Post By brewtal
Gene Automation Mod - LCD-version
In 2016 I did a small mod on a Gene CBR-101 coffee roaster, which enabled for a more precise temperature setting as well as better reproducibility of the roasting process. Some parts I liked about it and some parts not (like the detached display). So I built a newer version, which uses a 128x64 px LCD display, which can now show the roast curve similar to e.g. Artisan. I wrote a more detailed description in the attached document. Also a video of the automated roasting process can be found here:
Since the description of the first version was in a German forum, I briefly mentioned some measurements from the first version in the document. If you want to build this mod on your own you find a parts list attached. The complied code can be uploaded using a sketch uploader, which skips the compile step in the Arduino IDE. I added a manual description and a .exe which will upload the code for you on the Arduino Mega 2560. For now I do not plan to publish the source code but am open to suggestions regarding the available functions and options as well as compilations for different Arduinos.
Of course you can use the mod with every roaster that uses a binary (on/off) regulation for the heating element with the PID settings available in the menu. Since the fan and drum settings are in percent, the motor controls can be adapted for different voltages or be not used.
I hope that some people can have fun with this mod and maybe we can exchange roast profiles someday...
Hi, this sounds interesting. I cannot see any attachments though. Can you attach it again? I might try to make this modification as well.
Hi. Would be cool if you will try it
I will add the attachment as soon as I am back home. Probably next week.
Okay, here is the full description for the mod with some background and a taste test, as described in my first post. If you try to build it and have some questions, feel free to ask. I will try to help you out.
oh wow! this looks very amazing! i will take a look at it. i hope it is not much to change the whole Genecafe because mine is brandnew.. haha
Well in that case rest assured that you don't need to touch the original electronics since you can completely remove them Also you need to cut a hole for the cooling fins of the SSR relais. Maybe it will also work without the cooling but I can't guarantee it. Also you could try a regular old mechanical relais as already used in the roaster and use a less aggressive PID setting to reduce the turn on cycles. Maybe you wait a few weeks and get used to the original Gene Cafe. I can still recommend the mod though, since it is still working without any problems on my machine and can produce quite even and repeatable roasts.
This is really so useful!
This is really GREAT! I was about to start on doing something like this and came across your mod. Do you by any chance have a circuit diagram for the mod? It would be super-useful!
Sorry, I don't have made a circuit diagram yet and currently don't have time to draw one (since it should be correctly done). Basically you just do this once for the fan and once for the drum motor:
bildr » High-Power Control: Arduino + TIP120 Transistor
Then you build or buy an ac/dc power supply (Gene already has 230V AC to 24V AC converter, not sure on US-Version, though).
Depending if you want to use 12 V to power the Arduino as well as the motors or use 24 V like I did (no 12V power supply with ~2 A needed since I only rectified the 24V) you could consider getting a 24 V fan from ebay since mine blew with the 24V setup and a power reduction of ~50 % using the Arduino (I mean blew up, not how it is supposed to ).
The LCD and buttons should be straight forward. Potential questions should be answered in the corresponding documentations.
This should be it. Just make sure to connect to the PINs mentioned in my attached manual. If you have any specific questions feel free to ask.
Many thanks for your reply Nico! I will do up a schematic in the next week or two and let you have a look at it to see if it looks right to you.
Originally Posted by brewtal
I was asked several times now for a schematic, so I drew one which is now available for this mod. Please note that I did not physically check this. It should be correct but there can always be a minor mistake. I would recommend to get the parts and build the mod, then open the Gene and connect everything and power it up. Try to set the fan and drum speed in the settings to check if both are working and the drum resets itself correctly. Then try a free roast and check if the heater gets hot or alternatively if the led on the SSR turns on. When everything is working correctly I would start to make room in the Gene for the SSR, PCB, LCD display etc. You should also be able to buy the original cable connectors used in the roaster so you wouldn't need to cut the cables. I cut them anyway because they can be resoldered and this specific connector type seems to be US only and I did not want to import it.
Try to get the 25 V fan (for PCs) since the mod uses 25 V for fan and drum. I set the maximum speed to ~50 % which should come close to the original 12 V on the motors. My original fan blew quite quickly but the drum motor is still working after several years of regular use.
Don't buy the complete PCB! Display and rotary encoders should be on the Gene so you only need to build the power supply (rectangle top right corner) on a PCB. The rest can be connected more or less freely using wires to the Arduino (Mega).
Let me know if you build the mod and if it is working for you!
Last edited by brewtal; 3rd April 2019 at 10:01 PM.
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