Mulekicker's Heat Controller Project

If it plugs in, post it here.

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Re: Mulekicker's Heat Controller Project

Post by Kentucky shinner » Sat Jul 17, 2010 2:16 pm

Looks good Mulekicker, you ole bastard you do pretty good work. I may have to be getting me one of them there controllers from ya before long. Im thinking about setting up my 15 gallon boiler for A/C. I guess I can just get me heating elements at Lowes right?

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Re: Mulekicker's Heat Controller Project

Post by MuleKicker » Sat Jul 17, 2010 2:35 pm

Yes sir you can. They are cheap too. I paid $11 for my 5500w element. There are a few different ways to mount the element. I use a sanitary fitting and a tryclamp, for easy removal and cleaning. That does take alittle welding though. Just gimme a little notice, Im not as fast these days with the little one and all. :lol: Cheers MK
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Re: Mulekicker's Heat Controller Project

Post by Kiwi-lembic » Sat Jul 17, 2010 6:13 pm

[quote="LWTCS"]Brian, I need mine with a cone or domed shaped cover so that I may at least fondle and fiddle with something titty shaped :?

Seriously, nice unit.

Will there be a problem installing the power cords in an in-line or linear fashion?
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

lol L.W ya could call it the abadaptable mamory plate .with squeeze type nipple control

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Re: Mulekicker's Heat Controller Project

Post by MuleKicker » Sat Nov 27, 2010 4:42 pm

Here is the latest in my line of phase angle controllers. This model has a PSR-25 with a 30A meter incorporated. Here it is in action, running at a smooth 10A. 8)
DSC02122.JPG

Completed PSR-25 build with amp meter.
DSC02121.JPG
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Re: Mulekicker's Heat Controller Project

Post by LWTCS » Sat Nov 27, 2010 4:48 pm

Whare zit headed pray tell?

I will love it and pet it and tell it bed time storys. I will take it on family vacations and include it in all family photos.
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Re: Mulekicker's Heat Controller Project

Post by Kentucky shinner » Sat Nov 27, 2010 5:05 pm

yep Im gonna have to bite the bullet and get me one of these my freind... Guess im just gonna have to cut a hole in one my kegs and install me a 5000 watt element. :D
Damn nice MK
KS

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Re: Mulekicker's Heat Controller Project

Post by maheel » Sun Nov 28, 2010 2:18 am

how do you wire in the amp meter ?

i now have a PSR25 and the pot and am about to build it into a box, thought a meter might help with fine tuning.....

worth the effort MK ?

thinking of building a bigger "box" and putting a couple of pids i have to use as the temp gauges a sort of all in one box....

cheers
Maheel

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Re: Mulekicker's Heat Controller Project

Post by LWTCS » Sun Nov 28, 2010 5:03 am

maheel wrote:worth the effort MK ?
As an operator it is definitely worth having.
Give your self an indicator when you hit your personal sweet spot.
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Re: Mulekicker's Heat Controller Project

Post by MuleKicker » Sun Nov 28, 2010 6:10 am

maheel wrote:how do you wire in the amp meter ?

i now have a PSR25 and the pot and am about to build it into a box, thought a meter might help with fine tuning.....

worth the effort MK ?

thinking of building a bigger "box" and putting a couple of pids i have to use as the temp gauges a sort of all in one box....

cheers
Maheel
i never thought it was that big of a deal to have a meter, but after this, its really starting to grow on me. meter is fairly simple to install on the PSR build. with the module controlling the neutral side, the 2 black (one hot, one going to load) wires are just tied together in the box with a nut. intstead of that, the meter goes in series with them. gotta make sure you get a 30A meter rated for A/C current.
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Re: Mulekicker's Heat Controller Project

Post by Manback » Mon Nov 29, 2010 4:24 pm

Has that one got a home?

I'll buy it :lol:

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Re: Mulekicker's Heat Controller Project

Post by Mr.Spooky » Sun Jan 02, 2011 3:17 pm

i dont know JACK about electrical stuff,, so if this question seems dumb,, dont laugh,,, but can you daisy chain 2 elements to this controler?
thanks
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Re: Mulekicker's Heat Controller Project

Post by rad14701 » Sun Jan 02, 2011 3:37 pm

Mr.Spooky wrote:i dont know JACK about electrical stuff,, so if this question seems dumb,, dont laugh,,, but can you daisy chain 2 elements to this controler?
thanks
spooky
You can run two or more elements either in series or parallel with any controller just as long as you do not exceed maximum operational parameters with regard to wattage or amperage of any component... For example, two 1500W elements in parallel (3000W), two 4500W elements in series (2250W), but not two 4500W elements in parallel (9000W)....

A very "good" question, by the way...

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Re: Mulekicker's Heat Controller Project

Post by Kentucky shinner » Sun Jan 02, 2011 3:42 pm

if you ran say 2 5000 watt elements would that double the amps you pull? Im with spooky dumber than dogshit about ac.. sorry spooky :twisted: The reason I ask is I think most 220 breakers are 30a. but I honestly have friggin electricity, I guess because I know nothing about it... guess I will learn when my new MK5000 gets here.

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Re: Mulekicker's Heat Controller Project

Post by Mr.Spooky » Sun Jan 02, 2011 3:42 pm

rad14701 wrote:
Mr.Spooky wrote:i dont know JACK about electrical stuff,, so if this question seems dumb,, dont laugh,,, but can you daisy chain 2 elements to this controler?
thanks
spooky
You can run two or more elements either in series or parallel with any controller just as long as you do not exceed maximum operational parameters with regard to wattage...

A very "good" question, by the way...
10/4 !
thanks
spooky
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Re: Mulekicker's Heat Controller Project

Post by Mr.Spooky » Sun Jan 02, 2011 4:00 pm

dang rad,, you lost me with the example :?
recon you could do some of that wetnap drafting??? :ebiggrin:
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Re: Mulekicker's Heat Controller Project

Post by bgrizzle » Sun Jan 02, 2011 4:05 pm

K.S. dont worry about the electronics... I'm going to take detailed pictures of how I installed my 40amp breaker and power outlet.

From there its simple... run an extension cord, and hook up the heating element...

I would go with one 5500W element... only 1 hole in the keg... its easy...

My pictures will make it very easy for you...

I HAVE ONE PIECE OF ADVICE... WHEN RUNNING ANY NEW CIRCUIT... INSTALL THE BREAKER LAST... THAT WAY THE OUTLET AND NOTHING ELSE HAS ANY POWER GOING TO IT... NO RISK OF SHOCK... THE LAST THING YOU DO IS SNAP THE BREAKER INTO THE PANEL...

LIKE I SAID... I WILL MAKE IT VERY EASY FOR YOU...

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Re: Mulekicker's Heat Controller Project

Post by MuleKicker » Sun Jan 02, 2011 5:45 pm

I think it is worth noting the difference between a series and parallel circuit.

Series:
series.png
series.png (2.32 KiB) Viewed 8421 times
Parallel:
parallel.png
parallel.png (2.64 KiB) Viewed 8421 times
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Re: Mulekicker's Heat Controller Project

Post by Mr.Spooky » Sun Jan 02, 2011 5:51 pm

hahahahah does anybody got a crayon so i can understand a little better???? lol
spook
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Re: Mulekicker's Heat Controller Project

Post by MuleKicker » Sun Jan 02, 2011 5:54 pm

I aint pokin at ya spooky. Just saw the question about multiple elements, Just incase someone didnt know or got it confused. But if you want a crayon..... I got one. :lol:
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Re: Mulekicker's Heat Controller Project

Post by Kentucky shinner » Sun Jan 02, 2011 5:57 pm

bgrizzle wrote:K.S. dont worry about the electronics... I'm going to take detailed pictures of how I installed my 40amp breaker and power outlet.

From there its simple... run an extension cord, and hook up the heating element...

I would go with one 5500W element... only 1 hole in the keg... its easy...

My pictures will make it very easy for you...

I HAVE ONE PIECE OF ADVICE... WHEN RUNNING ANY NEW CIRCUIT... INSTALL THE BREAKER LAST... THAT WAY THE OUTLET AND NOTHING ELSE HAS ANY POWER GOING TO IT... NO RISK OF SHOCK... THE LAST THING YOU DO IS SNAP THE BREAKER INTO THE PANEL...

LIKE I SAID... I WILL MAKE IT VERY EASY FOR YOU...
Thanks man that is what i need pictures... it will help me out alot.. I think im gonna take one of my kegs this week and get it set up for AC...

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Re: Mulekicker's Heat Controller Project

Post by RyanS » Fri Jan 07, 2011 6:27 pm

Mulekicker, does the latest variation of your controller still use an arduino? I have a duemilnove in my drawer. What I would love to do is have the arduino handle the heating elements AND the reflux ball valve with one of these suckers http://www.tsvalves.com.au/products.php?cat=180" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" rel="nofollow or roll my own using a hobby servo.
Could I please get a copy of the plans & bill of materials for the heat controller?

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Re: Mulekicker's Heat Controller Project

Post by MuleKicker » Sat Jan 08, 2011 5:39 pm

no, the latest model uses a psr25 module. That build, complete with a parts list is in the new distiller's lounge
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Re: Mulekicker's Heat Controller Project

Post by wnv » Tue Dec 25, 2012 11:13 am

OK I realize this is an old post but I was hoping to ask you a few questions about the arduino based controller in the first post.
What I want to do is have a thermocouple in the boiler and when it reaches a certain temperature (ie boiling point) then the adruino board would turn the heat down on the heating element. Then when it reaches a maximum temperature it could turn the element completely off.

Is the solid state relay you used a normal zero crossing relay, or one of the random fire types?

It's been probably 10 years since I did any programming but I think I have your code figured out. The SS1 - SS6 values are for the rotary switch right. So for instance, when SS2 is High, then the switch is in the 2nd position.

So then you set the SSR to be on for 29ms, and off for 115ms ?
Is there any reason that you chose to use 144ms as the delay between each loop?

The other thing I'm confused about is the purpose of the last bit of code starting at:
if((SS1 = HIGH) && (SS2 = HIGH))
{
delay(250);

Is it simply a delay for the switching of the rotary switch between positions?

Thanks for your help

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Re: Mulekicker's Heat Controller Project

Post by Prairiepiss » Tue Dec 25, 2012 11:29 am

wnv wrote:OK I realize this is an old post but I was hoping to ask you a few questions about the arduino based controller in the first post.
What I want to do is have a thermocouple in the boiler and when it reaches a certain temperature (ie boiling point) then the adruino board would turn the heat down on the heating element. Then when it reaches a maximum temperature it could turn the element completely off.

Is the solid state relay you used a normal zero crossing relay, or one of the random fire types?

It's been probably 10 years since I did any programming but I think I have your code figured out. The SS1 - SS6 values are for the rotary switch right. So for instance, when SS2 is High, then the switch is in the 2nd position.

So then you set the SSR to be on for 29ms, and off for 115ms ?
Is there any reason that you chose to use 144ms as the delay between each loop?

The other thing I'm confused about is the purpose of the last bit of code starting at:
if((SS1 = HIGH) && (SS2 = HIGH))
{
delay(250);

Is it simply a delay for the switching of the rotary switch between positions?

Thanks for your help
How will you know what the boiling point is? It changes the whole run. How will you compensate for it changing?

You can't control a still by boiler temps. There is a nice thread about that in the must read new distiller reading lounge.
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Re: Mulekicker's Heat Controller Project

Post by wnv » Tue Dec 25, 2012 12:28 pm

I think your seeing this wrong. Its not like I'm making constant changes to the heat input.
The boiling point increases throughout the run, but it will start at a certain point depending on the alcohol content.

Say I had a 4500w heater element than the controller would work something like this:
Start - Full power to bring the wash up to a boil as quickly as possible.
@ 80* C - Turn power down to 30% (ie. 1350 w)
@ 90* C - Turn power off

Not much different then what you would do if you were manually controlling the heat input.

I only need to know the aprox boiling point of the mash at the start. Say its 82* C I can turn the power down at 80* c before it reaches a boil; It will still heat up to a boil after. In actual fact I would probably have 2 thermocouples, one in the boiler and on at the top of the column. I could turn the heat down once the column thermocouple heats up (ie the wash is boiling). But to start out I would just use one until I learn how it all works.

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Re: Mulekicker's Heat Controller Project

Post by rad14701 » Fri Jan 04, 2013 8:05 am

wnv, it honestly doesn't work like that... It sounds good on paper but in realty all the boiler needs is Watts/BTU's of heat input to maintain an adequate amount of vapor production... How much is pretty much a moot point... You just need to throw "enough" but not "too much"...

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Re: Mulekicker's Heat Controller Project

Post by TheMechwarrior » Tue May 13, 2014 4:43 pm

MuleKicker built one of these for me back in November 2010, and I have to say I've heard about cheaper controllers failing on people in the years since but this thing is rock solid!
Image

I've upgraded from a 2"VM to a 6" bubbler running 2 x 3600W elements so I need to either upgrade my controller or buy/build another.

Can anyone tell me if I can "simply" change out the 25A SSR for a 40A SSR and run 2 x 15A 220V parallel inputs to 2 x 3600W parallel outputs?
I'd prefer to have only one controller managing all my heating elements.

Cheers,

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Re: Mulekicker's Heat Controller Project

Post by Prairiepiss » Thu May 15, 2014 5:28 pm

Run one element without the controller. And one with. 0 to 3000 watts use just the one with the controller. For over 3000 watts use both elements. Controlling it from 3000 to 6000 watts with the controller.
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Re: Mulekicker's Heat Controller Project

Post by biggeroots » Fri May 23, 2014 4:25 am

Heres my new controller from ebay uk. Works real well, 25amp 240v.
3-IMG-20140520-00042.jpg[/attachment ][attachment=1]2-IMG-20140520-00043.jpg
Its the one on right! The display in front is an electricity monitor from power company. Interesting to see that the controller uses less power when turned down, as i understood previously they used same power on all settings!
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3-IMG-20140520-00042.jpg
2-IMG-20140520-00043.jpg

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Re: Mulekicker's Heat Controller Project

Post by MoonWhisky » Wed Jun 04, 2014 5:35 pm

Here's my new controller box 220v
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IMG_20140602_223205.jpg
IMG_20140602_223117.jpg

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