Overview

RoastLogger can log and chart your roasts in real time as the roast progresses and, with suitable hardware, can also provide computer control of your roaster.

Either or both temperature inputs can be read directly from selected multimeters/digital thermometers, from a webcam image of a roasters display via optical character recognition (OCR),  from an Arduino, TC4C or RL-HT-CTRL or from a user supplied application reading users hardware.  For further information please see the Input devices  section and see the post on Too Much Coffee

Computer control of Hottop roasters can be provided via a HTRI  board (this can be a TC4C+HTC,  Arduino+TC4+HTShield or RL-HT-CTRL).  Computer control of roasters other than Hottops can be provided via an Arduino, Arduino+TC4 or TC4C with suitable additional hardware to interface these devices with your roasters heater and fan. 

The RoastLogger Controller communicates with these devices to obtain temperature data from the roaster and can control the roasters heater and fan manually via sliders, automatically via Action tables providing programmed changes at set bean temperatures or seconds after first crack (see the RoastLogger manual link on the Introduction page for details), or using the built in PID (see the PID webpage for details).

The OCR facilities in this program have been tested and work on many roasters with digital displays but will probably not work on all roaster displays.  In order to achieve reliable readings from a webcam a good clean focused steady webcam image with uniform lighting (no shadows or highlighting in the image) is required. To achieve this the following is ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL:-

  • Reasonable quality webcam that can be focused at distances of 10 to 40 cm.
  • Support bracket to hold the webcam steady in relation to the digital    display.
  • A small screen (any uniform colour) positioned so that the reflection   the webcam sees in the display is of Nothing but the screen.

The program saves logs to comma separated value files suitable for spreadsheet programs. Any previously saved log can be read in to use as a template for the next roast.

The program will work on computers with x86/x64 based processors (Intel/AMD)  running 32 or 64 bit versions of Windows (8, 7, Vista or XP), Linux or OSX (64 bit Intel based Macs only for OSX, not PowerPC) provided that the Java SE Runtime Environment (JRE) 6 or above is installed. No other software is required unless you wish to use the OCR facilities in which case you also need whatever program/drivers you use to display webcam images on your computer.

Please see the excellent RoastLogger Manual by Randy Glass for full details on the installation, initial setup and use of RoastLogger for all input devices.  The manual is in PDF format and can be read online or downloaded to your computer.  The manual also includes information on working with the devices listed above to achieve computer control of your roaster.

Further information is available in the RoastLogger thread on Too Much Coffee

Improvements to this program can only be made based on feedback from users experience with different roasters, webcams, digital multimeters/thermometers etc.  If you try this program please provide feedback