Typica: Software for Coffee Roasting Operations

Frequently Asked Questions

What hardware does Typica work with?

See the Hardware Compatability Table to learn what hardware will work with Typica on which operating systems. If your device is not listed, Typica is not known to work with it. If you'd like to add support for additional hardware, patches are welcome. See Recommended Hardware for advice on new installations.

Connecting thermocouples to data acquisition hardware

Does Typica work with my coffee roaster?

Almost certainly. If your roaster already has one or more thermocouples installed it is possible to jump off of that to one of the supported pieces of data acquisition hardware. If you have an RTD, you may need to replace whatever that is connected to with something that can speak Modbus RTU. If you are buying a new coffee roaster, let your roaster manufacturer know that you intend to use Typica. Chances are very good they can build the machine with appropriate hardware right from the start. Home roasting machines are generally more difficult to connect and may require significant modification.

There is also an interface for creating entries in the batch log manually which can be used for machines that are difficult to connect data acquisition hardware to, that cannot have reliable instrumentation, or for evaluating other parts of Typica before investing in data acquisition hardware.

Can multiple instances of Typica connect to the same database?

Yes. You'll need to configure PostgreSQL to allow network connections (it does not by default) and if you're using multiple coffee roasters you'll want to make sure that these are configured with different database IDs in Typica. If you are using a software based firewall on the computer running PostgreSQL you will also need to make sure incoming connections are allowed there.

Can databases other than PostgreSQL be used with Typica?

Not currently.

How can I support further development of Typica?

While Typica is free software, there are costs associated with ongoing development and particularly with the development of certain types of features. Additional financial support can always be used.

The form below can be used to pay whatever you think Typica is worth with your credit card.

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Is training available

Yes. Neal Wilson, the author of Typica, can be hired to provide installation assistance and training at your company. To discuss the details of your training needs, please contact Neal Wilson by email: neal@typica.us

An overview of rate of change calculations in Typica

When configuring rate of change calculations, what is the difference between scale time and cache time?

A rate of change is logically a fraction where the numerator is how much the value has changed and the denominator is the amount of time that change takes place over. Scale time is the number of seconds used for the denominator of this fraction. If you are already used to thinking about rate of change over a certain amount of time, you can continue to use that. Otherwise, matching what you normally have the table view in Typica set to show is recommended. By default, that would be 30 seconds.

Measurement hardware is not perfect and presents data that is slightly noisy and of limited precision. Rate of change calculations can amplify that noise and make it difficult to use that information during the roast. Typica provides a way to smooth out that noise by presenting the slope of a linear regression of measurements taken in a given amount of time. Cache time is the number of seconds used for this. A smaller value will allow the rate to change more quickly while a larger value will be more resistant to noise. 10 seconds is generally a good starting point for this setting.

Can range timers show a percent of total roasting time?

While thinking about roasting in terms of a percent of time spent in different portions of the roast has become popular in some circles, attempting to use that during the roasting process tends to lead to less consistent roasting. It is also conceptually incompatible with Typica's profile translation feature which has been well tested as a good way to improve roasting consistency. For more details, see the post Development Time Ratio Considered Harmful. While the feature in this form is unlikely to ever be implemented, the concept may find a place in future roast plan design and post-roast analysis features.

Why can't I see the batch timer?

There are splitter handles between all of the indicators at the top of the logging window. If you move your cursor to the right of the rightmost visible indicator and click and drag to the left, that should become visible again. Several other elements of this window also have splitter handles that you can use to customize the size of different information displays.