Home > Brew gear, Tech geeks > Persistence – Check!

Persistence – Check!

So I finally decided to hack my pump control circuit again, this time drilling next to the I2C bus lines so I could splice in connections for a 24LC16B I2C EEPROM. This allows me to store settings through on and off cycles, such as the control bits that dictate whether certain values are computed on board (rates, volumes, temperatures), the frequency for sending temperature readings, and the target collection volume.

sm20090126-003I thought about etching a circuit board for the EEPROM, but ultimated decided that a 8-pin chip socket and this stock breakout board from Radio Shack would work fine… It does work, but I have to say that those boards are the cheapest, most poorly made PCBs I’ve seen in my short electronics hobby experience. I’m relatively certain the traces were drawn with a crayon, the copper etched with rust water, and the holes drilled with a rusty nail. My worst attempt at a home made PCB looked an order of magnitude better than these things. I don’t think I’ll use one in a project again, if I can help it.

So now that I’ve overhauled the internals, completely recoded the PICAXE program, resolved my inbound interrupt problems, and put the VB2008 base communication classes through some rigorous testing, I think I am at a very good place to start tying hardware to a PC GUI. I hope to make that a reality (at least for the grant hardware) sometime in the next 2 or so months.

I’ve got some brewing to do too… I now have 200+ pounds of base grain, a couple vials of virile yeast, and a freezer full of hops – time to schedule some 20 gallon batches!!

Categories: Brew gear, Tech geeks
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