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$15 digital temperature controller for my Silvia ?.

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  • $15 digital temperature controller for my Silvia ?.

    Idle fingers brain syndrome here !
    A digital temperature probe verified the huge temperature variation on my Silvia ( 85 -124 deg C ) , so whilst researching the PID options i toyed with a cheap digital temperature controller that i had lying about.
    Now , this particular unit only has a range of up to 120 C but it does have a 20  amp relay built in, so i figured it was worth a try.
      Super simple connection with a 2 wire power feed picked up from the main switch, and a single power return from the relay to the boiler element, 3 wires and the thermocouple, ..done !
    Controller was programmed for 108 C as a starting point and hey presto we are brewing again.
    Result is impressive with a temp range from 93  ( after pulling a shot) recovering up to 115 before settling back to a consistent 108 -110. C
    This is a huge improvement over the standard thermostat for a mere $15 ....but not as good as a PID ..apparently ?
    There is not much you can do about the dip down when pulling shots ( bigger boiler & heater needed) but  the  temperature over shoot above set point is annoying  and unable to be reduced on this controller due to the 1  deg C "differential temp"  minimum setting between "off and on".
       I have noticed that similar  controllers are available with a 0.3deg differential setting, which would reduce the overshoot a lot, but i would like to find a controller with 0.1 deg minimum setting to experiment with.
    Why, you ask , when PIDs can do  all this and more for only a few $$$s more ?... well i guess  i like the simplicity of a straight  on/off thermostat with a built in relay , simple set up, and  minimum cost ( $15).. and i simply dont believe you should need a PID to control a simple boiler.
      So, all i need now is to source a digital controller with a 150 C range, 10 amp internal relay , and 0.1 deg differential setting ! ... all for $15 or less !  ;D

  • #2
    Re: $15 digital temperature controller for my Silvia ?.

    A solid alternative I suppose, easier to install than a PID + SSR by the looks of it but with less rigid temp holding?

    It sounds like youre having fun tinkering, hopefully you get to where you need it to be. I prefer to tinker first and upgrade to a new machine later.. Im currently awaiting a cheap PID and SSR kit from fleabay, albeit to mount to my Saeco Via Venezia and will be having fun putting that in place as cheaply as possible... so far ive spent $42... the rest of the parts I have lying around except a project box.

    I was planning to just go straight to a new Silvia + PID but the cost of that would have me seriously considering other machines.

    Good luck!