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Old 10-24-2013, 04:34 AM   #1
kenh
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Default Buy a pre-built Brew Controller or fix mine?

My system is mounted on a sheet of plywood and it's based on a lot of information from Kal's site, only I used parts I had already been buying. Instead of a Auber controller for my RIMS tube I use a MYPIN TA4-SSR controller. For my brew pot and sparge water controller I use a controller card I pulled out of a SP-2000 stir plate. The controller card works great once I figured out how to make it control a SSR and I wanted to upgrade the stir plate anyways.

Everything works the way its supposed to but everything is also exposed, except for the heating element connections. They are mounted through metal electrical boxes with holes drilled through the backs & have blank covers on the front. The only plugs in the whole system are the two I use to switch heat between sparge water & boil, the main plug into the wall and the separate MARCH pump cord that gets plugged into a 120V GFI outlet.

Now I'm wondering if I should take everything apart and stuff it in a box, or maybe I should just build a cover that hangs over everything? Wife wants me to build 4 sides and hang a door on the front with a latch to keep the kids out, then I can just open the door to brew. Or maybe it's time to replace everything with a off the shelf system?

I like KAL's systems but I can't afford one. Does anyone manufacture a decent system for less than $500?

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Old 10-24-2013, 12:25 PM   #2
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If it ain't broke, don't fix it

or, do like a lot of people have been doing... put it in a plastic toolbox

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Old 10-24-2013, 06:51 PM   #3
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If everything is 'exposed' then definitely fix that! If it works as intended otherwise then all you have to do is cover it, right?

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Old 10-24-2013, 09:49 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by jsguitar View Post
If everything is 'exposed' then definitely fix that! If it works as intended otherwise then all you have to do is cover it, right?
+1. Make it safer but keep everything you have. Depending on how much stuff you have you can get enclosures from $50-150.

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Old 10-25-2013, 02:14 AM   #5
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Wife is really pushing the cabinet door idea and I have to admit that it's a good idea for not a lot of money. Also she reminded me that I can spend the money I would have spent on a cabinet on a in-line GFCI for the 240V stuff & a sack of grain. The real deciding factor is if I do it her way I don't have to take anything apart and I don't have to re-mount anything!

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Old 10-31-2013, 03:07 AM   #6
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Perhaps a picture of this plywood control panel could give us some better insight as to how to improve on it.

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