Help setting up a MKII Temp Controller

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Help setting up a MKII Temp Controller

Postby Cooper » Sun May 03, 2020 3:29 pm

I purchased a "MKII Temperature Controller" and used it successfully to control the temperature of a couple of washes but am now having problems with either it -or my brain!

The controller is sold by several HBS e.g. https://www.'unwelcome advertiser'.com.au/mkii-10-30am ... cool.html; instructions at https://www.'unwelcome advertiser'.com.au/media/pdf/MK ... ctions.pdf

The controller has two power outlets controlled by separate relays called Heat and Cool.

Specifically, I can't seem to work out how to switch programming modes between the Heat or the Cool circuits. For example, one day I will power up the unit, perform a reset, and successfully program the Heat circuit to keep the wash at 24 deg C. The next day I will power up the unit, perform a reset, and try to program the Heat circuit to 24 deg C but the mode will show the Cool circuit being programmed; sure enough the Cool circuit relay will keep the wash at 24 deg C but of course I have to plug my heat pad into that outlet for it to work.

The instructions are quite detailed about the finer points of the unit but I can't see anything about how to choose which outlet you are programming for in the first place.

What am I missing please?

(Mods: apologies if this should be in the electronics section but that seemed to be for those building their own PID units)
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Re: Help setting up a MKII Temp Controller

Postby The Stig » Sun May 03, 2020 3:40 pm

Why not just so for help from the supplier ?
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Re: Help setting up a MKII Temp Controller

Postby Cooper » Sun May 03, 2020 9:20 pm

Why not just so for help from the supplier ?


Couldn't get through to them on Sat morning (Covid?) and eager not to waste the weekend if there was a simple solution I was missing.
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Re: Help setting up a MKII Temp Controller

Postby Tesla101 » Sun May 03, 2020 10:13 pm

Sounds very complex mate. I just use 50W aquarium heaters, you can adjust the temp between 18 and 32 degrees. Good for up to 35L fermenters.
9 bucks at the big K place :)
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Re: Help setting up a MKII Temp Controller

Postby gap » Mon May 04, 2020 10:33 am

I have many of these controllers but mine will automatically switch on the fridge or Heat source depending on the temperature.
PM me the manuals and I will check it out for you to see if you have a controller which will automatically change from heating to cooling .
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Re: Help setting up a MKII Temp Controller

Postby Cooper » Mon May 04, 2020 12:59 pm

Thanks Tesla101,

Sounds very complex mate.


Your right, an aquarium heater looks much more analog and thus simpler!

I'll read up on it.

Cheers
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Re: Help setting up a MKII Temp Controller

Postby Cooper » Mon May 04, 2020 1:04 pm

Thanks gap,

I finally figured it out and it was user error, more precisely user presumption and once I got on the wrong track I got lost in the woods!

Experienced users will find the following blindingly obvious but for anyone else starting out, don't presume that because the MkII unit has two separate relays controlling two separate power outlets that they can be/are programmed to operate completely independently of each other. It may be helpful to think of the entire unit as a programmed three way switch which starts out in the middle 'Off' position and then flicks either left to 'Heat' or right to 'Cool' (always passing back though 'Off').

If you are say using it in a cold area to keep a wash warm with just a heat pad plugged in to it, don't be confused if the 'Cool' icon becomes lit and power is suddenly directed out the 'Cool' plug. This may just mean that e.g. you have set E3 (Temp Hysteresis) to be very sensitive and so even though the heat pad may have switched off, the thermocouple temperature is still rising and the switch (above) has moved though 'Off' to 'Cool' as it always assumes there could be say a fridge to turn on to bring the temperature down. So the unit simply doesn't sense if anything is plugged into it at all -it just see-saws power output from one side to the other.

Again for noobs, the MkII looks to be based on a STC1000 controller that has been programmed similarly to the open source information on Github contributed by Matsstaff & Emile666.

Lastly if you are trying tune your unit so that the displayed thermocouple temperature shows actual temperature, then that can be done via E6.

Cheers
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Re: Help setting up a MKII Temp Controller

Postby Tesla101 » Mon May 04, 2020 1:43 pm

Glad you figured it out Cooper. Sounds like a cool little device (no pun intended). Can it be programmed to be "off" between a certain temperature range?

e.g. <25 degrees go into heat mode, between 25 and 28 go into "off" mode and >28 go into cool mode

I have a few different applications (not stillin' related) I could use something like that for.
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Re: Help setting up a MKII Temp Controller

Postby Cooper » Tue May 05, 2020 12:07 am

Tesla101 wrote:Can it be programmed to be "off" between a certain temperature range?


Yes I believe so Tesla -as long as the difference between those those two target temperatures is not more than 20C.

In your example you would set the target temperature midway between 25C and 28C i.e. at 26.5C, then set E3 (Temp Hysteresis) to 1.5C (26.5-1.5=25 and 26.5+1.5=28). You would plug the heater in and the cooler in. If the starting temp was 23C the unit would immediately flick from "Off" to "Heat" until the thermocouple reached 26.5C where it would flick to "Off" again. Nothing would then happen until either the temp fell to 24.9C ("Heat" on) or rose to 28.1C ("Cool" on). The only thing different there to your example is that first the temp has to be driven by either Heat or Cool to 26.5C first but from there on in it will be in the Off state between those boundary temperatures.

Before running out and buying one though, from the little I've learnt, things depend on your application as setting up PID controllers can be something of an art. This is especially true with overshooting. In your example if you were heating and cooling a small glass of water with a powerful heater and a powerful cooler you may find that the heater going Off at 26.5C still pumps in remaining heat to 30C despite your Cool starting up at 28.1C and then although the Cool flicks to Off at 26.5C the residual coolness may push the temp down to 23C. So you end up "seeing" a larger range (23~30) occurring than you wanted (25~28) as your equipment battles against itself.

Given this unit looks quite generic you could get help in setting something up with similar hardware to do even more than the MkII does by asking for help over at http://aussiedistiller.com.au/viewforum.php?f=60 where there seems to be a LOT of experience.

Cheers
Last edited by Cooper on Tue May 05, 2020 12:11 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Help setting up a MKII Temp Controller

Postby Tesla101 » Tue May 05, 2020 10:34 am

Thanks Cooper, great explanation :handgestures-thumbupleft:
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