Auto Temp Controller DIY

Discussion in 'Anything DIY Related' started by fly*, 28 Feb 2011.

  1. fly*

    fly* MASA Contributor

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    Auto Temp Controller DIY

    Yay...finally i've managed to install the holy grail (well as far as I am concerned). Ever since I started this hobby, keeping the tank at the right temp has been a battle. After many experiments I settled on computer fans set on a timer that come on with the lights. I have them switching on and off every 15 minutes during this cycle in order to combat as much evaporation as possible however on cold days or even normal days the tank still runs relatively cold at around 24.5. Along with the fans switching on and off, you are obviously making the heaters work harder as well as its a constant battle between heating and cooling which sucks electricity. Obviously a chiller would be 1st prize but at the cost its just too much.

    So I have been searching for a cheap temp control solution to do the job. I found what I was looking for on fish-street and it ended up costing around R220 for the controller. Here's the rest of the DIY.

    [​IMG]

    Here's the controller.

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    Now I need something to attach the unit to my cabinet. This stuff is in close competition to eggcrate and cable ties. R9 at Checkers!

    [​IMG]

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    Trying to make sense of the chinese wiring diagram.

    [​IMG]

    It was actually pretty simple once I got my head around it. Drinking on medication doesnt help your brain much when it comes to these sorts of things. Had to use normal twinflex cable as the units connections are just too small for normal electrical cable.

    and...

    [​IMG]

    The final install.

    [​IMG]

    I replaced the 2 computer fans with a small mini fan. it runs on 240v so no fiddling with transformer, the unit is sealed completed so hopefully the salt stays at bay (hopefully) and suprisingly it pumps out a fair amount of air silently, much better that the whine coming from the PC fans

    I must say that so far I have been impressed with the results. I have the fan switches on in the lower edges of 27 and switches off at the higher edges of 25 so i'm hoping to average 26 constant a lot more efficiently than before. The temp controller also doubles up as a digital temp guage. Not bad for R200

    I think i'll more than likely need to experiment with the temp controller settings as you can vary the control quite a lot. I'll need to spend the day at home to see how it fairs.
     
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  3. Dane

    Dane

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    Bru! That is fantastic!!! :D This is really great for nanos!!!
     
  4. fly*

    fly* Thread Starter MASA Contributor

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    And cheap to. This has been running for a month and a half now and the fan only goes on when it needs to. My RO consumption has gone down to nearly a 3rd of what it use dto be however the tank does run slightly hotter by 1 degree so now it balances between 26 and 27 where it used to be 25 and 26. I found when I dropped the temp controller down to 25 - 26 the fan never switched off.
     
  5. Dane

    Dane

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    Hahahahaha! So it runs straight off fire for heat? ;-)

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Dane

    Dane

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    Hmmmm. But then you realise your efficiency gains are mostly from the 1* increase in tank temperature, rather than the controller... You say the fan never switched off - not even if the temp dropped below 25?

    How much was shipping?
     
  7. fly*

    fly* Thread Starter MASA Contributor

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    Well yes and no. With the controller i have faith that it wont exceed 27 and it hasnt even on the hottests days. Towards the end of the MH light cycle I also find that its on a lot more for obvious reasons. Before, I had the fans on a timer (15 minutes on and 15 minutes off) which left my tank sitting at 22 - 24 on colder days and I was still losing a tonne of water to evaporation and a fair bit of electricity. I could turn the timer off to compensate for cooler days but then I would forget and the next day the tank would sit at 28 - 29 (I did that twice before I just bit the bullet with the controller). Bear in mind that with timer/fans you are having a constant battle between the heaters thermostat and the timer/fans. The timer/fans were indiscriminate about whether it was too hot or too cold, they jsut worked and cooled the tank in the process but by doing this, the heater was on constantly to push the temp up to what it had been set at. Not very efficient at all :)

    The controller just gives you piece of mind that its sorted, no more having to worry that much about whether there is enough RO left, whether or not its going to chill the tank too much etc. Oh and btw, the controller works round the clock where the timers used to switch off after the MH went off. Some mornings i've woken up and the tanks been cooking because of this.


    I just feel that this is a lot more natural in a way. Sometimes neither teh fan or the heaters are on and thats where you want to be ultimately :)


    I bought it with a whole bunch of stuff but I think it worked out to about R220 - 250. It landed within 2 weeks as well :)
     
    Last edited: 28 Feb 2011
  8. Dane

    Dane

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  9. fly*

    fly* Thread Starter MASA Contributor

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    I have already :) they got a good reference from me :)
     
  10. nico.m.ferreira

    nico.m.ferreira

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    Hi, how does the payment and stuff work? I never ordered from over sea before.
    I am really interested in the Temp controller, any advice?
     
  11. fly*

    fly* Thread Starter MASA Contributor

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    I paid with my credit card I think but I also have a paypal account which i've had for years, I use that if i'm a bit nervous.

    All I can say is i've bought a lot online and besides Amazon, i've never been screwed over. With Amazon my parcel kept on going missing in St Helena evidently. They sent the package twice as well so it wasnt their fault.

    A suggestion and this goes for ALL sites is go with a courier to your door, preferably your work address. Its more expensive but you have the piece of mind that it will actually arrive. SA Post is USELESS at best so the more you can avoid them the better.
     
  12. nico.m.ferreira

    nico.m.ferreira

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    Thank for the advice, you don't by anny chance know of anybody that will order soon so I can place my order and pay with them?
     
  13. fly*

    fly* Thread Starter MASA Contributor

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    Put up a post and see if anybody wants to do a group buy. Dunno if the forums mods will complain though.
     
  14. mupwi

    mupwi

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    cool I have been looking for somthing like this could you give some aditional info on the sensor is it waterproof and where have you placed/how have you mounted it?
     
  15. fly*

    fly* Thread Starter MASA Contributor

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    Well I hope its waterproof, its next to my other sensor for the temp gauge inside the DT. I initially had it in the sump BUT, it was too close to the heater, so whenever it switched on the fan would switch on. Kinda counter productive :)
     
  16. Xereo

    Xereo

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    Well im up for a club in. This would be great for my system :)
     
  17. fly*

    fly* Thread Starter MASA Contributor

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    Tbh its a must for all systems especially when you consider its only around R250 and its so easy top setup :) Defs worth every cent :)
     
  18. clinton stanford

    clinton stanford

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    great DIY there Fly;) definetly something to think about..
     
  19. nico.m.ferreira

    nico.m.ferreira

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    If any one de side on ordering let me know, I also want one.
     
  20. Guru Wannabe

    Guru Wannabe

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    Where would the heater be connect? I would imagine between 5 and 11 but if so, what is 6 for?
     
  21. Guru Wannabe

    Guru Wannabe

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    Sorry, refering to zane picture.
     
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