Home > BrewzNET > Tweaks and more trending functionality

Tweaks and more trending functionality

A month has passed since my last post, and while nothing new has happened on the brewing front, I have been finding time here and there to work on BrewzNET. My main focus has been getting the charting / trending functionality to a point where it is useable during a brewing session as well as for analyzing historical data. While there will no doubt be changes, the basic charting framework is ready and useable.

You can see alot of information on one chart without it getting too fussy. The red and blue lines are the solid state relay temperatures in the pump skid control box, and they are running between 75 and 85 degrees during this timeframe. During this time, the pump was moving a little more than 3.1 GPM (green line) and the sparge rate was around 1.5 qts/min (orange). It also took a little more than an hour to collect all the wort for the batch (light blue), and the float switch control was disconnected around 12:48 (pink).

  • The min/max values for all three axes (X, Y, Y2) are easily changed by double-clicking on the axis area of the chart.
  • A series is easily swapped between Y and Y2 by clicking the axis item in the bottom list, or hidden by clicking the “show” icon
  • Clicking the color next to the series name allows you to change the line colors
  • Historical data sets are easily retrieved by batch name or timeframe from the batch selection dialog box

In addition to historical trending, the chart can keep track of real-time data. As new data points are collected, the chart automatically updates itself and rescales the axes as required. The screenshot here show some the SSR temperatures in the control box as it sits down in my basement this morning. Charts can also be switched back and forth between historical or real-time very easily, although most people would probably just open new trend forms and keep them seperate.

That screenshot also highlights another small tweak I made to the BrewzNET application – I replaced the standard windows “System menu” that is typically all gray and ugly with a custom, owner-drawn one. This is pure window-dressing and does absolutely nothing to enhance the application functionality, but I did it mostly just to prove that I could. This same system menu is the one that pops up when you right-click on the task bar.

I will be honest and admit that I was initially skeptical about whether I’d be able to pull the charting functionality off. Several times I almost walked away to hunt down an “off the shelf / internet” option out of frustration. Now that I’ve got it working, I am both relieved and self-satisfied – glad I did it, but mostly glad to have it largely behind me.

What’s the next major item in BrewzNET development? Honestly, I’m not sure. This trending thing was such a big and seemingly insurmountable obstacle that I never thought about it. Perhaps the backend SQL Server database creation and management, which to date I’ve done purely thru Microsoft’s SQL Server Management Studio? There is certainly a ton of cleanup work in the main app code, and I’ve got a huge list of things to do on the ScreenDesigner app to make it more useable… I guess I need to sit down and prioritize.

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Categories: BrewzNET
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