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Old 11/23/2013, 12:30 PM   #1
JayDeePee
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Temperature controller for Finnex Titanium 300w.

I have a 120g DT and recently bought 2x 300w Finnex Titanium heaters. I was unaware that they did not have an adjustable thermostat on them. Can someone suggest a temperate controller for me? I have a budget of about $50 and really do not know much about the controllers.


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Old 11/23/2013, 01:40 PM   #2
James77
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Ranco, you can get one for $50 from several sites like amazon or pexsupply. They do require some wiring, but you can buy ones pre wired for about $70, but doing the wiring yourself isn't too hard and cheaper if you have parts like wires around.

The Ranco and the heaters you have would be one of the most reliable setups you can have, infinitely better than the hobby heaters thermostats.


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Old 11/23/2013, 02:39 PM   #3
JayDeePee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James77 View Post
Ranco, you can get one for $50 from several sites like amazon or pexsupply. They do require some wiring, but you can buy ones pre wired for about $70, but doing the wiring yourself isn't too hard and cheaper if you have parts like wires around.

The Ranco and the heaters you have would be one of the most reliable setups you can have, infinitely better than the hobby heaters thermostats.
There are a lot of different ones. I would like to control the 2 heaters I already have but possibly have room for one more in the future. Is there something specific I want to look for? Model number? Type?


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Old 11/23/2013, 03:05 PM   #4
Kyuss
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Ranco makes dual-stage units as well, where you can set two different temps for the two outlets. They run double the price of the single-stage units though, so about $100.


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Old 11/23/2013, 03:16 PM   #5
James77
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If you want to control all heaters at once, with just heat...you would want this:
http://www.pexsupply.com/Ranco-ETC-1...FcJi7Aodkh8ARw

The model number are listed, so you can google for a different place...though Pexsupply seems to have the best prices and I used them last time.

That could easily handle 3-4 300 watt heaters with plenty of room for safety on a typical 15amp circuit.

If you want to have 2 heaters come on then another later, or run a chiller or a fan, you want the dual stage:
http://www.pexsupply.com/Ranco-ETC-2...120-240V-Input

The instructions included to wire it are a little odd ( to me at least) and I screwed up the first time. But it is really easy with some basic wiring knowledge, here is a step by step for the dual:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/how-...ctions-145370/

Programming it is a snap as well, it has 1 degree resolution, so you cannot control down to the tenth of a degree which is totally unnecessary anyway. Extremely reliable controller. I have used plain hobby heaters and reef controller in the past, and I use a Ranco and Finnex heating tube now totally separate from any other controller. I now use my reef controller for temperature text warnings just in case.


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Old 11/23/2013, 04:42 PM   #6
R.W.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James77 View Post
If you want to control all heaters at once, with just heat...you would want this:
http://www.pexsupply.com/Ranco-ETC-1...FcJi7Aodkh8ARw

The model number are listed, so you can google for a different place...though Pexsupply seems to have the best prices and I used them last time.

That could easily handle 3-4 300 watt heaters with plenty of room for safety on a typical 15amp circuit.

If you want to have 2 heaters come on then another later, or run a chiller or a fan, you want the dual stage:
http://www.pexsupply.com/Ranco-ETC-2...120-240V-Input

The instructions included to wire it are a little odd ( to me at least) and I screwed up the first time. But it is really easy with some basic wiring knowledge, here is a step by step for the dual:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/how-...ctions-145370/

Programming it is a snap as well, it has 1 degree resolution, so you cannot control down to the tenth of a degree which is totally unnecessary anyway. Extremely reliable controller. I have used plain hobby heaters and reef controller in the past, and I use a Ranco and Finnex heating tube now totally separate from any other controller. I now use my reef controller for temperature text warnings just in case.

+1
Beat me to it! Excellent advice!


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Old 11/25/2013, 06:26 PM   #7
JayDeePee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James77 View Post
If you want to control all heaters at once, with just heat...you would want this:
http://www.pexsupply.com/Ranco-ETC-1...FcJi7Aodkh8ARw

The model number are listed, so you can google for a different place...though Pexsupply seems to have the best prices and I used them last time.

That could easily handle 3-4 300 watt heaters with plenty of room for safety on a typical 15amp circuit.

If you want to have 2 heaters come on then another later, or run a chiller or a fan, you want the dual stage:
http://www.pexsupply.com/Ranco-ETC-2...120-240V-Input

The instructions included to wire it are a little odd ( to me at least) and I screwed up the first time. But it is really easy with some basic wiring knowledge, here is a step by step for the dual:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/how-...ctions-145370/

Programming it is a snap as well, it has 1 degree resolution, so you cannot control down to the tenth of a degree which is totally unnecessary anyway. Extremely reliable controller. I have used plain hobby heaters and reef controller in the past, and I use a Ranco and Finnex heating tube now totally separate from any other controller. I now use my reef controller for temperature text warnings just in case.
Thank you James for the detailed response. I did order the ETC-111000-000 from Amazon and it arrives tomorrow. I still haven't figured out how to wire this but once I get it I will have to find a tutorial on the single stage. Again, thanks!


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Old 11/25/2013, 06:52 PM   #8
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No worries

Here is a quick video on one:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QrBbqm79cco

Just use a knockout clamp on the bottom, that holds the wires in place so they cannot be pulled out easily:. I am assuming you know what one is, if not:
http://www.kichler.com/media/54639/S...or_10589SI.jpg

I also have a single stage, I have not fully wired it yet as my tank is not fully up( the planted one).

Edit: You can extend the probe by splicing it to any similar gauge wire. Some also suggest sealing the probe, you can use silicone. I did not do this, as it did not seem to me to need it...and there are many, many people that have used the probe as is with zero issue.


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Old 11/25/2013, 07:12 PM   #9
Quick_Ben
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Once you get the Ranco wired up the temp probe has to be securely attached to something in your tank or sump. Leaving it loose or dangling is a recipe for disaster. I knocked the probe out of the tank while doing some maintenance and luckily caught it in time. Reading the ambient temp in the room would keep the heater stuck on.
My LFS wired up my first Ranco using an outdoor extension cord's two ends. It's easy to do. Mine has 2 modes, the "H" mode needs to be set to control heating. (Missed that detail the first time around.) After that it's been flawless. By buying those finnex elements you actually did yourself a favor. The Ranco is far better than most heater controllers and works without problems.


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