Inkbird ITC-306A

Oblio

Fish Herder
Joined
Dec 6, 2021
Messages
1,293
Reaction score
1,063
Location
Macon GA, USA
Just arrived via Inkbird's Amazon store.

Unboxing and evaluation upcoming.

Background - I've got an older hand-me-down heater and I just located another while organizing the garage. My plan is to use both heaters for redundancy with the 306A to do the controlling of both. Things have been working fine with just one heater but I've noticed the internal thermostat is way off so it may be on the way to a failure. Eventually I'll pick up some new heaters, but as an engineer I like to experiment, and the old heaters should be good set at high temp and letting the 306A control them both.


 

AquaBarb

Supporting Member
Tank of the Year!
3x Tank of the Month!
Joined
Apr 21, 2019
Messages
2,001
Reaction score
1,623
Location
Staffordshire England
Love inkbird controllers, they give you that extra security and peace of mind🙂
 
OP
OP
Oblio

Oblio

Fish Herder
Joined
Dec 6, 2021
Messages
1,293
Reaction score
1,063
Location
Macon GA, USA
First impressions

It's Friday, with a busy day doing some repair in the basement, so I just wanted to see if I could get it running and settle back to drink beer and browse the inter-tubes rather than fiddle with my new toy. Simply dropped the probes in tank and connected my existing heater. I'll neaten up the installation and add another heater tomorrow.

Packaging: Good, which is fortunate as Amazon threw the manufacturer box in an unpadded plastic shipping bag AND trusted it to USPS :eek:
App setup: Easy, scan the QR code and you are GTG after verifying via email confirmation code. App is reasonably intuitive.
Accuracy: Very good <1 deg F off from my Thermapen, simple to dial in calibration factor.

I did a quick test to ensure that the heater went on when I set the set temp higher than actual. Will be many beers before I can see it working as I have 125 Gal thermal mass
 
OP
OP
Oblio

Oblio

Fish Herder
Joined
Dec 6, 2021
Messages
1,293
Reaction score
1,063
Location
Macon GA, USA
Unboxing

The box was slightly damaged due to it not being double boxed and shipped in a not protective Amazon bag. The product box was reasonably heavy gauge cardboard and well designed with crush zones but no protective foam. I suspect most shipments will survive intact if not double boxed.
 

Attachments

  • 4955A84D-0A18-41BD-89D9-672970F03513.jpeg
    4955A84D-0A18-41BD-89D9-672970F03513.jpeg
    210.7 KB · Views: 25
  • 83851AD1-0982-4978-80D9-D34221B268F9.jpeg
    83851AD1-0982-4978-80D9-D34221B268F9.jpeg
    396.8 KB · Views: 23
  • A70EE5DD-7D77-4E3C-A132-528F6DAA4D2D.jpeg
    A70EE5DD-7D77-4E3C-A132-528F6DAA4D2D.jpeg
    242.6 KB · Views: 19
Last edited:
OP
OP
Oblio

Oblio

Fish Herder
Joined
Dec 6, 2021
Messages
1,293
Reaction score
1,063
Location
Macon GA, USA
Manual

Usage instructions are pretty good, better than many Chinese imports. To be honest, I did not need them to set up the controller via the APP which is pretty self explanatory. I'll try using the setup via the unit hardware buttons at a later time. It's nice to have an APP rather than another remote to lose or replace batteries in. I did not notice a small translation error in describing the minimum hysteresis value (which is 0.5 deg F, 0.3 C) as the absolute min value of the low and high set value, but this is minor. In practice, I'll likely set the hysteresis to several degrees to reduce thermal cycles, which is usually a driver in reliability. There are nice tables describing each setting, ranges, defaults, corresponding display codes and a pointer to the paragraph that details that function. Also included is a setup flowchart (for using hardware setup buttons) and a trouble shooting guide.
 
OP
OP
Oblio

Oblio

Fish Herder
Joined
Dec 6, 2021
Messages
1,293
Reaction score
1,063
Location
Macon GA, USA
Temp control

Seems to control very well, a few caveats - I have a 125 gal tank with minimal substrate/decorations and am underheated. With that thermal mass and a relatively small thermal input, this should be a piece of cake with no risk of overshoot/undershoot or instability. I have no idea if the unit has a PID controller or what the gains are if it does. If I get a smaller tank, I'll test again. The ambient air temp is ~ 69F.

Notes:

  1. Set High temp == 73.5 deg F
  2. Set Low Temp == 73.0 deg F
  3. At the beginning of the graph I had recently reduced the high temp so the peak at 73.7 deg is due to that.
  4. There is a bug in the app wherein if you go to the settings and whether or not you change anything, it turns the heater on if current temp is < max temp. See chart just after 16:48
  5. Note the vertical scale, the delta between high and low temp is 0.5 deg F.
  6. Another 'bug' is that the unit only reports in 0.2 deg increments (odd LSB), however they list a display accuracy of 0.1 C/F - Perhaps they meant 0.1 C/0.2 F and they missed the typo.
 

Attachments

  • 1656890527838.png
    1656890527838.png
    200.6 KB · Views: 20
Last edited:

Most reactions

Top