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 flexwatt and thermostats

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pksnipr
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PostSubject: flexwatt and thermostats   Wed Nov 09, 2011 12:49 am

curious about where the best place to get flexwatt and thermostats is. ive done some research and the bean farm seems to have the best prices on 11 inch flexwatt. at the columbia show i saw a few people selling it for 4.50 - 5.50 a foot. also, i'm kinda new to the thermostat idea. i currently use a johnson controls therm on my ATB enclosure but with a growing collection ive built some racks and was curious about a good thermostat. they all seem to be around the same price and used ones seem to get snatched up as fast as they appear. any thoughts would be helpful.
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PostSubject: Re: flexwatt and thermostats   Wed Nov 09, 2011 8:59 am

Have you tried Reptile Basics for the heat tape? I think they were cheaper than bean farm last year and they are really close so shipping is quick. www.reptilebasics.com

If you are going to spend the money, I would go Herpstat. They seem to be everyones favorite and are really neat on what they can do. Plus something about the blue LCD just draws me in like a bug to a light zapper.
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smb2585
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PostSubject: Re: flexwatt and thermostats   Wed Nov 09, 2011 11:04 am

That is where we buy our from too if we buy it separately from the rack.
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smb2585
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PostSubject: Re: flexwatt and thermostats   Wed Nov 09, 2011 11:04 am

That is where we buy our from too if we buy it separately from the rack.
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PostSubject: Re: flexwatt and thermostats   Wed Nov 09, 2011 11:37 am

I have herpstats, helix and vivarium electronics thermostats. Of those three, Helix is my least favorite. The other two are neck and neck. Reptile Basics sells the VE thermostats and since I buy other stuff from him, that is what I have been buying lately. You can't go wrong with any of the three that I have. There have been no issues with any of them. The reason I like the VE and Herpstats better is because they have more than one button. So, they are easier to program.
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pksnipr
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PostSubject: Re: flexwatt and thermostats   Wed Nov 09, 2011 12:30 pm

thanks guys. i just got off the RBI site and i guess they are a bit cheaper. i was going by the prices i've seen at the shows. was wondering if anyone has used this thermostat? http://www.bigappleherp.com/BAH-1000-Thermostat?sc=2&category=15# i'm not trying to low ball the animals well being. but i've seen a lot of good reviews on this model and it's quite a bit cheaper than the digital thermostats. also, one more thing my johnson controls therm has a design feature that if it fails it fails in the off setting rather than the on. it's only controlling a RHP so even if it did fail in the on setting it wouldn't get crazy but, with flexwatt i think that is a feature i would like to have. thanks for any help guys.
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PostSubject: Re: flexwatt and thermostats   Wed Nov 09, 2011 12:40 pm

I don't trust those things and have seen them fail. Never used them though.
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PostSubject: Re: flexwatt and thermostats   Wed Nov 09, 2011 12:42 pm

Here's a little info I found on it:

http://www.redtailboas.com/f76/bah-1000-users-15934/


Just some advice though, I would never use the suction cups to secure a probe. If it falls off, it will heat and heat until your element is maxed. I would secure it with tape or hot glue. I have seen tubs knock the probe off and sometimes watch the suction cup fall for no reason.
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Jabberwocky Dragons
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PostSubject: Re: flexwatt and thermostats   Wed Nov 09, 2011 12:49 pm

Quote :
also, one more thing my johnson controls therm has a design feature that if it fails it fails in the off setting rather than the on.

I'm not an expert on thermostats but I wouldn't trust an inherent "fail safe" feature in any single thermostat. By definition, if it fails, it's defective, and you can't trust it.

A back up on/off combined with your primary proportional is the best way to go. It's more expensive but after reading the multiple horror stories of cooked collections due to a failed high end thermostat...I'm convinced its the best way to go.
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pksnipr
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PostSubject: Re: flexwatt and thermostats   Wed Nov 09, 2011 1:14 pm

back up on off?
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pksnipr
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PostSubject: Re: flexwatt and thermostats   Wed Nov 09, 2011 1:19 pm

sounds like the users are having a problem with the directions and the manufacturers are having a problem writing them. i think i'll go with a herpstat. thanks everyone.
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Jabberwocky Dragons
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PostSubject: Re: flexwatt and thermostats   Wed Nov 09, 2011 1:26 pm

Quote :
back up on off?

Yes, you back up your proportional with an on/off like a Ranco, VE-100, and I think Johnsons. You can't back up using a proportional since it's hooked to your primary thermostat (the Herpstat).

It doesn't have to be a user problem, machines break all the time. Your probe could stop working and the thermostat will crank the heat to lethal levels to compensate. It's just a very cheap form of insurance to protect your collection.
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PostSubject: Re: flexwatt and thermostats   Wed Nov 09, 2011 1:36 pm

Rheostats also make great back ups for on/off thermostats and they are only like $5. I reduce the output of power so that way if the thermo fails, it will only reach 60-70% of full power.
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pksnipr
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PostSubject: Re: flexwatt and thermostats   Thu Nov 10, 2011 12:16 am

so i need a thermostat and a rheostat? this is getting a little confusing. sorry for my newbiesque questions.
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PostSubject: Re: flexwatt and thermostats   Thu Nov 10, 2011 2:01 am

I love the rstat idea Nick, two tstats seem very over kill to me
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PostSubject: Re: flexwatt and thermostats   Thu Nov 10, 2011 9:05 am

I would do the two thermostats if I had the money, but I have the left over rheostats from before I went thermostats.

On the thermostat, you have the output which powers your heating element. The rheostat is wired into an extension cord and I plug it in between the output on the thermostat and the heating element.

[Wall outlet]->[thermostat]->[Rheostat]->[Heating Pad]

I keep the rheo a little under 3/4's of the way.
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byrd'sballs
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PostSubject: Re: flexwatt and thermostats   Sat Nov 12, 2011 1:06 am

I'm gonna build an incubator and I'm trying to keep it a low budget. What's the most inexpensive proportional tstat out???? Maybe like a spare one you may have laying around I'd like digital one but not apposed to an anolog one either any ideas?
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jw
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PostSubject: Re: flexwatt and thermostats   Tue Nov 15, 2011 4:40 pm

I made an incubator out of stuff I had laying around. Used it for several seasons and it worked well. The water keeps temperature fluctuations to a minimum and provides humidity.



The aquarium can be replaced with a cooler and appropriate sized heater. Make sure you insulate the plastic cooler from the heating element. Clay bricks work well.

When deciding between a thermostat or rheostat the determining factor is usually the thermal stability of the room/area where the cages are kept. If there are large swings in the ambient temperature of a room/area it is usually better to use a thermostat. If the room/area has a fairly constant temperature a rheostat usually works fine.
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byrd'sballs
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PostSubject: Re: flexwatt and thermostats   Tue Nov 15, 2011 5:15 pm

I'm gonna use 1 inch foam insulation board and some 50 Watt heat cable. Just don't know about my on/off style tstat.
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PostSubject: Re: flexwatt and thermostats   Tue Nov 15, 2011 5:40 pm

I use on/off for my incubators. Ranco 111000 works great.
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byrd'sballs
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PostSubject: Re: flexwatt and thermostats   Tue Nov 15, 2011 5:45 pm

Sweet I think mine are zoo Med 500 watts
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