VinoTemp Default Temp

Author: Dave
Date: 08.15.14 - 5:10pm

This is a quick post about how to modify a VinoTemp wine coolers default temperature setting.

Note if you vinotemp is running to cold, this probably wont help you, see note at end.

If you use your vinotemp for cigar storage, this is a really handy hack. The problem is, the fridges default temp is 54deg. You can set it up to 66 manually which is ok for cigars, but if you ever have a power out you have to make sure to manually reset it everytime.

Not only will to cold a temp throw off your humidity, but there are time during the year where 54 deg is below the dew point in which case you will get rivers of condensation occuring within your humidor. Humidity beads can only absorb so much, and then you have to dry out your beads which kind sucks in its own right. Taking a cigar out from to cold a temperature, can also cause the wrappers to split if its a hot day. So its really better just to avoid all of these things at once.

I was goign to replace the controller for the cooling elements with an arduino, but this is a way easier way to do it and requires very little electronics experience.

The short story of it is..
  • The controller knows the temp by measuring the resistance of a sensor.
  • if you add extra resistance into the circuit, it will think that it already cooler than it really is.
  • In this manner you can lie to it, and make it think that its "54deg" is actually whatever higher temperature you want.
  • You could use either a regular resistor soldered in line, or a variable one (potentiometer) so you can fine tune it.
Below are a couple picts of the modified controller unit. This will be mounted to the inside wall of the cooler. I cut old thermistor out of the upper units wall, and it is now mounted in this main panel (the black nub sticking out of the bottom of the panel) The potentiometer, is the blue knob sticking out of the left side for adjustment of default temp. The red and black jumper wires going the length of the board are to power the micro-controller. The power bus between upper and lower units were separate since a two zone uses two separate power boards, and the MC only drew power from the one..

Below is the picture of the finished relined interior. The plastic is from a $9 black trash can. A similar sheet of black plastic from Amazon would have cost me like 30 bucks for a 2x2 square which is a crazy price.

VinoTemp running to cold:

my lower unit started running to cold, then stopped working all together. It had blown a capacitor on the driver board in the back. I replaced the cap, and the cooler worked again, but still always cold after that.

During this project, i swapped around all of the different components, and the symptom of running to cold is caused by the driver board in the back itself. Not even the thermistor hack helped.

Its like there is some current leaking to the cooling element even when "off" and it continues to cool a little bit. I have not chased it down further than that. I only needed one unit for this project, so just eliminated that board.

I did notice one difference though between the good board and the jacked one, the good board has a crisp on/off. The other flutters on/off when it gets to the shut off temp. this makes me think its either a bad transistor (2) or capacitor (10). It would not take that much to desolder and test each component, but i am not going to mess with it as I already scavenged some parts off of that board.

Comments: (1)

On 08.23.14 - 2:33am Dave wrote:
Another interesting bit, looks like the New Air 280E uses the exact same driver board as my 2008 vinotemp.

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