Ink Bird Controllers

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BKBrews

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Anyone have any first hand experience with these?

Looking at either the ITC-308 or ITC-310. No experience with electronics so whatever is easiest is best.
 

peteru

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I've had my ITC-310T for about a week now. I'm still finishing the freezer conversion, but I have been testing the controller with a couple of cubes of water. The controller seems to work fine and as advertised. It's not all that hard to work it, but you definitely need to consult the manual. The user interface is limited by the display and 3 buttons.

Mine came with a 30cm long probe that you can submerge into your fermenter. Since this is a simple controller with a target temperature and separate positive and negative delta, I don't think I'll be doing that. I'll be attaching the probe to the outside of the fermenter so that I get enough ambient influence. My theory is that this approach should prevent overshoot. I guess I'll learn more with experience.

I paid under $60 for it, delivered directly from China. It took less than 2 weeks to get it, which was a nice surprise, since I was expecting the usual 4-8 weeks.

I like it as a quick and easy solution that will get you up and running with minimal effort. I was going to build a small embedded system with WiFi, logging, several probes and advanced temperature control algorithms, then I realised that such a project would delay quality brewing by many months, perhaps even years. Decided to get a turnkey solution and put the fancy project on a list of things to do when I have "spare time".
 

Killer Brew

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Great price. Where did you get it from!
 

Batz

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I have the ITC-310T, as I have been away working for a few shuts I still have not had time to use it. I did bring it with me so I can have a play with it on my day off, to be honest a quick look at the instructions seemed a bit overwhelming for an old bloke like me.
A 12 year old kid would have it sorted in minutes I'm sure, I'll sit back with a beer or two this Sunday and nut it out.

I do believe it is a good product at a fair price.

Batz
 

BKBrews

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Maybe the ITC-308 is a little less complicated?

I don't REALLY need the timing function, because when I learn how to lager I'm not really fussed about having to manually change the settings at each step.
 

peteru

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If you don't use the timers, the complexity is about the same. Just one extra setting that you leave at zero. Once you set the number of timers to more than zero, it's not very much more complicated either. Just a temperature and duration for each step.
 

BKBrews

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Thanks for the info.

I've just hit them up on ebay to see if they have a deal for forum members and I'll take it from there. If I can get the 308S for about $50 I'll probably just do that.... I just wanted to know if the brand itself made good controllers.
 

huez

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I bought 3 of them, got a refund on 2 after a couple of months use. The temperature wouldn't stay steady, would fluctuate quite a bit. This would make the fridge constantly kick on, even with a compressor delay of 10mins it was turning on and off constantly. They worked fine at first as far as i could tell. Only reason i'm still using the third one is because its only hooked up to a heating belt.
 

BKBrews

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I bought 3 of them, got a refund on 2 after a couple of months use. The temperature wouldn't stay steady, would fluctuate quite a bit. This would make the fridge constantly kick on, even with a compressor delay of 10mins it was turning on and off constantly. They worked fine at first as far as i could tell. Only reason i'm still using the third one is because its only hooked up to a heating belt.
Well that doesn't sound ideal....

What other options are there? I don't really want something I'm required to wire, really like the idea of plug and play.
 

Patrick_BCB

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I've got three of the Inkbird ITC-310T's and am very happy with them after 10 weeks. I don't use the timer function at all, but at some stage may want to.

Have had zero issues with the controller and like the plus/minus .3 degrees range I can keep my brew at during fermentation. I manually adjust mine as needs be including cc'ing in the fermentation chamber. Tested against some of the other temperature controllers / thermometers I have and found the 0~10 degree range to be more accurate than any of the other equipment I have. Over 10 everything else started to line up.

Love the heating and cooling sockets, especially since my fridges live under the house and the ambient has gone close to 10 some mornings so heating was essential.
 

Patrick_BCB

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timmi9191 said:
If youre not using the timers, whats the benefit over an STC-1000?
I may use the timers, it was a feature I thought worth the extra investment.

I have no experience with the STC-1000 - does it automatically switch between heating and cooling? That was a must have feature for me. I had previously purchased a controller that I *thought* switched between heating and cooling to maintain a temperature but unfortunately this was not the case.
 

Mattrox

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Patrick_BCB said:
I may use the timers, it was a feature I thought worth the extra investment.

I have no experience with the STC-1000 - does it automatically switch between heating and cooling? That was a must have feature for me. I had previously purchased a controller that I *thought* switched between heating and cooling to maintain a temperature but unfortunately this was not the case.
STC 1000 does switch between heating and cooling. But some assembly required as per the thread on the subject. Purely a thermostat.

If you are inclined, the STC 1000+ is a project where a particular version of the STC 1000 is programmed with custom firmware which allows timed temperature profiles for fermentation to be saved. It's hand but 1 degree of difficulty more than "some assembly required".

The timing function is useful.
 

BKBrews

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I've got three of the Inkbird ITC-310T's and am very happy with them after 10 weeks. I don't use the timer function at all, but at some stage may want to.

Have had zero issues with the controller and like the plus/minus .3 degrees range I can keep my brew at during fermentation. I manually adjust mine as needs be including cc'ing in the fermentation chamber. Tested against some of the other temperature controllers / thermometers I have and found the 0~10 degree range to be more accurate than any of the other equipment I have. Over 10 everything else started to line up.

Love the heating and cooling sockets, especially since my fridges live under the house and the ambient has gone close to 10 some mornings so heating was essential.
how do these sockets work? I assumed you just plug your fridge into the cooling socket if you aren't using a heat source?

Could I be a pain and ask for a pic of your setup?
 

peteru

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Very simple. One socket is heating and it is turned on when the temperature needs to be warmer. The other socket is cooling and it is turned on when the temperature needs to be colder. You can hook up nothing and just use the unit to monitor temperature, you can hook up both to maintain temperature within a range or just hook up cooling or heating to prevent the temperature going too high or too low. Your choice.
 

BKBrews

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Very simple. One socket is heating and it is turned on when the temperature needs to be warmer. The other socket is cooling and it is turned on when the temperature needs to be colder. You can hook up nothing and just use the unit to monitor temperature, you can hook up both to maintain temperature within a range or just hook up cooling or heating to prevent the temperature going too high or too low. Your choice.
makes sense - thanks.

Being in QLD, I really only need something to cool when the temp goes too high.
 

VP Brewing

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Would these be suitable to control a HERMS?
 

sp0rk

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VP Brewing said:
Would these be suitable to control a HERMS?
I wouldn't think so, they're a temp controller, not a PID
You don't have the accuracy of a PID, they just shut off a set temp, so you risk still having temp rises
 

BKBrews

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They accepted my offer on ebay - got a ITC-308S for $45 delivered. Can't be upset about that and I think it will do the trick.
 

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