EBay Burkert Digital Control Valve

Discuss roast levels and profiles for espresso, equipment for roasting coffee.

Postby baldheadracing » Dec 24, 2018, 1:26 am

In My "new" 5kg Turkish roaster has arrived Michael wrote:

EvergreenBuzzBuzz wrote:Needle valve or ball valve by hand or are you looking for something that maybe you control electronically through Artisan or at least log into Artisan

I have seen this item recommended for control:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Burkert-Soleno ... 4006297443

Maybe start with a simpler valve to get started and then automate if you decide to keep it?

$76 shipped is a stonkin' good price for what I assume is a new-old-stock item. (This model was replaced by a newer version earlier this year). I don't like pushing buttons in Artisan for gas flow so I am going to put a potentiometer in-line with my gas valve to record my movements in Artisan (via a Phidgets VINT hub). However, at the price I couldn't resist and ordered one of these Burkert valves. Anyone else?

ETA 2019 Jan 16 project status:
- valve and controller have been installed;
. valve can be controlled via Artisan.
Currently determining if the control is usable; testing the accuracy and precision of control vs. actual mmAq on gauge.
- work-in-progress notes: https://drive.google.com/file/d/12uhK9i ... sp=sharing
What I'm interested in is my worst espresso being fantastic - James Hoffmann

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Postby danetrainer » Dec 24, 2018, 8:04 am

I'm not sure what "stonkin'" means...but thanks for pointing this out! My Maxitrol is approaching 10 years of use and for that cost it would be nice to have one on hand if it were to fail.

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Postby EvergreenBuzzBuzz » Dec 24, 2018, 10:13 am

So how will you control the gas with it. I thought this needs an electronic signal? I'm not the engineer type. Thanks.
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Postby Almico » replying to EvergreenBuzzBuzz » Dec 24, 2018, 10:20 am

You can probably control it remotely as well.

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Postby EvergreenBuzzBuzz » Dec 24, 2018, 10:36 am


Ok that programs it. What I am not understanding is how would this be used once programmed. I gather you have to either use Artisan to tell it what gas setting through some vinthub type set up or how is Craig going to use it as he says he doesn't want to push buttons to control gas. I don't understand why this control valve is needed to measure and record gas settings back into Artisan. Thanks.
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Postby Almico » replying to EvergreenBuzzBuzz » Dec 24, 2018, 10:51 am

Not a clue. I don't intend to automate just yet. But I suppose you can use the Artisan PID function to control heat with a controller/valve like this. I'm just getting a nice Parker needle valve and a good gauge.

I might have to dive further into Artisan now that I have a drum machine. But I never bothered with tracking wattage settings on the electric roaster, so I don't know if I'll change my tune with gas.


Postby baldheadracing » Dec 24, 2018, 9:24 pm

EvergreenBuzzBuzz wrote:So how will you control the gas with it. I thought this needs an electronic signal? I'm not the engineer type. Thanks.

First of all, I just started using Artisan this month - I was using Roastlogger with the Hottop. Second, I've only used a Phidget to read the thermocouple on a Scace device. In other words, I have no idea what I am doing ... but this is how I think it should work. I definitely do stand to be corrected.

The Burkert assembly is an electronically-controlled valve. The valve takes a bunch of different control inputs, but consider the 5 volt input:
- I send 0 volts to the valve - it is closed.
- I send 5 volts to the valve - it is fully open (100%)
- I send 2.5 volts to the valve - it is half-open (50%)
- I send 1v, the valve is open 20%, etc.

I see three phases to using the Burkert:

Phase 1. Use a 5v power supply (or batteries, or the 5v line in USB) and a potentiometer and send a variable voltage to the Burkert. This results in a fancy electronic equivalent to a needle valve.

Phase 2. Read the voltages from Step 1 with a Phidget VINT hub port. A VINT hub port can be configured to read a 0-5v input. For example, if I rotate the potentiometer half-way, then 2.5 v will go to Burkert and Artisan will also be told via Phidget VINT port that 2.5v has been sent to the Burkert. Now Artisan will be able to log all the manual changes made to the gas during a roast.
ETA: When I drew up the wiring diagram, phase 2 no longer made any sense. Now there is a DPDT switch to go between Phase 1 and Phase 3; the idea being Phase 3 will be roasting with Artisan, and Phase 1 will be roasting without the computer.

Phase 3. Replace Phase 1 and instead use Artisan to send a voltage between 0-5v to the Burkert. To do this Artisan has to be connected to a Voltage output Phidget. (ETA: I originally ordered the 12-bit one, but switched to the 16-bit version "just in case.") Then a slider/potentiometer (software or hardware) inside Artisan/Phidgets could adjust the gas flow. (Step 2 still does the same thing, but now within Artisan/Phidgets.)

With Phase 3 in place, in a producion scenario:
Step 0. Follow a standard morning startup procedure for your roaster
Step 1. Follow a standard warm-up/charge procedure for consistent starting conditions for each and every roast.
Step 2. Dial in your production roast for a particular coffee using manual gas adjustments (and fix your drum rpm and airflow to be Rao-esque :-) ) Now you have the gas adjustments for your dialed-in production roast recorded in Artisan.
Step 3. go back to Step 1, but now instead of step 2, have Artisan replicate your production roast gas adjustments. You can still over-ride what is happening.
Result: Most consistent coffee. It won't be perfect as environmental conditions change, etc., but when you want to "follow the recipe ..."

More can be done - my roaster is relatively old and I can also use the Burkert to turn off the gas if a probe in the cyclone reads too high, etc.
What I'm interested in is my worst espresso being fantastic - James Hoffmann
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Postby perfectwheels » Dec 26, 2018, 1:40 am

I see some roaster automation projects in my future and that price is too good for me to pass up.
Thanks for the heads up.

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Postby Chert » Dec 26, 2018, 12:58 pm

Once bitten, twice shy. I went with the Clippard option months ago and spent quite a lot more on the effort. It controlled gas flow, very poorly. Another HBer could not get it to work. That ebay seller may turn over a lot of these late model valves before anyone proves the concept in a roaster. Or did I miss that someone has already succeeded with the Burkert?


Postby freeadvice » Dec 26, 2018, 1:50 pm

This valve is already proven. It's circulating here from a Facebook group.

Some of my fellow roasters have heard me mention that something just wasn't right with my USRC's gas flow. Essentially, I could not adjist the gas to less than 1.5"wc and not more than 2.5" wc. It took me some time to figure out what to do about this (I'm not a mechanical engineer) but I finally changed out my gas valve and a more programmable controller.

The difference is amazing! I now have full control over my fuel with .25"wc at 5% gas and 3.75" wc at 100% gas. I could go higher on the max fuel, but USRC designed the roaster for 3.5" wc at full charge.

If anyone is interested, the valve and controller is available for $61 including shipping from a seller on eBay. The valves are essentially new, having come out of a factory in Arizona that was going to build iPhone screens, but was shut down because they couldn't keep up with demand. The combo usually retails for over $500. - Tim Piazza

Wow! I just roasted my first roast with the upgraded fuel control. I started with a 2.2kg batch, which was barely possible before because I had to constantly cycle the gas on and off to maintain RoR throughout the roast--too much minimum flame. I can now set the flame and air to hold a declining RoR without having to cycle.