Is there an available Phidget that pairs with a digital K-type thermocouple, that I can use with Artisan?

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

#1: Post by jtferraro »

I have this digital thermometer, with K-type thermocouple: ... ouple.html

Is there an available Phidget that pairs with a digital K-type thermocouple, that I can use with Artisan?

Thank you,


#2: Post by littlenut »

I know little to nothing about Phidgets. Here are links I would start with if I wanted to learn more.


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#3: Post by civ »

jtferraro wrote: ... an available Phidget that pairs with a digital K-type thermocouple
I think you may be a bit confused.

What you have is an inexpensive digital thermometer that uses a K type thermocouple to read the temperature.
The therrmocouple is not digital, it is a plug and two strands wires made from special alloys.

Now, that thermocouple costs (at SM's) ~US$5.00 so it's not something relevant in the greater scope of things needed for roasting via Artisan.
For roasting with Artisan, what you need is a data gathering instrument and a pair of quality thermocouples.

Of course, you can use what you have, take a single reading every X seconds and put the data into Artisan (after the fact) to get a curve.
But it is easier said than done and can be quite frustrating.

Unless you are, for whatever reason set on using Phidgets, there are less expensive options to put together a data-gathering system to use with Artisan. Phidgets are more expensive because you get better quality readings.
ie: faster sampling rates, faster comms, better s/n ratio and higher resolution - all of which are really nice but ...

Are these improvements really needed?
Taking into account the other options available, I think not.
Of course, YMMV ...

One of the favourite available options is the dual channel Mastech MS6514 which will accommodate type K or J thermocouples, has a well proven track record for use with Artisan and can (like others?) be powered directly through your laptop's/PC's USB port so as to avoid the use of batteries.
Last but not least, there is quite a bit of information available here at HB on how to use it with Artisan.

Check here:
search.php?keywords=ms6514&terms=all&au ... t=0&ch=300

I got mine on ebay for ~US$70.00 a few years ago.
These days you can get it there for ~US$130 but for much less on other on-line sites, you have to search and choose.

eg: ... 93245.html ... 0106d67450

That said, there is a list of metering hardware you can use with Artisan here, with a good explanation for most of them:



jtferraro (original poster)

#4: Post by jtferraro (original poster) »


Thank you very much for taking the time to explain - this was very helpful! Since my existing digital thermometer doesn't have any other ports, I doubted I'd be able to use it with Artisan but I wasn't sure if Phidget made some kind of bridge hardware component...although I guess that would still require an additional port.

I'm now interested in the Mastech MS6514 (unfortunately, it's sold out on the provided links).

I will do some further research via the additional links you provided.

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#5: Post by CarefreeBuzzBuzz »

Jeff if you are going to use a computer, Phidgets are the best way to go. You can read the temps off the computer. In a recent post it was shown that you can use Artisan though while not connected to probes, reading from another meter. In case you decide to go that way. I can't recall which thread it was in now.
Artisan.Plus User-
Artisan Quick Start Guide

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#6: Post by civ »

jtferraro wrote: Thank you ...
You're welcome.
jtferraro wrote: ... thermometer doesn't have any other ports ...
That it is only a digital thermometer, it lacks the data-logging capabilities which is what Artisan needs.
ie: it measures temperature but does not log/gather data in memory like the MS6514 and such will do, another TC channel won't help you.
jtferraro wrote: ... interested in the Mastech MS6514 ...
There are other options but I think the Mastech is the one with the most bang/buck ratio, so to speak.
jtferraro wrote: ... do some further research via the additional links ...
Pest and now war have strained things quite a bit and the usual crowd is attempting to cash in on that. 8^/
ebay or amazon are not the only providers albeit convenient if you are on the left side of the pond.

European or Asian providers (FR, UK, DE, CN, etc.) will most probably have it at a lower price.
This will offset any addiitonal shipping costs you may encounter but you'll have longer shipping times.

Remember that you will have to get yourself a proper set of TCs, SS braided over fiberglass.
The ones included with the MS6514 are cheap and fragile, not suited for what you would be using them.

Check here at HB for members using the same roaster you have to see how and where they are mounted before you purchase them.



jtferraro (original poster)

#7: Post by jtferraro (original poster) »

Thanks Michael & CIV.

I just started roasting a month ago, so I'm only using popcorn poppers (I have two P1's, one P2 and an OG Pumper now). I've only used a P1, which I've modified to separate fan from heat, and the P2 so far...and my largest batch has been 149g (5.25oz) in the P1. I've roasted 43 batches already, all single origin, save for the last pound, which was a Sweet Maria's blend. I just started using the SM digital thermometer & thermocouple to correlate what I'm seeing & hearing to the roast chamber temperature. I'm getting tired of logging overall batch#, date, batch# that day, beans variety, roasting location, roasting machine, dose in/out, overall time ran, outside temp (I should now add ambient temp), 1st crack time, and other notes and I can clearly appreciate the value of having the data be captured, uploaded and saved. In short, I love using the poppers since they provide the maximum re: learning experience and value, but I want to utilize a modern way of capturing data, uploading, saving, then subsequently slicing & dicing the aggregate to fully exploit patterns, preferences, etc. Since I haven't invested in a 'real' roaster (yet), I'm thinking the Mastech is somewhat commiserate to my 'to date' investment. I appreciate the Phidget is a better option, but for where I am, I'm thinking the Mastech is already likely over the top. Would I still need to upgrade to a 'proper set' of TCs (braided SS over Fiberglass) if I'm simply (at least for now) hanging the TC, from the popper's butter tray, down into the roast chamber?

Thanks again my friends,

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#8: Post by civ »

jtferraro wrote: Thanks ...
You're welcome.
jtferraro wrote: ... still need to upgrade to a 'proper set' of TCs (braided SS over Fiberglass) ...
Hmm ...

Try and see if the insulation on the TC you have resists the popper's heat.
If it does, you'll be OK till it eventually burns off.
Bear in mind that 1C temps are ~190/200° C.

My first roasts ever were done on a contraption (idea from some site, probably HB) made from a pair of matching wire mesh colanders held together with strong paper clasps, held over a butane fired camping stove and shaken by hand as 100grs. of beans roasted while I watched a single channel data-logger's screen.

The top colander had a hole where I fastened a threaded copper tube which dipped into the ~100 g. mass of greens.
One end was closed with with a wee blob of silver solder and inside was the K type TC that came with the DL, somewhat protected by the tube.

Eventually the thin (cheap) fiber weave burnt off and had to be peeled back to make the TC knot again.
You'll have to experiment and see how you manage with the TC you have.



jtferraro (original poster)

#9: Post by jtferraro (original poster) »

Interesting re: your first roasts. Sounds like you combined low tech (campfire) and colanders clasped together, with high some modern tech (data-logger).

Yes, I realize this thin TC isn't going to last too long. I think I already saw some spark in the roast chamber the other day, from it making contact with the inner walls. Fortunately, I have an extra TC as backup. I agree these thin, bendable TC's are less than perfect, but from what I understand they're more accurate than the thicker, rigid ones. I think I've only done 4 batches with the TC, so need to experiment more yet.

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#10: Post by civ »

jtferraro wrote: ... combined low tech ...
Got the idea from somewhere on the web as I did not want to use electric heat source.
I have also (succesfully) roasted ~150g. greens using a cast iron/round bottom pot over a basic 1500W Chinese hot plate.
jtferraro wrote: ... thin TC isn't going to last too long.
... saw some spark in the roast chamber ...
You are dealing with mains power so the bead and exposed metal on the TC has to be insulated from the metal/heating element in the popper.

Get yourself some thin (0.5mm) Teflon/PTFE tubing like what is sometimes used in electronics to cover the bead. ... m-b0507020
You stick it on with some high temperature (red) silicone sealer.

That will protect the TC's bead and keep it properly insulated.
jtferraro wrote: ... they're more accurate than the thicker, rigid ones.
Accuracy you get from the type and quality of the TC (alloys, bead), from the thermometer's circuit and lastly from the readout.

What you can get from a thinner/nimbler TC is a faster response to temperature variations within the environment you are measuring.
Provided the TC is located in the proper place and that the digital thermometer is up to speed in every sense.

It is all a chain that starts at a properly placed TC and ends with the thermometer readout: all links should be of the same quality/design.
If one link is weak, the rest is moot.

Roasting coffee is not easy: it requires time, patience and a lot of practise.
It is very easy to get caught up in the hype for this and that or the other, you may want to avoid that.
But, like many other hobbies, it is the experience you gain through patience and practise what will get you though.

My surviving notes are rather sketchy, but it would seem that this week I should be finishing off my 95th or 100th kg. of greens.
That's ~95/100 kg. basic 'confort' Brazil Cerrado in ~6 1/2 years.
Nothing fancy and affordable to me but as I still have a lot to learn I don't dare roast more expensive stuff yet.