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Writing Roasting Software For Popcorn Air style Roater
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CoffeeSleuth
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CoffeeSleuth
Joined: 4 Oct 2011
Posts: 8
Location: Nevada
Expertise: I live coffee

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Roaster: Nostalgia Popcorn Popper
Posted Mon Sep 10, 2012, 6:55pm
Subject: Writing Roasting Software For Popcorn Air style Roater
 

Alrighty, I began working on a software application today to automate the roasting process of a popcorn roaster.

The popcorn maker roaster will be fitted with a Solid State Relay and a USB thermocouple.  The application uses a custom roasting profile that you can create in the application.  The application controls the temperature of the popcorn roaster by turning the solid state relay on and off based on temperature changes.  The temperature is read in by a USB thermocouple that is placed in the roasting chamber within the beans.

I'm considering making this an open source project since roasting coffee in a popcorn maker is kind of an open source process.  If anyone is interested in helping out with development, let me know.  Or if you interested in the final product, let me know.

I have a roasting simulator and a thermocouple simulator as I'm waiting for hardware to arrive.
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jimshieldsvt
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Joined: 11 Sep 2012
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Location: Vermont
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Tue Sep 11, 2012, 6:40am
Subject: Re: Writing Roasting Software For Popcorn Roaster
 

This sounds awesome.  I wish I had enough technical knowledge to help, but I don't, so moral support and encouragement will have to do.  When you say "popcorn roaster," I assume you mean an electric hot-air popper.  I just started roasting and I use an old-fashioned "whirly pop" stovetop popcorn popper, which would be harder to retrofit with an automation system.  I am going to the New York Maker Faire in a couple weeks, and this would be the type of thing you would see there!  Good luck!
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CoffeeSleuth
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CoffeeSleuth
Joined: 4 Oct 2011
Posts: 8
Location: Nevada
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Delonghi EC702
Grinder: Starbucks Barista Burr...
Drip: Ceramic Pour Over
Roaster: Nostalgia Popcorn Popper
Posted Tue Sep 11, 2012, 9:14am
Subject: Re: Writing Roasting Software For Popcorn Roaster
 

Yes, I do mean a Popcorn Air Popper.  So as I wait for the hardware, I wrote a simulator that simulate the characteristics, (rise in temp, fall in temp) of my particular popcorn air maker.  It responds to a simulated solid state relay and reports ambient and internal temperature.  I attached what the program looked like after almost finishing a roast cycle.

CoffeeSleuth: Capture_mini.JPG
(Click for larger image)
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DavidG
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DavidG
Joined: 13 Jan 2009
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Location: Central Ohio
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Posted Tue Sep 11, 2012, 10:09am
Subject: Re: Writing Roasting Software For Popcorn Roaster
 

Coffee Sleuth,

If you haven't already, be sure to scour the forum over at homeroasters.org (many of us coffeegeeks are members there and at H-B).  The folks on the hro board have several versions of software, hardware and such.  Several versions are avail for download.  The spirit is very collaborative.  I welcome your success as my talents are clearly in other areas!  I dream of a programmable popper for developing espresso blends.

Cheers,
David
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Frost
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Frost
Joined: 26 Jul 2007
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Location: Sierra
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Isomac Venus
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Roaster: Poppery I w/variac, MET, BT
Posted Tue Sep 11, 2012, 5:37pm
Subject: Re: Writing Roasting Software For Popcorn Air style Roater
 

My suggestion is to add a second temperature probe located at the bottom inlet after the air passes the heater to measure the roasting air temperature, the Environment Temperature, ie; roaster 'oven temperature'.  This is the temperature that is throttled, directly controlled. Then use the Bean Temp probe (a manifest of ET heat transfer to the Bean Mass) as feedback to the roast process/progress.   There is direct correlation between ET, BT, rate of rise during ramping, predictable finish times, temps, and roast degrees. Having a firm handle on controlling the ET is key to roast profile control.
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