CAUTION: THE BELOW PROCEDURE FOR CONNECTING A PID CONTROLLER WORKS FOR US, BUT IS ONLY PROVIDED HERE AS INFORMATION. SINCE SUBSTANTIAL VOLTAGE AND CURRENT ARE INVOLVED, USE ABUNDANT CAUTION. YOU SHOULD OBTAIN ASSISTANCE FROM A QUALIFIED ELECTRICIAN IF YOU AREN’T FAMILIAR WITH ELECTRICAL WIRING.
At Brasstown Creek we place our bamboo strips in heat treating fixtures from Harry Boyd (www.canerods.com) which assists in keeping the strips straight during the tempering process. The oven we use was purchased from Bret Reiter at www.greenhighlanderflyfishing.com.
In order to obtain a more accurate (and much more consistent) temperature inside our Bamboo Oven than was possible with the standard electric oven thermostat control that came with the oven, we did two things:
First, we drilled small holes and inserted two very accurate high heat temperature probes (we used a dual probe high temperature thermometer, e.g. for BBQ cookers, from ThermoPro), each one 18 inches from opposing ends of the oven. The digital readouts from the two probe sources enabled us to identify temperature gradients within the oven while tempering of the bamboo strips. The accurate digital thermometers indicated that the standard oven thermostat can vary significantly (sometimes by as much as 40 degrees Fahrenheit) in temperature during its on/off operations.
Second, in an effort to eliminate the huge temperature fluctuation that can occur during on/off cycles with a standard oven thermostat, we replaced the old thermostat control with an InkBird ITC-100VH PID (Proportional-Integral-Derivative) controller to keep the temperature variations in the oven to within a few degrees. Note – the InkBird ITC-100VH PID only registers temperature in Centigrade.
We ordered the “InkBird Dual Digital PID Temperature Controller 2 Omron Relay Thermostat 110-240V ITC-VH +40A SSR + K Sensor” from Amazon Prime. It cost $37.79 at the time. The K Sensor it came with (it requires a K Sensor) had a short probe length that would not have penetrated adequately through the Oven’s insulation, so we also ordered from Amazon Prime a “2.7m 8.8ft Thermocouple Temperature Control K Type Sensor Probe”. The 2.7m is the length of the cabling; the probe length itself was approximately 4 inches and it cost $9.00 at the time of purchase.
One additional purchase we made was an “Uxcell Aluminum Heatsink Heat Dissipation for Solid State Relay SSR Type” from Amazon Prime, it cost $6.99 at the time.
We purchased small PVC Junction boxes from Home Depot to contain the PID components and wiring to reduce the possibility of accidental shock. We drilled ventilation holes in the boxes. We bought wiring and connectors there also.
InkBird has a somewhat useful video on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DZDkrR0Vhrc) which you can use in conjunction with the user manual that comes in the box. Note – we had to experiment some with the K Sensor connections to the PID to obtain proper readings.
The PID maintains our desired 162.8 degree Centigrade temperature control to +/- 1.25 degrees Centigrade. We are happy with that!