Friday, May 17, 2013

Time To Get Wired

Time to get the electrical stuff figured out and done.  I removed the remaining electrical components from the original hotplate bases and fumbled through getting them installed in a plastic project box from Radio Shack.

It took a little effort to get them removed from the original bases.

With a little thinking I was able to figure out what needed to be cut and trimmed on these controls.  After that I took some measurements and drilled some holes.

Not too bad.  I had to go back later and move some of the screws as I found that when the knobs were installed the screw heads got in the way preventing the knob from sliding on all the way.  This frustrated me a little but was easily resolved.

Time to run the wires from the controls to the heating elements.  2 burners, 4 wires, each about 4' in length.  Good, now time to find high temperature wire.  My original plan was to run these wires inside the cabinet and have them enter the control box from the bottom. Because of this I needed about 20' of wire.  I found a source on eBay and ordered what I needed.  This stuff is kinda expensive which bothered me later when I changed my plan and had the wires run up the outside back of the cabinet - meaning that I could use regular wire for that since they would not be in the heated area on the inside.  I decided to go ahead and run the high temperature wire on the outside because, otherwise, I would have had to come up with some type of junction box at the bottom where the high temperatures wires would connect to the regular wires.  I opted not to do this and just use what I had.  I dug through my strap pile and found some PVC pipe to use as conduit. First drill a hole in the back bottom for the pass through.

Here is the wire.

Here is the wire cut to somewhat equal lengths.

I 'tagged' two of the wires on both ends with a black Sharpie marker so that later I would know which two at the bottom, connected to one of the elements, corresponded to its controller at the top.  After marking I ran them through the pipe.

And then put the pipe in place.

Here the wires enter the control box.

I secured the pipe to the back of the cabinet.

I crimped on some high temperature connectors and joined the wires to the heating elements.

With a little fussing I was able to get the control box wired but not without some damage.  Somehow I managed to break a lead off of one of the 'power on' indicator LEDs.  A trip back to Radio Shack gave me some bulbs.  I replaced the LEDs with the new bulbs.

I screwed the cover in place and called it done.

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