2014-06-17 (Tu) Sous Vide Oven

I found a huge shortcut to take with this project which cuts out all the work of programming and most of the assembly and building work. I struggled with the idea of just plowing ahead with the hard way but couldn’t bring myself to take the hard path when the easy path is the logical one.

This project had two purposes. The first purpose was to learn about temperature control by forcing myself to think about implementing it and I’ve already done that. The second purpose was to get an awesome little sous vide oven.

Enough background.

Off-the-shelf temperature controllers had not been considered for this project because they were assumed to all be of industrial quality and prohibitively expensive. Contrary to that assumption a light-duty temperature controller with display, buttons, and relay comes to less than fifteen dollars after shipping charges. This cost factor makes it illogical to continue programming an Arduino which would have to be assembled and additional parts would have to be ordered such as control buttons. A temperature controller was ordered from an eBay.com domestic seller.

 Inexpensive temperature controller

To find a suitable enclosure for the controller the dimensions were taken from the product page and a 1:1 drawing was made. For visualization’s sake a raster image of the faceplate was scaled and trimmed to fit the dimensions. The vector/raster drawing was printed to scale and a PDF was made. A second revision was made which has dashed “FOLD” lines and scissor icons on the lines which are meant to be cut. The scissor icon took longer to draft than the outline of the controller.

 Paper model of temperature controller

The project at this point is no longer about eh programming or gathering of intricate parts but instead the pleasing assembly of the parts into a finished looking appliance. When selecting an enclosure it may be prudent to select one with sufficient space to add a solid state relay and circumvent the mechanical relay in the controller.

A trip was made to two thrift stores to find parts such as something to use as an enclosure, something to hold the thermometer probe, a vacuum sealer, and a thermometer. Only a thermometer was found.

Inexpensive thermometer

To do:
  • Buy:
    • Enclosure
    • Whisk
    • Vacuum sealer
    • Handy box
    • Receptacle
    • Receptacle cover
  • Find:
    • 3.5mm plug
    • 3.5mm jack
  • Construct
  • Test

The rest of the posts for this project have been arranged by date.

A list showing of all the final posts of COMPLETED projects.

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  1. I use one of these for Mead making. I brew between 70 and 150 gallons at a time in a stainless steel tank in my parent's winery. The trouble is my preferred yeast doesn't do well below 70f, and the winery is usually between 55f and 60f. With a silicone heating pad plugged into this thing, I was able to keep my brew between 75f and 80f to keep the yeasty beasties working.

    The one we got was $25, which I could almost have built an Arduino+Temp+120v relay unit for, but not if I included Display and Case. I hadn't considered its possible use for Sous Vide, though. That might make for some interesting meals in the near future.

    Thanks! I really have enjoyed your work! found you from Instructables.

    1. That's a great example! Thank you.
      I haven't heard of using a silicone heating pad before? Is the purpose to keep from applying heat that is too severe to your mixture?


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