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Mostly finished the first version of my new control panel. Ended up mostly following the design from http://theelectricbrewery.com/ , considered a bunch of different options but was hard to fault Kal's design. This build is just the base build to control my HLT with a 10a supply, leaving enough room to add in pumps later (hopefully soon).

 

Most of the parts are from aliexpress.com , with a couple of the switches from ebay.com. I would have just gone with the original STC-1000 to drive the HLT as planned if it wasn't for the great prices on the parts. For now I've gone with a wooden case since it is cheap and I figure the control layout is bound to change as it grows.

The controls were laid out on a 25mm grid with a 50mm border which worked well. I could have squeezed things up a bit more but better than being too crowded. Did make the mistake of marking the grid on the outside so it is now lost under the paint, should have put them on the inside for future expansions.

The PID is a cheap REX-C100 for about US$15, made in Japan, fancy. The plan is to swap it for one of the nicer Auber ones if needed and use the REX just to measure temperature - but from the testing I've done so far it seems fine.

Crazy how small the 1/16 DIN size actually is along side the other controls. Considered a larger size but the actual display was still the same size, just with more space. The instructions recommended a power filter which I've just ordered since no doubt the derivative will make it sensitive to noise.

The probe is a 1/2" NPT PT100 pre-assembled from aliexpress, cost about the same as the controller but really happy with the quality. All I had to do was remove the stock terminals and wire it up to the XR3 connector.

For the heat sink I followed the electric brewery example and ditched the stock heatsink for one I've had lying around. Very much overkill using 1.2kg of aluminium to dissipate up-to 14w of heat (1.4w * 10a). There is enough room for up to four SSRs since one future option is to go with a dual 10a feed and drive the kettle too.

The wire I used is 1.5mm2 gauge from a 30m extension cord which was the cheapest way to buy the wire and hopefully ample for my 10a design. Going to bug some electrician friends to make sure they are happy with everything. 

Tonights project is adding a detachable mount to my existing brew stand, then its time to test it out on the actual HLT...

(The pic below is from before I tidied up the wiring)

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