Originally Posted by SweetSounds
Do you have build pics?
What kind of enclosure is that?
Unfortunately, work has been kicking my arse so I didn't take too many build pictures. But I'm going to work on a bit of a tutorial as I learned a lot building it and got a fair amount of help (as always) from HBT.
I had originally purchased an enclosure at Home Depot, but I couldn't find a plastic one and wasn't sure how I'd cut a square for the PID. People get it done with milling machines, which I don't have access to or with a variety of drilling, jigsaws, dremels and files. In the end, for about $28 I bought a project enclosure from Auber with a pre-cut square for the PID and returned the HD enclosure.
I got the illuminated switches from automation direct. I hadn't counted on how different industrial switches were to wire, though. Not complicated once you understand it, but I had to get some help here first. I had first wired the red switch between the PID and the SSR, but I had bought a 120v switch, so it barely lit up. I wound up wiring it before the PID so I could have an on/off switch for the element.
Of course, the SSR could fail closed leaving my element on, but I can always unplug it from the control box and the control box itself plugs into a switched GFCI outlet.
The hardest thing to do for me was to cut holes for three outlets in the back of the box, one for the element, one for my pump, and one for the exhaust system. I only had a 1 1/8" step bit and needed about a 1 1/2" hole. I wound up using a kind of rotary rasp attachment on my drill. Many have said that a 1 3/8" Step bit is the right size, so that's something to consider if you're doing a similar project.
Then I spent a good 2-3 hours trying to auto tune the PID. My RTD was way off. Turned out I had to tell the PID I was using an RTD and not the default type K thermocouple. Once I had that auto tune worked great.
Anyway, I'm going to work on a detailed guide for anyone attempting this with a similar level of expertise to mine. I'm an English teacher so a number of things became obstacles to get around. Although most of what I needed to know was in the PID manual, I didn't really read it all because so much of it was over my head. Hysteresis band, etc. Wound up skipping the part that told me the default thermocouple settings.
Anyway, I'm looking forward to inaugurating this puppy this weekend. And, humiliating as it will be, writing a detailed step by step for us non engineering types.