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Old 10-12-2012, 04:47 AM   #1
tealio
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Default Another ebay temp controller build… Check it out!

I went to go buy some parts for my ebay temp controller build and accidentally wandered down the wrong aisle at Lowe's. Instead of going down the electrical building supplies I went down the extension cord aisle.

However, I found this 4 outlet box, with an 8 foot cord and 15 amp fuse built in. Made to be rugged, looks cool. Very small. Getting it out of the box, it looks the box from ghostbusters that they would throw down...

List price $14. I already had a black outlet and some wire at home. The STC-1000 110v was also on hand. It really helps to order your STC-1000 weeks before you ever plan to do a project like this. Man, should have ordered two!

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The STC-1000 was larger than I remembered, so to fit it inside I had to gut the outlet box. Also, I started removing pieces as needed, including the small plastic piece on the back of the STC-1000 to protect the wires.

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This is the inside of the box, if you added the STC-1000 as a side-car add-on somehow, one could probably cut and solder and use the existing circuits.

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I needed the space, so most of it had to go.

So I went to work with the dremel.

I saved most of the wires until I knew how everything would cram in there.

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The temp unit fit best out the opposite end of the main power cord.


I chose to cut the outlet hole out of what is actually the bottom of the box. This means the reset switch will actually be on the bottom. No worries here. I hope to not ever need to touch it.

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Tight fit with all the wiring, temp controller, outlet, and the existing 15 amp breaker! At first I was using 12 gauge solid wire, but I found it was too rigid and could not flex when trying to close everything up, so I re-wired with 14 gauge stranded. I'm not planning on hooking up anything more than 15 amps, so this should be fine. The temp controller wire screws were also way happier with the thinner stranded wire as well!



Finally got everything wired and organized to get it screwed back together. The large yellow covers were almost too large to fit in there... but with 3 wires in hot and 4 wires in neutral, it needed a solid cover.

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Plugged her in and fired her up. Very solid unit. I should add some blinking lights or sound buttons. I printed a mini-chart off HBT and ghetto laminated it with packing tape. Thanks chart-maker whoever you are!



I added some rubber stick on feet to raise it up, less chance of bumping that 15 amp power switch on the bottom!

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Working great as my second fermentation fridge. This one has 3 five gallon Apple Ciders going. Imperial Panty Dropper (15% ABV), and a test between Plain Apple Juice and the Pasteurized Apple Cider you can get at wal-mart in the fall. I plan on pulling 1 gallon out of each of the apple cider tests, putting into secondary 2.5 gallon carboy and dry hopping with cascades. I just scored a 2.5 gallon keg on craigslist so I'll keg the half batch of dry hopped cider.

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The temp seems to hold better than my Johnson Controls A419, but it is also in a new thermowell I made from an old corny dip tube. Cut in half and use a vise to fold and roll the stainless over several times to seal. Hammer with a hammer in between rolls with pliers. No glue or solder.



Cheers guys! Hope someone gets excited about making a temp controller!

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