Temperature Controller Blowout

SpinnerSpinner Member Posts: 437 ✭✭✭
I turned my tank on for the first time in months this morning and the temperature controller didn’t light up. Upon close examination, both the left and right hand lower sides of the plastic housing look like they blew out??
After a quick wrap with electrical tape, I am back up and running. But I will order a new controller this morning. 
Wondering what could have caused this??

I am also wondering if I can convert this PA Hydrographics tank to a 220 volt setup? It’s currently wired for 110 and has a single heating element.


  • SpinnerSpinner Member Posts: 437 ✭✭✭
    Well, that was a short lived victory. 🤣

    It’s spazzing out through various “codes”?
  • WileECoyoteWileECoyote Member, Moderator, Business Ninja Posts: 7,903 El Moderator
    You probably blew out the controller. You will need to order a new one, they go bad eventually. Yes it is possible to convert, but it is not for your average garage dipper.

    I feel this recent video is extremely relevant to you right now.


    Time to find a guy in your area with controls troubleshooting experience. Your typical electrician will likely not have that.
  • SpinnerSpinner Member Posts: 437 ✭✭✭
    i did just order a new one. I think switching it out should be easy enough. Assuming this wasn’t a symptom of a bigger issue. 

    Yes, having a team of various professionals is a great resource. And I do have this to some extent for other gaps in my experience and knowledge base. But I have been trying to learn as much as I can through many resources. That keeps me moving through minor problems. 

    I’m at least smart enough - most of the time- to recognize and ask (pay) for help when the going gets tough. 😆

  • WileECoyoteWileECoyote Member, Moderator, Business Ninja Posts: 7,903 El Moderator
    More than likely since the controller is freaking out, it's just the controller. You will be very lucky if the controller bolts right up like the old one did though. Typically there are changes to the layout or the function over time.

    If the new one drops right in, I would order another for the shelf right away.
  • SpinnerSpinner Member Posts: 437 ✭✭✭
    Yes, at $60 it is cheap enough to have on hand. 
  • WileECoyoteWileECoyote Member, Moderator, Business Ninja Posts: 7,903 El Moderator
    When thinking about how expensive replacement parts are, keep in mind what missing deadlines for a few weeks will cost.

    @Spinner I know you have more control over that than most others around here, so this may not be as relevant. We had almost all the parts we would need to rebuild the control box on hand.
  • SpinnerSpinner Member Posts: 437 ✭✭✭
    I am in a very unique situation. I manufacture a very custom product with a narrow market. Outsourcing work to vendors has been a very hard thing for us. We offer many different items but don’t need large enough quantities of everything we make to get much interest from vendors. Before this covid situation we would sell about 5000 various items a year. Again, not enough to go big time. 

    Amongst the skills I’ve needed to become proficient over the years are metal turning, wood working, wood turning, metal spinning, metal polishing, painting, hydrographics,, etc. 

    Each of these practices are completely different business fields and if I had to rely on job shops for each of these tasks, I would be dead in the water. 
    Right now, I have been outsourcing polishing just because I hate it so much. But my current polisher has been delay , delay, delay. He is holding me up. I’m looking for alternatives but it’s not like there are polishing shops on every corner. 

    I need to learn and become a proficient welder. Already bought the machine and I have a friend that I can learn from. In fact today I am pulling lines in the new shop one of which is to the welder. 

    Electrical and tech is another gap I am trying to fill. 
    Etc, etc, etc. 
  • WileECoyoteWileECoyote Member, Moderator, Business Ninja Posts: 7,903 El Moderator
    @spinner If the part is already chucked up in the lathe, there is no way to use that as a fixture and polish that in the machine? There has to be some way you can automate that process.

    When you spin these parts, are they mounted to some sort of base that you could use as a carrier to the next part of the process?

    I know this has little to do with Hydrographics, but I am a Manufacturing Engineer by trade... this is sort of my thing.
  • SpinnerSpinner Member Posts: 437 ✭✭✭
    edited October 2021
    Polishing needs to be done from several different angles to get a real mirror finish. With the part chucked on the lathe, there will always be a hint of marks around the circumference. Also, there is a great possibility the holding chuck would mark the part. 
    These are made with aluminum in the 0 condition and soft copper so they are very fragile. Some of the wall thicknesses are .016” copper and .020” aluminum. 
    The polishers that we have had success with are more antique refinishers rather than heavy polishers like the chrome guys. 

    It’s just so easy to damage the parts. 
  • SpinnerSpinner Member Posts: 437 ✭✭✭
    edited October 2021
    After the spinning operation, there are still several other steps like trimming, etc before two of these hollow forms are spun together. Then we polish. 

    Here is a finished product with a .020” wall. Two different spinnings locked together with a bead in the middle. 
  • studebakerstudebaker Member, Business Ninja Posts: 4,056 ✭✭✭✭✭
  • SpinnerSpinner Member Posts: 437 ✭✭✭
    😎 @studebaker
    Thanks for that link. I’ll look into it. 
    I remember the first time I saw the hydrographic process. It was on an episode of How It’s Made. They were making a compound bow or maybe a cross bow. The aluminum frame went into a tank of water and magically, it came out camouflage. Thats what sent me down this rabbit hole. 😆
  • MidOhioHydrographicsMidOhioHydrographics Member, Moderator, Business Ninja Posts: 10,496 El Moderator
    We have had luck polishing with a luthiers polishing wheel and various compounds. Rather than taking a tool to the part, we took the part to that tool. The machine is used for polishing lacquer finishes on guitars and uses Large flannel wheels. The finish on guitars is no doubt softer than the metals you are talking about. This method worked great. Just another idea to toss around. Here is what we have in the shop (but the business took other direction and we do not use it anymore).

  • SpinnerSpinner Member Posts: 437 ✭✭✭
    yes, that is the style of setup for polishing our parts only larger - 3 - 5 hp motor. Lots of pressure is need to “cut” the metal flat with Tripoli, then color buff with rouge. 

    Well, the temp controller came in and it was an exact part. The installation was a piece of cake. Programming it, though, has me confused. I’ve found several videos on YouTube without any clarity being gained. 

    My son said he will come home this weekend from college and help me program it. He works with these things in the chem labs all the time. Hopefully he can get it set like I need it. 

    Right now the heater will not kick on. The top red numbers don’t look like they are reading the actual temp in the tank? And there must be a program to kick the heater on?

    The numbers on the screen will not show up in a picture. Weird. But the top, red number is reading 1270 and the bottom green number is reading 90. 
  • SpinnerSpinner Member Posts: 437 ✭✭✭
    edited October 2021
    The temperature controller is programmed. Nick came over this afternoon and set it up in about 2 minutes. 😆  
    he also explained the buzzer issue I was having. The unit has a t1 and t2 timer. 
    T1 is the timer we are all familiar with. It just counts down. But T2 is an accessory timer - like the beeper. But I didnt it know that. So I set the t2 timer to 2 minutes… thinking I could cycle between two Countdown timers. Instead, the beeper screamed like a banshee for 2 minutes. 😂 we reset it to 1 sec. which just gives us a nice little beep. 
  • WileECoyoteWileECoyote Member, Moderator, Business Ninja Posts: 7,903 El Moderator
    Yeah, those instructions can be difficult. I have set up various controllers, and every one is different...
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