The project is based around the Arduino and uses a LM35 sensor for temperature measurement, a solid state relay for turning on/off the refrigerator, and a serial LCD panel for displaying the temperature inside the fridge and a handy-dandy button to turn the back-light on for reading beer temperature in the dark! WoW!! .
I consider this v1.0 and plan to update this instructable as I add new and fun things that make beer drinking more pleasurable... as if that can really happen!
Special thanks to Brutus @ brutusweb.com from his proof of concept work, Sean Coates for his advanced work with beer brewing and Arduinos, and an Extra Special thanks to Mikal Hart @ the Arduino Forums who helped me through my coding nightmares!...( I owe him a few beers).
Step 1: Getting the Goods.....
-An Arduino or a variant of ...
I used a spare Freeduino SB that I had, I like the miniUSB port.
-A serial LCD panel.
I used a SLCD162 MeLabs
Serial LCD is important since it uses only 1 pin on the Arduino!!
-A Solid State Relay:
I used a NTE RS1-1D4-21,( 15 bucks a piece..) it is circuit board mounted type and I designed my own circuit board to support it.
You can use any similar relay but it must have a trigger voltage of at least 5 volts on the DC side, and can handle around 3 amps or what ever amperage your refrigerator or freeze draws plus extra for head room. You will have to use a bread board or design your own circuit board if you use any other type.
-A LM35DZ temperature sensor.
I bought a few off of Ebay from Thailand for super super cheap, like 5 bucks including shipping... did I mention they were from Thailand? crazy! www.thaishopetc.com
-A couple of resistors:
10k and 100k, 1/4 or 1/2 watt will work fine.
if you want to protect your circuits from the elements (or drunks) Mine is a standard Radio Shack box, but you can be more creative.
-22 Gauge stranded wire:
The more colors the better. Makes it easy to know what goes where.
if you want to make a cool LCD stand like me
for the cool LCD stand and project box
-Header Pins and Connectors:
for easily connecting the wires to the Arduino, not necessary but makes things look nice.
-Momentary Push Button:
for the LCD backlight function. This is a "normally off" button and is only "ON" when it is held down
-Terminal blocks , 2 position type, PCB mounting
-Heavy gauge extension cord (14 gauge or so)
-Cat5 cable for LCD connection + Cat5 jack
PCB board and etchant