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Recommendation on Temp controllers

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srm775

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I'm about to purchase a temperature controller for my freezer, and was wondering if anyone had recommendations for which one to buy. I was thinking of going with this one (top of the page) Johnson Temperature Controller. Also, from everything I've read, that price is about what I should expect, correct?
 

GilaMinumBeer

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Digital is always better, IMO. Plus with the digital Ranco's you can set your differential based on what is ideal for the compressor that becomes it's slave.

IIRC, the Johnson has a non-adjustable default diff of +/-4*F which isn't bad for the slave compressor but is about 2*F too much than necessary for a new compressor.

I have the Dual stage and love it. If you have you'r box outside or in the garage you'd do well to consider it. But if all you need it for is a kegorator then the single stage is perfect and in-expensive.

I was able to loacte a local heating and refrigeration supply and realized a cost saving not just on the principle but also no shipping and no waiting. Had to wire it myself tho' which was a bit daunting as I know just enough to burn the house down. I had an electrician friend check my work before I plugged it into the grid and all was chill.:fro:
 

lustreking

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tarheels

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i have the ranco and love it, had to wire it myself but that took only 15 min to do.
 
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srm775

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What's the differences between a single stage and a two-stage controller?
 
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one will only heat OR cool depending on how its wired and a 2 stage will heat AND cool. Well worth the extra $$$$
JJ
 
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srm775

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Jaybird said:
one will only heat OR cool depending on how its wired and a 2 stage will heat AND cool. Well worth the extra $$$$
JJ
Since it's for a freezer I don't see any value in a two-stage, or am I missing something.
 

GilaMinumBeer

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srm775 said:
Since it's for a freezer I don't see any value in a two-stage, or am I missing something.
It is only benificial if you have the need to change temp above ambient. For example I use my chest freezer for fermentation too. In the winter I have the need to keep the box warm for mid 50's lager fermentations. And occasionally, but rarely, the heater will kick in to keep the box at serving temp on the really cold days/nights.

I was skeptical too. Thta is until I saw the box through this winter. Now I am thrilled I bought the Dual Stage.
 

wilserbrewer

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A two stage can be used in a keezer that is located in an area that will experience both low and high temps such as a garage in a very cold climate. The controller will run the freezer when the temps are above desired and run a small heater (lightbulb?) during those extreme cold spells and keeping the brew from freezing.

One might also use a 2-stage for fermentation in a basement where ambient can vary from 50-75 and a constant 67 is desired.

I use the simple 1 stage ranco on a basement keezer, works great, simple to wire if you're handy or do the research.
Mike
 
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srm775

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wilserbrewer said:
I use the simple 1 stage ranco on a basement keezer, works great, simple to wire if you're handy or do the research.
Mike
this is exactly the application I'm planning on using it for ... a basement keezer. The temp. will never get below 62°-63° and never above 67°. I'm not going to install any heating elements so a second stage doesn't make sense for me.
 

gwood

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srm775 said:
this is exactly the application I'm planning on using it for ... a basement keezer. The temp. will never get below 62°-63° and never above 67°. I'm not going to install any heating elements so a second stage doesn't make sense for me.
Yep. Single stage will be fine. I bought a single stage Johnson and I've come to find that temps at night are dropping well below where they need to be due to ambient in the garage. That and I'm not really happy with the 4F range. Goes to show I should have done more homework.

Now I've got to decide if I should drop a bit more money and just run a brewers edge type heater ALL the time and let the Johnson cool as needed (wasteful IMO) or if I should go with a dual stage AND a heat source of some kind.
 
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