Author Topic: Cheap, Easy + Reliable Proofing Box  (Read 281 times)

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Offline Donjo911

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Cheap, Easy + Reliable Proofing Box
« on: July 11, 2014, 02:10:34 PM »
I finally pulled the trigger on assembling the proofing container as I've wanted to have a more static environment to grow cultures and develop non-refridgerated dough made with cultures.  With daily 30 to 40 degree temperature swings I have lost dough.  My wife has a problem with me using the home thermostat to regulate dough temps for some reason  :-D

I used TXCraig1's cooler + ice and that will work for summer.  Overnight tests show that I can hold a desired temp with just a little organization inside the cooler.  I wanted something that I can use in fall/winter too - as similar temp fluctuations are common.  Member Anverc had espoused the value and simplicity of the STC-1000 controller.  It's taken me a while to figure out how I was going to assemble this and what components to select/gather.

Using the most basic configuration:  one outlet receptacle used to connect a heat source. The second outlet receptacle will be used for cooling**.
The controller turns it on/off when the temp goes above/below the selected temp +/- 1 degree.

In the end, my cost was $40.00 as I had most of this already in the garage.  It would have been $65.00 if I I had to buy all of the parts.  Here's a breakdown:

$15.00     1 x    20 Qt. Cooler                   
$16.00     1 x    STC-1000 Controller w/ Term Probe  (including shipping from Amazon)
$18.00     1 x    Terrarium Heater for 10/20 Qt. terrarium
$  4.00     1 x    Plate Glass (needed to under-mount terrarium heater to glass)
$  6.00     1 x    Electrical Box
$  1.50     1 x    Electrical Outlet
$  2.00     3 x    Bulk electrical wire
$  2.00     1 x   Three Prong Electrical Cord
$    .50     4 x   Wirenuts

Tools:  Drill,  Small Saw or Dremel Tool w/ small saw attachment,  Screwdriver,  Electrical Tape
Time:  Less than 30 minutes.

The STC-1000 manual is poorly written/translated and is not easy to read. The diagram makes it simple enough to configure the wires and operation instructions are virtually everywhere if you search STC-1000 in your browser.

As I mentioned, holding the temp overnight was achieved with consistent results using ice.  the footnote ** above regarding the cooling outlet is still something I am thinking through.  It may be an actuator to open the lid if the temp goes too high. Perhaps a small fan - like a 120 mm computer cooling fan - I've used them in enclosed furniture for electronics to move/cool air.  Suggestions of what others use to lower temperature would be appreciated.  It may not be necessary but I'd be interested learning what others are using for cooling/venting.

Now the ol' heating pad "snuggie" can be retired to it's original intended use.   Now off to Kinko's to laminate the Sourdough Predictive Matrix & my Fahrenheit to Celsius conversion table... ;)







   
« Last Edit: July 11, 2014, 02:21:35 PM by Donjo911 »
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Offline quixoteQ

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Re: Cheap, Easy + Reliable Proofing Box
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2014, 04:41:13 PM »
Fantastic description.  I have been blathering about putting something like this together--maybe I'll put down my tumbler and give it a go.
Josh

Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: Cheap, Easy + Reliable Proofing Box
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2014, 04:47:59 PM »
16 bucks for that controller?....awesome find dude!   :chef:
"Care Free Highway...let me slip away on you"

Offline Donjo911

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Re: Cheap, Easy + Reliable Proofing Box
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2014, 05:42:24 PM »
Thanks Josh. You should - it was really easy. If I can help - let me know.

Thanks CB!  I looked at Amazon just now to see if the STC-1000 is the same price: 

Elitech 110V All-Purpose Temperature Controller+ Sensor 2 Relay Output Thermostat Stc-1000
Sold by AmoVee
$22.00

So, it's a little more from that seller now - but I watched a few sellers daily to see when the price dropped - as others online had reported prices as low as $12.00.  I know that's a sixer of Icehouse difference in price... so, I understand looking for the best deal.  :D

Cheers!
Don
Few great accomplishments are achieved single-handedly, Most have their Norgays.
How do you spot a Norgay?
You start with the people with the funny names.

Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: Cheap, Easy + Reliable Proofing Box
« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2014, 06:47:33 PM »
Thanks Josh. You should - it was really easy. If I can help - let me know.

Thanks CB!  I looked at Amazon just now to see if the STC-1000 is the same price: 

Elitech 110V All-Purpose Temperature Controller+ Sensor 2 Relay Output Thermostat Stc-1000
Sold by AmoVee
$22.00

So, it's a little more from that seller now - but I watched a few sellers daily to see when the price dropped - as others online had reported prices as low as $12.00.  I know that's a sixer of Icehouse difference in price... so, I understand looking for the best deal.  :D

Cheers!
Don
Thanks Don....Prost!!   :) :)
"Care Free Highway...let me slip away on you"

Offline mkevenson

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Re: Cheap, Easy + Reliable Proofing Box
« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2014, 10:33:55 AM »
Donjo911, excellent thread! I too am starting my non-refrigerated (40f), foray into dough fermentation. I spent a bit more for a wine cooler which at min setting should keep a constant  temp (66F), will see?
Mark
"Gettin' better all the time" Beatles

Offline Tampa

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Re: Cheap, Easy + Reliable Proofing Box
« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2014, 12:03:07 PM »
Don,

I also love the initiative, bill-of-materials, and sharing.  Thanks.

It seems that another option is to use a thermoelectric cooler (Peltier effect) and hook that to your temp controller.  For me in FL, I rarely need anything other than cooling.

For now, I'm getting by with the Styrofoam cooler and OJ container of ice.

Dave

Offline Donjo911

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Re: Cheap, Easy + Reliable Proofing Box
« Reply #7 on: July 14, 2014, 03:31:31 PM »
Thanks Mark & Dave!

I was really surprised by how well this cheap cooler held temperature.  I added a Pyrex bowl with about 20 ice cubes in it and just watched the temp over 2.5 days. I made two doughs over 4 days. The second batch with the 20 cubes held a temperature of between 67 - 69 degrees without a ice change for 48 hours with ambient room temps in the mid 80's.  I think I'll just freeze a bottle of water as TXCraig1 recommends as it seems to work so well for all three of you.

Dave,
I really appreciate the lead on the thermoelectric cooler. That's a neat solution. I had never heard of it before. It looks like a CPU fan with a heatsink + "something" on top. Is that what they use to cool high performance GPU's?  Seems like a really cool technology + small!  I found this as the first "ad" that popped up in Goggle search. However, I'll research it more and if it's only $40-ish bucks...that may be just the ticket!  Thanks for your help!

http://www.adafruit.com/products/1335?gclid=Cj0KEQjw_42eBRDHqcG1psmtneEBEiQAWPL8WNn2OygFDdFrK6iY22PCiZKrfEn360OZ_ixvhd2nge8aAq5-8P8HAQ

Cheers,
Don
« Last Edit: July 14, 2014, 03:38:52 PM by Donjo911 »
Few great accomplishments are achieved single-handedly, Most have their Norgays.
How do you spot a Norgay?
You start with the people with the funny names.

Offline Tampa

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Re: Cheap, Easy + Reliable Proofing Box
« Reply #8 on: July 14, 2014, 04:11:20 PM »
Dave,
I really appreciate the lead on the thermoelectric cooler. That's a neat solution. I had never heard of it before. It looks like a CPU fan with a heatsink + "something" on top. Is that what they use to cool high performance GPU's?  Seems like a really cool technology + small!  I found this as the first "ad" that popped up in Goggle search. However, I'll research it more and if it's only $40-ish bucks...that may be just the ticket!  Thanks for your help!

http://www.adafruit.com/products/1335?gclid=Cj0KEQjw_42eBRDHqcG1psmtneEBEiQAWPL8WNn2OygFDdFrK6iY22PCiZKrfEn360OZ_ixvhd2nge8aAq5-8P8HAQ

Cheers,
Don

Dang Don, I haven't been GPU-zin in a long spell.  I think the typical progression is still heatsink =>fan+heatsink => water cooling.  (Although I did see your reference to Peltier plate as a GPU cooler.)

I'm out of my depth on some of this stuff, including Peltier plates, but if you do a quick ebay search, 60W Peltier plates go for $2.34.  I don't think you need much cooling, so one plate in a well insulated container, and some electronics outside, may do it.

Dave

Offline Donjo911

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Re: Cheap, Easy + Reliable Proofing Box
« Reply #9 on: July 14, 2014, 05:25:26 PM »
Thanks Dave - that's very helpful. I appreciate it!


Cheers,
Don
Few great accomplishments are achieved single-handedly, Most have their Norgays.
How do you spot a Norgay?
You start with the people with the funny names.