STC1000 Temperature controller build.

Discussion in 'I made this!' started by Rustynuts, Jul 9, 2011.

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  1. Rustynuts

    Rustynuts Flamingo Tongue

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    Hi folks. Not been here for a while due to circumstances, but thought I'd drop in and see what was happening. Also thought I'd show you what I'd thought up to help control tank temps. I know this is mostly a US based forum, and a lot of the wiring here will not be relevant due to the fact I'm in the UK, but the ideas are the same and you could modify things to suit your standards.

    Hope it's useful.

    I've been looking at the TC10 for a while and thought they were a good idea. But overly expensive when you factor in that all you get is the actual unit. Then for another tenner you can buy a box to house it in, albeit with a hole cut in the side. Nowt else, just a box and the unit for £49 delivered. So to get one working you need cable, trailing sockets, wiring connectors, a plug, cable glands, etc. which all adds to the cost. Too much for me.

    So, I bought one from Hong Kong. Cost £13.50 delivered. And this is what it looks like (soup can is so you can see how small it is).

    [​IMG]

    And a quick shot of the internals just for good measure.

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    This differs from the TC10 in that the TC10 has internal switching of 240v to the heat and cool terminals, whereas the STC1000 just has switching relays so 240v has to be provided to each relay with a link wire. Here's a wiring diagram. Earth wire omitted for clarity and because heaters don't use them.

    [​IMG]

    I wired a connector block to the unit, as per the diagram.

    Next we need a box to house it in. Not paying Forttex prices, so off to the web and Ebay gave me a Gewiss GW44206 enclosure box (150 x 110 x 70), ten 20mm cable glands, and ten 16mm cable glands.

    [​IMG]

    And this is the size of the box with the unit and connection block sitting inside it.

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    And out with my tool of the day. Not had chance to use this before but I knew it'd come in handy when I bought it.

    [​IMG]

    This is the size of the unit.

    [​IMG]

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    And marked the correct size hole on the end of the box. then chop it out with the Dremel tool..

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    We'll also need some mains cable. I used 5 core.

    [​IMG]

    Then we need a hole for the cable gland. So out with the cordless drill and a hole cutter.

    [​IMG]

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    And also a fuse holder.

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    Testing the hole to make sure it's the correct size.

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    Then solder a couple of wire tails to the fuse holder terminals.

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    And fit it through the hole, putting the lock nut on as well.

    [​IMG]

    Then fit a 20mm cable gland and put the lock nut on the inside, then feed the sensor wire through it, and then the mains 5 core cable.

    [​IMG]

    Then fit the clips to the side of the STC1000 to lock it into the enclosure.

    [​IMG]

    Now on to wiring in the rest of the units equipment. At this point you could devise your own way of doing things. You could be a rough arse and cut the plug off a heater and wire it in, or you could add a couple of trailing sockets (one for heating and one for cooling) and use a couple more cable glands, anything you want really. But this is what I did. Here's the cable...

    [​IMG]

    And through the same gland and wired into the connector block, following the wiring on the diagram. Also I later put a cable tie round the wires to help stop them pulling through.

    [​IMG]

    The other end of the cable needs 240v L, N, and E. and then there are 2 switched wires, one for heating and one for cooling. I decided to use a 6 socket extension lead.

    [​IMG]

    Drilled a hole in the end and fitted a 16mm cable gland.

    [​IMG]

    Then to separate the sockets into three banks of two. So the Dremel was used to cut the live bar at relevant places.

    [​IMG]

    And the wires from the STC1000 were soldered onto the sections left. The earth went to the earth bar, neutral to the neutral bar, and the live along to the right hand bank (which are still mains live). The other two switched lives were soldered to the second and third banks respectively.

    [​IMG]

    Then reassemble the whole thing, and it looks like this.

    [​IMG]

    Plugged in and tested, and the sockets labeled so that you know what does what.

    [​IMG]

    This gives two sockets for plugging in standard (unbutchered) heaters, two sockets to plug in fans if necessary, and two sockets which remain available for other use.

    So the whole unit is fused at 13amps in the plug. The STC1000 has its own fuse at 3amps, each socket provides 13amps protected current and allows the heater/cooler plugged in to run it's own fuse rating.

    Total cost of this project...

    • STC1000 - £13.50
    • Cable glands and enclosure box - £14.00
    • Extension lead - £6.99
    • Fuse holder and fuse - 50p
    • Connectors & wire etc. - Pennies

    Total - Less than £35.00

    :thumbup1:

    Finished unit in position and working.

    [​IMG]

    If anyone wondered why I'd put the STC1000 in the box upside down, then here's the answer. The box is screwed to the underside of the tank cabinet (with very short screws!!!) and then the lid is screwed back on. Fuse holder is on the side of the box, easily accessible.
     
    Vu Nguyen and ComputerJohn like this.
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  3. Seano Hermano

    Seano Hermano Giant Squid

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    That's awesome. :) I just need to figure out the cost to build this in the US. :)
     
  4. ComputerJohn

    ComputerJohn Panda Puffer

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    £35.00 = $56.00
     
  5. Seano Hermano

    Seano Hermano Giant Squid

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    Thanks. lol. I guess it was that simple(the conversion). For some reason I was thinking the price of copper would be different here than in the UK. ::)
     
  6. ComputerJohn

    ComputerJohn Panda Puffer

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    Hello Rustynuts,

    GREAT DIY!!! K+ for you!! ;) Got to love Europe's funny 220v plugs.. Very well build, it even brings a tear to my eye I'm so proud.. :D

    Now let me see if I have this right. Depending on Temp, you'll have the device that is plugged into the modded power strip turn on or off.. Right?
     
  7. ComputerJohn

    ComputerJohn Panda Puffer

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    I'm sure it is, but if you are worried about price of copper, then get out of this hobby.. LOL!! ;) You know I'm being sarcastic.
     
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  9. Seano Hermano

    Seano Hermano Giant Squid

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    That's what I was thinking.

    lol. John, you crack me up sometimes.
     
  10. ComputerJohn

    ComputerJohn Panda Puffer

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    Even at $56.00, that is a VERY cheap DIY project on what is does..
     
  11. ComputerJohn

    ComputerJohn Panda Puffer

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    Hey in this hobby.. We need laughter as times.. It keeps out sanity.. :loco:
     
  12. Matt Rogers

    Matt Rogers Kingfish Staff Member

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    Way to go Rusty! I could use your help with a rusty electrical bus on my boat. :) Thanks for sharing and the great pics.

    That is what I am thinking but I want to hear more details about how it works too.