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PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2017 12:35 pm 
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Koa
Koa
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Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2009 3:14 am
Posts: 523
Location: Shefford, Québec
First name: Tim
Last Name: Mullin
City: Shefford
State: QC
Zip/Postal Code: J2M 1R5
Country: Canada
Focus: Build
Status: Semi-pro
Several folks have seen pictures of my temperature controller and asked if I would provide more details on the parts required and the construction. I don't claim to have been innovative in any way -- I've simply taken the same PID used by LMI as the base for their temperature controller and designed my unit around that. A few notes before I get into details:
1. Don't expect to build a unit comparable to the LMI product at a fraction of the price. The LMI controller is actually pretty good value, so unless you are comfortable with electronics assembly and prepared to do some sourcing of parts, I would recommend going to LMI to purchase their unit.
2. If you don't understand my basic wiring diagram, you should probably ask yourself if you have the competence to attempt this build. You're dealing with control of 120VAC, so it's not a place to mess around if you don't have some knowledge in this area.
3. Wire size is important. The heat blanket side of the control needs to handle 10 amps of current, so wire used should be at least 16AWG. This large guage of wire will not connect easily to the connections on the PID, so you must use smaller diameter wire for the controller circuit that is fused at 1 amp -- I used 22AWG.
4. I already had a separate mechanical timer as a fail-safe switch between my controller and blanket, seen in one of the pictures. Some PIDs have a timer function built in, so you may prefer that. Whatever you do, be aware that you should NEVER leave a blanket unattended in use. Not only can you easily scorch a side if things don't go right, you can also lose your shop (and possibly your house) to fire.

Now, the parts required. I've attached a pdf file in a followup post listing all the parts, the supplier I used, and their online price (late 2016) without shipping. Some were sourced in Canada (where I live) and others from the US. I used a PID from Auber Instruments http://www.auberins.com -- it's the same model as used by LMI. I also found a box from Auber -- if you use the same box, be aware it's a tight squeeze, especially with the hardware holding the box panels. Plan and cut carefully! The PID accepts connections from a K-type thermocouple -- a special panel connector facilitates this connection. The PID also has output for a Solid State Relay (SSR), allowing you to switch the 10amp load to the blanket

You'll need a wiring diagram to guide your parts layout and assembly. Mine is attached to a followup post -- consult the parts list for the spec on the various components. Be sure to observe polarity on the SSR and K-type thermocouple connections. Also observe the proper connection of the Live and Neutral feeds for the 120VAC. And finally, note that large gauge wire used for the blanket circuit is indicated on my wiring diagram with a heavier line -- use at least 16AWG wire for these connections. Wire colour makes no difference electrically, but can be helpful to confirm your connections are correct. For my 120VAC connections, I used conventional black, white and green for Live, Neutral and Ground wires, respectively. For the low voltage DC connections to the thermocouple and the SSR, I used red and black for positive and negative terminals, respectively.

Once you've worked out the physical layout of components on the front and rear panels, use masking tape and a pencil to draw the outline of the cut outs. Components available from large suppliers like Digi-key usually have helpful technical documents that specify the exact dimensions of cutouts for various panel types. You'll see in the pictures, I simply drilled a series of holes through the aluminium, then used files to enlarge and shape the holes as required. I fould that fit of some components was less secure than I liked, so I simply added a drop of epoxy inside to make sure the components couldn't shift.

As much as possible, I used insulated crimp connectors. Those used for higher current connections (the blanket circuit) were made doubly secure with a solder connection. The 120VAC panel sockets and fuse connectors were soldered.

It's important to note the bolt added to the bottom of the box as a common ground connection -- the green wires.

A sequence of photos follows to illustrate the various stages of construction:
Attachment:
physical layoput.jpg

Attachment:
front panel layout.jpg

Attachment:
front cut outs.jpg

Attachment:
front cut outs complete.jpg

Attachment:
wiring complete.jpg

Attachment:
front view.jpg

Attachment:
rear view.jpg

Attachment:
with blanket and timer.jpg


Finally, make sure you read the instruction manual for the PID to understand calibration process and correct use. If you're using the SYL-2362 PID, you can also refer to Robbie O'Brien's Youtube video describing its use in the LMI unit:


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Last edited by Tim Mullin on Tue Apr 25, 2017 5:33 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2017 12:37 pm 
Offline
Koa
Koa
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2009 3:14 am
Posts: 523
Location: Shefford, Québec
First name: Tim
Last Name: Mullin
City: Shefford
State: QC
Zip/Postal Code: J2M 1R5
Country: Canada
Focus: Build
Status: Semi-pro
In this followup post, I've attached a copy of the parts list:
Attachment:
Parts list.pdf


and the wiring diagram:
Attachment:
Wiring temp controller.pdf


You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2017 10:11 pm 
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Contributing Member
Contributing Member

Joined: Wed Jun 03, 2009 12:54 am
Posts: 98
First name: Anthony
Last Name: Armijo
City: Albuquerque
State: New Mexico
Zip/Postal Code: 87120
Country: United States
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Thanks for all the information that you posted. You definitely went all out with helping us. Much appreciated.


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