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Old 11-29-15, 08:42 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Thermostat reviews?

I have been looking around for some thermostats. I plan to build a rack soon and want a thermostat per shelf. Sadly, it would appear that no one has considered that it might be a good idea to sell a 120v unit with, say, 6 probes and an independent output for each... but I digress.

I came across this particular unit and was wondering if anyone has used it. http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00OXP...KQL&ref=plSrch

If I didn't link the correct one then they do sell 120vAC versions (in addition to 12vDC and 240vAC). And they can be purchased for around $12 with free shipping (again, maybe not the one I linked). You could wire a pair in series, with the second unit set 2-3 degrees higher than the first, and have a $25 controller with backup. At that cost you'd be replicating features of units 3 or 4 times the cost and for $100 you could have a 4 zone controller (with the only similar unit I've ever seen at around $300 and lacking a two control backup).

I know that thermostats are a terrible thing to cheap out on but not all inexpensive things are cheap and not all expensive things aren't cheap. I'd be shocked if the guts from the $12 unit didn't come from the same factories as the $100 units. So, any experiences? Thoughts?
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Old 11-29-15, 09:34 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Thermostat reviews?

I do not have much experiences with other thermostats, only the Zoo med Reptitemp 500R. Amazon also carries the Inkbird unit with plenty of reviews, granted most are not for a reptile application.
http://www.amazon.com/Inkbird-All-Pu...FC8V2HVXADCFQ0
Back in May I ordered this unit and have been using it since. I far prefer this unit over the Zoo med for many reasons. First is the price. It also seems to hold temps more consistently and has a digital display. It has a lot of great settings. One being able to switch from Fahrenheit to Celsius. Another one being that you can set the on off differential. The only downside is that the wiring is a bit confusing but I searched online and found a better diagram. Also it does make a noticeable click when it shuts off, but it does not bother me. So far I highly recommend this unit.
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Old 11-29-15, 09:43 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Thermostat reviews?

Price is def right, however, I don't see that it has "night drop" ability or if it is a proportional thermostat (I may be missing that in the description).

Your suggestion that the guts are prob the same is most likely right, but personally, I want those features.

If you pull the trigger on it, please give a product review!!!


edit: I use these: Vivarium Electronics
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Old 11-30-15, 01:55 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Thermostat reviews?

I'm using Helix t-stats now, got 4 of them a while back, good quality but no night drop. I'm thinking to use then for the heat mats, and add VE-300's to regulate the RHP's. I presume I don't want to drop the heat mats at night too, just the ambient temps?
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Old 11-30-15, 05:31 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Thermostat reviews?

Quote:
Originally Posted by toddnbecka View Post
I'm using Helix t-stats now, got 4 of them a while back, good quality but no night drop. I'm thinking to use then for the heat mats, and add VE-300's to regulate the RHP's. I presume I don't want to drop the heat mats at night too, just the ambient temps?
good question...i have done it that way with other cages when i was using a RHP, and it worked well for me.

as it stands now with my AP's having only the belly heat, i'm using VE-300's for my carpets and my "ambient" seems to hold steady in the upper 70's (kind of room temp) and the cycles from the VE-300's creates the temps that i need for my gradients (both temporal and spatial).
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Old 11-30-15, 05:46 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Thermostat reviews?

Might I ask why you want a thermostat per shelf?
I assume you will be using one piece of tape per shelf?
If all your connections are good (I solder mine) you should have little to no variance per shelf.
I also have a 28q tub with a probed thermometer in it that I rotate through my racks to check temperatures on the inside surface of the tub.

You could go with 3 Herpstat2 or one Herpstat4 and a 2
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Old 11-30-15, 06:43 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Thermostat reviews?

MDT, they're on-off thermostats. You could come close to mimicking a proportional thermostat by running its output through a rheostat. If you set the rheostat properly then the thermostat would rarely cycle. Temps would never get too hot but you run the risk of getting too cold (because the heat source would never get enough power).

My reasoning for wanting multiple thermostats is that my reptile room is in my basement. The room itself is temperature controlled by a thermostat located about 2.5 feet above the floor; it is set to 70F. At the ceiling my temps run about 75F. But being a basement room, the floor runs down at 65F. My rack needs to accommodate that 10 degree difference and with only one thermostat either the lowest snakes will be cold or the highest will be too hot. I might be able to get away with one thermostat per two shelves but I'm not sure if I could stretch one further than that.

I've never used a night drop but my heating strategy is to keep the room around 70 and provide hot zones in each cage. Any animal that wants to cool off just needs to move around in their cage.
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Old 11-30-15, 10:00 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Thermostat reviews?

Thermostat Help
Check out this thread .
I also use a Hygrotherm in the boas enclosure to control ambiant heat sources , night drop ,and the boas Reptifogger .

Last edited by Princess-dad; 11-30-15 at 10:06 AM..
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Old 11-30-15, 11:12 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Thermostat reviews?

Thanks for the link. It looks like the only idea I've had that you didn't put into practice months ago is wiring two thermostats in series. I take it that you are satisfied with your system?
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Old 11-30-15, 01:09 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Thermostat reviews?

What you want to be weary of is the warranties with daisy chaining products together. Are they rated or approved with the extra components?

However, I use herpstats. Great customer service, great product, 4 probes with night time drops available, alarms, and even sunset/sunrise settings.
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Old 12-01-15, 08:24 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Thermostat reviews?

You have to wire these units yourself, kind of like some Rancos. It shouldn't matter whether the incoming power comes from the wall or another unit. But these are pretty much direct from China so I'm not sure what kind of warranty they'd have anyway. That's part of why I'm asking about them, to see if they have reliability or functional issues.
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Old 12-02-15, 12:35 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Thermostat reviews?

As far as t-stats direct from China, personally I wouldn't trust them too far. You might get lucky, but their quality is a crapshoot, and I don't want to gamble with them. I just ordered a herpstat 4, will see how it works out, looks like a better option for me than the VE 300.
My years of maintaining multiple aquariums taught me the value of buying good quality equipment, particularly heaters. It's bad enough for an aquarium heater to fail and cook a tankful of fish, but at least there's no real danger of starting a fire and burning down the house. I also saw how formerly good quality products became low quality after they outsourced and started producing them in China.
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Old 12-02-15, 03:03 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Thermostat reviews?

yes i havenot had any problems at all just be sure to tin the ends and only use 1 wire per attachment point on controler . If its a lead that needs more than 1 wire feed make the connections at the end of a single wire feed coming from controller .
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Old 12-02-15, 10:58 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Thermostat reviews?

I used to work in electrical/electronics repair, properly assembling a unit won't be an issue. Assuming that the unit allows it I'd probably use solid 14 gauge wire for my connections.

I can certainly run a unit through a basic testing procedure prior to using it.
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