Great... You're all signed up! We'll have you up and running in no time.
Before you can get started, there are some things which need to be decided. Most of these will be dictated by your computer preferences and any existing logging devices/hardware you may have. Here's a roadmap of your next steps:
Read on for more details and additional references.
The ideal workspace
A fun part of getting started with RoastLog is planning out your workspace. Every roastery is different, so here are a few tips to keep in mind...
Consider screen size - a large monitor is a luxury, but not required. Let your space and budget dictate your decision. If you plan to host others during roasting sessions, consider how far away your guests will stand from your display.
Computer or tablet - related to screen size, think about whether you have space for a keyboard and mouse, or if you'd prefer a touch interface
Computer stand / monitor mounting arm - ideally the computer/monitor leave ample tabletop workspace - it may be better to stow the computer under the table and mount the monitor at eye level
Organize cables and wires - make sure computer cables and thermocouple or RTD lead wires are tucked away neatly to avoid getting tangled with hopper handles and triers. Consider your workflow!
Internet connectivity - synchronizing information between RoastLogger and the RoastLog website requires internet access. Be sure your roastery has network connectivity.
Temperature Sensor Options
The actual installation of your temperature sensors can be the hardest part of the whole setup process. Unless you're intimately familiar with the thermocouples on your roaster, altering an existing TC installation can be a bit tricky. Consequently, we highly recommend considering the installation of new ungrounded thermocouples specifically dedicated to RoastLog.
Another argument in favor of installing a new TC in parallel with existing thermocouples is to minimize the impact and disruption to your existing production. Once a location has been selected, installation can be completed in between roasting session or on a non-roasting day. As a convenience, we stock a small assortment of TCs and the hardware necessary to install them.
The easiest way to determine what you'll need is to use our quick Connections Wizard. It only takes a couple of minutes, and you'll have a checklist that you can send over to us. Simply email support(at)roastlog(dot)com or live chat us the extra equipment you'll need to purchase, e.g., TCs, drill bits, etc.
If you have your own TCs, our Data Bridges work equally well with either ungrounded type-J or type-K thermocouples. If you currently own a Phidgets VINT Hub or Temperature Sensor Mdl 1048, these data logging devices support both thermocouples and RTD sensors.
Thermocouples continue to be the most popular type of temperature sensors used by RoastLog users. That said, RTDs (resistance temperature detectors) appear to be growing in popularity. In response, we've made the RoastLog platform compatible with logging devices from Phidgets. If you currently own a Phidgets VINT Hub or Temperature Sensor Mdl 1048, these data logging devices support both thermocouples and RTD sensors.
This has been a useful option for roasters making the upgrade to RoastLog from Cropster and Artisan. Check out this article on Using RTDs temperature sensors with RoastLog.
Installation and setup of temperature sensors
We’re more than willing to guide you through the installation of a new temperature sensor. It is often the most complex part of integrating RoastLog into an existing roasting operation. Don't hesitate to reach out or check out the Thermocouple Installation and Placement article we put together if you have detailed questions.
All hardware purchases will be applied to the same credit card you used to sign up. There's no need for us to collect your credit card information. We mail out everything vis USPS Priority Mail.
The data bridge is a handy little device that works in conjunction with thermocouples installed on your roaster to send temperature data along to your computer.
Way back when logging roast profiles consisted mainly of graphing time/temp plots on graph paper, there were no off-the-shelf solutions. So like any scrappy startup, we decided to build our own device - and dubbed it our Data Bridge.
The bridge has gone through multiple iterations, with our current version supporting up to four temperature inputs as well as wired (USB) and wireless (Bluetooth LE) communications. Since we designed the bridge from the ground up, we decided to also include built-in humidity and barometric sensors.
For those users coming over from other software platforms, RoastLog is conveniently compatible with 3rd party temperature sensor devices from Phidgets. The latest details on currently supported devices can be found in this article.
RoastLogger is the application, or suite of applications, that we have developed to record and upload profiles along with other batch details to the RoastLog cloud-based platform.
Depending on which logging device you choose — our Data Bridge or a Phidgets sensor — you will have the option to run RoastLogger on Mac, Windows, or Chrome-based computers. Additionally, in the case of our Bluetooth wireless Data Bridge, you have the option to use RoastLogger with newer iPads.
Have a look at our article, Which RoastLogger Should I Choose? for guidance matching RoastLogger to your computer and data bridge options.
Let's start roasting!
If your hardware setup is complete and you're ready to dive into the application, check out some of our other Getting Started articles.