Which Board to Buy? I don't see one that has the capabilities of my discontinued board

we developed a hardware package and software to control home brewing of beer and the control of fermenting chambers about 1.5 years ago based on the original Cobra main board with the 3.5" touch screen.

This package was available as a combination “OEM” kit that included an acrylic case, touch screen, and Cobra EMX mainboard.

we use Glide and the touchscreen for control and configuration
The Ethernet port to send data to a logging and monitoring service
One-Wire network for temperature control sensors
I2C for output to LED displays
12 separate I/O channels for relays 2 of which are PWM rather than simple ON/OFF

We also use the up/down/select buttons

From what I can tell there is currently no package available from GHI that will do this. The Cobra II platform has all of the needed I/Os but from what I see based on the specs it does not support touch-screen. It has the RGB ports for the display, but no “T” port to accept input.

Can someone point me in the right direction? Our plan was to build this out then market it as a kit.


Nevermind!! after looking at the detailed PDFs of the product I see the “T” interface for the touch screen mixed with other IOs on the other side of the board!

Hopefully I can get this product migrated over to a Cobra II :slight_smile:

You should post a few pics and details, I am sure a few of the members of a HackerSpace I work with would be interested is such a “project” :wink:

You should be able to with little work. remember that you can also use Spider or any other mainboard. And then use the acrylic service to package things nicely.

I am ready to brew, just show me the way :slight_smile:

You can brew beer on a stovetop :slight_smile: This just automates the flow of liquid and temperature control on a larger system.

The picture here doesn’t show much of the electronics. This was during prototype phase when I had everything screwed down to a bit of plywood.

Onewire temp probes are mounted in the sides of these pots as well as in a heating chamber. The unit activates the pumps, monitors temps, and some PID code controls a PWM’d SSR to maintain a hot water heating element. The system can maintain about a .5 degree control of 15 gallons of liquid. The two kettles on the right are temp controlled. The one on the left simply does a boil.

In addition to the hot water heater elements in-line in the plumbing the system also uses 24VAC gas solenoids. It uses this when the temperature delta is too great for just the electric element to effectively raise it (such as the initial heat up).

The two key elements to brewing good beer is temperature control and repeatability. using automation like this you can ensure both.

upside down awesomeness :frowning: :frowning: sorry guys guess the iPhone photo didn’t correct. Just tilt your monitor or head :stuck_out_tongue:

Sorry, almost broke my neck

@ ScottSingleton - nice rig! Me & a neighbor considered doing something similar but after adding everything up we decided we really couldn’t beat the price of the Blichman TopTier system. It doesn’t offer as much logging as you’re doing. We had thought of building an add-on to the TopTier that could allow this.

Whatcha brewin’? I’ve got an IPA on primary and a hard cider on secondary. Just racked a honey ale that turned out nice :slight_smile:

thanks @ architect; not much I could do from the iPhone until I got home to correct it. Thanks for fixing it up.

@ ianlee; the goal is to eventually automate it all. Right now I’m working on code that will read the recipe XML from Beer Smith on the SSD and set the timers/tasks for the brew day.

example pseudo-code:

Display on I2C LCD: Fill MLT with 15.5 gallons water, Press select to continue
Display on I2C LCD: Fill HLT with 9.0 gallons water, Press select to continue
… [automation for heat, which exists]…
Sound Alarm, Display: Mash temperature for dough-in achieved, Add Mash Ingredients
start mash timer per recipe
start mash-out per recipe

All read in from the recipe generated in Beersmith

[quote=“ianlee74”]Whatcha brewin’? I’ve got an IPA on primary and a hard cider on secondary. Just racked a honey ale that turned out nice :slight_smile:

I almost exclusively brew IPAs; well IPAs, Double IPAs, Black IPAs.

I do the occasional stout and porter though I end up giving most of that away.

I currently have 10 gallons of a Chinook IPA that had 2 gallons of fresh cascade hops from my hop harvest thrown in at the 10 minute mark, then dry hopped with Citra. That’s just coming to carb now in the kegerator.

The Brew session on Saturday is an experimental single hop IPA using El Dorado.


This is very similar to what one of our important customer have. I can’t tell you who but you will see their oven every time you are on your way to get a sub. They use our chipset to read recipes and control the oven.

Bread and beer are really similar. Temperature and timing are critical to quality and repeatability. Think of this system like that oven system. It controls two heating systems simultaneously with PID code; each system has both a gas solenoid and 2000W heating element to control.

I use some I2C LED PID displays to show set temp/actual temp for each heating system and an I2C LCD 4x20 to display states/statuses.

I spent the better part of a month during late 2012 getting all the PID code and Glide interface complete to where I could manually set all the recipe attributes and control the process with the Cobra. At that point I took a break and spent more time brewing then actually improving the product. Over the last year I’ve added temperature/time logging and various hardware improvements.

Now that I wanted to work on the XML and expand the user interface I find out my hardware platform is discontinued so I don’t have a complete test/dev environment any more. We killed one of our 3.5" displays so we have two active platforms and one cobra without the display.

I’m ordering one of the Cobra IIs this week. We’ll see how it goes. I’m hoping the lifecycle of that product will be a bit longer than that of the Cobra I :slight_smile:

Yes all new products are planed to stay for years to come.

@ ScottSingleton - sounds like fun. Let me know when you need a beta tester. :wink:

This bit interests me, the gas solenoid control and potentially light/relight control. Do you have any pointers there? I don’t do beer but coffee roasting is a hobby but I have never looked at commercial bits to enable gas control.

They are simple 24VAC gas solenoids that are setup to control Low Pressure LP gas. You have to manually light the pilot lights on each burner but a simple application of 24VAC to the solenoid starts the gas flow.

The solenoid has a thermocouple that sits in reach of the pilot and prevents the gas flow if the pilot is not lit.

I think these are similar to the ones I used:


1 Like

spam (edit: no longer visible as it’s been removed)

How so ???

there was a post before that one from Scott - it and the user was cleaned up :slight_smile: