Typica: Software for Coffee Roasting Operations

Supported Hardware

Most commercial and shop roasters are easy to connect to Typica. Typica supports a wide range of data acquisition devices that can be used to connect your coffee roaster to a computer.

For new installations, the best balance of measurement quality to price is currently the 4x Thermocouple Phidget. This is suitable for most coffee roasters that use thermocouples. To use this, you will also need a VINT Hub Phidget, a cable to connect those two devices, thermocouple extension wire that matches the type of thermocouple used in your roaster (most coffee roasters use either Type J or Type K), and a USB cable.

This video goes over the procedure for connecting a coffee roaster to a computer. The details will be similar for most shop roasters and most data acquisition devices that accept thermocouple inputs.

Roasters that use RTDs will more likely need a panel display that can communicate using the Modbus RTU communications protocol and an RS-485 to USB adapter to connect that to a computer. Other options are detailed in the following table.

Device Platforms Notes
DATAQ DI-145 Windows only This hardware requires installing the DATAQ SDK. Note that this hardware does not take thermocouples directly and additional hardware may be required to use this device. It is not recommended to use this hardware for collecting temperature measurements (though it is possible with a signal conditioner to amplify the thermocouple signal), but it is well suited to logging control data of limited range and precision.
Modbus RTU Devices Mac, Windows, and Linux This option is recommended for most new installations that use an RTD. These devices are usually connected through an RS-485 to USB serial adapter. Please verify driver support for your adapter with the platforms you intend to use.
National Instruments NI USB-9211 Windows only This is an NI-9211 paired with an NI USB-9161. You will need to install NI-DAQmx Base 2.2 to use this hardware.
National Instruments NI USB-9211A Windows only This is an NI-9211 paired with an NI USB-9162. You will need either NI-DAQmx Base 3.6 or NI-DAQmx 9.6.1. Please install only one of those. Installing both will result in failures.
National Instruments NI 9211 paired with NI cDAQ-9171 Windows only You will need to install an appropriate version of NI-DAQmx to use this hardware. The author of Typica does not have this hardware for testing purposes, but there are several reports that it works.
National Instruments NI USB-TC01 Windows only You will need to install an appropriate version of NI-DAQmx to use this hardware. The author of Typica has not personally experienced problems using this hardware, but most reported issues that were ultimately determined to be due to faulty hardware or poor installation have involved this device. Which version of NI-DAQmx you need depends on the hardware revision of the device. If you get an error message about firmware being too new, you need a newer version of NI-DAQmx.
Phidgets, Inc. devices Mac, Windows, and Linux With the phidget22 library, Typica supports all Phidgets devices for monitoring temperatures. If you are using this on Linux, please read the documentation included with the Phidgets software for important udev configuration information so that you will not need to run Typica as the root user.

In addition to data acquisition hardware, Typica can also use a thermal receipt printer to print batch tags and can communicate with some scales through a serial port. Typica is known to work with the Adam PGL and the Ohaus Defender lines, but should be usable with several scales that can be connected to a serial line printer.