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Old 06-13-2013, 08:17 PM   #1
uberg33k
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Default Not finding a control panel to my liking

Hi all,

I'm slowly stocking up the parts for my e-BIAB setup, but one part seems to be evading me; the control panel enclosure. It seems most out there run with giant NEMA panels that are more suited to multi-PID setups. That's a bit of overkill for me. Some people use tool boxes, but I'd like something a bit more polished looking. I'm only going to have 1 PID, 1 timer, 1 pump switch, a master on/off, and maybe a few LEDs. What I need is :

  • A durable case that can take some bumps and scrapes. I don't always brew in the same place (sometimes at home, sometimes at the LHBS, sometimes at friends), so I need to be built to last.
  • I'd like to be able to mount the components into a subpanel and have a door cover the switches/PID for travel.
  • Enough room on some face for flanged socket outlets/inlet.
  • I can't decide if I'm going to build a small cart, buy one, or just brew on countertops, so I need a box I can either mount to the side of a cart or set on a countertop and not have using it be awkward.
  • Less than $100. Preferably, less than $50, but I know that's pushing it.
  • Bonus : it has room to house a GFCI. I'd love to build one into the panel in case where ever I go isn't protected.

Any ideas on what I could use?

Thanks!
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Old 06-13-2013, 09:07 PM   #2
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Have you looked at any Pelican cases? They're plastic but durable and super easy to modify as needed. You could nest them or build a sub-panel for number 2 from above.

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Old 06-13-2013, 09:51 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by hyperboarder View Post
Have you looked at any Pelican cases? They're plastic but durable and super easy to modify as needed. You could nest them or build a sub-panel for number 2 from above.
That was actually my first thought, but I can only seem to find panel frames. I can't find any blank panels. I guess that's because they want you to use their OEM service, but that's $$$. Maybe they're out there and I'm just missing it?
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Old 06-13-2013, 09:57 PM   #4
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I built mine into the spa panel. It doesn't cover your second bullet, but I think the others are covered. I don't have a timer and pump switch in there, but I think they could fit (though they'd probably be tight).

https://picasaweb.google.com/1077928...07209381264402

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Old 06-13-2013, 11:01 PM   #5
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Lowes carries several different sized PVC weatherproof boxes made by Carlon.

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Old 06-14-2013, 05:12 AM   #6
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Here's my latest mock-up of an e-BIAB panel in a Carlon 12x12 PVC box.



1) Illuminated (all switches are illuminated) e-stop that opens and closes a NO 2-pole contactor that feeds everything else in the box (Main power on/off)
2) Pump on/off switch
3) Element on/off switch that controls another NO, 2-pole contactor between SSR and element
4) Timer
5) PID
6) Switch to silence the alarm from the timer
7) Illuminated alarm
8) 240v LED indicating when element is on
9) Switch to silence the alarm from the PID

Put some of these handles http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005FMTUW2/ref=biss_dp_t_asn on the face and wrap a towel or something around it and it will be pretty durable for travel.

You might be able to fit a GFCI breaker, but it's easy enough to have a spa panel that can travel as well.

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Old 06-14-2013, 05:38 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffmeh View Post
Here's my latest mock-up of an e-BIAB panel in a Carlon 12x12 PVC box.



1) Illuminated (all switches are illuminated) e-stop that opens and closes a NO 2-pole contactor that feeds everything else in the box (Main power on/off)
2) Pump on/off switch
3) Element on/off switch that controls another NO, 2-pole contactor between SSR and element
4) Timer
5) PID
6) Switch to silence the alarm from the timer
7) Illuminated alarm
8) 240v LED indicating when element is on
9) Switch to silence the alarm from the PID

Put some of these handles http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005FMTUW2/ref=biss_dp_t_asn on the face and wrap a towel or something around it and it will be pretty durable for travel.

You might be able to fit a GFCI breaker, but it's easy enough to have a spa panel that can travel as well.
What did you use to layout the panel?

Also, are the Carlon boxes you and Bobby_M mentioned not online? I've searched all over the Lowes site, but can't seem to find anything bigger than a 4" box. I was going to poke around a b&m store this weekend, but it struck me as odd I couldn't find it.
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Old 06-14-2013, 06:38 PM   #8
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I just use MS Powerpoint. Here's a rendering with the 9" handles attached. Also, I'm not sure that Lowes carries the Carlon 12x12x6 anyomore. It can be found online, however. This is the same box. http://www.amazon.com/Lamson-Session.../dp/B000WHA7AY

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Old 06-14-2013, 06:57 PM   #9
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Visit your local Home Depot, they have a nice variety of tool boxes, both plastic and metal that will do the job just fine.

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Old 06-14-2013, 08:01 PM   #10
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Check out Auber's site. I'm pretty sure they have a small enclosure with cut outs for PIDs and switches..

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