Chest Freezer Controller

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cactusgarrett

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I searched around and can't seem to find the answers to my questions, but i think that might be more of a function of me not having electrician experience, and things not being easily spelled out for me. So, please pardon the ignorance.

I'm trying to rig something to control fermentation temps, lager, etc. and i've got a chest freezer (free) which doesn't go above freezing temps when set at it's warmest setting.

Which type of temperature controller would i need to get? How would this work, in general? From what i can figure it seems like the simplest way would be to plug the freezer into a temp controller that basically regulates the power (on/off) to the freezer to maintain the warmer temps? Or do i need to do alot more work on this?

I'm just trying to get something made (preferrably on the cheap) to accurately and precisely hit temperatures using this chest freezer.

Thanks.
 

EdWort

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You will spend about 50 bucks on the cheapest unit. I recommend buying one that is prewired. You can find a digital Ranco unit on ebay or an Analog Johnson Controls at any online homebrewshop.
 

srm775

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that would work great ... add in a 6'-10' 14ga. extension cord and you have a fully functioning temp. controller.

I wouldn't buy the pre-wired ones. It is very simple to wire (pm if you need better diagrams) and takes about 1/2 hour. To get a controller pre-wired you're looking at about $30 more than you'll spend to wire it yourself.
 

EdWort

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I use a Love TS-13010 digital controller.



I bought a heavy duty extention cord, cut it in half and wired it this way.



I tape the sensor to the side of my bucket fermenters and it works like a champ.
 

Amiaji

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You should use at least #12 wire for a freezer, #10 would be better. #14 is a bit small and will be hard on the compressor when it starts up. Compressors have a high starting current and the resistance of the smaller wires will cause a voltage drop making it harder for the compressor to start.
 

nostalgia

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Important note to anyone using these diagrams: the numbers on the terminals don't match, so be sure to check the diagram on your temp controller before wiring!

Ed,

I've seen this wiring diagram posted elsewhere and I'm confused by it.

When wired as you show, the controller will have to be set to Heat mode (d0 set to Ht).

Logically, I would have expected it to be wired the opposite way as I show below. This is the way I have mine wired and I have d0 set to Co.



Do you have a specific reason for wiring to the NC side of the relay?

-Joe
 
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cactusgarrett

cactusgarrett

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nostalgia

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Christ, these diagrams are spinning my non-electrician brain. Is this model in the ebay link a "plug and go" controller in that i can plug it into the wall and plug the freezer into the unit and go?
I don't think you'll find such an animal. Although an enterprising Homebrewtalker could probably build such a thing pretty easily...

Well, I just figured out tonight's project ;)

-Joe
 
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cactusgarrett

cactusgarrett

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What're the restrictions? In lay terms, what needs to be done to a controller, like this ebay one for example, to make it useable? Isn't it just regulating a power supply based on the observed temperature?
 

nostalgia

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What're the restrictions? In lay terms, what needs to be done to a controller, like this ebay one for example, to make it useable? Isn't it just regulating a power supply based on the observed temperature?
I can only speak for the Love controller Ed pictured below, but I believe most of these are the same.

They don't technically 'regulate' the power supply, they just turn it on or off via an internal relay. So when the temp goes above a certain point, *click* the relay turns on power to your freezer. When it goes below a certain point, *click* it turns off power to your freezer.

The Love ones have an adjustable deadband so your freezer isn't always cycling on and off when the temp goes off by one degree. I've got mine set to 2 degrees. So if I set the temp at 65, the freezer comes on when the temp goes above 67 and off when below 63.

-Joe
 

beerthirty

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the one you show on ebat doesnt have a power cord coming from it so yes it would have to be wired. The temp differential of those type controllers is about 4 degrees(+/-2) I picked up one similar for my second freezer but have not wired it yet. If you are worried about wiring you could spend a little more by buying one from your LHBS which are plug and play. the power cord coming out of the controller is a piggy back style and you plug the freezer into the back of the controller plug. when using a temp controller make sure you turn the freezer to its lowest setting so the controller handles all the control.
 

Wortlover

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What I did was pretty straight forward. Find the dial thermostat on your freezer. Disconnect those wires and wire them into your Johnson control thermostat. All the themostat is doing is interrupting the power to your freezer when it reaches the desired temp. I think I found a very simple diagram here on this site to do this. The only other task is to put the temp probe into the freezer. There was a plastic cover 1" diameter in the top back of my freezer. I peeled this out and drilled through. Plop the probe thru, a gob of silicone and you're done.
 

Damonic

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My LOVE controller is sitting on the doorstep awaiting my return... UPS hath spoken.
 

beerthirty

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What I did was pretty straight forward. Find the dial thermostat on your freezer. Disconnect those wires and wire them into your Johnson control thermostat. All the themostat is doing is interrupting the power to your freezer when it reaches the desired temp. I think I found a very simple diagram here on this site to do this. The only other task is to put the temp probe into the freezer. There was a plastic cover 1" diameter in the top back of my freezer. I peeled this out and drilled through. Plop the probe thru, a gob of silicone and you're done.
next time just turn it all the way down. since you are not using it to get that cold the frezzer thermostat will never actually function and the johnson will control it through the freezer power cord. just a little easier ths way but either way will work.
 

GJOCONNELL

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any reason not to use an Inkbird controller from amazon? Am I missing something here?
 

day_trippr

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any reason not to use an Inkbird controller from amazon? Am I missing something here?
Yes, the thread totally predates Inkbird's entrance to the market.
No, there's no reason one couldn't use an Inkbird for a similar application...

Cheers!
 

GJOCONNELL

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Other than being 8 years late to the conversation......no :D ;)
In my lame defense I was using the search function to avoid posting a stupid question but I guess I decided to double down....ask the stupid question and bring an old thread back to life.

Thanks for the clarification guys and being gentle!

This place rocks!
 

day_trippr

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I prefer thread-proliferation-avoidance when asking a question that is on-target for an existing thread - even if that thread is moribund.
No point in starting a new thread just like the old thread. :mug:

Now, on the other hand, adding specific advise to a long-dead-thread is likely going to garner incoming fire ;)

Cheers!
 
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