at Thu Feb 13 02:05:36 2014 [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by markg ]
Proportional controllers are the best for heaters such as heat pads. The reason for this is that proportional control is always adjusting to keep the heater as close to the setpoint temperature as possible. (The setpoint temperature is what you set on the controller for the heater temperature).
All of the current makes are very good. You cannot go wrong.
With any of these controllers, you need to secure the temp probe to one of your heat pads. That means at least one of your cages must be elevated where you can tape the probe to the heater, or else have a spare heat pad on top of a cage where you attach the probe to that. Aluminum tape works very well to secure the probe so it won't fall off. You cannot have good control if the probe is not where it should be.
You have 12 heat pads. If each heater is 25 watts, then your total power is 300 watts. So for a single controller to handle 12 heat pads (assuming 25 watts per), get a controller that is rated around 500 watts or higher (always use a unit rated about 50% higher than your expected wattage). You would plug all 12 into the controller. Daisy-chaining power strips is not good, so find an outlet strip that has 12 outlets, or use a 6-outlet and use a 1-to-3 adapter in at least 4 outlets to provide 12 outlets.
You may want to think about getting 2 controllers - one controller for each group of 6 cages. Up to you of course.
If your heat pads are 40 watts, then that would be 480 watts, so get a controller rated around 750 watts or higher. Or, get 2 controllers rated 500 watts or higher and only plug in 6 heat pads per controller.
More questions? Just ask. I worked in temperature control. I have designed and made my own ON/OFF controllers that are very accurate. In my opinion, what is offered in the market is excellent. All microprocessor-based for repeatable results.
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