Adventures with @Brewpi and my take on the particle nee spark

As well as dealing with my Blog being compromised and repairing the damage and securing it a bit more , This week I’ve been busy with my take on the Brewpi Spark !
I enjoy practical Electronics and that creative process. I have laid out a PCB using Cadsoft Eagle CAD and decided to get a couple of prototypes made rather than relying on the facilities at work !

3 for the price of 2
3 for the price of 2

I expect that I’ll have to try and modify and compile the code to reflect some changes , I was hoping that the code would work straight off but it doesn’t quite, It’s getting stuck not responding to the Touch with a ‘touch the cross with a stylus’ message… at first I thought I’d got my wires crossed…literally , but then realised I’d bought a screen without the touch driver , Doh…I wondered why it was 50P cheaper.. luckily only £2.50 from China so I bought another from a  UK Supplier but it’s still not playing ball….

the non touch version...there's a chip missing DoH !!
the non touch version…there’s the touch plate and a chip missing  DoH !!

I am still waiting on some connectors from Farnell but I have built it up and started testing.

Screen and LED testing
Back of the board awaiting connectors

As mentioned in my previous post it has initially been laid out to be home produceable without PTH’s and using DIP devices where possible, it is intended to be built up into and old equipment box to replace one of my arduino Brewpi boxes which already has a stable 5v switch mode PSU and uses SSR’s so no diode on the outputs, although you could use one of the many Arduino relay boards as most have protection built in.. .. as far as it being in a metal box… a duck antenna and  new photon are on the way and If  I use my works Laser cutter to do a nice Black perspex front panel I may not even need the Duck.. quack quack …

Put it in here with a black perspex front ?
Put it in here with a black perspex front ?

Lets have another try at learning C++ or at least being a bit more conversant with it…

V2 Board layout with no go zone…

Brew update and my take on the Brewpi spark update

The Beer Bellies Brewing Buddies BBQ went down very well the Brewdog samples were tasty if not a tad on the small side… We ended up sampling from champagne flutes and there was a timer running so that things didn’t spread into the wee hours. Very enjoyable and well worth the effort of hosting the event. Once again thanks to Tom for getting the sampling side of things sorted and the everlasting memory of Brommo’s face with all those sour beer samples at the end of the Evening.

I have also managed a Brewday …. Another batch of Wheat Beer… All went smoothly even my very Heath Robinson attempt at implementing a RIMs using a continuously boiling kettle, a feed from the mash tun into the kettle and a pump back to the mash tun . I’ll find out the quality of the brew shortly…
Talking of Heath Robinson.. After the 4 c’s slow cooker event, I vowed to get the 100qt igloo cooler setup as a mash tun . So a search on Amazons storefront resulted in various Stainless Steel fittings being purchased and delivered from China. Last weekend I had a concerted effort at fitting the tap and getting the filter built and installed. I had several attempts at getting it leak proof. The side wall of the tun were being crushed  as I tightened up the Tap nuts, so i decided to  cut a short length of poly pipe  the length ot the  gap betweens the walls and cut it length-wise so it would curl slightly to get it in through the hole and then expand again to stop the walls being crushed, it worked a charm… no more leaks ….

New larger tun
New larger tun
New Tap assembly

I’ve spent an hour flushing it but it still needs a hot wash and thorough clean….

I’ve also been laying out my take on the BrewPi Spark… Although the spark is Now called Particle…

My Particle Brewpi Eagle CAD
My Particle Brewpi Eagle CAD

Screen Shot 2015-08-12 at 10.41.57


My idea was to have a board that anybody could build up from scratch using mainly discrete components with similar connectors to the original, if needs be built on double sided board   without PTH vias . Its was done with a view to replacing the arduino in one of my existing boxes. I may have to change the layout though as I now realise that I should have had a no go zone under the particles antenna, I’ll get it built and see what happens… I can always mod the board and I have enjoyed laying it out …