SideKIC: Cheap sous vide circulator.Modernist
Posted 09 February 2012 - 08:33 AM
Posted 09 February 2012 - 08:54 AM
The temperature sensor, the pump and the 300 watt heater all together are very light in weight.
The entire assembly can constructed to be floating on water. This way it will not matter what size vessel you are using, and how deep the water is. This will not increase manufacturing cost.
Having only the sensor cable and a small power line, it will be much easy to put a cover on to prevent evaporation for long cooking time. The way now it is designed to be hanging, it is difficult to cover the water bath.
Posted 09 February 2012 - 09:19 AM
Is t fully immersible?
Posted 09 February 2012 - 11:32 AM
Posted 10 February 2012 - 12:56 AM
It sat against the side of the cooking vessel with better stability than I had expected and just seems quite solid.
I am less inclined to insist on clamps than I had previously. I'd still like them, but the design decision seems more valid than I had thought.
The control set up is extremely simple and very user friendly. I can't complement Duncan enough for that. Bravo. Easy as heck to set up. I liked the continuous temperature read out.
I'd like to see a slightly longer tether between the heating unit and the control unit.
I found myself wanting to have strain relief at each end of the tether.
I still want to see any future iteration of the design go deeper into the vessel and have more wiggle room between lowest and highest acceptable water levels.
Overall, though, it's a surprisingly rugged, solid feeling unit and not a toy.
Chris, I like your insulating top. Prompted by your fine example, I'm going to get a beer cooler very soon.
Posted 10 February 2012 - 01:03 AM
I think that the cooking fanatics, hobbiests, and early adopters to be found in places like this forum are the real market for now.
Posted 10 February 2012 - 06:21 AM
Posted 10 February 2012 - 06:33 AM
You guys with it in hand, do you think a small round cooler would be a way to go with it? Depth to place the items and let the circulator work on the top with lid placed on top although ajar?
Look carefully at Chris Hennes' cooler setup. You can see the water is covered with a piece of Styrofoam.
That's the way to do it. It sholudn't take you more than a couple of minutes to make one.
Posted 10 February 2012 - 08:46 AM
ETA: it also lets me use a much larger-than-recommended water bath since it greatly reduces heat loss.
Edited by Chris Hennes, 10 February 2012 - 08:48 AM.
Posted 10 February 2012 - 08:59 AM
Hey, I knew what I was getting in for by jumping in on this forum. You guys are tough, but you're also obviously knowledgeable. You will be the toughest critics that I can face. Frankly you guys aren't really even the target market, but I really want to win you over - even if the current machine isn't good enough, I'm going to keep trying.
Who *is* the target market? There's not that many people interested in Sous Vide and I reckon we have a pretty representative sample of those who do on this board.
You're right, I think that was inartful on my part. I certainly didn't mean to give offense, and you guys are the target market. What I meant was that there are a handful of people on the vanguard - people who are knowledgeable, who tinker, who like to know how everything works - and these are the people who've been asking most of the questions.
While I think SV isn't mass-market yet, I'm trying to build something for the second wave - that is, people who want to experiment with cooking but for whom most of the stuff out there is too expensive or too complicated.
Posted 10 February 2012 - 09:35 AM
Posted 10 February 2012 - 09:44 AM
That would be because it's not transferring all the heat from the loop at the base, some is being transferred from the "stem". It likely changed because the water level is slightly lower or the environmental temperature is cooler. This will result in lower power efficiency. I would suggest adding some water, but I'm going to leave it to you (you're obviously putting the thing through it's paces).
Edit: if this is the case it will also increase the rate of evaporation.
Edited by Duncan Werner, 10 February 2012 - 09:50 AM.
Posted 10 February 2012 - 10:04 AM
Note to self: mark water line on housing.
Posted 10 February 2012 - 11:23 AM
Posted 10 February 2012 - 11:32 AM
Posted 10 February 2012 - 02:00 PM
To test the first, I removed the device from the water and blew it dry. I put it back in and... viola. No more noise (so far, it's been two hours). Obviously by blowing warm air through the device I could have affected a number of other things, so this isn't a conclusive source of the problem, but it's a piece of evidence in that direction. Now, we see if the problem comes back tomorrow, and if the same thing fixes it.
Posted 10 February 2012 - 02:13 PM
When you cut Styrofoam, static electricity makes many small pieces sticking every where.
When you put the foam board in the water, the water drains away the static electricity, and small pieces of foam got dislodged and got stuck inside the pump impeller turbine housing and made that noise you heard.
Yes could also be due to the star constellations misalignment.
Edited by dcarch, 10 February 2012 - 02:15 PM.
Posted 10 February 2012 - 02:19 PM
Edited by Chris Hennes, 10 February 2012 - 02:20 PM.
Posted 10 February 2012 - 02:34 PM
If there is some electrical leakage inside the housing, which is very possible with inexpensive immersion heaters, and how it is connected to the other components inside, the electric power can start dicomposing the water (electrolysis) and make bubbling noise.
Set the meter at the lowest AC voltage range, with one probe in the water near the unit, and the other probe in the ground hole of the electric outlet. If you measure any voltage then you should not be using the unit at all.
Posted 10 February 2012 - 04:10 PM
Being something less than handy, and not possessing some of the requisite tools, I believe I'll stick with ordering a SideKic.
The thread has been fascinating. Thanks, y'all.
Posted 10 February 2012 - 05:20 PM
Posted 10 February 2012 - 07:30 PM
[Incidentally, there's a small icon on the screen, at the top-left, which shows the power output as a bar graph. It's not precise - the bar graph has 7 levels, while the actual power output is a 16-bit value - but it's a quick way to see what it's doing].
So you have a heat source - the heater - and you have a heat sink, the water. In power terms, a supply and a load. The heater is generating heat and that's being absorbed by the water. In most cases the heat will transfer efficiently - there's so much capacity in the water that all the heat is absorbed, and the heater (including any portion which is exposed) will be the same temperature as the water.
If the water line is low, relative to the heater, then all the heat generated won't be absorbed, and the heater will be hotter relative to the water. If the difference is large enough, just above the water line it will boil the water. Surface tension will pull a small film of water up the heater, to where it's hot, and will boil it.
This is not that unusual - in fact you can make it happen, if the heater is running, by slowly lifting it out until it's less and less in the water (if it's at full power, and about 1/2 of the "coil" is exposed, this will always happen). But ordinarily it shouldn't happen if the heater is submerged, because (1) the heat transfer is efficient, it's designed for that, and (2) again the water should have a pretty large heat capacity, which we're actually increasing by circulating it.
In the ordinary case, you can resolve this by adding more water so that the heater is better submerged. The design is such that as long as the water is above the middle of the bottom window, roughly, it will be sufficient. There may be slight variations, but the top of the bottom window is the ideal point.
Now if the heater is running at 1/2 or 1/4 power, even if it's still slightly exposed, you won't get this effect because there's less power to transfer. In your cooler setup I would guess that you could make this happen by adjusting the set point while it's running - set it to a few degrees above or below the actual water temperature - because it will adjust the heater to either 100% or 0%.
I don't mind telling you that we've been running around today trying to figure out what's happening to you. Generally, we're working on the theory that there's capacitance.
So going back to the power metaphor, we have a supply and a load. We assume that the load is resistive - that is, (loosely), it will absorb power. But if it's capacitive, then it will absorb some amount of power and then stop. At that point, it won't absorb any more power and you get the heat feedback loop I described above.
Why would that be the case? You're using a pretty big cooler, so there's a lot of water which would suggest just the opposite - that water should be able to absorb a lot of heat. However if you were running outside, in freezing weather, then it would be slightly different - the environmental temperature would "hold back" the transfer of heat, (because of the relative heat capacities of water and air). But that's not the case here. If there were a big difference between the environment and the set point that might still happen, but I don't think that's it either, unless your house is extremely cold.
But it could be the cooler. As it happens, my 16 quart cooler just came in so I can do some experimenting. Assume for the moment that the cooler itself is keeping the water cold. Then we try to heat the water, but it won't absorb the heat, and we get some feedback. There's a limit to the cooler's ability, so it doesn't happen when the heater is at 50%, but it does happen at 100%. And then, over time, the cooler's own temperature raises to 63C. At this point it won't resist the heat anymore, so we don't have that effect.
Sorry for the long post. I may know more (for example, I may know that I'm totally off-base) when I get a chance to run my cooler.
Posted 10 February 2012 - 07:35 PM
Posted 10 February 2012 - 09:08 PM
Posted 12 February 2012 - 11:05 AM
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