Author Topic: Temp control: Johnson or Ranco?  (Read 1831 times)

Offline denny

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Temp control: Johnson or Ranco?
« on: July 01, 2014, 12:04:35 PM »
I just pulled the trigger on a 14.8 cu. ft. chest freezer and I'm debating what to do for temp control.  I've read through some previous threads here and decided I don't want to deal with the STC, despite my background in electronics.  So I'm looking at either Johnson or Ranco.  Martin has previously weighed in in flavor of the Johnson A419.  I'd appreciate hearing opinions form anyone who has used either one.
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Offline Jeff M

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Re: Temp control: Johnson or Ranco?
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2014, 12:08:40 PM »
I enjoy my Johnson A419's.  Keep in mind that if you choose to heat with it you will need to reconfigure the jumpers.  Mine is always spot on, intuitive to program, and they are easy to mount.  They also have smart programing built in to keep the compressor from kicking in constantly.  Id stay away fromt he analog version due to that last fact.

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Offline kylekohlmorgen

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Re: Temp control: Johnson or Ranco?
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2014, 12:25:50 PM »
In both my chest freezer and mini-fridge, I have trouble dialing in temps without heating in addition to cooling. This is especially true when I am ramping up at the end of fermentation - it wont happen without a little help from the heat belt.

I use a 2-stage Ranco with a mini-fridge and a heat belt (two belts for saison fermentation).

You can use the differential or the difference in set points to minimize cycling.

Currently it is resting on top the fridge, but mounting it is super easy (I'm just that lazy/forgetful).

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Offline Slowbrew

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Re: Temp control: Johnson or Ranco?
« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2014, 12:31:01 PM »
I've had a Ranco for years with no issues.

This past weekend I noticed the set point had changed from 45F to 173F.  I wrote that off to all the storms we have been having.  tons of electrical storms and the like.  I've never seen the issue before or sense (knock on wood).

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Offline brewinhard

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Re: Temp control: Johnson or Ranco?
« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2014, 12:41:29 PM »
I have 2 Ranco's and love them.  One controls my chest freezer where I serve my beers from and the other controls my fermentation chamber (heating or cooling).  One tip if you buy any controller like this is to be sure to plug it directly into a power surge outlet (a good one).  If you don't and have some crazy weather the controllers can break on you.  This happened to two others that I have owned before I got smart and used a good power surge outlet. 

Offline Thomas Molitor

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Re: Temp control: Johnson or Ranco?
« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2014, 12:43:35 PM »
I just put a Johnson 419 analog in a new chest freezer a couple of weeks ago and it's working great.

Offline dak0415

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Re: Temp control: Johnson or Ranco?
« Reply #6 on: July 01, 2014, 12:50:16 PM »
I also have both.  With the Rancos I keep the probe in a thermowell in a quart of water to prevent short-cycyling the compressor when the probe is not in a carboy.  With the Johnson, I have the Short-Cycle timer set to 5 minutes.  For fermentation, I prefer the Ranco as the temperature swing is tighter.  I did come across this the other day:

http://www.auberins.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=8&products_id=334

Looks pretty neat and has short-cycle protection.  For those that would prefer NOT to wire their own.
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Offline denny

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Re: Temp control: Johnson or Ranco?
« Reply #7 on: July 01, 2014, 12:57:02 PM »
I probably should have mentioned that the freezer will be for fermentation, not serving.

What's the # of the Ranco you guys are using? The 111000?  And is it dual stage?
« Last Edit: July 01, 2014, 01:00:27 PM by denny »
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Offline Jeff M

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Re: Temp control: Johnson or Ranco?
« Reply #8 on: July 01, 2014, 01:00:13 PM »
I probably should have mentioned that the freezer will be for fermentation, not serving.

What's the # of the Ranco you guys are using?

IF you are looking to ferment id suggest a Dual Stage, which would make the Johnson unusable.  Go with the Ranco Kyle uses.

Jeff
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Offline dak0415

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Re: Temp control: Johnson or Ranco?
« Reply #9 on: July 01, 2014, 01:05:38 PM »
The Auber is dual stage.  I put a 115V 120mm muffin fan and a 25watt light bulb (covered) for heat in my fermentation freezer.
Dave Koenig
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Offline Herminator

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Re: Temp control: Johnson or Ranco?
« Reply #10 on: July 01, 2014, 01:19:37 PM »
For fermentation I would say Ranco dual stage (that auber looks real nice too).  I have a Johnson digital and use it for fermentation...but I have to watch it closely depending on the weather outside. Does a great job cooling in the summer months, but in the winter it can get a little low.  In that case, I just turn on the reptile heating pad. With that, the Johnson is always spot on and I have really enjoyed it, but a dual stage is ideal. 
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Offline micsager

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Re: Temp control: Johnson or Ranco?
« Reply #11 on: July 01, 2014, 02:10:12 PM »
I have three, A johnson, a ranco, and this one:

http://www.controlproductsonline.com/9102-series-temperature-controllers-p-103-l-en.html

(and if I wired it Denny, I know you can)

I have no preference in any of them.  They have all worked great, without problems. 

Offline kylekohlmorgen

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Re: Temp control: Johnson or Ranco?
« Reply #12 on: July 01, 2014, 02:11:05 PM »
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Temp control: Johnson or Ranco?
« Reply #13 on: July 01, 2014, 07:59:17 PM »
http://morebeer.com/products/ranco-digital-twostage-temperature-controller-wired.html?site_id=5

Since you don't want to do any wiring :)

Im happy with these. I have two of them. I use sunbeam heat pads for the hot side. The type with no auto shutoff. I can get you the model number if you wish.

Offline erockrph

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Re: Temp control: Johnson or Ranco?
« Reply #14 on: July 01, 2014, 09:38:37 PM »
I'm lucky enough to have a basement that is suitable for ale fermentation temps year-round. Because of that, a single-stage Johnson (A419) works just fine for me in my fermentation chamber that doubles as a keezer when space allows for it. I'm pretty happy with the level of control and ease of use.
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