The XDehydr8r

SMD board with through-hole components … mostly! :D

Some day, I’ll have an outdoor kitchen. There is half a plan in place for this to happen. But, peppers are coming on strong in the garden, so the outdoor kitchen appliances will have to start and the kitchen designed to house them. Well, it, anyway. Introducing the XDehydr8r, which is designed to go outside in the kitchen. The board actually came first, which was designed in KiCAD — my first attempt to move from Eagle. I have to say, I love KiCAD. Took a bit of a learning curve, but the time was well worth it.

One can simply not dehydrate food without heat and airflow. So, the canon was built out of an inline 6″ fan, a 4″ computer fan, and a heat-gun element. The theory seemed sound. However, like all of my best plans, it wasn’t quite right. Not enough airflow kept the coil overheating and shutting itself off.

I kept designing and building and trimming and working and finishing, while the new, much larger fan shipped in. It finally arrived.

Beefy! Surely, that’ll make it work! On to getting the panel finished up and wiring completed.

Hey, what do you know, it got all wired. Stuff was in place. It was ready for burn in. AIR FLOW! HEAT! … click … off went the heat. … shit.

It was apparent the heat-gun element was not going to work. So, I ordered two halogen bulbs, like the ones used in Frankenroaster! YAY. Success. New heat chamber.

I didn’t like the amount of heat coming from the SSRs. Granted, there is a TON of current flowing through them, but at 40A and tons of heat sinking, it shouldn’t be thus. I don’t trust it. SSRs are notorious for sticking open. So, I decided to replace them with physical relays. I have yet to burn them in, but I’m certain I’ll have better peace of mind.

After those were replaced, I put on the lid. I still need to oil the whole thing, but I feel it’s done. I can watch temps and humidity from my phone, as the data is being fed to a server. Next stop, The kitchen! :D (ok, next stop is the fermentation/dry-age fridge)

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