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Old 08-12-2009, 10:49 PM   #1
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Default DIY Temperature Control

I've searched around the site and I can't seem to find anything that will help me. I recently came across a chest freezer for free that I'd like put to use with some kegs

My birthday is coming up and I actually expect to get a kegging system (finally.) But in regards to the temperature control, I could either spend $30-40 on eBay or put my newly rediscovered love for DIY and wire my own temperature control apparatus. Anybody have specs or ideas of how to do this? Also, is it possible to save money with a DIY temperature control?

Thanks in advance!

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Old 08-12-2009, 10:59 PM   #2
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It's certainly possible to wire your own controller, but you'll have to be pretty creative to keep the cost under $40. I'm partial to the Arduino microcontroller board. There are some very cheap alternatives based on the same chip and basic design (Freeduino, for example). Compatible temperature sensors are very inexpensive. Check out the LM34 or DS18B20. Others have started with cheap digital thermostats that were originally intended for HVAC control.

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Old 08-12-2009, 11:12 PM   #3
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Quote:
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but you'll have to be pretty creative to keep the cost under $40.
Yeah that's what I was thinking too, Yuri. I was just hoping that maybe somebody had done this before and could clue me in.
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Old 08-12-2009, 11:15 PM   #4
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Are you a student, by chance? When I was a student I had a lot of luck just calling up component suppliers and telling them I needed a couple [whatever] for a project I was working on, and they'd either send them to me for free or at a huge discount. I think in my entire college career the only stuff I paid for were some tools, wire, breadboards, and little stuff like resistors and capacitors.

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Old 08-13-2009, 01:26 PM   #5
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You can find a couple writeups like this on the net. Basically using a typical digital house thermostat plus some relays and other parts to build a temp controller.

Edit: another and another

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Old 08-13-2009, 02:22 PM   #6
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Sweet! Thank you camiller, that's pretty much exactly what I was looking for.

And weirdboy, yeah I'm a student. I was a computer engineer for 2.5 years so I've got enough electrical experience. The biology I'm finishing up now has just kind of munged up that info ^_^

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Old 08-13-2009, 06:33 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camiller View Post
You can find a couple writeups like this on the net. Basically using a typical digital house thermostat plus some relays and other parts to build a temp controller.

Edit: another and another
For Reno, (as I'm looking into this as well)....the best thing I can see for you will come in right at around $40, with $25 for the HVAC controller, (as in the third link above), and $15 for the SSR (solid state relay). You can knock the SSR price down to 8 bucks if you are willing to wait "15 to 20 business days" and buy one from China.

I gotta say, for the ability to have a small, self contained unit, I'm leaning more towards this option. It's $60 with shipping included, but comes with a remote temp probe, (so you don't have to try and desolder the one from inside the thermostat, then resolder it to telephone wire, hoping that you don't burn the thing out in the process), and has a self contained relay. Plus I'd trust it to last longer than a bulk discount China SSR, and the controller will doubtless have better accuracy....

Just my $0.02.
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Old 08-13-2009, 06:49 PM   #8
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Oh, another low cost alternative, not digital but cheap at $35 + shipping.

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Old 08-13-2009, 06:55 PM   #9
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Thanks for the additional advice.

shortyjacobs, that Love TSX-10140 looks frakkin' awesome! Is that a unit that you can just simply plug the freezer in and plug the controller in the wall? AAAAAND it's digital with a nice and simple temperature switch?

For $60, YES PLEASE! Is it always that cheap?

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Old 08-13-2009, 06:57 PM   #10
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Derp, nevermind. I just looked at some pictures... gotta wire it myself but still, DAMN!

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