Let's see your controller box

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Re: Let's see your controller box

Postby artooks » Thu Nov 02, 2017 6:17 am

Just finished my SSR controller, been working on it for the last 2 weeks. Working Great
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Re: Let's see your controller box

Postby Still Life » Thu Nov 02, 2017 8:24 am

Looks good, Artooks.
You've really come a long way since you first joined.
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Re: Let's see your controller box

Postby artooks » Thu Nov 02, 2017 1:40 pm

Thanks Still Life appreciate that.
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Re: Let's see your controller box

Postby RedwoodHillBilly » Thu Nov 02, 2017 1:50 pm

Still Life wrote:Looks good, Artooks.
You've really come a long way since you first joined.


Agreed. Artooks, I told you that you would get it. Now you know how a CCVM is built and run, how a proper controller is built, etc. Now you just have to experiment and learn the other 95% of the stuff. :lol:

It is a continuing journey, good luck in your education. You are well on the path to enlightenment. :)
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"and little Sir John in the nut brown bowl proved the strongest man at last.
The huntsman he can't hunt the fox, nor so loudly to blow his horn
and the tinker he can't mend kettle nor pots without a little barleycorn."
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Re: Let's see your controller box

Postby artooks » Thu Nov 02, 2017 2:04 pm

Thank you RedwoodHillyBilly you really helped me a lot in my journey, with your intensive help I have built my CCVM still which I love it, now I am trying to learn distilling different spirits, thank a million times.
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Re: Let's see your controller box

Postby RedwoodHillBilly » Thu Nov 02, 2017 2:32 pm

You're welcome. It was my pleasure to help you come along. If I'm ever in Turkey, I expect to sample some of your wares. I'm sure that they will be of the highest quality.
John Barleycorn must die.
"and little Sir John in the nut brown bowl proved the strongest man at last.
The huntsman he can't hunt the fox, nor so loudly to blow his horn
and the tinker he can't mend kettle nor pots without a little barleycorn."
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Re: Let's see your controller box

Postby artooks » Thu Nov 02, 2017 3:46 pm

Whenever you want RedwoodHillyBilly, it would be a pleasure.
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Re: Let's see your controller box

Postby Nunyo » Fri Mar 30, 2018 8:27 am

This is a great thread that gave me lots of ideas for my first controller build. To all those that contributed, thanks for the inspiration. My setup is 220/240v with a 5500 watt heater. Best of all is that it works perfectly though I have only used it to heat up water as I am still completing my flute column.

Below is what I came up with and built including my parts list. Hopefully this will be helpful to others looking to build their own controllers.

Here is a breakdown of all the parts.

I used this SCR controller. I bought 2 so I have a spare.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/AC110V-220V-10 ... 3432913042

This dial face for the above controller. This wasn't needed but i thought it added a finished touch to the enclosure.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01M9GZIC1

This NMEA enclosure. I could have gone cheaper but I wanted one that was rugged with plenty of room inside:
tps://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00OG1X7K4

I used this circuit breaker as the power switch. I could have used a simple 220v 30a wall type switch but I wanted something a bit more robust:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B013SWPSY4/

These rails to mount the above breaker in the box. I cut the rail to fit the box and used standoffs and long screws to mount the rail so the face of the breaker would stick out through the face of the enclosure.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0159JLOCE

This digital amp/volt meter
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00YY1KOHA

This 30amp L6 30R and L6-30P outlet and plug. I bought a couple of these so I had an outlet for my wall and for my controller box.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/30-Amp-250-Vol ... 3309669606

This 220/240v fan for keeping the controller enclosure nice and cool.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/220V-240V-8cm- ... 2756981482

These fan filters for keeping dust out of the enclosure. One went on the intake side and I used a standard fan grill over the fan side which pushes out.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00315C03G/

And finally, this 5500w tri clamp heater element that has an L6-30P plug connection on it. It made it nice and easy to disconnect the power from the heater while leaving the heater in the boiler.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B075KHLJ69/

Below are photos of the complete box and a picture when I was doing my testing after the build.
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IMG_7655.jpg
IMG_7669.jpg
IMG_7668.jpg
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Re: Let's see your controller box

Postby Tony1964 » Fri Apr 20, 2018 8:42 am

Nearly finished, made from an IP67 first aid unit from Ikea
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IMG_3398.jpg
IMG_3403.jpg
variable SCR X 2
IMG_3402.jpg
internal wiring
IMG_3400.jpg
Rear panel with thermal probe inputs
IMG_3397.jpg
Front panel
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Re: Let's see your controller box

Postby Baldy_1 » Wed Apr 25, 2018 11:28 am

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
relax we're all crazy here it's not a competition
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Re: Let's see your controller box

Postby 6 Row Joe » Wed Apr 25, 2018 11:34 am

Just a simple PID controller for a 2000w. element. It works well but you still have to adjust it to raise the temp. I just bought a 1400w element and a Variable router control and tested it yesterday. On high it gets a bit warm but I may just plug the element into the wall to warm the pot up then use the controller to reduce the input.
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I don't drink alcohol, I drink distilled spirits.
Therefore I'm not a alcoholic, I'm spiritual.
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Re: Let's see your controller box

Postby Kindafrench » Mon Apr 22, 2019 10:32 pm

image015.jpg
Controller

I already had: computer powersupply case, 9 V power adapter, 12 V computer fan, plug with cable.
I bought: mains switch, 4 kw SCR, voltmeter, Socket.

About 14 € alltogether.
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Re: Let's see your controller box

Postby NZChris » Mon Apr 22, 2019 10:53 pm

When you dial up 50% power, does the Voltmeter read what you expect it should?
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Re: Let's see your controller box

Postby Kindafrench » Tue Apr 23, 2019 2:22 am

Good question, as I don't care about the poti position, except 0 and full :lol:. I usually plug the controller into a powermeter, which gives me a precise enough reading and helped a lot in the very beginning
(where I still am :) with my 4 runs overall)

What I try to dial in, is 600-650 watts for reflux operation, which gets a nice simmering in the pot. On the voltmeter it shows 100-110 volts.
But that's nothing I count on. I just marked this area as 600 watts and the rest goes by human sensorics and -sense.

It doesn't matter to me, if I waste some watts by putting a little too much energy in the heater. It's all renewable. As long as the sun shines, the wind blows and the water flows, it's fine.

I was thinking about putting a fixed value resistor in the circuit and switch between poti and this resistor and decided to do this with the spare SCR I ordered today.

Sorry NZChris, is this the answer to your question? Or do you want me to take a reading at 50% poti and pass the resulting volts and watts?
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Re: Let's see your controller box

Postby NZChris » Tue Apr 23, 2019 2:26 am

Kindafrench wrote:Or do you want me to take a reading at 50% poti and pass the resulting volts and watts?

Yes, please.

I've been getting weird readings from a couple of ammeters on an SCR, but never thought of trying a voltmeter to see if that made more sense.
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Re: Let's see your controller box

Postby Kindafrench » Tue Apr 23, 2019 5:23 am

You're welcome!

Here we go:
Took readings from a 230 V / 1500 Watts (what the label sais) hotplate, 36 Ohms (hot!)

SCR poti at full power:
233 V - 6.06 A - 1400 W (powermeter reading was fluctuating a bit up and down) but Wattage do make sense.

SCR poti at 70 %-ish (no way to tell better, there is no scale):
115 V - 3.06 A - 480 W (same fluctuation on powermeter). 115 V should give somewhat 350 W.

The analog voltmeter gave a stable reading all the time and it's a cheap chinese one.
A quality voltmeter should giver more precise readings. Powermeter is not the cheapest, but I have no idea about it's reliability.

Will take some more readings with my quality multimeter on the boiler and the 2400 W element when I do my next batch.

Edit: At 50 % power, 158 V should be displayed on the voltmeter. So I adjusted the poti to that point, giving me a close to 160 V reading on the voltmeter, and... 698 W on the powermeter. You can't fool Ohms law and the voltmeter is not that bad it seems, just a bit small.
That answers your question finally.
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Re: Let's see your controller box

Postby NZChris » Tue Apr 23, 2019 11:59 pm

Kindafrench wrote:That answers your question finally.

Thanks for that. I've ordered a Volt meter to add to the box as it would look nice and the voltage in my street can vary quite a bit during a run. The cheap ammeters I bought worked fine as long as they weren't measuring controlled current from my SCR, so I had to make up a 0-100% dial for the pot and I calculate my Watts using that. I have one ancient German Ammeter that does read the output from the SCR correctly, but I don't want to mount it in that control box or have to daisy chain it in line every time I run.
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Re: Let's see your controller box

Postby Kindafrench » Sat Jun 08, 2019 7:58 am

Chris, did you ever try to put the ammeter before the SCR? Maybe it gives a better reading with unhacksawed AC.
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Re: Let's see your controller box

Postby NZChris » Sat Jun 08, 2019 12:23 pm

Kindafrench wrote:Chris, did you ever try to put the ammeter before the SCR? Maybe it gives a better reading with unhacksawed AC.

Yes and there is no difference. It appears that my Old Faithful tells lies as well, and my new volt meter doesn't move below a voltage of it's choosing even though a lamp confirms that the SCR is working just fine. Now, I just record the Wattage of the element being controlled and the SCR % for future reference.
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Re: Let's see your controller box

Postby kimbodious » Sat Jun 08, 2019 1:12 pm

92500AFB-FC22-479A-A34C-33B853433B3F.jpeg


I put a two pole switch on mine. Left position bypasses the SSVR. Centre position breaks the circuit. Right position directs the power to the SSVR
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Let's see your controller box

Postby DSM Loki » Sat Jun 08, 2019 4:06 pm

A little work in progress.[img]https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20190609/6c5150d3c080346ba04086a92e0d6b34.jpg[/img][img]https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20190609/b5c1c6bfb458140dbaed99f7126be30a.jpg[/img][img]https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20190609/7293121279e43ad71ccb84e6768999e7.jpg[/img][img]https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20190609/5e6c6eb7995f59c399dc5fcc2781053d.jpg[/img]
Last edited by DSM Loki on Sun Jun 09, 2019 3:10 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Let's see your controller box

Postby Yummyrum » Sat Jun 08, 2019 6:02 pm

Sorry , none of those picture links work . Please post the pictures direct to forum with the upload attachment option at the bottom
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Re: Let's see your controller box

Postby GCB3 » Sun Jun 09, 2019 7:34 am

Wow! There are some serious skills here. You guys are incredible.

Could I ask a simple electrical question? I ordered a
K Type thermocouple for my still head and an inexpensive digital readout. The TC has a 10’ SS braided lead with no terminal connection, just the two wires. I bench tested the system with boiling water and it was good.

So, I would like to install a phono plug type disconnect in between the display and TC. A friend, who like me has enough knowledge to be dangerous, suggested that soldering the plugs inline may affect the accuracy of the TC. Can anyone speak to this? If this is possible, is there any special type of plug I’d need?

I’d really like to have the flexibility to disconnect the TC during setup and disassembly.
Thanks so much.
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Re: Let's see your controller box

Postby DSM Loki » Sun Jun 09, 2019 8:23 am

I would use a solderless crimp connector personally but it should work fine. Test it with boiling water afterwards to verify proper function.

Edit to add: I'm not an EE buy any means and am also just knowledgeable enough to get in trouble. I'm just slapping my controller together with what I have laying around.
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Re: Let's see your controller box

Postby GCB3 » Sun Jun 09, 2019 8:46 am

Thanks DSM. I am also planning a new control box. I want to add a female receptacle for the TC. I was thinking of a standard mini phono plug set, but, just don’t have any experience with TC’s. Another option might be a stereo speaker connection like on a stereo amp. Sure wish Radio Shack was still around the corner! They still have an online presence but their sales folks were always very helpful.
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Re: Let's see your controller box

Postby DSM Loki » Sun Jun 09, 2019 1:55 pm

Mouser electronics and McMaster are both excellent resources to track down different options as well. Edit to add: Automation Direct and WireAndCableYourWay are nifty too.

Got the power in and out mounted today. Ferrules come tomorrow and I'll assemble and test function, then get rid of all my random sharpie notes and drawings from the outside.
IMG_20190609_175359.jpg
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Re: Let's see your controller box

Postby DSM Loki » Mon Jun 10, 2019 6:48 pm

Made a little progress on the controller today. Power, neutral, and ground in are wired to the main breaker, and from it to the terminal blocks. The power outputs are wired to the contactors and grounds. All grounds, case, and component have good continuity to ground. Power from terminal blocks to breakers is done, the neutrals are all done for the 110 circuits. Switches illuminate on power on, fan comes on when the controlled circuit is activated, and both contactors are functioning. Tomorrow I just have to wire the power from the breakers to controller and contactors, wire up the meters, and test function.
IMG_20190610_224134.jpg
IMG_20190610_224035.jpg


It's not as clean as I would prefer, but it will function well.
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Re: Let's see your controller box

Postby Kindafrench » Mon Jun 10, 2019 8:33 pm

Looks much cleaner than mine :D
What are you connecting to the box? So many fuses...
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Re: Let's see your controller box

Postby Oldvine Zin » Mon Jun 10, 2019 9:23 pm

Looks good but the one issue I see is if you pop one of those many circuit breakers, will it require a lid removal to reset??

OVZ
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Re: Let's see your controller box

Postby DSM Loki » Tue Jun 11, 2019 7:07 am

Yes, it requires lid removal. If I'm popping one of those breakers though something fucky is going on and I don't mind popping the lid to inspect. I had considered a hinge top enclosure but just couldn't justify the price jump.
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