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Arduino Reptile Pulse Proportional Thermsotat

Hi, I have kept many reptiles in the past and use this type of thermostat control with any of my non-light emitting heat sources such as ceramics, heat mats etc but these thermostats are pricey for every setup. An idea I had was to maybe incorporate an Arduino since I have one lying round to be able to control multiple input/outputs for more than one tank, but i do not know how to go about building one and what pulse proportional means. I have used Arduino before and familiar with C programming but not done much with controlling AC electrics other than either on/off using relays (ideal for simple thermostats tho like MatStats from livingearth). So would it be as easy as to find a PWM AC controller and make the Arduino change the duty cycle depending on how close the temperature actually is compared to the set point? Or would I need to use PID control? Any ideas would be great. 

Topic by rowly747    |  last reply