Connect with us

Cheap solution for environmental chamber

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by David Novak, Jun 27, 2007.

Scroll to continue with content
  1. David Novak

    David Novak Guest

    I need to test a product at hot and cold temperatures. Can anyone
    suggest a cheap alternative to an environmental chamber?

    A small freezer would probably be fine for the cold, but what is a good
    solution for hot (50C)? I think a toaster oven would be too hot.


    David Novak
    Dajac Inc.
    17152 Shadoan Way
    Westfield, IN 46074

    Phone: 317-258-0223
    Fax: 317-867-1888

    Hardware/Software Consulting
    Headlamp Alignment Equipment
  2. krw

    krw Guest

    Phoenix, about this time of year.
  3. Tim Wescott

    Tim Wescott Guest

    A toaster oven and a (big) lamp dimmer. You'd have to monitor the
    temperature yourself, or make a controller, but it'd do the job.

    Or a toaster oven, a relay, a temperature controller from Omega, and a
    temperature probe from same. "Cheap" may fall by the wayside without some
    inspired eBay buying, but it'd also do the job.

    Tim Wescott
    Control systems and communications consulting

    Need to learn how to apply control theory in your embedded system?
    "Applied Control Theory for Embedded Systems" by Tim Wescott
  4. Ecnerwal

    Ecnerwal Guest

    Small freezer = insulated box.

    Unplug freezer, run flat power cable inside with small thermostatically
    controlled heater (PTC ceramic disk heaters (with fan) are reasonably
    safe). Set for 50C. Light bulbs and a separate thermostat is another
    classic heating method. Plain old resistive is pretty

    The freezer plastic interior might object, but if it's only 50C will
    probably be fine. However, a few sheets of rigid board insulation (the
    foil-faced stuff works particularly well) from the building supply and a
    bit of tape (foil if you get the foil-faced board) could make you a
    dedicated hot box easily enough - heat the same way, be able to run a
    batch in hot and a batch in cold at the same time.
  5. Guest

    Small chambers go for around $200 in the surplus shops, provided they
    are the liquid nitrogen type. Full refrigeration costs considerably
  6. D from BC

    D from BC Guest

    Maybe try:

    $24.00 at Home Depot

    Or ...

    I do environmental tests in my kitchen oven. I haven't tried 50C but
    my kitchen oven dial has 65C as a min.
    I use a fan in the oven to circulate the air.
    D from BC
  7. Ben Jackson

    Ben Jackson Guest

    If it's really small (eg single pcb) you could get one of those 6-pack
    12V mini fridges. They use a peltier device and usually have a switch
    to choose warming or cooling.
  8. Rich Grise

    Rich Grise Guest

    Find a toaster oven that has a thermostat?

    Good Luck!
  9. Rich Grise

    Rich Grise Guest

    You idiot! That's a space heater for heaven's sakes - he doesn't want to
    raise the whole blinkin' ROOM to 50C!

    Try one of these:

  10. Down to WallyMart to get a moderatly large (compared with the DUT) camping
    cooler. Drill a hole in the side for a thermometer probe (tight fit).
    Light bulb and fan for heating. Remove light bulb. Insert dry ice for
    chilling. Use a Polish temperature controller (light bulb and switch on the
    fan) to regulate (sort of) temperature.


    "Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in
    a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside,
    thoroughly used up, totally worn out, with chocolate in one hand and wine in
    the other, loudly proclaiming 'WOO HOO What a Ride!'"
  11. If you have compressed air available, you could use a vortex cooler,
    see wikidpedia

  12. D from BC

    D from BC Guest

    Could still work.. I don't think the size of that environmental
    chamber was mentioned yet.. :p

    Heck...the OP might be able to insulate a closet and use that as an
    environmental chamber..
    Home Depot has pink foam insulation too.

    I've turned washrooms into paint bake rooms :)

    D from BC
  13. I'll bet the old lady just loved that little stunt.

    Did you at least morph it into a grow room?
  14. Carl Ijames

    Carl Ijames Guest

    My full size gas oven is about 45C when set to the lowest "warm"
    setting - try your oven at home.
  15. Rich Grise

    Rich Grise Guest

    I have a "counter-top" oven that looks a lot like this one, except it's
    white enamel:

    and I don't remember where I bought it or what brand it is, but it's got
    a mechanical thermostat; the lowest indication is 150F, the highest is
    400 or 450F, and at ambient I can hear (and feel) the knob thermostat
    click about half-way up from "off" to "150", so it could probably be set
    as low as 100F, if you have a decent thermometer and time to let it
    stabilize. It's yours for the cost of shipping - make an email by
    concatenating my first and last name and sending it to yahoo, if you're
    CAUTION! 463KB picture file!

    email: richgrise at ya-you-know-what-hoo etc. ;-)
  16. MooseFET

    MooseFET Guest

    You can buy

    and a relay to turn on and off a heater AKA big fat resistor or light

    If you put a lot of thermal mass inside the box, the thermostat won't
    have to cycle very often. You can also size the heater so that it
    isn't too strong.
  17. Barry Lennox

    Barry Lennox Guest

    Depends on how big your DUT is.

    There was one in "Circuit Cellar" perhaps 3-4 years back. It used a
    small "auto" fridge with Peltier effect coolers and a couple of WW
    resistors for a heater, together with a small controller. These
    fridges are the size that neatly holds a 6-pack.

    I can find the reference to the exact issue if that helps.

  18. Jasen

    Jasen Guest

    clothes dryer?

    refrigerator shell with a heater and a thermostat installed.

  19. David Novak

    David Novak Guest

Ask a Question
Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?
You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.
Electronics Point Logo
Continue to site
Quote of the day