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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Electric Brewing > Suggestions for controller
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Old 06-23-2011, 10:33 PM   #31
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Wow P-J! You rock! I've been looking at Kal's website thinking I would never be able to afford an electric brewery. This puts it in reach for sure!

Jsguitar, what kind of RTD or thermocouple are you going to use?

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Old 06-23-2011, 11:00 PM   #32
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Wow P-J! You rock! I've been looking at Kal's website thinking I would never be able to afford an electric brewery. This puts it in reach for sure!

Jsguitar, what kind of RTD or thermocouple are you going to use?
Just seeing you response pleases me more than you could imagine. I'm glad that you can use it for a build.

Not Jsguitar, but, I'd recommend a RTD probe from Auber Instruments.
Liquid Tight RTD Sensor, 4” probe, Weldless Fitting
The one in the link can be directly mounted to a kettle. My reason for using a RTD probe is that they are more accurate and, unlike the type K probe, they are very easy to install and wire. (The type K probes use 2 different metals for the leads. If you add plain wire to the leads you create another sensor junction at that connection.)

Hope this helps.
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Old 06-23-2011, 11:04 PM   #33
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Perfect! Thanks! Turns out I have a Grainger right down the street too!

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Old 06-23-2011, 11:16 PM   #34
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Perfect! Thanks! Turns out I have a Grainger right down the street too!
They also carry the 3PDT center off switch.
http://www.grainger.com/Grainger/NKK...e-Switch-2TNZ7
3PDT/on/off/on/25A
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Old 06-25-2011, 04:40 AM   #35
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ZooKeeper,

The diagram you asked for is done. I changed the original in this thread to add a second indicator light to show which element is selected. The master power switch request will jump you build expense quite a bit. That change would require an additional switch and a contactor. I feel it is really not necessary. Everything is controlled through the existing switches. (You should never be working inside the controller while it is plugged in anyway. The EPO is designed to kill all power in the event of an emergency. It will do just that but you MUST have a GFCI circuit breaker either in your mains panel or in a sub panel feeding your brewery.)

I added the circuits for implement the Auber Instruments Timer. How you use it and wire its output is totally up to you. The ASL-51 Timer Manual can be found With This Link.

Now for the diagram: (Click on the image for the full scale image - printable on Tabloid paper 11" x 17")

I hope this helps you.
P-J, good comments on the master switch. As always, awesome work & thanks for the quick turnaround!

I plan to start putting together my parts list this weekend and hope to do the build this summer.
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Old 06-25-2011, 11:58 PM   #36
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Default Major Update!

Ok, I got it put together!

I can't test it fully yet for a couple of reasons. I had a leak in a sight glass and am waiting on the replacement for that and I also damaged my element in the boil kettle because my hole was just a tiny bit too small. It got stuck so I ended up using a piece of wood and a hammer to get it out. It looked liked I knocked the base loose so I ordered a replacement.

I also have to clean and organize my basement in order to make space in the laundry room. Not looking forward to that.

I tested it with my multimeter a lot along the way, checking continuity at every point before powering it up and checking voltage at the outlets once it was powered. I'll need to hook up the rtd probe later and figure out the pid to check everything, but at this point everything seems perfect.

I had some small tragedies with the hole saw. I'm an idiot with a hole saw apparently and it took me a while to realize I needed to make a template by cutting a hole in a piece of wood to guide the thing. I had only drilled a pilot hole and clamped a piece of wood behind it at first. I broke the first pilot bit in the mandrel trying to make a hole for the GFCI outlet....it snapped and the saw jumped. I didn't learn. I then broke another I had, and then bent drill bits I used as guides. I finally got it cut and then proceeded to destroy the back of the control panel! I finally got it right after that with the template and it was a breeze.

Anyway, you'll see that I filed, sanded, and painted the gouges in the GFCI and control panel. For the GFCI, I used the gray primer and silver hammered metal paint that I was using for the element boxes. For the control panel I used a flat black 2000 degree auto exhaust paint. It worked well and I used it on the front too to clean up some smaller scratches and nicks.

Disclaimer: I'm not an electrician, so do not use my electrical work as a guide. This is dangerous! Consult an electrician!

Pic 1: hole saw tragedy on back of control panel
Pic 2: damaged bits
Pic 3: template
Pic 4: filed and sanded gouges out
Pic 5: final back of panel after painting


More pics in next post.

tragedy.jpg   tools-.jpg   jig.jpg   after-filing-sanding.jpg   after-paint.jpg  

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Old 06-26-2011, 12:09 AM   #37
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Default More!

Ok, so here are more

Pic 1: Initially, I put the RTD panel connect a little too close to the cord grip. I found a metal washer, clamped it to a spot a little bit down and to the left so that it covered the old hole too and then I drilled it out. I painted the washer as well. I got it right where I wanted it and it covered the previous spot.

Pic 2: same

Pic 3: bottom inside with terminal strips mounted--I didn't leave much room at the front which made wiring the switches challenging but it all fit

More pics coming!

moved-rtd-down-diagonally.jpg   rtdmoved-washer.jpg   bottom-inside.jpg  
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Old 06-26-2011, 12:23 AM   #38
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Default And more.....

Pic 1: P-J's e-stop. Twisted and soldered the resistors and covered with heat shrink at P-J's suggestion. I actually covered them with another layer of heat shrink to cover them completely after this as well to beef it up in order to run it with the other wires.

Pic 2. Soldering RTD connects. Followed advise on forum to tin each, connect, and solder. To get the wire fully in the tiny connector, I used a small knife to help push it into the pin as I soldered. This was a pain. I used two vises for this.

Pics 3-5: various wiring shots. I used panel mount fuse holders which made things more difficult but will be easier in the future. I was going to run the 10 gauge wire to the fuses and the 14 gauge after but the fuse holders I had had solder lug holes that actually were too small even for the 14 gauge. My understanding is that since the fuse is the first thing the wire goes to, that this is an ok practice. To get the wires in the holes for soldering I had to drill them out just a tiny bit. They are all rated at 15 amps despite their wimpyness. It was one thing after another like this!

p-js-e-stop.jpg   solderingrtd.jpg   wiring.jpg   wiring-1.jpg   wiring-2.jpg  

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Old 06-26-2011, 12:32 AM   #39
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Default and one more.....

Power!

I don't have the probe hooked up here and haven't done anything with the pid yet. I checked the outlets and switches with the multimeter. I'll need to have the pid working to check for the full voltage at the element I gather since one of the legs runs through the ssr, but the pump outlets worked, pid is obviously on, the element switch worked, the e-stop worked instantly. I checked the power between one of the legs on each 240 outlet and ground while switching and that seemed to work perfectly.

I'll probably play with the PID and probe tonight after some food. This has been a challenging project. I can't tell you how many times I cut off an already crimped connecter because I didn't have the length just right. A lot of fun though. I'll update when I set up the pid and test with probe.

Thanks again P-J for your guidance on this. I really appreciate it!

power-.jpg  
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Old 06-26-2011, 01:13 AM   #40
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Default final wiring shot

Here's a final wiring shot I forgot to add. I added a ground wire to the top of the box and put a big piece of heat shrink on the wires going to the top to better protect the wires when opening.

wiring4.jpg  
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