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 Herpstat 4 Backup Question

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acl2790
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PostSubject: Herpstat 4 Backup Question   Sun Mar 31, 2013 10:07 pm

I recently re-configured my rack and incubator setup and was just wondering if I could get some feedback on how other people back up their thermostats. I use a Herpstat 4 with a Ranco nonproportional (on/off) thermostat as my backup. I have two small racks for my snakes (well below 350 watts total electricity draw) and an incubator. My Ranco backup themostat has the probe positioned on the heat tape on one of my racks. I was assuming that if the Herpstat failed, it would fail in the same way for all 4 of its outputs. But each of the 4 outputs is individually controlled with its own temp probe. So does this mean each could fail individually? And if this is the case, do I need to go buy more Ranco thermostats to backup every one of the Herpstat 4 outputs that are in use? To me that seems excessive, but I guess now that I've spent thousands on snakes, I don't want to take ANY chances.

Maybe I'm being paranoid, but any feedback would be very much appreciated!!
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Dementeddogz
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PostSubject: Re: Herpstat 4 Backup Question   Sun Mar 31, 2013 11:44 pm

Each could potentially fail individually i believe. Out of all the herpstat products ive used, several being herpstat 4s ive had one failure. Rare enough occasion it was fixed at no charge. If they fail at all they shut of output to heat, you shouldnt be in any immediate danger, but running a backup youd need one for each output to be completely backed up

My set up runs herp 4s on all snake racks, dragons exc and nd models on all individual cages. Herpstats built into incubators aswell, no back ups on racks. They control everything except room heat, and any bug related temp regulation
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acl2790
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PostSubject: Re: Herpstat 4 Backup Question   Mon Apr 01, 2013 10:17 pm

Thanks for the info Kaco. I feel very safe with anything Herpstat (Spyder Robotics), but still want backups for peace of mind. I'm going to think about it some more, might be worth it, but hopefully I can make everything work with what I already have. I emailed the question to Spyder Robotics and got a very prompt reply. Their products are amazing and customer service is top-notch! I'll post it below if anyone else is curious about this issue.

..............................................................................

Alex,

That is the question only you can answer. :^) It's the age old game of how
many backups should someone have? The Herpstat 4 has a safety relay built
in that if set properly turns off all outputs in case the triacs ever fail.
For the safety relay not to cover it the failure would have to be in the
relay or the processor which would be super rare. But in a worst case
scenario if that happened then having another backup like the Ranco's inline
might save you. However, if it's a voltage spike that kills the Herpstat
what is to say it wouldn't kill the Ranco's and how will you back those up?
:^)

So it comes down to how much money you want to throw at it. Don't forget to
use a quality brand surge suppressor. The monster brand for large lcd tvs
seems to be a good one. Something around 1700 joules or higher.

Dion Brewington
Owner, Spyder Robotics LLC
http://www.spyderrobotics.com
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Focal
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PostSubject: Re: Herpstat 4 Backup Question   Tue Apr 02, 2013 11:26 am

Thanks for posting Alex. Since switching to herpstats, I have neglected a back up feature. In the past, I have ran light dimmers (rheostat) between the thermostat and heating element to limit the max output in the event of a failure. They are only a couple bucks at Walmart and takes a bit of time to wire up. If you put them on their own extension cord, you don't have to modify the wires on your heating element. I imagine that if your elements are running on 50% power, you can dial the rheostat to 75%.
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Don
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PostSubject: Re: Herpstat 4 Backup Question   Tue Apr 02, 2013 11:30 am

I use backup thermostats on all of my racks. Primary thermostats are Herpstats, Helix and Vivarium Electronics proportional thermostats. Backup thermostats are VE-100 on/off thermostats.

As noted in the email above, extension cords are also very important.
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Jabberwocky Dragons
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PostSubject: Re: Herpstat 4 Backup Question   Tue Apr 02, 2013 6:30 pm

Don wrote:
I use backup thermostats on all of my racks. Primary thermostats are Herpstats, Helix and Vivarium Electronics proportional thermostats. Backup thermostats are VE-100 on/off thermostats.

As noted in the email above, extension cords are also very important.

iagree This. I use primarily herpstats and a VE-200 backed up by VE-100s. There's too many cautionary tales of melted racks and dead snakes for me to not use back ups (though that's just me). Besides voltage issues, it's relatively simple though not frequent for a probe to come loose, spiking temps to lethal highs. 2 probes in 2 separate spots randomly becoming coming loose?... odds are probably similar to winning the powerball.

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Dementeddogz
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PostSubject: Re: Herpstat 4 Backup Question   Fri Apr 05, 2013 5:44 pm

You can also throw on surge protectors/suppressors on your actual breaker too for added protection.
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