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Home-shop Einsteins and Buckaroo Bonzais take note: add this deluxe temperature controller to your arsenal and you’ll never sweat creating a thermostat or temperature measuring and logging system from scratch again.

TM reader Cameron writes:

“This is my favorite device ever.  It’s not a tool as such, but it can control almost anything you can think of.  It’s a digital temperature controller with built in self-tuning PID loops as well as hysteresis control, hard/soft alarms, RS485 comms (an option), and two output relays.  It’s rather expensive, but you can use it for multiple projects.  It can take other inputs aside from temp, too, as it accepts 4-20 mA or DC volts as inputs.”

“As an example I use mine to control the temperature of my home brew setup. Overkill for sure, but I have other projects in the pipeline.  I built a box to house it — it’s a panel mount device — with power outlets and thermocouple/RTD input jacks.  I use the pulse width modulation option with a solid state relay to drive the heater for my beer.  Seeing as it has two outputs, I could also use it to cool the beer if it were too hot, but it’s winter so I don’t need to. “

You can also connect the comm port to a computer for data logging.  It’s also a standard 1/4-DIN size, so you can mount four of ’em across in a standard rack.  Hell, this looks incredibly useful — for everything from brewing beer to designing your own manufacturing process.

Street pricing start around $385.

Model 3204 Temperatore Controller [Eurotherm]
Street Pricing [Google Products]

 

6 Responses to Build Temp Control Into Your Next Project

  1. William says:

    Cameron – do you have a link or flickr pool pictures to more info on your home brew setup? The first thing I thought when I read this is that it would be perfect for a home brewing. And overclocked computers.

  2. This is nice. Omega also makes something similar, for a little cheaper($295), that includes an ethernet interface (CNI16D series). Check their website – http://www.omega.com.

    I’ve been wanting one for my homebrew setup, so I can sit indoors and monitor/log the temp and watch TV while the brewing automaton does its thing. Then, all I would need is that beer-fetching robot from youtube.

    yours in perpetual flatulence,
    cmndr flatus

  3. RobinB says:

    I use one of these (as do many other coffee geeks) on my espresso machine.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/snoboy/sets/982485/

  4. Nice units, bit expensive for ol’ Buckaroo, though. If you recall, the jet car looked to be built out of a Ford pickup with a lot of random old junk on it.

    Well, back to work on my overthruster. Soon I will be going home, monkey boy!

  5. Cameron Russ says:

    Hey William,

    My home brew setup is nothing special (yet), I just use either a fish tank heater (immersion type) or a heating mat to warm the beer, which I keep in an old fridge body (for insulation and less thermal fluctuation). It just makes brewing a much more repeatable process if you have precise temperature control. I am planning next to use my control unit for a meat smoker (govern fan spped/burner temp). I would also say to others considering this if you are going to use one of these sorts of temp controllers, invest in an RTD (resistive thermal device) for the temp probe as they are more accurate than the standard K-type thermocouple at temperatures below about 200 C.

  6. Andrew says:

    Omega actually has a similar, more basic one that is much cheaper, at $125. Model CN63200.

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