Inkbird temp controller problem

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ericbreen

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Hello has anyone had a problem with the ltc-308 digital temp controller failing? My unit is only about a year old, but it is having a serious problem. I the 308 in my fermentation chamber. I live in a cold climate so i only have a large bulb light connected to the heat side and noting on the cool side. in the past the light turns on to heat then shuts off to cool. This has worked fine up until last week. I hear d the 308 beeping and I checked the chamber. The digital display read like 80 degrees, yet my light was still on-heating even more. I unplugged the unit and left it that way for an hour or so. I then plugged it back in only to have it do the same thing. Any ideas?
 

mongoose33

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Is it the temperature alarm that is beeping? I use mine on my ferm chamber to both control ferm temp (typically 64 degrees) and cold crash (32 degrees). Right now, 64 degrees.

I set the alarm at 60 and 67, so if either temp is exceeded on the low or high side, the controller beeps. I have to reset that if I cold crash.

The other thing is the variance from the set temperature. I set my keezer (same controller btw) at 38 degrees, but the compressor won't kick on until it hits 41 degrees. On my ferm chamber I have the variance set at only 1 degree as I don't want the fermentation temp varying by more than a degree either way, i.e., too warm or too cold.

As the weather has warmed, you may find that what worked at a cooler ambient temperature no longer works at a warmer one. My garage was down to 40 degrees in February; now it's about 60.
 
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ericbreen

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Yes the temp alarm is beeping and the light stays on. Before the light had turned off, now the light is on and the chamber is very hot. I live in lake Tahoe and we are still snowing here
 

mongoose33

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Are you sure you have the heating plugged into the heating port and not the cooling port of the plug?
 
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ericbreen

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Yeah I'm sure...The thing operated correctly for months then this began, I emailed inkbird and have heard nothing
 

mongoose33

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You may have a bad unit, then. I have two of them, one on my keezer, the other to operate my ferm chamber, had both for more than a year and they are still working fine. Makes we wonder if I should get a spare...
 

maverickjohnson1

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My controller is doing the same thing except half the time it works properly and other times it lets my grow space overheat to where i have the alarm set to sound, did you ever reslove this issue
 

Mizamook

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I just left a slighty unpleasant review on Amazon about the Inkbird ltc-308.

I have used this twice. Owned it for a month. I'm only using the heating outlet, with a 45-watt heating wrap, for keeping wine/beer warm in primary fermentation in a cold house in winter.

The first time I used it, I had no problems. The Inbird's probe is in a thermowell; I also checked the temperature with a Thermapen. They agreed, usually, with a max 1 degree difference, attributable to the location of the probes.

The second time I used it, I also checked with the Thermopen, and at pitching temp, which in this case was 78 degrees, they agreed. However, days later, (today) I checked the temp of my wine with the Thermopen, and noticed (in horror!) that it reported 90F. The Inkbird was reporting that it was just under 83, and the heat was on. (My setpoint was 83F). The max temp range for this yeast is 86F. But my wine must was 90F!!!

I do not know when the unit failed. But I did notice that the heat was on (red light on) more than I thought it should have been.

I just tested it again, with two other thermometers, including my Thermopen. It seems fine .. (all are reading within a degree or two, which could easily be attributed to location in the warm water I was using to test).

The bottom line is: The Inkbird unit cannot be trusted. Wine and beer making is generally not tolerant to 7 degree "mood swings" in temperature control. I was lucky .. I don't think I lost my 6 gallon batch (transferred today, and the attenuation was as expected), but I won't trust this unit again until I can determine that this error in reading (and therefore trying to cook my wine) was a fluke.

So disappointing .. I'd wanted an Inkbird for some time now. I'll likely use my analog controller as backup next time.

Other than errors, it's a lovely unit .. I really like being able to see a temp reading on the unit. Too bad it's inaccurate!
 

day_trippr

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Do a warranty replacement?

The 308 has been a pretty popular unit, but there are always failure rates across the fleet. Hell, I build all my control systems myself and had one take a dirt nap with a permanently closed relay...

Cheers!
 

Mizamook

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I'll try. Tested it again and it seems fine. Sunspots? Moon phase?

I was severely annoyed and disheartened by the sheer number of complaint threads across the forums when I searched for problems with it. I was also unnerved by the seeming lack of company support.

I'd like to see less similar problems and when they do happen, more like "I had an issue, but I contacted the company and they made it right. It's obvious how much they care about their product." Sadly, that's rare.

I do understand that all electrical, especially electro-mechanical devices can have issues. I usually don't know how to ask until I have a device and then have problems, and THEN find out they are not as reliable as I had hoped. (I used to feel guilt about being picky .. I don't any longer)
 

day_trippr

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Admittedly I have come across threads where Inkbird support seemed sorely lacking.
Hopefully you'll have a better outcome one way or the other...

Cheers!
 

Jim R

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Honestly, if mine died I would order another one immediately. The one I have has worked perfect for a long time for $35. For the price, it has been a steal just like their $22 handheld temperature probes which last longer than the $100 Thermapens that I have worn out.
 

Mizamook

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Admittedly I have come across threads where Inkbird support seemed sorely lacking.
Hopefully you'll have a better outcome one way or the other...

Cheers!
At the end of the day, yep, as long as my main complaint in life is that my temp controller can't be trusted with my brews, well, it sure could be worse!
 

Mizamook

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Ha .. yes, well, 1 month is not confidence-inducing. were it a few years, I'd be OK. I loathe waste and garbage. I like things to last, regardless of the price. "Disposable" usually means I look elsewhere for my products/solutions.

Also: How do you wear out a Thermapen? Are the Inkbird temp probes as accurate/fast?

Honestly, if mine died I would order another one immediately. The one I have has worked perfect for a long time for $35. For the price, it has been a steal just like their $22 handheld temperature probes which last longer than the $100 Thermapens that I have worn out.
 

day_trippr

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[shrug] Thermapens can break, too. My second generation Thermapen developed the classic cracking around the hinge that made activation tricky.
I sent it in last fall and for $35 they sent it back in a brand new case (or they sent a replacement - don't care).
It's still the best investment I ever made wrt cooking (barbecue/smoker, and just general kitchen use, nevermind brewing)...

Cheers!
 

J2W2

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Are these the basic ITC-308s or the Wi-Fi ITC-308s?

I got the Wi-Fi version last October and love it. Hopefully there won't be any issues.

I use the InkbirdSmart app, which lets you create automation. You can setup automatic temperature changes at a set day/time. I have several created to do a "slow" cold crash over 2.5 days, mainly so my mini-fridge isn't running constantly. I have the steps disabled normally so they don't kick in unless I want them to. You could also setup a controlled temp increase. I believe the Inkbird Pro app may have the same features; I haven't had time to check that out.
 

Jim R

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If you take a Thermapen apart (when it inevitably quits working), there is a very tiny wire that wraps around the hinge area and has to move with each opening of the device. With repeated use of the hinge, that wire gets twisted and worn and will eventually break. I have had this happen to two $100 units. I take them apart and reposition the wire which helps for a short time but it eventually will break. I have thrown both of mine away eventually. It is kind of a flawed design unless you just leave it open all the time but you have to close and open it to turn it on.

So far the $22 Inkbird thermometer has worked fine plus it has a handy lit screen. I recently bought a second one because my wife likes to use my garage brewing one in her kitchen.
 
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