No Script, No Fear, All Opinion
RSS icon Home icon
  • EEVblog #101 – Hacking your own Peltier LAB Thermal Chamber

    Posted on July 25th, 2010 EEVblog 37 comments
    Be Sociable, Share!
     

    37 responses to “EEVblog #101 – Hacking your own Peltier LAB Thermal Chamber” RSS icon

    • Who was the genius who defined this absurd 0 to 70 C range? I would like to think the consumers usually live in regions where the range is more like -50 to +50 at extremes.

    • Hey that’s pretty neat. Not exactly the Thermoltron I used to use at Boeing but great idea none the less. I actually have a variation of that unit called The Drink-o-matic that we use to store 12 soda cans in our home theater. Rather than the shelf inserts it has a push button can dispensing system. It actually does a reasonable job keeping cool. It doesn’t have the controller or the internal light though but in all other ways is the exact same unit. You do need to be mindful of long term use in that it will develop frost around the vent holes for the heatsink on the Peltier that if left unchecked will eventually lockup the impeller fan so every 2-3 months I just turn it off and let it defrost, wipe it out and its good to go again. Beauty!

      Drink-o-matic: http://www.markpascua.com/2008/10/13/drink-o-matic-12-can-soda-dispenser/

    • I love the blog but I have to say this video felt like paid ad. Most people already have proper refrigator and oven bigger than this thing and I kinda missed what does thing do that can’t be accomplished with those.

      I wish you’d use the vblog to show some more intricate hobbyist DIY electronics methods such as using frying pan or electric skillet for reflow soldering and common inkjet printer + transparents for pcb making. That’s the kind of stuff I’d like to see on video with detailed steps rather than just read some too short or too longwinded description as it the case for both of these methods I’ve seen.

      • Most people already have suitable thermal ovens?, I doubt it!
        I have a fridge for my food, but I can’t just dial up the temperature I want!
        Sorry you felt like it was a paid ad, I just felt it was a cool product that people might find useful for their lab. Most product reviews I do are going to feel like that to some people, nothing I can do about it.

      • I liked this blog, it’s nice to see how other people use alternatives to the standard off the shelf bit of gear and how they can be modified to do the job for a fraction of the price.
        I would like to see Dave’s use of the diy methods for smd and pcb’s but there’s plenty of stuff on the net about that already and I prefer the content that Dave brings that lacks on other sites.

    • Last DIY method I’d like to see on video with detailed steps that’s used to restore old retro electronics in intricate chemical+radiation process:

      http://retr0bright.wikispaces.com/

    • I have often thought about thermal testing for some of my projects, but never had done anything. I like the idea of using a thermoelectric cooler. I would probably just buy a bunch of peltier junctions off of ebay and wire my own up, rather than buying one.

    • You could use Dry Ice to boost for cold, and a heat gun to boost for hot. If you don’t want to wait around for the peltier.

    • This is a great idea for temperature controlled thermal testing. Being a home electronics shop, I never considered a thermal chamber due to cost. In the past I used the refrigerator for limited/basic thermal testing, but this is a much better solution, and is reasonably priced. It would allow me to know for sure how my circuits will operate at a specific temperature, and also know what the reliable temperature range my circuits will work at. The fact that it has a clear plastic window on the front is great too. I will definitely consider picking one up in the future. Dave, thanks for letting us know about it.

      And in response to a previous poster about wanting more electronics DIY stuff like frying pan reflow soldering…. I’m not sure if it’s such a good idea for dave to film himself doing that. Remember what happened with the cup of water . . . LOL

    • Dave:

      Exactly what I was looking for … what was the device you used to monitor the thermal profile…. would be nice to show any individual profile via graphic display..maybe in real time.

      Cheers!

    • Oops! Almost forgot … do you suppose the controller could drive two (2) Peltiers to improve cooling/heating response curves.

      Thanks!

    • Thanks ! Looks like I missed on Huh?

    • This would make a great addition to my small lab. I normally just ensure all the parts that go into the project meet the temperature specifications that I am looking for. If it is something that will live outside I normally let it live in my unheated garage in the winter for a few weeks. With our minus 35 winters here in Winnipeg that is a pretty good stress test. :)

      It would be interesting to have something in there running a logged automatic self test and rig the system to ramp the temperature one degree per 1/2 hour or so. I guess the simplest way would be to make a small controller that simulated button presses to change the built in temperature controller. But running the device at max and min temp is probably enough…

    • i don’t have a fridge that goes from 2 to 60 celsius, so thats a welcome hack.
      was expecting some overclocking thought :)

    • Michael Thompson

      Yeah, water is like…Dave’s arch nemesis or something. ;)

      You know what this needs? -more Peltier!

      Too bad they’re so inefficient.
      I wanted to design a Peltier-based HVAC system for vans years ago but the power consumption put it outside of viability.

    • At work in we need both acoustic and thermal solation. In place of a rag we use a combination of things. For perminent stuff we use duct seal and for temporary work stress balls. Take a stress ball cut it in half way down to the center. Then tuck the cable(s) into the center and stuff the ball into the hole.

    • I’ve to say that I feel like “ac” when he says: “the video felt like paid ad”
      Seriously, no one is going to be to concerned about what goes on at the temperature range this machine provides, if you’r design is required to operate over the industrial temperature range (-40

      • So the Rigol that draws almost 50W and needs a cooling fan is a “relatively small PSU” huh?
        It didn’t take 9 hours to cool it down, that’s just how long I happened to leave it for (overnight).
        The commercial temp range or close to it can provide very valuable info on circuit and product performance, and this chamber can do reasonably close to that. So I think it’s going to be very handy to a lot of people, it certainly is to me.
        Just because it doesn’t suit YOUR requirements, don’t assume it won’t meet other peoples requirements.
        Seriously, you are simply wrong. I’ve working on plenty of commercial/industrial/military gear over the last few decades where this temp range is extremely useful.

        Even with it’s faults, in the end I actually LIKED the Agilent meter, what’s the problem with that?
        I baffles me how people fail to understand “horses for courses”

        My blog, attitude and opinions have not changed at all.
        Perhaps you missed my savaging of the Extech RC200 meter?, or the EX505 meter? And I have a very good and close relationship with Extech!

        Yes, I now put ads on my blog to try and pay for all the time and effort (most of my free time) I put into the blog for other peoples enjoyment.
        If you have a problem with that, then quite frankly, tough.
        If you think I’m doing reviews on things to deliberately try and sell product then please excuse me while I go and barf up a lung laughing!
        Do you think I’m making a profit on this blog?

        Please define what you think the “old Dave” was, I’d really like to know!
        I’m still the “old Dave”. It simply comes down to the age old problem of not being able to please everyone even some of the time, it’s simply impossible.

        Dave.

    • Dude,

      Don’t worry about the nay sayers, those who are incapable of producing anything themselves will always negatively critisize others who do.

      I only recently hooked into your vblogs when checking out the Rigol (which itself is a beauty) and I think they are brilliant!

      I find them interesting, and informative, and the ones that are sort of fluffy to me I still find interesting enough that I haven’t stopped watching a single one!

      Not a lot of people “get” electronics, even including a lot of the engineers I work with (which I don’t understand, I LOVE electronics), but you clearly do, so good on ya mate and keep it up!

      I’d actually like to see you do some circuit projects and more educational ones like the chopper amp.

      Cheers,
      Ian

    • And to prove that point just see how many people write to say I mispelt criticise!

    • I was told this by a colleague at work, the incident was a long time ago.
      We design measurement equipment and needed a new environmental chamber (with humidity control) The bean counters response..
      “Couldn’t you could just use the fridge and a microwave?”

      Bang head here.

    • Karl (not that Karl, the other Karl)

      I bet Krackpot-GR will drop his cheap multimeter habit and start collecting those fridges.

    • This model is 26$ cheaper and vintage looking

      http://www.amazon.com/Koolatron-KWC-25-Coca-Cola-28-Can-Capacity-Portable/dp/B000TDD5OG/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&s=kitchen&qid=1280538378&sr=1-7

      based off the picture I assume it is the same product, but I could be wrong.

    • Nice blog. I’m a big fan of the cold spray/heat gun approach during prototyping–anything that survives that has an excellent chance of passing a careful thermal test.

      Now all you need is a teakettle attachment and you can do 85/85!

      Cheers

      Phil Hobbs

    • You have no idea how long i have been looking for this exact mod. thank you. I’ve bookmarked your site, glad i stumbled onto it. thanks for all the effort.

    • Instead of drilling a giant hole in the side of it, I believe I would make what I call a world panel… I would use some panel mount XLR style connectors for my instrumentation wiring say about 6 of them, and each one provides from 3 to 6 pins (your choice). This along with an iec passthrough or a neutrik Powercon ( http://www.neutrik.com/fr/en/industry/210_t2_1141147856/NAC3MPA-1_detail.aspx )
      would make a very pro looking solution to wire up most experiments using some test jigs.

      In fact, I already use XLR connectors with alligator clips coming out of them to hook my multimeter or tone generators, etc. to all sorts of stuff.

      Now, no thermal loss to the hole…

      Idea #2

      You could add some incandescent light bulbs with a simple switch, or better yet a micro with temp feedback to extend the upper range of the temp it can reach. Sorta like an easy bake oven!

      With the micro you could run temp profiles using the incandescent lights as boosters, to ramp the temp up fast, or get it hotter than possible with the peltier alone.

      Also, if you dump the outer heat sync, and substitute a water block with pump and resevoir i bet you might get better performance from the peltier junction.

      Just some ideas…

    • Zalman cooling fans are the stuff that i use on my pc, they are really built well ~

    • Any Idea where I can get one of these in the US set up for 110VAC?

    • Thomas Norgaard

      My son had a Drink-O-Matic machine given to him but it came without a cord. Are there cords for sutomotive use and also cords with a converter to use with house current. Where can we find them?

      Thanks

    Leave a reply