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Thread: Magma engineering PID versus aftermarket

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy dogdoc's Avatar
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    Magma engineering PID versus aftermarket

    I am getting a new Magma master caster made and was considering their proprietary pid. It is a pretty pricey upgrade. I know a member here makes one (Hatch?). Anybody know any pros or cons to either approach? Would the one sold on this forum work just as easy(much cheaper). I have never used a pid so know very little about

    Thanks

    Dogdoc

  2. #2
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    Minerat's Avatar
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    I think Hatch has one of his on a master caster. I have one I use on a Lyman pot and it works great. PM him I'd bet he can fill you in.
    Steve,

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  3. #3
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    HATCH's Avatar
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    If you order the MC with the PID option it is just plug and play.
    Any other option (regardless of if you build it or buy it) will require some work on your end.

    On the MC you would have to remove the pot from the frame.
    Remove the outer metal covering.
    On the side opposite of the thermostat (handle side of the pot) is two threaded holes on the side of the base plate.
    You would use a ring type thermocouple and a bolt to mount the TC there.

    Alternately, I have in the past made PID setups that were plug and play with the factory Magma setup.
    My normal setup is $125 shipped. The MC setup cost more because I have to purchase the connectors and it requires the correct TC wire and TC connector.

    You can look at this video -> http://www.magmaengineering.com/magm...re-controller/
    Keep in mind you don't have to weld a nut. The holes were threaded on both the MC machines that I have owned and on all the ones that my customers have owned as well (the ones that ordered the PID option with their panels)

  4. #4
    Boolit Master


    Springfield's Avatar
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    Probably the only thing better about the MC unit is the thermocouple attaches directly to the pot and mine uses a TC in the lead. I have made 2 PID's, one for my Magma 40 lb pot and one for my 2 RCBS pots, and they work great. One of these days I might even take the out the pot of the Magma and have a nut welded on, but I am in no hurry to do it.

  5. #5
    Boolit Grand Master popper's Avatar
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    If a thermocouple attached to the pot, high temp (asbestos) insulation is a must. Probe types have it already and either have the convenience of cleaning the pot (or stirring) with out probe getting in the way. Absolute temp of the alloy isn't as important as keeping it at the SAME temp start to finish.
    Whatever!

  6. #6
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    I didnít have to weld a nut on my pot. The hole is threaded


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  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy 44magLeo's Avatar
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    If you build your own or buy one you can use it for more than just the pot. If you PC your bullets you can use it on your oven. If you lube with a stick lube and a lubri-sizer you can control the heater for that.
    I built mine. The pot just plugs onto it. Then slip probe in the pot.
    Same wit an oven. Plug it in slip in the probe.
    I built in into an old cash box. When not in use the power cord rolls up to store inside. Slip probe out of pot, wind up, store inside. Has an outlet the pot plugs into in one end. The PID and two switches on the front.
    Works very well.
    Even if you get a pot with the PID built in, you may still want another set up to be used for opther things.
    Leo

  8. #8
    Boolit Buddy dogdoc's Avatar
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    I can see an advantage to having one you could use on your other pots as well. Although, I hope to rig the mastercaster so I can hand cast with gang moulds when I want to. I have read other people fabricate a wood mould guide for that and tie the mould carrier down. The 40 pound capacity is what appeals to me. Thought about just a pot but thought life was short and ordered the master caster. I sent three double cavity moulds to be fitted to the machine( 357,41,and 44). I cannot remember the last time I casted with double cavity moulds.


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  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    I built mine quite cheaply with an Ebay REXc100, It says it's genuine Japanese branded, yet it cane from china? we all knew it was a knock off, who you drying to kid? i have cast a good 200-300,000 projectiles with it before one failed. For $15, i have no issues sliding that one out and putting a new one in. I feel that is good enough service life for something so cheap and easy to replace.

    My MC is older than dirt, i suspect one of the first to be made. I had to drill and tap a hole for a thermocouple, no big deal. I took the time to replace the ceramic fibre insulation too. As i was already in there, i actually installed two TCs just in case one failed, i didn't need to crack the pot open to keep it working.

    A good idea that was posted once was to set the pot to a higher temperature than the PID, this will ensure the pot can never "run away" if something was to short in the PID causing it to keep heating. You just install the controller in series with the main power cord. This way you can use it on other melting pots if desired (or build another as they are fairly cheap to make)

    Good luck which ever way you go.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tazza View Post
    A good idea that was posted once was to set the pot to a higher temperature than the PID, this will ensure the pot can never "run away" if something was to short in the PID causing it to keep heating. You just install the controller in series with the main power cord.
    Most SSR's fail in the off position.
    You should never have a run away unless you swapped the leads on the thermocouple.
    If you hook the Thermocouple up backwards then temp will go down on the display as the pot temp goes up.
    I always hold my hand around the thermocouple when I test my PIDs to verify they are reading correctly.

    CHARLES
    Don't like being hammered by the Cast Boolits Staff, then don't be a nail.
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BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
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