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My New Herms Controller Build

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Kingbrownbrewing

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I decided that the current dodgy Honk Kong STC-1000 that I bought for $15 off ebay werent up to scratch for the brewery, I decided to lash out on some PID's and a new controller box, making my brewery look somewhat proffessional.


Here is the list of things I bought.






Made some precise cuts with my dremel after carefully measuring it all out:









And it now looks like this:






Any thoughts? Have I forgotten anything? (I ******* hope not because its not like I can change it now....)
 

growler

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KBB,

You might need heat sinks for the SSR's

growler :)
 

_HOME_BREW_WALLACE_

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I will be carefully watching this with interest. Where did you get that cabinet from??
 

cdbrown

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You might need heat sinks for the SSR's
Yep - they get hot. The sinks will help dissipate the heat from the SSRs but keep and eye on the temp in the box as you may need some ventilation to let the heat out of the box.
 

Kingbrownbrewing

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I thought that might be the case.
Where and what would I look for in heatsinks? They are just sitting on the SSR arent they? How do they attach??
I bought the case from Haymans electrical. Its a solid bit of kit, took quite a while to cut through it.
Should I maybe set up some sort of exhaust fan on it?
 

Kingbrownbrewing

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Thanks for the tips boys, will put an order in asap.
Any thing else before I order?
 

dmac80

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Hey KBB,

The horse may have already bolted as it looks like you already have your temp sensors, but i would recommend PT100 RTD's over K Type thermocouples (as long as the controller will take RTD's). Should be more accurate at the range a brewery operates, and give less trouble with bad connections.

Auber also have a neat heatsink which mounts on the outside of the box and allows the SSR to attach to the heatsink through a hole in the box, negating the need for forced cooling of the box.

Love the solid box, perfect for the application!

Cheers
Dan
 

dent

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Yeah, The K thermocouples are no good - the temperature reading can vary (become wildly inaccurate) too much depending on the temperature of the PID unit itself (with these cheapo chinese ones). Also you can't simply extend the wires if the probe is too short, as the junction between your wires and the thermocouple wires tend to make another thermocouple. The K type are good for something like a oven, that 10 degrees difference doesn't matter - but with brewing you really want 1 degree at the most.

Whats worse it is it inconsistent - it will vary with the weather and usage.
 

Wolfy

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Any thing else before I order?
The heatsinks simply screw onto the bottom of the relay, but it's good to use some thermal-paste (same stuff used for computer CPU's) on the interface. You can find the heatsinks on Ebay (likely the same vendor that sold the SSR) or get one the right size from most any electronics or computer shop.

For an extra $20 or so, I'd also suggest a RCD (safety switch), even if your house has one, I doubt it hurts to include one in your control box.

And as others have said the PT100 probe should be more accurate (you can find them on ebay with a small temperature range)

:icon_offtopic:
Here is the list of things I bought.
Can someone please tell me what the 'electrical terminal things' (inside the jars with yellow lids) are called, so I can grab some on Ebay?
 

dent

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Can someone please tell me what the 'electrical terminal things' (inside the jars with yellow lids) are called, so I can grab some on Ebay?
Just crimp terminals. They're not very much used for 240V wiring in industry though, mostly automotive.
 

Kingbrownbrewing

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Thanks for all the info guys, it looks like the PID does take RTD so I will order one of them rom Auber as well.
One question, the K type thermocouple has 2 wires, the RTD PT-100 has 3. There are 3 slots on the back of the PID that look like they are for the thermocouple judging by the wiring diagrams, but the K type only uses 2.
Would it be safe to assume that the 3rd unused one is for RTD sensors if you have one?
Also looks like you can get a 'quick disconnect' for the RTD's as well that just fits into the exterior of the control panel, which I will probably look at as well.
 

Wolfy

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One question, the K type thermocouple has 2 wires, the RTD PT-100 has 3. There are 3 slots on the back of the PID that look like they are for the thermocouple judging by the wiring diagrams, but the K type only uses 2.
Would it be safe to assume that the 3rd unused one is for RTD sensors if you have one?
Yes, the PT100 sensor has the extra wire to allow the probe to 'compensate' for the wire resistance (or some such, tehcnical details on wiki).
I can't see the model of your PID, but it's the same brand as mine so it should work fine with the PT100 probe.
 

adraine

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Does your PID have the ramp/soak/timer feature?
 
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Looks great mate, planning on going down this route myself. Is the wiring pretty straight forward?
 

AndrewQLD

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dent said:
Just crimp terminals. They're not very much used for 240V wiring in industry though, mostly automotive.
Be aware that those crimp terminals if they are for the automotive market might not be rated for high amp/voltage loads, I used the same initially for my control panel only to have the plastic on them melt after 2 brew days. Also the switches if rated to 10 amp like mine shorted out after a while, they just couldn't handle the prolonged high load.
 

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