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Old 01-31-2013, 08:12 PM   #3301
Doomsday
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Also, check out reptilebasics.com That is where I got my heat tape. It was just a little cheaper there than the bean farm place.
Ok soooo I really liked that reptile basics site, they will wire up your heat tape and everything, very cheap..... 5ft of 4" heat tape wired up for aorund $14, not bad.

WTF shipping here to alaska is 28 bucks... looks like this is not an option.
What ever happened to flat rate boxes.


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Old 02-01-2013, 03:48 AM   #3302
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Ok soooo I really liked that reptile basics site, they will wire up your heat tape and everything, very cheap..... 5ft of 4" heat tape wired up for aorund $14, not bad.

WTF shipping here to alaska is 28 bucks... looks like this is not an option.
What ever happened to flat rate boxes.
Maybe ask them if they can ship USPS instead, as long as your order is small (volume wise).
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I have a dead mini fridge so cooling is not going to be hooked up at the moment.

Also, just because you are in AK doesn't mean you can close up a fermenter inside an insulated box, and expect not to need cooling. People in cold regions sometimes have it tougher than people in the deep south where the only concern, ever, is cooling (at least for single vessel/chamber systems). When ambient temps are in the 20-??F (insert max ferm temp here) range, things get funny. When fermenting in a fridge/freezer, you have a heat source trapped inside an insulated box, at least until it stops producing heat. Therein lies the rub.

In dealing with this problem myself, and not wanting to code and/or rig up or rely on an arduino, brewtroller, bcs, some hombebaked rig, etc.; I plan on wiring up a set of SS relays (one for every controller/fermenter) which will feed the control input of another relay (to switch the coolingfridge). My goal is to allow having multiple fermenters in one chest freezer without having to set the temp to some arbitrarily low number to guarantee a max temp for the most active ferm. The cooling will only come on when any one of the fermenters needs it. This approach is very similar to the method of using a a dual input relay so only one fan is needed for either heat or cool using (although IMO there is no reason not to run a fan full time in either a kegerator or (especially) in a fermenter).

The price of discrete low current SSRs is cheap enough to not bother searching for some esoteric x number input IC relay available at radio shack. Just wire up a bunch of low amp discrete relays to the control input of one capable of handling the fridge/freezer current. That is the magic that would be happening inside a similar IC anyway.


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Old 02-02-2013, 12:07 AM   #3303
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Yea I emailed reptile basics shortly after my post and asked about shipping.
Got it in a flat rate usps box the next day and now my flexwatt tape is on it way.

Awesome customer service with those guys.


Anyways, I plan on having a fan running in my dead mini fridge and maybe put some frozen bottles in there as well just to keep the ambient temp on the downtrend. The flexwatt will take it over once it dips.

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Old 02-02-2013, 01:38 AM   #3304
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Originally Posted by cwi View Post
Maybe ask them if they can ship USPS instead, as long as your order is small (volume wise).


Also, just because you are in AK doesn't mean you can close up a fermenter inside an insulated box, and expect not to need cooling. People in cold regions sometimes have it tougher than people in the deep south where the only concern, ever, is cooling (at least for single vessel/chamber systems). When ambient temps are in the 20-??F (insert max ferm temp here) range, things get funny. When fermenting in a fridge/freezer, you have a heat source trapped inside an insulated box, at least until it stops producing heat. Therein lies the rub.

In dealing with this problem myself, and not wanting to code and/or rig up or rely on an arduino, brewtroller, bcs, some hombebaked rig, etc.; I plan on wiring up a set of SS relays (one for every controller/fermenter) which will feed the control input of another relay (to switch the coolingfridge). My goal is to allow having multiple fermenters in one chest freezer without having to set the temp to some arbitrarily low number to guarantee a max temp for the most active ferm. The cooling will only come on when any one of the fermenters needs it. This approach is very similar to the method of using a a dual input relay so only one fan is needed for either heat or cool using (although IMO there is no reason not to run a fan full time in either a kegerator or (especially) in a fermenter).

The price of discrete low current SSRs is cheap enough to not bother searching for some esoteric x number input IC relay available at radio shack. Just wire up a bunch of low amp discrete relays to the control input of one capable of handling the fridge/freezer current. That is the magic that would be happening inside a similar IC anyway.
Your post is hard to understand without a diagram, but it sounds like you are basically going to wire the freezer to be on whenever none of the fermenter heaters is heating. Without additional logic that is going to be inefficient because it will result in the freezer kicking on when there is really no need. You are going to pay to heat and then pay to cool.
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Old 02-02-2013, 07:41 AM   #3305
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I have read some (but not all) of this thread. Thought it'd be better to just ask in case others are wondering as well. I am looking for a temperature controller for a keezer, do I need something like the stc-1000 or is there something simpler? What is the best option cost-wise? I am just looking to control when the cooling mechanism kicks in.

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Old 02-02-2013, 09:17 AM   #3306
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Originally Posted by weeple2000
I have read some (but not all) of this thread. Thought it'd be better to just ask in case others are wondering as well. I am looking for a temperature controller for a keezer, do I need something like the stc-1000 or is there something simpler? What is the best option cost-wise? I am just looking to control when the cooling mechanism kicks in.
This is about as good and cost efficient as it gets. There are single phase that read in F as well. You don't need to heat a keezer.
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Old 02-02-2013, 02:39 PM   #3307
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Originally Posted by weeple2000 View Post
I have read some (but not all) of this thread. Thought it'd be better to just ask in case others are wondering as well. I am looking for a temperature controller for a keezer, do I need something like the stc-1000 or is there something simpler? What is the best option cost-wise? I am just looking to control when the cooling mechanism kicks in.
I used a Johnson controller to run my lagering fridge. When I decided I needed a controller to keep fermenters warm, I came across the STC1000 on Ebay for half the cost of the Johnson. Initially, I just wired it into an extension cord. Materials were a 6'-8' cord and a couple wire nuts.
Since then, I've seen this thread and built it into a box with a split receptacle for heating and cooling capabilities. Besides being cleaner looking, it also looks more impressive when friends are over.
If you're looking for simple, you can get controllers already built, you just have to pay for it.
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Old 02-02-2013, 04:11 PM   #3308
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Originally Posted by BetterSense View Post
Your post is hard to understand without a diagram, but it sounds like you are basically going to wire the freezer to be on whenever none of the fermenter heaters is heating. Without additional logic that is going to be inefficient because it will result in the freezer kicking on when there is really no need. You are going to pay to heat and then pay to cool.
If you read my post carefully, I proposed my method specifically to avoid cooling when no fermenter needs it. Think about the problem being solved along with my description, and it should make sense. The freezer will only come on when any one of the fermenting vessels needs it. These are dual stage controllers, so they can call for heating or cooling.

One additional thing I thought of is the need for a compressor delay timer for the final stage that powers the fridge/freezer. I will probably just use an additional STC-1000. The ASD is triggered automatically on power up, so it should work (although the delay will always be in effect, but no big deal) This way I don't have to read the specs for a hundred different ebay listings for timers to make sure they will work. I am not sure how long settings are retained when not powered, but think it is at least a week.

You don't even need the relay scheme for a dedicated setup. All of the cooling outputs (from a single house circuit only) can be hard wired to one outlet; however, you would lose any independent use of the controllers for all but heating only applications. You would still need the additional ASD timer.
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Old 02-02-2013, 04:36 PM   #3309
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I am just looking to control when the cooling mechanism kicks in.
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You don't need to heat a keezer.
There are many situations where a keezer needs to be heated, the most common being when it is kept in the garage in the winter.

The STC-1000 is now down to $20 shipped, last time I ordered anyway. So, I just spring for the extra $3 for dual stage so I can use it to control a fermenter, or even turn my keezer into one, as well. In their defense, the single stage units do have a programmable/audible over/under temperature alarm which can come in handy for things like mashing. That feature can be supplied by a cheap stand-alone device (even with separate power for an unattended setting like fermenting), whereas dual-stage functionality cannot be replicated (easily) by adding another controller.
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Old 02-02-2013, 08:36 PM   #3310
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Over 300 posts is a long read so I am just going to ask this question and hope for an answer... Has anyone extended the length of the sensor that came with this termometer. The supplied wire is too short to make it into my keezer from where I would like the controller mounted.



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