[Sticky] Welcome to BruControl
You can do a fairly straightforward swap with the BCS and an Arduino MEGA for the BruControl interface as the inputs and outputs on both are active high 5V. The thermistors need a filter/divider circuit. See the schematics section of this website for the circuit. We have created a thermistor board which will interface the thermistors with the MEGA directly using screw terminals. These boards accommodate 6 thermistors, but the MEGA can handle up to 16. The number of "outputs" depend on the type of output you want. Assume ~45 digital I/O. Many of which can be PWM (high frequency). I recommend you take a look at the User Manual and the Interface Wiring Map for more details.
The system logs all data points up to 30 days old into .CSV files, which you can use as you see fit.
I thought I would expand on the answer a little as it was a question I had. I was used to the BCS and it has a finite number of Outs, Ins, and Probes. When asking, how many does Brucontrol support, the answer was not clear to me: So here it is:
One Mega 2560 will exchange one to one with a BCS 462 or BCS482). You would need two TF3 boards in addition for 8 Brewers Hardware 10k NTC probes, but you would gain additional Digital Outs/Ins as well. (Only one TF-3 board for a BCS460)
How many additional Outs or Ins?
As Many as you want!
A Mega 2560
45 Possible Output
13 PWM Possible
45 Possible Inputs
4 Possible Counters
1 One Wire Possible (Supports 10 Probes)
4 RTD Possible Probes (Requires additional Hardware)
SPI Board (Brucontrol) + Max31865 PCB (Adafruit-1 per probe)
16 Analog Inputs
16 Possible 10k NTC Probes (Brewers Hardware Type) (Requires additional Hardware)
TF-3 Board (Brucontrol) 1 per 6 Probes)
It is a Total of 45 Digital I/O
If you use one PIN as a PWM Output, you now have only 44 Possible Digital Inputs or additional Digital Outputs(combined).
That is the reason you do not get a “Straight Answer”. It depends.
Additionally, you can hook up another Micro Controller and get the number of I/O that that one supports. If you add another Mega 2560, you would get the additional 45 Digital Outputs or Inputs and 16 additional Analog Inputs. In the Scripts or on the Brucontrol Panel, it does not matter which interface a widget has. If you have more than a single interface (two Mega(s) for example, you would simply choose which Mega (Interface) the Widget belonged to. The Script is called by the unique “Name” that you give the widget. It does not matter which interface or workspace it is on.
You do need to “know” how many widgets and which type they are in the planning stage.
How many SSR controlled Items? (Pumps, Elements, Fans, Burners etc.)
How Many Digital Inputs? (Floats, Switches etc.)
How many Probes and what Type? (RTD or One Wire) (10k NTC are Analog)
Once you have that, you know how many Mega(s) you need.
For example, if you plan on seven RTD Probes, you would need two Mega(s) as there is only support for four RTD probes per Mega. You would also need two SPI Boards and seven MAX 31865 boards.
If you are only using one Mega and exceed a total of 45 Digital Pins used (either Input or Output combined), you add another Interface (Arduino). Simple as that.
The “Straight Answer”: As many as you want Four Mega(s) would give you up to 180 Digital I/O.
Well said! Once you start using some wireless interfaces, it can get really interesting!
BTW, like the term "widgets", but we refer to them as Elements (user manual, etc.). Just referencing for future readers, but hey - call them what you like!