San Franciscan with Watlow EZ-ZONE Controller (via USB) - Roasting Intelligence (RI) Setup

This manual explains how to connect a San Franciscan roast machine with (Watlow controls) via USB, to Cropster's Roasting Intelligence.


The following article and its screenshots refer to Roasting Intelligence (RI5).# 

In case you previously used Roasting Intelligence (RI4) we kindly invite you to check the newly improved features of RI5. 

To upgrade to RI5, please download the Roasting Intelligence (RI5).



Note: On recent MacOS devices, the driver may be already pre-installed with your operating system.

Supported measurements

The Gas control feature is currently available in beta for San Franciscan roast machines built after August 2019 with a Cropster switch.

If you haven't been invited to participate in the beta program for this integration, but you are interested in participating and testing the feature, please sign up here.


Roasting Intelligence (RI) Setup

Installing the Roasting Intelligence (RI) software

  1. Download the Roasting Intelligence from:
  2. The Cropster installer leads you through all the installation steps.
  3. Open the RI by double-clicking the Cropster icon on the desktop
  4. Enter your username and password.
    The username is the email address your Cropster invitation has been sent to, and use the password you've generated when accepting the invitation.
  5. Click the Login button.

Establishing a connection to the machine

  1. If you are setting up RI for the first time, click the Select machine button in the banner at the top or click  Preferences > Machine > Configuration bottom left to access the machine preferences screen. 
  2. Select the Roasting machine you would like to connect from the drop down menu (e.g. San Franciscan SF-6) If the machine is not in the list you can add via the online platform.
  3. After selecting the machine all supported measurements will load. Change the order of the measurements by using the drag and drop icon and moving it into position.
  4. Switch on the measurements you would like to enable and select San Franciscan PID (Watlow EZ-ZONE) from the drop down. Repeat this step for all measurements you would like to enable.  

    Make your measurement readouts more compact. Choose the size of your measurement readouts by selecting either the Small or Large view for display.

  5. Click on the Gear icon to open the PID-settings. 
  6. Copy the settings as shown in the screenshot below:
    • Serial port:
      Windows: choose the COMx option that refers to the connection to the roaster.
      Mac: choose the USBx option that refers to the connection to the roaster.

  7. Click Save to confirm the changes. The RI requires a restart to apply the settings.
  8. RI will automatically restart after saving the changes. If the setup was successful you will be able to see temperature values on the right-hand side of the RI screen, after the restart.

When using Replay assist, do not use any other temperature controlling software in parallel. Any gas changes from a concurrent client, may disable Replay assist for the remainder of the roast. 

Learn more about how to customize your RI user preferences and use the Gas control and Replay Assist


If the RI indicates No source connected and/or you cannot see any measurements, please check the following: 

  • Is the roast machine connected to the computer? 
  • Have you downloaded the driver for the USB serial converter?
  • Is the correct serial port within the RI selected?
  • On MacOS: try installing the beta VCP driver. MacOS X10.15 to MacOS 11 (this is a Beta driver release and the installer should be run from the /Applications folder on your machine)

For further assistance, please create a support ticket by clicking the Support button in the left lower corner of the app. A Cropster support rep will get in touch with you.

Congratulations! You have successfully set up the Cropster Roasting Intelligence!

Check out the Roasting Intelligence (RI5) - Getting Started manual and enjoy tracking your first roasts! More manuals and videos can be found on