Options on how to connect flow sensors


#1

What are my options on where to connect the arduino/flow sensors?

I have a kegbot server installed on a VM Linux box. I know I can hook the arduino to my nexus 7 with an OTG cable and have it report the flow data back to the server. However my tablet is temperamental at best, so I would rather have a setup that was not dependent on the tablet. I will use the tablet as a front end but if it is locked up or not charged or being used for something else I still want to monitor the beer flow.

option 1
I know I can use a raspberry pi and have the arduino hook directly to it. I would need to buy a PI and reinstall the server on it instead of my VM.

option 2
Can the arduino hook directly to the computer (assuming I can make the VM see the serial port correctly)? I would need to make sure the computer is somewhat close to the Kegerator.

option 3
Can the photon report data directly back to the server? I would need to buy a photon, which I want to play around with one anyway.


#2

Ok, I did some more digging around and figured out that the old pycore allows the Arduino/sensors to be hooked up directly to the computer. Yay.
I got that up and running and it found the sensors and was able to simulate a pour by blowing in the sensor.

The downside. Now I realize that it records the user and pour together and sends to the server, so I would have to go with an rfid reader to get a user to associate with the pour. You can’t start a pour on the android and pick a user and then grab the flow data coming into the server from pycore. Because of this you also lose the snapshots taken during the pour and other cool features on android. This is probably why the recommended path is to have everything go through android.

I was able to uninstall apps down to the bare minimum and once the kegbot app was running in the foreground the tablet seemed to do good. No random lockups or freezes that plague my old 2012 Nexus 7. So I may go down the path of hooking the Arduino directly to the tablet and give it a try. I need to find my Arduino Nano that I have laying around somewhere. Right now I’m using a Leonardo clone and I have never been able to get it to talk to the tablet (tried many times in the past).

Hopefully the tablet cooperates. But at least if it doesn’t I know I can still have the system running by going back to the old pycore. The android front end seems to becomes nothing more than just a picture of the beer with total oz poured, how much is left and an activity feed of the last actions. But it still monitors the keg and that is what is most important.