About the Yellow Beer Machine

The Yellow beer machine sports the following equipment;


The Case

YellowBeerMachine.com

YellowBeerMachine.com

The case was an old one I had lying around. It was originally beige in colour but I didn’t feel the colour suited the application so I decided to paint it. 🙂

After four coats of Primer, eight coats of ‘Carnival Yellow’ and four more coats of gloss over the top i can happily say it’s not something i will do again. The paint cost more than a new case!

The Tank

The tank is a fermentation tank included in the Coopers Beer kit. It struck me that all i needed to do was strap a mobile phone to the tank and it would look like some kind of improvised explosive device

The Thermometers

These cheap USB Thermometers use a regular USB cable to relay the current temperature to the PC. They are powered directly by the computer’s USB port. They’re available from Amazon for $24.99 + 2.99 shipping,

I use the awesome UTAC software to serve both the current temperatures as xml. While my own usage of UTAC’s features is pretty limited, there are some great things it can do such as it’s own web-based graph system.

The Graphs

Screenshot

Screenshot

The graphs are rendered using Cacti. Cacti calls a script which grabs the xml presented by the UTAC software. I wrote an article about using Cacti and USB thermometers here.

The Computer

computer

computer

The computer is an old 32bit single-core 3ghz Intel 2GB of DDR1 RAM. The operating system is Windows XP. Mainly because I don’t have drivers for anything else!

The Touchscreen

8inch touch screen

8inch touch screen

The touchscreen is an 8″ LCD hooked up to the computer’s video card. The touchscreen interface uses a USB connection to communicate with the computer.

Unfortunately due to the lack of branding on the touchscreen I only have drivers for Windows XP which was a major factor in the choice of operating system.

The Webcams

Webcam

Webcam

The cameras are old ones I had lying around.

They use the built in camera support in Windows XP so they’re low resolution, perfect for a webcam!.

I use Yawcam to serve the webcam images as JPGs and then I upload them every minute using FTP. I also have the cameras being monitored by Zoneminder, which means I can detect motion, such as bubbles in the airlock.

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One Response to About the Yellow Beer Machine

  1. Sam says:

    Nice setup – i have a few old XP-only devices that could be put to better use too!

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