A Scriptable Thermometer

Posted on Feb 5, 2014

A new generation of intelligent, scriptable sensors/controllers is around the corner. Up to date, the classical approach at the heart of many simple machines consisted of separated thermometer and control units. By contrast, my design is a unified thermometric controller that can be programmed with simple scripts. It integrates an accurate tempera

A Scriptable Thermometer
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ture sensor, a graphic LCD display, a handful of inputs and relay outputs capable to drive loads directly. Whether you need a charting thermometer, a vending machine that dials your number when empty, or a programmable leavening machine, you keep the hardware and change the script. Until recently, making a thermometer scriptable required an expensive processor with enough RAM and lots of external non-volatile memory and other external parts. This rapidly exhausted the I/O pin arsenal, and in turn required a bigger enclosure and increased significantly the cost, making the resulting product unattractive. I am going to demonstrate that the situation is now reversed thanks to a new generation of powerful flash microcontrollers. The COP8FLASH`s Virtual Eeprom replaces external non-volatile memory and frees up precious I/O ports. A 44-pins processor handles comfortably a small keypad, dip switches, a graphic LCD, serial communications plus an extra 4 inputs and 4 outputs. External reset chips or brown-out detectors are no longer required. Not to mention the built ‘in true 10 bit ADC that makes external amplifiers unnecessary. The front panel is about the size of a 3, 5  floppy disk and is occupied almost entirely by a large, backlit, graphic LCD display. The remaining area is used by three customisable tactile-feedback keys. All the connections are easily accessible on the opposite side of the box. There are two rows of screw...

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