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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > DIY Projects > Fermenters > ebay aquarium temp controller build
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Old 08-18-2012, 07:38 AM   #2931
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Originally Posted by emjay

True, but a better (stainless) probe can be purchased very cheaply. I replaced all the ones that came with my STC-1000s.
True. Haven't found the need to replace any of my probes, but I have looked at getting some additional ones.

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I have seen several references to the additional programming options of the single stage. What are they?

I have also seen the stainless probes that come with the single stage. I still wouldn't trust it to be waterproof. I also wonder if it is as fast responding as the small tic-tac probe that comes with the STC-1000. It is incredibly responsive. With some thermal paste inside a thermowell, it should be almost as responsive. I suspect they are all just ceramic bead thermistors, which are a good sensor choice for the limited temp range of these controllers.
The main additional feature is the min/max settings. I have the ones in my HERMS set up so that an alarm goes off if the measured temp gets outside of a mash temp range that I set slightly larger than my mash hysteresis. Lets me know if the pilot went out, or if something is malfunctioning.

I don't trust any probe to be waterproof. The probe is just as fast and responsive as the STC-1000 probe. It's just under 1/8" diameter, so 1/8" ID tubing makes a cheap and easy thermowell. I have a lot of thermowells in various parts of my system, and change the probe locations during the brew day a couple times. Because of this I don't use any thermal paste, but I don't find I need it since they're so responsive and there's minimal gap between the probe and the thermowell walls. The main reason I looked at getting additional probes was so that each thermowell could have its own permanently mounted probe with thermal paste, but I've found that they work fine with my ghetto set-up, so I haven't bothered to change anything.

There's a huge benefit to having dual stage capability, and I don't mean to downplay it. I just wanted to point out that the choice isn't as cut and dry as simply single stage vs dual stage.
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Old 08-18-2012, 08:16 PM   #2932
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It's just under 1/8" diameter, so 1/8" ID tubing makes a cheap and easy thermowell.
They look much bigger in the photos. If they are that small, there is probably little difference in performance. They sound like a good choice for thermowells.

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There's a huge benefit to having dual stage capability, and I don't mean to downplay it. I just wanted to point out that the choice isn't as cut and dry as simply single stage vs dual stage.
Having alarms would be nice, even for a keezer/fermenter. There is a Love controller with two stages, alarms, and even the ability to use each stage separately with 2 probes. I think they are only ~$50. I keep meaning to get one to play with.

For this application, a cheap PID with an on/off mode seems like a better controller choice. The dual temp displays are nice to have, as is being able to use an appropriately sized SSR. A hot plate is pushing the limits of the relay in these controllers.
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Old 08-19-2012, 07:07 PM   #2933
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Getting ready to build this today, and I've been reading through the whole thread. I'm only on page 98, but I do have a question, hopefully not stupid.

Also, I thought I saw this answered, but I can't find it again. When I strip back my extension cord, how do I determine which wires are hot, ground and neutral?

Other than those two things, I'm pretty much set to put this together.

Edit: One more! Are people just using wire from the extension cord to hook up the lights and such? Just any of those wires?

And if it matters, I'm following this post: http://www.mrbeerfans.com/ubbthreads...tml#Post213369

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Old 08-20-2012, 12:11 AM   #2934
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Originally Posted by DeadGuyNick
Getting ready to build this today, and I've been reading through the whole thread. I'm only on page 98, but I do have a question, hopefully not stupid.

Also, I thought I saw this answered, but I can't find it again. When I strip back my extension cord, how do I determine which wires are hot, ground and neutral?

Other than those two things, I'm pretty much set to put this together.

Edit: One more! Are people just using wire from the extension cord to hook up the lights and such? Just any of those wires?

And if it matters, I'm following this post: http://www.mrbeerfans.com/ubbthreads...tml#Post213369
Green is ground and the other two don't matter which you pick...

Edit: sorry, I meant ground. I was thinking neutral, ground, sorry. I was
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Old 08-20-2012, 04:21 AM   #2935
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Green is neutral and the other two don't matter which you pick...
I'm a little confused now. So if the green is neutral, I send it to the 'white' side of the receptacle. Then let's say I choose white to be ground, that'll go to the ground screw, then black is hot? I might just be confused because the instructions I'm following show the green wire as ground going to the ground screw, at least in the key it's green.
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Old 08-20-2012, 04:23 AM   #2936
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Standard colors are

Green = ground
White = Neutral
Black = Hot

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Old 08-20-2012, 04:48 AM   #2937
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Standard colors are

Green = ground
White = Neutral
Black = Hot
So did tre9er get 'em mixed up just now? I'll send green to the ground screw then.
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Old 08-20-2012, 05:22 AM   #2938
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Yes. Green is definitely ground, black is hot, white is neutral.

If you question that, you can always test your cord for continuity. If one prong is wider than the other, that's your neutral.

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Old 08-20-2012, 05:31 AM   #2939
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Awesome, thanks guys. I'm about done, then I'll post a picture to show my frankenstein box and wiring!

Edit: Ok, so it's a bit messy and a picture wouldn't really show up well. Here's what I finally understood everything as...

1 - Hot - wired to a wire nut with black cable (hot) from extension cable, and wire from 5 and 7
2 - Neutral - wired to neutral side of electrical receptacle (along with white wire from extension cable)
3/4 - Sensor
5/7 - To wire nut
6/8 - To electrical receptacle

Lights - both have one wire to two, cooling light has one to 8, heat has one to 6.

And that's it. It was really simple once things clicked. Any mistakes here? I will get a nice photo of my box tomorrow.

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Old 08-20-2012, 06:07 PM   #2940
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Duh, man I know it's ground, I've wired hundreds of 120v. stuff and yet my butt says "neutral"...

Blame it on the homebrew. Sorry for the slip-up there.

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Open log Fermenting and gas-can secondary?? I am planning my next brew right now!!
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