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┬áthe 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.

2 thoughts on “The PoKeys57E Unit

  1. Hi there

    That’s a pretty impressive set up you’ve got there, and I’m interested in doing something similar, though due to lack of skills I’d probably try something simpler. I hope you don’t mind me ‘picking your brains’

    So, I was thinking to start with, monitoring fermentation temperatures to give me an idea of how it all works. I’ve got no programming experience, but am willing to learn. My current setup is I have a fermentation fridge controlled by a STC1000 which maintains a constant temperature. The temp probe from the STC is just taped to the side of the fermentation bin which gives an indication of temperature of the fermenting beer. I also have another STC1000 which is connected to a heating belt which goes around a large conical to heat it. Again the temperature probe is just stuck to the side of the conical. I would initially like to have a GUI on an android device that can use the wifi and I can monitor the temperature in the fermenters remotely. I have a few starter questions

    What hardware do I need – any guidance on how to wire it up
    What software do I need to create the GUI
    Any websites where I can learn the programming, specifically the GUI and how it integrates within the programming language?

    Hope to hear from you soon

    • Hello Andy, Your best bet to try and do the things you want is probably to see what software other people are using to do similar things on the Home brew forums. I think you sent me the same message on one so you’ve got a good start on where to look. The software I’m using is not really configurable and is simply an app I’ve developed myself for my own use, So wouldn’t be of any use to yourself.
      The GUI I am using is just the android available GUI for any app to use, basically graphics and buttons on a screen. There are tons of stuff on the web about programming android which you should easily find but I’m not sure you would be able to interface easily with whatever hardware you want, Communicating with the Pokey device I’m using can be done but not sure about other things.
      I think I’ve seen on the forums a device which can talk to lot’s of hardware and produces web based pages for viewing information, This would probably be a better place to start as the web pages could then be viewed on a PC or a tablet or even a phone. I’m not sure what the device was though but I think it is on the forums. And there would be less programming do get started quickly I would think.
      Good look with your project.

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