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Thread: How To Build A Twin Variac & ATC 800 + Fan Speed Controller

  1. #1

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    Default How To Build A Twin Variac & ATC 800 + Fan Speed Controller

    Well I've been meaning to get round to doing this for a while. I have just built a new fan speed controller and though I would share it on here for anyone wanting to do the same thing. This should be an easy walk through for anyone with a few basic DIY skills and a little electrical knowledge. This is not a cheap option but it will piss all over anything you can buy over the counter. I have took loads of detail photos and done a wiring diagram that should make it easy to follow. Any questions I will be happy to answer so just fire away.

    You can wire an heater up to 10 amps on the heating circuit. I've omitted it in this build as I don't need it.

    What you will need

    1 x Electrical enclosure box size 325mm x 250mm x 140mm
    1 x ATC 800+ controller (ebay)
    1 x 10 amp DPDT Relay. part number N09AW (maplin)
    1 x 8 pin din socket. part number N34AW (maplin)
    2 x 2 amp variac transformers (watt bits)
    1 x double trailing socket
    1 x plug
    4 meters of flexible 3 core cable

    Mark out the cut out for the ATC Unit

    Size of cut out needs to be 170mm x 90mm







    Check the ATC unit fits





    Secure the ATC unit with clips provided







    Set out where you want the variacs to be
    Use variac as template to mark fixing holes




    Drill 10mm holes to accept the variac fixings



    Remove the knob and dial and insert variac from the back





    Secure with 10mm x 25mm nuts & bolts
    Stick on the dial plates with some adhesive








    Thats the construction done time for the wiring
    Drill 2 x 20mm holes in the side of the casing






    Fit cable glands to casing



    Wiring diagram and component terminals



    Relay & Din socket







    Variac Terminals



    ATC Terminals





    Final wiring & finished product



















    Thanks for looking folks. Enjoy your project, any questions just fire away.
    Time for a cuppa....

    Regards BL
    Last edited by Bud Lightyear; 27-10-14 at 03:04 PM.

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  3. #2

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    Very nice post indeed BL, nice one man, feel I could fire this together, will either post back when I'm up shit creek or job done lol

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    Thanks for that Bud..
    Was gonna pm you regarding this also..

    Peace

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    Awesome, I've been looking for this thread for months!! No wonder i couldn't find it, haha
    (Sticky this please mods!!)
    I have a 2f-1 variac (10" fan) and the din relay holder already, i intend to get it all together ready for the next flower period, just need an enclosure and some electric string to tie it all together now ;-)
    Great thread and excellent work, thanks BL!!
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    Legend bud !! Am on it

    Sent from my GT-S6500 using Tapatalk 2
    Last edited by Bud Lightyear; 03-02-16 at 03:17 PM.

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    Now i know how I'm getting a cheap fan controller

    Cheers!

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    Quote Originally Posted by thecapn View Post
    Now i know how I'm getting a cheap fan controller

    Cheers!
    He did say its not a cheap alternative but was better. How much did it cost for all the bits bud?

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    Quality thread Bud


    Al.

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    Quote Originally Posted by skunk lung View Post
    He did say its not a cheap alternative but was better. How much did it cost for all the bits bud?
    You're looking @ £150 mate.

    Regards BL

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    The ATC controller is the only bit i will have to pay out of my own pocket so i do apologise, you are correct, it's not cheap, although as the poster said, in terms of price/quality it will win hands down. Although i would recommend avoiding this if you don't have any experience, a tiny bit should be enough but none at all i wouldn't attempt.

    A few questions if i may

    I see you don't have a sensor wired up, i assume it is built in and the pins are for a seperate more remote sensor if you wish?

    Since you need to adjust the variacs manually, i can only assume the controller is a simple on/off at certain temperatures and doesn't adjust the fans speed at all?

    Just to clear a few things up for myself and hopefully a few others, cheers again!

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  21. #11
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    Awesome Tutorial Bud lightyear...Looks tha Dogs Boll#@ks! just looked on FleaBay for some the parts..not that much $$ and gonna have to build one now...

    Again Awesome!


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  23. #12
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    hi peeps just find this on FleaBay - think its the right one?

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/UK-Local-D...item232ee2b3e4

    Oops forgot to upload Pic!

    Attachment 224651

    £27.99 + £4.99PnP

    gonna try track down other bits n will post if find em, and Links n prices

    Peace
    Last edited by crazycatz2012; 24-09-13 at 11:50 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by thecapn View Post
    The ATC controller is the only bit i will have to pay out of my own pocket so i do apologise, you are correct, it's not cheap, although as the poster said, in terms of price/quality it will win hands down. Although i would recommend avoiding this if you don't have any experience, a tiny bit should be enough but none at all i wouldn't attempt.

    A few questions if i may

    I see you don't have a sensor wired up, i assume it is built in and the pins are for a seperate more remote sensor if you wish?

    Since you need to adjust the variacs manually, i can only assume the controller is a simple on/off at certain temperatures and doesn't adjust the fans speed at all?

    Just to clear a few things up for myself and hopefully a few others, cheers again!
    I didn't illustrate the sensor because its self explanatory really. The ATC comes with a sensor on a 2 meter lead.
    It just connects to terminals 5 & 6 on the ATC unit. You can have your unit outside of the grow room and the probe inside.



    The way the controller works is.... you set your target temp on the ATC unit lets say 25c
    When the temps are below the set 25c the extraction fan will slow down to a level determined by variac 1 causing the temps to rise.
    When the temps exceed 25c the extraction speeds up to a level determined by variac 2 causing the temps to drop off.
    It continues to cycle like this maintaining optimum temperatures for your growing environment.

    You could have a single variac that would just have a settable low idle speed and go full tilt when temps exceed your target.
    With the twin variac you can use a much bigger fan for your extraction and not have it screaming when it goes full tilt.

    Regards BL

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    Quote Originally Posted by crazycatz2012 View Post
    hi peeps just find this on FleaBay - think its the right one?

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/UK-Local-D...item232ee2b3e4

    Oops forgot to upload Pic!

    Attachment 224651

    £27.99 + £4.99PnP

    gonna try track down other bits n will post if find em, and Links n prices

    Peace
    Yeah, thats the one mate.

    Regards BL

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    Good job Bud mate.. if i didnt have an ecotechnics evolution for free i would be all over this
    current grow - a quick run of Power Plant in mapito by Rory B

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    Ah i understand now, i assumed the other variac was for a heater that you weren't using, makes sense now, cheers again for an excellent How-to

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  33. #17
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    Nice bit of DIY`ing m8.

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    For anyone that thinks they'd never be capable of building one of these, think again. I made one but followed a wiring diagram from another site, my knowledge of electrics extends to wiring a plug and nothing else, I managed to get it up and running first time. Mounting everything in the box is easy, when it comes to the wiring just print the diagram out and tick every connection off as you make it. If it doesn't work, check and check again. If it still doesn't work, blame the OP...

    Brilliant tutorial Bud... I wish more people would get away from their horrible whiney sms controllers and learn to love variacs, such marvelous things! Big and chunky too, I like that. Just one thing I wanted to ask, the diagram I used had a couple of fuses, a 1a between the mains supply and the relay, and a 2a between the relay and the fans. I put them in because they were in the diagram but I notice you haven't put any in. Are they needed?
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    Quote Originally Posted by timothio View Post
    For anyone that thinks they'd never be capable of building one of these, think again. I made one but followed a wiring diagram from another site, my knowledge of electrics extends to wiring a plug and nothing else, I managed to get it up and running first time. Mounting everything in the box is easy, when it comes to the wiring just print the diagram out and tick every connection off as you make it. If it doesn't work, check and check again. If it still doesn't work, blame the OP...

    Brilliant tutorial Bud... I wish more people would get away from their horrible whiney sms controllers and learn to love variacs, such marvelous things! Big and chunky too, I like that. Just one thing I wanted to ask, the diagram I used had a couple of fuses, a 1a between the mains supply and the relay, and a 2a between the relay and the fans. I put them in because they were in the diagram but I notice you haven't put any in. Are they needed?
    I can't see the point in having a fuse @ the relay supply as this would be adequately be covered by a 3 amp fuse in the mains plug.

    The ones you mention between the relay and the fans are not need either as the fan plug also has a 3 amp fuse. If you look at mine I have a double socket on the output, this is to run two fans a ruck 180L(high power) for extraction and a ruck 180 (normal power) for intake, so 3 amp fuses will be fine.

    It would be a good idea to have 1 amp fuses between the "E" terminal and the relay. I did not include this in the build because I am looking for a trip device to do the job, otherwise will use conventional fuses.

    Regards BL

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    Nice build.

    I would say don't use a variac on a permanent split phase capacitor type motor like Vortex, Fantech, Canfan or most Centrifugal type inline fans.
    So a fused secondary winding is important to protect from burning out windings.

    The relay fuse ain't needed.


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