Cheap Thermostat/Temp Controller for Brew Fridge

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jkeysers

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Anybody have any experience with these? I bought one of these a few months ago and it’s been absolutely brilliant.
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/New-White-Digital-Thermostat-for-Reptile-Snake-Aquarium-Mat-Lamp-2000W-/111798979290?hash=item1a07bd0ada:g:X8oAAOSwI-BWIOFY
Coupled with a cheap reptile heater mat its kept my brew fridge at a cosy 18 degrees throughout Winter and Spring, with little more than a 0.1 degree fluctuation. Brilliant. You just run the probe inside the fridge, set your temperature and if the ambient temp in the fridge drops it’ll power the heater mat until it’s right, then shut it off.

The only problem is with summer coming, the weather is getting warmer and I’m no longer able to use it. My thermostat is designed for heating only it seems. What I want is one that will do the same, but with cooling. So if the temperature ambient temp in the fridge *increases*, it’ll power the fridge to cool it down. Looks as if these do exist;
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Digital-LCD-Thermostat-Temperature-Controller-Aquarium-Refrigerator-Incubator-/121538259667?hash=item1c4c3eaad3:m:mKWNnh6i4_M2f___TAKYTTQ

And bizzarely, this one looks identical to mine;
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Digital-Refrigerator-Thermostat-Aquarium-Greenhouse-Temperature-Controller-SOZ-/171954623106?hash=item28094b5282:g:BA0AAOSw0HVWDNL1
It claims it does cooling as well, but doesn’t say how. It’s certainly not in the instructions for mine, it might be an updated model?

Thinking about pulling the trigger on the one in the 2nd link. Just wondering what people on AHB use. I’ve already bought one which I’m about to replace, figured I’m better off asking rather than looking again in a few months for yet another one because there was a feature I forgot I needed. I know everyone is fond of the STC-1000, but it looks a little scary to me. And unless I'm mistaken, they don't allow me to warm the fridge through the cold Melbourne winters like my current setup does?

I like this option because it is extremely simple, not to mention nice and cheap.
 

crowmanz

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i_like_chicken said:
Just wondering what people on AHB use. I’ve already bought one which I’m about to replace, figured I’m better off asking rather than looking again in a few months for yet another one because there was a feature I forgot I needed. I know everyone is fond of the STC-1000, but it looks a little scary to me. And unless I'm mistaken, they don't allow me to warm the fridge through the cold Melbourne winters like my current setup does?

I like this option because it is extremely simple, not to mention nice and cheap.
You are right that everyone is fond on the STC-1000, but you are mistaken it does both heating and cooling in the one unit. It will either power the cooling (fridge) side or the heating (heater mat) side depending on the temp reading of the probe.

I'm sure your set up will work but you will have to deal with 2 probes, 2 sockets being taken up, and setting 2 temps.
 

jkeysers

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crowmanz said:
You are right that everyone is fond on the STC-1000, but you are mistaken it does both heating and cooling in the one unit. It will either power the cooling (fridge) side or the heating (heater mat) side depending on the temp reading of the probe.
Yes I just was doing a bit more research on it and I realised it has both heating and cooling.

crowmanz said:
I'm sure your set up will work but you will have to deal with 2 probes, 2 sockets being taken up, and setting 2 temps.
Well that's what I was trying to find. A unit that does bothheating and cooling. I'm pretty sure the one in the 2nd link does, but as you say it requires 2 sockets and 2 probes.
 

sp0rk

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I use the one in your second link, you just switch it from cooling to heat as need be
I find overnight coolness doesn't cause the fermentation temp to drop significantly if you're fermenting in a fridge/freezer
That being said I'm replacing it with an STC1000+ soon
 

Smokomark

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If you push and hold the set button for a few seconds the little light will change from red to green. Red for heating green for cooling.

Smoko
 

jkeysers

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Thanks Smoko, I will give that a try. It doesn't say anything like that in the instructions, weirdly.

I still think I might end up with a 2nd one though (or possibly consider a STC-1000). Heat only mode works great when the temperature is always cold like in winter. And Cool only mode will work well in summer I suspect. But this spring time weather can fluctuate above and below optimum brewing temps constantly.
 

superstock

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The one in your second link is the one to have. Notice it has 3 buttons which enables you to change from heating to cooling mode. The one you have has only 2 buttons which raise or lower the temp.
I have several of the 3 button type and find then very effective and relatively inexpensive. Especialy when you have more than 1 fridge operating at different temperatures.
 

BradG

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Note that these ones do not have a delay timer for cooling like the stc does.
 

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