DIY controller vs Prebuilt costs?

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andrewrmunro

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looking to put together a 240v eBIAB setup for a 5500w element, recirculating pump, EZ Boil controller.

What is more cost effective;
-using a pre-designed and packed solution like the Auber Instruments control panel DIY kit for $395, or
-create my own design and source the parts myself from a local electrical supplier.

Anyone who has done a build themselves, would you recommend going that route or do you wish you just bought one off the shelf?

Thanks so much!
 
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mongoose33

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I did the Auber build. Took me about 5-6 hours total to put it together, but a lot of that was double- and triple-checking.

One reason I liked the kit build is that I wasn't trying to figure out exactly what I needed. Maybe I could have sourced it all, but in the end, how much would I have actually saved, and how confident would I have been that I'd correctly assembled all the pieces? Further, how much time would all of that have taken?

I've been using that panel since...September, and I've been very happy with it.

brewspacerightside.jpg
 

d3track

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1) How much do you value your time? DIY is going to take much more of an investment.
2) Do you enjoy the challenge?

For me, trying things that I want in my build and my enjoyment of making things means that the DIY route was for me. If those are not for you, the kits are less intensive and may be the best value for you.
 

bovine_OB

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DIY is more fulfilling, more time consuming but more fulfilling. I guess that's just part of this being a hobby. I enjoyed building my simple controller, and it gave me something to think about, design, and parts to source. If you aren't in the market for spending the time to design and learn about the process and internal components, then spend the money on the prefab product. For me, the time was well wasted on learning the electrical side of things, but everybody is different.
 

Jayjay1976

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I built my own controller, tailored it to suit my setup, saved a bunch of money and it works perfectly. Could have saved even more if I didnt have to buy three boxes of wire nuts just for a couple of each and stuff like that, but it was definitely worth the time I spent putting it together. I used an auber dspr310 EZ-Boil, great unit.
 
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mongoose33

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1) How much do you value your time? DIY is going to take much more of an investment.
2) Do you enjoy the challenge?

For me, trying things that I want in my build and my enjoyment of making things means that the DIY route was for me. If those are not for you, the kits are less intensive and may be the best value for you.
DIY is more fulfilling, more time consuming but more fulfilling. I guess that's just part of this being a hobby. I enjoyed building my simple controller, and it gave me something to think about, design, and parts to source. If you aren't in the market for spending the time to design and learn about the process and internal components, then spend the money on the prefab product. For me, the time was well wasted on learning the electrical side of things, but everybody is different.
I enjoyed the DIY part of putting the panel together. I love learning, and it was right at the edge of my abilities. As a result, it was a very satisfying project to do.

There are lots of ways to enjoy things. DIY is sometimes the most satisfying. Sometimes, if something is too fiddly, I might just want to buy ready-made.
 
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andrewrmunro

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I built my own controller, tailored it to suit my setup.
Can you share your wiring diagram? I am looking for a design to follow as a starting point

For me I am looking for a 240v eBIAB, 5500w element, EZboil controller, keyed switch, ammeter and voltmeter, a 120v aux for recirc, and what ever see is recommended.
 

BeardedBrews

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Can you share your wiring diagram? I am looking for a design to follow as a starting point

For me I am looking for a 240v eBIAB, 5500w element, EZboil controller, keyed switch, ammeter and voltmeter, a 120v aux for recirc, and what ever see is recommended.
https://www.homebrewtalk.com/forum/threads/switch-help.661963/

There are bunches of threads around here with that same basic configuration.


Some of the "should I DIY everything or start from a kit" question comes down to how much do you want to learn. For example, you mention a desire for an ammeter. If the idea of figuring out how to pick the right part and wire it up yourself seems too complicated then the kit approach is the way to go.

If you source all your own parts you are going to forget some, be half way through the build and have to wait for a switch or a wire or something to ship in a couple days. It might be worth the hassle to save the $100-200, but that's up to you.
 
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