BETA-Reflow-Controller GUI usage

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BETA-Reflow-Controller GUI usage

Postby Pedro147 » Sun Nov 29, 2015 9:54 am

I have my BETA-Reflow-Controller connected to a 1600W - Voided warranty alert :D toaster oven and have successfully done the learn cycle and a few test reflows to get a feel for how the controller operates and performs. Beta E-Store didn't give me the CD with the RS232 to USB driver on it so I will have to wait until I receive that then I can use the serial interface. I am very interested in trying out the GUI kindly developed by David but seeing as my experience with serial port communication is virtually non existent, excepting some Arduino usage, I am at a loss as to how to actually use the GUI to control and monitor the reflow process.

I have played around with changing the configuration of temps and times in the reflow.ini and understand that side of it OK but how to, what I assume is establish serial comms with the controller through the GUI has me perplexed.I am using Windows 7 and have downloaded HyperTerminal and am pretty sure to once I get the RS232 to USB driver I can get that up and going because I suppose that this is a bit like serial comms in the Arduino IDE?
I see that there is a start and abort button in the GUI but the overall procedure to get it up and going eludes me. I suppose not even having used the HyperTerminal even with the controllers inbuilt serial interface doesn't help, but I thought that I would like to find out how to use the GUI so once I have the driver for the RS232 to USB converter I can hopefully control the oven with the GUI.

Any guidance or help would be greatly appreciated thanks Peter.
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Re: BETA-Reflow-Controller GUI usage

Postby Jerry Messina » Sun Nov 29, 2015 1:20 pm

I haven't used it myself, so my comments here are just based on the wiki page information.

The Reflow GUI app uses a file named "reflow.ini" to control all the settings. When you click the "Start" or "Apply" button that information is then transferred to the controller.

From the look of it, the only communications setting that you need to set is the COM port number in the Application section of reflow.ini
Code: Select all
[Application]
com = 1
showlabels = 0
starttemp = 40

That COM port number must match the number assigned by Win7 to your USB-Serial adapter. After you have installed the driver for your adapter and plugged it into a USB port, open win7 Device Manager and expand the "Ports (COM & LPT)" section. There you should find an entry for your USB adapter and it'll indicate which COM port has been assigned.

Edit the reflow.ini file and put that number in place of the "com=1" setting (ie "com=3") and you should be set. Note that if you plug the adapter into a different USB port, you'll likely get a different COM port number.
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Re: BETA-Reflow-Controller GUI usage

Postby Pedro147 » Sun Nov 29, 2015 6:18 pm

Hi Jerry,

that all makes perfect sense now and once I receive the driver I will try it out. I think that was confusing myself by trying to tie in how the HyperTerminal fitted into using the GUI and wondering about whether the GUI start button would actually start the controller from an idle position Thanks for taking the time to help me out, it is appreciated, and I will post back with a progress report in the near future

Peter
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Re: BETA-Reflow-Controller GUI usage

Postby Pedro147 » Fri Dec 04, 2015 6:49 am

Well after I finally got a driver for the RS232 to USB converter, even though I had to buy another one after Beta company did not provide me with a driver for the converter that I bought from them. I edited the reflow.ini to show the correct com port according to what was showing the converter as being on in device manager. I then opened the GUI and clicked start upon which the oven started cycling on and off. However the only response in the GUI was text indicating that there was heating taking place. No temp indications in the GUI "LCD's" and no red temp/time line mimicking the programmed graph. The temp rise was very slow and despite dweltemp and reflowtemp being set at the reflow.ini default of 234°C it took about 20min at least to reach a max temp of 220°C. Seeing as I was monitoring the temp movement with a DMM thermocouple after hitting the 220°C mark the temp dropped very slowly and the oven was still cycling on / off which I found strange seeing as the temp drop should have been much more rapid, so I opened the door to hasten the drop then when I decided to abort the GUI process control of the oven the LCD displays suddenly started displaying readings. Just wondering if the showlabels number should be edited to 1 to enable the LCD's to display readings during the heating process as it seems that if they are available in the reflow.ini they are an editable value but only guessing here :)

I would love someone who has some experience with the GUI operation to shed some light on my experiences with all of this please. David :?:
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Re: BETA-Reflow-Controller GUI usage

Postby David John Barker » Fri Dec 04, 2015 3:43 pm

First of all, the software has only been tested with this controller:

https://www.beta-estore.com/rkuk/order_ ... wg=1&p=242

I have not tested this one

https://www.beta-estore.com/rkuk/order_ ... wg=1&p=613

If you look in the *.ini file, there is a start temp - around 40 deg by default. This is what you are seeing initially, a very slow heating to get the oven to a given start temperature. This is not the same as pre-heat. It just helps the controller give more consistent results by starting at exactly the same temperature every time.

If the software is not displaying the actual oven temperature (give or take a few degrees) then it may be

  1. communication is failing between the controller and pc software
  2. the thermocouple connected to the controller (which should ideally be placed on a pcb) is not working or connected correctly to the controller
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Re: BETA-Reflow-Controller GUI usage

Postby Pedro147 » Fri Dec 04, 2015 8:43 pm

Thanks David,

I got the GUI working but now the oven is not reaching temperature giving this error "automatic soldering not possible. --> -> oven to hot" at 158 deg C. I tried a new thermocouple sensor and performed the learn cycle again but still the same.

Thanks for you help anyway but this oven controller for me is a total disaster :)
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Re: BETA-Reflow-Controller GUI usage

Postby David John Barker » Fri Dec 04, 2015 9:42 pm

what's the oven you are using?
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Re: BETA-Reflow-Controller GUI usage

Postby Pedro147 » Fri Dec 04, 2015 10:21 pm

Thanks for taking an interest David and damn it I was enjoying learning to use your GUI and familiarising my self with the operation of the oven. It's a 1600W pizza oven, electric elements top and bottom.
http://www.harveynorman.com.au/sunbeam- ... lsrc=aw.ds
The controller was working OK and I was just playing around with the GUI and looking at the serial interface with an Arduino via the RS232 to USB interface when suddenly I started getting these too hot errors and the oven will not reach temp when under control of the controller. It is going into reflow at 98°C despite being set at 232°C. I have posted the log of the temp profile up until the failure. I am no electronics expert, as you can no doubt tell but I am suspecting the IC that inputs the thermocouple value into the MCU may be faulty?

Any advice appreciated because I live in Australia, the oven comes from Ireland and Beta will scrub any warranty because the oven is over 1500W although I will not be telling them that as I do not feel that this is an issue because if it was it would affect the mains power flow through the controller, not the MCU operation, but again no expert :)

Preheat, 42, +024, degC
Preheat, 47, +024, degC
Preheat, 52, +025, degC
Preheat, 57, +026, degC
Preheat, 62, +026, degC
Preheat, 67, +027, degC
Preheat, 72, +029, degC
Preheat, 77, +029, degC
Preheat, 82, +030, degC
Preheat, 87, +032, degC
Preheat, 92, +034, degC
Preheat, 97, +036, degC
Preheat, 102, +037, degC
Preheat, 107, +039, degC
Preheat, 112, +042, degC
Preheat, 117, +043, degC
Soak, 122, +046, degC
Soak, 127, +048, degC
Soak, 132, +051, degC
Soak, 137, +054, degC
Soak, 142, +056, degC
Soak, 147, +059, degC
Soak, 152, +062, degC
Soak, 157, +065, degC
Soak, 162, +067, degC
Soak, 167, +070, degC
Soak, 172, +073, degC
Soak, 177, +077, degC
Soak, 182, +080, degC
Soak, 187, +082, degC
Soak, 192, +085, degC
Soak, 197, +089, degC
Soak, 202, +091, degC
Soak, 207, +094, degC
Reflow, 212, +098, degC
Reflow, 217, +101, degC
Reflow, 222, +104, degC
Reflow, 227, +107, degC
Reflow, 232, +110, degC
Reflow, 237, +114, degC
showall

phttemp 140 Preheat temperature: [0..254] degC
phttime 120 Preheat time: [0..65534] Sekunden
phtpwr 60 Preheat power: [0..100] %
soaktemp 200 Soak temperature: [0..254] degC
soaktime 90 Soak time: [0..65534] Sekunden
soakpwr 50 Soak power: [0..100] %
reflowtemp 234 Reflow temperature: [0..254] degC
reflowtime 30 Reflow time: [0..65534] Sekunden
reflowpwr 100 Reflow power: [0..100] %
dwelltemp 234 Dwell temperature: [0..254] degC
dwelltime 25 Dwell time: [0..65534] Sekunden
dwellpwr 100 Dwell power: [0..100] %
tempoffset 0 temperature adjust [-30..30] deg
debug OFF output debug information [0 or 1]
trace OFF output internal status information [0 or 1]
settings 0 select the active parameter set [0..4]
Dwell, 242, +118, degC
Dwell, 247, +122, degC
Dwell, 252, +126, degC
Dwell, 257, +130, degC
Dwell, 262, +135, degC
Finish, 265, +138, degC
automatic soldering not possible. --> -> oven to hot
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Re: BETA-Reflow-Controller GUI usage

Postby David John Barker » Sat Dec 05, 2015 9:23 am

The error is specific to the controller, which I have never seen before. I think you need to speak with the people who make the controller to resolve, but I did find this post which may help

http://pcb-forum.com/en/forum/140-REFLO ... ssage.html

Please keep us informed of your progress...
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Re: BETA-Reflow-Controller GUI usage

Postby Pedro147 » Sat Dec 05, 2015 9:50 am

Thanks David, I will contact them and also post back here on the outcome. Yes I found that post Too but thanks for the research :)
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