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ControLeo2 has been a wonderfully successful product, selling hundreds to customers world-wide. They've been used to control ovens large and small, convection, hot plate or conveyor belt. Such is the power of this well-designed controller and open-source software.

Feedback has been incredible
We've received a lot of feedback from customers. Our customers range from hobbyists reflowing exciting projects in their garages all the way to large corporations doing prototyping of next-generation products while keeping tight control over deadlines and intellectual property. We've also had a lot of feedback from industry experts, commenting on the controller, our build guide and our software. We have been making continuous changes to our web site and build kit to reflect all this expertise.

Giant leap forward to Controleo3
Controleo3 was designed to address ControLeo2's shortcomings, and extend the controller's capabilities far into the future. It retains ControLeo2's strengths like ease-of-use, flexibility and openness but dramatically increases performance and useability.

  • 4" color touchscreen
  • Processor is 12 times faster
  • 10 times more memory and 40 times the storage
  • Supports 6 outputs (up from 4)
  • Support for up to 26 profiles
  • SD card support for log files, screenshots and reflow profiles
  • Upgraded thermocouple IC has line-voltage filtering
  • Hardware is more robust (dare we say idiot-proof?)
Important Dates (accurate as of August 14th)
August 7th
  • The updated build guide using Controleo3 will be available (Done!)
August 14th
  • Details and pricing of Controleo3, the build kits and completed ovens revealed (Done!)
  • Store is open for orders. Orders will be shipped in the order they are received (Done!)
August 21st
  • Shipping starts
September 8th
  • First software update. Upgrade instructions will be very similar to these
  • Software will be posted to GitHub. The software is open-source, under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license

Project status
Development of Controleo3 started in December 2015, and has been through 6 prototype versions.

Hardware
The hardware is rock-solid, and a batch of boards has been manufactured by Digicom in Oakland, California. The manufacturing quality is superb. The boards have passed initial testing and the bootloader installed. They are awaiting final software, testing and packaging.

Software
A lot of work has been done on optimizing the driver level software to make sure Controleo3 is quick and responsive. For example, the screen writing software was optimized, and then optimized again. The result is spectacular - every pixel on the 480x320 screen can be written to in the blink of an eye! The software to control all of the hardware, navigation, screen rendering, touch handling, help system and setup has all been written and thorougly tested.

                             

To support the ability to have multiple reflow profiles, the "learning mode" has been completely rewritten. It now takes a fixed amount of time (around 1 hour). It measures and scores various oven performance metrics, and uses this information to support a smart PID algorithm. You can read more about it here.

                               

More work needs to be done on the reflow software. We've had a lot of feedback in this area, and it is important to get it right. Supporting multiple reflow profiles (we decided 26 was a good number) is important. We also want to be able to save profiles to and from the SD card so you can edit them on your PC.

Here's a first look at the user interface. The reflow functionality is not ready yet, but you can get a good feel for how easy Controleo3 is to use and configure.

             

The software will be released as open-source software. It will be continuously updated and your Controleo3 will be user-upgradeable.

Release date
Controleo3 is scheduled to ship on August 21st. We'll start taking orders a few days before that. Please subscribe to the Controleo3 mailing list for updates. We'll release new information roughly every 2 or 3 weeks. If you have any questions, please contact us.

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By subscribing to our mailing list, you'll receive emails about Controleo3 including software updates. You can unsubscribe at any time. Your email address will never be shared or sold, nor used for any other purpose.

 

Frequently asked questions
Please contact us if you have any questions and we'll post the answers here.

Will Controleo3 be open-source?
The software will be open-source, and will be posted to GitHub as soon as the product is released. You'll be able to examine the reflow and bake logic in detail, change bitmaps and add functionality. The software is user-upgradeable using the well-supported Arduino IDE. The hardware will not be open-source.

Is Controleo3 based on Arduino?
Controleo3 is loosely based on the Arduino Zero. To modify, debug or upload software you can install the Ardiuno IDE and interact with Controleo3 as if it were a Zero. Thank-you to the Arduino community for making such a powerful and flexible platform.

I have ControLeo2 at the moment. How easy is it to upgrade to Controleo3?
Very easy! You'll need to replace the plastic enclosure with the one from Controleo3. Although it is the same size, the new enclosure has cut-outs for the SD card and USB port. In terms of wiring, Controleo3 uses the same 5V power supply, the same servo control and the outputs controlling the relays are the same too. There is no need to open your oven.

How much is Controleo3 expected to cost?
You can find complete pricing information here. Shipping will start on Monday August 21st.

Will there be changes to the build kit or build guide?
We're very happy with our current kit and build guide. However, based on all the feedback we've received we will be making small changes. The new build kit will be more complete (for example, we'll be including the aluminum PCB tray). We will be changing a few item in the kit to make ovens easier and quicker to build, and perform better. We are paying special attention to convection ovens, and will be including more parts and guides to improve the experience. You can see the new kit here.

Will you be selling completed ready-to-run ovens?
Yes! Ovens built as shown in the build guide, with a Controleo3 controller will be available at the time of launch. You can order them now.