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30 Amp DIY Control Panel Kit

 
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rtucker



Joined: 14 May 2016
Posts: 22
Location: Illinois


PostLink    Posted: Sat May 14, 2016 1:17 pm    Post subject: 30 Amp DIY Control Panel Kit Reply with quote


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I am considering buying the 30 AMP DIY Control Panel Kit. For those of you that have purchased it, I'm interested in your opinion. How difficult was it to put together? Were the instructions clear? Any special skills required? How long did it take?

I have some basic electronics skills. In a former life I was a technician on a air search radar in the Navy. I've probably forgotten more than I remember.

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Roger Tucker
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kal
Forum Administrator


Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 10058
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Hop Candy Jr, Scottish 70/-, Cali Common, Maibock, Helles, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter

Working on: Weizen


PostLink    Posted: Sat May 14, 2016 2:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome to the forum!

The instructions are available for free right here on the website, so I'd recommend you give them a read through first to make sure you're comfortable with the build process. Start here: http://www.theelectricbrewery.com/control-panel-part-1

You'll note in a few spots things you can skip steps. For example:

The enclosures in our all kits are already professionally powder coated with an industrial flat textured charcoal/black finish so there is no need to prime or paint which can save you time/effort. An optional upgrade exists to have the enclosure pre-punched and heat sink pre-tapped too. Having it pre-punched is probably the biggest time saver and also ensures that everything comes out nice and straight.

You will need to use some tools. For a complete list of what's needed, see our order page here: http://www.theelectricbrewery.com/control-panel
Look for the section called "I want to build my own. What's included in the DIY kits?".

There's lots of good feedback on building from the kit here too: http://www.theelectricbrewery.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=25919

rtucker wrote:
I have some basic electronics skills. In a former life I was a technician on a air search radar in the Navy. I've probably forgotten more than I remember.

I would say you're probably overqualified. Wink Many who built had little or no electronics/electrical experience. I would say the hardest part if you go with a pre-punched kit is probably soldering the XLR receptacles. It's the only place where soldering is required and not everyone has used a soldering iron before. Most of the other work involves connecting wires with a screwdriver.

Good luck and let us know if you have any questions!

Kal

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rcrabb22



Joined: 23 Dec 2010
Posts: 461
Location: Illinois


PostLink    Posted: Sat May 14, 2016 3:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had ZERO experience building anything like the control panel.

The pre punched/cut/painted enclosure was not an option when I bought the kit and while a new challenge I accomplished it. Buying the kit was so much easier than sourcing all the pieces! Plus I knew the components and pieces were absolutely correct for the build and I never gave that part of the process any thought or doubt.

I cut all rectangular openings with a metal blade in a hand electric jig saw. I purposely cut slightly smaller and use a file to enlarge the openings to mount the PIDs, meters and timer.
I bought a drill press for the backplate holes and the Greenlee conduit punch to make all the round holes in the CP face.

If one studies, studies, studies and then follows Kal's instructions for wiring it really was simple and I got so much pride from completing the construction. When I applied power to the CP everything worked the first time. I had an issue with the timer display being extremely dim and Kal/Spike worked with their vendor and it was replaced without a hassle.

Kal is also correct about the soldering part of the build. It was the toughest part of the whole deal.

I believe if I can do it, anyone can do it. Take your time and as Kal has said, the wiring diagrams are correct, sometimes the pictures can be confusing. When in doubt, follow the diagrams!
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rtucker



Joined: 14 May 2016
Posts: 22
Location: Illinois


PostLink    Posted: Sat May 14, 2016 10:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the responses. I went back through and looked through the steps. I'm guessing I should be able to handle it. Soldering shouldn't be too big of deal. Truth be known I went through one of the Navy's miniature soldering courses. That been 20 years ago but I still know how to wield a solder sucker. Smile

I'm probably a couple of months out on the control panel. I just started building. I'm working on the HLT as we speak. I've got my SS tubing on order. Wish me luck. I've gone through the forum postings detailing the horrors of that step. I'm going to give it one try on my own before I buy the coil from Kal.

Kal, the quality of the build is unparalleled with anything I've seen before. This is a top notch system. Thanks again for the quick response.

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Roger Tucker
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kal
Forum Administrator


Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 10058
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Hop Candy Jr, Scottish 70/-, Cali Common, Maibock, Helles, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter

Working on: Weizen


PostLink    Posted: Sun May 15, 2016 12:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You're welcome Roger! Good luck with your build and please do let us know if you have any questions.

Happy brewing!

Kal

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Our new shop with over 150 new products: shop.TheElectricBrewery.com
Purchasing through our affiliate links helps support our site at no extra cost to you. We thank you!
My basement/bar/brewery build 2.0
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