The PoKeys57E Unit

The Pokeys57E module

The Pokeys57E module

The Pokes57E device I use is a low cost simple to use ethernet based device which combines a lot of inputs and outputs.

If provides 55 digital input and output connections which I use for things such as level probes and driving the relays for the valves and pumps.

It also has 7 analog inputs available though I’m only using 1 of these at the moment to measure the liquid level in the Hot Liquor Tank.

One of the main benefits to me is that it also has all the in built communications to talk to different sensor types including ones on the 1-wire bus which I’m using for the temperatures in the vessels.

The configuration software used for configuring the Pokeys57E device

The configuration software used for configuring the Pokeys57E device

The list of what this module can do goes on and on and is extremely flexible, I’m also using one of the devices in my greenhouse to monitor temperatures and levels in nutrient tanks. In this situation I’m also using the LCD and keyboard capabilities of the device to allow it to display the greenhouse situation and modify settings through a keyboard.

The overall configuration of the device is done through a simple to use piece of included software.

Example of the programming within the Pokeys device

Example of the programming within the Pokeys device

As well as the standard device you can also program the device to do certain things using a language/program called PoBlocks, I don’t really use this part of the device to it’s fullest as it makes more sense to do 99% of the programming and sequencing of the brewery within the Android application as it’s more flexible.

But for some things such as shutting of the water supply if the Hot Liquor tank goes to high level or shutting off the heating elements if necessary the programming capabilities are ideal as they don’t use any communications and just instantly take effect. So I’ve used them for this.

The device comes with all the communications protocols described in a document to allow any other ethernet device to communicate and read and write the status’s of the inputs and outputs. This is how I can control the brewery from the Android application. The Android application uses the described communication protocol to talk directly to the Pokeys57E board to find out the status of the brewery at all times and drive anything necessary at certain stages in the processes.

I’ve currently got the Pokeys57E board wired into a wireless router so that the Android tablet I am using does not even need a wired connection and I can carry it around and monitor the brewery wherever I want.

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The Heating Control Box


The finished Solid State Relay Heating control box

The finished Solid State Relay Heating control box

To allow the control of the heating elements used without the Hot Liquor Tank and the Copper vessel, I constructed a small box to house the higher voltage electrics required for this.  Housing it all in one self contained box is a lot safer and may help with any electric interference problems with the other electronic equipment.

Each heating element is driven through a Solid State Relay house in the box, A Solid State Relay (SSR) is an an easy to use method of driving a high voltage device from a low level voltage input.  All the necessary electronics and electrics are already self contained within the SSR, Even the necessary zero voltage switching circuitry to allow the device to turn on or off smoothly at any time during an AC cycle is already included.

Inside the heating control box showing the Solid State Relays and the Circuit Breakers

Inside the heating control box showing the Solid State Relays and the Circuit Breakers

Each SSR is powered through a rail mounted Residual Circuit Breaker (RCD) to ensure a safety cutout should any problems occur with the cabling or heating element.

I also installed a neon for each Relay so I could see exactly when each heating element is driven. And drilled a small hole to also make visible the Solid State Relay LED so I could see when both Solid State Relay Input and Outputs were active.

The inputs to the Solid State Relay are then connected through a small opto isolator board to outputs on the Pokeys57e controller board. The opto isolator board is to give a separation between any problems on the Solid State Relay and the Pokeys57e board.  It’s a lot cheaper and easier to replace the opto isolator board than to replace the Pokeys57e board if any problem occured.

The heating control box shown in use with Hot Liquor Tank LED Active, The Android application is shown running also

The heating control box shown in use with Hot Liquor Tank LED Active, The Android application is shown running also

After the internal components were mounted I then installed a nice label on the front of the box and small perspex windows so I could see the status of the Circuit Breakers and also the SSR Led’s.

I hope you’ll agree that the finished product looks rather nice.

 

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