This post is explaining how I modified my roaster to control my roast profile using the BT curve (Bean Temperature) instead of the ET curve (Environment Temperature) using a Fuji PXF PID controller and the state of the art roasting software Artisan-Scope.
Just before I start. This post is not an electronic experts article. It is more my experience from a “roasters for dummies” point of view as I make improvements to my roaster, hopefully it can help other dummies.
I understand (mostly) the topics around temperature control, yet I am neither an electronic engineer nor a computer programmer. I am fortunate enough to have many users and contributors on the Artisan web site and its mailing list who have been helping me to get my new PID working (Special Thanks to Marko and Frans). Hopefully by describing the process from a beginner’s perspective, I can help other beginners achieve the same.
Any coffee roaster interesting in logging what they are doing and trying to achieve repeatability will probably understand this.
While roasting and adjusting the various parameters, you are generally tracking when 1st crack will start.
Suddenly, one crack followed by more… and you are jumping on your computer mouse, looking for the 1st crack button to log this crucial stage. To make sure I will not miss it I have an alarm telling me I am getting close just in case my head is somewhere else.
To make things easier, I decided to make myself a hardware “1st crack button” as it’s easier than finding the mouse, look at the screen, find the pointer (it's amazing how at that point it can take a while shaking the mouse to find that pointer...), move it to the 1st crack button and finally click…. pffffff…..
I though others may want to do the same so I’m sharing here this minimal and easy to put in place setup. And you can of course apply this to any other functions than 1st crack.
So here we go:
In order to create the button and make it work:
- Find a trigger button. I had one in an old case which had not been used for years.
The trigger button
- Cut the end of a VINT Phidgets cable and connect the white and black wires to the press trigger button (check here for info on VINT and cable wiring). In my case, as the button had a LED function when pressed (it makes it easier to know it’s working) I also connected the white and red VINT cables to the led.
Black and white cables wired to the button triggers. Red and white cables wired to the LED
- To make things cleaner, the button in placed a small plastic box which is mounted close to the roaster in easily accessible way.
Mounted in a box and placed in an accessible place next to the roaster.
- On the other side of the cable, connect the VINT cable plug to the Phidget HUB0000_0 (in my case on port 2).
Connected to port n°2 of the HUB0000_0
- Now in Artisan, open "Config/Device..." and add the new connected device (In my case again port 2 but you may need to change it for yours):
Extra device added
- In Config/Alarm, a new alarm is added. The alarm is created with the condition of having reached at least the “Charge” stage to avoid issues. The value is set to be above 0 (zero) to activate the trigger.
The new Alarm listening for the 1st crack button trigger.
- Now when roasting, when 1st crack is starting, I just need to press the button. The LED light is giving me a visual confirmation that it’s working and 1-2 seconds later I see the marking on the screen in Artisan.
When pressed, the LED is turning ON and a few seconds later, the 1st crack is shown on the graph.
Hopefully this can help you and make your life easier. Keep the focus on your coffee and the roasting process instead of looking for your mouse…
We have upgraded the C3 Lausanne Video setup. A good part of 2014 was deciding what to use, and how to design it to have a very efficient for our usage.
After many researches and comparisons, we went for a Blackmagic Atem 2M/E 4k Switcher.
The main features of the switcher are:
- 20 SDI Input (one input can should be able to be switched to HDMI, however, we are experiencing image freeze issues on this input, and will change the computer to be able to use only SDI on the switcher)
- 6 AUX output which can be directly changed on the front panel of the switcher (with a dedicated AUX preview)
The Switcher is controlled via a M/E 1 Control panel. The ME/2 would have been too big to be easily transportable and for our usage it works well enough with the quick switch function ME1 to ME2.
The switcher is mounted in a customized and fully preconnected flight case with all the rest of the media equipment. It allows a very fast setup with minimum possible error.
The setup is (starting from the top):
- LIGHT: Stageville Adjustable LED light
- AUDIO LEVEL: American Audio DBM to keep a permanent view on audio level (which can be adjusted from the laptop using the ATEM software)
- INTERCOM: ALTAIR WBS202 Intercom station
- SSD RECORDER: BlackMagic Hyperdeck Shuttle
- PREVIEW TV: Samsung TV (HDMI). There is a manual HDMI switch on the side if we want to preview the ME/2.
- SWITCHER: Blackmagic Atem 2 M/E 4k
- CONTROL PANEL: Atem M/E1
- INTERCOM Altair E200 Beltpack (mounted under the control panel) with headset.
Flight case views (Front and back)
Closed flight case and back panel view
So far it has been brilliant to work with this switcher.
The only down side, has been the HDMI input instability which we are planning to change very soon. The idea is to output the computer via Thunderbolt to a Blackmagic Ultra Studio MiniMonitor in order to connect on the siwtcher using one of the SDI. (see UPDATE below)
And to finish a view during a live production:
UPDATE (21.01.2015): We are now connecting the computer (MacBook Pro) via a Blackmagic HDMI to SDI converter and all the stability issue have been fixed.
UPDATE (18.10.2015): Confirming above update. no issues anyore with the computer over SDI.
One thing that we noticed and could be also usefull to some users with issues. For some tests, we had the HyperdeckShuttle on top of the ATEM Switcher. When starting or stoping a recording on the SSD, the ATEM froze on some of the inputs and had to be restarted. This also happened twice when we left one of the wireless Intercom (Altair WBP-202) on top of the ATEM switcher. We now do not leave anything wireless of creating magnetic interferences on top of the switcher and since it's all good.
We have finally purchased an intercom system for C3L.
After much research, we decided to go for an Altair WBS-202 system. The system allows wireless and wired Intercom and has 2 channels available.
So far after a few weeks using it I have to say I am highly impressed and convinced by our choice.
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