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Wanted: A universal temperature controller solution


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I've been temped to jump into the world of PID temperature control. But if I'm going to do it, I want a system that is versatile. I'm wondering if it's possible to piece together a controller that will run a fan for a kamado as well as a 120V outlet for some slow-cooker sous vide. All without breaking the bank.

The Dorkfood DSV that John is reviewing now is intriguing for the price, but it is only rated to measure up to 200° reliably (according to the the official response on their Facebook page), so it's out for kamado usage.

I'm looking for any advice on the best/cheapest way to go. Wifi monitoring and all that would be cool, but I'd like to keep this project under $200 if possible. It seems I need a unit that measures up to 300° that will drive a 120V outlet for crockpot usage. Then I could add a transformer/solenoid and fan assembly that would fit the Akorn. I can solder and follow some simple schematics, but I'd rather not make a circuit board from scratch. Can anyone point me in the direction of any prefab solutions? Even if a little DIY is required?

Much thanks to anyone that can steer me in the right direction. I've been searching for days and just keep spinning around in circles trying to figure out what I need. There are so many options. Thanks!

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The Dorkfood controller has a pretty good rating on Amazon. But if it is only rated at 200* it is not going to be much good on a cooker. I know Auber have essentially the same thing. You can call them and see what probes you need for sous vide and a kamado. Get there blower and AC/DC converter and you're cooking. Should be less that $200 for everything I think. Then there are also the DIY controllers.

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I sent emails out to Auber and Fresh Meals Solutions. FMS replied saying Sous Vide Magic (a very popular SV unit) could control a fan if it were AC powered. I knew that much. But it doesn't appear they have a kit available.

Which leaves Auber. They have so many products, so I'm asking what their best package is for what I'm trying to do.

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If I could figure out a good way to secure something like this to the vent on my Akorn, I'd be good to go with nearly any 120V-output sous vide controller. I have plenty of power supplies around to run a DC fan off AC.

http://www.amazon.com/Antec-Cyclone-Blo ... pd_sim_e_5

If I could fashion a mounting plate to filled in the vertical dimension, I'm thinking I could wedge this into the vent on my Akorn. At what temp do you think a plastic casing like this would become an issue? It seems the fan assemblies that Auber sells are all made of plastic. I'd like to think at normal smoking temps it would be fine, but now I may want to run this thing up to 400° if possible. Think that would be an issue?

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I sent emails out to Auber and Fresh Meals Solutions. FMS replied saying Sous Vide Magic (a very popular SV unit) could control a fan if it were AC powered. I knew that much. But it doesn't appear they have a kit available.

Which leaves Auber. They have so many products, so I'm asking what their best package is for what I'm trying to do.

Call Auber that will be happy to work with you.

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I don't think those two products work together. The blower is meant to attach to a DC output on a temperature controller. I am considering getting that blower and wiring it up with a transformer for AC switching, though.

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I just had a brain cramp. The Auber PID is powered by 12 vdc and supplies power to the fan. Why not connect up an SSR to switch 120 vac to power the slow cooker. I tried to call Auber myself but for the first time no answer. I will try again later and let you know what I find out.

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I talked to Auber Instruments and they said it should work. The only problem is the output from the PID is 12vdc and may/may not trigger the SSR. So I may have to add a small resister in series with the SSR relay. I am off to Radio Shack. I will let you know how it works out.

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I think my wife (and myself, truth be told) would be less concerned with me modifying a high voltage device to run a low voltage fan rather than the other way around. Especially for something that will be left unattended.

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There is nothing to modify (it's a build.) I am going to build a black box with a switch in it. I plug in the box to a GFI protected outlet and the output is connected to the slow cooker. I connect the output of the Auber to the input of the switch instead of a fan. When the Auber senses the temp is low it operates the switch which applies power to the slow cooker. it would look something like this:

1500Ebackviewa.jpg

Instead of having a sensor I would have a connection from the output from the Auber.

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