3 shield), a single DC power supply, and one solid state relay. A Bluetooth header allows for wireless communication via an optional Bluetooth module (or even Wi-Fi! - coming soon). Full compatibility with TC4-based Arduino sketches gives access to a well-established ecosystem of home-roasting software.

Features
• 4-channel thermocouple interface using high-resolution ADC with cold- junction compensation for accurate roast monitoring.
• Full hardware-level compatibility with TC4-based Arduino sketches and established software ecosystem.
• Highly simplified control of popcorn machine based roasters: On-board voltage regulator and DC PWM driver allow popcorn roaster setup with a single DC power supply and one solid state relay.
• Designed with a high degree of flexibility in mind. Wide range of voltage regulators supported; extra I2C headers for displays and other peripherals; retains all TC4 features and full Arduino pinout.
• Wireless control with optional Bluetooth module. Even wireless uploading of Arduino sketches is possible.


Fully compatible with TC4
The CR3 provides the same hardware as a TC4, plus additional extras: PWM DC driver, voltage controller and Bluetooth header. The main advantage of the first two of these is that DC fan setup is greatly simplified: A TC4-based DC fan control requires a separate power MOSFET (likely mounted on a dedicated PCB or prototyping board), and usually two separate DC power supplies or additional voltage regulation hardware (supplying 5V for the Arduino, and a higher DC voltage for the fan). The CR3 already includes a power MOSFET as well as a voltage regulator on board. If these additional features aren't needed, the CR3 can be used just as a drop-in TC4 replacement.

Cost, availability and shipping
For now, I am able to offer a handful of kits for EUR 48 / GBP 42 / USD 58 plus shipping. The kit includes the PCB with SMD components already soldered on plus all through-hole components (headers, jumpers, screw terminals, one R-78E5.0-1.0 switching regulator, capacitors, one IRF540N transistor.) You will have to do the through-hole soldering yourself. Alternatively, I could do fully assembled boards for EUR 93 / GBP 82 / USD 113. Other options (e.g. board and Arduino with pre-loaded sketch) should also be possible, contact me for details; I've also got one original TC4 board that I'd be happy to part with if anyone prefers that.

Shipping should be USD 14 for US, EUR 11 for EU, GBP 5 for UK. For other destinations, contact me with your location for shipping costs and options. Payment can be made via PayPal Invoice (with full buyer protection) - contact me and I will send one over. PM me on here or send an email to coffee@gerstgrasser.net


Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use any TC4 software with this?
Yes. I’ve tested it with aArtisan, but any other TC4-based Arduino sketch should work just as well.
I don’t need any of the additional features, can I use this just as I would use a TC4?
Yes. The ADC, temperature sensor, and EEPROM are the same chips as on a TC4, and all the additions are entirely optional.
Does this work with an AC fan? Do you also make a zero-cross detector?
Yes (with a ZCD), and no. I have designed this with DC fans in mind, so the board does not include a ZCD or any other hardware specifically for AC fans. It is still possible to attach an external ZCD board and us a random-fire SSR to control an AC fan, IF you can find or make a ZCD. At this time I am not making or selling a ZCD myself.

More Information
See the attached manual.
mg512 attached the following file:
cr3_manual_20180701pdf.zip [6.36MB / 137 Downloads]
mg512 attached the following image:
cr3_side.jpg

Edited by mg512 on 07-08-2018 06:48
 
RoastingBen
Hello Mg512. Very intersting board. Could you provide more info about the intrnal code you use to drive it (is it the tc4 original library?). Is it also fully compatible with Artisan (especially regarding regulation of fan, which seemed to be modified) and Android TC4 Roasting app from Greencardigan ? As I am very interested’ could you let me know when you start shipping in Europe? Cheers.
Edited by RoastingBen on 05-01-2018 10:03
 
mg512
Hi Ben,

Thanks for your positive feedback - happy to hear that.

I am using the exact same code as with a TC4; in fact I was using a TC4 originally which I switched out for the CR3, without any changes on the software side. It's the same hardware plus some extras, so any sketch designed for the TC4 should work with this too. I've been using aArtisan; but any other TC4-based sketch should work just as well.

It's fully compatible with Artisan - I've been using it that way without any problems. Fan control too, it's just a transistor attached to the IO3 pin. The difference in this regard compared to a TC4 is that you already have the transistor on board. With a TC4 you would have the transistor too, just on a separate PCB or with wiring soldered directly to it. From a software perspective there's no difference, just hardware-wise I wanted everything on one board. (This is assuming a DC fan. AC fan is a different story.)
I've attached a (very) quick drawing to illustrate the difference - with the TC4 you would need some sort of power supply for the arduino, and an external mosfet transistor to drive the DC fan. With the CR3 the mosfet is on the board already, plus there's a voltage regulator so you can run the board of your DC fan power supply, eliminating the need for the 5V/USB power supply.

I haven't looked at the Android app in detail, but if all it needs is the Arduino's serial connection over bluetooth and aArtisan, then it absolutely should work. The header is specifically for the HC-05 / HC-06 line of bluetooth modules wich greencardigan also seems to use, and is attached to the serial TX/RX ports of the Arduino.

I'm in the US at the moment; I could ship a board from here if you needed it urgently, but it'd be a bit more pricey. Alternatively I'm back in Europe in about three weeks, and could post it from there. PM me your country and zip code, and I can look up some options either way.

Cheers,
Matthias
mg512 attached the following image:
photo_2018-05-01_17-27-07.jpg

Edited by mg512 on 05-01-2018 12:32
 
RoastingBen
Hello Matthias. I have sent you my details in MP.
Cheers,
Benoit
 
jowolfe
hi there

I am really interested in buying one of your shields. I am in the uk.
can you give me details on how I can buy.

thanks
james
 
mg512
Ben, just replied to you.

Hi James, glad to hear my board might be useful to you. You could pay by PayPal if that works for you; shipping depends on how soon you need the board. I'll pm you for details.
 
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ROSTARN
Hi
Is it possible with your shield to control a heater on OT1, AC fan on OT2 and a DC motor for the drum at the same time? Nice work with the shield!

/Johan
 
mg512
ROSTARN wrote:

Hi
Is it possible with your shield to control a heater on OT1, AC fan on OT2 and a DC motor for the drum at the same time? Nice work with the shield!

/Johan


Hi Johan,

In principle that should be possible. A few things to bear in mind though:

1. The DC fan circuit on the board isn't meant to drive huge loads. What's the voltage and amperage of the drum motor?
2. You'd need a ZCD for the AC fan, which at the moment you might have to make yourself.

And thanks. :)

Cheers,
Matthias
 
ROSTARN
Hi
A small 12V DC motor pulling 2A, so nothing huge.
I have the original TC4 board already with ZCD so that not a problem.
The problem is that i cant get the DCFAN command to work on IO3, where i want my drum motor.
I tried different options in the software but no luck.
OT1, resistive heater and OT2, ac fan, works like a charm but it would be nice to control the drum motor as well =)

/Johan
 
mg512
ROSTARN wrote:

Hi
A small 12V DC motor pulling 2A, so nothing huge.
I have the original TC4 board already with ZCD so that not a problem.
The problem is that i cant get the DCFAN command to work on IO3, where i want my drum motor.
I tried different options in the software but no luck.
OT1, resistive heater and OT2, ac fan, works like a charm but it would be nice to control the drum motor as well =)

/Johan


Just to be sure, you don't have the ZCD connected to IO3, do you? Does IO3,100 work? How about IO2,100 (when you connect the fan to io2)? How are you connecting the fan to io3/2?

You should be fine with the TC4 - the only advantage of the CR3 if you already have a TC4 would be that everything is on one board.
 
Will2
...Is it possible ... at the same time?...


Without modification in the aArtisanQ_PID, it will not be possible to use 3 outputs at the same time.
Perhaps it will not be possible to modify it for lack of memory.
Maybe I'm wrong, important is what Brad thinks.
Viliam
 
mg512
Will2 wrote:

...Is it possible ... at the same time?...


Without modification in the aArtisanQ_PID, it will not be possible to use 3 outputs at the same time.
Perhaps it will not be possible to modify it for lack of memory.
Maybe I'm wrong, important is what Brad thinks.


Huh, I didn't know that. I think it works with aArtisan.
 
greencardigan
I think it should work. If you have ZCD on IO2 (using CONFIG_PAC2 mode) then I think it will allow you to give it IO3,xx commands to control PWM output in IO3 pin. It wont send the drum data to Artisan though (unless you modify the code).
 
ROSTARN
I have a resistive heater on OT1, AC fan on OT2 and ZCD on IO2. My wish is to add a pwm output on io3 with the neat DCFAN command. So far i hooked up an LED on io3 for testing.

Here is my findings:
-On CONFIG_PAC2 its not possible to control IO3 pwm output with either DCFAN command or IO3 command.

-On CONFIG_PAC3_IO3HTR its possible to control IO3 PWM output with IO3 command but not DCFAN command. But then its not possible to control the OT1 output with ot1 command. Probably as i should be, its not the config I use.

Would it be memory issues like will2 suggest or is it possible to implement this feature in CONFIG_PAC2 since io3 is undefined, perhaps a 5th config?

Hopefully I'm not the only one with a home built electric drum roaster :)

Sorry for Hijacking your thread Matthias, perhaps we should move this discussion elsewhere?
 
mg512
ROSTARN wrote:
Sorry for Hijacking your thread Matthias, perhaps we should move this discussion elsewhere?


No worries at all. A separate thread might be a good idea though, here it might get lost between CR3 posts. ;)

In any case, I don't think the CR3 would help here over the TC4. If you have a TC4 already there's really not much reason to switch to the CR3, unless you want your electronics super tidy and on one board. If you figure things out I'd be happy to send you one of my older shields though - that stacks on top of the TC4 and has the transistor for the fan and a voltage regulator for the arduino on it without any extra wiring needed.
 
greencardigan
ROSTARN wrote:Sorry for Hijacking your thread Matthias, perhaps we should move this discussion elsewhere?


See my post re this here.

https://forum.hom...post_65759
 
mg512
Just a quick update:

I have sent out a number of boards now. By the sounds of it people are getting on with them quite well. I'm hoping that some of the first round of users might post about their experience here at some point.

I have written down a detailed manual for the board in the mean time, which is attached to the original post. It's got lots of information on assembly, setup, wiring, safety, schematics, pictures,... Hopefully that should also give a good idea of what the board is and does.

Still looking into setting up a separate website for this. It would really only be worth it if I also streamline the ordering process at the same time and get a simple PayPal link / checkout thing; but that in turn requires a PayPal business account, and that in turn would mean registering a company, etc. So, it might happen, but I don't know yet when I will get around to it, or if it is even worth the trouble.

For now, I can send people a PayPal invoice; only I can't just put a nice PayPal button here, you will have to contact me and I will email it to you. Send me a PM on here, or an email to coffee@gerstgrasser.net
Edited by mg512 on 07-05-2018 00:51
 
JackH
Nicely done Matthias!
The bluetooth module will be a useful addition.
---Jack

KKTO Roaster.
 
freetwhss
I am really interested in buying one of your shields too.
 
mg512
JackH wrote:

Nicely done Matthias!
The bluetooth module will be a useful addition.


Oh, thank you! Bluetooth is handy indeed. I will post instructions for WiFi too, in case people are interested.


freetwhss wrote:

I am really interested in buying one of your shields too.


Awesome! PM or email me your shipping country and whether you would like the kit or fully assembled board, and I will send you an invoice. :)
 
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