Wayne, the PID controller is actually very simple to work with. If you buy one with an integrated solid state relay, and you buy a PT100 temperature probe, and you buy one of those immersion heaters that I mentioned, here is what you have to do:
Originally Posted by Wayne
1. Clip the plug off the power cord of the immersion heater. That will expose two wires. Strip the insulation off those wires, and connect them (probably a screw type connection on the PID) to the relay outputs.
2. Connect the three wires that come off the temperature probe (two will be one color, the other will be a different color. Mine is black-black-red) to the PID to the probe inputs.
3. If the PID doesn't come with a power cord, buy one from your local store, or (better!) scavenge one from some discarded electronic junk in your attic, and connect the wires to the PID power input terminals (also probably a screw-type connection).
That's it for the electrical connections, it is dirt simple.
Of course, I didn't mention that you probably want to get some sort of plastic box and mount the PID controller inside it, so that the bare wires coming off the back aren't exposed. But that's extra credit for you to figure out...
Here is a typical PID controller, very similar (maybe identical) to the one I have: http://www.auberins.com/index.php?ma...roducts_id=237
You can probably find one similar, but cheaper, on *bay or Amazon. You might even find one already in a box, or with the PT100 probe included. PT100 probes are also easy to find on *bay or Amazon.
Here is the connector diagram for the controller linked above:
As you can see, for this controller, in my instruction 1 above, you'd connect the heater wires to pins 6 and 7 (in no particular order).
For instruction 2 above, you'd connect the two same-color wires to pins 3 and 4, and the different color wire to pin 5. For instruction 3 above, you'd connect your power cord to pins 9 and 10 (again in no particular order). The "pins" are probably little screws that you unscrew, put the wire under, and screw down tight.
Easy! The only caution I would give. Don't plug in the power until everything is fully connected and you have assured that no stray copper strands from any of the cords cross over and touch any other pin. And once plugged in, don't touch any of the pins or bare wires! Ouch!
Edit: If you can't be bothered with a separate box, here's the MacGyver solution: wrap the entire PID controller from front to back (keeping the display visible) with electrical tape, making sure the back of the controller is covered with a layer or two of tape, and continue wrapping for a few inches down the length of wires. It will be a little messy from tape glue if you ever have to unwrap it, but you won't.
Tools needed for all the above: a screwdriver, wire cutter, and wire stripper. The latter two can be done with a sharp knife, but you can get a cutter/stripper from Radio Shack for not much cash and it will make things cleaner.
Edit 2: One more thing (ok, is this McGyver or Columbo?) : The PID controller's LEDs emit light and will affect your film if you are doing a lights-out process like dip and dunk. I simply cover the face of the PID with aluminum foil when doing that sort of process. The foil is light tight and simple to remove.
Last edited by chuck94022; 11-21-2013 at 04:09 PM. Click to view previous post history.