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General Category => Equipment and Software => Topic started by: guido on June 23, 2013, 12:03:04 AM

Title: How to use a Ranco 2-stage Temp Controller
Post by: guido on June 23, 2013, 12:03:04 AM
OK  The instructions seem easy enough.  I'm using a Ranco 2-Stage Temp Controller on a commercial 2-door lab fridge, which I'm trying to use as a fermenter.  The thing just stares at me.  I'm trying to cool to 65F and the ambient temp is 77F.  Everything seems plugged in the right way.  The fridge works.  Any suggestions.
Title: Re: How to use a Ranco 2-stage Temp Controller
Post by: klickitat jim on June 23, 2013, 01:48:01 AM
Hmmm wish I was there to see it. Are you sure you have fridge plugged into the correct stage?
Title: Re: How to use a Ranco 2-stage Temp Controller
Post by: guido on June 23, 2013, 02:55:48 AM
Hmmm wish I was there to see it. Are you sure you have fridge plugged into the correct stage?

Yep, fridge is plugged into the S1 outlet and set up as C1 for cooling.
Title: Re: How to use a Ranco 2-stage Temp Controller
Post by: klickitat jim on June 23, 2013, 02:57:51 AM
I wonder if they got the labels wrong. Maybe try swapping them.
Title: Re: How to use a Ranco 2-stage Temp Controller
Post by: Pinski on June 23, 2013, 05:10:16 AM
What do you have the differential set at?
Does the temperature display show 77  or is that from another thermometer?
Do you have the heat stage set at a temperature well below the cooling stage so that you dont have a conflict?
Title: Re: How to use a Ranco 2-stage Temp Controller
Post by: guido on June 23, 2013, 09:11:06 AM
I wonder if they got the labels wrong. Maybe try swapping them.

Tried switching
Title: Re: How to use a Ranco 2-stage Temp Controller
Post by: guido on June 23, 2013, 09:15:42 AM
What do you have the differential set at?
Does the temperature display show 77  or is that from another thermometer?
Do you have the heat stage set at a temperature well below the cooling stage so that you dont have a conflict?

The 77F is in the display.  I assume it's the ambient temp.  I have the temp probe inside the fridge, in an empty White Labs tube that's filled with water.   I have the cooling set for 65F with a 3 degree differential, and the heating is set for 55F with a 3 degree differential.  There shouldn't be any overlap.
Title: Re: How to use a Ranco 2-stage Temp Controller
Post by: klickitat jim on June 23, 2013, 09:16:41 AM
It's either programmed wrong, broken, or the fridge is broken.

Plug a lamp into it. Good bulb and turned on. See if it turns the bulb on when it should be turning the fridge on
Title: Re: Re: How to use a Ranco 2-stage Temp Controller
Post by: klickitat jim on June 23, 2013, 09:23:31 AM
What do you have the differential set at?
Does the temperature display show 77  or is that from another thermometer?
Do you have the heat stage set at a temperature well below the cooling stage so that you dont have a conflict?

The 77F is in the display.  I assume it's the ambient temp.  I have the temp probe inside the fridge, in an empty White Labs tube that's filled with water.   I have the cooling set for 65F with a 3 degree differential, and the heating is set for 55F with a 3 degree differential.  There shouldn't be any overlap.

I don't think you want the probe wet.

I set mine with both heat and cool at 65 with 2° diff. If it's warm out I just unplug my heat source
Title: Re: How to use a Ranco 2-stage Temp Controller
Post by: guido on June 23, 2013, 09:37:02 AM
It's either programmed wrong, broken, or the fridge is broken.

Plug a lamp into it. Good bulb and turned on. See if it turns the bulb on when it should be turning the fridge on

I tried taking the probe out of the water.  The fridge starts right up when it's plugged in directly.  Even though I didn't get it from MoreBeer (got it online from ETC), some reviewers on MoreBeer said their units had a software issue and customer service (which is closed until Monday) was able to resolve it.
Title: Re: How to use a Ranco 2-stage Temp Controller
Post by: klickitat jim on June 23, 2013, 09:49:43 AM
Hopefully that solves it. This kind of stuff drives me up the wall. I hate when I get something home and it doesn't work.
Title: Re: How to use a Ranco 2-stage Temp Controller
Post by: guido on June 23, 2013, 09:53:04 AM
Hopefully that solves it. This kind of stuff drives me up the wall. I hate when I get something home and it doesn't work.

Appreciated your ideas, though.
Title: Re: How to use a Ranco 2-stage Temp Controller
Post by: klickitat jim on June 23, 2013, 11:52:28 AM
:D
Title: Re: How to use a Ranco 2-stage Temp Controller
Post by: tschmidlin on June 23, 2013, 04:27:25 PM
Have you tried heating the probe a lot to see if that kicks it on?  Hot water for example?  You could try it in ice water too, see if that does anything.
Title: Re: How to use a Ranco 2-stage Temp Controller
Post by: guido on June 24, 2013, 09:10:30 AM
Have you tried heating the probe a lot to see if that kicks it on?  Hot water for example?  You could try it in ice water too, see if that does anything.

At this point, I am grasping at straws.  I think I'll have to return it for another one.
Title: Re: Re: How to use a Ranco 2-stage Temp Controller
Post by: AmandaK on June 24, 2013, 12:06:08 PM

The 77F is in the display.  I assume it's the ambient temp.  I have the temp probe inside the fridge, in an empty White Labs tube that's filled with water.   I have the cooling set for 65F with a 3 degree differential, and the heating is set for 55F with a 3 degree differential.  There shouldn't be any overlap.

I don't think you want the probe wet.

I set mine with both heat and cool at 65 with 2° diff. If it's warm out I just unplug my heat source

It seems like you have everything set up just right. I too bought mine directly from ETC. They had good customer service (last year), so hopefully they can help.

BTW - The probes are waterproof. I either have my probes in water or taped to the carboy.
Title: Re: How to use a Ranco 2-stage Temp Controller
Post by: klickitat jim on June 24, 2013, 12:26:58 PM
Cool. I have mine taped to the interior wall.
Title: Re: Re: How to use a Ranco 2-stage Temp Controller
Post by: dak0415 on June 24, 2013, 12:32:52 PM
BTW - The probes are waterproof. I either have my probes in water or taped to the carboy.
Sorry Amanda, the probes MAY be water resistant, but I can say from experience that the are not waterproof (immersible).
Title: Re: How to use a Ranco 2-stage Temp Controller
Post by: kylekohlmorgen on June 24, 2013, 12:46:07 PM
Yeah - they probably could hold up in water, but most vendors (my LHBS included) says to not count on it.

The single-stange Johnson probe is all stainless, and it definitely is waterproof.
Title: Re: How to use a Ranco 2-stage Temp Controller
Post by: kylekohlmorgen on June 24, 2013, 12:47:56 PM
As far as the Ranco - they are pretty solid machines.

Maybe you have the heating/cooling functions set incorrectly? Or maybe the you've set the offset to your temp setpoint instead of the actual temp setting.
Title: Re: How to use a Ranco 2-stage Temp Controller
Post by: guido on June 24, 2013, 01:17:11 PM
As far as the Ranco - they are pretty solid machines.

Maybe you have the heating/cooling functions set incorrectly? Or maybe the you've set the offset to your temp setpoint instead of the actual temp setting.

I'm pretty certain it's hooked up right.  I have "S1" for cooling, which is set for 65F (room temp is 77F) with a 3 degree diff.  This is set up as C1.  Next, I have S2m which is set for heating at 55F with a 3 degree diff.  This is H2.

I tried switching things, thinking maybe S1 and S2 were switched when it was wired.

I'm waiting to hear back from customer service (an oxymoron if there ever was one) at ETC.

I'm really looking forward to your "House Sour" seminar at the conference, BTW! 
Title: Re: Re: How to use a Ranco 2-stage Temp Controller
Post by: AmandaK on June 24, 2013, 03:58:58 PM
Yeah - they probably could hold up in water, but most vendors (my LHBS included) says to not count on it.

The single-stange Johnson probe is all stainless, and it definitely is waterproof.

Hmm. Good to know! Guess I've been testing it's limits for a while now... whoops
Title: Re: How to use a Ranco 2-stage Temp Controller
Post by: kylekohlmorgen on June 24, 2013, 05:04:33 PM
As far as the Ranco - they are pretty solid machines.

Maybe you have the heating/cooling functions set incorrectly? Or maybe the you've set the offset to your temp setpoint instead of the actual temp setting.

I'm pretty certain it's hooked up right.  I have "S1" for cooling, which is set for 65F (room temp is 77F) with a 3 degree diff.  This is set up as C1.  Next, I have S2m which is set for heating at 55F with a 3 degree diff.  This is H2.

I tried switching things, thinking maybe S1 and S2 were switched when it was wired.

I'm waiting to hear back from customer service (an oxymoron if there ever was one) at ETC.

I'm really looking forward to your "House Sour" seminar at the conference, BTW!

Well that sounds like the correct setup. You may just have a loose wire on one of the relays.

The Ranco controller manual give you a schematic, and I'm pretty sure MoreBeer wired it up similarly. You can unplug it, open it up, and check the connections.

If that doesn't work, you may have a fried relay, in which MoreBeer should just set you up with an exchange.
Title: Re: How to use a Ranco 2-stage Temp Controller
Post by: guido on June 24, 2013, 05:13:31 PM
As far as the Ranco - they are pretty solid machines.

Maybe you have the heating/cooling functions set incorrectly? Or maybe the you've set the offset to your temp setpoint instead of the actual temp setting.

I'm pretty certain it's hooked up right.  I have "S1" for cooling, which is set for 65F (room temp is 77F) with a 3 degree diff.  This is set up as C1.  Next, I have S2m which is set for heating at 55F with a 3 degree diff.  This is H2.

I tried switching things, thinking maybe S1 and S2 were switched when it was wired.

I'm waiting to hear back from customer service (an oxymoron if there ever was one) at ETC.

I'm really looking forward to your "House Sour" seminar at the conference, BTW!

Well that sounds like the correct setup. You may just have a loose wire on one of the relays.

The Ranco controller manual give you a schematic, and I'm pretty sure MoreBeer wired it up similarly. You can unplug it, open it up, and check the connections.

If that doesn't work, you may have a fried relay, in which MoreBeer should just set you up with an exchange.

I didn't get it from MoreBeer (gasp).  I got it from ETC, a specialty supplier in Ohio.  I'm fairly certain there is a lose wire, but I'm afraid to open it because it might void the warranty, and I'm clueless with wiring.  Hopefully, an exchange is in order.
Title: Re: How to use a Ranco 2-stage Temp Controller
Post by: guido on July 01, 2013, 10:02:01 AM
Just returned from the NHC and found my replacement controller waiting for me.  It works like a champ.  Thanks for your help, folks.