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Old 10/28/1999, 07:36 PM   #1
Larry M
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Hey Jim, or anyone else that knows the answer to this: Jim posted a while back on AL about an inexpensive controller for an aquarium heater. Less than $50, I think. I'm just looking for that source.

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Old 10/28/1999, 11:13 PM   #2
Sloeber
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larry, did you try the one i left for you?

henry


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Old 10/29/1999, 06:13 AM   #3
FishWish
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Hi Larry, I believe the one that Jim was talking about was the Johnston controllers but I'm not sure of his source for purchase. I have a Johnston controller on my site under the used section if you'd like to look at it. I also believe that jim knows where to purchase them for about 20 bucks cheaper then I even get them for so we'll have to wait to hear from him on that one, but in the meantime feel free to take a peak..David


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Old 10/29/1999, 06:45 AM   #4
Larry M
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Thanks. Henry, I haven't hooked up the one you gave me yet, but someone on the reefkeepers list is looking for an inexpensive source, so I thought I'd throw this out there. I do recall that Johnston is the brand now that David mentions it. I'll do a search and see what I can come up with for a supplier.


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Old 10/29/1999, 12:14 PM   #5
Larry M
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That's what I was looking for Jim, thanks.
Hey, there's a store about 5 minutes from my home.


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[This message has been edited by Larry M (edited 10-29-1999).]


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Old 10/29/1999, 02:38 PM   #6
Larry M
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This started out to be an info search mission for someone else, but my gadget curiosity got the best of me. I figure with four tanks I could put one to use. I picked one up just now, and it looks like a great deal! To me, it seems like it could withstand a nuclear blast, and it comes with an easy to read wiring diagram. Very simple to hook up, also has a heat/cool mode so it appears it can be used to operate a cooling fan too. Totally electronic lcd readout, heavy duty probe sensor, etc. I'll be hooking it up soon.


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Old 10/29/1999, 11:33 PM   #7
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Larry,
The controller is available at

http://www.johnstonesupply.com

They are a wholesale outlet, but will make cash sales if you handle the purchase right.You will be asking for johnstone catalog number L38-382-price 46.47$
The web site should tell you the location of a distributor in your area....If not, e-mail me your city and I can give you the location and phone number of one in your area.The following data is from the manual that came with the unit:

Wide setpoint temperature range{-30 degrees to 220 degrees}...

Simple keypad programming of setpoint temperature, differential, and heating/cooling modes

LCD readout of sensor temperature, control settings, relay status, and onboard diagnostics.

Remote temperature sensing up to 400 feet.

SPDT output relay.

User-selectable Fahrenheit/Celsius scales.

Lockout switch to prevent tampering by unauthorized personal.

Specifications:

Input voltage: 120 or 208/240vac
Temp range: -30F to 220F
Differential range: 1 to 30 degrees
Switch action: SPDT
Sensor: Thermistor, 2 in. longx.25in diameter with 8 foot cable

If any more info is desired, e-mail me a fax number and I will be happy to send the technical manual on the unit. Mine can be seen at the bottom of the following web page:

http://members.xoom.com/jimhobbs/lights.htm

The above description is for a Ranco controller...

The johnson controls model A419 controllers are also available for $47.81-catalog number L38-716, but I have no personal experience with them...I did look at one last time I was in the store and it looks similar to the ranco unit...Best regards...Jim




[This message has been edited by jimhobbs (edited 10-30-1999).]


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Old 10/29/1999, 11:33 PM   #8
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OK, the part about poss fan control cought my attention. Let me know how it works out, I hate the thought of the fans running when the heaters are on.

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Old 10/30/1999, 06:47 AM   #9
Larry M
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I wired the thing up last night, just took an extension cord, cut it in half, and wired the controller in the middle. Now I can plug whatever I want into it. I touched up the sensor with a little silicone, although it looked pretty waterproof to begin with. By this afternoon it will be cured enough to put it into use. I'll put a few pictures up on the Northern Reef site sometime this weekend. It seems there may also be a model that can control two devices at the same time, eg, heater and cooling fans. I'll check into that today too.

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Old 10/30/1999, 08:20 AM   #10
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The Johnson controller sounds pretty cool.

I picked up a couple slightly used Omega 77343 temp controllers, which retail for $229. They do control heat and cooling simutaneously, and even have PID. It maintains my heat +/-0.1, and cool(fans) turn on if it raises .2 from setpoint.
Keeps the tank within .4 deg!

If anyone is interested, I do have an extra controller for $100, although if the Johnson does all this, it obviously is a better deal...

The following is an Adobe Acrobat file description:

http://www.omega.com/Temperature/pdf/CN77000.pdf


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Old 10/30/1999, 12:45 PM   #11
Larry M
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I stopped by Johnstone again today, and asked about one unit that would control both a heater and cooling fans. The guy there said no, I would need two of these units to do that. Jim, will the two-stage unit do the same thing as having two of these L-38 units? The guy at the desk seemed to think it would not, but then he wasn't positive. For around $100 to buy two of these, that still isn't bad.
BTW, I put up a page about this on my Northern Reef site too, I also linked to your site, Jim, hope that's ok. http://www.homestead.com/larry_reef/rancoetc.html


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Old 10/30/1999, 03:34 PM   #12
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Larry,
I had the same question concerning the operation of two opposite stages with the single duel stage controller...Someone was interested in getting one to operate a chiller and a heater...The johnstone counter man called ranco for me, and they said it would operate both a chiller and heater...I passed the info on the the interested buyer and haven't heard back from him on it...I assumed that it did; however, I'm not sure, as I've only used the single stage units; but you could always get one and try it out...Save all paperwork and they will give you full credit if it doesn't...Or, just get two of the single stage units and I know that will work...If you have any more questions, I'll be glad to get back in touch with ranco to double check on monday when I go back to work...We buy a lot of controllers from them, so it wont be a problem to double check if needed...I wish I'd tried one of the duel stage models out, but its just not one we normally buy...Best regards...Jim

ps...How's your's working?

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Tank at: members.xoom.com/jimhobbs/reefstats.htm




[This message has been edited by jimhobbs (edited 11-01-1999).]


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Old 10/30/1999, 04:09 PM   #13
Larry M
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Mine is working fine, like a charm. I found out my Little Time and Temp digital thermometer is about 1 degree off. I would be very interested in what you could find out about the two-stage unit. The Johnstone guy this morning told me it would only send the same command twice (as in heat, heat) if it indeed does work as heat/cool, then for $86 it's about half the price of an equivalent aquarium supplier unit. I may just try one to see, but first I have to get a catalog--they don't send them from the website any more, and I forgot to ask for one today.


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Old 10/30/1999, 04:24 PM   #14
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I'll have the johnstone people call ranco again on monday and make sure...If they have one in stock, I probably could get them to let me take it and try it out myself...If not, you could always use two single stage units for a "gadget=guru's" paradise!

Best regards..Jim

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Old 10/30/1999, 11:33 PM   #15
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The duel stage model is johnstone catalog number L38-714 price 86.58$...It has two independent programable stages {heat/cool, heat/heat, or cool/cool}...The single stage model discussed above has two different sets of contacts-NO{normally open} and NC{normally closed}...It can be programmed for heat or cool, but not both at the same time...You would need the duel stage model for that since it has two seperate logic circuits...Both controllers utilize the PID logic that was mentioned in another post...You could wire the heater into the NC set of contacts where the fans would be on whenever the heater is off...A better way to control the fans would probably be wired in with the lights so that the heat from the lights would automatically be vented whenever the lights were on...Or, you could get two controllers and have one for the fans and one for the heater...If any further details are desired, I can fax the manual to anyone interested on monday when I return to work...Best regards...JIm

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Old 10/31/1999, 06:00 PM   #16
Larry M
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So far, I've been using the Ranco for the cooling fans on my 40 gallon reef. It works SWEET! I never realized how much of the time, my fans ran needlessly. I have the heaters set at 82 degrees, and the Ranco is set at 83. No more timers to reset, no more cycle of heater, fans, heater.


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Old 11/01/1999, 10:01 AM   #17
jimhobbs
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I just got off the phone with ranco concerning the two stage unit...It DOES have two seperate independently programable stages and will operate both a chiller and a heater...The following is a quote from the manual that ranco faxed me:

"The ETC two stage control can be set up for two stages of heating, two stages of cooling, or one stage cooling plus one stage heating"


After looking over this manual and the various programing options, I have no doubt that this controller will operate both our aquarium heaters and chillers/fans...If anyone desires a copy of the manual, e-mail me a fax number and I will pass on the manuals...

Once again, if this unit is desired for purchase; you will be asking for johnstone catalog number L38-714_price 86.58$

The single stage is L38-382_price 46.47$

Best regards...Jim

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Old 11/01/1999, 02:38 PM   #18
Larry M
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Thanks for tracking that down, Jim. I called the local shop and they did not have one in stock, but ordered one for me. Should be about a week.


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