Heating output problems with Auber Cube

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MikeCo

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I have a brand new Auber Cube powering a 4500 watt Boilcoil. I've been learning to use the cube while testing the new Boilcoil with water in the kettle. Whether in mash or boil mode, I can get the coil to heat up for a few minutes and then it no longer heats even though the green power output light is lit on the EzBoil controller. If I stop and reset the the program or cycle power and then restart the program, I get no heat, even though the program runs and the power output light is on. I had a mash program set for 152, but the temperature would only warm up a few degrees before stopping. The same thing happens in boil mode. This morning I was able to use it in boil mode to get the water temp from 63 to 98 before the heating stopped.

I found that if I power down the controller for 10 minutes or more, I will get initial heating, but then it stops. If I just reset and run the program again, there is no heat to the element.

The mash and boil system parameters are all at the factory defaults. Could this be a failed SSR?

Thanks,
Mike
 

doug293cz

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SSR's usually fail in the "ON" mode, which means they keep heating when they shouldn't. Could be the SSR failed in an unusual way. How hot does the heatsink get when it's working (actually heating)? It shouldn't be too hot to hold your hand on it.

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bgmac

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Usually SSRs fail in the closed/on position but it could be possible. The EZBoil is a straight forward PID and could be having an issue on the board. Have you put a meter on the output hot legs to see if you truly lost voltage? I would crank it up to 100% in boil mode and wait for it to stop heating as you described, then pull the plug to your element in the back of the cube (heater output) and see what voltage is showing with a meter. Of course all while the light is on indicating full power to the outlet.

If no voltage, pull your power supply cord to the cube and check that you have good power coming from your house outlet. If the house power is good and no power out of the cube, then contact Auber right away.

If you have good voltage out of the cube, double check all your connections and the boil coil. Probably not the boil coil as they are high quality and the rectangle block connector is very solid. You can check that the boil coil block connector is getting 240 volts to eliminate an issue with the cord or coil If you are getting power to the boil coil block connector but still no heat, then contact Blichmann. These are questions a tech rep would probably ask you before assuming their product is the issue.

I run a 5000 w boil coil with the EZBoil PID. I have been to the Auber instruments store in Alpharetta GA. They told me if I every have an issue to let them know and they will help out. Took a quick peak around their shop and it looks like they assemble and test most of their products on site, so they should be able to get you fixed.
 
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doug293cz

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Usually SSRs fail in the closed/on position but it could be possible. The EZBoil is a straight forward PID and could be having an issue on the board. Have you put a meter on the output hot legs to see if you truly lost voltage? I would crank it up to 100% in boil mode and wait for it to stop heating as you described, then pull the plug to your element in the back of the cube (heater output) and see what voltage is showing with a meter. Of course all while the light is on indicating full power to the outlet.

If no voltage, pull your power supply cord to the cube and check that you have good power coming from your house outlet. If the house power is good and no power out of the cube, then contact Auber right away.

If you have good voltage out of the cube, double check all your connections and the boil coil. Probably not the boil coil as they are high quality and the rectangle block connector is very solid. You can check that the boil coil block connector is getting 240 volts to eliminate an issue with the cord or coil If you are getting power to the boil coil block connector but still no heat, then contact Blichmann. These are questions a tech rep would probably ask you before assuming their product is the issue.

I run a 5000 w boil coil with the EZBoil PID. I have been to the Auber instruments store in Alpharetta GA. They told me if I every have an issue to let them know and they will help out. Took a quick peak around their shop and it looks like they assemble and test most of their products on site, so they should be able to get you fixed.
A volt meter won't work on the outputs of an SSR. An SSR is a current switch, and does not actually disconnect the voltage when off. There is enough current leakage thru an SSR that you will measure full voltage when the SSR is off, if there isn't a load attached to the SSR outputs. The following circuit models how an SSR operates (numbers are approximate ohms values of the resistors.)

SSR Model.PNG


Brew on :mug:
 
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MikeCo

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Thanks for the responses.

The heat sink is not noticeably warm when it's heating. It never stays heating for more than about 5 minutes.

I spent an hour on the the phone with Auber Friday and tested everything - voltages and connection, including the voltage to the heating element, and it read around 237 volts, and the light on the SSR was on. I'm also getting 237 at the Boilcoil plug. I don't think the Boilcoil is the problem, but I may call Blichmann anyway and ask them if they've ever seen this.

The only thing a little unusual was the DC voltage across the input terminals on the SSR when the unit was supposed to be applying heat; it was only around 2.5 or 3 volts and it should have been more than that according to the Auber tech support person.

I had not noticed that the element heats and then stops and then won't heat at all (until it's powered down for while) until Saturday. When I called Auber, I couldn't get it to heat at all. I sent the new information to Auber and hope to hear from them tomorrow. I may have to ship the Cube back to them if they can't figure it out over the phone.

Could the EzBoil itself be defective?
 

doug293cz

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Thanks for the responses.

The heat sink is not noticeably warm when it's heating. It never stays heating for more than about 5 minutes.

I spent an hour on the the phone with Auber Friday and tested everything - voltages and connection, including the voltage to the heating element, and it read around 237 volts, and the light on the SSR was on. I'm also getting 237 at the Boilcoil plug. I don't think the Boilcoil is the problem, but I may call Blichmann anyway and ask them if they've ever seen this.

The only thing a little unusual was the DC voltage across the input terminals on the SSR when the unit was supposed to be applying heat; it was only around 2.5 or 3 volts and it should have been more than that according to the Auber tech support person.

I had not noticed that the element heats and then stops and then won't heat at all (until it's powered down for while) until Saturday. When I called Auber, I couldn't get it to heat at all. I sent the new information to Auber and hope to hear from them tomorrow. I may have to ship the Cube back to them if they can't figure it out over the phone.

Could the EzBoil itself be defective?
As I mentioned, measuring the voltage on the SSR output doesn't tell you much useful, unless there is a load attached to the SSR.

The low DC voltage coming from the EZBoil might be the issue. The voltage may be enough to light the visible LED on the SSR, but insufficient to light/trigger the internal LED in the opto-coupler between the SSR inputs and outputs, so the SSR doesn't actually turn on.

Brew on :mug:
 

bgmac

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I would agree that the DC control voltage to the SSR is too low. SSR should operate at a range of 3-32 volts DC. But I have seen issues with less the 4-5 volts DC. The light on the SSR will light up, but not enough voltage to keep the connection closed. I would suspect its the EZBoil not pushing out enough DC control voltage and insist Auber replace the the pid. Should be putting out around 12 volts DC. That is what they advertise for the specs of the unit. Mine puts out 12 volts DC.
 

bgmac

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A volt meter won't work on the outputs of an SSR. An SSR is a current switch, and does not actually disconnect the voltage when off. There is enough current leakage thru an SSR that you will measure full voltage when the SSR is off, if there isn't a load attached to the SSR outputs. The following circuit models how an SSR operates (numbers are approximate ohms values of the resistors.)

View attachment 659398

Brew on :mug:
Yes a volt meter will work if the EZBoil is set to 100%. It is fully connected/on when set to 100%. I have tested it.
 

doug293cz

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Yes a volt meter will work if the EZBoil is set to 100%. It is fully connected/on when set to 100%. I have tested it.
The problem is, it will measure full voltage whether the SSR is on or off, if there is no load on the SSR. Do you understand the implications of replacing the element with a voltmeter in the schematic model of an SSR above? What voltage will you measure when the SSR is off, and what voltage will you measure when the SSR is on?

Brew on :mug:
 

bgmac

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The problem is, it will measure full voltage whether the SSR is on or off, if there is no load on the SSR. Do you understand the implications of replacing the element with a voltmeter in the schematic model of an SSR above? What voltage will you measure when the SSR is off, and what voltage will you measure when the SSR is on?

Brew on :mug:
I see your point. So lets drop the output voltage test. I am convinced its the low DC control voltage from the EZBoil to the SSR. Would have been nice if we knew all the data about the DC voltage in the first place. He has a faulty unit. All documentation from Auber says it should be putting out 12 volts DC.
 

Bobby_M

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I would check all the wire/connectivity in the box. It could be a bad crimp on the low voltage signal wire. You can also just connect the boil coil directly to 240v to rule out the element failing. Probably the easiest way to do this is to jump the two high current terminals of the SSR together to force voltage and allow current to the element output.
 

Vale71

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From the symptoms I'd also say the PID has a defective board and/or component(s) that will make it stop working once a certain internal temperature is reached and start working again once the unit has cooled sufficiently.
As for testing the AC output the easiest way is to connect a desk lamp to it and see if it turns on when the output light on the PID lights up. This will rule out any defect in the heating element itself.
 
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MikeCo

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Thanks again for the input, all. Auber asked me to test the two 120v outputs. I tested them with a lamp and both worked. I'll try Bobby's suggestion of jumping the high current SSR terminals later today to verify the heating element works.
 
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MikeCo

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Auber replied to my emails this morning. They asked me to check the DC voltage while the element was heating and after it stopped heating. During the test I observed this:

While heating:
SSR red LED - ON
DC voltage on pins 6&7 (input side of SSR) - Started at 3.5v and slowly dropped to around 2.5v.

When program was still running but heating stopped:
SSR red LED - ON
DC voltage on pins 6&7 - 2.46v

I sent the information to Auber and they are sending me new SSR and a new EZBoil DSPR320. We'll see if it works properly when I install them. They are sending them 2-day, so I should have them by Thursday since Wednesday is a holiday.

Mike
 

doug293cz

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The low, and dropping, trigger output from the EZBoil is not right. Your SSR is probably just fine. IIRC the minimum voltage required to trigger the SSR is usually 3V, and you are dropping below that. So, trigger voltage starts above min required, and SSR switches on. When trigger voltage drops below the min required, SSR no longer switches on. This is entirely consistent with your observed heating behavior.

Here's a pic of a typical SSR with the trigger input voltage requirement outlined in red. Look to see what your SSR says (I suspect it will be the same.)

SSR photo.png

Brew on :mug:
 
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MikeCo

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Yes, mine is also 3-32 VDC. Auber says it should read 12-13 VDC while running. It seems like the problem has to be within the controller, which makes more sense than the SSR since they tend to fail in the closed position.
 

bgmac

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Yes, mine is also 3-32 VDC. Auber says it should read 12-13 VDC while running. It seems like the problem has to be within the controller, which makes more sense than the SSR since they tend to fail in the closed position.
Is Auber going to replace the EZBoil?
 
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MikeCo

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The new EZBoil and SSR arrived today. I swapped EzBoils and left the old SSR in place and the system heated up to a boil as expected. The voltage across the input side of the SSR was 13.5v. I'm thinking of just keeping the existing SSR and sending the new one along with the defective EzBoil back.

Thanks for all the help. Ironically, this problem forced me to learn a lot about this controller, SSRs, and 240v power. Cheers!
 
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