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Amazon Basics 120V 500W Compact Heater - Teardown, review and installation as a chamber heater


Simon2.4
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Article in progress... 

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In my efforts to develop an adequate chamber heater for my big glass enclosure I looked at a few options to use as a heater element to base the design around.

The elaboration of the heated chamber will be covered in a complete tutorial; this post is all about the little Amazon heater

Link to the Amazon Basics 500W Heater: https://amzn.to/3sAMJCC

*****The Good:

Dirt cheap

Standardized components of adequate quality

Quiet fan

Usefull extra parts: Power switch, LED, 12v dc regulator!, power cord, limit switch, Hight temp wires.

*****The bad:

Outer casing Fireproofing smells ALOT its bad

Front grill is very restrictive

Fan barely adequate for flow

*****The Ugly:

The PTC heater element is not electrically insulated. When the grill is removed it's a lethal hazard!

 

 

 

to do:

Why it's usefull

Disassembly and analysis

Safe and efficiet heater principle based in this unit

 

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Haha, funny to see this now. I just wired up my AmazonBasics heater last night and it's heating my chamber as I type. I'll post some pics later.

Some notes from my experience:

  • I left it in the case and it's working great despite the flow issues you mentioned. This also mitigates the electrical insulation issue you mentioned.
  • I placed mine on the bottom of my Trident. Heat the cold air at the bottom, let it rise to the top where I measure the temp.
  • I replaced the thermal breaker inside the unit as it was tripping at low temps (like 45C chamber). Replaced with a 120C thermal fuse.
  • It's easy to take apart and work on. Nicely integrated components. Agreed on quality for as cheap as it is!
  • This could be as simple as placing in your enclosure and turning it on. I tested it that way first. Now, I have it turned on/off by an Omron SSR (simple "watermark" or on/off control loop). So nice not having to control the fan/heater separately. All in one!
  • I removed and bypassed the power switch as the SSR is now in control. Wound up using that hole to run wires. Made a bracket using the bottom two holes to secure to the frame extrusion with T-nuts.
  • I had a 10K thermistor in my machine to observe chamber temp. I'm using that as my sensor for the heater control now. Easy peezy.
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